Thursday, 30 October 2014

North Sea Exodus

Well Blog, it's rather quiet today
It must be many are away
Late autumn – long weekend at last
Hordes depart to have a blast!

Mid-season sales for these few days
Special offers in Delhaize!
A good deal on a brand new car
Entice those who don't travel far.

For lemmings hurtling to the coast
Huge traffic jams are feared the most
As mini-trippers make their way
For a brief but bracing holiday.

Last minute packing, stressful ride
Buffeted by winds outside
Obliged to shelter from the rain
Then walk along the dykes - again!

Whole Belgian families rent a flat
In a Seventies' block near tourist tat
Along the seafront for a week
A «home from home» is what they seek.

I used to do this - years ago
And so it is I've come to know
Why Brussels residents are rare
Around All Saints Day every year!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Morning Traffic

Driving in the rush hour is no fun
In the misty mornings, the school run
Means endless queues each traffic light
Impatient drivers turning right

Into main roads choc-à-bloc
Up to crossroads in gridlock.
The whole world and his wife it seems
Are at the wheel in exhaust streams.

For once I had to join the fray
My car needs servicing today
Better to be safe than sorry;
I find myself behind a lorry

That starts and stops with screech of brakes
And high-sided, all my vision takes.
To entertain us as we pass
Warning signs – don't go too fast!

But flashing lights and traffic cones
And the massive use of mobile phones
Mean that commuters have to slow
It's a daily trial they've come to know.

While I who rarely make this trip
Watch fellow drivers as they sit
Locked in their world behind the wheel
And wonder what they really feel.

Public transport does its best
But it's full to bursting, I protest
The Metro works well into town
But rare are those who can sit down.

For outlying districts, there's the tram
Or buses which come when they can.
Either way you have to queue:
Waiting is what Belgians do!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Sunday, 26 October 2014

On Absence

Does absence make the heart go fonder?
Now there's a thought that's worth a ponder
If one's friend is far away
It's true one's thoughts may tend to stray

To other, much more pressing, things
As each day some new challenge brings
Be it work commitment, bills to pay
Rooms to dust or plants to spray.

The diary fills; we've calls to make
There's always something on our plate
So it's often only late at night
That the heart strings are pulled tight.

But then a warming glow pervades
Bringing light to those dark shades
And happy feelings are engendered
As the loved one is remembered!

But let us think this concept through
Consider this phrase also true
Its brief wording is unkind:
Out of sight means out of mind!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Friday, 24 October 2014

An Unexpected Thrill!

I wonder what will make your day?
Each one dawns with blank display
For an optimist much may occur
It's the little things that make a stir.

An email came in – unexpected
The news that it conveyed - electric
A local friend had taken time
To purchase my book all in rhyme

But English is not her first tongue
And so I find it rather fun
That through my blog scarce one year old
New fans come into my fold.

Until the very recent past
Would my work be known this fast?
But now self-published, I reflect
On the power of the Internet.

More writers in the world domain
More creative talent now can claim
A wider readership, it seems
Recognition exceeds dreams!

What made my day was her sweet note
She'd bought my book and so I quote
Her comment, «Sold out!» I adore
Guess what? The bookshop's ordered more!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

For an Irish friend - on Retirement

Fair maiden of the Emerald Isle
With gentle voice and winning smile
You’ve reached a watershed today
42 years on - you’re on your way

To another life without routine
You can switch off your computer screen!
Forget the rush hour, rat race hell
Spend time with family – friends as well.

Take mini-trips at off-peak rate
Dawdle over breakfast plate
Enjoy your garden, watch it grow
In other words just take life slow.

They say the best in life is free;
And it won’t take long before you’ll be
Taking retirement in your stride
The world’s a big place – step outside!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

A Dying Art?

The magic of a letter thrills
Or postcard from a distant shore
But email this pure pleasure kills
The art of writing is no more.

Invoices still make their way
Proof positive the postman's been
But adverts I just throw away
Such paperwork is lean and mean.

Who now writes with pen and ink?
Collecting stamps a bygone fad
We type as fast as we can think
Mistakes are legion – lax is bad.

I buck the trend and still send mail
And choose with care a birthday card
I like to leave a paper trail
Is the personal touch so hard?

Yesterday a postcard came;
Handwritten, it was such a treat
I live in hopes of more the same
Long live the postman's happy feet!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Helsingor Dane

The Great Dane Shakespeare wrote about
Whose monologues proclaimed his doubt
About his father's odd demise
Have led to many an actor's rise

To fame as they declaimed on stage
The mental anguish that did rage
In young Hamlet's tortured brain;
Ophelia, poor love, went insane.

A tragedy in several acts
A playwright's toying with the facts
Battles, murder, floating dagger
A hero with mendacious swagger.

