Friday, 30 January 2015

A Cold Start

Hail one day, snow the next,
If I had one, I'd put on a vest!
January this year keeps us guessing
Sometimes just rain would be a blessing!

Gingerly, I step out outside,
Tightly like a parcel tied
Wearing gloves, I drop my keys
And bend down, gloves off, my hands freeze.

The wind chill factor lasts for weeks
But the cold brings colour to my cheeks
Lip balm – that's a good invention
As cold sores only add more tension.

I shiver, pick up my keys and go
The slope outside makes walking slow
There are roadworks adding to our joys
Traffic jams and jarring noise...

January promises many things
But my enthusiasm for it thins
My brand new diary taunts, you see
Its snow-white pages mocking me!

(c) Poet in the Woods 2015

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A Warning!

Hot, oppressive, steamy days
Brussels lost in summer haze
We're damp, bedecked in beads of sweat
I touch my waistband - wringing wet.

Do I climate change detect?
The result of human disrespect?
The Earth belongs to one and all
Yet swathes of it are urban sprawl.

Pollution, wasted water use
And oil? We're running out of juice.
Those plastics just won't decompose;
It seems worldwide we're in the throes

Of Nature's tantrums, pent-up rage
At how the human race behaves.
Deserts now encroach on Spain
While Florida is lashed with rain.

El Nino gave us food for thought
Just think what havoc has been wrought.
Frost in Belgium into May
Then torrents washed the buds away.

Nature's balance is upset.
Have new patterns now been set?
I dread to think in years to come
Of the Earth being frazzled by the sun.

The West must bear its share of blame
But no one's guiltless, more's the shame
This Garden of Eden, Man's Estate
Must be saved, 'ere it's too late!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

(written in 2006)

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Dramatic Climate Change!

To Australians it is cold today
“Chilly under 30”, so they say
But still the skies are blue not grey
The heat is great!
I marvel at this sunny clime
Europe’s cold my summer time
For six weeks this warm place is mine
In cosy state!

But all good things come to an end
My ticket tells me I must wend
My way back north where sharp frosts tend
To freeze my ardour
I put my summer clothes away
Thick jumpers now will have their day
In Brussels winter’s here to stay
And life gets harder!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

After Bali

After Bali, Adelaide awaits
"Selamat Pagi" to "G'day, Mates"!
Lost - the lilting Bali voices
The Western lifestyle means new choices.

The heat is dry, the bush fires doused
The headlines speak of victims housed
In temporary accommodation
In this "pick up the pieces" nation.

Domestic violence makes the news;
At the "Tour Down Under" crowds enthuse
The cyclists pass through Cudlee Creek
Where blackened tree stumps line the street.

In Australia - trying to be Zen
Seems an art lost way back when
So I salute the gentle Balinese
Who discern the wood from nature's trees...

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

TDU 2015: 20-25th January

Friday, 16 January 2015

Bali - a Last Look Back ...

A last day under Bali skies
Lost in dreams and small bird cries
We watch them swooping through the leaves
Their feathers ruffled by the breeze.

This remote location and resort
Far from Ubud's Royal Court
Affords its guests peace and repose
And living meditation flows.

Hindu gods observe the pool
Impassive, playful, sometimes cruel
Old customs and new trends astound
Spirituality - in the round.

Small paradise on timeless land
By Drake the Buccaneer once scanned
Vibrant, lush and steeped in lore
A curiosity to explore.

Though pockets of this world survive
Hotels encroach on southern side;
While for those who work the land today
Poverty is never far away ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Out of time in Ubud - Bali

Rice fields clearly in our view
Five fruit platter - mosaic new
A cool breeze tempers beating sun
Time is elastic, raw and fun.

With the tropics we're in tune
A soporific Bali afternoon
Lulled by blue ginger's fragrant wit
Green lemongrass and turmeric.

Strelitzia, strident by the pool
Leftover guardians of Dutch rule
Clean towels, the sound of paths being swept
Into Eden we have stepped …

© Poet in the woods 2015

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Meandering round Ubud - Bali

Ubud - where Bali's heart resides
Shrine offerings observed on all sides
Amazing carvings in grey stone
A vast palace where you're not alone.

Hordes of tourists - Japanese
Under the frangipani trees
Fringed parasols of gold and red
The sound of birdsong overhead.

Europeans and those of western race
In this mystic world seem out of place
Harmony in this heat denied
The Balinese merge and step aside.

Stone flags, cracked, hide sewer flow
A world we're glad we do not know
A few smart shops and well known names
But the market's vibrancy remains.

