Change of Scene

I make an annual beeline for the coast

Test my flesh against the thrilling swell

At midnight snuggle down as warm as toast.

Leicester life’s not easy, work comes first

Cars and crowds fill streets from wall to wall

So make an annual beeline for the coast.

Sunshine, shrimps and cockles whet the thirst

Ice cream and lollipops keep tempers cool

At midnight snuggle down as warm as toast.

Sand in my socks, pants, shoes and shorts

But itchy grit in oysters helps grow pearls

So make an annual beeline for the coast.

Rock pools hide a whole new universe

Refreshed entirely by the glacial surf

At midnight snuggle down as warm as toast.

All holidays must end, I’m home at last,

Quickly kiss the friends I missed

Tell them to make an annual beeline for the coast

While I just snuggle down as warm as toast

I feel better when I am at the table

I feel better when I am at the table
When the pen is in my hand
Ink bleeding onto the page
Words, hey look words
Personal tiny miracles
It began with chalk on the pavement
Rich words from a cheap pen
I feel better when the page is full
Writing is something you do when you can’t sleep
With any luck you’ll forget that you ever needed to
Sleep is important, so are words
So is the pen
And the paper
And you
Any room will do
Any time will do
I feel better when it is all out of me
Writing is done by everybody
Words are like opinions
Everybody has them
I feel better when I realise this
Maybe you will too

Breathe

posted in: Poems 2016 | 0

Breathe, and consider.

Use perspective, take the time

To appreciate the stars,

And the moon up in the sky.

Be thankful,

Take the chance to give.

Hold on to hope,

Not the negative.

Seek not reward,

But take the win in a smile.

Small steps taken,

Move us on all the while.

Be open, grow.

Banish fear.

Yesterday is gone,

Today is right here.

Down the valley and back

I feel better when I walk to Quorn from Barrow

On pavements laid by water meadows

Set close by the River Soar

Slabs stretch for half a mile or more

Bordered by the thick lush grass

Fields of forage fed by floods.

When rain has rinsed the surface stone

The pathway gleams as clean as new

High pitched pylons frame my view

Amphibia discharge their spawn

Runners and ramblers step in turn

To trickle through the watery marsh

Sometimes I’ll take a stick or staff.

Slabs might be raised or cracked or sunk

Briskly tread both rough and smooth

Better put my worst shoes on

So I can risk the mud and sludge.

Cattle, seagulls, herd and flocks

Swans in pairs and dogs in packs

Trace my footsteps if I run.

Liveried narrow boats in line

Fly flapping flags of pants and jeans

Through the Soar’s black liquid brew

Throbbing engines stir and screw.

Though my return is straight and narrow

From well fed Quorn to bony Barrow

Tin trailers on a caravan park

Wink temptation in the dusk.

Might orange sunsets light the sky

Above green grass where pavements lie?

Beyond the lenses

From my host I see beyond differences
deeper than the outer surface.
They disguise me, veiled behind lenses
but I see through these.
For some I am cells, capillaries and upside down retinal images;
for others false lashes, bright colours and drawn lines.
Laughter lines, crow’s feet, age lines
Don’t distract me.
Green, grey, blue, brown are the same to me.
Optical illusions are my party trick,
but don’t be under your own illusion
I am, as said, the windows to the soul.
I see the depth of every emotion
from the heartache of displacement to sheer undiluted happiness,
from early longing to the steadiness of old love
I see it all
And when two eyes look back it lifts me
when they see beyond my body to who I really am.

I climb a mountain

I climb a mountain
Walking steadily leaving life behind.
Away from the frantic high street,
away from the kids, the house.
No computer, no work,
no signal.
I breathe the cool, clear air.
I feel the stillness.
I look down and the world stretches in front of me,
my dog and I are happily alone.
The exertion energises and clears my mind,
Every step filling my body with the mountain’s steadiness,
every rock shares its jagged strength.
On the summit I am an eagle ready to fly,
I perch and ponder
fruit cake and cheese never tasted so good.

listen

posted in: Poems 2016 | 0

Listen

Listen Hear the wind in the trees, gently tickling the leaves. Hear the tall grasses breathe in the summer’s warm breeze. I’m there with you. I hear it, too. I love you. Listen. Hear the distant train as it trundles away. Hear the sweet song of the bird that chooses to stay. I’m there with you. I hear them, too. I love you. Listen. Hear the crackle of the sticks as the fire grows quick, Hear the spark of the light as it burns so bright. I’m there with you. I hear them, too. I love you. Listen. Hear the snow falling silently, dulling the pain. Hear the roof holding strong, under the rain. I’m there with you. I hear them, too. I love you. Listen. I feel better when I’m there with you. I hear them, too. I love you.

