On Pedants

Cezanne – Turning Road at Montgeroult – 1898

ON PEDANTS
Dark Thoughts in the Staffroom

Sat in the seat of sorry separation,
Iron to pot chatters of morning’s mistakes
That made this morning different from yesterday’s.

“He said he’d get him after the lesson.
I said if he did, I’d get him after the lesson.”

“He missed a penalty. The ten year old.”
“We should have won by seven more.”

“I said I’d tell his mum about him.
He said he’d tell his dad about me.”

The Cezanne cottage shouting from the wall,
In reverence for being out of place,
Muffles its strength in an attractive frame.

Their life is a blister,
Thriving until a provocation restores a little life.
The child’s vitality vitiates their own, yet still,
Unheedingly,
They dedicate their lives to inevitability.

* * *

“Pour agir dans le monde il faut mourir a soi-meme.”
These end the life within them without a known success.

* * *

The Bag Lady



WHB: My 2001 Pencil and Wash drawing of a Homeless lady outside the Marienwerdersche Church in Berlin in the 1930s – from ‘The German Century’ by Michael Sturmer

Depressed and defeated,
My world’s at an end.
Its simpler to die
Than life’s troubles to mend.

I sit here alone, 
My future in tatters. 
No one will help.
To them no one else matters. 

Men’s struggle for power
Has brought me to this. 
Their pride and their greed,
That’s what’s amiss. 

The end will come quickly. 
My future is bleak.
No reason to hope. 
It’s the fate of the weak. 

[ Previously published on this blog in September 2016 ]

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 – a Sequence from 2020

‘HOPE’ … G.F.Watts – 1886

Walk, Eat, Sleep, Wake,
Little to do
To myself I talk
Thus the story
of twenty-twenty
Gone the years
of more and plenty
Cover my face
as in disgrace
Cross my heart
and keep apart
Cuddles banned
Hugs verboten
Kiss me quick
all that forgotten
When will it end
and will it ever
A Life to live
A love to sever
Lock me up
they might as well
For where I am
there I dwell
Nothing but time
to fill each day
And time never ends
so here I stay
Locked in this cell
not feeling well
Till hope returns
and once again
within me burns


Remembrance

‘The Churchyard’ – WHB … Pen: 1981

With bared feet
and sadness in my soul
I walk in the shallows
the waves rippling to my bare feet
I follow the ribs of the sand
to their end
in the swell of the next wave
and by their disappearance
I recognise the promise
of their continuation
for the world is in flux
a life beginning
as another ends
memory
fading at first
soon settles
into expectation
an affirmation
as the embers
of all that cease to be
are carried forward
in the seeds of
a future hope

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

Thought for the Morrow

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
King James Bible . . . Matthew 6:34. ‘Sermon on the Mount’

Yes … Tomorrow is another day
One more locked-down day to bear
While for me the world outside attempts to hide from view
Yet I know that
Somewhere The sun shines,
while elsewhere snow’s warmth blankets the tumbling hills
The rain is working its vernal wonders in the forest
and the world’s waves beat upon its brackish shores

My life’s sideshow cowers in lockdown’s shade
The life I once learnt to live fades
And a new one awaits
Granted by science and by human endeavour
A new path to wend – to explore
A road less travelled
which I must learn to love
The old well-tbeaten ways no longer lead to certainty
only to danger and distress
And so
amidst a tangled understanding of right and wrong
The future lives on in uncertainty’s haze

Churchyard Leaves

Photo: WHB – Surrey 2020

CHURCHYARD LEAVES

Churchyard leaves
Blanket the dead;
Winter warmth
Of words unsaid.

Deep in their earth,
now ashes and dust,
Forgotten are fears
worries, mistrust.

Here where stillness
reflects on the past,
We meet with the future
Our questions unasked.

Photo: WHB – Surrey 2020

WHAT’S NEXT?

Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com

When the Quietus comes
Then is the Night
The end of my Beginning
The start of The Next
That infinite Unknown
That never wished for Future
So far safely hidden
Forestalling the Pain
Shrouding the Bliss
Of what will come
By drawing life’s Curtain
Over its darkening Window
Its haze obscuring 
That indeterminate Vision
Of the meaning of Destiny
Of what is Next

IN THAT OTHER LIFE

Take me back to those distant days
When time stood boldly still;
The burbling beck flowed green and clean
Beside the bellowing forge;
When each day brought new hope
And the healing world invited me in.

With that street gang
I fearlessly fought,
Braved the imminent threats.
Regrets nor desire for retribution
Clouded no horizon
And danger held no thrall.


Little I knew or even thought
Of what new years might hold.
Each day brought its gratitude,
Each birthday took no toll…
No future promise was worth a penny
Beyond tomorrow’s stretch.


But now, even in my clouded vision,
I see with unblinkered sight,
The past held all my future
Up to its proffered light,
And could I but have known it then
I nothing would now overwrite.