Saturday, 30 June 2012

Day One

Day one

This morning I decided that if I'm to be a poet
I must write a work of verbal art each day
and if I'm really clever, and I work very hard
I might even make this rhyming writing pay
I've written quite a lot so far, and some of it's quite good
at least that's what my faithful friends have told me
so I'll double up my efforts and not wait for inspiration
I'll use my brain and write it as it should be.

Sometimes I've written poems where I've merely held the pen
and the spirit poured the words out in a flow
that I'd really no control of from beginning to the end
for the poem knew just where it had to go.
At other times I struggle, changing sentences around
adjusting words to try and find the metre
or searching in my memory for another rhyming word
and I'll find it, or my middle name's not Peter (tee hee)

I like to write of things I see, just ordinary sights
and ideas and sensations that assail me
of friendships and of concepts and other abstract stuff
that just pop into my head as they avail me.
So this is opus number 1, the first of many works
that I intend to add to the collection
And I'm hoping by this time next year, I'll be publishing a book
containing a significant selection.

Monday, 25 June 2012

My Hands

For most of my life, I have been dependent on my hands to earn me a living, so I thought I ought to give them a poem to all to themselves.

My hands

Would I give these hands to thee?
these worn-out tools my life has used
with calloused palms and knuckles swollen
and scars that shout "We've been abused"
with liver-spots and wrinkled backs
and nails all brittle now and broken
bones distorted with arthritis,
veins that stand out - hard work's token.
and yet these wonderful machines
my life record in what they've done
from violent shocks to tasks so fine,
grafting hard or having fun
hammer-blows to threading needles
music played or poem written
tying fishhooks, catching, juggling
making baskets, Willow smitten.
In the winter, fingers frozen
still they turn to do the task
always working, never failing,
they just do the things you ask.

I mind the time when they were younger
slender fingers, soft and smooth,
before the skin was rough and broken
before I had a life to prove,
when fingers worked with such precision
skin so delicate to feel,
hands that never had a tremor
that now would over-use reveal.
And yet these hands have been my fortune
without them I'd be not who I am
vitality to my life they've given
these hands here have served this man.
so would I give these hands to thee?
Never  - not while I'm alive
they've been my friends and close companions
they've wiped my tears
and yet still strive.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Brief Storm

 Brief storm.

Rain is falling, straight as stair rods
shortest route in heaven descent
bouncing hard upon the concrete
raising spray of droplets rent
now the hail is rattling earthbound
striking hard on pantile roof
hard ice pellets bouncing sideways
missiles that provide the proof.
Lightning flash, and seconds later
growling grumble thunder roar
then one more, and yet another,
cold wind rattling at the door.
Leaden skies have switched the sun off
all is sombre, heavy, cold
the storm has cast its heavy mantle
extinguishing the orb of gold
But, what is this, this chink of light
that lifts the mantle's corner fast?
Storm-cock sings "Awake! Awake!
All is safe, the storm is past!"
Blackbird joins in with the singing
jubilant that all is well
and Phoebe smiles, the clouds move on,
and leave the freshest ozone smell.

Early Summer

 Once more the summer sun is smiling
nestled 'tween the lacy clouds
not fully formed in morning splendour,
whispering, not shouting loud
the birds compete to sing their hearts out
singing tales to everyone,
"Listen! Listen! I'm the loudest!
Hear my song! Enjoy the sun!"

 Last night's rain on grass-blade lingers
lupin diamonds - teasel cups
filled with freshness, purest water
whence the bird and insect sups
The path is drying, heat reflecting,
warming stone beneath the foot
and yet the soil remains dark coloured
demanding still the gardener's boot

Soon the sun will reach her zenith
soil will lighten, dry to dust
watering can will be in use for
needy plants, for drink they must
I love the early summer colours
long before they dry and fade,
the warmer months will lose their brightness
but that's the price that must be paid

Later summer bears the fruit
of early care and gentle rain
the gardener rests indoors at midday
too hot outdoors to remain
later naps reclining deckchair
hat pulled down across the eyes
gentle smile while quietly snoring
dreaming early summer skies.

Monday, 11 June 2012


Today, I got to thinking about friendships.
I have been very lucky in that I have always had friends.

Friends come in many different guises and sizes. Some may just dash into your life, leave a pencil-mark on the margin of a page of your book, then dash out again, never more to be seen. 
Others you may know and relish for most of your life, and may appear in many chapters in your book; and in the betweens, there will be those who will contribute a word, a sentence, a paragraph or more at various times, and on various pages of your story.
There will be those who will always be in the footnotes, who keep you on the right track; those who require Italics for their empathy, and yet others who deserve bold emphasis for their strength of character.
Very occasionally, there will be those whose friendship is all these things and more, and they will write whole chapters with you.
But there is one thing that they all have in common, and that is their unquestioning acceptance of YOU.

I am indeed a very fortunate man.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings.....

This is an amazing piece written by my God-daughter, Daisy.

She is not quite 17 years old at his moment, and yet she has come to these same conclusions that it has taken me most of my 64 years to reach.

Such wisdom at such an early age - may your life be blessed Daisy. You are an extraordinary girl.
Thank you for allowing me to post this
Much love
Robbie XX

One For Yourself

You should never regret any turns made in life, you should only learn from them. When you are young, carefree and finding your place single handed, you turn to those around you, those you meet and those who care, to find out who you really are. You allow yourself to fall in love, to cry and to seek known comfort. However, one thing you forget in those few days of naivety is that this is a one way street, there is no going back. This is a life painting made by you but structured by others. This is your exam paper, written in your hand.

Learn one thing: Don't be afraid of putting your trust into people you know, just be more afraid about putting your heart in it. Relationships live and die for everyone. You allow yourself to love and wear your heart on your sleve, but it is up to you to remember that this is your life. This is your road which you take on your own. You will meet people, love people, lose people and remember people. Just remember that all these people are significant yet insignificant. They are there to teach and lead you on your way to finding out who you are.