In Memoriam

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‘The Crypt . . . Pen  –  WHB 2020

In Memoriam

In the crypt
Which is my mind
Lie the tombs
Of those I’ve known
Entrenched within
Each treasured niche
Embalmed in memory
And swathed in love alone

Wife and parents
Beloved friends
Lost loves and lovers
All met their ends
Before I had
a chance to say
I’ll love you till
My dying day

There they now lie
In peace while I
Guard their memories
With a sigh
And rarely lift
Their coffin lid
Remind myself
Of what they did
Of what they once
Had meant to me

For only the blind
Can truly see 

 

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Life is made of Memories

Life is made of Memories

As the morning warms its shoes
As the dark gives way to dawn
So new day begins its tale
Yet another story born.

Every moment, every day,
Bring new memories again;
Similar but none the same
Some of joy, others of pain.

Life is made of memories
When each life has been and gone
Let us all remember this
Memories are what live on.

The Dead Tree

Knightshayes Tree1

Photo: WHB, 2019  … Knighthayes, Tiverton, Devon  ©

Bold and boastful,
Big and brash,
A mighty marvel still.
A splendid giant
Holding court
Bestride that verdant hill.

Imperious, noble,
Still a lord
Of field and hill and view.
Its commanding presence
Memorial to
All that once was new.

Never forlorn,
The strength of years
Still lingers in those limbs.
A memory,
A masterpiece,
Even as the vision dims.

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Songs My Mother Sang

book music music book musical notes

Song Book: Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Songs My Mother Sang

The songs were of chill and anguish,
Sad songs with wistful themes,
Telling of loss and longing,
Songs of uncertain dreams.

Wistful, anxious, plaintive,
Sung in the dark days of war,
As though no end to suffering
Would reach us evermore.

She sang of the wandering gypsies,
The old lady sweet and kind,
Of old Barbara Frietchie’s flag,
And the boys who were left behind.

But though her words were sombre
I knew as she held me tight,
Her clutch was so warm and tender
The darkness would turn to light.

 

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Memento

 

Chambord-Loire-France

Chambord:  WHB – Pen & Wash

MEMENTO

 

What of me remains…
Persists when I have gone?

Take away my body
Deconstruct my presence
then rebuild an image
made only of memory
unique to each who knew me
no composite save each
biographed reflected anecdote

Save what I have created
those I have affected,
influenced, guided,
tainted I trust not,
as parent, teacher, associate,
as lover and as friend
as moderator and as judge
as poet and as peasant

Sic transit gloria mundi
And thus my light
in time
as light does
will fade from view

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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A Walk Through The Woods To The Sea

cascade creek environment fern

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A Walk Through The Woods To The Sea

As I breathe in the wild garlic woods
I resurrect a memory.
In bursts of fiery vision
Both eyes and nostrils
Recall the path
Descending without haste
From cornfield to woodland dell
To fern and rill
Beneath the high arches
Of the viaduct
Soft tread over the bracken-strewn turf
Beside the bubbling beck
To meet the waiting waves
On that bleached beach
Promising not only present joy
But with purpose
Though without foreknowledge
Building a cornerstone 
Of my being
Nature’s Marble Halls
Erected to sustain life
To ensure that richness of experience
This continuity of pleasure
Which brings meaning now
When I had thought
Only the memory remained

Wild-garlic

 

Thy Will Be Done

black and white cemetery christ church

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Thy Will Be Done

Cold to the touch
And past all hearing
Blue-mottled skin
Taught held and cold

The throb of fear
Intensely gripped
Constricted throat
Gulp
Retch 
Took hold

A life switched off
The dark descended
The past screwed up into a ball
Coated with fear
The future threatening
How to sum up
This final call

Che sera
Will be
What was
Was me

The now 
The then
The future
When
Melt into one
Not lost
Nor gone
All rest upon
Thy will be done

Fond memories remain
To feed our forever future

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A Glimpse of Paradise

Molesey Window1a

Photo:  WHB – 2019

A Glimpse of Paradise

I paused as I passed
Just a glimpse
in a miniscule
slice of time
Held in a bubble 
About to burst
A sense of the bizarre
The freaky
Outré and offbeat
Unreal yet lurid enough
As though I’d seen what I should not see
Felt what I had never felt

That entranced moment brought
Mirabile dictu
An exotic pain
That carried with it 
All meaning
The key to my existence 
The reason I was here
And nowhere else
Why I would live forever 
In the collective memory
Of the universe
An imprint
On the Tablet of Time

Molesey Window2a

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