Some mornings, when the light
is full of the furred and flashing
pounding of shells, shrapnel bright
and biting, bitter bile rises
like cockcrow from beyond the trees,
stirring the shards, pecking
and scratching with spurred feet.
Some mornings I close my eyes,
try to stop the dizzying, disjointed
fireworks dance, the techno beating
silence and, fumbling with trembling
fingers, hang above the roaring flood
that pours over the edge of the night.
Today I chose the painting by Terry Chipp Restless as inspiration for day 26 of Paul Brookes’ challenge. It reminds me very much of images of Italian partisans in World War II.
They are never still, the young ones
who pierce the mists of obfuscation,
the cynics and doubters who believe in the stars
but doubt the reality of golf balls
and the great never-never.
They make a noise, the young ones,
when they let the words pour out,
the joie de vivre, soaking in music
and good-time drugs,
but they never lose the north.
They will be there, the young ones
who see the truth, the stars,
who have the dreams,
when the jackboots drum and the batons fall,
defending you, me and a noble idea.
I would have been like them,
I think, once,
The sun shines in bland bands
of bleak light, weak-warm
and the yellow lost its heart.
It falls flat and famished
across the wintry green,
and I look to the hollows in the hedge
for rags of the soft night.
Today’s poem for Paul Brookes’ challenge is inspired by this painting, They’re supposed to be my dreams by Marcel Herms.
This is what you get, says the Sandman,
teeth and hands red and running,
this is what you get because there’s nothing else.
I shake my head until it almost drops off,
limp as a frost-bitten rose bud,
and the ocean stretches deep and blue and glittering.
The bringer of nightmares turns
away, and the world goes black
as a Sandman’s cloak, but in the dark
the waves still gleam
with the dancing of dolphins
and the golden sheen of apples,
and I smile
because he doesn’t know
that there are dreams too.
A Pleiade poem for dverse. The painting is Night by Burne-Jones.
Night falls soft as tree feathers,
Naming Erebus in their
North wind voices, silver spun,
Numbing Hypnos lulls this hoard
Nurtured in sleep for earth-dark
Nyx with her basket of stars.
I was too busy to ponder this month’s Visual Verse prompt. Just looked at it now and this one popped out instantly. Life’s like that.
to get rid of the smut?
bright as planets
swaying among the effortless wings
For Paul Brookes’ challenge, the prompt is They say that about the meek by Marcel Herms.
Ask no questions, hear no lies.
No rest for the wicked, they say,
the devil makes work for idle hands
and takes the hindmost,
but God helps those who help themselves.
Let me have men about me that are fat.
And we, the meek and mild,
the children and their mothers,
the poor and the dispossessed,
the widow who handed over her mite,
we who wait on the side lines for
those promised crumbs from the rich man’s table?
You have a lean and hungry look.
Blessed are those, they reply,
who turn the other cheek,
so as not to see the blow fall
at the other side of the street.
The earth teems with the meek
with no voice, the four-footed,
the winged; all creep into the abyss
made for them by the fat and sleek.
For the dverse prompt.
The night sky is always there though often veiled with cloud or rain, sometimes oranged with glare, sometimes floodlit by full-sailed moon, but the nights of no cloud, no rain, no moon, away from the orange stain that seeps skyward from the unsleeping town, are the nights to be swept into the net of the universe.
Soaring, we reach out to the million million blinking lights of the starcrusted sky, Milky Way spilt and pale, and the great fiery beacons that hold our spellbound gaze, until we see nothing but layers of light, hear nothing but leaves falling.
sky so high
and hung with lights and the dark
The painting for Paul Brookes’ challenge I have chosen is Ponton de pêche by Terry Chipp.
They wade out from the river bank,
picturesque cabanes, gaily painted,
unheated dens, their little boys’ forts
with drawbridge against invaders and
private notices stuck on the track.
They perch above the floodwaters,
fisher kings of the water,
trawling the mud for catfish
and other bottom feeders.
Sheds on stilts, worth more
than city centre stone
to those who would be gods,
the river at their feet.
these days of late autumn
the moon never leaves the sky
not even the blinding blue
crisp with cold and sun-swollen
holds back her voyage