MIRROR! MIRROR!

WHB: Self-portrait – scraperboard . . . c.1955

Mirror! Mirror!
On my screen
Can I believe
What I have seen?

Mirror! Mirror!
Tell me now
I am lovely,
Take a bow.

Is this a selfie
I see before me?
Is this reflected
In my story?

Am I vain,
Or am I boring?
Look at me,
My ego’s soaring.

Go to blazes!
Tell me why
I’m not just
Pie in the sky.

Tell me that
I should believe it;
 At least I look
As though I mean it.

Because I feel
I have no guile
Doesn’t mean
I’m mean and facile.

My face my fortune
It is said;
If they are right
My palm’s well read.

But all is not
Quite what it seems,
What I see
Is in my dreams.

For I can tell
Just looking at me,
I’m not like
The me I see

Lost Dreams

Burne-Jones … ‘Reclining Woman’

LOST DREAMS

There ought to be a better way of living
To find catharsis in these twilight years,
But I am no misanthrope,
My dreams can give me hope
And help to wipe away my tensions and my tears.

So let me lead you now into my dreamworld,
A land where vanished wishes can come true.
Where life and love and pleasure,
And all those things we treasure,
Will follow from our final rendezvous.

A land where angels sing glad songs of romance,
Where the bells remember chimes they’d long forgot;
Where they now forever ring,
And with those angels sing,
And we at last are happy with our lot.

For my frequent dream is one of youth recurring;
A new start in life to live it once again.
To eliminate the stress,
To start again afresh,
And live my life devoid of stifling pain.

But the place where dreams are stored is fast receding,
A library of books once felt and read.
Now they will never come to life
Before they meet the pruning knife,
And all those thoughts they bred remain unsaid.

Burne-Jones … The Briar Rose – detail

My Sea Nymph

‘My Nereid’ … Pen – WHB – 2017
 

My SEA NYMPH

you

my nereid

emerging 

from the

burgeoning

vibrant waves 

that break

on that

far shore

of that 

distant sea

only to

dissolve

into ripples 

as I rush

to greet you

plunging 

into the breakers

as you

fade

into the foam

quiescent now

along with 

my dream

Distant Waves … Pen – WHB – 2017

Dreamland

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones …’The Sleeping Beauty’ 1871

DREAMLAND

My mind
enfranchised in sleep
liberated from rationality
and conscious executive decision
my unconscious
set free to roam my history.

The blurred narrative
picks and chooses
what it wants to portray
to examine
to reconnoitre.

Personae and locale
juxtaposed
regardless of sequence
of time and of place

A current friend
a past acquaintance
someone who is no one
brought together
and the scene is set.

I wander amongst its passage ways
through its disjointed scenery
meeting both friends and strangers
so unclarified
and yet telling a minimal story
its sequence uncontrolled
unfettered by personal decision
moving on at leisured pace
subject it seems to no control
seemingly governed solely
by its own momentum
no decisions involved in the flow of events
linked by no conscious reason
aware of scenery
of being somewhere half-known
but insensate
unaware of how I feel towards it.

Then,
an arbitrary end
to these inconclusive series of events;
sometimes just a fading;
but at other times
an abrupt cessation
of the out-of-focus story’s flow
an abrupt end
often in mid event.

And I am left with traces
vague recollections of where
indistinct awareness of who
no understanding of why
no connection to past
no sense of a future

Just dreamland
half-remembered
soon forgotten altogether
lost in another time
another life
a parallel reality
or even outside reality
but it must be my reality.

My mind
enfranchised in sleep
liberated from rationality
and conscious executive decision

My unconscious
set free to roam my history.
How that happens to be

to me that remains a mystery.

Where Gleams Our Sun

Scotland – Western Isles … Watercolour WHB 2025 . .

What we once had before we split
I never will regret one bit.
It was a joy I can’t repeat;
It was my fault, I do admit.

Regrets do not a prison make
But time will ever keep awake
That spark of love, which, withered now,
I watched with horror envy take.

Your gain, my loss, I can agree;
Despite your vow to cherish me,
I lost you when I gave you space;
I knew I had to set you free.

It helps to keep my life on track,
To plaster over that cruel crack;
To be with you in dreamland now
I’d give up all to have you back.

You fill so many of my dreams
And memory runs amok it seems.
Tonight I take you with me, there,
Where gleam our sun and our moonbeams.

A Bit Of NONSENSE

Do you think I’ve gone round the bend?“ 
“I’m afraid so. You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head.
But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” 
― ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ 1865  … Lewis Carroll

A BIT OF NONSENSE

NONSENSE VERSES  . . .  Just playing with words & triple rhymes

A very  long song is quite wrong 
But a terse little verse is worse 
So why try to cry, ‘cos
You know I’ll feel low when you go.

