Saturday, 30 December 2017

December - through a Northern Lens

Bare trees, cold winds and blue-grey skies
This is Belgium – no surprise
Last minute shopping, wrapped-up warm
Around the seafood, punters swarm ...

Champagne and snacky things to eat
Ice-cream concoctions (over-sweet!)
How Belgians love the festive touch
But maybe do indulge – too much...

Europe in the cold and wet
With family linked by internet
In South Australia's torrid sun
Provides a different kind of fun.

Friends and colleagues, warm mulled wine
Guided tours (I'm here this time!)
The central heating turned up high
A frosty, cold but star-lit sky.

No mangoes or dips in the sea
No sun cream needed – lucky me!
Instead thick jacket, gloves and boots
Recalling childhood's Northern roots!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Thursday, 28 December 2017

A Greater Gift

The gifts lay wrapped around the tree
Post Christmas day – how can that be?
Such self-control, subdued restraint
Yet no one voices a complaint ...

Cute Isabella, one week old
Their precious gift, outweighing gold
Takes up their every waking hour
And exercises her lung power!

Picture, if you will, the scene,
The family starts a new routine
Granny and Thomas form a bond
As he sleeps over, growing fond

Of loving Granny's constant care
While Mum and Dad hold their pearl rare
A breast-fed babe they know is best
But right now – what they need is rest!

So Christmas this year passes by
With their normal lifestyle all awry
Isabella her sweet time must take
Hence present opening has to wait!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Tuesday, 26 December 2017

2017 - a Watershed

Post Boxing Day, it's cold and damp
Dark shadows round my bedroom lamp;
We've turned the corner of the year
And say goodbye to Christmas cheer.

I contemplate the year gone by
And in this early morning try
To spin through thoughts since last December
What a mixed bag to remember!

Horrors interspersed with joys
How politics our world destroys
How little things keep us in touch
And how, despite it all, we clutch

At straws and hope for better things
We wonder what the new year brings.
Some special friends have passed away;
But there is light amid the grey

As life is good in the fast lane
A dear friend plans to wed again
For another, a wee babe is due
Before cold January is through...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Friday, 22 December 2017

Isabella - at One Day Old!

Rippled excitement in the air
Anticipation – it's all there
A new babe human warmth imparts
And brings a glow to all our hearts.

So fragile, delicate and cute
Sweet marvel in a birthday suit
The culmination of all joys
A tiny soul emitting noise!

At one-day-old brought safely home
The first page of a lifelong tome
Dark-haired, a contrast to big bro
Who kisses her and wants to know

When she'll be old enough to play
As they live in tandem from today!
Isabella with her eyes closed tight
Will keep her secrets for tonight.

While Granny takes good care of him
Thomas stares and takes it in
Hark! The Herald Angels sing!
This Christmas has a special ring ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017





Thursday, 21 December 2017

Isabella - our December Babe!

9 months – a miracle is wrought
Dreams and hopes have all been caught
In this precious being, fast asleep
With pearl-pink toes and dancing feet.

The day dawns on a family blessed
With a little cherub in the nest
Adorable in every way;
What will big brother Thomas say?

Isabella! What a joyful ring!
In time for Christmas, she will bring
A sense of wonder to the feast;
In love already with my niece!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The Run-up to Christmas ...

We search for turkey and the trimmings
Attend some joyful carol singings
Pen messages to friends abroad
And spend more than we can afford!

The garish decor in the shops
The buying spree until one drops
Primeval urge to light the dark
And kindle friendship's loyal spark.

Hectic travel, kids in tow
Traffic chaos: (strikes or snow?)
Bright parcels wrapped, we meet and greet
And share some calorific treat

Around a decorated tree
By crackling fire, mulled wine or tea;
As adults wish on their mince pies
Joy shines, we hope, in children's eyes ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

The Demise of the Telegram

Last Dinosaur, the Telegram?
Now classified as «also ran»
Outdated, reckoned obsolete
Gone the rush of postman's feet ...

Purveyor of good news or bad
Contained in phrases few, it had
An impact which was hard to guess
A source of joy or deep distress

Announcement of a train or birth
Or dear departed from the earth
Its advent always caused a stir
Excitement rippled in the air ...

