To Sleep … To Dream

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To Sleep … To Dream

 

Sleep drifts across my consciousness
as I enter that make-believe world
where reality sees through a muslin mask
draped damask silk obscures truth
and a samite screen falls across my past

The difference between then and now fades
as a haze envelopes my senses
featureless clouds descend
and my dream-world begins

Reality now hijacked by myth and legend
a new world
untried
untested
a concoction distilled from my history
as unlike my waking world
as noonday is from midnight
as I am from my shadow

SLEEP

Life’s parade ground

Death’s practice ground

 

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No Nonsense Now

If you were defeated in trying to make sense of my last published ‘poem’
(‘GO WITH THE FLOW’ on Monday 18th November), my meaning, if it had any, is hopefully disclosed in my poem, ‘No Nonsense Now’,  below . . .

‘A Poem should not mean

But be’     .  .  .  .  .  .  .   From ‘Ars Poetica’ by Archibald Macleish

 
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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

No Nonsense Now

 

What a load of nonsense
what a stream of tosh
I hope you weren’t too stretched
devouring all the text
wondering what was coming next
searching for meanings that were not there
twiddling thumbs
tearing hair

Just stream of consciousness unleashed
roaming the mind
making free with the world of words
fishing from a goldfish bowl of ideas
draining the well till empty
and all invention ceased

Perhaps I did a service
reminding my poetic muse
that words alone
do not atone
for laxity of thought
or those too easily wrought

And sense is only sensible
when verse is finely honed
bolstered with truth
taut of structure
worthy of my judgement
and of your time

 

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Morning Glory

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‘Sunrise’ … Watercolour – WHB – 2014

MORNING  GLORY

Let me go
Let me run in the early dew
To brush against the laurel’s leaves
Tread the cool earth’s cushion
And linger in the dampness of the silent wood.

Before the cooing of the collared bird,
The bite of the new day’s busy-ness,
Its threats and promises,
Breaks into the stillness of my morning world
And ruptures this mood of mystery
Of thrill and almost menace,
Leaving me to face another day of reality
One more acceptance of the wrenching truth.

 

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In Vino Veritas 

 

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Photo: WHB – Devon 2019  . . .  ©

In Vino Veritas

Truth …  
In wine? 
Pull the other one. 
Stick it on me, babe 
I’ll believe it when I feel it 
 
Next you’ll be persuading me 
Love is blind 
When everyone knows 
However fickle 
It’s in the beholder’s ken 
The plaything of their whim 
Their only hope for the future 
 
Then 
You’ll be saying 
Time flies 
When we all know  
It sinks and swims 
Runs and stutters 
Can’t make its mind up 
Whether to be patient 
Or restive 
Anxious or unhurried 
 
And as for 
Life being for living 
Non sequiturs 
Don’t come better than that 
Its for laughing 
For crying 
But…. 
Above all it’s for dying 
For returning to the earth which spawned us 
For calling time on the pain of living 
 
For …  
And this we must remember …  
As the old song goes 
You can’t have one without the other. 
 
Sic transit gloria mundi 

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Christmas – Three Haiku of Hope

 

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Photo by Pradipna Lodh on Pexels.com

Christmas brings good cheer
But not to all God’s children
Pray time will change that.

Long has it been said
Hope came down at Christmas time
May that be true now

May Christmas bring love
As once it brought Lord Jesus
This Hope still remains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Am Roland

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Statue of Roland at Metz railway station, France.

I AM ROLAND

I am Roland 
or I have become him
created the myth of Mr Keld
opportunity taken 
I have procured my host’s mind 
now an alien presence
absorbed into this foreign body
diverting thoughts 
rebuilding a past 
guessing at a further future 
a variant stated truth 
inhabiting a different reality
masking neutrality
approval seeking
in a subsumed persona
a manufactured myth
ambushed by his muse
Roland of Roncevaux
reconvened
brandishing Durendal
to fight new battles
forever a mask
behind which to hide 
a second rate hero
his fable exposed
another fiction
masquerading as truth

 

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PC or Not-PC?

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“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..

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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. 

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My Fantasy

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

MY  FANTASY

 

I’ve lived outside my fantasy
But now I’m moving in
Reality removes itself 
No chance I’ll let it win

The safe distance I have kept
Recedes, becomes the past, 
And dreams become the truth for me
My day has dawned at last

Life and love are now as one
Merging desire and hope 
Becoming all that promise meant
Ensuring I will cope.

 

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‘THAT LOVE MAY LIVE’ – A Story In Four Haikus

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Image . . . Pinterest

‘THAT LOVE MAY LIVE’ – A Story In Four Haikus

 

SADNESS

The heavens opened 
On my hopes for sun and warmth
Leaving me bereft

DESPAIR

As the waters rose
So my spirits with them sank
I thought love lay lost

HOPE

But I was quite wrong
For Nature wove its magic
Showing me the truth

TRUTH

Look upon the rain
As summers need to renew
And keep love alive

 

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U. A. Fanthorpe – ‘ATLAS’

 [  No.72 of my favourite short poems  ]

 

After all the recent talk of LOVE surrounding VALENTINE’s DAY, here is a very down-to-earth poem by what we could perhaps call a no-nonsense down-to earth poet,  U.A.Fanthorpe. 

Born in 1928, Ursula Askham (normally using just her initials, U.A.), Fanthorpe, died, aged 79, in 2009, near her home in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire.  After studying at Oxford University, she went on to teach English at  Cheltenham Ladies’ College for sixteen years, before giving up teaching.  She was aged 50 before her first collection of poems was published, having noted, quite precisely, that “On 18 April 1974 I started writing poems”.  She was later made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded a CBE in 2001 for services to poetry.  In 2003 she received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.

Perhaps her best known poem is ‘Atlas’.  The poem presents a far-from-romantic view of LOVE.  Certainly a positive, worthwhile, and all the more powerful for that, view of the realities of a truly loving relationship . . . 

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‘Atlas’

‘ATLAS’ . . . by U. A. Fanthorpe

 

There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it;

Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living, which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in air,
As Atlas did the sky.

 


UA Fanthorpe, from ‘Safe as Houses’ (Peterloo Poets, 1995)


 

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