Secrets

‘See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil’   (Photo – WHB)

A fuller description of the story of ‘The Three Monkeys’ and of the various interpretations of the maxim ‘See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil‘ is given following the poem below.  The idea for my verses was prompted by my acquisition of the above figurine, and are an attempt to get inside the mind of someone with secrets to keep.  I deny any relationship between my versified thoughts and my own reality.

SECRETS

“Ask no secrets, please”;
“Tell no lies indeed”;
For if you break these rules,
Then hearts will blanch and bleed.

“Never tell a secret”
Or so the saying goes.
So hold on to that rule.
Never the facts disclose.

“Your secret’s safe with me”
I’ve heard that said before.
It never is the case;
They always ask for more.

“I won’t tell if you won’t”
I said that as a child,
But what I had to hide then
Was relatively mild.

# # #

But now life is more complex;
I have more sins to hide.
Such damning indiscretions
I never could confide.

My secrets, now I’m older,
Are surely on the rise.
‘T would border on disaster;
To tell would not be wise.

The priest in all his wisdom
Receives confession now.
I cannot dare to tell him
Of  where and why and how.

# # #

But then, again, I wonder
What life would mean to me,
If all my peccadilloes
Were there for all to see.

Perhaps they’d view my sins
As Walter Mitty copies.
As venial casual slip-ups,
As minor paltry follies.

As commonplace as foibles;
As lethal as a pin.
Hardly ‘mea culpa’
And not Original Sin.

# # #

If others think them simple,
Not worthy of reflection,
Still to me they’re weighty
And threaten with detection.

I ask these questions blithely;
I truly want to know.
Do you have secret longings
That you will never show?

That you will never tell;
And let no one discover;
Let no one even guess
You’ve got a secret lover?

I would tempt fate and listen
To what you say and feel,
But I really fear the outcome
Of what your heart conceals.

Such secrets are forbidden
To all but you and me;
Unknown to friend or rival,
 And that’s how it should be.

# # #

Please keep your secrets from me;
We say we’ll never lie.
We tried to keep that promise,
To keep it till we die.

But when  with life we’re parting
We’ll lay them at our feet.
Our secrets are the same now –
No more, no more, deceit.

So only at the end
When all regrets must cease,
Perhaps we’ll be permitted
To find a kind of Peace.

# # #

I Rest My Case

Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

I Rest My Case

___________

Stop the rot
Stem the flow
Stay your hand
And let me go

So many choices
I have to make
And life is short
No time to take

But when I’ve come
To a decision
I’ll face the music
Meet derision

Let my honour
Fade away
Just let me live
Another day

Allow my eyes
To meet the sun
So shades of nightmares
Will not come

I’ll beat my demons
Cull my hopes
Just let me off
These stubborn ropes

Help me at last
To count the cost
I’ll endure all
That I have lost

And come in peace
What ever the cost
To rest my case
Taste what I’ve lost.

 

While Time Ticks On: 2-word Tales #15

BigBen

Pen&Wash-WHB

WHILE TIME  TICKS  ON

Time tells
Its tale
Tick tock
Tock tick

If truth
Be told
When time
Runs out
I won’t
Be stressed
I won’t
Be tired
Just sad
Wist-full
Pen-sive
Love-sick

Yet still
Hell bent
To start
With zeal
Pre-pared
To do
Just what
It takes
To live
A-gain

Next time
In peace
Con-cord
Re-pose
While time
Still there
Ticks on

pexels-photo-50632

 

In Memoriam

crypt1a

‘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 

 

scroll2

Two Word Tale #10 – Time’s Tale

BigBenSunset

‘Big Ben’ … Pen & Wash – WHB.2015   ©

Time tells
Its tale
Tick tock
Tock tick

If truth
Be told
When time
Runs out
I won’t
Be stressed
I won’t
Be tired
 Just sad

Yet still
Hell bent
To start
With zeal
Pre – pared
To do
Just what
It takes

To live
This time
In peace

While time
Still there
Ticks on

bar1

‘Tell Me’ – A Crown Cinquain

background black branches clouds

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Crown Cinquain

 

Tell me
Pretty maiden
Where have you been hiding
Lost to me all these many years
Now found

Now found
And full of hope
I am able again
To live in bright expectation
Of joy

Of joy
Of coupled love
Rekindling lost passion
Rebirth for my expiring soul
Time heals

Time heals
The wounds of hurt
Complete again with you
Able again to face my world
In peace

In peace
We start again
The slate now wiped clean
The past dissolved in history
Hope lives

bar-green

 

This poem has been composed in response to Abigail Gronway’s (‘Dark Side Of The Moon’) CPC Challenge published 12/4/19.  I quote: . . .

