29 February 2012

between the storms

so many echoes in the rain
leave nothing of our vision clear
but when we breathe the morning air

the feeling's fresh the scent is plain
to all who notice yet we hear
so many echoes in the rain

that every ordinary brain
is forced into a deep despair
at oaths that we are forced to swear
so many echoes in the rain

27 February 2012

the place of decision

we did not know all that the words have said
in the dead past and what was on the wall
vivid in sunlight is now past recall
but not all meanings dwell amongst the dead
waiting for better times and less cold dread
to illustrate the human rise and fall
of hearts that circulate and do not stall
but pain and narrowness stay in the head
that was a different and a better mind
possessed by those who sought to build our hope
in concrete forms and who not thinking stealth
in any way a virtue felt the kind
were more equipped for climbing the long slope
towards a place where all would share the wealth

25 February 2012

thus said the prophet

we make our choices with honest conviction
and are persuaded that an angry curse
is just a matter for some plangent verse
or else results from sloppy bad male diction
all our desire is life with little friction
and we can't understand how the converse
happens how all our actions make things worse
just why the happy ending's only fiction
to tell this story would take me too long
so it must be cut short and that's a shame
since all the world is hanging on the tale
still all in all what hurts makes us more strong
and better able soon to win the game
while early victors in the end must fail

23 February 2012

blooming jonquils

behind the house we see the jonquils blow
in the mild air when winter seems a lie
it is the time for all good things to grow

outside the breezes do not cease to flow
and clouds are scudding grey across the sky
behind the house we see the jonquils blow

so clearly yellow do those flowers show
they banish dullness and we can descry
it is the time for all good things to grow

life is so eager to get up and go
so energetic it could almost fly
behind the house we see the jonquils blow

returning from their sleep as if they know
we long for colour to delight each eye
it is the time for all good things to grow

in proper order this is nature's show
we only guide it then we smile and sigh
behind the house we see the jonquils blow
it is the time for all good things to grow

22 February 2012

from evening to morning

frogs croaking through the night even in cold
february so rustically loud
you feel immersed within a chanting crowd
and yet the sound itself does not grow old
the singers do not seem to be consoled
but croak majestically clear and proud
this is their world they won't be disallowed
by sleepy humans none of whom are bold
to say all this is merely to record
last night's concerto in the nearby pond
as one more sign of nature undismayed
by all we do for my part i just snored
dreamt of strange worlds and places far beyond
my normal life then woke to mundane trade

from the conservative dark

there are no answers coming in the night
nor clarity in morning that is why
we seek for explanations on the fly
in earnest wish for ending of our plight
but nothing comes there is no vivid sight
all's grey and dullness settles on each eye
there's no firm sanity we can espy
the universe seems ordered by mere spite
when we were children we were told that cause
and effect followed by a straight decree
of nature's and the world was really plain
to adult eyes but now we have no laws
to follow and we find we are not free
since those who want to lead us are insane

20 February 2012

to the last decimal

so many orders of which none matter
in this harsh place where all words come to fail
in giddy smoke and stinking horses' stale

it seems that all our urges need to shatter
because we have not found the proper scale
so many orders of which none matter

but many fools who do not cease to flatter
yet will not stoop to help us when we ail
nor build a roof to shelter from the hail
so many orders of which none matter

19 February 2012

symphony of a thousand

 thunder declaring with a mighty noise
what we once knew but later chose to hide
believing we had so few other ploys
and only a small chance to save our pride
this was the the noble sound we came to hear
sublimest product of the engineer
of music there was the full weight of night
being lifted up around us the height
of passion reached in moments and the pace
of dragons felt as if it were their right
we knew it all and knew it all for grace

the calm the strain the skill that he deploys
marks the director as the truest guide
brimful of zest and  yet with equipoise
he knows he's got us all here for the ride
to turn us all at once to wolf and deer
and have a world of magic just appear
before our eyes without the power of sight
by mass effect of sound and not of light
no easy thing our plain lives to displace
a thousand voices is a tool of might
we knew it all and knew it all for grace