It would seem that I scream when I dream
So why can’t I try to be shy
It’s unkind when I find you don’t mind
You will know it is so when I go.

It is sad when a lad turns out bad
But a joy for a boy to annoy;
Why disguise all those lies I despise,
Tell me why you don’t try to comply?

Please desist and don’t twist my wrist
You can kill my goodwill with that pill
I can tell you’re not well when you yell
Lose your head, you’ll be dead, it is said.

Try to recall your fall in the hall,
I could tell you weren’t well when you fell.
Don’t sigh, that is why, by and by
If you’re kind you will find I won’t mind.

The cop had to pop to the shop
To get runny honey for money;
But today he’s away at a play,
So tomorrow, in sorrow, he’ll borrow.

The girl with the twirl and the curl
Denied she had tried not to hide,
But the boy full of joy with the toy
Asked to play, if he may,every day.

When the man with a can saw the fan
I know he gave a slow blow
He looked swell till he fell in a well;
He’s unwell I can tell by the smell.

It is fun to run in the sun,
If you try to fly you’ll see why.
But begin to sin, you won’t win;
No, you shouldn’t, you wouldn’t , you couldn’t ,

Bliss in a kiss will not go amiss
It serves and deserves, to comfort the nerves.
But let me repeat, you’ll meet with  defeat
When time and chime no longer rhyme. 

It’s absurd when a bird can’t be heard
It’s a sin when an inn won’t serve gin.
It’s a pity this ditty‘s not witty
I endeavour to be clever however.

MY CHRISTMAS GHOSTS

MY CHRISTMAS GHOSTS

… Three Christmas Senryu …

They live on in dreams
Friends who once enriched my life 
Ghosts of Christmas Past

Ghosts of Christmas Now
Fill my days and haunt my nights
Bring both joy and fear

Loves I’ll leave behind
Ghosts of Christmas Yet To Come
They are my future

Senryū

Form of poetry

Description

Senryū is a Japanese form of short poetry similar to haiku in construction: three lines with 17 morae. Senryū tend to be about human foibles while haiku tend to be about nature, and senryū are often cynical or darkly humorous while haiku are more serious. Wikipedia

VENICE


Venetian Sunset – from Piazza San Marco … Pen & Wash – WHB … 2013

City of Islands
City of dream
Inscribed with colour
 Every line.

City of History
City of deeds
Imbued with story
Every step

City of Passion
City of pride
Engorged with fashion
Every stride

City of Clamour
City of bells
Ringing with meaning
Every knell

City of Turmoil
City of strife
Threaded with suffering
Every hurt

City of Mansions
City of graves
Instilled with ardour
Every shrine

City of Titian
City of art
Awash with beauty
Every part

City of Merchants
City of trade
Echoed by Shakespeare
Every shade

City of Conflict
City of strife
Turbulent city
Every vice

City of Water
City of flood
Sea taking over
Every surge

City of Magic
City of spells
Present in each pile
Every shell

City of Revels
City of fun
Carnivals rule life
Every fete

City of Intrigue
City of masks
Sophistry renews
Every day

City of Drama
City of sin
Would I were there now
Let new life begin.

Venice . . . Pen & Wash – WHB: 2013

Escape To Paradise

A Paradise’ . . . WHB: Pen and watercolour – 2014

our world is not always a nice place to be
so let’s take off for paradise
to do that we must dream
so make a wish and dream
the dreams made from memories
choose daydreams
for they are made from pleasant ones
precious jewels of remembered moments
of childhood pleasures recreated in golden colours
under warm and generous skies
for what is nirvana but bliss
a perfect quietude
remembered from that golden age
when cares were so far away as to be invisible
and joy was present
in the simplicity of a walk in a spring meadow
in hesitant steps across a bubbling beck
in that breath of early evening air
bringing the scent of heather
and with it the rustle of new leaves
bursting to catch the evening air
amongst the rolling northern hills
the cradled landscape of that now distant home
forever a part of my being
both bedrock and comfort of my present
and succour of my hopes for the future

Hope For Glory Yet

‘An English Dawn’ … WHB – Pen&Wash- 2013

Once upon a sublime time
when daylight lingered long into night’s advance
shadows crept from silent space
wrapping themselves around the foothills of my youth
their clutch clinging to my burgeoning hopes
with silky snake embrace
promising to smother all ills
to suck the poison from my advance
and still the waves that beat upon my summer shore

But now with time progressed and prospects passed
with what avails me slipped away
that promised land
the unproven myth
shown for what it is
have I learnt nothing from my dreams
has expectation become ash
youth’s promise proven pallid
yet stubbornly remaining
to bolster what is left to me of life
and give me strength to persist
and hope for glory yet