Taxi drivers crowd the lane
Pretty masseuses do the same
But overall the pace is slow
Save farting bikes that come and go.

Victim now of urban sprawl
The traffic and the fumes appal
Home stays by hotels superseded
As air conditioning is needed.

Ubud has a friendly face
Though local monkeys tend to chase
Unwary tourists who may find
Their nimble fingers rob them blind!

© Poet in the woods 2015

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

An Evening in Amed - Bali

Amed beach has brackish sand;
At night a bike ride - quite unplanned
A haphazard enclave, poorly lit
Down hairpin roads; it rained a bit.

A giant puddle blocked our way
Rubicon crossing kicked up spray.
Most bars were empty - music played
Fresh flowers on tables gently swayed.

Tourists seem thin upon the ground
But bikes with Balinese abound.
Two elephant statues brightly clad
Seemed intriguing as they had

Pointed down a passageway
To a garden café locked away.
This time we were not alone
It seems this venue is well known.

A simple menu - finely done
New tastes and textures our hearts won.
At another table, guttural tones
And a couple using mobile phones…

In pitch black - just stars overhead
Past mangy dogs with feral tread
The two-wheeled drive was slow but sure
Through dripping leaves to hotel door.

© Poet in the woods 2015

An Evocation of Bali

Frangipani flowers at our feet
Their fragrance lingering and sweet
Scarlet flame trees catch our eye
Bougainvillaea blossoms flutter by.

It's the rainy season, all is green
Birds chirrup but cannot be seen.
A sparkling butterfly or two
Hovers round the gold bamboo.

Nearby, lit up by lantern glow
Small eateries where tourists go
They talk in whispers, drink their beer
Indolent in the sultry air.

Bali's bountiful white rice
Ubiquitous, enhanced with spice
Satay, noodles, chicken, prawn
Wrapped in banana leaves and warm.

It's another world; time is suspended
"Living in the moment" never ended
Pungent smells assail our brain
As we shelter from the heavy rain…

© Poet in the woods 2015

Monday, 12 January 2015

Over the Volcano - Bali

An air-conditioned taxi ride
Past volcanoes to the northern side
Lush rice paddies, bikes in droves
Coconut and banana groves.

Rickety wayside stalls abound
Mangoes and rambutans astound
Melons, mangosteens and flies
Provide a rich feast for the eyes.

Intrepid travellers long ago
Bathed in Bali's spice-filled glow
Sacks of rice, live chicken vans
Humidity conquered by huge fans...

Dignified poverty wreathed in smiles
No tourists can be seen for miles
Wood carvings show the craftsman's skill
The infinity pool - a total thrill!

At midnight under a full moon
Long splashes write a happy tune
The ripples cause our cares to fray
In the timeless wonder of the spray ...

© Poet in the woods 2015

View of Mount Agung

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Kuta Beach - Bali

Bali's southern side is wild
Kuta is paradise defiled;
Streams of shops and cocktail bars
Raucous drinkers under stars.

Sarongs that billow out on racks
Massage parlours, side street snacks
Surfboards, drinks, persistant hawkers
A haggling challenge by the waters.

The sun sets on a silver sea
The palm fronds whisper soft to me
But their overture is soon drowned out
By brash DJ and lager lout …

© Poet in the woods 2015

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Beautiful Bali

An escape from sanitized Australia
Broad, open roads and dusty heat
To a pearl of magical regalia
Emerald rice fields, dancing feet!

Temples, markets, fragrant food
At festivals of living art
The gentle Balinese exude
A smiling welcome from the heart.

Traditional rhythms rend the air
The island's mood, unique, is caught
Its topicality all share
Its "other worldliness" is sought.

No place on earth can match this isle
Untrodden beaches lie in wait
For those who seek its haunting style
Here's inner peace on Nature's plate.

© Poet in the woods 2015

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Thomas - at One Year Old

You reach this milestone in bright sun
On Jan 8th, Thomas you are one!
Your crawling skills are now a breeze;
I’ve watched you grip on Granny’s knees

As you pull yourself up, look around
And reach for chair legs with a bound
Your sturdy legs now take your weight
Soon you will have a toddler’s gait.

But though you point your toes and stand
Smiling engagingly, a hand
Is always nearby to hold on
With stalwart nappy to sit on!

Auntie’s proud to watch you grow
Keen powers of observation show
Your mind is racing fast ahead
You hear your name, you turn your head.

So I wonder which skill will come next
As you clamber up, all muscles flexed
Will you walk or talk first, nephew mine?
It’s just a question now of time!

(c) Poet in the Woods 2015