Friday, 30 December 2016

The Game of Consequences

It seems so weird when torrents flow
Down dusty street - no rains in sight
Such gurgling! Watch it swirl and go
Past police car – flashing light …

The sudden storms that cleared the air
And made big trees come crashing down
Have blocked some roads around Belair
Disturbing old pipes underground.

Battered fences, pots upturned
Haphazard branches under foot
Nature’s tricks - cause us concern
Aussie weather won’t stay put!

Hence dry road and flowing stream
A scene surreal, yet commonplace
To me it all seems like a dream
With which I struggle to keep pace!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Beyond the Markers

The ocean round Australia’s coast
Looks so enticing when you toast
Upon that crowded south-east beach…
Beware rogue currents out-of-reach!

The lifeguards, suntanned, strong, alert
Keep on the look-out and will spurt
Across the burning sands to save
Swimmers caught in forceful wave.

The ABC headlines sad news
As many as eight people lose
Their lives to Mother Nature’s swell
Not sharks this time but drowning hell…

'Big Island' has much to attract
But security at times is slack
And wild bush fires remain a fear
For several months in every year.

Drunk-drivers, drugs and petty crime
Are prevalent at Christmas time
As families face the burning heat
And drive “outback” their friends to meet.

What a land of contrasts: urban sprawl
While inland, there’s not much at all
The Deep Red Centre meets our gaze
Raw beauty spurns the summer haze…

The coastline thus remains a lure
Though death is common every year
The constant plea to “stay hydrated”
Believe me is not understated!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

ABC = Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

R.I.P. George Michael (1963-2016)

The year ends and the stars keep falling
George Michael, fifty-three – appalling!
Far too young to quit the scene…
Greek Cypriot son aged seventeen

As ‘Wham!’ he burst forth in the Charts
No problem breaking countless hearts
One of those swarthy, sexy guys
With soaring voice and smouldering eyes…

But showbiz is a cruel game
When drugs are used to fuel the flame
As macho image seen - perhaps
With private life kept under wraps…

More music projects filled the page
More albums in the planning stage
But sadly this was not to be
Death found him – by the Christmas tree...

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Day Thoughts - Down Under

At such times when the sun is high
It seems so churlish to sit by
A busy scroll of Facebook feeds;
It’s REAL contact that one needs!

This ‘Electronic God’ claims time
It’s an addiction – but not mine…
Good servant yes, but Master – No!
Life is short; we boldly go

And meet our family and friends
Share festive fare, discuss new trends
Agree the world is in a mess
Hope all will happen for the best…

As this troubled year draws to a close
My thoughts go out to all of those
Bereaved, in pain or quite alone;
I wonder who’ll pick up a ‘phone …

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Friday, 23 December 2016

Christmas Eve in the Suburbs

The weather forecast has not lied
Blimey! It’s that hot outside
On Christmas Eve – no scenes of snow
With hats and sunscreen – off we go!

Last minute shopping - crowded tills
Panic buying – festive thrills
The cars get red hot in the sun
As there isn’t shade for everyone...

It all looks peaceful but beware
Is the Christmas spirit there?
This hectic rush makes tempers fray
The family arrives today…

Let’s hark back to a gentler time
With much less emphasis on crime
This shopping frenzy makes me fraught;
Flashback to gifts by Wise Men brought …

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Snaking round the Tree!

Melbourne suburb – Christmas tree
Tinselled; baubles swinging free
Who forgot the golden rule?
Keep the doors closed, air-con cool…

Imagine how it must have seemed
When rays of sunshine on it beamed
An unexpected rustling showed
A tiger snake – in wary mood!

Unwelcome guest prepared to strike
In fir tree heaven, dazed in light
Such creatures must be kept at bay
Expelled from homes without delay …

Action stations! Reptile man
Plays at ‘catch me as catch can’
Armed with sang froid and a net …
This streamer we shall not forget!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

News Item!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Dawn Thoughts

At 5 a.m. - a rosy glow
Tells me all I want to know
Europe’s chill is far away
Sun will warm my face today!

