Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Grexit?

What “Common Market”, you may say
This post-war dream has gone astray
Though “Pax Romana” is maintained
In financial terms, we're strained.

The Euro seems a good idea
Exchange rates are so yesteryear
With porous borders, we migrate
To find work in another State.

New legislation Europe-wide
Sovereignty is pushed aside
The Brits, as always, not best pleased
Payback options always seized.

The Benelux, small and compact
Remains determinedly on track
Its heart in Brussels still beats strong;
Now Spain and Greece have joined the throng.

In dribs and drabs more countries join
Most accept the Euro coin
The currency that made us “one”
Brings with it problems – we're undone.

Debts mount up; can't be re-paid
Many Southern countries I'm afraid
Have bitten off what they can't chew
Now Grexit threatens – what's to do?

(c) Poet in the woods 2015



Sunday, 5 July 2015

A Sultry Weekend

The city’s empty – roads are clear
The parking’s free - what do I care?
As my friends have headed out of town
Replaced by tourists milling round.

The sky looks threatening – will it rain?
Scattering blossoms down the drain
And make the granite cobbles shine
As we run for shelter one more time?

Although the offices are shut
The restaurants will make their cut
As many quit those cultural paths
For a meal or drink in nearby bars.

The country sells its glorious past
Its works of art leave one aghast
Its villages picturesque and neat
Have surprising views in every street.

But as I gaze at leaden skies
I think of the Belgian compromise
We promote our history with great flair
We’ve more than most – now is that fair?

There's really so much you can do
Museums to visit, kayaks to crew
It’s almost an earthly paradise
Sun and heat make life here nice!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Place St. Géry - Brussels

The birth of Brussels, so we're told
Where pilgrims flocked to see
An ancient hermit spread the word
Of Christianity.

Once run-down slum, now lively spot
St. Gery comes alive,
The Senne’s old isle, no grassy plot
Where night life seems to thrive.

I sweltered in the heat last night
I thought it was Madrid
The crowded cafés bathed in light
Served beer and frites and squid.

A fortress rose to fill the space
Built by Charles of France
Till a church brought God back to this place
Its survival left to chance.

With the Revolution down it came
And a fountain caused delight
Encased soon in a wrought iron frame
Now - an exhibition site.

A melting pot of melting folk
In unaccustomed heat
I’d give my right arm for a Coke
But cannot find a seat.

I dare say Belgians love this spot
But so do the Ex-Pats
Brussels buzzes when it’s hot
We all want to relax!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Hot Sales!

Good news at last – we reach July;
A burning sun means we might fry
Even in these Northern reaches
It's time to head for sandy beaches.

Thirsty plants must be protected
Summer hats and creams selected
The sun - our enemy and friend
Skin cancer is a growing trend...

The summer sales now tempt us out
Some smashing bargains, I've no doubt
In air-conditioned malls, it's true
Pity I've other things to do!

Why all this rush in burning heat
To queue in sticky, down town street?
The sky today's a peerless blue
How long before clouds block our view?

(c) Poet in the woods 2015


Monday, 29 June 2015

The Pedestrianization of Brussels!

What would Brussels be without its quirks?
And yet, in its strange way, it works
Though road drills clog the city streets;
Who thinks the traffic jam retreats

In July and August in the sun?
That's when resurfacing is done!
Warm days bring out those traffic cones
And the harassed driver moans!

This year, however, a surprise
Down town is pedestrianized!
As the Stock Exchange to De Brouckère
Ceases to be a thoroughfare...

Unsuspecting drivers pulled up short
With a heatwave looming, they are fraught
How can they go from A to B?
A one-hour journey now takes three!

The plan, on paper, seemed a wheeze
Who dreams up ideas like these?
For tourists keen to take a stroll
It's a plus, they're on a roll.

But how can businesses now cope
With deliveries - pray and hope?
For eight months there'll be no reprieve;
No bus fumes either - we can breathe!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015


In the European District

Square de Meeûs in the sun
By office workers overrun
Statesmen, carved in stone, stare blind
Who can call their names to mind?

Sprawled on the grass in ones and twos,
Lunch time chatter, sandwich queues
Colourful workforce on display
While buses pass by either way...

Commission buildings, glass and steel;
And a 1930s high rise feel,
Private mansions – bureaux all
Luxembourg station – entrance hall

To mammoth complexes which spread
Along the Maelbeek river bed
Once site of paper mills and beer
Local farms and fields lay here.

But the Parliament has changed all that
Now hive of work for Eurocrat
The elegance of yesteryear
Is a fading memory, I fear!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015


Saturday, 27 June 2015

Terror in Tunisia!

Shock! Horror! on Tunisian Beach
Lone marksman, lightly clad
His weapon hidden, within reach
Tourism now gone bad!

Innocents with pallid hue
Despite the summer rays
Lie out on sunbeds, as you do
Enjoying halcyon days.

Strong source of income here in Sousse
Hotels with pools await
Then comes a gunman - fast and loose
Many Britons meet their fate.

A mad rush from the strand ensues
Scattered tourists hide nearby
Horrific scenes for camera crews
The dead in scuffed-up sand now lie...

Once paradise, now real-life hell
Disruption, panic – exodus
What prompts this mindset? Who can tell ...
It's them today; tomorrow – us?

(c) Poet in the woods 2015