A Happy Life

A Happy Life

I've grown bewildered, loving life
as much and often as I do;
pleasures, such as I have known,
seeded, watered, carefully grown
have nurtured love, the love of you,
my happy, caring, loving wife.

Bewilderment's a happy way,
a moist condition lightly borne,
defining not a fuddled mind
but clearly knowing to be kind,
despite those things we find forlorn,
cherishing that which makes us stay.

So we grow older, as we must;
we settle in each others skin,
sampling all the pleasures we
have cultivated in the tree
of life; and know that, deep within,
is rooted care and love and trust.
Published
Categorized as Poems

The Gordian Knot

The Gordian Knot

Intractable, opaque, complex,
too hard for mortals to unpick,
a plethora of twining tricks
designed to confuse and perplex.

Theorem that ungently wrecks
the notion of our self-esteem.
A problematic lurid dream
where resolution is forgot.
Yet Alexander sliced the knot
of Gordius; fulfilled his scheme.

Made for the Ronovan Writes Decima Challenge #46 with Knot as the prompt word on the D rhyme line.

Published
Categorized as Licks

beating, reaching, running

beating, reaching, running

heading south
into the southerly
mains'l and jib
sheeted tight
sucked into the wind
spray like white fire
scalding our skin
as we tack
and tack

ready about!
(mind the boom)
onto a broad reach
heeling deep
astride the gunwale
keel exposed
raising the genoa
relaxing the sheets
like flying fish
ecstatic in speed
a force five
flushing us easterly

turning north
it's as if the wind dies
as we run with it
spinnaker like
cumulonimbus
blocking the sun
we relax back
into the cockpit
tiller untaut
seemingly at standstill
but doubling our knots
beer in hand
heading for home
Published
Categorized as Poems

The Metaphysics of Doubt

The Metaphysics of Doubt

In metaphysics it's the rage
to conjure images of god,
like building bricks or light'ning rod,
a piece of wisdom, every page
a homily, insightful, sage.
The mind's a cauldron where a whirl-
ing witch's brew invokes a curl-
ing lip, an empathetic grin,
profound misgivings held within;
the grit which manufactures pearl.
Published
Categorized as Licks

Stolen

A decima for Ronovan’s Challenge #44. Steal is the prompt word on rhyme line B.

Stolen

Every creed forbids such sins.
We're taught compassion, not to steal;
provide each other with a meal;
how heartbreak ends when love begins.

Behind the background violins
reality is held in check.
This mote of dust, this tiny speck
of carbon matter tries it's best
to do no harm. But, like the rest,
we steal illusions, cash the cheque.
Published
Categorized as Licks

Spring

A decima for Ronovan's Challenge #43 with Spring being the prompt word on rhyme line A



Spring

The transience of bluebelled Spring
is like a mayfly's brevity,
the spider's tumbling levity
when darting to it's capturing.

We're, each of us, held on this string,
awaiting the incredible
rebirthing of the edible;
transformative resurgency,
fecund sexual urgency
of animal, vegetable.

Published
Categorized as Licks

…and there was.

...and there was.

"The mind, once enlightened, cannot again become dark"
                                     Thomas Paine

The journey started many years ago,
as Hesse had, heading to the East,
his mind a fragile butterfly of hope.
And once he settled there he realised
there was no returning, no way back.
Yet still he yearned for the warm comforts of sin,
an ignorance of unknowing dreams.
He dreamt only of stillness and respite.

Knowledge is like a sparkler in the night,
thirty seconds trying to catch the light,
the marks of it left inside your eyes
as firefly sparks crackle and quickly die.
But somehow, these images remain;
illusions of light that guide us through the dark.
Published
Categorized as Poems

1st September 1939-2019

1st September 1939-2019

You can see what Auden meant,
Sitting in one of his dives
Eighty years from here,
Supping the depth of his pain
To the bottom of his glass;
He felt Enlightenment's loss
Like a tumour in his brain,
The darkness closing in,
Conspiracies of hate
Calculating the lives
They can forfeit to the cause.

The darkness was allayed
By millions sacrificed;
These men and women died
On the walls of Stalingrad,
The beaches of Normandy,
In parched El-Alamein,
Building a better world
From the ruins of ancient sites;
The remnants of the maimed
The Enlightenment reclaimed
On the bones of the betrayed.

So a fairer world was built,
At least, the industrial West,
The proceeds of capital
Shared more evenly
As espoused by Keynes;
Investment, nationalisation
Of all the utilities,
Collective bargaining
For wages and conditions,
Comprehensive education,
Public health for all.

Meanwhile, the nagging guilt
Of colonialism
Was to be assuaged
By countries taken back
By to whom they had belonged
Before their exploitation;
Hundreds of millions wronged
By thievery, rendition
Of their mineral wealth
To imperial banks
And oligarchic frauds.

For forty years it seemed
As if the Enlightenment
Was slowly creeping back;
Community on the rise,
Public policy aimed
At homes and jobs for all;
Equality was the prize,
Ordinary folk in thrall
To the prospect of a life
Free from poverty;
Then Thatcher stuck in the knife.

She twisted it to the core,
Clawed back the progress made,
Stole the hard wrought goods
We'd moulded from the ashes
Of our predecessors' bones:
For another forty years,
Destroyed our hopeless dream
Of a world-wide social state
Where workers are not abused;
Instead, we've ended up
With homeless paving the streets.

What little wealth we had
Has been stolen by the rich,
The bloated oligarchs
In their shining, slippery towers,
Lauding themselves, their acts
Leading to our planet
Destroying itself at last;
They feast upon the bones
Of the poorest of the poor,
Squashed beneath the heels
Of these cannibalistic powers.

Bemused, bewildered, betrayed,
The ghosts of those who fought
To build that world of light,
Defeat the fascist fiends
Of whom Auden despaired,
Weep into their graves
Their sacrifice as naught;
The avarice unfurled,
We mourn it was not stayed;
Yet love is what they taught;
The struggle never ends.