Thursday, 29 January 2015

Here and hereafter.

Grief; the silence in the hen coop
when the fox has sneaked away,
Unless you believe in purgatory
why would you kneel and pray
For the dead body facing eternal life,
facing eternal death,
No one we knew ever came back
to tell us either way.
A commoner's oath is as good as a bishop's,
if a swear has meaning at all,
In church the congregation cough
and contemplate saints on the wall,
What else would they do when priests never work
and idle their lives away?
That’s why a conscience is singular,
that’s why we fumble and fall.
Wisdom and truth are not popular,
an ancient lie; a lie still remains,
If you die with your arse pocket full of sins,
nobody ever complains,
Except the forgiveness seller
with no money back guarantee
There is plenty of play; none of it fair,
still the doubt remains.
Do we face our maker, father or mother,
in limbo’s gravelled yards?
Are we face to face like a knave and queen
in every deck of cards?
Are we tossed in a bed of phantoms
like eels in a canvas bag?
Will a searchlight pierce the heart,
rending the soul to shards?
A cacophonous jay from a churchyard yew
is to be our matins song
No word of hell in the bible,
never the mention of wrong.
Only the ten commandments of man
to rule the unruly mob,
If you’re amused with the topical air,
why not chorus along?
The borrowed horse ploughs poorly,
Lean; the pigs in the neighbour’s pen,
The devil stars in the nativity play,
making faces at the three wise men,
Only successful prophets are remembered;
Nostradamus, Old Moore too,
The world is bedecked in fools’ gold,
the smallest lie is divided again.
Consider the state of the mind,
lifting the latch of death’s door,
Dreading the vista on the other side
losing sight of the moment before,
Death is nature’s way of telling us,
the time is nigh; slow down,
Are we “Crossing the Bar” like Tennyson;
is there really another shore?
When you’re amused and content with your dreams,
why would you stay awake?
Folly can be dealt from the hand of wisdom,
but do not wisdom forsake.
Only blacksmiths and demons, if demons exist,
know the secrets of fire,
What does it matter if you pass in your sleep
or are burnt alive at the stake?

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Newcastle Woods.

Newcastle wood in silent sleep.
Safe as secrets, buried deep,
Where bones and branches lie below
And only weeping willows weep.
Ash and holly, great oaks grow,
Beech on high, brush below.
Mottled hoof prints, fallow deer,
Squirrels reap what breezes blow.
My collie partner knows no fear
We wander pathways far and near.
Male blackbird of the yellow bill
Tenor to the untrained ear.
And I have stressed it in my will
To lie down there at Harmon’s Hill,
Jim Dillon’s ghost is watching, still,
Jim Dillon’s ghost is watching still.

(In the style of Robert Frost, the greatest man poet of America.)

The Hermit

He lives in the house of the cats on the hill
he knows the despair of a floundering flock,
A squatter, no mortgage, no conscience, no bill,
the slow hand of God, just the hand of a clock.
Choked in a harness of celibate white,
cloud patterns painted on canvas of sky,
Sings muffled psalms in the dead of the night,
Life on the ground still passing him by.
Still bullies and beckons and tiptoes around,
Cossetted child of sterile and flat,
Never dug the soil of the peoples own ground
yet still he lives off the fat.
All men of power are ruined, by failure to see
the vampire of wealth sucking money,
Yet each man must risk the sting of the bee
to savour the flavour of honey.
No road is leading from him to the people
who shod his horse and loaded his cart,
Knows only the lofty, the shelter of steeple,
Hard kernel of chestnut; his heart.
Are his cares of this world, his shadow a shrine?
Is concern overflowing his cup?
Is his song of decline as yours is and mine?
In a collar that never turns up.