Unfathomable


Walsall Arboretum lake

One of the lakes that inspired this poem in Walsall Arboretum

In a quiet corner of the park,
Lies a lake with water dark.
Surrounded by stooped trees.
Which guard it from the breeze.

If at its shores you stand there,
It seems no matter how long you stare.
The lake’s depths defy your gaze,
Whether you look for minutes or days.

But be patient, stand very still,
Put away your phone, wait until.
Very slowly before your eyes,
The lake quietly comes to life.

The surface ripples, then breaks,
As a water boatman skates.
Then a branch shakes and sways,
As a squirrel makes his way.

But as soon as nature comes it goes,
Your spectacle draws to a close.
Nature again hides away,
To perhaps return another day.

The trees seem to close ranks,
As you steal a final glance.
Then the lake’s water fades to black,
As you turn and don’t look back.

 

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Pheasant


Another great poem from Cherry Doyle at Poet’s Corner.

Headlights flush out spaces between leaves;
by the hedge, a planet halts its orbit,
sensually dark like chocolate,
with hurricanes scribed across his breast.
Scaly legs pick through the last shell of night,
lined with crushed velvet and cracking
on the turquoise edges of the morning.
His oriental headdress, in heraldic bottle-green and scarlet,
bears an echo of his homeland, muted in the frost.

I head for a place I once called home –
follow the string back the way I came,
through tangles and knots I can feel under my ribs.
Many shades of local rock have clamped
and crushed my roots – if only I could slip into
these golden fields as softly as the pheasant,
who left Asia and landed on a Staffordshire verge,
where he waits for the sunrise to register
on his copper-plated chest.

Cherry Doyle
Poet of the Month June 2016

pheasant finIllustration by Josie…

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Breakfast


Toblerone-chocolate

Toblerone for breakfast this morning.
It’s only 7:25 am,
But I deserve it.
You see if the world ends soon
(At least that’s what I’m being told.)
I thought, “what the hell,
Shredded Wheat won’t do it today.”

I munch contentedly.
Happy that if
The UK sinks into the sea.
Then at least I will die
With the taste of chocolate on my lips.
Besides which,
It’s too early for a beer.

Words


question mark

Sometimes when you wake at night,
You know exactly what to write.
But when you wake the next day,
The words have all gone away.

Sometimes when you hold a pen,
The words only come now and then.
However when you’re on the bus
Words can come in an almighty rush.

What else can I really say?
Words might come to you today.
Or you might not write a verse,
Surely this is the poet’s curse?

Angel’s Wings and Ashes


angels wings and ashes pic

I flew up high towards heaven
On what I thought were Angel’s wings.
The reverent light was oh so bright,
That my wings began to burn and singe.

I carried on regardless,
I thought I had Angel’s wings.
I was so close to perfection,
I could hear the heavenly chorus sing.

But you’re not allowed into the light
If you only think you have Angel’s wings.
And as they burnt to ashes,
I failed on to paradise to cling.

So down I plummeted to the ground,
No longer with Angel’s wings.
Just two burnt stumps on my back,
Never again to go soaring.

 

Partly inspired by my love of the TV and comic book series Lucifer

Newsflash: Man Spotted Reading an Actual Book


 

man seen reading book headline

The other day I saw a curious sight,
A man in the street reading a book.
I had to stop and rub my eyes,
Then take another look.

But I wasn’t having a hallucination
A man was reading the printed page.
He wasn’t using an iPhone or Kindle,
Doesn’t he know they’re all the rage?

As I watched cars and buses stopped,
People gave the man three cheers.
“Hooray he’s reading from a book,
We’d heard they’d disappeared.”

T.V crews quickly turned up
Plus radio broadcasters too.
The man reading an actual book,
Soon became the headline news.

Despite all this the book reading man,
Made no effort to stop or look.
He didn’t notice the fuss he’d caused,
It must have been a hell of a book.

Awkwardly Gluten Free


A great poem on just how awkward your life can be if you have to be gluten free

Possessing a biological knowledge of the small intestine,
as useful as the unattended embarrassment
of knowing your audience have lost interest in your spiel,
and are regretting their outburst of “Gluten! What’s that then?”
(also occasionally uttered by restaurateurs, to the backdrop of your heart sinking).
Politely refusing the offer of biscuits/mini rolls/pork pies
with a frenzied prayer that the birthday girl does not take your rebuttal
as a slight on her snack-providing skills,
and respond by gradually making you the office, family, or cul-de-sac pariah.
The disgusted refusal to part with £3 for a load of bread,
although less, nowadays, than the price of a pint
– of cider, because you can’t have beer.
Incredulous, as previously innocuous chocolates, crisps and frozen potato products
are now to be approached as toxic –
at least until someone invents as cheap and marketable a flavouring as ‘barley malt’
(perhaps you one…

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Big Fat Drops of Rain


Walsall Floods

Big fat drops of rain,
Falling on my brolly again.
Then dripping on to my head,
Before trickling down my legs.

Big fat drops of rain,
Flowing quickly, blocking drains.
Drowning the underpass,
Causing floods in a flash.

Big fat drops of rain,
Signal summer’s here again.
Downpours today and yesterday,
It seems the rain is here to stay.

Hamster on the Wheel


Hamster-wheel

Some days you can feel just like a hamster
Going nowhere fast in a wheel.
Even though you’re trying to move forward,
You’re wondering why you feel.

Like you’re not getting anywhere quickly,
Although forward in your wheel you’re going.
You wonder why you’re still in the same place,
Though your wheel and pace aren’t slowing.

Suddenly you realise you’re quite trapped
In an endless loop you’re stuck.
As although your life seems to be moving,
Your wheel is wedged in a rut.

Regardless you still continue to plod forward
With this problem you feel you can deal.
At least you’re happy you’re going nowhere fast,
In your cage, in your rut, on your wheel.

Housman & Me


Two great poets I’m proud to know are caretaking Poetry Corner this month and are off to an interesting start. Read on and follow them to see more.

Splayed like winter twigs –

my mother’s calligraphics

were tacked onto the wall.

I repeated the lines like ghosts

replaying a moment –

chewed on the words.

While the kids at school

had badges, hairbands, pencil cases,

emblazoned with their names.

A slither in a book,

found one lifeless afternoon –

its letters, stars in my eyes.

To think!

That I was the ‘loveliest of trees’,

charming in my Easter bloom.

‘To see the cherry hung with snow’,

reminded me of how I was named –

for all seasons of life.

Blossom in my brain,

my mother sat and scribed the verse

for my bedroom wall.

Housman’s cherry tree,

‘About the woodland’ and on the page,

captivated him and me.

Published in The Poetry of Shropshire, Offa’s Press, 2013

Cherry tree
Extract from Housman’s poem in Cherry’s bedroom as a child.

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