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

Pace tua Wm. Shakespeare

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

To see, or not to see, that is the question,
Whether ’tis wiser to look it full in the face, or, to turn that blind eye, which is the kiss of ineptitude, and by ignoring, forget.

To flee, or not to flee: that is the question,
Whether’ tis safer to meet with danger face to face, or, to turn and run, and by escaping, live to flee another day.

PC or non-PC, that is the question,
Whether ’tis better in the end to put up with the hawks and sparrows of mind distortion, or to take umbrage against such hubble-bubble, and by exposing suspend them.

Luck-ee or not Luck-ee, that is the question,
Whether ’tis wiser to place the bet, or by repenting, opt out and live to keep your cash to spend on wiser fare.

Wack-ee or not wack-ee, that is the question,
Whether ’tis better to play the fool, or by less joshing, slay them with your wit and repartee alone.


Poetr-ee or not poetr-ee, that is the question,
Whether tis better to rhyme and versify, or by pretence and artifice, produce the direst doggerel.

PROUD  PROW

barge-chair2a

‘Thames canal boat’ …..     Photo – WHB  2019   ©

PROUD  PROW

Not quite
the chair she sat in
the burnished gold
Of its throne
proud prow

so prominent

promising power
and privilege
but
nevertheless
a statement
burned on the water
of its thames-side berth

a metaphor
proudly protesting
the humility of
being ordinary
of being old
yet proud with
the magnificence of age
the decadence of time
the innocence of resurrection

bar-yellow

NOTE:   T.S.Eliot, in his poem, ‘The Waste Land’ (Lines 77-79:  Part II. A Game of Chess) quotes Enorbarbus, who, inAct II, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ describes Cleopatra’s royal barge as it appeared when she first pursued Marc Antony:’The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne, Burned in the water. The poop was beaten gold.’

bar-yellow

barge-chair1a

‘Thames canal boat’ …..     Photo – WHB  2019   ©

 

PC or Not-PC?

PC4

bar-yellow

“To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.”

From Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ – Act III, Scene I..

bar-yellow

Thoughts on Seeing, Fleeing and Being Politically Correct

( Pace tua Wm. Shakespeare ) 

 

To see, or not to see: that is the question : Whether’ tis wiser to look it full in the face, or, to turn that blind eye, which is the kiss of ineptitude, and by ignoring, forget them.

To flee, or not to flee: that is the question : Whether’ tis safer to meet with danger face to face, or, to turn and run, and by escaping, live to flee another day.

PC or non-Pc: that is the question: Whether ’tis better in the end to put up with the hawks and sparrows of mind distortion, or to take umbrage against such hubble-bubble, and by exposing suspend them. 

bar-yellow

asterisk1a

  

 

 

A Dreamless Sleep

Tempest-Prospero1

Photograph … Double Rainbow Nr. Stonehenge, England – July 2009:  WHB   ©

A DREAMLESS SLEEP

Will death be as a dreamless sleep,
Or Prospero’s promised damage;
Will dreams fill up my remnant soul,
Digesting life’s excessive baggage?

 For my belief, held with a caution,
And ever fraught with doubt,
Is that there’ll be a price to pay,
And that my faults will find me out.

 Those indiscretions I have owned
Frailties, foibles, defects,
The fallout from my elapsed life
Could yet bewilder and perplex.

 So, as I travel on from here,
Will love still follow me
Into that unknown future sleep,

Where memory has no guarantee?

 Life’s fallout has to rest always
With those we count so dear;
I pray when Judgement Day arrives
My flaws with me will disappear.

 

Banner4b

Chocolate Words

chocolate words2

CHOCOLATE WORDS

I love words
in the way
I love chocolate.
Their lingering taste
Their whispering style
They way they trip off
Slip off
the tongue
Words to bear in mind
Leaving such pleasures behind

And always
That thrill
That musical trill
That sensuous sound
Discarding meaning
But leaving
feeling
The desire for more
Encore
The poet’s drug-store
Treasure Island

I’d like a word with you
A word in your ear
Shakespeare
So I’ll be wordy-wise too
Will
take  some words
and run with them

I heard a word
One day in May
I heard it say
Come here and play
So undeterred
A word occurred
Third word
The word purred
Absurd word
‘Twas mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird
Mimus polyglottos
glottal stop
or “glo’al stop”

You see where it can take me
Tangential thought
Verbiage onslaught
Overwrought
Logorrhoea
Here, here!

Words abound
Words of wisdom
Words of truth
Their singing sound
stirred, blurred, slurred,
So play on words
Herds of words
Let their joy sing
and let them bring
Creation’s wellspring
and thus … let the welkin ring

wordart4a

On Sleep

A brief meditation on Macbeth’s predicament, following a reading of a book review on ‘Why We Sleep’ by Matthew Walker (Pub. Allen Lane) – December 2017 …

‘Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care, The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast.’   Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 2, 

‘Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more… Macbeth does murder sleep!  – – The innocent sleep.” ‘  Macbeth: Act 2, scene 2.

