Before The Sun Sets

Pen & Wash Sketch – based on ‘Ancient Trees’ – to mark National Trust Week 1999 . . .  WHB

The crisp crunch of my footsteps as I crossed that frosty field
Confirmed to me the joy that winter brings;
The frail but wondrous sunlight burning through the morning mist
Affirmed a world of wonder in all things.

It brought to me a memory of those long days of my youth,
When all was young and all life was tomorrow,
When time and love and right and wrong were not things I considered,
Just the lasting joy which Nature can bestow.

Tomorrow was a world away from the life that I live now;
No anguish that my world might cease to be
Before I’d felt and savoured all that life can have to offer,
Before the sun sets on that ancient tree.

Despite my knowledge of the pain that’s in the world around me,
Bleak Nature seeks to calm its shifting shadows,
The seasons, sun, the starlight, still remain to bring us hope,
That vital spark from which renewed life flows.

The Grey Lady of Hampton Court

At Hampton Court Palace
One grey Autumn day,
Whilst strolling alone
I wandered astray,
Discovered this phantom,
Too shy to display.

Shroud for a lady, 
Hide her away. 
No one must see her
Lest somebody say,
She’s only a failure, 
She’s long had her day.

But now she is hidden 
And no one can see,
Then no one will question 
Just who she might be. 
They’ll just go on thinking
Perhaps she’s a he.

The fact she is ghostly, 
Clothed in a Shroud, 
Might give them a hint
That she’s not been allowed 
To be seen out in public, 
Detached from the crowd.

For in summer when tickets 
Are hard to come by,
That’s when they’ll release her 
Sustaining the lie.
Produce her in costume 
When darkness is nigh.

The Lady in Grey
As a spirit will glide,
 Patrol the Long Gallery,
Make-up applied,
Intent upon haunting –
A Queen mortified.

So that’s it for the winter, 
Don’t leave her on show.
Come wind and come tempest, 
Come rain or come snow, 
This tourist attraction’s 
The best that I know.

That rival in Scotland,
The fishy old coward,
In a straight contest, 
Its legacy soured,
It cannot compare 
With our Catherine Howard.

Let Life Begin

My covid story
I rehearse …
I tell its story
In rhyming verse.


To be in England
Now April’s here;
Come lockdown’s end
I’ll give a cheer.

I’ve lived alone
In a bee-loud glade,
And sung the song
That covid made.

Now let me dance
With the daffodils,
And no more seek
For frills and thrills.

A holiday
I can’t afford;
I’ll stay at home,
Not travel abroad.

A cold winter
We’ve had of it;
Let life begin,
Lickety split.


With appreciative nods in the direction of…Robert Browning; W.B.Yeats; William Wordsworth; T.S.Eliot

Churchyard Leaves

Photo: WHB – Surrey 2020

CHURCHYARD LEAVES

Churchyard leaves
Blanket the dead;
Winter warmth
Of words unsaid.

Deep in their earth,
now ashes and dust,
Forgotten are fears
worries, mistrust.

Here where stillness
reflects on the past,
We meet with the future
Our questions unasked.

Photo: WHB – Surrey 2020

A WINTER’S TALE

white and black tree illustration

A WINTER’S TALE

Let me steal the midnight’s silence,
The stillness of the dawn,
The dampness of the morning grass,
As one more day is born.

Let me tread the crisp new snow
And breathe the icy blast;
Match my step to winter’s wind,
Relive those pleasures past.

For I must reach another goal
Fate’s purpose to pursue.
Life has been short and gone too soon
My devils to subdue.

And when my grave has opened up
My body to receive
Already mildew on my heart
And few there’ll be to grieve.

 

bar3

 

A December Tanka

Cold Comfort Farm-Feb2016

Winter’ … WHB – Pen & Ink 2017 

 

Bright the winter sun

Burns in the short day’s heaven

As each day goes by

I think of Bethlehem’s star

Wishing the year ‘Au Revoir’.

 

bar-yellow

Tanka is a genre of classical Japanese poetry meaning a short poem, and one of the major genres of Japanese literature.

A Tanka consist of five units (often treated as separate lines when romanized or translated) usually with the pattern of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables per unit or line). Wikipedia.

I have again ended my Tanka with a rhyming couplet.

bar-yellow

banner4b

A November Tanka

shallow focus photo of moon

Photo by Matt Hardy on Pexels.com

 

Dark the days are now

Winter bites as we look on

In November’s clothes

Breeding hope and dulling pain

Will we see this month again?

 

bar-yellow

Tanka is a genre of classical Japanese poetry meaning a short poem, and one of the major genres of Japanese literature.

A Tanka consist of five units (often treated as separate lines when romanized or translated) usually with the pattern of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables per unit or line). Wikipedia.

I have here ended my Tanka with a rhyming couplet

bar-yellow

 

 

 

bar-curl4

Summer Rain

shallow focus photography of green plants

Photo by Matthias Cooper on Pexels.com

Summer is not rain
Nor is rain summer
But each needs the other
Cannot be without both being

Just as winter
requires the sun to shine
and display its splendour
to reflect its ice particles
into the crystal diamonds
of exuberant life
So the rain
complements the summer sun
dampening its ardour
allowing it to refresh and renew

Both asserting 
the exuberance
of a Natural heritage
wherein all
is related to all
and all is as it should be

bar-curl4

 

© WHB:  Previously submitted in response to the prompt’Summer Rain on ‘Go Dog Go Cafe’.

As The Year Ends

Oriental Image #2-1988

WHB … Pen & Ink – 1988

AS THE YEAR ENDS

Dark the swollen river runs
Under the bridge’s shades of grey.
Slate sky condemns the passive scene
Draining colour from the day.

Tree silhouettes outline my view
Their winter ribs bared to the frost
December bids the old year gone
With no regrets for what is lost. 

The year expires; bid it goodbye, 
It brought distress, re-kindled fears,
It promised much it failed to give,
Left little hope and many tears.

So now, in hope of better times,
Tomorrow holds the future’s key.
New perspectives flood my view
Blue skies as far as I can see.

 

31-1113tm-vector2-3463