The pace of life is quicker now
Electronics link us up – and how
Belgium's Telegram, revered, admired
Has now been gracefully retired...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

In 1846 Belgium's first telegram was sent from Brussels to Antwerp!



Sunday, 17 December 2017

Isabella - in the Wings!

Already Thomas made his wish
By asking for a little Sis*
Mum, Dad and Granny know the score
In no time now they will be four!

She lies there, hidden from our view
What she looks like, we've no clue
A tiny creature in the making
Soon the waters will be breaking...

The miracle of every day
Taken for granted as some say
Is a marvel we can't comprehend
But nine months' waiting soon will end*.

Anticipation is the key
The room prepared, where she'll soon be
A babe at Christmas surely means
Tangible magic born of dreams.

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

*Born 21st December, 2017

* see also: http://poetinthewoods.blogspot.be/2017/08/intuitive-thomas.html



Friday, 15 December 2017

An Alternative Christmas

The talk is all of Christmas food
Indulgence in a festive mood
Meals with family members planned
Catch-up moments, all feuds banned.

Descent of Rellies from afar
Who bore you stiff and raid the bar
Bearing gifts without much thought
No wonder many are distraught...

This hype infests our very soul
Such stress is costly, takes its toll
On those days when we don't toil
Such tensions bring us to the boil!

This Christmas I am on my own
With family contact just by 'phone
Few gifts to buy, great books to read
So I can take things at my speed...

Forget long queues and frantic pace
A meal plus just one friendly face!
The poet smiles with inner glow
Time to chill out – way to go!



A Plethora of Seasonal Parties!

Despite the darkness, some bright sights
The Christmas party round delights
Smiling faces, warm mulled wine
Goodies on display – big time!

Indulgence is the way to go
To diet seems a shame, let's glow!
The year's been fraught, much on-line news
Seems to purvey sad, bad views.

There are moments - this is one, I feel
When meeting people seems so real
A chat with colleagues, friends, old flames
Equality for all – first names!

Office parties all this week
A time for fun – forget the bleak
«In the worst of times, the best of times»
(As Dickens said); hear doorbell chimes!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

From "A Tale of Two Cities".


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

The Worst is Not Over!

Roadworks continue – in the snow
Slush and piles of bricks lie low
Scattered bin bags in huge drift
We're stranded, cold without a lift...

You'd think we'd not seen snow before!
We're caught out, helpless, on the raw.
STIB's buses vanish without trace
Sparse tracks dissect the frozen waste.

Beware all tunnels – they are closed
Delays add to commuter woes
Some trucks keel over on their side
But skiiers have an easy ride.

Dripping roofs today - with sleet
An annoying wind and chilly feet
But tread with care - the sun is low
Black ice threatens – take it slow!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Monday, 11 December 2017

Snowed In!

Snow crystals, snowflakes - thick snowstorm,
Snow shoes, snow ploughs, early dawn
Pristine roads, cars buried deep
We're blanketed while fast asleep.

Tall, febrile pine trees flecked with frost
A touch of Christmas – at no cost!
Red-tiled houses whited out
Winter's touch is all about!

These whirls and flurries patterns make
Like icing on a wedding cake
Trees outlined in Indian ink
A morphing puddle - an ice rink ...

Snow sprinkles last week turned to slush
A premonition warning us
Of the blizzard yet to come
A weekend wonderland for some.

Chaos on the rush hour roads
Weather website overloads
Dame Nature sleeps but is not dead
Look! Swooping birds fly overhead!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Saturday, 9 December 2017

What will Santa bring Thomas?

His playgroup sports a Christmas Tree
A festive touch that all can see
A gift in hand, perched on a chair
Thomas has a bemused stare.

With a «Ho! Ho!» hood upon his head
Too young to grow a beard, instead
It's commerce more than Faith that trends
Oz tackiness of Christmas spends!

But a greater gift is now in store
Not in a stable born on straw
But a baby sister on her way
Who might appear – on Christmas Day!*

Though apple of his parents' eye
Thomas soon must needs stand by
I wonder how this guy will feel
When he sees the baby's crib for real?

* Isabella was born on 21st December, 2017

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Thursday, 7 December 2017

On a Dark Morning

Daylight stolen from our eyes
Muffled clouds and misty skies
Winter grasps us tight and squeezes
I put my nose out – and it freezes...

Despite the cold, some nights are clear
Stars above the trees seem near
The wind brings colour to our cheeks
The voice of Old Man Winter creaks...

