Friday, 28 April 2017

100 Days

A hundred days – what does that mean?
Is this the ending of the Dream?
The pack re-shuffled, dealt anew
Who holds the trump card - what think you?

More insecurity and doubt
The stock exchange can't work it out
Much posturing, bold brinkmanship
The polls reflect an all-time dip...

Some rhetoric does not make sense
What progress on US defence?
What of the wall in Mexico ...
And Hillary - who's lying low ...

The winds of change blow hard and strong
France dances to a brand new song;
The watchword now appears to be
Keep your eyes peeled – wait and see!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A Sudden Disappointment

Dare I say I'm disappointed?
My plans are all upset – disjointed.
I set out full of springtime joys
With notes and badge and guide-like poise.

Feeling happy as I do
When I have a tour to do
Alas - two hours before the start
The Musée rang – their news was stark:

The school had cancelled on the day
(I wonder what kept them away?)
They incur a cancellation charge
But no walk to the Béguinage.

Though not a village any more
Anderlecht's fun to explore
But Erasmus and his times must wait
For a booking on another date!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Note: The Erasmus House Museum in Anderlecht

Anderlecht Beguinage

La Salle de la Grande Dame

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Something for Nothing?

There's no such thing as a free lunch ...
You're wined and dined then comes the crunch:
A favour, info or advice
Is sure to raise its head – think twice!

'Tit for tat' stays evergreen
Being altruistic is a dream
Being 'on the make' is smart
Exit 'goodness of the heart'.

You help a friend then she helps you
To keep your friendship balance true
As the 'art of giving' isn't taught
Few act without a backward thought.

Are we hard-nosed cynics? It's a way
To get ahead and so we Play
The Game and offer something 'free';
Does no one else think just like me?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 24 April 2017

Hexagon Politics!

The Hexagon votes at the polls
The choice of candidates is vast
Cash scandals tarnish a few souls
For Right and Left - the die is cast!

In light of Thursday's terror scene
Where one cop's death made headline news
Stepped-up security has been
In evidence among the queues.

The first round or le premier tour
Saw ninepins by the wayside fall;
Marine le Pen and Macron score
A wind of change holds us in thrall!

Traditional parties swept aside
A clean slate or more of the same?
Who's taking who now for a ride?
France buckles under all the strain...

Time to re-group, make new ties
Chassé-croisé all the way
France may be in for a surprise
Dénouement time is - 7th May!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Friday, 21 April 2017

An Opposing View

It's Friday! Many count the hours
To a drinking bout amid the showers
While I, who have not worked this week,
Anticipate a guiding treat!

I'm out of step with «Nine-to-Five»;
On Saturdays I come alive
I take my notes and illustrations
And guide a group of many Nations.

Enthusiasm is the key;
I've no idea who there will be
But Brussels brims with great delights
So those who come will see the sights!

By many Powers dominated
Brussels - often underrated -
Has a chequered history to impart
Where, I wonder, should I start?

It's not enough to earn one's crust
To love one's métier is a must
Vain hope for many – not for me
There's nowhere else I'd rather be!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Seeking buried Treasure...

Let's have a good old rant today:
Have world leaders gone astray?
Are those with brains struck deaf and dumb?
Whichever way you look, it's rum!

Though human goodness still survives
It's hidden deep and scarcely thrives
Except in pockets not reported
The media feeds us news – distorted.

Which presents a challenge to this bard;
In the search for something good, it's hard
To find some wheat amid the chaff
And ensure it isn't trite or naff!

Reading Facebook posts these days
I ponder on the world's malaise
And seek that rare pearl of great price:
A subject heart-warming and nice.

Although it's not good to complain
I have to let off steam - again
Half-full? Half-empty? I must choose
How to channel my poor Muse...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

A Snap Decision!

Time passes and the days get longer
Pity that the sun ain't stronger
Barely 10 degrees at noon
But once again I spoke too soon...

It's April but May goes for June
A snap election; now there's room
To make a change to status quo
But which way will the voters go?

The conundrum that is BREXIT means
Some nifty footwork behind screens
It's shifting sands time once again
The Powers-That-Be on a tight rein...

The island people have a chance
To change the leader of the dance!
I mark in bright red pen the date
The 8th of June will seal our fate!

Monday, 17 April 2017


While lucky ones seek sun and take
A well-deserved, though costly, break
This Monday sees black clouds at noon
Heavy rain - a sense of gloom ...

The hype surrounding Easter time
With talk of peace, just does not rhyme
With warlike threats in North Korea;
A referendum creates fear...

Turks sail towards a precipice
Ahead a yawning, dark abyss?
Rifts both in the Right and Left
French Presidency with bated breath ...

Breaking News - more shock waves start
They grab the headlines and impart
Proof that the world is in a mess;
What lies ahead we cannot guess...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Saturday, 15 April 2017


«To err is human, to forgive divine»
Mistakes annoy us, time on time
We type too fast – do not re-read;
We're driven, who knows why, by speed.

It used to be – we thought then wrote
Made rough drafts, before we spoke
But now with spell-check, we don't try
This safety net will get us by...

Hence Gobbledigook is all the rage
We press «send» after a full page
Only to realise, far too late
Errors in figures, names or date...

High standards now have gone to pot
Is there pride in writing? Not a lot!
And public speaking off the cuff
Failing back-up notes, is rough.

Unintended gaffes have caused
Diplomatic angst - or wars
Our mind with words cannot keep pace
We apologise to save our face.

