Monday, 29 September 2014

Star Wedding in Venice

At 53 our darling George
Whose looks are known world wide
Has decided a firm bond to forge
And made Amal his bride.

Twice Oscar winner, winning smile
His hair a silver grey
He takes his vows in splendid style
One would think the Doge held sway!

The lawyer and the actor make
A photogenic pair
But their happiness is now at stake
Out of the camera's glare!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Wedding date: 29th September, 2014 in Venice

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Isaac Arrives!

Thoughts of the Bible spring to mind
Elijah the Judge, both bold and kind
Learns God has a heart of gold
As he welcomes to the family fold

His brother new – a dark-haired babe
Who has put him gently in the shade.
Born the 27th of September
A date he's too small to remember,

The new lad, Isaac Benjamin,
The joy of Sheena and of Tim
Is welcomed in the family clan;
Already I am a big fan!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Isaac - aged 1

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Explaining the Unexplainable

I suppose, he said, you can explain
How you write, and make it plain
How you put your thoughts in words;
Is it an image that occurs?

Or perhaps an expression you have heard
An atmosphere that now has stirred
The deepest pool within your soul?
Tell me, I'd so like to know.

The poet sat awhile and thought;
It isn't something that you're taught
More a compulsion - you must write
Words appear and settle tight

In phrases long and short - plus clauses
Often with dramatic pauses;
An idea burgeons on the page
Who knows what prompts it at this stage?

But the brain untangles all the clues
Syllables scan – that is good news
I cannot tell you how it's done;
Eureka – here's another one!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Harpist

In a leafy glade in the Royal Park
Appeared the lady with her harp;
Encased quite neatly in dark cape,
I wondered what sounds it would make.

She held it close as they came along
The day was cool but the sun still shone
Up the bandstand steps she brought
Her modern lyre; checked wires were taut.

We were called upon from different spheres
To pour balm onto troubled ears
In performance she began to strum
Hauntingly the slow notes come.

I'd never thought that I would read
My poems at this lilting speed
But together we were in accord;
My words came off the page and soared.

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

For A "Relay for Life" event

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Autumn in our Sights

Magritte sky - autumnal rays
What spectacular displays
As leaves begin to crisp and turn
Sun-scorched they crinkle up and burn.

Each day the sunlight becomes less
The wind gets up, engenders stress
Boughs creak and falter; it's a fight
Not all leaves can hold on tight.

Flocks of birds are on the wing
They sense the change, a built-in spring
Compelled by nature to depart
South to Africa's warm heart.

Humans have to bear the brunt
Of cooler autumn; roams the hunt
In dappled forests – so beware
Death and Beauty make a pair!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Monday, 22 September 2014

On Writing "A Turn in the Road"

I had no idea when this all began
And I found myself without my man,
Who left me feeling sad, alone
As Cancer claimed him for its own -

That nearly ten years down the track
Full knowing he would not come back
I would launch a tribute all in rhyme
To this dear human being – mine.

This journal of bereavement verse
A kind of therapy at first
Seemed to reach out and touch souls
Whose hearts were scorched by Death's harsh coals.

A searing, burning, crushing pain
Altered me – no more the same;
But transmuted as the years went by
Into a dull ache; I got by.

Now these memories take flight
And all around me burns new light
While many walk where I once strode
And come to «A Turn in the Road».

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

My book launch at "Waterstones":10th October, 2014

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Car-free Sunday in Brussels

Sultry September – well, I never
No need for jackets – Godsend weather
A cloudburst might just cool the air
But it's so humid – I don't care!

The «braderies» are in full swing
Vintage clothes on long racks swing
There are books and dishes, children's toys
Food and drink tents, much loud noise.

By the Palace on the esplanade
A lawn appears, unrolled by yard
The sods, if you'll forgive the pun,
Soon lie there, taking in the sun.

A host of stands to serve cool beer
Soon line the streets; it is quite clear
The Authorities are condoning booze
So Car-Free Sunday is good news.

The STIB makes public transport free
But cyclists can a menace be!
For the sober-minded on this day
Many public sites are on display.

There are bands, parades and skate-board fiends
Jostling for road space so it seems
That the traffic is as bad as ever
Will this change habits? Will it ever!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Friday, 19 September 2014

The Scottish Referendum

I awake from slumber – rub my eyes
The radio in the background sighs,
I listen in - I'm half awake
What choice did those in Scotland make?

I focus on the BBC
In pristine tones, the Powers That Be
Analyse this great decision
Our Isles are saved from sharp incision!