All is not perfect in the heat
Those damned ants, ever present, greet
Our bleary eyes each early morn
As round the kitchen bin they swarm!

Warm is good but heat can be
A tad oppressive; so I see
Here in the Hills of Adelaide
The eucalypts provide good shade.

Yuletide décor – out of place
To Northern eyes - is in your face
But one familiar sight still glows
The ever-present Christmas rose!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Sunday, 18 December 2016

At All Hallows - Blackwood

Out of kilter, out of phase
I see life through a pinkish haze
4th Advent Sunday’s gentle flame
To honour Mary - my Mum’s name!

“Jesu, joy of Man’s desiring”*
Poignant, lofty and inspiring.
People, plants - bright-coloured - float
Before me – a kaleidoscope

Or tapestry of summer hues
Positivity pervades the pews.
Post sermon, home-made ‘morning tea’
Awaits parishioners ... and me.

A friendly atmosphere prevails
And puts new wind in my tired sails!
A chance to reconnect again
And recall, one hopes, each person’s name!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

* Cantata by Bach

Friday, 16 December 2016

Jet-lag - Day One!

You know the feeling – it’s unreal
Not hungry but you’re fed a meal
Blue skies – it’s hot – maybe midday
But your eyelids droop – your mind’s astray.

One’s body-clock cannot adjust -
This fast Down Under – but it must
Go through the motions, shop and walk
Attune at once to Aussie-talk.

On TV screen – spectator sport
Top news: a missing boat report
Three family members lost at sea
Helicopters sight debris …

My travel clothes – washed and quick-dried
While I keep cool and stay inside
Large wooden bowl with mango fruit;
Invasion of my nephew cute

In just one year how he has grown
He’s found his voice, can use the ‘phone
Toy cars and books on carpet strewn
We spend a busy afternoon!

I’ve gone beyond my tiredness peak
I wake when others are asleep
It’s not yet dawn – I grab my pen
Impressions crowd in – I stay zen!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Thursday, 15 December 2016

A Singapore Sling!

Crossing the world via Singapore
Through misty skies our spirits soar
Time zones mean nothing at this height
Who knows when it is day or night!

Graceful service, wreathed in smiles
Elegance across the miles
Well groomed, petite girls glide on by;
Singapore Airlines really try

To make these long haul journeys seem
A seamless interlude – a dream.
Food appears on dinky trays
In darkened cabin music plays

Seat-back cinema in full swing
Flickering screens cause eyes red-rimmed
Enthusiasm or tiredness grows
The price to pay for mile-high shows.

Touch down at Chiangi – all mod. con.
Where ‘street food’ upstairs leads us on
The four-hour stop wafts quickly by
Before we’re once more in the sky.

The planes are full but there’s no rush
It’s nearly midnight, velvet hush
This time ‘Delectables’ are served
A meal of which I’ve never heard…

We fly south east as dawn appears
This coral glow has me in tears
Earth’s curvature seen from this height
Recalls John Glenn’s historic flight!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Chiangi is Singapore's airport
John Glenn (1921-2016) first orbital flight 1962

In downtown Singapore

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Dark Beginnings

From my window, pale blue through the trees
It's deathly still – there is no breeze
It's as if the world is put on hold
You can feel, but not see, the cold.

Animals have this season sussed
They hibernate – not so with us
We get up, grumbling, in the dark
And rush our breakfast, loath to start

The dreary, crowded morning run
Searching, but not finding, sun...
Too many late nights, lack of sleep
Now it's "Action Stations" - out we leap!

That damned alarm breaks cosy dreams
We dress in haste, in suit or jeans
And though we've barely got the time
Check our Smart 'phone, go on-line...

The minutes tick by – we'll be late
The pressure mounts, we're in a state
Wrapped in our thoughts, soon on our way
Oh, the challenge of a winter's day!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Santa Claus - Explained!

