Not the words we read

Do not rush about when under stress
You may fall and bang your tender head
With agitation caused by business

Rather than do more, we must do less
Do it slowly till it’s time for bed
Do not rush about when under stress

Do not ruminate nor second guess
Grace is blocked,imagination led
By agitation caused by business

Slowness leads some space, so slowness bless
In tune with nature, not the words we read
Do not rush about when under stress

If you are a hare,keep from excess
If a tortoise,you’ll end up ahead
No agitation caused by business

The lilies of the field by grace are fed
And so our hearts are when our burden’s shed
Do not rush about when under stress
With agitation causing grief to living flas
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Do not ask



Astounded by love’s impact, my tears fell
As if a door was opened up by you
The reservoir of grief, the flooded bell,
The marble on the shore, the hidden view.


I stayed still and by you I was held
In your golden cloud, I felt embraced
You covered me with warmth,I was your child
A candle in the gale,a shining face

I was silent,I was even dumb
They who see a face can not unknow
Love is not a method nor a sum
Nor can logic point the way to go


Do not ask for knowledge or belief
Do not ask reprieve from human grief


And their prayers

My heart and guts were stolen by a thief
All I was became a frame for grief
Extremities of bony hands and feet
The shrinking brain now denser.distressed heat


Umoving in this lethargy, I stared
My head and body felt like they weren’t there
A headless chicken runs though it be dead
Motion in itself does not fool dread


I gently felt my hands,I let them be
My eyes were still closed to humanity
My feet were trembling as they lay so flat
I saw the slivers of the shattered glass

The glass had cut my skin,I felt despair
Bring me stained glass windows and their prayers


No new disgrace

Trapped in home made offices , we work
Reading from our screens, no space for thought
As we type ,our tender fingers hurt
Not the copperplate that I was taught


No commuting, no more fraught deceit
Harder are affairs, no private door
No more kisses unless they are quite fleet
Just daydreams, which will come to be no more


No walking to the station at sunrise
No hour alone to read or look without
All is known, where is the grand surprise?
Where the room for thoughtlessness or doubt?


Work from home but keep some private space
Do not harm your friends, keep from disgrace




When I saw with no intent to look


I love Picasso, it’s his line,you know
How he evokes the movement fast or slow
The sundered parts arranged in a new form
The image still and yet depicting storms


The unexpecting vision threw me down
My mind was blown and I lay on the ground
I heard no sound except for music lite
For I was in a shop,not an art site


I did not think I’d see great art in there
My fences bypassed by such beauty bare
The light of art burns into human souls
May shatter or fragment, create new wholes



Noone ever knew the blow I took
When I saw with no intent to look


The angst and joy of life

The clock electric does not need to tick
The seconds pass unheard by any ear
If you watch, the hands don’t seem to move
Eternal is the memory of love


So my life is passing as I write
I see the seconds hand move fast as light
The memories stored inside my brain,my mind
Will influence all I do, will make designs


When this my heart stops ticking like a clock
The cells of all my body run amok
Who will mourn for me when I am gone?
The angst and joy of life will soon be done


The golden numbers move in patterns bright
The sun defeats the ogres of the night


Trying to glimpse another through their veil.

I lingered in ambiguity like a bride
Who fears  disclosing that her face is fake
And while we’re on the subject, I take pride
In mixing water colours  from the lake

Ambiguous  in intentions we don’t know
We send out signals full of world slass news
If this rebounds  an artist might then show
Our vision centres  on our point of view

Seventeen types of clarity are mine
Fifteen from my  mind and two from pride
From this glass I make a view divine
Though Sunday someone said they thought I lied.

Ambiguously enchanted, given bail
We try to glimpse another through their veil

Illegitimate and born in desert grey.

So you are gone  who once declared your love
For that phantasm conjured in your mind
For onto me you brought down from above
A torment bitter and   some words unkind.

Used to  friendship from within your books
You did not understand that I was real
Irritation grew as you did look;
You threw your poisoned  arrows  at my heel.

What once you loved then you began to hate
If not perfect then intolerable I must be
And then you cursed me with this  sorry fate
Our child was born and him you’ll never see.

Illegitimate and born in desert grey.
I carried him alone from death’s dark way.

I may be a weed

Think of this, a weed still has its flowers
They may be small, like ivy  they may spread 
We must  display ourselves, not cower
Until  the   moment comes when we are dead

Does it matter that you hate my guts?
That you dislike my face so pink and white?
I am happy to deflect your bombs so hot
The nuclear  option seems so very trite

I am me and I may be a weed
The definition falters as we talk
Let us be judged by all our deeds
The sparrow  must be careless of the hawk

I no longer want your letters vile
Be gone from me and you will make me smile

In the desert grey

I walked across a desert grey and bleak
All alone, with nothing there to eat
I shuddered when I realised the truth
I was giving birth;I was refuse.

Cast out for some failing quite unknown
My baby was too small and I alone
A doctor with no face appeared and said
This baby died for he was never fed

He flung my baby  to the heap of dead
I lay in the dirt,  now red with blood
I  had to leave or I  would  die of grief
The will to live is stronger than a thief

I went to kiss my baby, then he smiled
He was still alive, my love,my child

A  song  that has no words nor any tune

Your absence from our home is a  still  a wound 
A  bruise upon my heart, a  knock, a blow
 A  song  that has no words nor any tune
That hovers in my ear,is loth to go

Yet I am glad I helped you to let go
I would not wish that you were here alone
But when the lake of tears still overflows
I wish that I could reach you on my phone

I am not lonely,I am missing you
Your tenor voice, your loving touch and words
The distance when you from the world withdrew.
Seems to me,   few  voices I have heard.