The alarm clock rings, it is still dark
Nature sleeps but Man must start
His hectic routine; is it right
To energise when it is night?

The woodland creatures now lie low
They wisely hibernate in snow;
The outdoor chill cuts like a knife
But I set forth - for such is life!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


R.I.P. Johnny Hallyday (1943-2017)

Sad news today – we can't forget
L'Elvis français, Jean-Philippe Smet
The Sixties rocker, leather clad
What a 'bête de scène', that lad!
A phenomenon in tight blue jeans
Who taught the French just what it means
To live out fast, exciting dreams!

This shooting star of music pop
Kept generations on the hop
With TV, films and concert tours.
But none escape Dame Nature's laws...
Though his time's run out – at seventy-four
His albums bring him back once more ...
And many out there cry: «Encore!»

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Died 6th December 2017


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Bordering on the Ridiculous

The Irish make the going hard;
The Border crossing is ill-starred
The Emerald Isle has made its choice
There is no single «BREXIT» voice.

Talks rumble on, sands trickle through
Time's on the run but what's to do?
New power bases rise and fall
If all else fails – the crystal ball!

The body politic perplexed
We wonder what will happen next...
Financial markets feel the brunt
Perhaps it's just a media stunt?

And can the Brits «go it alone»
Abandoning the Eurozone?
Full separation? I don't think
With the Eurotunnel a fixed link!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 4 December 2017

At the Plaisirs d'Hiver

Despite a sprinkling of light snow
There's a constant to-and-fro
Roadworks be damned, no parking spaces
But Brussels boasts great saving graces!

We reach the back end of the year
With dark cold evenings, without cheer;
But behold a host of Christmas stalls
Whose lights intimidate snowfalls!

The city's son-et-lumière beguiles
The Grand'Place wreathed in coloured tiles
Reflections caught in window panes
Smeared watercolours when it rains...

The Ardennes tree, Wallonia's best
A magic touch that crowns the rest
While Gothic spire in mauve and red
Dominates from overhead.

Well-wrapped tourists stop and stare
Then selfies flash: «Hey, I was there!»
Before they vanish in the mist
For a welcome mulled wine tryst!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Saturday, 2 December 2017

Thomas - One Month Short

With style, fine artistry and flair
So all who are invited stare
Iced cake in blue with trains on track
Just for Thomas – that's a fact.

A celebration full of joy
Where tiny tots would soon destroy
This creation sugar sweet
With chocolate filling – such a treat!

With another babe well on its way
Due round about his own birthday
His parents let the limelight shine
Alone on Thomas one more time.

One month short of full four years
With «Happy Birthday» in his ears
Thomas takes all in good part
And melts once more his Auntie's heart!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Thursday, 30 November 2017

A Sprinkling of Snow!

My rooftop terrace glistens white
November snowfall overnight
The leaves I should have swept away
Lie frozen solid on display!

I should have brought some plants inside
They glare at me like angry bride
All growth is stilted, put on hold
Transfixed in December cold.

We enter the last month of the year
With slush and silence everywhere
The great tree just within my view
Is stark, the wind whips sharply through ...

Cocooned inside, with heat and light
I marvel at this «Christmas» sight
All sounds are muffled, far away;
I must wrap up warm today!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Joining the Firm

A challenge keeping her concealed
Sweet Meghan now has been revealed
Dark lustrous hair, svelte, graceful shape
Right royal icing on the cake!

Each to the other quite unknown
A blind date brings her near the Throne
An encounter planned behind the scenes
A tranquil start – the stuff of dreams.

Harry, proud but somewhat shy
A reflection of his mother Di
Now in the glare of the world's Press
With a budding TV star no less!

Three small years set them apart
But hey, young Harry's lost his heart
Ahead a journey buoyed with hopes
With Will and Kate to teach the ropes.

In the months that follow - much to do
From now on, they'll be in full view
But continuity's the thing
Hence Diana's presence in her ring ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 27 November 2017

Mount Agung - Bali

Mount Agung growls in seismic shock
Thick billowing smoke around the clock
Bali trembles, airport closed;
Stranded in 'Paradise' are those

Who came to flee the world's unrest
Now caught in turmoil like the rest
An Exclusion Zone has been defined
People flee - Fate is unkind.

