Wednesday, 29 July 2015

R.I.P. Another Cecil

Zimbabwe – last name on the list
Of Nations - harsh, dry and sun-kissed
Mecca of hunters and big game
Once had Rhodesia as its name.

(From Cecil Rhodes, a pioneer
Whose deeds the Old Queen did revere),
On major trade routes lies, through hills
Where 16 tongues mean thrills and spills!

Independent now, it stands alone
A savannah land where lions roam
With many dramatic natural features
A flight away from Southern beaches.

But politics aside, we read
A brand new tale of death and greed
Wilful hunter, careful tread
And Cecil, the noble lion, lies dead...

Shot, aged 13, on 1st July, 2015 by a dentist from Minnesota!

(c) Poet in the Woods 2015

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Boitsfort - a Moment Captured!

The wind sends ripples through the trees
Disturbing briefly nature's frieze
The Impressionists caught scenes like these
In dappled paint
Frail petals shiver as it passes
Swirling through the dancing grasses
After the mugginess – catharsis
God's touch is faint.

The lake with sparkles greets the sun
Nature's diamonds every one
Kingfisher - sapphire on the run
A palette new
A kaleidoscope before my eyes
Clouds in movement on the rise
Complete with soundtrack of bird cries
A poet's cue!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Friday, 24 July 2015

For Consideration ...

Before a virgin page I sit
And wonder what to write about
The overnight rain damps my wit
The world we live in - wears me out.

Such violence, shootings and unrest
Man's love of all that's bad and wrong
All disasters catch his interest;
The lure to read such news so strong...

The gory details, luckless dead
And those with lives no more the same
Cause many websites to be read
Is horror-lust wired in our brain?

That good news never sells, we know
And yet there's much to love, admire
If we wanted, we could change the flow
As how we treat the Earth is dire...

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Making Up - for What?

Women hate to tell their age
Those who know it are but few
If men guess it wrong, they rage
Lying – a safer thing to do!

To keep up the pretence, we scheme
Hairdressers always in the know
And as for all those pots of cream -
Beauty parlours overflow!

We fake it, make it, add some blush
In our mirrors, stare and cry
When we see we're past first flush
We can't stop anni domini!

Is our face our fortune still?
Let's give such artifice a rest
Our souls are never o'er the hill
Wearing a warm smile is best!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Celebrating Belgium!

Belgium: small, unknown – and yet
So many good things in its net
A chequered history – now let's see
How many countries it can be!

Leuven and Brabant Lords gave way
When the Dukes of Burgundy held sway
They too died out; we fell to Spain
Then the Austrian Hapsburgs laid a claim.

A war ensued, then years of peace
A short time under a French lease,
A Treaty then the Dutch came back;
The Belgians, tired of foreign flak,

Rose up, rebelled and fought as one
From the Opera they all run...
William's army melts away;
At last! They rule the roost their way.

A constitutional oath is sworn*
A young and brand new nation born
King Leopold ascends the throne
Belgium henceforth rules – alone!

*21st July 1831

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Monday, 20 July 2015

A Snapshot of Boitsfort

A marbled sky of blue and white
A gentle breeze, God's touch on leaves
Above the rooftops swallows' flight
A peaceful view through beechwood trees.

Boitsfort extends to city's edge
With chain of lakes and cycle paths
The “Coin de Balai” a green wedge
Where walkers far outnumber cars.

The highest point in this commune,
A mere hundred metres, lies
Where three lofty lime trees bloom
With Watermael upon the rise.

Two villages now merged as one
With 19th century town hall
Once by horsemen overrun;
From hunting lodge to urban sprawl...

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Friday, 17 July 2015

R.I.P. Amy Winehouse (1983-2011)

Twenty-seven – hellish young to die
The price of fame is way too high
Young promise despite childhood torn;
Amy Winehouse was a pawn

In a crazy game played without rules
Real life recorded on tape spools
Touched by genius, sultry voice
Too much cash, too little choice.

