Nature pregnant, uncontained and wild

The sap is rising in the trees nearby
Till the blossom bursts like mother’s milk
When the baby gives her carnal cry
Wishing for the breast, the feel of silk

Soon the great magnolia will please
And the Tudor walls will warm and dry
In the soil, the worms find wriggled ease
The centipedes and beetles heed blue skies

Fruit trees pruned into archaic forms
Line the pavements bulging with their roots
Old men murmur, feeling struck, forlorn,
With no wife to gentle their pursuits

Nature pregnant,uncontained and wild
Obeys no man’s instruction to be mild

Ancient Greek personal names


Compound names
Demosthenes is compounded from two ordinary Greek roots (a structure at least as old as proto-Indo-European):[8] demos “people” and sthenos “strength”. A vast number of Greek names have this form, being compounded from two clearly recognizable (though sometimes shortened) elements: Nikomachos from nike “victory” and mache “battle”, Sophokles from sophos “wise, skilled” and kleos “glory”, Polykrates from poly “much” and kratos “power”. The elements used in these compounds are typically positive and of good omen, stressing such ideas as beauty, strength, bravery, victory, glory, and horsemanship. The order of the elements was often reversible: aristos and kleos give both Aristokles and Klearistos. Such compounds have a more or less clear meaning. But as was already noted by Aristotle,[9] two elements could be brought together in illogical ways. Thus the immensely productive hippos “horse” yielded, among hundreds of compounds, not only meaningful ones such as Philippos “lover of horses” and Hippodamas “horse-tamer”, but also Xenippos “stranger horse” and Andrippos “man horse”.

Ironing by Vicki Feaver


by Vicki Feaver
I used to iron everything:
My iron flying over sheets and towels
like a sledge chased by wolves over snow;

the flex twisting and crinking
until the sheath frayed, exposing
wires like nerves. I stood like a horse

with a smoking hoof,
inviting anyone who dared
to lie on my silver padded board,

to be pressed to the thinness
of dolls cut from paper.
I’d have commandeered a crane

if I could, got the welders at Jarrow
to heat me an iron the size of a tug
to flatten the house.

Then for years I ironed nothing.
I put the iron in a high cupboard.
I converted to crumpledness.

And now I iron again: shaking
dark spots of water onto wrinkled
silk, nosing into sleeves, round

buttons, breathing the sweet heated smell
hot metal draws from newly-washed
cloth, until my blouse dries

to a shining, creaseless blue,
an airy shape with room to push
my arms, breasts, lungs, heart into.

From The Poetry Pharmacy by William Sieghart (Particular, £12.99). Poem courtesy of Vicki Feaver and Jonathan Cape

Too many thoughts

When we wonder whether life is good
Disaster, death, misfortune gather near
As if to come inside us if they could

The poisoned thoughts infiltrate our own blood
Makes it difficult for us to steer
When we wonder whether life is good

Who decided most  news must be gloom?
And we’d even pay to have a leer
As if to take it in us if we  could

Tell us  of   more murders and monsoons,
Literacy’s fruit is haunted fear
So we wonder whether life is good

Yet some learn to  hear more joyful tunes
Allow the glad to enter inner ears
So take it in us as we rightly should

Too many thoughts may make gloom  persevere
Empty heads are joyous and sincere
When we wonder whether life is good
Rumination  tortures with its ” should”

Gold and bright

In winter we  are angry with less  light
We feel our troubles more when in the dark
The sun will rise  yet too soon sinks in spite

We envy God who does what deeds he likes
He leaves us kin to Job with vision stark
In winter we’d appreciate more light

Angry, claiming we have done what’s right
We   think that God has now become a shark
The sun will rise  yet too soon sinks in spite

Bow to Nature’s  overwhelming might
Be grateful for the fire lit by one spark
In winter we appreciate the light

Oh,send us humour for the human plight
We are never sated by one lark
The sun looms in the sky  like a red heart

As the cats miaow and dogs all bark
At least we are not trapped in Noah’s Ark
In dark winter  bored with the long nights
The sun will rise  again  golden and bright


Your touch is both gentle and bright.

Oh, cradle my soul in your light
As I am in darkness tonight.
Fill me with your love
On earth,not above.
Your touch is both gentle and bright.

Seeing and feeling are one.
As senses conjoin yet are none.
I know it is so
The darkness shall glow
You are both god and person.

It seems like the heavens are weeping
Rain and snow fall while we’re sleeping
The clouds are grey black
As Northward they trek.
As for records, are they all we are keeping?

We dwell in a body of flesh
With others we love to enmesh.
Let’s get up and dance now
Love shows us how…
We dance to the tunes that refresh

We humans need meaning to create.
The meaningless often agitate.
But stories abound.
Pick the best you have found.
Get in there and start to narrate.

In nature time goes round and round
Life’s a spiral, the wise one has found.
Each time I pass you
I see you anew
Until gently we are laid in the ground.

The end is the beginning,they say.
So say what’s important today.
For time flows like a stream
What is ,soon has been.
So we are foolish to attempt to delay

The promised land

Joy sings now with golden light,
Then after day comes deep,black night.
New moon is rising by grey trees,

The earth is where I want to be.

I want the day,I want the night.
I want the dark.I want the light.
I want to see and to be seen,

And not to lose my precious  dreams

The sun has set,grey clouds turn black,
The day just gone  will not come back.
I’ll rest in quiet reverie

Until the reaper’s scythe takes me.

And then I drop and mix with dust,
till worms and beetles sate their lust.
I fall into ten thousand motes,

And dance,in sunlight, music’s notes.

No more striving ,no more ambition
No more fighting,no competition.
Every particle’s the same

Without such thing as unique name.

And, side by side, we all are one,
The lusts of life have been and gone.
We dwell with dirt and grain and sand
At last we’ve reached the Promised Land