Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Erasmus - in Anderlecht

Born in Rotterdam, Geert by name
As Erasmus he would garner fame
Illegitimate - sad and lonely start
Orphaned young, plague paid a part.

He travelled early – no fixed home
Crowning achievement – Bible tome
To Charles V he counsel gave:
How should a Christian Prince behave?

He stayed five months in Anderlecht*
An idyll he did not forget
With Pieter Wijchmans, friend and priest
It inspired his work: “The Godly Feast”.

Friend of John Colet and Thomas More
He cautioned prudence – why wage war?
A Pacifist, with love of learning
Often to Ancient Greek texts turning.

The Age of printing served him well
His Proverbs, oft revised, would sell
All round Europe; his fame spread
His books, translated, keenly read.

By Kings and Emperors much admired
His thoughts on leadership – inspired!
Martin Luther era and Reformation:
His Praise of Folly dissertation.

True Humanist, well versed and wise
He has relevance to modern eyes
“Nulli concedo” was his creed
A man of substance – rare indeed!

* in 1521

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Long Life is not a Given!

All human life hangs by a thread
Inattention - and we wind up dead:
A fall on snow down a ravine
Crossing the road at night – unseen.

Caught in cross-fire – civil war
Loose rafter on an attic floor
A sudden squall sinks pleasure boat
Fierce lion at a hunter's throat!

Chance victim of a hit-and-run
Faced with the barrel of a gun
Death wish pilot – news sensation
Tsunami–damaged power station.

Nature toys with human kind
Lightning strikes mean coffins lined;
We enjoy a long life if we can
Yet Man's worst enemy is Man ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Panic Stations - really?

The school rush starts again next week
So parents panic as I speak
Last minute books and pens to buy
It's rat-race time for our small fry!

But hey, we need a pool of calm
Why must we rush? Where's the alarm?
The skies are clear - it's August still
The wealth of nature is a thrill.

Berries burgeon in profusion
Glowing plums in ripe collusion
The evenings light, are warm enough
Yet we drown in senseless “stuff”.

The Season's on the turn, it's true
But we can also start anew
Become objective, live with less
And rationalize this futile stress!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Friday, 28 August 2015

The Broken Wrist!

Forewarned is forearmed they say
Friday the 13th - a bad day
I caught my foot in errant cable
Lost my balance; was unable
To catch onto the table’s edge
Thereby breaking off a wedge
Of right-hand wrist, the one I use
To pen my poems and amuse
My beloved audience; Not fun
In terms of limbs I was struck dumb!

“Exquisite pain” my best friend said
I felt I’d be much better dead
Distressed and sobbing, off we went
To get my wrist repaired, un-bent
But Friday evening sees commuters
Blocking crossroads, honking scooters.
Our gallant driver stressed as well
Looked like a Stirling Moss from hell!
A morphine jab, and on the table
A three-pin job for straggling cable.

And have you thought how hard it is
To open tins, or cans of fizz
To put on bra or clean your teeth
Or dress oneself right – underneath?
Writing is beyond one’s means
And washing up – the stuff of dreams.
But on the bright side – there’s now time
To contemplate and that is fine.
I’m now convinced God thought it through
And decided one arm wouldn’t do!

Written in 2002

Poet in the woods 2015

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Going off Track?

You avoid the car and take the train
As roads are dodgy in the rain
But now we hear all is not well
With guns aboard, it's merry Hell.

Safety, sadly has been lax
Life-threatening on transborder tracks
With porous crossings, Schengen seems
The harbinger of nightmare scenes.

Checks and red tape, an armed guard?
Such uncertainty is hard
To gauge – white knuckle time
Quick-thinking those Marines – sublime!

Surveillance cameras everywhere
Personal freedom now is rare
Behind locked doors we'll sit and quake
Why is this world so choked with hate?

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

21st August - Thalys Train terrorist attack

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Crash of China!

Though China may be far away
It's top billing on the news today
Its stock exchange has fallen through
What can we poor investors do?

Today the whole world breathes as one;
Interconnectivity can be fun
As news spreads swiftly down the wire
But the consequences can be dire.

Shareholders quake in their smart shoes
The stakes are high – they stand to lose
Vast returns and that's the trouble
Is this another “South Sea Bubble”?

The 1980s are no more
“Get rich quick” schemes hit the floor
Our shares lose value by the hour
It seems computers now devour -

Our pension funds; the outlook's bleak
Emerging nations now retreat
Shades of Wall Street – Twenty-Nine...
What solutions will be found – this time?

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Monday, 24 August 2015

Thomas - at 19 Months Old

Time passes and wee Thomas grows
Curious – he keeps us on our toes
He's reached the stage of “touch and feel”
He wanders off – won't “come to heel”.

His plastic toy box overflows
Bright-coloured bricks, bright-coloured clothes
His learning curve is very steep
A toddler now - he's found his feet.

He clambers up from chair to table
Tugs and holds on fast; is able
To see the world from a new height
Wide horizons hove in sight.

His cheeky grin comes from the heart
Though not yet two, his brain is sharp
His thirst for knowledge picks up pace
More puzzle pieces fall in place!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015