Iron Valley

abandoned abandoned building architecture building

Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

The streams descending from the hills
Ran red with the iron they brought. 
It could as well have been lost blood
For all the wealth they sought.

Plenteous in ore and rich in scope
Those Northern hills were ravaged;
In the name of thrusting Revolution
My native land was savaged. 

The earth’s spoils harvested to feed
the world’s gross need for steel;
So while the master’s pockets bulged
No stop to progress’s wheel. 

The cost was counted in toil and sweat,
In the maiming of the land,
And the crying of unnumbered souls
Who did not understand. 


NOTE:  There were 400 fatalities at Eston, North Yorkshire, in the 100 years (in the 19th and early 20th Centuries) the mines were worked there in the Eston Hills, between Cleveland and the River Tees Estuary.

banner4b

Advertisements

The Arrangement

closed up photo of man in black blazer facing tablet

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Yes?… No! 

Why not? … Headache!

Later? …  Maybe! 

Tomorrow? … Unlikely! 

When? … Sometime! 

 Soon?  … Perhaps!

Here?  … Somewhere! 

Where? … Dunno! 

Any ifs? … Plenty!

Affair?  … Don’t you dare!

Separation? … Impractical! 

Divorce? … Costly!

Forget it? … Better! 

For now? … For ever! 

As we were? … As we are! 

OK? … OK! 

sline6

Reverie #4 … Still Waters

still_waters

STILL  WATERS

 

No. Not Muddy Waters,
Nor even Crystal Waters.
It was Still Waters.
Yes, that’s what we called him.

He called himself Walter.
Walter Waters from Watford
And places South of the Gap.
My one-time boss
Head man
Big chief of the Trendy Tribe
Leader of the Pliant Pack.

I could never fathom him.
Not him
Nor his fawning hangers-on.
Still waters run deep they say.
I’d say that still waters are stagnant,
Not much running there
Algae-filled, dark green and smelly
– Rancid in fact,
And deliriously avoidable.

Yes, that’s him without doubt.
Going nowhere – fast or any other speed.
Him to a ‘t’ ;
a Capital ‘T’.
I’d say that fits his bill.

Yet he thinks he’s life and soul of the party.
God’s Gift to the Agency.

Some party!
Some life?!
Worth a dream,
But never a second meeting.

 

divider-sun2

Scarecrow Collection

Photographs from RHS Wisley, Surrey, UK. 2008 . . . WHB. ©

( Click on individual photographs to enlarge.)

Scarecrow Collection

Scarecrow Collection
Get in the queue;
For your entertainment
Learn something new.

Ladies and Gents
Fops and Flappers,
Molls and Pole Dancers
Call Girls and Slappers.

Broads and Dames
Wide Guys and Tramps,
Hippies and Harpies
Sirens and Vamps.

Divas and Dandies
Nimbies and Yuppies,
Minxes and moppets
Harpies and Hippies.

Beatniks and Broads
Belles and Babes,
Dandies and Fops
Jacks of all Trades.

Coquettes and Milk Maids
Nurses and Nannies,
Mods and Rockers
Goths and Grannies.

Scarecrow Collection
Roll up and view;
Won’t frighten the birds
But might scare you.

sline6

Longing

Lake Distriict-Borrowdale-1986

Borrowdale – Pen Sketch WHB – 1986  © 

LONGING

Yes, my youth brought many vital moments
among my native hills.
Such interludes return now
in flashback and in dreams
in vignettes and in echoes;
instances of acute sensitivity,
memories more precious and persistent
as year passes into year.

I wish I had been more alive then,
more interwoven with my surroundings,
instinctively attached to the skies above
and to the rolling landscape below.

For there, on the vast wide-open moorland
where, above my breathing,
what I heard, was only the sound of the bees
visiting the sun-yellow gorse,
and the sighing rustle of the breeze
playing amongst the curls of bracken,
the blackbirds circling above in the sundown dusk,
calls of the curlew, lapwing and meadow pipit
lost in broom , hidden in heather.

Sometimes, in the bliss of solitude’s memory,
I have known a disregard for time itself,
and I sense I would happily reach eternal slumber
in the rapturous throes of such longing.

 

bar-curl4

LANDAY … A Poet’s Legacy

The Landay is a traditional Afghan poetic form consisting of a single couplet. There are nine syllables in the first line, and thirteen syllables in the second. These short poems typically address themes of love, grief, contemplation, homeland, war, and separation.  Wikipedia

The couplet may rhyme, although this is not a requirement.

white book beside white mug

Photo by Ekrulila on Pexels.com


And when, at last, I come to the end,

Will those who remain be enriched by the words I’ve penned?


 

WHB.  July 2019 … ©

 

scroll2

LONDON Strolls … #3. Waterloo

Waterloo Walk

On Revisiting the gentle London strolls of my Youth . . .

 

  1. WATERLOO

I set off excitedly, without trepidation, from Waterloo Station.
Via Hungerford Bridge, I briskly traverse the Thames.
At a jaunty pace, I cross The Embankment,
before enthusiastically undertaking the short climb of Villiers Street.

