Wednesday, 27 July 2016


Disasterville down Boitsfort way!
Blocked roads – there are new pipes to lay
Blue-yellow barricades in place
We're forced to drive at snail's pace.

Our only bus, the 17
Now meanders in the leafy green
Down quiet lanes, its peace perturbed
Each time the STIB's small bus is heard!

With “No parking” signs, this sleepy lair
Is now a mainstream thoroughfare
Cars and twice-weekly refuse truck
Must negotiate this turn – Good luck!

Agreed, the traffic flow is less
But detours cause no end of stress
Bulldozers swing out - so beware
Till end of August, they'll be there!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Monday, 25 July 2016

In Free-Flow

Words plant themselves upon the page
In an order I can't always gauge
What shall I write about today
With so many of you far away?

World Youth Day plans in old Kracow?
Or Russians caught in drug-based row?
The Olympic Games in Rio loom
A time to shine – not all is gloom...

In Brussels: music concerts free
For sales – Rue Neuve's the place to be
Half-price tickets on the train
And parking's easy – in the main!

Facebook is “quiet” which is good
You're all relaxing – as you should
With friends and family in the sun
Time to switch off – and have fun!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Holiday Horrors!

What's with our lazy Western ways?
The self-interest, “me culture” stays
Top of the list – injustice rules
Anger heats up, kindness cools...

More bomb attacks, more senseless dead
Those with no hope left, quickly spread
Destruction, horror and despair
The consumer world just does not care...

Where are those values once revered?
Dark clouds have gathered, lives are seared
We've lost our way, our hearts are cold
Compassion can't compete with gold...

Each “Breaking News” tells of more pain
Staying positive is now a strain
Though holidays are in full swing
For some life has a hollow ring …

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Saturday, 23 July 2016

In Turmoil ...

I scroll down Facebook every day
Themes: politics and holiday
Deep pools, blue skies; sun-filled retreats;
The Silly Season still competes

For our attention - weirdness rules
A wanton waste of lives now fuels
Apprehension under summer sun
Europe needs to act as one...

There are tremors of unrest abroad
Across the Bosphorus a horde
Of lock-downs on an epic scale
No one is awarded bail …

Does the US hold its Trump card high?
Trial by media for this guy
Some sort of hallucination
Seems to grip this once great Nation...

Has it always been as bad as this?
We're edging to a precipice
With the unexpected who can deal?
No summer daydream – this is real!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Friday, 22 July 2016

Terrace Thoughts

On a muggy day, such as this July,
When the city centre seems to fry
A swimming pool has more appeal;
Any thoughts of working are unreal.

My rooftop terrace beckons me
Time for feet up – cup of tea
How wonderful to stop, sit down
Wriggle toes and gently brown...

We live at such a frantic pace
How long since we last touched base?
We fill our lives with excess “stuff”
Many find the going is too tough!

And holidays are hectic too
On sultry motorways we queue
Delays at airports, cancellations
Turbo-charged at destinations...

So I wonder, as I sip my tea
In this quiet spot – just birds and me
If it isn't sometimes just as good
To “chill out” in my leafy wood...

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

In beautiful Boitsfort ...

Thomas - at 30 Months Old

Thomas – a mini-man these days
Sports a rucksack, quite unfazed
Observing keenly all in sight;
His brain computes each megabyte!

Warmly clad for winter time
Cool weather yes, but Oz sunshine
Means intrepid walks with “keep fit” Dad
Are often on the cards – tough lad!

Veering now towards age three
Acquiring more vocabulary
Thomas means to make his mark
Boy Capricorn is a bright spark!

Both Grannies are so proud of him
But do not gratify each whim
A gentle discipline is fine
Thus, Thomas learns to toe the line...

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The Oakhouse at Axbridge

On age-old square - oak-timbered frame
View of hunting lodge with King John's name
Axbridge reveals its Saxon roots
And echoed to bold Norman boots.

The village has a pristine look
But is mentioned in the Domesday book!
View of the Mendips right outside;
Against the Vikings fortified.

In Alfred's time, a trading post
A market charter it can boast
Awarded back in 1202
Rich burghers had a guildhall too!

The Oakhouse, now a B & B
Row of houses under Edward III
Uneven floors and winding stair
Impressive fireplace – Priest's Hole rare.

In breakfast room – an alcove hides
An ancient well, our host confides
Historic feature, now bone dry
A sign of wealth in times gone by.

Up a flight of steps at topmost tread
Through an opening, purpose-lit, is spread
a mappa mundi drawn with care
But no one knows who put it there...

A sheaf of records, some transcribed
Sale deeds by medieval scribe
Whose spindly writing strains the eyes
How amazing that it all survives!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Axeman on the Würzburg Train!

More “Breaking News” invades our day!
(Not Trump's convention, Cleveland way)
But an unprovoked attack
Mid-evening on Bavarian track.

Life jolts us all in fits and starts
Terror strikes the stoutest hearts
When a young Afghani takes a stand
In a Deutsche Bahn with axe in hand!

Armed also with a deadly knife …
Several fight now for their life;
Only seventeen, no families ties
Unknown – radicalised.

Gunned down when fleeing Würzburg train;
Unsuspecting families in pain
A police raid on his poor effects
An IS flag quickly detects...

He will never harm again
But think of those upon the train
Travelling in the summer sun:
At any moment Death may come...

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

On 18th July, 2016

At the Eurostar Terminal

Sam's Café gleams, the queue is long
Hot coffee - zebra eyes look on!
Early travellers, rucksacks bulging
Crowd the tables, all indulging

In couques and crumbly croissants fresh
Which leave their plastic trays a mess
A sense of expectation reigns;
Across the concourse – Channel trains!

