Aspiration (draft)

Like the kite my sight
Is sharp and on the air
With flair I soar
And shift and twist to show
My colours caught by
The golden glow from far below

And like the otter in cold water
I roll and glide
Down slippery lime green slimy slide
Between two elements
With natural ease
No one else to need to please

And the haunting oyster catcher’s call
That fills the wide blue sky
From wall to wall with tuneless song
Where I belong
Between the sea and pebbled beach and sky
A painted brushstroked flock
Behind, within me, my ear and hand and eye

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Old stick backs

These old chairs handed down

‘Old stick backs’

Monday morning, nearly Christmas
Sitting reading and drinking a first coffee by the stove
Just retrieved the hyacinths ‘forcing’, from the cupboard, in the yellow bowl
They always hold so much promise
At this, their etiolated stage
Like us, searching for the light
All the blue and yellow
Like a painting, perhaps I haven’t painted yet

💙💛

(Little painting above the door by Heidi Nguyen)

Perpendicular

These are ‘breastworks’ (uprights along the sea wall) and ‘groynes’ (at right angles )

This is a a new (first draft) poem:

‘Perpendicular ‘

For forty years the sea defences have protected

the front. At Borth and Ynyslas.

The old familiar way was shoring up

with strong timber upright breastworks

and jutting joists and great beamed groynes.

Bleached now by summer’s gold.

Old oak silvered and smoothed to salty sinews

Gravel and grit erosion pebble dashing

the frontages. Wrack draped and clasped

in rust. Scarred and scarified

by four decades force. Bearing up

against lifelong accretion. Pileup

of crashing drift and tide.

Perpendicular props. Familial forces

trying vainly to combine their strength

against dying under life’s attack.

Cold stone proposed along this ancient front

now sinking against an unquiet sea.

Forces of opposition with steely knives

and cranes and engineering.

Of a concrete will. Defying the tide like Canute.

Tempting Fate. Or perhaps too late

Acrobat

Acrobatic visitor

(A draft poem, with thanks to Beatrix Potter )

Do you remember those little brown books?
Hard backs with shiny slip covers, or perhaps the slip covers
came later. I remember the soft suede feel of the boards.
Dainty pastel roundels of our woodland friends.

Nidderdale and swallowtail laundry maid hedgehog
in a bonnet. Running down the green swathe.
Rabbits in waistcoats with tall pointed ears.
Defiant against the landlord.

And bold red Nutkin with the fluffy tail.
Memories of a fifties childhood. Arcane springboard
for a lifetime passion for our small wild neighbours
who share this shrinking Earth

On my way again

On the train from Abergavenny to Machynlleth

writing on the train

Two more poems, ‘Buddleia’ from another train journey

And ‘Pwll y wrach’ ( which means ‘witch’s pool)

View from the train, no Buddleia here

Buddleia

bursting out bravely from crevices and chimney pots
round the rough edges of abandoned plots
of land behind razor wire and barbed wire
on bomb sites

round broken concrete bunkers and crumbling
wartime airstrips, army camps and waste dumps
sooty spaces and looted places

into all these the grey green leaves reach their arms
of new growth and so the buddleia bush embraces
debris and decay and deathly ancient traces

and stretches up her waving arms towards the blue blue sky
and without help or nurture or encouragement
attracts with her nectar the humble hope filled butterfly

Pwll y Wrach

Cover image by Marc Jennings

‘pwll y wrach’

I read it in my book just now
‘Witch’s pool’
How evocative
Did she drown?
Herself
Or her cat
Perhaps
Or did she use
The glassy surface
To reflect
Her face
Or read her future
Or just wash her tired feet

I wrote this short piece when I read the place name ‘Pwll y wrach’ in Richard Gwyn’s marvelous book, ‘The Blue Tent’

(Cover image by Marc Jennings above)

The book is published by Parthian Books