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

Thalys Train Terrorist Attack

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

On 21st August



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

On August 24th



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






Thursday, 20 August 2015

No Deal!

I'm confused with all these “special” deals
They sound suspicious; my mind reels
Bankers' bonus – dividends
Virtual fortunes are weird trends!

While bureaucrats “fake” numbers crunch
We all know that there's no free lunch
The gifts and freebies we're shoaled out
Are mostly “on line" (they lack clout!).

Join this new bank! Get high rates!
Who reads the small print where it states
That profits can't be guaranteed?
Fool's gold for many, lured by greed.

Though “Mend and Make Do” days are past
Our income disappears so fast
That loan sharks squeeze us every day
Life's very hard; it's Pay! Pay! Pay!

I long for cool streams, empty roads
But modern life just overloads
Our poor, exhausted brains with “stuff”;
It is the outside of enough!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015



Tuesday, 18 August 2015

A Word on Pets

Companionship – a human need
The desire to form a pair and breed
Or spend time with a special friend
And share one's secrets to the end.

A fundamental human trait
The longing to belong is great
But looking round me, I can see
Many souls still lost, at sea.

It's said there's someone for us all
Just waiting “out there” within call
Of course our paths will cross, one day
But for many it is years away …

In the meantime, if we feel alone
Stuck by a silent telephone
Our cat curls up upon our lap
And purrs – her way to have a chat!

Enthusiasm is the key
How wonderful a dog can be
A faithful friend on leafy walks
Happy to listen to our thoughts.

Favourite pets, with love to share
A two-way link – a need to care
Animals help to make a home
As life's a bummer when alone...

(c) Poet in the woods 2015



Sunday, 16 August 2015

Is Money still Real?

In this virtual world real money's sought
And the ways to spend it can be fraught
Websites offer special deals
Just one click on a screen now seals

A purchase, be it train or flight
Or hotel to stay in overnight
You merely quote your credit card
And payment's made – is that so hard?

But if you are not on the ball
The monthly invoice can appal.
Many overstep the mark;
The debtors' gulf is deep and dark.

It wasn't all that long ago
When people trusted money flow
Real notes were treasured, carefully spent;
We knew the worth of every cent.

But caution to the wind is thrown
How much “real money” do we own?
Who walks around with wads of cash?
Few people - as that would be rash!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015



Saturday, 15 August 2015

Hiatus

On the Eve before Assumption Day*
An event kept as a holiday
Though poised for action, all is still
This August lull means time to kill.

What shall I do? With friends away
And autumn fashions on display
I walk around in dusty heat
Feeling abandoned in my street.

The odd cloud forms and shadows fall
Like speckles on a nearby wall
Just one lone cyclist peddles past
Enjoying stillness that won’t last.

The traffic’s just a background hum
The pressure’s off in this warm sun
We bathe in a moment of “far niente”
As September will bring stress a-plenty!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

* 15th August





Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The Silly Season

August is our Silly Season
No doubt the pundits had a reason
What really happens at this time?
How can this poet find a rhyme?

Politics on a global scale
Now thrives on “news bytes” and email
There is no “off switch” any more
A sense of unease leaves us raw.

On holidays we take our phone
Afraid these days to be alone
And “out of reach” in case we're needed
So jobs continue – unimpeded.

I decided quite a while ago
To pull the plug and travel slow
When I want peace I let phones ring
And admire God's birds upon the wing.

In graceful woods I love to stroll
Nature calms me, makes me whole
Time to reflect in August light
On Belgium's “Silly”* lifestyle … right?


*Silly is a village in S.W. Hainaut, near Enghien ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2015






Tuesday, 11 August 2015

An Unsolved Mystery

It was Friday - early morning
The Metro wasn’t full
The vacant gaze of travellers
Roamed unseeing, quiet, until

We perceived upon the platform
Oblivious to none
A sleeping, sprawled out fellow
Arms akimbo, suit undone.

Who was he? What had happened?
A late night drunken spree?
Had he lost his job, his girlfriend?
All craned their necks to see.

