Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Trump or Clinton?

It promised to be a Great Debate
American politics on a plate
On one side of the ring, Blue Tie
The Republicans' surprising guy.

On the other, trim in a red suit,
With ideas just as tough, to boot
A politically-savvy Democrat
Throws into the ring her hat!

The gloves are off – the bout is long
Opposing arguments are strong
Trump shows a wee restraint at last
While Hillary battles with her past...

Top ratings in the polls are seen
En masse the States watch TV screen
Europeans at 3 a m await
Trenchant views – there's much at stake!

Who, we wonder, scooped the Pool?
Divide and reign now seems the rule
Both candidates have major flaws...
Ahead - a shake-up of old laws!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

On September 26th it drew an audience of 84 million!

Monday, 26 September 2016

Ice Cream at Middelkerke

Brussels to the coast takes time
Train to La Panne – end-of-line
Working farms, Tielt's rows of leeks
Ripening corn, lost village streets...

A meander skirting Flemish fields
Tractors garner harvest yields ...
The coast abuzz – deep sapphire skies
Beach overshadowed by high-rise.

The dunes are just a walk away
Glass-fronted bars keep sand at bay!
Once-in-a-lifetime thing to do
Take the kusttram – see the view!

Families stroll along the digue
Residential villas at Coxyde
Nieuwport-on-Yser with huge locks
Floodgates – the German army stops!

Colonnades and Kursaal at Ostend
Grey waves and buildings never end!
At Middelkerke - a brief stop
A luscious ice cream hits the spot!

Blankenberge - now run-down,
A family-oriented town
At last - Nirvana! Knokke-Heist
Where accommodation is high-priced!

Six Euros for a full day's ride
Intriguing views on every side
Amazing coastal revelation:
A bargain and an education!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Friday, 23 September 2016

Little Obsessions!

Irrational fears beset us all
They start in childhood's lengthy hall
Dark shadows beckon - night time ghost?
Pane-tapping branches scare us most.

The letter 'S' arouses hate
Of Spider, Scorpion and Snake;
Apprehension hits when far from home
Fear of crowds – yet so alone.

In the deep recesses of our mind
These horrors lurk and often find
Expression when we least expect it
Cold clammy fear is soon detected...

Through film, TV or spoken word
But these obsessions are absurd!
Our urge to conquer them is strong
Yet they persist and tag along!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Happy Birthday Metro!

With riots, deaths and civil war,
Disasters, bomb scares, feelings raw
The world we live in has deep flaws
So many seek to settle scores …

Amid the chaos, one bright spark
Small progress in a world grown dark
Something positive I have found:
40th birthday of our “Wunderground”!

Brussels metro first took flight
(OK, the metaphor's not right!)
On a cool September day
Crowds gathered – no one had to pay!

King Baudouin travelled like the rest
Admired the murals as a guest
For art inspires, uplifts the soul
So naturally, it has a role

To play in tunnels metres deep;
Brussels artists to us speak!
More stations quickly came on line
Terminus-changing all the time!

In a struggle to keep up to speed
Lifts exist for those in need
But the network has to be extended
So budget plans are open-ended...

As “Mobility Week” has shown
In this clogged-up city, drivers moan
But the STIB, for all its faults, goes by
And does its bit – give it a try!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Friday, 16 September 2016

Thoughts on Mobility Week

What shall I write about? It's hard
To find new themes, says Brussels Bard
I listen the radio
The talk is all of traffic flow.

The rush hour which now never ends
Electric bikes – and other trends
“Mobility Week” and two-wheeled crime
Are cyclist tracks a waste of time?

Delays upon the RER
Though a priority by far
The Metro does its level best
As increased usage can attest

But the network needs to be extended
More chaos while the roads are mended!
The latest wheeze I've heard so far:
Co-voiturage or share-your-car.

London and Brussels can't be bested
Both share top billing: too congested!
Post BREXIT, Brussels wins hands down
The E.U.'s traffic-chaos clown!

Tolls wouldn't work – too complicated
Brussels: ├╝ber-full and sated!
This Sunday it is car-free day
Time to pause – and find a way

To alleviate this daily trial
Company cars - redundant style?
Tax concessions if we take the tram?
Meanwhile we live in traffic jam!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Annually in September

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Things are Hotting Up!