The play within a play was cruel
A cup of poison, deadly duel
The state of Denmark indeed rotten
Yet Hamlet lives on – not forgotten!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Launching Assandra

Down a side street, cobbled, faintly lit
Discretely hidden; quite a bit
Away from thoroughfares – no cars
Just night shops and some coffee bars

I saw the sign and stepped inside
A flight of steps on right I spied
Below: a laptop, makeshift screen
Where Assandra's video will be seen.

Soon other footsteps follow mine
Her guests receive a welcome wine
Uptempo music – time to dance
For Assandra this is her big chance.

Entitled «Special Love», her song
Composed when someone came along
And brought warm sunshine to her days,
Against a Carinthian backcloth plays.

Dressed in mauve with floating scarf
And Venetian mask that hides quite half
Her face, she dances well
It's a special moment – we can tell.

A hand-picked crowd from several nations
Offer their congratulations
Who knows what the future brings?
But YouTube gives her project wings!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Friday, 17 October 2014

Poetry Night in Koekelberg

A genteel gathering proclaimed
On Internet for those who write
With the art of rhyming as their game
In other words: a poetry night!

To resist was foolish, so I went
With a colleague - also skilled in verse
To share my thoughts was my intent
The room was full, we weren't the first!

Each armed with texts, some on I-pad
A multi-culti evening this
A range of languages was had
An event I'm glad I did not miss!

At the mid point was a break for tea
And time for an exchange of views
This poet was a happy bee
The buzz is out – we all enthuse!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Thoughts on Texas

Time was when o'er sun baked plains
Bucking broncos thronged,
And in the firelight, guitar strains
Partnered cowboy songs.

Where roamed marauding Indian bands
In a West untamed,
And tales were told of bloodstained hands
When settlers came.

Where the legend of the Alamo
Is still alive to many
Whilst towns like San Antonio
Are not short of a penny.

There's El Paso with its Spanish side
On a border uncontrolled,
Today's outlaws no longer hide
But seek black gold.

Here also J.F.K. was shot
And Oswald made a star
But nearby on a filming lot -
"Who killed J.R.?"

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

written in 1985

J.R. Ewing played by Larry Hagman (d. 2012)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Brussels Taxi-Bus

I had a long wait for the bus
Bad timing - Sunday afternoon
So I resigned myself - one must;
Buses never come too soon.

Beside me stood another dame
And we got talking, as you do
As this is Belgium – why complain?
We'd both be late for rendezvous...

But lo! A bus hove into sight
Empty – just right for us two
No other passengers alight
Soon the metro came in view.

Hours later quite by chance we found
Ourselves together once again
Making the journey homeward bound
The return procedure was the same!

No other passengers on board
We thought it strange that this should be
But it seems the STIB can now afford
To «taxi» us from A to B!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Keeping Vigil

Alone she stands there, all alone
A solitary guard
Her torch of brightness shining still
Though all else has retired.

Who would think that this brave soul
That keeps lone vigil with her light
Her flame forever watching us
And guarding against the foes of night

Is but a candle, tall and slim
Pale, with graceful light forlorn
A silent watcher, ever mindful
Of the coming, sombre dawn?

There she stands so proud and fearful
Lest the wind her flame should spoil
Waiting till warm rays of sun
Shall end her hours of toil.

And now - it rises, warm and yellow
But she's too small to call or shout
The morning breeze it wafts her way
And now, alas, her flame's blown out.

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

(written in 1964)

Monday, 13 October 2014

On Moving House

The week's flown by - there is no doubt
The candle at both end's blown out.
Two workmen and her foreign friends
Have done much to tie in loose ends.

The sink now flows - which means at last
The days of plastic bowls are past.
Both cupboards are patched up with board
So junk and jumpers can be stored.

The crowning glory is by far
The installation of a bar
Though not for drinks - as you'd have guessed
It hangs her clothes neat in her nest.

The living room - still bare - is clean
Lace curtains would enhance the scene.
Full curtains must of course be made
And the naked light bulb needs a shade.

A sofa bed - this she's not got
Nor unit all her glass to stock.
The hall needs cupboards - but who cares
It's looking like a home - it's hers!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Written in 1983

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Autumn in the Garden

It is autumn in the garden
The lawn is filled with rain
Views once soft begin to harden
Wilting stems are nature's crane.

Ragged petals now make trails
On the crunchy gravel floor
A much colder wind prevails
Squirrels garner winter's store.

Bright Michaelmas's daisy
Quiet herald of the change;
Subtle russet hues are hazy
The artist has wide range.

Wreaths of silver morning mist
Are pierced by a wan sun
Conkers as big as my fist
Remind us summer's done.

(c) Poet in the Woods 2014

Saturday, 11 October 2014

After the Book Launch

Well, Blog, what can I write today?
The rain can't wash my thoughts away
It may be chilly in the street
But the warmth of friendship's hard to beat.

