Having faith

For dverse, another excuse to listen to the new Abba songs.

They said they were stuck in a groove
predictable, kitsch,

those times were past,
like youth, a place of memories.

They said they’d never have it in them,
but they showed us we remain

the children we once were,
and our music never dies

Summer in autumn

Hearing an owl at midday,
cocks crowing and crows murdering
the distant treetop blue;

the day is heavy
and throbs
with a strange cracked heat,

lizards and wilting plants,
butterfly-flit
and the whine of insects

I would sleep but for the noise in my head,
the cats drifting in and out
and the world spinning.

When a dog barks we wince,
the sharp sounds painful,
too keen.

A leaf falls,
a crumpled, dried up letter
from the summer.

Listening

Big Abba fan and so pleased that their come-back songs are so good;

Outside the owls are crooning
and the night is flowing
through the silent trees.

Inside the cats are sleeping
and the night is growing
with the southern breeze.

And I am watching stars grow
in the dusky dark,
listening to owls call
and the foxes bark.

Perhaps I would have changed things,
if I’d had the choice;
instead I hear my youth pass
in that strong sweet voice.

Wind and the stars

I went over the same set of words three times this morning and got three cadralore. This is the third one. Time to stop asking.

1.
The wind rose and blew away love.
Perhaps I was lazy,
hearing music
where only the night howled.

2.
Do you dream or sleep too deep for fantasies?
I walk forests and hear the leaves
crisp and dry underfoot.
Night and day.

3.
More roses hang on the bushes
than the sun will ever ripen.
Too late now, the swallows have gone,
and we’re all for the dark.

4.
Once, we thought we could stop the moon,
bring her close and hear her song.
We watch the sea now,
and how the waves creep ever higher.

5.
The juice of summer has gone,
but we are still. Leaves fall, stars,
but who’s to say there’s truth in dead rocks
and none in dreams?

September

Track rises
between small fields where grass grows
splashed with colour

Hot and dull the fields, full of origano and dense with trees in the folds where streams run. A patchwork of cultivation and places never worked at all. Birds pipe and the silvery sound of running water, deep and green despite the drought. There was a storm in the night, brief and noisy, half-filled the water butts and freshened up the frogs

greenfinch pipes
a complaint for the lost year
the empty nest

a lament for the cooling nights, the days shortening, this year’s young raised, and who knows if there will be a next year?
At the end of this lane there are only a cart tracks crossing country, meandering along the edges of fields, following the contours of the hills. Winding and empty, and I wonder how long it can last.

Vent d’autan
in the maïs—parchment
rattling wordless songs.

How the dark

How the dark comes softly softly
and the deep sky
is a well without end

and when the wind drops
and the trees fall silent
the fluted concerto of owl voices.

Listen
their feathered voices tremble
on the edge of sight

and where we tread
shrew-quiet in the dewy grass
silver.

Sky

Photo©Shahbazsaeed38

Sky

too many nuances of blue
to dip in my finger and brush a dusking
no water this thickening air
no talent can reproduce such depth.

I watch the deepening
until the starry planets
add their voices to the silent song

and here
among the dark and damp grass stalks
the night begins.

In the kitchen

In the kitchen

In the kitchen, music fills the room
from wall to wall.
Outside dusk deepens;
first owls call.

From wall to wall,
echoes of a farewell, back and forth,
until each shining spoon
is full of sadness.

Outside the dusk deepens,
and silence settles like a pall,
a coat of dust, mouse-patterned,
while fox questions from beneath the hedge,

first owls call,
and in the kitchen the music plays
to an empty room,
and I put away the shining spoons.

Sweet child of mine

I had thought this would occupy me most of this evening, but it has taken roughly ten minutes. For dverse.

Sweet child of mine

The light is dying in the west
Time I love best
That I love best
Daylight is dying in the west.

The swallows gather on the line
Oh child of mine
Sweet child of mine
Bright swallows gather on the line.

Like them you’ll spread your wings and fly
Remember why
Remember why
I taught your childish wings to fly.

This home will keep your laughter bright
I’ll hold it tight
Lamp in the night
Your home will ring with laughter bright

Though light is dying in the west
While swallows gather on the line
And you will spread your wings and fly
Here’s still your home, sweet child of mine.

Cat-elegy

Raymond, you wandered in one day off the street, jumped through an open window, curled into the arms of the chair and went to sleep. From that moment, you ordered the lives of seven people, turning the house into a maze of cat-proof doors, furniture armoured against claws or pushed against the walls, out of the way of your wild rampages. You reduced children’s toys to shreds, raided the fridge, stole a whole chicken once.
Then, exactly one year to the day you sauntered in and took possession, you took your stripy, confident cat-self to pastures new. C’était un vagabond, said the neighbour. C’était un sacré bagarreur, said the carpenter, who would watch, from his workshop, your one-cat defence of the vacant lot against all comers. You were vagabond and street-fighter, our beautiful stripy cat, and we still miss you.
City sky
grey as pigeons and empty
as your chair.