Have you ever stopped to wonder why
We celebrate this white beard guy?
And what about his name, I pray?
There's a foreign meaning tucked away...

It means Saint Nicholas in Dutch;
Sint Niklaas was loved so much
By countries under Catholic sway
That he's still honoured on this day!

December 6th is filled with joy
With gifts for each good girl and boy
For weeks before, he's on parade
So the toy shops do a roaring trade!

There are songs - and wish lists carefully written
In Belgium yes – but not in Britain
Won over to the Reformation
All Saints were banished from the Nation!

Yet in altered form he still survives
As Santa Claus he brightens lives
On Christmas Eve with reindeer sleigh
Bringing gifts to give away!

Of the Christian bishop – not a trace
Mammon not God takes his place
For Brits: no “Black Pete” just small elves
Who make the toys and stack the shelves!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Sunday, 4 December 2016


If a picture speaks a thousand words
Is a video on-line worth more?
A puzzle for computer nerds
Though I for one, don't keep the score.

Facebook and photos are in league
When pets are given human voice
This cat is planning some intrigue ...
Observe the caption – it is choice!

What pussy thinks we all can guess:
Let's play with baubles hanging free!
A tug at tinsel does the rest
Hey presto! Crash of Christmas tree!

All broken glass and flashing lights
The Festive Fir now looks forlorn
But all is quickly put to rights
In readiness for Christmas morn!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Thomas at the Pageant!

It's hot so Thomas wears his hat
The Pageant floats are where it's at
Kids and families line the road
Images in overload...

There's a festive atmosphere in town
Despite the fierce sun that beats down
Thomas is a lucky lad
He has a front view with his Dad!

Adelaide Christmas skies are blue
How Europe would enjoy that too!
But does he know the reason why
Santa with white beard goes by?

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Sixth Sense

On meeting people, we shake hands
Or smile and nod - in other lands
Our first impressions may be strong
We feel that we can get along

Or maybe all our hackles rise
Instinctively we hide our eyes
Our sixth sense working overtime
Is fighting to give us a sign.

Weak handshake maybe, shifty eye
The picture's not quite right, we try
To force the issue, make a bond
But deep down in our heart, we're conned!

Non-verbal language can't be taught
But it's a skill that's finely wrought
Children have it in good measure
They pick up clues of fear and pleasure.

As adults, we trust feelings less
Logic rules our minds, I guess
We don't let instincts play the game
Too much is done “against the grain”!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Tuesday, 29 November 2016


A friend suggested that I write
A birthday ode – the day is right
Another year has flown on by
To marshall all my thoughts I try:

A birthday means, we hope, warm wishes
But getting older ain't for sissies.
There are creaky, freaky moments new
We're relieved when old friends feel them too!

So should we look back and take stock?
Or just be grateful we still rock?
I think my memory's still good
My poems roll out as they should!

I guide and translate “à la carte”
Prompted by my Archer heart
My arrows – only words – strike home
Thanks to my blog – I'm not unknown.

Can I blow my trumpet on this day?
Thanks to all who pass this way
Jupiter's Girl likes to amuse
“Poet in the woods” is news!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Monday, 28 November 2016


What a crazy world and mad rat race
Thomas, still a tot, will face
All that rushing round, deadlines to meet
Crowded roads and weary feet.

Not to mention non-stop ringing phones
The pace does not let up for drones...
So what's it all about, young man?
That hard hat says you have a plan!

OK, he tries it out for size
It fits him nicely, shades his eyes
Protecting from the noise and din
His lively brain and cheeky grin.

His pristine mind is in full flow
As imagination starts to grow
In a Bob-the-Builder dream today
He acts the role in his own play!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

"Bob The Builder" was a UK children's TV show: 1998-2012.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Talking Turkey on Thanksgiving Day

Turkey's often in the news
The country, not the feathered bird,
But on Thanksgiving Day, I choose
This noble fowl – my heart is stirred!

