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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Too Short a Life

red lighted candle

Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on Pexels.com

Come to me in dreams
and still my hurting heart;
From all you meant to me
I cannot softly part.

As memory dulls and life
proceeds with steady tread,
it won’t be long before
I follow where you’ve led.

Life is too short for living,
Eternity too long.
Perhaps to swap them over
would right a painful wrong.

 

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A Vision Of Love

Do you remember the first time we met? 
A long time ago but hard to forget. 

Still so alive in my memory, 
The feed to my every reverie. 

Do you remember that first ever kiss, 
When soft lips touched in newfound bliss? 

Raw hearts first bled in ecstasy, 
The thrill of our conjoined energy. 

Do  you remember that first night of obsession
Love fully felt, all fervour, all passion

The need for each other at last fulfilled 
The essence of joy in conjunction distilled. 

All those memories now, facing reality,
Time and circumstance have brought finality. 

The last test awaits, giving pause for decision, 
Oh, let it be you who completes the Vision.

 

 

 

Time’s Reckoning

TIME’S RECKONING

As my eyes closed on yesterday,

Its half-truths and its flaws,

My thoughts then turned to triumphs past,

To nights of warm applause.

To days of plenty, youth and promise,

When all was bright and brave,

When time’s sand filled the hour glass

And life a lustre gave.

I drank the spirit of success

With eagerness and hope;

No fears of failure, dread or loss,

Marred my horoscope.

But time demands a reckoning

And optimism fades.

Life has now passed beyond its cusp,

No more the accolades.

So now I seek content in friends,

Those who remain steadfast.

To them I owe my gratitude,

They are my valued past.