Last activity in Sixty-Three
For many a harsh memory
100,000 now displaced
Wrinkles form on Bali's face.

As the magma forms a bubbling tide
Volcanic ash coats mountainside
With the warning raised to Level Four
A big eruption lies in store!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Saturday, 25 November 2017

The Plight of the Conservatoire Royal

Neo-Renaissance, this sculptured pile
With rich caryatids has style
A gem designed by Cluysenaer:
Brussels Royal Conservatoire.

The Director Gevaert's stony gaze
Recalls its embryonic phase
Music and drama's second home
Round a courtyard - sadly overgrown.

In Napoleon III décor
600 seats in concert hall
Its festivals are well attended
Its concerts highly recommended.

Piano, lute, violin, guitar
Its reputation on a par
With music festivals abroad;
Vast library with libretti stored...

Think Adolphe Max, Eugène Ysaÿe
Both household names in their own day
Who contributed to its renown;
Pity it is falling down!

Though attacked by damp and leaking roof
The Authorities remain aloof
Plaster chunks crash to the floor
Who knows how long it will endure ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Wednesday, 22 November 2017

A propos de Black Friday

I gleaned a new phrase on the Net;
This 'shopping-frenzy' leads to debt
Consumerism gone too far
We're over-burdened as we are!

This «Buy two, get one free!» is mad
The clutter mounts up – it is sad
While many have to pinch and scrape
Others overfill their plate!

Excessive packaging and hype
Fruit, bright-coloured, overripe
Supermarket ends-of-aisles
Stacked with deluxe goods in piles.

This strategy is tailor-made
So off-guard shoppers are waylaid
And fill their trolleys to the brim
Judgement altered on a whim!

It's up to us to take a stand!
'Black Fridays' have got out of hand
Imagine fifty shades of grey
If Christmas shoppers stayed away!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

A spending-spree day - imported from the US!

24th November, 2017


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

An Exhibition at Château Karreveld

Though it has passed through many hands
This age-old castle-farm still stands
Ducks and swans its pond delight
Their presence picturesque on site.

Once 16 hectares, now quite small
Such joy it has survived at all!
Green haven in a troubled spot
The Press claim it has lost the plot

But Molenbeek-St-Jean is zen
Its cultural centre a real gem
In summer – theatre in the round
Where classical guitars resound.

Or exhibitions – like today
«Cartooning for Peace» on display
The setting – rustic hall, well lit
Where Geluck and Kroll unfurl their wit.

The themes are edgy: racial tensions
Fear of immigrants, dissensions
Same-sex marriage – source of strife
Which one of the two's the wife?

Global warming, air pollution
Faiths of all kinds in confusion...
Cartoonists bridge gaps in between
How things are – and how they seem ...

Philippe Geluck and Pierre Kroll - well known cartoonists







In No Uncertain Terms!

Uncertainty rules all our lives
So really, it is no surprise
That challenges upset our day
Paths, rock-solid, fall away.

BREXIT talks are bad enough;
Now Merkel finds the going tough!
Mugabe clings on, won't resign;
For the «Good Old Days» we pine!

But if, like Auntie BBC
We take «The Long View», we can see
That upheavals are the stuff of life
In global terms, there's always strife.

Opposing factions can't agree;
Riots and strikes will always be
A constant in this media scrum
The reporter's job is never done!

«Give Peace a chance»*, John Lennon said
Before Mark Chapman shot him dead ...
We fight for freedom, human rights
How the Devil in discord, delights!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Robert Mugabe resigned 21.11.2017
* First recorded in July 1969.



Saturday, 18 November 2017

At the American Women's Club of Brussels

Misty morn – Drève de Lorraine
A drive down beech tree aisle again
Lofty, russet, shimmering gold
Rich panoplies of leaves unfold...

1, Rue des Erables – that's Maple Street
Where U.S. ladies meet and greet
Are holding their bright Christmas Fair
Three floors of treasures made with flair.

Rich fabrics, carvings, jewelry wares
Pearls, books and artwork up the stairs,
Fine paintings showing Waterloo
Zimbabwe and Japan gifts too!

Cake mixes in large Kilner jars
Cute posters, loose tea, Christmas cards
Refreshments while kids take a look
At «Père Noël» in inglenook!

