Requiescat in Pace


Sir Edward Coley BURNE-JONES ‘The Morning of the Resurrection’ 1886 … Oil on Canvas – Tate Gallery



Let it be
Words of Wisdom

Words of Solace
Just let go

Let it happen
You can’t stop it

Come what may
It will run its course

So as it goes
Don’t resist

Life will happen

Che sera sera
I cannot stop it

So be it
I can’t change it

It’s past and gone
That’s it

Done and dusted

Such is Life
It’s dead and buried

That’s Life
And Death is part of it






‘The Sum of all our Memories’


Photo: :  ‘Two Against The World’ – WHB


If it is true
As it is said
That we are
The sum of all our memories
Then I will collect yours
By colour and by time
Count them
Order them
Sort them into their separate strands
Bind these close together
Plait them into skeins
Then hang them round your neck
As a daisy chain
To adorn and demonstrate
My love for you

Thus I will find
behind that closed facade
That barrier of reticence
The real you
The essence of your being
Your throbbing vibrant heart
Beating its rhythm
In time with my own

I will break down
Your defences
And at last discover
The self which claims
to love me
To want to own me
To be my buttress
Shoring me up
Against my troubles

And when your dam
Finally breaks
The following floods
Will swamp my uncertainties
Shoring up my resolve
So that together
We can face
An unforgiving world



‘THAT LOVE MAY LIVE’ – A Story In Four Haikus


Image . . . Pinterest

‘THAT LOVE MAY LIVE’ – A Story In Four Haikus



The heavens opened 
On my hopes for sun and warmth
Leaving me bereft


As the waters rose
So my spirits with them sank
I thought love lay lost


But I was quite wrong
For Nature wove its magic
Showing me the truth


Look upon the rain
As summers need to renew
And keep love alive



‘I Am’ by Sylvia Plath

[  # 75 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]


‘I took a deep breath

and listened to the old brag of my heart:

I am,

I am,

I am.’


Today’s offering is not, strictly speaking a poem.  It is a very short, one sentence, quotation from theThe Bell Jar’, (written under the pseudonym, ‘Victoria Lucas’), the only novel ever written by the American poet, Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide, aged 30, shortly after its publication in 1963.

I am using it today as its introspection does mirror that of John Clare, whose ‘I Am’ verses I featured a week ago.  Both Clare and Plath were troubled beings, suffering for long periods of their lives from severe mood swings and depression.

In this one sentence from her novel, Sylvia Plath, cries out with similar force to that which John Clare was expressing in his poem, for the self-belief and recognition which both felt had eluded them . . .  ‘I AM! yet what I am who cares, or knows?’ 




Art On The Rack


tall and slender
thin and lean
what do such racked
such skeletal
figures mean

imagination extended
perception broadened
brought to brush and canvas
stone and chisel
bronze and rasp
unique reality
given expression
in the artist’s eye
and distorted vision

el greco

artistic differences
in paint and bronze

fashion’s fad
now continued
on the catwalk

do my eyes
deceive me
with beauty
in the eye of the bewildered
or perhaps following

and stretched out models
and elongated
in the artist’s vision

paraded to their public
asked to accept
an interpretation
allowing retrieval
of a larger truth

thus to become
stricken and striated
of a new generation

fêted now
as great and good
but fated still
to be misunderstood



The images at the top are, from left to right  . . .
El Greco:  ‘St.John The Baptist’ – c.1600; Oil on Canvas
Giacometti:  ‘Walking Man’ – 1960; Bronze
Modigliani: ‘Lunia Czechowska in Black’ – 1919; Oil on canvas
Parmagianino: ‘Madonna With Long Neck’
The bottom picture is of ‘Catwalk models’ – from Pinterest.



Am I a POET?



CALLIOPE: the muse who presides over eloquence and epic poetry; 

Am I a POET?

I’m a poet!  Who are you?
Are you a Poet, too?
Do I write poetry?
I say I do;
But is it poetry I write?
What say you?

 Was it by sweated brow,
By haunted vision,
I overcame my indecision?

 Did Damascene insights,
Or inspiration’s muse,
Give birth
To my poetic views?

 This begs the question
Long undecided:
Am I a Poet,
Famed or derided?


I wrote a poem the other day,
or was it just words
in a different order,
to have their own reason for existence?

Such feelings are
The price I pay;
when I say
I am a poet
am I honest,
do I really know it?

Addressing myself
I’ve learned to ask,
and every time I pen a poem
I set myself this very task . . .

