Each New Day What do I bring to each new day? A trail of notes and books I keep for comfort; a rarely played guitar filled with unsung songs; an angry sadness at each cruelty so easily committed and dismissed; but, most of all, the love I have for you, your bright laughter filling each day with light.
For St. Patrick's Day and my ancestors who made the long trip from Ireland to New Zealand in the 19th century.
However tall your ships were, how long
they took to reach your chosen shores,
could they contain intact your beating hearts,
swollen with leaving, aching with imminent
arrival; the slow salt haul on following seas?
Were prayers said daily, attempting to appease
those catholic saints, their shapes reminiscent
of wet lands you left in colder parts
particularising rain? Did you pack your laws,
clutch them closely, like an Irish song?
How do we feel the sorrow leaving brings
but by a return in our imaginings.
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.
Where has winter gone? Of which winter do you speak? All the winters gone..... One tree blossoming petals pink as perfection promise promises
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.
A Shi Rensa contribution to the ronvanwrites Haiku Challenge 348; paired prompt words, Fool and Head.
passed years in your head,
share this cake.
Share this cake,
love with which it's made;
is all that is life,
health and love,
health and love
you have gifted this
A contribution to ronovanwrites Decima Challenge #47 with Start as the prompt word on the A rhyme line.
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 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 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.
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.