Trussed up and roasted, steaming hot
Chestnut stuffing in its breast
Glazed root veggies, unctuous stock
And Pumpkin pie, dear Grandma's best!

Recalling settlers long ago,
Rich harvests blessed with Indian corn
Survival then was touch and go
New homeland loyalty was born.

But First Americans had no voice
They had not come on Ocean ship
And Brother Turkey had no choice
Both henceforth on a one-way trip …

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

A Bumpy Ride?

Promises! Promises! - often heard
Some dramatic, some absurd
Press coverage across the Pond
Quick off the mark, went far beyond...

Now Red Tie builds his home brand team
America has a New Dream!
Or New Deal - we are not sure
Obama's policies still score …

But disquiet and unrest persist
What cards does Trump hold in his fist?
More bedfellows climb aboard
Climate re-think – new accord...

With power in Gemini's tight hands
Washington - on shifting sands
The scene will change a whole lot more;
At this point we can't see the shore …

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Donald Trump born 14th June, 1946 ...

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Archer

Followers of William Tell
Know the “apple-shot-off-boy's-head” well
Then there's Robin, he of the Green Hood
Near Nottingham, whose aim was good.

And what of Cupid with his bow?
A classy shot – as we all know
The Arrow - symbol of direction
On roads and internet connection...

The bowman's skill – once our defence
Victorious against the French*
At Agincourt; the fletcher's pride
Feathered death lies side by side...

Radio Four has Archers too
Ambridge tales of derring-do!
Sagittarius – astral sign
One of the twelve – and it is mine!

With words as weapons from the start
The Poet-Archer shoots each dart
The target often out of sight
But with luck the aim is right!

The sun moves into Sagittarius on 21st November

*Henry V trounced the French at Agincourt in 1415.

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Monday, 21 November 2016

What Have We Unleashed?

Life's complicated – Man contrives
To understand; how hard he tries
To sift the chaff out of the way
But cannot constantly make hay.

Data floods out from the Net
It's all too much, we can't connect
The filing system in our brain
Goes into meltdown with the strain.

Remember how it used to be -
Typewriters, telex and CD?
Now it's constant streaming, CNN
“Burn out” was unknown – back then.

Innovations bring dramatic breezes
New dynamics, new diseases
Topsy-turvy wars still rage
Human madness – centre stage.

We see change in the air writ large
I mention no names – make no charge
But cracks appear in many Nations:
Era of mass hallucinations!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Friday, 18 November 2016

Brussels City Museum

Ornate and Renaissance in style
The “King's House” or “Bread Hall” awhile
Reborn in 19th century guise
The Brussels banner proudly flies.

Wrought-iron railings, studded door
Three floors of history to explore:
Tapestries, altarpieces, art
Statues and sculptures all take part.

Outstanding culture you will find
Skilled craftsmanship world class defined!
Up lofty stairs, stained glass in frames
The power of Charles the Fifth proclaims.

Scale model of the sleepy Senne
Prone to flooding now and then
With Ducal palace on the rise
The Grand'Place grows before our eyes.

A canal brings impetus to trade
A fortress built – Spain is afraid
Of Louis the Fourteenth who attacks
The city's heart - but it strikes back!

Peace, prosperity and parks at last
Neoclassic buildings spring up fast
Advent of industry and rail
Overcrowding - fountains fail.

Health hazard - cholera is found
The river must go underground...
Conduits the fountains now replace
All but one – with cheeky face ...

Manneken-Pis with vast array
Of costumes on top floor display
Stands proudly forth in birthday suit
Symbol of Brussels – pert and cute!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

To Crown it All!

Belgium's monarchy is young:
Three Leopolds trip off the tongue
Two Alberts, Baudouin, Philip I
And Regent Charles make the full sum...

As Saint Leopold had dynastic clout
His feast-day soon was singled out
To celebrate the new régime
So 15th November now is seen

As Dynasty day; where King and kin
A Te Deum dutifully will sing
While politicians override
Their differences and step aside...