Creativity in many guises
A fun collection of surprises
An Aladdin's cave in all but name
No doubt next year I'll come again!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Friday, 17 November 2017

Bruxella 1238

Beside the stock exchange, white-faced
A quaint museum has pride of place
Half-sunk into the cobbled stone
It has a charm all of its own.

Down discreet steps 1238
Recalls a brave historic date
A Franciscan convent here took root
With church and cemetery to boot.

John I, bold Brabant Duke, lies here
They brought Count Egmont on his bier
The monks kept vigil over night
While his tortured soul took flight.

Religious turmoil, monks disbanded
New-style rebuilding single-handed
The French bombardment did the rest
Disappeared - the brave Duke's funeral crest!

Suppressed – a butter market thrived;
Site for the wounded who survived
The gory fate of Waterloo;
When the River vanished, it did too!

While once the monks had helped the poor
Leopold II now set great store
On a symbol of commercial might
This irony does not seem right...

In the Eighties there were road repairs
Someone discovered down damp stairs
The remains of this much hallowed crypt
Now visitors can visit it!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017








Thursday, 16 November 2017

What a Load of Rubbish!

Wind gusts bowl rubbish down our street
The bin men try to keep roads neat
But overnight the foxes come
And best intentions are undone.

Though firmly tied, the plastic's thin
Just one rip, tough paws dive in
An eating frenzy then ensues
Why tasty kitchen scraps refuse?

Midnight feasts occur each week
Devastation big time while we sleep
Bin bags gutted, ripped and torn
Bombsite scenario at dawn!

Whirling leaves add to the fun
Dogs pulled up short on morning run
Wade through and add unsightly mess
A double whammy of distress!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Success - of a Sort!

You get the chores done, go and shop
Post business letters, get on top
Of all those footling little tasks
Which seem to pile up very fast.

The trams glide slowly, no one runs
You're home before the rush hour hums
Today's as good as it can get
No hectic deadlines to be met!

A sense of satisfaction reigns
You take your time, no one complains,
All items ticked off on the list;
A long, hot cup of tea – what bliss!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Monday, 13 November 2017

Mindfulness

Dream catchers sway as we glide past
Fragile thoughts and hopes caught fast
In the deep recesses of our brain
To hide until brought out again ...

Sparkling reveries of peace
Float to the surface and increase ...
Our subconscious takes the lead
So otherworldliness can breathe ...

Deep questions surface in our mind
With idle chatter left behind
When imagination has full reign
We gain perspective once again.

We live our lives at such a rate
That we forget to meditate
But the Ancients knew a thing or two
Our souls are on life's journey too...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Saturday, 11 November 2017

Thoughts on 11th November

The clicking of cash tills is still
Some foreigners don't know the drill
Today's a public holiday
Hence many people are away.

Although some brave shops break the ban
Many sleep late - as they can!
A day less stressful is a boon
Time to dance to slower tune...

We rush, work late, live frenzied lives
Yet our spirit, crushed, somehow survives
It needs this time off to take stock
Why queue on Saturdays to shop?

A change of pace, a switched off 'phone
We marshall best our thoughts alone
To consider those who paid the price
Our freedom bought by sacrifice...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Thomas - A Change of Image

The diary fills: brand new event
Today's a milestone – Thomas went
With Dad in tow just as one should
Now toddlerdom is gone for good.

Huge mirrors in the barber's shop
One last look at tousled mop
The time has come, on with the cape!
How long will this conversion take?

In a macho world 'tis quickly done
Will Mum recognise her son?
Tough guy Thomas sports white vest
Butch Cassidy? Whatever next?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



The Hurtling Handcart ...

Sometimes I sit and contemplate
Mulling questions for debate
There's so much silliness around
Daft pettyfogging gets me down.

The Planet suffers at our hands;
Much is wrong - the fault is Man's
Nature's balance is upset
Fires and storms are the worst yet.

Flights criss-cross our troubled skies
Think off-shore tax evasion size
It's wear and chuck, not wear and mend
Why save when you can Spend! Spend! Spend!

More homeless haunt our dirty streets
Mass mobile phones mean no one meets
Another's eyes and starts a chat
Making friends? Forget all that!

Most leaders lack real gravitas
Pursuing interests more crass
Who can we look up to, admire?
When stats predict a future dire...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Monday, 6 November 2017

Chaos in Carrefour!