my eye is on the many girls and boys
in rank behind as all these worlds collide
what do they know how do they have such poise
in the great task in which they are allied
so much depends on voice bright and austere
all deeply human that is very clear
we have full understanding of the rite
and know the meaning all the words incite
into the sacred silence of this space
hope for escape from the old mortal plight
we knew it all and knew it all for grace

prince you have asked about that magic night
and how the mass of sound was got just right
across the world i tell you to your face
you had to be there darkness vanished quite
we knew it all and knew it all for grace

18 February 2012

just beyond the wall

the normal vision of the human way
is what we bring at first into each mind
in hope that when we are by fate confined
in the beige cubes of ordinary day
no creeping horrors will come out to prey
on thoughts that must to wider worlds be blind
for fear of just exactly what we'd find
if honest brain was let come out to play
but there are dragons just beyond the wall
the child inside will know though adults fail
so often just to open up their eyes
or let their ears adjust to hear the call
of beings greater than the normal scale
moving their wings across the winter skies

16 February 2012

in the mist

already buds are forming on each tree
visible through the february mist
this sign of coming spring won't be dismissed
life makes to us its yearly guarantee
that after darkness comes the jubilee
while all of nature's colours still persist
and will explode the roadsides will be kissed
with  light again all life yearns to be free
in each heart hides a promissory note
from past to future valid for all time
worth all the stories that our folk have told
to be redeemed when we are called to vote
weighed in the balance and cleansed of all grime
for a true substance worth far more than gold

14 February 2012

in one embrace

so much is meant but carried in each head
is other freight the which no one could lift
without some aid to take us cross the rift
that separates our bodies that's the dread
that strikes all of a sudden with a red
intensity that's hot as well as swift
but gives way fortunately to your gift
and the great sweetness of all that you've said
time's not enough for all the forms of play
nor for the music that love can require
of us but life goes by at such a pace
clip that years compress into just one day
while we are still warmed by the same fire
and held together in the same embrace

13 February 2012

awakening from fever (for gail)

what's meant is caring so deep into night
when fever drives me so far round the twist
i cannot be brought back without assist
yet when my mind is clear you are still bright
as summer noonday this is my best sight
of joyous wonder but the entire gist
of what i say is this that you exist
is total magic plus you set things right
this little gift of words is small return
for all those hours of complete devotion
for being there each time push came to shove
but words take time to make and each must learn
to take some time to gentle life's commotion
and know the meaning of what's truly love

12 February 2012

kindness remembered (in memoriam, Wilmot Perkins, 1931-2012)

what matters in the end is you were kind
even to those you thought far in the wrong
which brought its wisdom and it made you strong
when the all the shouters said you undermined
goodness itself while you cursed them for blind
unpatriotic fools chanting their lone song
always so eager to make pain last long
while you desired to open up each mind
now that is in the past and what is left
is wisdom recollect gentle words and soft
suggestions made without pretence or guile
we see so clearly how all ends in theft
of those things we have held highest aloft
but we will all get to there in a while

10 February 2012

global warming

the miracle of winter blossoms bright
against dull ground and weeds so sharply green
this early in the year what can it mean
as we inspect the gutters in clear light
nobody questions the unusual sight
yet each must know exactly what is seen
still fools expect some force to intervene
and set the balance of all things just right
the world's upset and we have lost our way
among the mirrors that we set to trap
unwary minds and those with little sense
too many seem to think the whole thing's play
as we are drowning in our own dumb crap
unable to tell true act from pretense

09 February 2012

daffodils in february

in february when there should be frost
bright daffodils present in yellow bloom
such firm rejection of the winter gloom

it makes me smile not all the past is lost
and there are things that death will not consume
in february when there should be frost

we look on beauty and don't count the cost
of what it means to have full life resume
but take each step and see beyond the doom
in february when there should be frost