A painless check-in, automated
Security is overstated
Though the Army lads stroll by
British passports get the eye.

Stretched-out seating occupied
Off-school children, bleary-eyed
Gift carrier-bags, spread maps and books;
Phones get surreptitious looks...

Rare are those in business suit
T-shirts and ripped jeans on this route
We're called for boarding, rise as one
The exodus has now begun!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Monday, 18 July 2016

A Snapshot of Worthing

Seagulls, overfed, swoop low
No fishing on repainted pier
Windswept dogs with owners go
On granulated beach: skies clear.

Worthing – shades of faded splendour
Steyne gardens: deck chairs in the breeze
Old postcards show snow in December!
Cluttered streets, roadworks, high teas.

Fish and chips, great Noodles Bar
Italian bistros – many choices
France on a clear night isn't far
This is England of accented voices.

The sunset adds a vibrant glow
To flowerbeds – each one unique
On the Prom “Fresh Bait” signs are on show
No wonder seagulls are so sleek!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Friday, 8 July 2016

It's All Greek!

Heraclitus, centuries ago
Said succinctly we must know
In this world quite passing strange
The only constant thing is change.

I pondered on this Ancient Greek
Whose wise words through the ages speak:
How our Quest for certainties is strong
But life just hurtles us along.

We struggle with each status quo
Our happinesses come and go
Like stocks and shares which rise and fall
We try to balance on the ball.

Often we think we've got it right
And buzz with temporary delight
Before the scene shifts yet again
The unexpected causes pain ...

Uncertainty's a constant theme
The level playing field – a dream;
If we're smart we just let go
And revel in life's constant flow!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Heraclitus of Epheseus 535-475 BC Pre-Socratic Philosopher

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Quartier St. Jacques - Brussels

Rainbows brighten Brussels lives
Where mussel boats once shed their load
Old urban fabric in new guise
Dense network of wide brotherhood.

Vast murals painted gay and bright
Hairdressers, saunas, clubs and bars
The pavements buzz, alive at night
Congregations all on foot – no cars...

“Our Lady of Good Help” looks down
At the milling crowds who pass her by
St. Jacques may wear a puzzled frown
Such pilgrims have new fish to fry!

Block and tackle on display in shops
A host of items to explore
As opportunity now knocks
Behind discreet brass plate and door...

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Under the Lime Trees

With its gardens, parks and winding streets
Brussels offers many treats,
Its history read from ancient walls,
Its restaurants and shopping malls.

Wide boulevards quite free of cars
Its tinkling fountains, outdoor bars
Where everyone in his own tongue
Discusses what the Brits have done!

As the days since BREXIT flow on by
Feelings here are running high
For many Brits, Brussels is home
Who voted to “go it alone?”

Not those who live here, that is clear
Opine the ex-pats over beer
In the single market – special deal?
Wake up Britain – let's get real!

Their Belgian colleagues are bemused
What a tangle! Everyone confused...
Under lime trees on a sunny day
The Brussels buzz is: “Let us stay!”

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Long term ex-pats not allowed to vote!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Storm Clouds Gather ...

Clouds gather in our northern skies
Europe's worried – no surprise
Britain, sadly “Great” no more,
Has lost its fabled fighting claw.

Set on a course to stand alone
With treaties to be made at home
No leadership - wild disarray
Who rules at N° 10 today?

“The Sceptred Isle”* of John of Gaunt
In Shakespeare's play, now seems to taunt
England “set in a silver sea”
With a future no one now can see...

The metaphoric clouds bring rain
Europe's storm-ridden once again
Echoes of a Thirties past ...
Will Europe's unity now last?

News flashes light up the dark sky
Will the people's will prevail? and why
Did the P.M. promise what he did?
Was Cameron's gamble a lone bid?

In the aftermath, the bells have tolled
Many well-known heads have rolled
Weeks of turmoil and confusion:
European unity - an illusion?

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

* Richard II Act II scene 1

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Flashback - at a Wedding

At a wedding on a summer's day
Bride and groom in fine array
Between the storms the sun shone through
Presage of a life path new.

White gypsophila edged the pews
With satin ribbons flowing loose
The wedding march by Mendelssohn
A second marriage has begun!

The Bible passage moved my heart:
“Love until death do us part”;
I thought of my own wedding day
And Fate that snatched my man away...

Does Love exist beyond the grave?
Are all our futures neatly paved?
I've moved on – with a partner new
Yet the love of he who's gone – shines through …

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Friday, 1 July 2016

Meditation on the Somme

Time to pause and meditate:
In 1916 on this date
On a sunny day in Western France
Near the river Somme where rushes dance

Seven-thirty on July the First
From stillness to machine gun burst
En masse troops clambered o'er the top
To be cut down – like flies they drop.

Sad indictment of the Generals' course
To neutralize the German force
By bombarding lines for seven days
A failure – hidden in the haze...

On no day since or long before
Have casualties topped this harsh score
Thousands of young men in the mud
The spilling of a Nation's blood.

And all for what? A strip of land
Allegiances with hatred fanned
The League of Nations rose and fell;
In 1940 – more war Hell...

Since ECSA* and the Schuman pact
We thought we'd said goodbye to that
Europe has tried to stay together
Politically a tough endeavour.

Now the puzzle loses a key piece
Britain from Europe wants release
Like those soldiers poised upon the brink ...
What will new generations think?

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

*The European Coal and Steel Community