Ensnared, and buoyed up, held aloft
Her fragile body was too soft
To resist the onslaught on her frame
She needed help – she took cocaine...

Found all alone one July day
In her London home, she'd slipped away
Alcohol failed her at the last
Her bright star rose and fell – too fast...

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Found dead on 23rd July, 2011

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Golden Days

The heat continues – burning rays
Brighten Belgium's July days
Though hordes of people are away
The traffic jams are here to stay.

Time to switch off, take things slow
Catch up with favourite friends we know
Chew the fat, exchange frank views;
Still Greece's bail-out makes the news.

We've got it made, we're not at war
Who says Brussels is a bore?
Free concerts, outdoor films and beer
Why not have holidays right here?

Down town go walkabout and see
How pleasant car-less roads can be!
Long evenings under star-filled skies
Brussels is golden, when it tries!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

In the Royal Park, Brussels

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Put the Brakes on!

July in Belgium brings a lull
A dip or slump or mid-year pause
We take a breather, old thoughts cull
And spread our dusty wings outdoors.

The world is silent for a while
We take a step back, look around
Our hectic lives are such a trial
We live full speed and “in the round”.

But who can switch off mobile phone
And leave the TV screen a blank?
On-line even when at home
For films and shopping and Home Bank...

This constant pressure, all man-made
Goal-oriented, drives us mad
We've lost our way; I feel afraid
Where's the peace we all once had?

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Monday, 13 July 2015

R.I.P. Suzy Falk (1922-2015)

I did not know this lady well
But as an actress, she was swell
With a warm and friendly face
Skilled in the art of comic pace
She moved with ease upon the stage
From a very early age.

“Godmother” to a friend of mine
We used to meet from time to time
And though I never knew her young
She told us her life had begun
In Germany before the War
Happy once; it all turned raw...

Her acting helped her to survive
Her spirit very much alive
Brussels then became her home
Soon in the theatre she was known
An actress with a heart of gold;
A wealth of stories she has told!

At the ripe old age of ninety-two
Her bright star now fades from our view
As on the radio today
I learn that she has passed away*;
Suzy Falk - one of a kind!
You leave so many friends behind...

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

*6th July 2015

Saturday, 11 July 2015

The Poet's Prerogative?

What's in a name? Well, Shakespeare said
"A rose by any other ..." has street cred;
Our onus is to spell correctly
So meanings will shine through – directly.

But poets have their rule of thumb
A licence which lifelong can run
It gives them carte blanche when they write;
New spellings sometimes will alight

From their train of thought at speed
Perplexing those who choose to read
Between the lines a clever pun;
Misspelling foreign words is fun!

Take Schadenfreude, Deutsches Wort:
Joy when another's life is fraught
In the context of this July heat
Schattenfreude's hard to beat.

This playful vein is quickly tapped
A “joy in shadows” seems more apt
As we swelter under torrid skies;
How the poet loves to get a rise!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

The Heat is not for All

Good news at last! In mid July
A burning sun means we might fry
Even in these Northern reaches
Time to lie on sandy beaches...

The school run over, now's the time
To depart, en masse, for sunny clime
In family car, or coach or plane
Leaving Belgium is the aim!

Influx of tourists – all amazed
To experience Brussels in heat haze
Or in an air-con cinema
A cheaper version of pool spa!

Concerts in leafy parks enjoy
Gatherings of the hoi polloi
Beer flows in gallons (oops!) in litres
Income flows in parking meters!

The tempo changes in the heat
More smiles burgeon in the street
Summer sales may cause stress
But warmth equates to needing less.

Yet summer can be a bumpy ride
For those who have to stay inside
Constrained by illness or old age
To endure, cooped up, this sultry phase...

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Tuesday, 7 July 2015


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

Brussels Summit - July 12th, 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
Come on! Drink up! 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