With hand held tight

A folly poem for the dverse prompt.


She took his hand and led him to
the balustrade of palest stone,
as smooth as pebbles ground by tides,
cradled by the waves and rolled
in sand, the dust of stolen pearls.

He took her hand and followed where
the waves crashed on the cliff below,
and stars shone cold and bright above.
She took his hand and held it tight,
as folly danced among the waves.

Her hand held tight above the din
of breakers on the cliff below,
he whispered words that neither heard;
though starlight crowded all about,
they leapt for all was black despair.


I hope you don’t mind me turning this into a propaganda post, but today I published my first collection of poetry, a chapbook thicker than water and I am so pleased with myself! I won’t leave mercantile links here, but you can get them from this blog post.

31qss6GcakL._SX355_BO1,204,203,200_

The leaves upon the water

A ballad for the dverse prompt.

Dead leaves fall on the pool beneath the willows,
Red gold just like the colour of your hair,
As it lay against the linen of the pillows,
While the wind blows through the branches stripped and bare.

The wind blows through the branches sighing sadly,
A song of summer past, the swallows flown,
Of storm and gale and sea swell crashing madly,
And those who left, while I sit here alone.

I sat and watched the leaves drift on the water,
Too happy to see how some men deceive,
When I was full of pride in our first daughter,
And you were thinking of a way to leave.

You left, before the budding of the sallows,
The fever struck when came the winter cold,
The fever took the child too at all Hallows,
And I am left with naught but to grow old.

By the apple tree

Another apple ballad, this one written with a particular tune in mind. I wonder if anyone hears it?

 

I met my love by the apple tree,

We sat and talked of the life we planned,

The little house on a piece of land,

By the apple tree,

By the apple tree.

 

I gave my love all the love he asked,

His words were soft as the summer rain,

His lips so sweet we forgot the pain,

It was love he asked,

It was love he asked.

 

We knew our plans were the stuff of dreams,

No land, no house would we ever see,

Brief stolen joys, for such as we,

Are the stuff of dreams,

Are the stuff of dreams.

 

I gave my love by the apple tree,

Though I knew he would have to leave,

The men they go, and the women grieve,

By the apple tree,

By the apple tree.

 

 

 

I gave my love an apple

A ballad for the dverse prompt.

 

Beneath the trees, we used to walk

From blossom time to red gold fall;

Beneath the trees we used to talk

And listen to the wild geese call.

 

You’d give to me a posy made

Of honeysuckle, roses sweet;

We’d sit in summer’s dappled glade

And little thought time passed so fleet.

 

At autumn’s gold you picked for me

Blackberries dark, redcurrants tart,

And said beneath the apple tree,

The time had come for us to part.

 

I plucked an apple ate the white

And fragrant fruit, said in reply,

Leave if you must, take ship tonight,

My love I’ll keep, until I die.

 

I plucked an apple from the tree,

Gold as the sun, I kept it till

Another came to sit with me.

He brought his love; it’s with me still.

A heart lost at sea

Painting ©Voyen Koreis

Seascape-600.jpg

The Sea King’s daughter let him go,

In magic sleep could not resist

Her father’s men, who carried her

Where kelp and deep sea currents flow.

 

I watched them from the cliff top high,

My love go hunting while Clíodhna

Slept in a sleep by magic cast.

He never guessed; no more did I.

 

Ciabhán returned and when he found

Clíodhna gone and where she’d lain

The sand as smooth as was her cheek,

He raged for fear his love had drowned.

 

I took his arm—he had my heart—

And tried to tell him she was gone,

That fairy folk can never love

A mortal; they are doomed to part.

 

He flung himself into the wave,

Not once but nine times cast ashore.

His brothers begged me call him back,

As if my love his life could save.

 

But who can summon love in one

Whose heart is drowned beneath the sea?

The Sea King’s realm is where he’d be,

And I’m forgot; our time is done.

 

There was no way

I’ve written it, so I’ll post it. A lai (last one maybe) for the dverse collection.

 

There must be a way

To get you to stay;

You planned

On blue sky not grey.

I won’t let you stray,

My hand

Holds you here. Winds play,

Wild, in a ballet

Of sand.

 

Above the gulls’ screams,

Cloud-clash and rain-streams

I heard

Storm break. No sunbeams

Light the day; it seems

Absurd

To sail, but your dreams

Make you, in your schemes,

A bird.

 

Come back, hold me tight,

This cannot be right;

It’s wrong!

No land bird takes flight

In a storm and night

So long.

Wait at least for light,

Glass-green waves curl white

And strong.

 

You left as dawn broke,

Scarce a word you spoke,

A tear

In your eye. I choke

On goodbye; you joke,

Don’t fear.

Sky wears a black cloak,

A harbinger’s croak

I hear.

 

On the night lake

Another of Paul Militaru’s photos with the lovely title of Night and snow over birds prompted this poem. Thank you, Paul!

night-and-snow-over-birds

On the night lake, grey gulls glide,

While snow falls thick upon the ride,

Where foxes pad and pheasants hide.

In summer waters small boats plied

Across the lake so smooth so wide,

Where mallards swim and grey gulls glide,

And many came here, sat and sighed

For lovers lost, for lovers died.

While snow falls thick upon the ride,

As cold as tears I’ve shed and dried,

Like stone I sit in lonely pride,

Among the gulls that drift and glide,

And wait for turning time and tide.

 

It was early in the morning II

The quadrille I just wrote for the dverse prompt was probably too short for the story, so this is the whole thing in ballad form.

 

It was early in the morning,

And the mist lay on the grass,

When I walked down to the willows,

Thinking how the time will pass,

As quickly as the sun dries

The cool tears of the moon,

If ever we must part, love,

It will always be too soon.

 

It was early in the morning,

And the mist lay on the ground,

I woke to find you leaving,

You had packed without a sound,

I caught your arm to keep you,

But you shook my hand away,

And your ship sailed on the ebb tide,

For no words could make you stay.

 

In the light of early morning,

And the fading of the day,

I watch from on the cliff top

For a sail out in the bay,

But the sea that took you from me

Is as silent as the grave,

Where you lie with none to mourn you,

Neath the cold Atlantic wave.

Roses

This is a poem inspired by the prompt for Day Four of NaPoWriMo. I’m not certain it fits exactly, but it’s what the prompt brought up. That’s poetry, I suppose.

The photograph ©Poudou is of the Chemin des Dames close to where I used to live in the Aisne.

1024px-Chemin_des_Dames_-_IMG_3121

The dawn breaks coloured blood,

and the roses are in bud,

the roses are in bud.

 

They say it will be hell,

still rosebuds begin to swell,

rosebuds begin to swell.

 

Though death sweeps through this room,

the roses are in bloom,

the roses are in bloom.

 

A country’s churned to mud,

but the roses are in bud,

the roses are in bud.