Swiftly crossing The Strand,
I tread vigorously into St Martin’s Lane.
Almost strutting into Charing Cross Road,
I pause to browse the books in Cecil Court’s shops,
soon afterwards  cutting through Garrick Lane.
I drift back now to St. Martin’s Lane
to take a welcome break in Goodwin’s Court Georgian Tea rooms.
 
Then on to plod the length of Long Acre
before lazily cutting through James Street to reach Covent Garden.
Ambling sluggishly, I pass the Royal Opera House,
from where I step out with determination,
although somewhat less purposefully now.

Thus I return to the Strand,
following it along into the length of Fleet Street until,
visibly wearying, I reach St. Paul’s Cathedral and turn right
to cross the Millennium Bridge over the Thames.

Now, heading languidly westwards,
I sluggishly wend my way upriver,
along the South Bank of the Thames,
past the Globe Theatre, Tate Modern Gallery,
Oxo Tower Wharf and the Royal Festival Hall.

Meandering now, very slowly and decidedly weary,
until, much relieved, and decidedly thankful,
I find myself back at Waterloo Station.

 

sline6

LONDON Strolls … #2. Hyde Park

 

Gloucester Rd Walk

On Revisiting the gentle London strolls of my Youth . . .

 

  1. HYDE PARK

On foot from Gloucester Road
I step out briskly and with soaring expectation along Cromwell Road.
Striding forcefully then up Queens Gate,
I shortly find myself, almost trotting now, beside the Royal Albert Hall.
Soon afterwards, I am jauntily following Kensington Gore.
Slowing a little, I meander now, across the width of Hyde Park.
Pausing frequently and sauntering to take in the scenery,
I haltingly cross over the Serpentine.

Slackening my pace again, I keep heading North to Lancaster Gate.
Then, at a relaxed pace, I drift into Sussex Square,
from where, slowing even further,
I tread the hot pavements along Sussex Gardens.

Working my way sluggishly along Westbourne Terrace
I then trudge the length of Praed Street
to reach Paddington Station.
Thence, struggling increasingly, I head to Edgware Road. 

Continuing south to Oxford St and Marble Arch,
I move, almost idling, and with the occasional stumble,
along the exacting side-walks of Monopoly Land.
Then through Mayfair, plodding now, 
down Park Lane.

Slowing even more, (Is that possible without actually stopping?)
I traipse across Piccadilly and round Hyde Park Corner.
I turn, unsteadily, into Grosvenor Place,
heading towards Buckingham Palace,
but, after taking a breather,
and deciding to simplify my intended route,
I make a right turn through Belgravia.

Treading heavily, I work my way through Embassy Land.
I stumble across Sloane Street
to Cromwell Road and the V&A Museum.

Thus, at last, weary and definitely plodding now, 
my failing feet drag my exhausted body
back to Gloucester Road, to relaxation and
the sought after assuagement of the aches in my trembling limbs

 

sline6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONDON Strolls … #1. Chelsea

LotsRd

On Revisiting the gentle London strolls of my Youth . . .

 

  1. CHELSEA

I leave, with joyous expectation, from Lots Road
to retrace one of my favourite London walks.
Stepping out brightly along the Kings Road
to the World’s End,
I soon move sprightly into Cheyne Walk.

I trip blithely along the Embankment to Albert Bridge,
from where I head purposefully along Royal Hospital Road.
Onwards then, slowing somewhat, to Chelsea Bridge Road,
thence to amble into Sloane Square,
from where I cross, a little hesitantly, to Brompton Road.

Soon I’m trying, unsuccessfully, to pick up the pace into Fulham Broadway. 
I cautiously stretch my legs past Stamford Bridge Football Ground.
Aching a little now, and wavering somewhat,
I head along the North End Road.
Eventually I stumble haltingly into Fulham Palace Road.

Bearing south, with a definite degree of stress now,
I continue to where, near Putney Bridge,
I take a left into the New Kings Road.
Gasping feverishly, I trudge past Parsons Green
until, breathing intemperately,
and desperate for liquid sustenance and my chaise longue,
I return, my curiosity both battered and sated,
but with undisguised relief, to Lots Road.

 

sline6

BREXIT ???

brexit

 

Euro? … EU? …  Eee You?
Let us hear your point of view 
You know, don’t you? . Last of the few.
Brexit ? …  Brexin ?  …  Brexout ? 
Let’s shake dem votes about. 

 

We’ll do the 
‘Yes Sir – No Sir’
In, Sir… Out, Sir
I say – you say
We’ll pay – they’ll pay 
Good deal – Bad deal
Some deal – No deal

So then, why not? 
Let’s vote again
As we did that summer
Yes, let’s vote again
As we did that year
Just remember when
We were younger then
Make us think again
All might not be in vain
(Though if we abstain
Will that dull the pain?) 

People’s Vote or Final Say?
Junker or Teresa May?
Talk of Backstops and red lines
A hundred thousand million times
Border hard or border soft
Must keep the Euro flag aloft
(Mine’s the Union, Jack!) 

Yes, let’s vote again
‘Cos that’s Democracy –
And we do like to vote
For that’s Bureaucracy
Then maybe let’s do it yet again
Long live Hypocrisy
So that Government
of the people,
by the people,
for the people,
Will be given birth
And shall not perish from the Earth.

Yes, that’s what it’s all about!

redline-thin