 

redline-thin

 ON  SLEEP

Sleep, being dead
What life is left to live
But one unfitted to the name
Rest denied is constant woe
No respite from dread
No safe house from fear
Unnourished now
What hope can ever be
Even contrition
Affording no escape
Confession no solace
Macbeth’s endowment
To the innocent
But afflicted soul

Banner3b

SCROOGE … A Meditation  

Scrooge-BahHumbug

‘Scrooge’ – WHB: Black ink, 2017

SCROOGE … A Meditation

 

What the dickens does it mean?
Well let me paint for you the scene;

For love came down at Christmas time
To this I pen a gentle rhyme.

I know that Scrooge was lean and mean,
Counted every single bean.

But visitations from the past
Meant that he would learn at last

That stinginess was no way cool,
No joy at all in being cruel.

Life is not there to be destroyed, 
It is given to be enjoyed.

At Christmas we should not be stressed,
But let us remember the dispossessed,

And hope for all, what Scrooge discovers,
To open our hearts to the pain of others.

 

scroll2

NOTE:   The expression “What the dickens?” does not have any connection with Charles Dickens.  It pre-dates him by at least two centuries and was in fact used by Shakespeare in his “Merry Wives of Windsor”, ( Act III, Scene II ) where ‘dickens’ is used as a euphemism for ‘the devil’ . . . “I cannot tell what the dickens his name is”. 
scroll2

From ‘The Tempest’

 (Poem No.43 of my favourite short poems)

the tempest

The master, the swabber, the boatswain, and I,

(  William Shakespeare:  From “The Tempest”)

The master, the swabber, the boatswain, and I,
The gunner, and his mate,
Loved Mall, Meg, and Marian, and Margery,
But none of us cared for Kate;

For she has a tongue with a tang,
Would cry to a sailor, Go hang!
She loved not the savour of tar nor of pitch;
Yet a tailor might scratch her where’er she did itch.
Then, to sea, boys, and let her go hang!

scroll2

W.H.Auden composed a wistful, haunting update of Shakespeare’s song which looks back with nostalgia but no regrets to an earlier life  . . . 

Song Of The Master And Boatswain

At Dirty Dick’s and Sloppy Joe’s
We drank our liquor straight,
Some went upstairs with Margery,
And some, alas, with Kate;
And two by two like cat and mouse
The homeless played at keeping house.

There Wealthy Meg, the Sailor’s Friend,
And Marion, cow-eyed,
Opened their arms to me but I
Refused to step inside;
I was not looking for a cage
In which to mope my old age.

The nightingales are sobbing in
The orchards of our mothers,
And hearts that we broke long ago
Have long been breaking others;
Tears are round, the sea is deep:
Roll them overboard and sleep.

 

By:  W H Auden

scroll2

 

 

For those who would like to listen to spoken versions of these two poems, YouTube links are given below . . .

The Tempest: “The Master, the Swabber, the Boatswain, and I”

Music composed by Donna Kendall Stearns (www.DonnaKendallStearns.com)
Sung by Ilan Caplan

scroll2

“Song of The Master and Boatswain” by W.H. Auden (read by Tom O’Bedlam) . . .

‘Song Of The Master And Boatswain’

scroll2

The River Thames Around Hampton Court

As well as the beauty of the riverside and its wildlife, there is much history to be discovered in walking the short space of just over a mile  from the west downstream along the tow-path on the south side of the River Thames towards King Henry VIII’s Palace of Hampton Court.  David Garrick (1717 – 1779) the famous English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer, also a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson, built a mansion on the North bank of the Thames here.  Next to it, in 1756, he built a ‘Temple to honour William Shakespeare’.  Further along the river towards Hampton Court Palace are an ancient cricket ground and the famous Molesey Boat Club, who count the Olympic Gold medallist Searle brothers  among their many distinguished rowers.

Thames04

David Garrick’s ‘Temple to Shakespeare’

Thames06

Garrick’s Temple and his mansion

Thames07

Close-up view of the Temple from across the river

Thames08

Old Edwardian houseboat – once a floating restaurant

Thames09

‘Thyme By The River’ cafe

Thames10

Waterfront outside the Molesey Rowing Club

Thames11

East Molesey Cricket Ground

Thames12

Pleasure craft moored approaching Molesey Lock and Hampton Court Bridge 

Thames13

Hampton Court bridge from the West

Thames14-HamptnCrt

Front façade of Hampton Court Palace

Thames15-HamptnCrt

One of the smaller Golden Gates at the Palace

Thames16

Looking to the East from Hampton Court Bridge to the River entrance to the Palace

 

bar-curl1