Yet I accept all living creatures die
But why are widows not allowed to cry?

We sense the sacred in these peaceful walls

We sense the sacred in these peaceful walls
Yet men have died in places that appal
Women too and children then unborn
Fell into cold dark earth in lands forlorn

As our weapons grow, our hearts are hard
The people live in Gaza behind bars
The water all polluted as taps drip
Is this war or is it vengeance fit?

In Britain, it’s the poor who lose the war
As it was when Jesus Mary bore
Yet here are clerics blessing marching bands
A military show for all the land

The genocide in Europe of the Jews
The self destructive actions of the proud
The fields of France filled sick with blood and bone
Who are we to cast judgemental stones?

The War’s not over when the fighting stops
The soldiers and the tortured suffer shock
The widows and the parents all bereaved.
The unborn children hover in unease

We let the remnants out from camps of death
But who would take them in or take their path?
The injuries will travel down the years
As still we fight and still we live in fear

It’s Europe’s grasp and greed which was the cause
Of death in Gaza, Syria, in long wars
Yet we judge we are more civilised
As we self defend with careful lies

I’ll follow where love leads

I heard the thud our cat made on the stair
But when I looked there was no creature there
Can our longing make us hear strange sounds;
Delusions,wish-fulfilment, breaking bounds?

I heard the wrens sing by the kitchen door
At least there is no cat to  make them fewer
I want to make some tea but I feel stuck
I’ll fill the pan, while love my heart strings plucks

For aeons I feel I’m paralysed by grief
The caterpillars gnaw upon  green leaves
I judge myself incompetent,too  slow.
Yet would I judge another, wound with blows?

I  feel half-way between the real, the dream
In reverie I’ll follow where love leads

Fiery air

Autumn time in Essex  where we drove
When farmers burned the stubble of the corn
The earth itself was  fiery  like young love
The smokey air rose like a  cloud  new born

The Kentish  landlocked   cliffs  are  wide and steep
The farmers grow  their grain on land beneath
And there too we  have seen the holy fire
The flames  and smoke arrest me with desire

The earth and soil, the  harvest  we find there
Give me joy  both full of wheat or bare
Why did burning stubble   make me glow?
These images affect the heart’s deep core

Now  fires are banned., they damage our pure air
And I   did not like the murder of the hare

Connections,maps and roads

Roman roads connected in straight lines
The cities they had built in wealthy times
The remains of one  goes past my garden gate
Do ghosts of Roman legions pass at night?

I like to see connections,maps and roads
Others  love  old cities ,walls and moats
My road ran to Lincoln  near the Wash
Migrating birds and swans  go there to rest

Going South, there is the Pilgrim’s Way
Canterbury, Becket,murder, prayer
Julius Caesar, Deal,  the Roman hordes
Boudicea,  and her fighting Lords

Layers of history, meaning,love and death
Still we argue  what should be our path

In honour of Paul Tillich

Paul Tillich gave our spirit proper place.

He showed us courage as a  space to dwell.

He wrote for us and left us with   his  grace

With hope he might  well speak and he might tell.

So many people ignored Fascist speech

And lived with mind cut off from  their own soul

With pen in hand he wrote his soul to reach

And touch us as we strive towards the whole.

Expelled from his own country, he wrote on

Continuing during  tortuous war long years

He lived, he loved ,he wrote, he died and then

His books continue to dispatch our fears.

For many men have lived and have destroyed.
 Tillich showed  us how to face the  void

 

My first attempt: wind and eye

An ancient one roomed building was  once home
Lit and warmed by fire,heat upward flowed
The smoke escaped  through one small  hole or “eye”
The winter wind  would fight to get inside.

Like a human eye, it was a breach
The bones of head and face allow this reach
We must see out and not live all within
Wolves, those metaphors. might  bite our skin

Enclosed spaces need  selected gaps
Few would enjoy choking in a trap.
We need a way to breath, to see, to touch
Sophisticated means, this eye  to watch

Sitting round the fire we hear  Wind howl
Through the eye, we see the moon,our jewel

 

Entertainment,sadism, power

On a hilltop not so far from Rhyl
Mother took us to the Zoo as Mothers will
The wind was strong and cold, the air was harsh
Although it was in August, not in March

Vultures  in enclosures   chained by leg
Like convicts in a prison   full of dread
When they vainly  tried to  get away
I felt their faith and hope dismayed

Who had chosen birds like these to show?
Even God himself would never know
Entertainment,sadism, power
Making people pay  and  children cower

When we got back  to the station I was sick
What cruel minds  played such a trick?

We’re burnt by love and loss

You smiled at me and then you disappeared
Flying skyward with no hint of fear
Stunned and left behind,I wept  with shock
Deprived by death of one last lingering look

No kiss, no word of love,no last embrace
No  colour and no pinkness in your face
I saw you fly as fast as hawks at prey
I held you in my heart ,I felt dismay

How could you leave me when I need you so
Could you not remain till I too must go?

Death is sad,mysterious,unknown
Once lovers   all complete and now alone

Silently at last we take the pain
We’re burnt by love and loss, that dual frame

In the dark

No goods nor gold can cross the Styx
The boat is small, by water crushed
The boatman’s ready with his hand
He has no use for such dry land

The woman wrapped in winter clothes
Hindered by the mist that rose
She weeps, she leaves her home and man
The dark mind  showed her where to come

Her  husband  stood beside her bones
In his loss, he softly groaned
He wept and wept and did not eat
His world  entranced by ice and sleet

Nothing’s quite as sad a sight
As old men crying  in the dark