This referendum – Wake up call?
Scotland's youth to voting hall
Would they plump for “Yes” or “No”?
Pundits and exit polls don't know.

The Queen, mindful of the Great Debate
Thinks of Balmoral – her Estate …
But it's victory for the status quo
As the Scots, I hear, have voted “No!”

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Held on 18th September, 2014

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Thoughts on Golf

The rolling green
Expanse is seen
A lone man hits on cue;
A first class shot
As like as not
And swiftly followed through.

He stops awhile;
His stance has style
Perhaps he'll light his pipe;
And meditate
Upon the straight
While others come in sight.

Fresh air around;
No other sound
And three more holes to go;
And on the links
He's time to think;
The pleasure's good and slow.

Time passes by
18th is nigh
A pint would go down well;
And golf agree;
What stories they could tell!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Monday, 15 September 2014

In Place de la Monnaie

Five degrees above the average, I am told
I put my head outside – it is not cold
There's a richness in the copper-coloured leaves
The tourists in the centre wear short sleeves.

The sky is sapphire blue, the wind benign
A man lies on a bench, quite close to mine
Oblivious of the movement all around
As if his brain has blocked off every sound.

The Opera House before me exudes peace
Above eight lofty columns, Grecian frieze
The Belgian lion struts before a lyre
No traces now remain of a bad fire

Which ravaged it in 1855
But soon it rose again, sure to survive.
Season tickets can't be had for ready money
It is sold out every season – it's uncanny.

In Eighty-Six a brand new floor was added;
The extension roof now green; with black tiles cladded.
Its role in Belgian history is well known
The Dutch in 1830 were sent home!

Its elegance and style are much remarked
Strange to think that here was lit the spark
That caused the Revolution – made us proud
As our Statehood symbol – it's unbowed!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Saturday, 13 September 2014

The Plans of Mice and Poets ...

I plan my day and write it down
Each task has its allotted time
Calculate my journeys into town;
On paper the agenda's fine.

But interruptions tend to come
From phone calls, visits or email
New challenges can make me run
And many of my targets fail.

A birthday phone call carries on
It's rare we have a time to chat
First minutes, then an hour is gone ...
Letters drop down on the mat.

A neighbour needs a helping hand
A light bulb pips – must be replaced
My mental hour glass loses sand
I fry an egg in nervous haste.

Cripes! Four o'clock – so much remains
I've had no time at all this week
To catch up, so I take great pains
To clear the decks and miss out sleep.

But as the daylight fades away
My agenda seems as long as ever
I shrug; stare at it in dismay
It is beyond my best endeavour!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

* with apologies to Robbie Burns!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Hitting Sixty

It's time to reminisce a while;
You were a cherub, Raphaƫl-style
Chubby, blonde with deep blue eyes
And Mummy's very special prize.

As Big Sis, I watched over you
You picked up fast and followed through
Soon you walked and rode your trike
Later came the Raleigh bike!

I think we got along OK
But the age gap meant we did not play
Together much; your love was bricks
And Thomas the Tank Engine at six.

While I lost myself in reading
You liked sport and go-kart speeding;
So very different you and me
We enjoyed a certain liberty.

Both went abroad – you liked Japan
A world trip - you became a man!
As Europe meant much more to me
Our careers down separate paths would be.

Exotic partners we both chose
So perhaps we're similar – who knows?
Success at sixty, little Bro
With lovely wife and son in tow!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Thursday, 11 September 2014

From Blogger to Published Poet

This feeling of elation is not easy to describe
I'm on such a high that it's great to be alive.
An ambition I have cherished since I was under ten
Has now been accomplished – I'm thrilled – I can't be Zen!

I've always written poems since I learned June rhymed with moon
My love affair with language brought me recognition soon
A competition followed – I saw myself in print
My poem got me second prize and maybe was a hint

That this was my way forward as I love the written word
I played around with rhyme schemes and a batch of odes occurred
I used to hand write all my work – I now compose on screen
The keyboard now interprets all the words that come on stream.

I never know what thoughts will come as I sit down to write
It could be a chance remark that sets my muse alight
But now my blog is buzzing - I have «hits» from near and far
I've published my first book and hitched my wagon to a star!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Monday, 8 September 2014

Thomas - at 8 Months Old

Now that the public know your name
Things will never be the same.
You have your moment on the stage
You can look around and gauge

Reactions to your bright persona
I don't think you will be a loner.
You listen to those who come by
And like a babbling brook you try

To imitate the sounds you hear
But the human voice is a new sphere.
It's still a little complicated
Mind and brain must get acquainted.

But Thomas, you are learning fast
Grandma tells me you can grasp
Small objects and test out their shape
Not only food goes on your plate.