As Leopold was a German choice
All our Germanophones rejoice
They also celebrate today
70,000 have a holiday!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

First King of the Belgians Leopold I of Saxe-Coburg-Saarfeld - sworn in as king on 21st July, 1831.

Monday, 14 November 2016

A Whole Lot of Shakin' goin' on!

New Zealand on the Ring of Fire
Trembles – the effect is dire
7.8 in magnitude
Two dead - South Isle in sombre mood.

Alas, this is no rare event
As the tectonic plates have rent
Christchurch a few years ago
Much damage - reconstruction slow...

This time the sea reserves surprises
A tsunami, 8 feet high, soon rises
And rolls relentlessly to shore
As after-shocks cause fear once more.

This “Deja Vu” seems so unfair;
More power cuts impede repair
Struck badly twice in one decade
No wonder nerves are raw and frayed.

Mother Nature can't be tamed
So politics cannot be blamed
Or is this upheaval meant
As a sign the world is not content?

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

13th-14th November, 2016

Friday, 11 November 2016

A Tribute to Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)

He sang of solitude and sex
Relationships fraught and complex
With a warm faith that touched our heart
Leonard – why did you have to part?

Poems and songs of deep malaise
Reflecting youth's tumultuous days
His Sixties' “Suzanne” by the river
In many of us sends a shiver …

Folk music, cabaret and stage
On the Isle of Wight - with Hendrix plays!
His gravelly voice will haunt our dreams
His words have tapped into deep seams...

Subconsciously we hear him still
He caught our mood, morose or thrill
Modest, unassuming, kind
His trademark black hat was a blind

His face in shadow so we heard
And tuned into each poignant word
Montreal claims him for their own
His sudden death means we're alone.

Finger-on-the-pulse through six decades
Leonard Cohen's music never fades
His passing cuts me like a knife...
Hallelujah for his life!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Died 10th November, 2016

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Luna Magic

The Bard's “inconstant orb” draws near;
In mid-November, this pale sphere
Will reach its perigee* at last
An event that rarely comes to pass.

Elliptical - its orbit shape
Our silver moon will often take
Aeons before it looms in sight
Like a Christmas bauble in the night.

An illusion that it grows in size
Hovering above our eyes
Its limpid glow wakes poets' muse
Juliet and Romeo enthuse...

Once in a Blue Moon, it will come
Reflecting our life-giving sun
Just briefly over Trump's high towers
This lunar loveliness is ours...

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

* The Super Moon - 14th November, 2016

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

In Uncharted Territory

An avalanche has just occurred!
Europe in its core is stirred
Red, White and Blue have made their choice
America has a new voice.

Hillary concedes defeat;
The Clinton era in retreat
The People desperate for change
Have picked a guy who's out of range.

Not from the Military or Law
It's Politics where he must score,
A businessman with mixed success
Poised for the White House spot – no less!

Will D.C.'s bubble now be burst?
Trump claims he'll put the US first
Yet on this most auspicious day
World leaders bide their time – and pray …

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Day of Judgement at the Polls

You may search for answers but more questions come
Grab frantically at straws - find there are none
The uncertainty felt in our bones is real
We stumble for the light; our senses reel.

The Election that takes place in Fifty States
Which we've followed and discussed in fierce debates
Only serves to prove we're on the brink
Of a dramatic change – what should we think?

As these lines appear upon my empty screen
It occurs to me to wonder if the Dream
Of a better, brighter world for one and all
Has on November 8th begun to pall...

Obama plays some sport, he's off the hook
The Candidates vote early and they look
Exhausted after this long campaign trail
With so much money spent – who now will fail?

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

November 9th - Trump wins the Presidency!

Monday, 7 November 2016

Politics - 2016

'Art of the possible' we learn
It's High Noon, folks - without the gun
In the run for office, tables turn
Ideals have lured in more than one.