Smart toys, bright lights and tinsel trails
November's here and never fails
To lure us with consumer gush
It's the Buy! Buy! Buy! pre-Christmas rush.

Whole sections of my large Carrefour
Are choc-à-bloc from roof to floor:
Big boxed kits, presentation stands
Crates emptied fast by student hands...

Chinese imports, brash displays
Kids with parents keenly gaze
On toys of all sorts stacked up high
St. Nicholas will soon pass by!

More baubles, gift wrap, ribbons, tape?
An avalanche of take ... and break!
With rising costs across the board
Small wonder not all can afford...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Friday, 3 November 2017

A Week of Folly

Where has Real Life disappeared
With its best friend, Common Sense?
Public lives are quickly seared
Immunity a mere pretence.

An account shut down by just one man
The Twittersphere is up in arms
So much I.T. prone to a scam
A silent Trump the world alarms!

A wandering hand upon a knee
Conduct unbecoming, stark
The Press all rub their hands with glee
As bite is added to their bark!

Those Catalans sent off to jail
Elected group now in disgrace
Madrid says they're beyond the pale
Storm in a teacup? Loss of face?

Just snapshots from the news this week;
The screws are loose in Mankind's head
They will not make me lose much sleep
What other follies lie ahead?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Thursday, 2 November 2017

A Chilling Thought

Chill in the air though wan sun shines
We tiptoe into wintry times
November with its burnished leaves
Is whipped by gusts of wind and grieves.

Though ghosts and ghouls are packed away
Those pumpkins, finely carved, still stay
On neighbours' windowsills and greet
Dog walkers passing in our street.

There are loads of toys in every store
An Aladdin's cave ripe to explore
Tinsel, baubles, Christmas lights
A wealth of colour that delights.

We reach the 'back end' of the year
A time the homeless greatly fear
Needing shelter, peace and quiet
Not consumer goods run riot!

The «Haves» and «Have Nots» can't compete;
The City tries their needs to meet
While many stress: what gifts to buy -
Our values all have gone awry...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Wednesday, 1 November 2017

A very British Conundrum

Did I hear right? They'll scrap the Law
That banned the Brits-abroad before
From voting in UK elections
When they had opted for connections

In mainland Europe – or elsewhere?
Post 15 years away, they care
And still have links they want to keep
Although on foreign soil they sleep...

«Better late than never», say we all
The referendum - a close call ...
If «foreign» Brits had had the vote
Would the BREXITers still gloat?

With E.U. summits to and fro
Trade oscillates and doesn't know
If banks and businesses will dive
Or soldier on alone - and thrive!

An Island Nation on the brink;
Pundits don't know what to think
Some see joy and others gloom
Time marches on - and deadlines loom ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

FAKE NEWS, folks!


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Off the Script

Don't we realise life's script is too short?
Is everything pre-planned and taught?
Must we always answer right on cue?
Or can we write a plot that's new?

Is a wage-slave all we're meant to be -
Beknighted drones to some Queen Bee?
To Hell with routine – leave the hive!
Let's form our own new swarm outside!

The world is vast but we're fenced in
Let's be the tonic, not the gin,
And take a hard look at life's dross
The Grand Illusion's a dead loss!

Material wealth's an empty joy
Sure, we're envied by the Hoi Polloi
But are we happy and content?
Wealth has no use – it must be spent!

The world's a big place, let's explore
Adventures lie outside the door
Yet most just work hard and commute
A raison d'être one should dispute!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Saturday, 28 October 2017

Spain - a Split in the Ranks?

Rich Gaudi region takes a stand
Have politics got out of hand?
Though many independence claim
Some say: «Never in my name!»

Spain rocks and risks to fall apart
Madrid reacts with steely heart
Evoking constitution clause
As Barcelona shows its claws.

Its autonomy at once revoked
Machinations clothed in wreaths of smoke
Smouldering embers have caught fire
Are we on the brink of something dire?

Spain whose passions still run high
Sees the threat of civil war flash by
Defiant, fervent, torrid, proud
Faced with discontent too loud ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Thursday, 26 October 2017

On Serendipity

Serendipity is one long word
But a touch of magic has occurred!
An unexpected joy provides
An inner glow and more besides.

The bus that slows and lets you board
A bargain sale you can afford
A chance encounter – lucky break
Lottery win on single stake.

