When we speak but do not look

When we speak but do not look upon
The person we address, we are undone
We miss the tiny signs, the looks, the lines
We treat them as mere object we define

We treat them like a post of wood or stone
As if we cannot hurt nor cause them shame
We hit them with sharp words or thoughtless rot
And on and on until hate is begot

All want to be acknowleged,seen and heard
But must approach each other with great care
For most of us are thin skinned, nervous beasts
Who fear they are not asked to the great Feast

And in a thousand gestures we declare
We are not speaking merely to thin air

In the frying pan

I wondered how the two of me would be
If the sperm had got inside a different egg
And my egg was penetrated by a bee
Then by sperm whose entry was by bag

I often hum and buzz as I walk out
All unknowing of the neighbours thoughts
Full of concentration and of guilt
Wondering what my other half has bought

One half of me would know no way to change
It’s not like making sponges filled with jam
Unless the universe were rearranged
Then we’d all be in the frying pan

I cannot let this thinking carry on
I can be myself and all is one

Total love

When the Jews came back to their old homes
They buried them alive in pits they dug
The ground was heaving as the Jews died, choked
Murdered by the neighbours like mad dogs

Hard it is to know what creates this
The sadism happens when we least expect
When old neighbours might greet with a kiss
Now they load the living into stacks

Were they so poor they feared that they would starve
What does Total War mean when it’s said?
The Jews’ land into small pieces was carved
Some Jews came back when locals thought them dead

If only they had not created G-d
They would be given perfect ,total love

Humming in the mind

Emotions flow like music in the mind
A humming deep within the very self
Even in our sleep the patterns wind
Transformed to opera,images and health

The hum of children’s voices is benign
Two and two are four, oh Alice knows
Who has made thes minds so well designed?
Who has suffered well the pain, the blow?

Cut out the music, worship reason pure
Kant the human suffered it in shock
And in his way he wandered as a cure
Konigsburg with bridges was well stocked

Freed up in our humming, glad to hear
The music of the heart, the dark, the spheres

Blinded by the past

The old man and the seea were calm as glass
The Cafe was surrounded by mixed blooms
He was listening to a lady who described
The flowers, their colour,name all afternoon

He could not see at all yet was relaxed
Indeed he was delighted in the sun
I thought blind men were piteous,full of fear
That tells you more of me, than of the men

Below the steep cliff path, in ran the sea
I can’t imagine how our Airforce fought
Barely trained young men went out to war
Is Brexit Britain worthy of their Cause?

Now the blind man gazes out to sea
Was he one of those who kept us free?

Old Norse

I must change my name, it is too long
Even folk from Yorkshire get it wrong
As for those techniciians far away
My long name is very hard to say

I could take the action via law
Or marry someone with a name like Shaw
Smith is overused when we don’t ride
Lord would be ok, can we abide?

I’m tired of being asked to spell it out
It hurts the listener who knows not its roots
Banks and braes are well known to the Scots
Thwaite is an old Norse word . what the heck

We must be invaders who burst in
Killing Celts and Saxons, is that sin?

Another mind

From time and place and season I am lost,
Disorientated ,missing tracks well worn
.Do not suppose I’m unaware of cost,
Nor label me with epithets of scorn.

For usual paths lead to the usual place.
the safest way to live and perhaps to die,
But wandering through the woods I find new space
and in wild grasses with the fox I lie

.Through distant trees, I see a way to go
As narrow as a slit in pale limestone
.I pass in silence as if in deep,deep snow
.My courage rises even as I groan.

Remember when we’re lost ,we may then find
Another way,a place,another mind.

Like butter in the sun

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My heart is soft like butter left in sun.
Much more heat and it will melt and run
Oh, why do we have feelings,why engage
When friendship turns into such bitter rage?

I do not wish to live remote and stern
As if I am so perfect I can’t learn
Pain too deep can mortify the flesh
Turn us into robots fit for trash



All I need is an enormous fridge
Which will make me harder than sweet fudge
I’ll go inside and pray for peace each day
If I freeze to death,I shall not say.

Oh, be of merry heart,my friends and foes
When love comes in, a little hate will go

Revolution

A strange comingling of the mills and moors
Green of nature,smoke from chimneys glowers
While sheep graze their wool is touched by smoke
But higher up the ground is bare of hope

Peering down I recognise the view
Rows of terraced houses share a loo
Women wear their aprons with panache
Boys are playing,give or take a bash.

Miners walking home with faces black
Painters with their ladders and their sacks
Little girls are skipping with their ropes
Cats are watching idly, kittens mope

Which way shall we go, we must decide
The green hill with no walls, the red brick eyes?

Dried flowers

Unconscious of our cruelty, we sin
Yet pride ourselves as worthy and refined
Those who know themselves are modest souls
Who do to those around them little harm

Blinded to our our faults we strut about
Causing pain to others, oh what charm
If we break the rules,we have no doubts
From our errors we can never learn

So I look on your insults and smile
Self image admits nothing makes a change
I shall not keep your sentences in files
Unlike dried flowers in vases well arranged

Yet though you now evade a little pain
Your company will never be the same

Now there is no road

No rought beast shall slouch to Bethlehem
There is no track or pattern to our fate
Once Jesus’ feet were bathed by Magdalen
Now communities of love disintegrate.

