A haven perhaps

 

Since the season started, the deer have been round often. Do they know? Since the guns started blazing they have been coming here. Perhaps they do know. Often they are in pairs, a mother and a young one. Usually they stay close together. The young ones have been among the first to be born this year, almost fully grown, sensible. This morning the young one was a later birth, one of those unruly kids, leaping and gambolling like a little goat, straying further and further from its mother. They grazed along the bramble hedge then back to the corner beneath the alders where they crossed the stream. I thought they’d gone, but Bambi popped up again, by the willows, mother following.

An hour later, they were still there. I took Finbar out for a pee. He didn’t notice them; they didn’t notice us. Mother ambled beneath the alders and crossed the stream at the place where I go to pass the time of day with the frogs who sit in a patch of sun on the bank. Ten minutes later, Bambi frisked out of the ditch beneath one of the willows. Looked about for ma. Frisked up towards the house, looking around all the time for mother. Then he ran. Bounded. But not in fright, not to run from anything, with the simple joie de vivre that I recognised from watching Finbar do the same. He ran almost a hundred yards along the stream then ran all the way back again. He ran, skipping and leaping in deer-twists back and forth, with no other thought than amusement. Same long legs, same careless leaping through brambles and over obstacles, but lighter than a big racing dog, less powerful but with more grace.

Back and forth, skip, jump, brisk shake of the head. Ears prick. Ma? I imagined his mother, sighing to herself at the other side of the stream, maybe settled down to wait. No calling, quiet. Eventually he trotted over to the track that goes over the stream by the frogs’ place. I saw the white scut in the shade as he sauntered back to his mother. Perhaps to get a clip around the ear.

 

Carless joy beneath

a milky sky—wild children

chasing

They wouldn’t believe us

My feelings about the First World War were shaped not by stories handed down about grandfathers or grand uncles because the dead were dead and those who came back never wanted to talk about it, or by reading the war poets at school, but from seeing a performance of Oh! What A Lovely War when I was about fourteen. It broke my heart, and still does.

The opinion now seems to be that the commemoration of the Armistice should be to celebrate a race of heroes. We honour the sacrifice of a generation. The idea of the senseless tragedy, conniving national leaders, and incompetent generals, brilliantly put across in the play then the film of Oh! What a Lovely War, seems to have rather gone out of fashion.

This is the final sequence from it. If you don’t cry there’s something wrong with you.

Poetry challenge Take a favourite line: the entries

Loads of great poems this week, inspired by songs, poems and plays. Some of them could be set to music in their own right.

First one in was from Peter Bouchier. A poem I already knew, inspired by one of the first poems to grip my imagination as a child. Well worth reading again.

https://peterbouchier.wordpress.com/english-essays-and-poems-2/english-essays-and-poems/c-fever/

 

Kim from North Norfolk sent this one in her usual effortless style

Songs Are Like Tattoos – writing in north norfolk

 

Then Kat Myrman. Thanks for reminding me of this poem by Frost. It’s one of my favourites of his. Made me investigate the form he used. I’d never realised until recently that these rhyming patterns have names 🙂

https://kmmyrman.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/into-the-woods/

 

Doug the Elusive Trope sent in this one, all tangled brambles and lost directions inspired by Tom Stoppard

We’re Entitled to Some Direction…I Would Have Thought. | Elusive Trope

 

This one from the Crow, ripples within ripples. An allusion to Walt Whitman.

Poem 20160121 – Caw!

 

Kerfe’s take on Wallace Stevens, and a beautiful elegy.

https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/thirteen-ways-of-looking/

 

Angels from Carol, and a happy death wish 🙂

Angel’s Hands~Quatrain – WritersDream9

 

Two poems this week were inspired by the same speech from Macbeth. Maybe not surprising given that these few lines have given us so much food for thought over the last few hundred years. First one was from Ken.

No Brief Candle | rivrvlogr

No Brief Candle

Burn slowly the candle of life
Whether through good fortune or strife
For at times, time seems all we have
Make best use of its healing salve

Squander not the value of time
Consider it a gift sublime
Use it wisely in every way
No petty pace from day to day

Be not fain to see the morrow
Life’s more than a walking shadow
These times, when need for haste is rife
Make not a brief candle of life.

 

Ali sent in this one after a song I didn’t know, but then I lost touch with contemporary music when I was about twenty. Imagine Dragons—Demons

It’s Where My Demons Hide

There’s a darkness deep inside
It’s a shell, the debris of me
It’s where my demons hide.

Their slick hands squeeze and I slide
under. It’s not where I want to be.
There’s a darkness deep inside

Which rots and will not be denied.
I tear at skin rice paper thin to be free
It’s where my demons hide

I let them in. Stubborn foolish pride.
I thought I was strong but I couldn’t foresee
There’s a darkness deep inside.

I am a survivor. I am Death’s Bride,
a shifter doomed to infinity.
There’s a darkness deep inside.

In the dying of the light
I come to life, reborn banshee.
There’s a darkness deep inside
It’s where my demons hide.

 

Merril’s musing on that tale told by an idiot. Unexpected and clever direction in the last section.

She Speaks | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

 

A thoughtful triolet from Janice inspired by Bob Seger.

Running against the wind–Jane Dougherty Poetry Challenge #14 – Ontheland

 

Sacha Black finally took the plunge and shared a poem! Big round of applause, please. The line is taken from Pink’s Glitter in the air.

 

Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, “I just don’t care?”

Its twisting branches

All spine like and full of poison

Stir the carcass of my emotion

Making it swim in a river of lucid fear

I’m drowning

I’m sinking

I’m dying

Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, “I just don’t care?”

Death’s rattle grips my sinewy muscles

Trapping me in a blackened tunnel

I see no end

I see no light

I see no hope

Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, “I just don’t care?”

In the infinite moment of a pause

A diamond sparkles

Choice floats passed like a shining knight

I’m tempted

I’m enticed

I decide

Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, “I just don’t care?”

My newborn arm

With Bambi’s grace

Stretches

And Pulls

And strokes

Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, “I just don’t care?”

The silky smooth waters

Finally glide past

As one hand passes another after another after another.

Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, “I just don’t care?”

I have.

I have.

I have.

 

Another first timer next—Sri Sudha K with a stately death march of a poem.

https://srisudhak.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/like-a-pearl-on-a-string/

 

 

Last in was Geoff with this one that I read over a few times hoping it would get more hopeful. It doesn’t. Great poem, Geoff, got under my skin.

The Living Years (Mike and the Mechanics)

Don’t you regret
The words unsaid?
I’d rather forget.
I’d rather be dead.
Words so cheap
They hurt with ease;
Make flesh creep
Heart-eating disease.
When you’re gone
And only then
Am I your son?
Am I a man?
Untimely death
Acidic tears
Why waste your breath
In those living years?

 

Thanks so much all of you for participating and reading. Every week there are poems that stick in my mind and I feel proud to have helped urge them into the open. There’ll be a new theme tomorrow. See you then 🙂