Picture, if you can, the scene
I have at last achieved my dream
I launched my first book Friday eve
An anthology for those who grieve.

Entitled «A Turn in the Road»
It charts in poignant, sombre mode
A journey many have to make
When someone dies; they re-create

In gentle steps, a world that's new
With no soulmate to see them through
Time passes, then doors open wide
So Hope and Joy can step inside...

Wow! Many friends came to the store
They brought out chairs and then some more
I read some extracts, as you do
And then observed a lengthy queue.

Now a published «poet in the woods»
Each day I come up with the goods
Somehow your attention I have caught
I'm honoured by your warm support!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Friday, 10 October 2014

Opening Pandora's Box

Life has many twists and turns
Watersheds, new avenues
It's through experiences one learns
And marches onward, picks up clues.

Why are we here? What can we do
To serve this crazy world gone mad?
It's a journey – we're just passing through
Waifs in a maelstrom, lightly clad.

Our apprenticeship begins when young
With good and bad in equal measure
It's a struggle when we're highly strung
Collecting moments we can treasure.

«We pass this way but once», 'tis said
So in Pandora's box I peep
Down Sorrow's path I have been led
My learning curve has been quite steep.

Now I leave the shadows for the sun
My poems help to pave the way
To an understanding next to none
They are my gift to give away!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Thomas - at 9 Months Old

Well, Thomas, time is marching on
At 9 months old, you're right on song
I'm told by parents and by Gran,
That now you're quite the little man!

Experimentation is the key
Your legs and arms don't just hang free
You've learnt to crawl – you're on the move
Upon your coloured rug – cool dude!

It's thrilling testing out the ground
But parents have to be around
You've put on weight, you forge your way
New movements now come into play.

Wow! hasn't life become exciting
Those new horizons are inviting
No longer sitting put – you stray
Your world grows bigger every day!

(c) Poet in the Woods 2014

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Embroidered Chair

It was Helen’s mother’s favourite chair
A lady whom Tim never met
He could not sadly picture her
Her tragic end haunts Helen yet.

Joan therefore thought it would be nice
To embroider both the seat and back
The measurements were quite precise
She laboured many hours each night.

A myriad Aussie flowers she chose
Such as cotton bush, wild pea and gums
Bell-shaped correas, desert rose
And wattles - those gold flowering ones.

Amid the mass of flora strewn
Two frogmouth owls hold pride of place
Recalling Tasmanian honeymoon
They give the chair a brand new face.

(c) Poet in the Woods 2014

Sunday, 5 October 2014

October Onward!

The Indian summer we enjoyed
This golden autumn, is now void
The rains have wiped the dusty leaves
Summer sparkle dies and grieves.

There's a waspish chill now in the air
The winds the spider's web now tear
The rustling leaves lie in damp piles
On every side - grey skies for miles.

Puddles form in pot-holed road
Rain-filled clouds in overload
With regret I wear a scarf again
Nip in the air - a daily pain!

The back end of the year draws near
Long damp evenings without cheer
But street lights lead us safely home
And with internet, we're not alone!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Friday, 3 October 2014

Mobile Use when Mobile

With the advent of the Internet
It's easy for us to connect;
A few clicks take us round the globe
On line is - so à la mode!

The trouble is while we're switched on
We drive distractedly along
Our attention shifts and in mind's eye
We don't see traffic hurtling by.

A consequence of the mobile phone
We're connected but we're more alone
This tiny gadget – trendy toy
Is useful, yes - but does annoy.

Car legislation lags behind;
Use of a mobile should be fined
When at the wheel the driver chats;
An accident risk is at the max!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Mid-Afternoon People

Subdued voices, background hum
Most tables occupied by one
These lone people sit and dream
Gaze at a book or computer screen.

Trays are wiped and cups are stacked
Dog-eared newsprint placed in rack
As their coffee or their tea grows cold
Their minds in neutral – young and old.

Rubbish cleared – food choices new
The onslaught over – there's no queue
So they've opted for some personal time
To recharge batteries/get on line -

Away from work stress or child care
Or is it simply that they dare
Like silkworms each in their cocoon
To unwind in the afternoon?

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A Four-Letter Word

Your mind, I'm guessing, is not clean
You imagine something quite obscene
But a title must act as a lure
This poet likes to be obscure.

The word I want to write about
Is universal, I've no doubt
We spend so much of every day
Pent up, annoyed, in disarray.

We WAIT - for buses, trams and trains
In queues in hopes of changing lanes
In shops we stand and wait to pay
For flights – there's often a delay.

We wait for Fridays – the week-end
We wait, not patiently, to end
A dreary meeting which drags by
So we can watch a match on Sky.

Life's a rush so it's nature's way
Of making us reflect each day
A wait gives us a breathing space
A moment to slow down our pace!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014