Agendas groan with would-be goals
Damage limitation - smart
Out-reach to undecided souls
Tensions run high in each camp!

Politics - the game they play
With the finish line ahead at last
Think 'crash and burn' time either way
Whichever candidate runs past...

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Politics is the Art of the Possible ...

Thursday, 3 November 2016

The Role of the Life Coach

When several coaches get together
(No trains involved in this endeavour)
Each has a viewpoint quite unique
Tensions mount – each wants to speak

And tune into another's needs
Access anxieties - for fees
When reassurance, help, support
And encouragement are sought.

Psychology and a gentle touch
Good listening – maybe French or Dutch
As coaches don't know who will call
And this is Belgium after all!

The human brain besieged by stress
Was not invented to process
Excessive data; and sensation
On all sides leads to frustration...

These kindly folk help pave the way
To a less emotional display
But it's hard to pause, reflect, take stock
When our fragile egos take a knock...

So, how well do they do their task?
Much hands-on training makes them ask
Is this approach the way to go
As progress, when it comes, is slow...

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

At the U.L.B.

Networking runs through all our lives
But some link-ups are a surprise
Chance encounters open doors
And don't subscribe to logic laws!

Take Friday – in my role as guide
I took a small group deep inside
The bowels of Brussels to the drains
To explain what happens when it rains!

A cultural trip in many ways
Where rats scamp freely in the maze
Their scaly tails grip grimy walls
Their home-from-home has lethal spores!

With my group one hour I spend
“Can I have your card?” comes at the end;
“You're a guide AND poet! Is that right?”
Which explains my presence here tonight!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Introducing myself at the European Poetry and Literature Association conference
poetry reading evening - held at the Université Libre de Bruxelles on 29/10 - after meeting them at the Brussels Sewer Museum!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

An Intellectual Black Hole?

Facebook quizzes are a blast:
“What was your job in centuries past?”
“What's your personality hue?
Is it yellow, red, green tinge or blue?”

“Which Disney character could you play?”
“Describe yourself in one word, pray!”
Each one a catchy, fake request
Yet who succumbs and takes the test?

In the busy lives that we all lead
These conundrums tend to slow our speed;
Trite answers that won't fool a child,
But where are the results stockpiled?

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Thomas plays Mine Host!

We all need and love a home
Look – Thomas has one of his own!
Concerned with Nature, it's in wood
And has an Outback feel – that's good!

Master of all he surveys
Thomas, the happy owner, plays
In his very own domain
Flat-roofed – there's very little rain

In South Australia – driest State
Here storms and floods so rarely make
Eruption on this sun-parched scene
Where only eucalpts stay green!

Bright gingham curtains peep from frames
While doorway Thomas entertains
His guests – that's you and me outside -
Quick – let us from the harsh sun hide!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Is This an Age Thing?

When we grow old, we lose our spring
With aches and pains much more the thing
Odd twinges halt us in our tracks
Our vision loses sharpness – facts!

But the human body's a machine
Wise use will keep it lean and mean
While the mind which tends to rule the roost
Can recall fond memories – like Proust!

Well oiled and cared for, we survive
With all our faculties alive
If we indulge a little less
And meditate to calm our stress.

But in the news I read each day
Many young and famous pass away
In drug-fuelled overdose or worse
Fame and its lifestyle are a curse!

I hope Age brings us wisdom too
A daily aim: learn something new
And take this mad world in your stride;
I wish you all a long, safe ride!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Monday, 24 October 2016

Armageddon at Calais!

Six-thirty and the clean-ups start
Police and bulldozers move in
French Calais now has lost its heart
Demolition can begin!

Migrants in this bidonville
Must be rehoused so buses wait
Disrupted lives with anguish fill
Uncertainty their only fate.

News spotlight on the plight of those
Compelled by constant war to flee
Who find themselves caught in the throes
Of this evacuation “spree”.

Displaced split families, single men
Children left to fend alone
All seek a better world – but when
Will they find a kinder home?