Dad celebrated Father's day
Thanks to you, this past Sunday
You've changed his life – now he and Mum
Marvel how far you have come!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Sunday, 7 September 2014

September Beer Festival

We wander into the Grand'Place
To find white tents have sprouted there
The BeerFest means to cut a dash
Costumed "Mine Hosts" spread good cheer.

This annual happening lures most guys
To sample some exotic brews
Each has its special glass and size
A wealth of flavours bans the blues!

Some names, like Belgium, are surreal
Delirium Tremens, Mort Subite
(Is this how you're meant to feel?)
If you like cherries, try some Kriek.

No money changes hands this time
Tokens must be bought and sold
It's far too cold here to make wine
But we lead the world in liquid gold!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Popular event - held in the Grand'Place at
the beginning of September every year.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Wanna Bet?

I was thinking just the other day
How betting expressions seem to play
An enormous role in daily speech;
The urge to gamble makes us reach

For newspapers to «know the form»
When the going's rough, who rides the storm?
In a hand of cards, what is the deal?
Life's like the spinning of a wheel.

«Let's take a chance» is often heard
Life can't be planned – that is absurd!
«When the chips are down»; we have no choice
Each of us has a gambler's voice!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Friday, 5 September 2014

Feast or Famine

How often have you heard it said:
«I wish today I'd stayed in bed!»
My intray glares – it overflows
As for emails – more work woes!

The Smart phone's far too smart, it seems
Its buzzed reminders break daydreams
My appointment diary – no blank spaces
This filly is put through her paces!

I stop a moment – leave my screen
A walk is called for; it has been
After a famine, such a feast
That I must stretch my legs at least.

July and August quietly passed
Small pickings really – a work fast
Many friends sought warmer places
Returning home with sun-tanned faces.

But now September has begun
My name pops up – I'm Number One -
For guided tours and French translations
I'm time poor – hence today's frustrations!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Geneva Stopover

Geneva greets us in grey mist
The tannoy says a storm we’ve missed
Easyjet – our orange bird
Floats through a wall of cloud – unheard.

Damp patches on the tarmac gleam
Airport staff - a tight knit team
Load up the cases, bring the bus
Straight to the terminal – no fuss.

I’m met by a friend from long ago
We stand in ticket queue – so slow
But when we reach the desk at last
The VISA ticket sale is fast!

Time for a cup of tea and chat
An exchange of views and promise that
When time permits, we’ll make a date
To spend more time around the Lake ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Time for a Celebration!

It's always fun to celebrate
And bake a lovely birthday cake
Perhaps today you're twenty-one
Or have passed your driving test? Well done!

A party for your graduation?
The arrival of a new relation?
You've found a perfect job at last?
Exam result – top of the class?

X-factor: has it brought you fame?
Are you now a household name?
I wonder how YOU will remember
Wednesday the third of September?

«Poet-in-the-woods» is proud
To put on record she is wowed
By all of you who come her way
Her blog is one year old today!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Blog started on 3rd September, 2013.
January 2018: over 124,000 hits received! Thank you :-)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Bushfire Quilt

You call it bushfire – where’s the red
The flames that lick around the trees?
Is that deep blue the river bed?
And the scorched brown earth your edging frieze?

I hope the lizards will escape
Their stretched out forms imply quick flight
The destroying spiral in their wake
And I wonder: is it day or night?

A kaleidoscope of mellow tones
As the wind cannot be seen or heard
Is it a lull, as amid the stones
Silent, alone, sits one small bird?

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Monday, 1 September 2014

Saved by the Bell!

That Belgium is surreal is a well known fact
It doesn't take one long to cotton on to that!
I often gasp with wonder when it's bin man day
To see the little treasures that Belgians throw away.

All sorts of things are jettisoned - sometimes not in bags
Sports gear past its best; a broken chair that sags
The owners hope these pre-loved goods will vanish out of sight
So no trace will be found when they return at night.

Today I strolled in vacant mood down my local street
And came across a doll's house, brightly painted, clean and neat
How sad to see it lying there, unloved and rejected
Soon the cart will rumble past and it will be collected.

It seems too good to throw away and toys do not come cheap
I consider its predicament – such wastage; I could weep
And then the local school bell rings, the kids all rush outside
A mini, laughing cohort; will this mansion be espied?

As if in answer to my prayer, one child runs up the slope;
And crouches down beside it, so my heart beats with new hope.
A parent follows suit so this tenancy is filled
A rescue is effected and a little girl is thrilled.

(c) Poet in the woods 2014