06 February 2012

wrung into silence

if asked what happened and there's no reply
that can be safely given that is true
do not evade the words that stick like glue
on your mouth's roof and just refuse to fly
where you most want them there's a reason why
your tongue's not obedient why you might rue
that former ease of discourse when askew
the complex facts make it so hard to lie
not now nor ever will the monster wait
to let you finish but will swiftly pounce
upon your weakest utterance and yell
that here's false coin pretending noble state
worth less than nothing for each tawdry ounce
you hear this all as clear as the noon bell

05 February 2012

echoes of the prosper road

the nightly croaking from the pond
recalls another time and place
the sounds do not quite correspond
but have an equal sort of grace

what's winter here has turned so mild
that we can see the forceful green
reminder of the nearby wild
just inches past the window screen

those arguments that we have made
regarding mother nature's pain
seem all at once a sad charade
as weeds spring up after the rain

what we have learnt is very clear
about the cycles in their course
of tropic or of temperate year
they have the same gigantic force

the frogs that croak in pond or tree
ignoring us proclaiming life
for their short passage do live free
and teach us something about strife

03 February 2012

under the cloud

those are the places that have lost their names
gaining thereby not even a tin piece
that some bright spark might give out of caprice
too keep hope going in the complex games
of pride and anger but there are few shames
that will get those who've been fucked just to cease
once they've been shown up for all time as geese
since they'd much rather go into the flames
all tortures will destroy those who are brave
no matter what they say but never mind
there are no secrets will be left intact
on this side of the shelter of the grave
hope will remain for those who still are kind
to all who know just how their world is wracked

02 February 2012

the pressure of recall

now there are echoes now hear silence fall
along with sunset all across the hill
for one short moment shadows on the wall
seem like the symbols of gigantic will
writing in darkest inks the coming night
not as despair but as remaking right
there is so much to do so much to say
our choices not so clear at end of day
but this is duty we are bound to cope
with all the tasks and burdens on our way
for we have nothing if we have not hope

we're told the journey's never for the small
and we don't doubt it there's a monstrous bill
that must be paid and horrors will befall
those who can't argue with sufficient skill
against their masters those with honest sight
have some good chance of seeing the new light
while those whose strategy is to delay
may find there are some other costs to pay
and twists and turns on the trip up the slope
but no great monsters that we'll need to slay
for we have nothing if we have not hope

on crest of mountain there's a merry hall
and those who get there do not come to ill
yet there's no triumph that would be so small
a payment for the effort and goodwill
that we put in nor are we folk of might
to carouse and rejoice on the warm height
just actors in one scene of a long play
torn between tragedy and cabaret
happy enough to have some towels and soap
to clean up at the end of a long day
for we have nothing if we have not hope

prince you may think that we have gone astray
stepped out of line and lost all our cachet
but there's a lot of play left to our rope
we will be watching for the sun's first ray
for we have nothing if we have not hope

01 February 2012

on unburnt ground

no echo here but silence tightly wound
upon the spindle of the rising year
has its effect on this our unburnt ground
where moths and spider in their turn appear
in pallid sheen with shadows most austere
our voices falter we do not belong
in place or time when memories are strong

ears are alert for the first human sound
for that one thing that we might hold most dear
explaining why the quiet is so profound
and why each heart must feel the touch of fear
before new day but nothing will come clear
the birds are sleeping this night will last long
cold hours must pass before we hear their song

there's no one present to teach or expound
those complex riddles about which we care
such folk of comfort are never around
when there's a nasty chill upon the air
or complications in the great affair
they simply vanish still if we prolong
our patient waiting dawn will strike the gong

some proper answer remains to be found
the process seeming almost cavalier
it being grasped and purposed on rebound
seeming to be the waste of a career
but those who cannot feel have yet to hear
the truth of where they are and we belong
in proper place to right all that went wrong