Can I really
hand on heart
claim to be
a tiny part
of all those great
illustrious sages
who’ve coloured
life’s dramatic pages
in epics, sonnets,
ballads and odes,
presenting prose
in verbal codes,
fantasising fecund dreams,
massaging thoughts and wild ideas,
composing their Byronic idylls,
word music of the spheres?

The net result,
always the same,
I know I’ll have
no claim to fame.

Such images,
they prove to me,
that shallow thoughts,
marshmallow words,
can never in a thousand years,
however many sweated tears,
make me one of their poetic peers.



Poets Corner



John Clare – ‘I AM’

[  # 74 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]



John Clare (1793 – 1864) was an English poet.   Born in Northamptonshire, he was the son of a farm labourer, who became known for his celebrations of the English countryside and for regularly expressing sorrows at its disruption.   His poetry underwent major re-evaluation in the late 20th century and he is now often seen as one of the important 19th-century poets.   His biographer, Jonathan Bate, states that Clare was “the greatest labouring-class poet that England has ever produced.  No one has ever written more powerfully of nature, of a rural childhood, and of the alienated and unstable self.”  Many of his poems are filled with a joy he experienced in nature and the countryside.  Sadly, however, for the last 25 years of his life Clare suffered from mental illness and was incarcerated in a mental institution.   In this wistful soul-searching poem, described by some as “one of the greatest poems of sheer despair ever written”, Clare spills out his desolation and detachment from a life which he would dearly love to have lived . . . 

‘I AM’ . . .  by John Clare


I AM! yet what I am who cares, or knows? 
My friends forsake me, like a memory lost.
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish, an oblivious host,
Shadows of life, whose very soul is lost.         5
And yet I am—I live—though I am toss’d.
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dream,
Where there is neither sense of life, nor joys,
But the huge shipwreck of my own esteem         10
And all that’s dear. Even those I loved the best
Are strange—nay, they are stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man has never trod—
For scenes where woman never smiled or wept—
There to abide with my Creator, God,         15
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Full of high thoughts, unborn. So let me lie,
The grass below; above, the vaulted sky.




Mind Games -WHB-Feb2018


Whimsical and wild
Such are the games I play
Whilst mentally beguiled

Hidden within poetry
In discursive verse
My clandestine love affairs
And terse

Give to me a reason
Why thus I can’t express
My mind’s adventurous spirit
My need to seek excess

To open up
Revealing all
Whilst midst the subterfuge
My ego seeks adrenaline
A haven
A refuge

Its all a nonsense
Words at play
Fending off my fears
Seeking to screen my inner hurt
Reality kept at bay





Books Do Not Die . . .


Books, do not die

{ A paean to Books }


Books, do not die,
You bring me such joy;
I’ve dwelt in your pages
Since I was a boy.

Books, do not die,
You are humble yet proud,
Bringing solace and hope,
The sun through the cloud.

Books, do not die.
Your warmth and your grace,
Your wisdom and charm,
I clutch and embrace.

Books, do not die,
You have smell, you have taste.
Your very presence
Will not go to waste.

Books, do not die,
Your existence delights
You see me through
Those long dark winter nights

Books do not die,
My dreams you renew;
You offer escape,
I can’t live without you.

Books, Do not die;
Do not burn, Or expire.
Life blood of words,
Procreate and inspire.




Three Cinquains

cinquain is a five-line poem, normally without rhyme, but with a specific syllable count of 2-4-6-8-2.  The form was invented by Adelaide Crapsey, an American poet who took her inspiration from Japanese haiku and tanka.  As with most other poetic forms, the cinquaine has since been developed to encompass a variety of ways, whilst always holding to Crapsey’s basic formula.

The following amplification is taken from: ‘The Cinquain’ ByDeborah Kolodii, as published on the  ‘Shadow Poetry’  website …

The ideal cinquain for Crapsey was one that worked up to a turn or climax, and then fell back. Similar to the “twist” that often occurs in the final couplet of a sonnet, a cinquain’s “turn” usually occurs during the final, shorter fifth line or immediately before it. Thus, the momentum of a cinquain grows with each subsequent line as another two syllables, … (are) added bringing the poem to a climax at the fourth line, falling back to a two syllable “punch line”.


Adelaide Crapsey

n another of my occasional attempts at structuring my poetic thoughts into a (to me) new poetic form, I give below three of my own examples of the CINQUAINE.



My life
Lives in my work
Searching for the right words
Seeking to make them tell the truth


Are not for me
Rather, let the past rest
Whilst I live on in the present
With hope


Ends as the Spring
Advances with new life
Bringing hope and joy to us all