The world does fall apart, the centre’s gone
There is no named War, but armies kill
Or single, abject men who carry guns
On other nearby folk will shoot at will

There seem to be no ” better” sort of men
But all lack much conviction,common good
They follow gold with bent accountant’s pen
Calvin’s “way to heaven”, Noah’s flood

Now there is no road nor path nor beast
Confusion,chaos,populism will feast

Air strokes our bare skin



When soft winds blow and air strokes our bare skin
.When days are long like melodies of youth,
when light wakes up the soul from out her sin
Then shall we know when this sweet life is truth?

When flowers droop and leaves are dried and brown;
When water’s short and all the ground’s forlorn
Then do not meet disaster with a frown,
For out of heartfelt sorrow new life’s born


.When winter’s here and all is quiet and still
And nothing seems to move or grow or speak
Then we shall learn the limits of our will
When through the soil the first green shoots will break


.For seasons change and actors come and go.
Yet through such changes, life is what we know

Now speaks the Earth


Now speaks the earth of spring and all its joys.

Now flowers and blossom soothe our  lonely eyes.

So happy are the lovers, girls and boys,

As in the  daisied meadows they may lie.

Now speaks the sun and makes us  want to grow

to open like the flowers for his love

To let the life within us start to flow.

With  blessings sent down to us  from above.

Now every part of nature is in flood

Fresh leaves point down from trees to holy nests

The birds are active in this little wood,

And dwelling on the tree branch breast to breast.

Oh let’s not waste time glued to inner thoughts.

For we may miss the joy which spring has brought

Yet life endures

Since you died I learned to use a crutch
I have noone to lean on, none to touch
I wanted you to die with kindly ease

Now I miss another I could tease

Noone knows what was our special tree
Nor why the pain of loss dwells in my knee
As if I cannot stand or wait alone
Dark earth is softer than these paving stone
s

The trees you loved my neighbours see as weeds
I shan’t recite a list of their misdeeds
Others gossip of my coloured coats
A widow’s weeds aren’t teal, they grin, they gloat

Before you went I saw the cloth of gold
Coming down from heaven to enfold
Then it rose, its satin thick and pure
Taking you away, yet life endures

The emptiness, the void, the loss, the pain
The crash severe we know is for
eordained



The handkerchief pan

In the evening. simmering handkerchiefs
Perfumed the air with odours I can’t tell
Mother scrubbed them, hung them on the line
Then I had to iron them, folded well

Now we have our tissues, we don’t need
Hankies that need scrubbing many times
The oceans  deep are  poisoned  with our  waste
Is the use of tissues a  new crime?

While we did our  homework  after tea
My brother  liked his Wagner at  full blast
Imagine  learning Latin  with that din
Now the time for anger  has  long passed

Bad memories change  by  newly given grace
Evoking hints of  mother and her face

Pen and bell

In this so called office,I am trapped
Trying hard to write and to adapt
I have numerous pens in this my cell
Reminding me of school, the longed for bell

Ten past four, we put on winter clothes
I crossed the Park in fog, it wet my nose
Walking down our street I’d see the cat
Sitting on the pavement, Ginger spat

I put the kettle on to make our tea
The coal glowed low and red like elves in glee
The aluminium teapot never broke
The kettle had turned black , the milk was smoked

I had that tiny piece from others free
That was when I learned that I am Me

Of the green

In the birdbath filled by summer rain
I saw the baby wood pigeon again
So safe  the garden,  birds became quite tame
Secret,silent, sweet,no cats, it kept me sane

The bird was washing,splashing all about
With darted glances,so few I could count
Then it  flew up into a large tree
Holly,maple, apple,I could see

Though it’s winter, sunshine makes me dream
Gazing through the window at this scene
Sap is stirring,rising in soft  light
Making these bare branches a new sight

Love came down and lit up  this,my heart
Then the grace of being  made its start

Carnation,orchid ,daffodil and rose.

How softly sweetly,gently flowers pose
Carnation,orchid ,daffodil and rose.
Intricate the petals that should shield
Yet bees with striped force shall make them yield.
Appearances,both natural and contrived,
Mixed with the wiles of human nature thrive.
As, knowing not, we pluck the apple rare
And bite its flesh,with teeth we burn to bare.
We too deceive the innocent who pass
Not seeing watchers hid behind the glass.
The windows break,the deep earth quakes;
Seized is the maiden ,he  her virtue takes
.Beneath the surface,force and fierceness thrive.
What fearsome, burning God enjoys our lives?

Cleveland Hills

Lying in the heather with you,love
The world below,the cliff edge of the hills
Swainby,Stokesley, Stockton,Saltburn sea
Happy, free, still unaware of bills

The butterflies, the little flower bells
The scent of honey and the Yorkshire bees
I see your face as clear as it was then
But you have crossed the Styx and not the Tees

Yet still I feel your arms that held me near
I see you smile , so happy to be wed
We hitched a lift right to Osmotherly
The entire hill seemed like a marriage bed

There is a place where that sweet day exists
I take your hands and kiss your inner wrists

The future is fiction

The future unpredictable as gas
Its fictions must be written by our hands
On tablets with the clarity of glass
Which crack  like bones  dried out  on foreign sands

The prophets’ meanings , unnnamed, cannot pass
The sentences bind stories till they blend
The whispers and the excess of his blasts
Till all are crucified  by  loss of sense

The arches of the heavens will surpass
The  golden eye ,the mind its telescope
Then all  at once humanity is trash
The microcosm, a particle   escaped

Will Evil  change our hearts  till blood is  brass
The valves  are closing,   polished  into death