Another record has been broken
The weatherman is full of glee
This heatwave – what does it betoken?
The thermometer says “33°C”.

Last time September was so hot
Was well nigh seventy years ago
My thirsty plants lie down and rot
The sky for days has azure glow.

There's an urge to go swim in the sea
But lifeguards there are none
Belgium's unprepared, you see
Late summer has begun!

There are other items in the news:
A Syrian cease-fire
With Clinton's health scare, whom to choose?
Which options will inspire?

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Monday, 12 September 2016

R.I.P. Norma Jeane (1926-1962)

Born June first, Nineteen Twenty-Six
As Norma Jeane she was unknown
Not groomed for stardom in the flicks
Sad childhood in a children's home.

No Dad - and mother quite unstable;
She married early at sixteen
Petite, dark-haired, hope-filled, able
She dreamt about the silver screen!

With change to blonde - a lucky break
From part-time pin-up girl; new name
As Marilyn Monroe she'd make
A meteoric rise to fame.

With “Niagara” and “Some like it Hot”
Sex icon and box-office hit
Self-taught, she used to read a lot
And JFK thought she was “it”!

Shot into Hollywood's fast lane
Her marriages, hard-pressed, soon failed
An overdose - brought on by strain?
At thirty-six her life derailed...

Her “suicide” headlined the world's Press,
Distressing all her many fans;
Yet conspiracy theories will not rest
Did she die by others' hands?

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

1.6.1926 - 5.8.1962

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

A Trip to IKEA

A hot day – though September's come
Blue skies - though rare – are number one
The heat is such my skin responds
It's honey-coloured – right for blondes!

The time is ripe for a quick spree
IKEA is the place to be
A series of 'fake' rooms display
Smart Swedish chic to take away...

The settings, well set out, entice;
New lamps and cushions would be nice
For storage they have bright ideas
Let's chill out in those easy chairs!

Kids' bunk beds and office space
Accessories are in your face!
Well-appointed kitchens are my thing
Mirrors new perspectives bring ...

The cafeteria is vast;
Mums and kids come trundling past
With modest prices for their range
Of household goods, just bring small change!

Spent too long browsing? Time is short?
Scandinavian goodies can be bought ...
The car park wasn't full today
But beware the crowds come Saturday!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

1666 - The Great Fire of London

A chance spark from a baker's shop
The wind was up, the summer dry
A glowing ember, small hot spot
Soon flames were leaping in the sky.

Restoration London, narrow streets
September dawn brought panic, fear
All timber building quickly heats
Crowds gather on Thames river stair...

The inferno rages for three days
Before winds drop and dynamite;
Samuel Pepys, aghast, amazed
Records this, London's darkest night.

Near “Pudding Lane” - the Monument
Recalls old London's greatest fire;
350 years since the event
Wren's St. Paul's can still inspire.

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

The Great Fire raged from 2nd-5th September, 1666 and followed a 10-month drought ...

Sunday, 4 September 2016

On the Turn

The air is damp, though it is warm
Dew glistens on my neighbour's lawn
The local school resounds with joys
Playground chatter - new term noise.

With roadworks cleared, the endless stream
Of traffic shatters Summer's dream
Shutters open everywhere
The pressure mounts – Autumn is near ...

Rain washes dusty streets of grime
No mushrooms yet – they bide their time
But copper highlights touch the trees
As Summer, spent, falls to her knees …

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Thursday, 1 September 2016

The School Run

September – and the year begins
For tiny tots – first day at school
Rucksacks filled with snacks and things
For older ones – friendship renewal.

Excited babble after class
Smart phone photos proudly shown
The holidays flash by too fast;
For lonely kids – a second home...

“Terug naar School” is a big day
Inquiring minds test subjects new
All learning is a kind of play
The art of teaching – hard to do!

No uniforms but dressed alike
With jeans and t-shirts neatly pressed
They converge from car, or tram or bike
Intent, one hopes, to do their best.

Harassed parents watch them go
And hear perhaps the school bell ring
Then, caught in Autumn traffic flow,
Set off to town to “do their thing” …

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Note: Brussels' schools start on 1st September