In a misty season, one fine day
Perfect to give the bride away...
Being at home when best friend calls
Or our birthday on a Sunday falls!

Against the odds, our dreams take flight
A stranger's words make black days white!
Though we love to grumble and complain
These 'miracles' our lives sustain!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

A Visit from the Black Dog

If you feel really down, ill-starred
Seeking the bright side can be hard
Uncertainties fill every sphere:
Job loss or illness breeds despair.

That pesky trite phrase 'doom and gloom'
Sees the 'black dog' in your room
You toss and turn, see no way out
You're plagued with worry, fear and doubt.

Then comes that glimmering of hope
A chance to grab the lifeguard's rope
A kindly word, a helping hand
To bring you back to safe, dry land.

At times life throws us down a pit
It takes guts to get out of it
But when we clamber up, we're free
Bright new horizons we can see!

Thought for today: «fight the good fight»
Tyndale's* noble words still strike
Faltering hearts: new courage flows
And believing in oneself soon grows.

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

* Quote from William Tyndale (1494-1536) - first translator of the Bible into English

Note: Sir Winston Churchill referred to depression as the black dog.





Sunday, 22 October 2017

Thomas - Plans to Move!

Far across the oceans, spring arrives
In the Antipodes, where I have ties
The chill of winter, bland 'tis true,
With the winds of change is blowing through...

Wee Thomas, hurtling fast to four
Will new prospects soon explore
His room, decked out with toys and clothes
In mirrored cupboard that he knows

And «coat of many colours» rug
Where he receives his goodnight hug
Will in a while be his no more
He'll move into a room next door.

Dad's study, where he earns his crust
Will be converted, as it must
To big boy Thomas's domain
So his future sister can't complain

She has no room to call her own
Just nine more weeks till she comes home;
Anticipation is the key
Soon to be four, but right now – three!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Friday, 20 October 2017

At Place Schuman

What would dear Robert Schuman think?
Intrepid forger of the link
In a Europe ravished by the war
Of a Common Market – Open Door!

First six, then nine make up the Team
Squabbles break out on the scene
Compromises, tariffs, trade
Border checks, a new decade ...

On tiptoe, Britain comes on stream
But Thatcher's meddling is seen
As a thorn in Europe's doughty flesh
A referendum does the rest.

Now summit talks on BREXIT rage
How will history turn this page?
The Union shakes but is not stirred
A proviso cocktail is inferred...

From his vantage point against the sky
Schuman, stony-faced, stands by
Reduced to a statue in the Park
And metro stop in Brussels heart...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

EU Summit on BREXIT: 19-22 October, 2017



Thursday, 19 October 2017

The Slow Train to Ostend

Line up for tickets (senior's rate)
Mid-week, where tourists keenly wait
On Platform 4 for trains to Bruges
Though out of season, there are queues!

Past rush-hour, youth in jeans are clad
The elderly, well wrapped-up, sad
No place to sit, wield cane, smart hat
And lean on pillars, idly chat ...

Suitcases sometimes trundle past
Dragged down the steps, a daunting task
I observe, bemused, this travelling crowd
Disturbed by intercom – too loud!

In French and Dutch, announcements stun
But foreigners, non-plused, are glum
Weak language skills put to the test;
Their tickets, dog-eared, look distressed ...

A couple get on the wrong train
No guard on standby to explain
The sun smiles on their luckless start
Delays upset their applecart!

The countryside is sleek and green
Dinky, whitewashed houses gleam
The Flemish flatlands meet my gaze;
Warmth has cleared the morning haze.

Train travel – scenes flash past my eyes
Steeples, factories, farms, high-rise
A quaint meander to North Sea
In an empty carriage – just for me!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Monday, 16 October 2017

Thomas Takes the Floor!

The lure to move when music plays
Is my wee nephew's latest craze.
Thomas takes the floor by storm
A foot tapping star is born!

His Dad and Mum met on dance floor
Across a crowded room they saw
Each other, and their dance began;
Fond memories the years now span!

Thomas's keen eye leaves no doubt
He's not content to step it out
He's carefully crafted the best moves
Inhibitions? He has none to lose!

This new sport keeps him on his toes
Great rhythm helps – it comes and goes
No flies on him - it's fun to share
See - his first girlfriend joins him there!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017