The Calais jungle will be razed
But many still seek England's shore
Is the Belgian border the next phase?
La Panne quakes; armed guards to the fore!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Friday, 21 October 2016

The Consecration of Bob Dylan

A word on those who feel, like me,
That words life's key meaning free
Songwriters who encapsulate
In succinct terms our mental state.

Who capture images in sound
With rhythms often Heaven-bound
They lift our souls and warm our heart
And kindle once again our spark.

Belgium's Jacques Brel haunts us still
And Leonard Cohen always will
Troubadours of the modern age
Their lyrics burn holes in the page!

Yet Bob Dylan's voice speaks to us all;
Holding America in thrall
Guitarist, shock-haired, piercing eyes
Sought now for the Nobel prize!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Awarded on 13th October, 2016 - no reaction for 5 days from Dylan ...

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Open Secrets!

Eavesdropping is a practised art
Casual comments can impart
Surprising knowledge and advice
And add to our dull journeys – spice!

When Smart phones trill in bus or tram
We're curious, aren't we – to a Man!
Confidential chatting soon ensues
We “log in” to our neighbour's views ...

On politics or shopping list,
Marital row or secret tryst
Depending whom you're standing near
It's fascinating what you hear!

With earphones, answers can't be heard
But with practice – much inferred!
With Facebook, Face-time, Instagram
News effervesces like Tam-Tam!

We throw discretion to the winds
And unbeknownst, broadcast our sins
So it's hard to keep facts under wraps:
Take Trump and Hillary and tax!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Rain stops Play!

My terrace floods, deep pools reflect
Dark grey skies – it's pouring wet
So my straggly plants droop in despair
As they cower in the Autumn air.

Have you noticed how the rain is loud?
Pearl-like droplets form a crowd
Of crystals streaming down the wall;
One happy thought – dust is no more!

The floor tiles, once bright red, are dull,
Wind-blown-in leaves sure need a cull
Should I sweep? No, let it ride
My trusty broom stays dry inside.

Whoopee! Here comes more pelting rain
So it's slippery underfoot – again!
Brolly aloft, I'm on my way
The clean-up's for another day …

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Homeless in Brussels

It's Poverty Day* but did you know?
Lonely souls with dogs in tow
Are homeless on our rain-splashed streets
With cardboard boxes their retreats...

Or in Metro gangways lie
Ignored by rush-hour passers-by
What has brought them down so low?
It's clear they have nowhere to go...

Many appropriate their spot
Each paper cup hopes coins will drop
When they catch a sympathetic eye
At least inside they're in the dry!

With unemployment on the rise
And higher rents, it's no surprise
That many slip through safety net
As normal needs cannot be met.

The phenomenon seems set to stay;
Computers make our lives today
Faster but impersonal too;
There but for fortune – me or you …

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

*International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - 17th October

Monday, 17 October 2016

The Greening of Thomas

Each batch of photos that I see
Depicts a Thomas new to me
The chubbiness and wistful phase
Has given way to thoughtful gaze.

Blonde-haired cherub? Not so sure
He's learning to lay down the law
Granny has to tow the line
What Thomas says, now goes - this time!

Sure-footed now - strong powers of speech
Many options lie within his reach
Food likes and dislikes he can voice
Exhilarating to have choice!

His wardrobe changes as he grows
A constant stream of trendy clothes;
Take the green jacket that he wears -
A guarantee of fan-club stares!

Tough and determined, active mind
Thomas his own path will find
Meanwhile, what joy to watch him grow
He gives his Auntie a warm glow!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

In Full Colour

Nature's largesse blows my mind
With their luscious fruits of every kind
And hand-picked vegetables on show
Local markets are the place to go.

Gold, burnished sunshine afternoon
Last gasp before the winter gloom
Crunchy, crisp leaves strewn on paths
Full blown display – not done by halves...

This year late summer still persists
So walks are fun for dogs and trysts
Ripe chestnuts hurtle to the ground
Look carefully! Mushrooms can be found.