A spark was lit in those dull eyes
The commuters brought up short
He attracted stares from passers-by
Their attention briefly caught.

But strangely, no one slowed their pace
Wry smiles but not one word.
They left him sleeping on the bench
Not their problem – no one cared.

This happened a short while ago
Now the rush hour’s come and gone
Where was the Good Samaritan?
I am puzzled – but move on.

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Note for the curious: June 2010...



Monday, 10 August 2015

Place de Brouckère - Then and Now

When the sluggish Senne went underground
And cholera vanished from down town
A majestic thoroughfare was planned;
Instead of filthy tenements crammed
With folks of the more modest sort,
Art Nouveau mansions finely wrought
Rose up stylishly in their place
And Brussels acquired a modern face:

Theatres and department stores
With electric light on all the floors
A stock exchange in fine French stone
Deluxe hotels with telephone!
Here celebrities and Heads of State
Would wine and dine and congregate.
With luxury to the nth degree
De Brouckère was the place to be!

The quaint old trams no longer run
Instead the Metro does the ton
Speeding swiftly between stations
With passengers of many nations
The Metropole, august retreat
Of faded splendour, hard to beat
Observes, with critic's eye, the scene
In the twilight - empty beer cans gleam …

(c) Poet in the woods 2015




Friday, 7 August 2015

A Tribute to Manneken-Pis

They come in millions just to stare
At a little statue (clothed or bare)
Of a six-pack bronze boy who displays
His private parts to worldwide gaze.

Proud Brussels' citizen we learn
Whose defiant stance makes ladies turn
To admire his non-stop urination
Weird symbol of the Belgian Nation!

With a vast wardrobe – no surprise
His form is used to advertise
Strong Trappist beer or local wine
Yet he stays sober all the time!

He's stood upon this spot for ages
So the guide books lavish pages
On a wealth of anecdote
Whose link with truth is quite remote!

There were several fountains in this street
Near the Grand'Place where roads meet...
But he's the only one today
Hence he goes on peeing – come what may!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Location - Rue de l'Etuve



Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Capital Sunshine!

You know that there is something wrong
When the moving belt won't move along
And every effort that you make
Is thwarted, lost or second rate.

I've given all this quite some thought
But there's no need to feel distraught
It's August – many are not home
Hell-bent for beaches and sea-foam!

Brussels shows a calmer face
In town you find a parking space!
There's time to catch up with old friends
On week days not just short weekends!

The weather's warm – it has been hot
A few storms, yes – but not a lot
Only farmers feel the strain
As veggies gasp for summer rain.

What a difference in the city's mood
When rain and brollies don't intrude
Young and old now sport a smile
Work takes a back seat for a while...

(c) Poet in the woods 2015



Monday, 3 August 2015

I am Entitled!

Social media links us all
Fun sometimes, it can appal
We share our mundane, petty lives
So it pays to advertise!

But we poets are a special breed
Prompting you out there to read
Our pithy thoughts on life today
Often tempered with word play.

Though poems can be quickly wrought
Titles need much care and thought
Like coloured labels on a tin
Their aim is to entice you in!

Now the whole world is on line
It's exciting that a little rhyme
Can spread its wings on Internet
Wow! How lucky can I get!

I checked the figures on the screen
A 100 countries now have been
At least one time upon my blog;
40,000 hits – I am agog!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

August 2017; over 101,000 views to date!
And 134 countries ...



Saturday, 1 August 2015

Our Hidden Wealth

Life's odd – whichever way you look
The frenetic urge for more possessions
Till objects fill up every nook
A source of pride or just obsessions?

First class attractors of house dust
These “Keep up with the Joneses” games
Tend to break down, fade or rust;
Exorbitant insurance claims!

Old Masters, jewellery and antiques
Give rise to envy and to theft
And fear when any floorboard creaks:
Our heirlooms may have upped and left!

Burglars now work à la carte
And "case the joint” for items rare
So high surveillance is an art
Incurring costs that few can bear.

But there are other forms of treasure
The Good Book says cannot be stolen
Memories give us untold pleasure
Cost nothing and are always golden!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015