The Crown Cinquain

Like the Cinq-Cinquain that we studied last week, the Crown Cinquain, or Cinquain Chain, is also made up of a series of exactly five Crapsey Cinquains. So what’s the difference? I’m glad you asked. The distinguishing feature of the Crown Cinquain appears in the two-syllable lines at the beginning and end of each stanza, as they are used to link one stanza to another. This process is called a forming link, a chain, or a corona (hence crown).
To be more specific, the last line of each cinquain is repeated as the first line of the next cinquain.
There is one other slight difference. In the Cinq-Cinquain, the stanza breaks are optional; but in the Crown Cinquain, they are required.

So here in summary, is the Crown Cinquain:

a series of 5 [entire] Crapsey Cinquains, 25 lines total
syllabic count: 2-8-6-4-2 in each stanza
written with breaks between stanzas
rhyme is optional
last line of the previous cinquain repeated as first line of the next cinquain

 

bar-green

Oscar Wilde – ‘Tread lightly, she is near’

 (Poem No.45 of my favourite short poems)

WoT Churchyard

REQUIESCAT

Tread lightly, she is near
Under the snow,
Speak gently, she can hear
The daisies grow.

All her bright golden hair
Tarnished with rust,
She that was young and fair
Fallen to dust.

Lily-like, white as snow,
She hardly knew
She was a woman, so
Sweetly she grew.

Coffin-board, heavy stone,
Lie on her breast,
I vex my heart alone,
She is at rest.

Peace, peace, she cannot hear
Lyre or sonnet,
All my life’s buried here,
Heap earth upon it.

 

by: Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

 

chinesebanner

THE LESSONS OF HISTORY

holbein-mort1a

THE LESSONS OF HISTORY

The lessons of history are all around
Etched on death’s memorial
But who looks at memorials?

The war to end all wars ended
But the peace had not been won

Exchanging eyes
Has not proved a workable proposition
And yet the attempt goes on
And mankind is condemned to try again
To seek an end to conflict
By perpetuating conflict itself

Those lessons from the past
Unlearnt
At best misunderstood
Ignored
And so it continues
The errors of the past
Visited on countless future generations

Fear reigns
And stultifies hope
Because mankind remains
Because mankind will not change
Still comatose
Sleepwalking into conflict again
Again
And yet again

Original sin
Casts its sinister shadow
Over hope
And so
The cycle continues
War and peace
Unfeasible bedfellows
History hardly notices the difference

But we do
And suffer for it

holbein-mort2aThe two illustrations above were scanned from my copy of Holbein’s ‘Le Triomphe De La Mort’ published in 1780 … Etchings of Holbein’s originals by Chr.De Michel

Mini Saga # 2 … War & Pieces

 

The winning entry in the Daily Telegraph’s 1999 Mini-Saga Competition.


The task set being to compose a story of 50 words exactly – no more!  no less!

jigsaw-puzzle-pieces

warpieces

A scanned photograph of the winning entry – as posted in the Daily Telegraph.

The Pebble Path to Peace

 

swanage-apr09

At evening with a heavy heart
I’d had enough of talk.
My mind’s reflections overwrought
I left the house to walk.

I came across it quite by chance
Whilst ambling by the sea.
I’d hoped to clear my head of doubt,
To find some certainty.

I dimly saw the trail ahead
Climbing to my right,
A Pilgrims’ Way to paradise;
It was not there last night.

Its pebbles seemed to call to me
To follow where they led;
To seek their end where ere that be,
Pursue them without dread.

Their blue and red encouraged me,
Spoke to me of hope,
Of everlasting certitude,
The means by which I’d cope.

They led me on beside the sea,
Meandered to and fro
Until abruptly then they ceased;
In front a golden glow.

The certainty I’d hoped to find
Was there in front of me;
A testament to Nature’s Grace –
The Glory of the Sea.

A feeling of contentment spread
Throughout my fatigued mind.
My body too relaxed in peace,
Resentment left behind.

I’d found what I was searching for,
Afforded by that path
Of coloured pebbles on the shore;
My soul’s search aftermath.

swanage-apr09c-48

Both photographs were taken by me one evening in 2009
along the seashore of the English Channel at Swanage, Dorset, UK.