One suspects the chill will soon set in;
As shadows lengthen, we'll stay in
The TV and the Internet
Will sorely tempt us, but - not yet!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Friday, 14 October 2016

Smash and Grab in Place Keym!

It's 9 a.m. on Friday morn
Into Place Keym police cars swarm
“Don't pass” blue tape blocks precinct bay
Shoppers asked to stay away.

Bemused and cold, some passers-by
Ask of each other, “What's awry?”
Forensic experts hove in sight
There's been a break-in overnight!

High-tech computers lured the thieves
The twice-unlucky owner seethes!
His tempting wares – well-lit display
Have attracted those who will not pay...

The Square's abuzz; I think of Keym
A councillor who gave his name
To this quiet, on-the-bus-route, square
Where violence is very rare.

Watermael quakes – its nerves are raw
A backwater? Not any more;
Down corridors of splintered glass
The very worst has come to pass!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

A Tricky Balancing Act

Give me one reason we should smile
When our Western life is such a trial
Based on owning to excess;
Twisted values – more is less...

The love of acquisitions reigns
Artworks mean insurance claims!
Possessions own us, not we them
Though they flatter our conceit pro tem.

Life's short - why garner so much wealth?
More precious is our state of health
Taken for granted until it fails
And sends us hurtling off the rails …

Stop! Think! Step back so you can see
The simple beauty of a tree,
Graceful birds on southbound flight
And twinkling stars on Autumn night...

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Monday, 10 October 2016

Glowing Autumn

The nights are drawing in so fast
It's double-duvet time at last
There's a chilly “nip” back in the air
Like animals, we seek our lair...

Lazy Sundays - under sheets
Recovering from busy weeks
A stroll in Autumn afternoon
Where gentle sunshine lifts the gloom...

Sandals shelved, now boots and shoes
A wealth of snug, warm scarves to choose
They add a brightness to our day
As much-loved summer fades away.

Bold flower boxes catch my eye
They bloom regardless, do not die
Their vibrant colour warms my heart
Nature's lanterns in the dark!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Join the Ex-Pat Buzz!

Brussels - Europe's melting pot
Gregarious around the clock
Meet-ups, festivals for free
In language terms – the place-to-be!

Take Saturdays at coffee time
The Ex-Pat group – a fertile vine
Provides a forum for new links
Connections over warming drinks!

An exchange of views – a welcome chat
Almost one in three is an Ex-Pat
Some seeking work, some locked-indoors
All week – doing E.U. chores!

It's mix and match – a chance to shine
Meeting people in Real Time
From distant shores or just next door
Great encounters lie in store!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

At Natural Caffé - Mont des Arts

Friday, 7 October 2016

Linked In - or Not?

Gosh, what you learn when you surf the Net:
Past battles, floods, balloon flights - set
In a world long gone, when links were few
Many months before the news got through...

Among the arcane facts I scroll
Two names pop up; each play a role
Which exceeds their origins by far
Each in his way, a troubled star …

Both Librans - 7th October boys
Heinrich Himmler, a big Nazi noise
Who died before Putin was born
In a Soviet Union crushed and torn

By the trauma of six years of war
When an Iron Curtain hit the floor...
Détente and Gorbachev to come
Ere Vladimir was Number One.

These Astro-twins have marked our lives
Destinies in another guise
So was their birth date a main cause?
Astrology still gives me pause ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Thomas - at 34 Months Old

He observes his ever-widening arc
The weeks go by, new routines start
He checks the rubbish bins at Church
One wonders why he makes the search...

Swift commands he can compute
His sense of trust is absolute
He learns that Daddy will be there
When he throws himself into the air.

Fireball of energy I've heard
Less babbling speech – more spoken word
A determined little Capricorn
Who takes his audience by storm.

As to talents – well, the jury's out
But Thomas knows what he's about
Assertive - confident with stuff
At nearly three, this guy is tough!

(c) Poet in the woods