Loving memories

I look up our small street,
To see if you are coming.
I don’t know what time it is,
But I think I hear you humming.

You sang sweet songs for us,
And you could whistle well.
You wore an old tweed jacket
You loved us,I could tell.

I look out there each day,
But I can’t see your tall, thin shape.
I saved your Woodbine packet,
It made me feel some hope.

What does death’s door mean?
Where has Daddy gone?
When will be the welcome day,
When we hear his songs again?

I’ll sing like him all day,
I’ll dream of him all night.
I hope he won’t be angry,
If his cigarettes won’t light!

He can’t write his own songs now.
He went too far away, too soon.
I’ll write down what I think he sang,
And I’ll invent the tune.

I hear him singing now,
He dwells inside my heart.
And though I still can’t see his face,
I recognise his Art.

The river in the Chilterns

I wish I were in Hertfordshire again

The River Lea a small and sparkling stream.

As I sit here clutching my gel pen

Facing a blank page, oh paper clean

I think about our holidays and walks

Now I barely get across the room.

I miss you for your feelings and the thoughts.

Sitting on the riverbank relaxed

Where has gone my treasure once unsought?

All alone I sit here and reflect

Loving these quiet memories I have brought

Once your love was here but now it’s gone

You float away like water over stones.

A little peace

One damaged cell can divides  until it kills.

For in the end we pay the rich man’s bills.

The air polluted ravages and maims

Now it’s cruelly late to curse and blame

Oh sister how we played  with our dolls’ prams

In our industrial  town there were no lambs.

No sheep could safely graze in smokey streets.

No lark would rise amazed, the dawn to  greet.

For you my sister breathed in that bad air

We hear  the tread, the  foot steps on the stair.

So patient stil, I wish that you would shout.

From your eye I see one tear fall out.

My single sister I can see your pain

Your lips are dry you cough and cough again.

Your mouth is hurting so you cannot eat.

And on the telephone you barely speak

In the world  some million others groan

Yes we’re fragile merely flesh and bone

Even so the tears run in my sleep.

Into my face these tears will slowly seep.

I didn’t grasp at first that she would die

And leave me here alone to curse and cry

Hold me in your arms my kindly friends.

From your touch a little peace descends

To find a  hole, an absence and a dread

When I am happier than I am today
I seem to feel your presence and your gaze
But now I turn to where you sat and read
To find a  hole, an absence and  a dread

A lack  of energy,  a grey fatigue
A feeling that my heart unholy bleeds
Gives me no new  vibrance nor new look
I feel as dead as an old library book

Alas  I woke   one happy day to joy
Then off  it rode like an unstable boy
And when the doom descended then I cursed
For that  brief joy made my dumb dark heart  feel worse

If I could live like butterflies all bright
I should  have  my days of sun and light

Reflections

I knew myself in his face when he lived

But now I have no mirror,I’m alone.

I learned myself reflected in his love.

An actual mirror seems like a dull stone

I was alive when mirrored his eyes

For those who hate us do not give us life.

What’s the answer when when the loved one dies?

Without a husband there can be no wife.

All alone my blood seems not to flow.

The wellspring of my heart is arid,dry.

My hands curl up protective on my heart

I have no tears and so I cannot cry.

Yet I bleed inside from every part.

So where is my reflection, where my grace?

I feel I cannot live without his face.

Contractions

We lose our health we lose our lovers friends

Death comes slow but faster at the end

Now we can’t afford to use the lights

We feebly rage against the coming night.

Once our life expanded as we grew

Every year was filled with actions new.

Marriage job promotion travel fun

We never thought that one day we’d be done.

Who can fight against the dying light?

Once so strong and fierce your heart gave up

Oh my love I miss you in the night..

Filled with sorrow, we must drain the cup.

Aging is like dying everyday

Slowly slowly each life ebbs away

St Margaret’s Bay

St Margaret’s Bay,the lighthouse,the green grass

,The Kentish light,the avenues of glass

See across the Channel where they hide

Drowning migrants rolling on the tide.

Who are they,we say in cruel tone ?

Jesus lived in Bethlehem, not Rome

Higher climbs the butterfly in sun .

Disappearing, burnt to Kingdom come

No fixed àddress

Noone saw me,no one met my eyes.

I felt the life inside me wilt and die

Of no value to the human race

If no-one saw them they would not exist

Leonard Cohen”s name was on a list.

I almost burned away in hot distress

The charred remains would have no fixed address.

Like the Jews who wandered for a space,

No eyes no gold ,no teeth, I am a Jew

I have no tongue to speak, nor language too.

In the local park

By the flowerbed Dad and I would talk

In 1952 he still could walk

We spent the afternoon in Willows Park

At least there were some sparrows if not larks.

He wore a jacket made of thinning tweed

He felt cold in summer hence the need

He smoked cheap cigarettes I love their smell

Though they killed you Daddy I know well.

I did not understand that God was frail

I prayed for you but all to no avail.

The Jews in Auschwitz must have prayed at first

Then singing Kaddish stumbled to their deaths

God cannot be judged though humans can

Each Jew was a real person like I am

Wounded by Katherine

Every living person is another world

In its Imagination Europe failed

But could Daddy have been saved for ten more years?

Does even the best neighbour really care?

Few will help us mourn the ones we lost

Their feeble hearts just cannot bear the cost

Am I a saint myself for I am frail

Hiding from the lightning and the hail

Away from home

I’ve been so far away from home

I’ve been so lonely without you

I heard the ghosts here as they moaned

And they made me feel so blue

We drove past bulging linseed  fields

In Suffolk with its bonny views

We stopped to have a meal

I can’t remember how I’ve been  

I see that you have gone

And left  me weeping here bereft

There’s always been someone

Is this another test?

I can’t live without your smile

Without your eyes and tender hands

Come with me for a while

To play like children on the sands.

Oh sands of Dunwich bay

Where the amber used to hide

I don’t know what to say

I’m sailing out on the

spring tide