Monday, 31 October 2011

Feed the World

This Little Grain of Rice

This little grain of rice
Matured through time
Could nurture a generation
Feed the world

This little grain of rice
Moist with healthy yearning
Cultivates injured landscapes
Spread across the earth by diffusion
Is welcome saviour to huddled masses

This little grain of rice
Buys guns and ammunition
Loads weapons with fuller bellies
Keeps troops marching over barren terrain

This little grain of rice
Sends men off to distant wars
Brings them home from killing fields
Nourishes those mighty dreams in children
This little grain of rice
Entices people to worship on knees
Build marble pillar gods
Isolates wits with ergot nightmares
Golden altars are built in homage to a granule
As men and women alike reach for the diminutive
That tiny moment of death that defines existence

This little grain of rice
Calmly awaits the tender storm
Sheltered with attentive conventions
Protected by a father’s stern warnings
Floats as cerise boat at the crack of dawn

This little grain of rice
Lifted from tiny plastic bags
Scattered as cathedral bells ring
Forms an umbrella over anxious brides
Becomes fertility symbol of marriage vows

This little grain of rice
Wrapped in thin defensive shield
Becomes the mother of our appetites
Once that succulent affection is released
From golden husk veiled in sweet essence

I rolled my tongue along its velvet pouch
Savoured the natural sweetness
Offering the flavour of hope
Invented a tasteful saccharine language
Left hungry for more

 This little grain of rice
Fertilised with love
Could have fed my world

*     *     *

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Time's Last Breath

In a grove in the tiny village of Little Dunmow in Essex there is a priory where Eleanora Lovaine Douglas and her Crusader knight, William le Hardi, are buried. Local legend also claims the remains of Maid Marian, lover of the infamous thief, or legendary fighter for justice depending on your point of view - Robin Hood. I wrote this piece with reference to the place and an imagined relationship between the two after visiting with a dear friend.

The poem is not solely or entirely about Robin and Marian, it represents the passing of a relationship, a changing of status, a shifting of the heart’s season – like an autumn day, as trees are releasing their leaves to be carried off by the wind .. a reconciliation of hope at the pearly gates of an eternally lost love ..

In Little Dunmow Church 

In Little Dunmow Church
Weeds grow in the paving
But, deep within the vaults
Where true hearts are never betrayed

It is there sweet Maid Marian lays waiting

Yet, a beauty in her tower
A gilded cage of her design
A passionless tomb should
Pride and vanity win out.

The roguish Robin
Battles truth with a fine art
His arrows are but blunted words
The fool who struggles searches brambles

The point is buried deep within his heart

Torn flesh finds a silent stone
Hiding low in the greenbrier
His endless rage a tragedy
Quelled only by love’s desire.
For what purpose serve a rose
If freedom becomes her prison
Spoken words her love betraying?

A sacred peaceful place
Wrapped in protective thorns
A romantic heart that is still aching

All brave souls her cries do tempt
His sorrow from time not exempt 
A crusader in this lover’s foolish endeavour 
Our valiant squire
Sheds his noble blood
That today might last forever.

In Little Dunmow Church
Under foundation stones
Beneath the legend of history
A hush is on the gathering congregation

A wilting faded feathered plume
Plucked from the wing of an angel
Droops in faded glory over tainted ruby petals

Sweet wine upon her lips
Softly whispered words speak
Time’s last hopeful breath releases a sigh
Of life together in eternal perfect grace

There within imagination
I’ll be your love someday.

*     *     *

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Cast a Broken Spell ..


I cast my pearls
Fresh from the shimmering shell
But you were too busy with the trough to notice

I cast a clean net
Wide open into the ocean so blue
But you preferred the warmer flesh of this earth

I cast a pebble
To skim the surface of stilled waters
But it swiftly sank in the curling of winter waves

I cast alabaster
To maintain posterity’s appearance
But you chipped striking character with impunity

I cast a shadow
Across the face of deeper thoughts
But the sunlight dimmed behind clouds of doubt
I cast a glance
In the general direction of your eye
But you were still winking at those fallen angels

I cast sweet fruit
Vine-ripened and filled with nectar
But you were drunk on power and selfish greed
I cast aspersions
To awaken you from heartless pride
But you wanted only to deny this very existence
I cast you aside
To preserve a measure of my dignity
 *     *     *

Friday, 8 July 2011

Lil' Cherry Pie


I command my body
and offer flesh for truth
I control thought in my mind
belief is faith by honest proof
my soul can never be freely given
as like art this modest cherry tattoo
exists as memory of reasons for living
because my heart I forever endow to you

*     *     *

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

In Grand Style

Two Pianos

Two pianos sit idle in the corner of the room
Silent complements to gathering dust
Melodies once played by nimble fingers
Refrain commencing but for this mournful tune

Sunlight ripples across tarnished ebony veneer
Wire and winch bent and sprung so loose
Chipped ivory now appendages touch wood
Sounds of compositions none will ever more hear

Baby dreamt of one fine day to be fully grand
Superfluous chords will never again sing
Time takes toll on the sweetest of harmonies
Jingling keys locked the door on a practised hand

If these two pianos broken but learned with age
Could reverberate softly vibrato this air
A record of old songs they previously played
Hummingbird notes as once danced from the cage

The richness of creation an enchanting delight
Holds tranquil memories of fretful rehearsal
A childhood exhausted in front of sheet music
Torn snapshot moments forever in black and white

Days drag by toward their final evening’s glow
Slumbering stillness of an eloquent past
Damp and cold warped legs and glazed sheen
Wrinkled spine winters gone outside drifting snow

They occupied a place packed in antique ideals
Life itself enclosed in those wooden boxes
Lids now sealed heartfelt affair left unspoken
These two pianos that brought so much earlier joy
Will live in the heart after the pain of loss finally heals

*     *     *

*     *     *

Saturday, 22 January 2011


Broken English

Hola merci elbette como estas the bag on my shoulder is still aquí

Marching to the beat of thirty thousand shoeless feet
My back is scorched the wind blowing as seasonal treat
Sucking lemons I tramp that beach to seek out local meat
Hungry as a beggar I wander aimlessly down a narrow street

Buenos dias s'il vous plaît ama truly dear seni değil biliyorum keen

Approaching a nearby produce vendor I point to the seat I wish
He nods in affirmation and smiles at my burgeoning visible anguish
While I try to decipher the scribbled menu board for a tasty local dish
Selecting several samples of a regional variety he thinks quite outlandish

Ciao mon amour glásnost' I’m uttering palabras in a helpless plea

I search for some useable currency in pouches and pockets
He shakes his head in consternation as the first notes he rejects
A mumbling typecast tourist I try speaking various unknown dialects
Looking dazed and confused dropping coins on a tray truly I’m perplexed

Un donero vielen dank no entiendo arkadaş what this could mean

Then laugh at myself too loudly because my voice echoes his projects
As his moustache wiggles while my tea swirls timidly in the glass
When he says unmistakably, “Friend, I can see your trouble
In this grand shopping arcade we call the outdoor market
But, we’re all modern here now everyone has a handle
On the ways of the world and its transition status
It really will be no big conversational scandal
If you make it easier for yourself today
When in Rome do as we Romans do
Your task you will accomplish
If you just go with the flow
Accept you don’t know
And say it twice in
Broken English.”

* * *