St. Patrick’s Day 1850

A St. Patrick’s Day contribution to Ronovan’s decima challenge No.49 with Shock as the prompt word on the C rhyme line.

St. Patrick's Day 1850

Eight hundred years and Irish folk
will still endure the iron fist,
will still find courage to resist
violation by England's yoke.

With savagery it's tried to choke
the lifeblood from the Irish flock;
in famine days arranged to block
the shipment of much needed wheat;
ensured the genocide complete,
St. Patrick weeping, feigning shock.

Two Haiku

Where has winter gone?
Of which winter do you speak?
All the winters gone.....


One tree blossoming
petals pink as perfection
promise promises
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The Fortune Teller

A contribution to Ronovan's Decima Challenge #48 with Fortune being the prompt word on the B rhyme line.

The Fortune Teller

A brisk wind rifled through the tent,
chilling the teller of fortunes.
She was rummaging through the runes,
deciphering if what they meant
would pay her heating bill and rent.
Business was slow, a winter's day
unlikely to produce the pay
she needed to survive the storm
of lockdown's irritating norm.
What she foresaw, she would not say.

Birthday Fool

A Shi Rensa contribution to the ronvanwrites Haiku Challenge 348; paired prompt words, Fool and Head.

Birthday Fool

Birthday Fool,
passed years in your head,
share this cake.

Share this cake,
love with which it's made;
children's gift.

Children's gift
is all that is life,
health and love,

health and love
you have gifted this
Birthday Fool.
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Progress

A contribution to ronovanwrites Decima Challenge #47 with Start as the prompt word on the A rhyme line.

Progress

As Capital tears us apart
and profits from labourers' toil,
we seek, in the tillage of soil,
a flowering, welcoming heart.

So let me suggest, as a start,
production, now owned by the few,
is freed from the oligarch's screw,
communalised, structured and planned,
with redistribution of land.
Society reborn anew.

Hazards

Hazards

It's fourteen years since we stopped smoking in the pub;
ripping out a Rizla, folding in Old Holborn,
liquorice papers the favourite, with a fibrous roach,
the air grey as a smoker's lung, like a descending fog,
bar lights filtering through this self-imposed fug.
Yet the wonderousness of rolling a perfect, cylindrical fag,
with the correct compaction for a satisfying drag,
whilst caressing a pint of cider, an Ambrosian delight,
a draught between each toke of carbon monoxide death,
is a smoky reminiscence of a joyous freedom from
an engine conditioner's workshop, where trichloroethylene
induced psycho-dramas and a high-stepping gait
were hazards to avoid; a far more noxious environment
than the public bar of The Ferryman's smoke smothered walls.
So every night at ten o'clock, the five of us would meet,
Darren, Ady, Roger, Mark and me in that bar,
a raucous drunken reprisal of the night before;
Strongbow, Stella Artois, Irish Stout, combustible
conversation, rollies flying off the fingers
for the final hour and on into the lock-in;
years before the lock-down, smiles our only masks.
It's fourteen years since then and I've cast off the coughing,
revivified the lungs, moved Up North, the air
a pristine Pennine flavour now the mills are gone,
a butchered working class wandering the estates
and the soot blackened pubs, but smoking now outside
of the freshly painted tap rooms, in the dog-end littered street.
My hands are free of grease, my lungs purged of tar;
perhaps a pint of light mild slips down better for that.
But now the hazard to be rid of are the neo-liberal thugs
who blight we workers lives with their oligarchic cant;
that is, until the red flag flies from all town halls.

Memoriam

Memoriam
For Arthur Wesney 1915-1941

If I could, I'd come to visit you,
where your bones have lain these eighty years.
In Libya's dangerous soil you are interred
beneath the ground you died on as a youth,
so many dreams unfulfilled and gone.
My father, who fought with you, is now gone too,
but died an old man, lying in his bed
still thinking of the way you died in battle,
your sacrificial blood drained in the sand.
What would be gained by coming to your grave
is indefinable. I cannot tell  
you of the millions subsequently slain
and feel your sorrow heave beneath the earth,
but only kneel to give you back your name.
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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.
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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.

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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
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