wave March.

posted in: Poems 2016 | 0

I feel better when I resonate with airborne hum over magnetic fields whose shape and colour morph time and tongue. I feel better when I am within scientific beauty hewn from generations whose brilliance, separated by centuries but bound by city walls, transform diagnosis and track the patterns. shaping fall and rise. I feel better when I tingle through the harmonies of human folk whose chords and truths thread cultures and faith. I feel better when I am walking through landscapes unchanged by millennia whose geometry, shaped for shelters sketched by deadmen’s shoes, couple ancestors and ribbon the times. switching chaos to order. I feel better when I sun bask eyes blind orange fleckled by azure dance whose rhythms and coupling beat to Maxwell’s drum. I feel better when I am dappled by light’s eternal nomads whose flashes, through sun tunnels dug deep by quantum waves, trigger sparks and shatter the dark. giving day from night.

The Occasional Runner

posted in: Poems 2016 | 0

Well I am getting older. I’m surely not that unfit. Every man needs a belly . I just enjoy the odd cake. Anyway, beer’s good for the soul. Wine’s made of grapes, it’s one of your five a day. Everything’s bad for you these days. I’m sure I’ll manage it. I’m sure I’ll keep up. I’ve got all the gear. What do you mean no idea. I feel every step. My lungs do their best. Muscles pulse with heat. Heart pounding in my ears and chest. Drenched in sweat. Beginning to regret. It starts to come together. Body and mind in unison The endorphin’s hit every sinew. It’s over who would’ve thought it. Mind clear, body exhausted. All stress and worry left in the dirt. I’ll think I’ll do a marathon after all it wasn’t that bad. How much could that hurt?

Nan’s House

posted in: Poems 2016 | 0

Well known sights, smells & sounds, Familiar footsteps on hallowed ground. A journey of habit made a thousand times. Through choice or obligation, All manner of occasion, Close or distant relation, They all belong here. A place of memory, history and foundation, The centre point calling across the nation. Breaking the everyday routine, Drawing everyone back to their mean. Where everybody is equally craving a kind look, smile or word, That place of sanctuary where I’m happy to be seen and even occasionally heard.

I feel better when I am writing

I feel better when I am writing
Sat still, sat poised I write free
This gift of writing is time set aside for me
The pen on the paper, the words just flow
I never know what I’ll be writing or which way I will go
I write out thoughts, feelings and worries, I unravel and unwind
A few brief thoughts on paper, enough to untangle my mind
There are notes on happy days, an idea for a short story or a list of things to plan
It’s always surprising what appears on the page, I write when I can
So stop a while to sit and write,
A calming thing to do,
Remember you write for no-one else
You only write for you

Breaking free

Breaking free

A barbed wire cage of shame imprisons me.
My feathers plucked, jaw cracked, I nurse my sores,
bedraggled, bloodied, gagging to be free.

I feel unclean. Abusers sneer, agree
blame lies with me alone. Support withdraws.
A barbed wire cage of guilt imprisons me.

My fractured wings hang limp. I puke. I pee.
I peck. I squawk. I scratch with sharpened claws,
bedazzled, bloodied, struggling to be free.

Dark deeds denied, dismissed as fantasy,
injustice fuels desire to settle scores.
My barbed wire rage implodes, imprisons me.

Perhaps if this… or that… or they could see
the truth… I bargain, beg, implore just cause,
bedeviled, bloodied, haggling to be free.

I pause… forgive, reclaim autonomy.
I rise on eagles’ wings, my spirit soars
as barbed wire softens, shrinks, releases me.
No grudge or shame, acceptance sets me free.

I feel better when…

I feel better when…

I smell new books, a bonfire, fennel tea;
I hear winds whisper, whistle, murmur, swirl;
I stroke a conch shell, polished ebony;
I see a rosebud ready to unfurl;

I knit a trauma teddy, twiddle-muff;
I play my oboe, scrape its pesky reeds;
I write a sonnet, therapeutic stuff;
I feed my garden robin sunflower seeds;

I find my voice, you empathise with me;
I lose my fear, fight stigma, shun taboo;
we share ideas, campaign for dignity;
you love me for myself, not what I do.

Now still, I know the truth of Abraham,
the everlasting arms. I AM: I am.