The stakes are high, great Nations baulk
At saying «sorry» for fast talk
Yet with Russia/US on the line
Forgiveness seems indeed divine!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Thursday, 13 April 2017

At the Laeken Greenhouses

Brussels' «Crystal Palace» all in glass
And wrought iron filigree, was vast
As Leopold II's great love of plants
Required a building to enhance -

His outstanding palm collection;
He watched it grow – came on inspection
With Prince Albert, his young heir
Who nervous, came with him to stare

At this huge project taking shape
These greenhouses which would make
His meglomanic heart content
And showcase Stéphanie's event!*

«Well», said the King, «what are your views?»
Albert, awed, could not refuse:
«It looks just like a small Versailles»
«Small, say you?» was the tart reply!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

* Engagement of Princess Stéphanie of Belgium
to Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria in 1880.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Wrath of Neptune?

Is it wise to read one's astral chart?
A 5-year forecast – quite an art
It warned me Neptune was aggrieved
Some watery vengeance up his sleeve...

How have I caused this God's displeasure?
I ponder on this point at leisure
Finally tossing it aside
A foolish notion, I decide!

Alas, I spoke too soon it seems
Under my sink the water teems,
A perished washer? Rusty pipe?
I mop the floor both day and night...

This is a most persistant leak
So I've called a workman; Easter week
Is not ideal for tasks like these;
The plumber must get on his knees

And ascertain this awkward source
Child's play for him – high costs of course...
If all goes well he comes today
Meanwhile, I wring out towels – and pray!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 10 April 2017

An Evil Flowering?

More security, more checks required
Orwell's Big Brother was inspired!
I hear that passwords will be sought
All U.S. entries will be fraught!

Angst and worry in the News
Sweden and Syria abused
Who's next, I wonder, as I stare
Into the sky – no answer there...

Good news is always buried deep
But as you sow, so shall you reap ...
So I turn to Nature, my old friend
And watch bright springtime colours blend...

Here's Harmony – and no mistake!
Revival after Winter break
The harshness of the cold is past
But Politics remains stuck fast.

Our Earth seems small, and yet it grows
Who can tell where the wind blows?
Earthquakes, wars and mass migration ...
Each day – alas - a new sensation!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Friday, 7 April 2017

A Walk through the Hallebos

Hyacinthoides non-scripta forms a bright-blue, bold display
Its tinkerbell-like flowers stun the eyes in April-May
A tinge of mauve is visible as the sun gets strong
The woodland near to Halle soon fills with tourist throng.

Cream-coloured pollen will denote a bluebell of «chez nous»
While its Spanish cousin's anthers are a gentle shade of blue.
When the beech trees spread their leaves it is a subtle sign
The bluebell quickly follows suit in just ten days' time.

The thickening canopy of leaves soon cuts down springtime rays
The light-blue tinge turns darker, even lavender, some days
Painters and photographers its magic try to capture
But walking down its pathways will send you into rapture!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Thursday, 6 April 2017

A Chance Remark

A chance remark caused me dismay:
«Does Spring here only last one day?»
After brilliant sunlight this week-end
We thought the weather «on the mend»

Too warm to wear an overcoat
But Olympus strikes down those who gloat!
The Monday chill saw raincoats back
A heavy mist hid railway track...

Commuters peered out in the gloom
In Belgium - never speak too soon!
With that and traffic cones in force
Delays are guaranteed – of course.

A friend slipped on the cobbled stone
Just bruising, not a broken bone
But the leaden dampness in the air
Invites us all to tread with care.

April says we're «in between»
Bare branches and a brand new green
But until the «Ice Saints Days» are past
Winter won't have breathed its last!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Ice Saints days: 11,12, 13 May

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Thomas - at Seacliff Beach

Tiny waves caress the shore
Welling up from ocean floor
Thomas, lost in contemplation,
Observes the wonders of creation.

Forget the sharks – they're far away
In waters crystal clear, not grey
Thomas loves wide open spaces
An empty beach – just right for races!

Australia's landscape is so vast
To imagine it is quite a task
29,000 miles of coast
Its pristine beaches a proud boast!

Nature in the raw, untamed
Lost continent so aptly named
Uncrowded, un-built-up and free
Long-shadowed views of open sea...

Deep in the Autumn there's still sun
Thomas, lightly clad, can run
Across the beach most of the year
What's changed since Captain Cook was here?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

No Fear!

TV – mobile – Internet:
Together so much gloom beget
For happy news I search in vain
«It doesn't sell!», comes the refrain.

Half-full, half-empty - what's your view?
Every day - disasters new
With terrorism on the rise
No country's safe, I now surmise...

I look around me - spring is here
There's a gentle warmth in April air
I feel for those who dare to smile
A habit going out of style...

Life has good moments, not just bad
This «manufactured» fear is sad
Let's think in colours not just grey;
So much is positive each day!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 3 April 2017

Raising a Toast - at Breakfast!

I watch the birds on window sill ...
The radio crackles then is still
The percolator halts mid-flow
The toaster blocks; I think I know

That something drastic has occurred
The lights go off – this is absurd...
I check – alas, this is no joke
Some appliance up in smoke -

Has tripped the circuit breaker so
I have to find what made it blow!
An electrician, called in haste
Soon spots a faulty plug in place.

It and the toaster (fairly new)
Are for the scrap heap; I'd no clue;
Soon the coffee's ready but instead
Of toast – I'll have to butter bread!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Died in the Wool!

How practised is the web we weave
When we unpick our EU sleeve
To the task we bend our heads
The twists and turns break many threads.

It's a muddle this new skein of wool
We try to get it straight and pull
To flatten out those awkward tangles
But knots are legion – endless wrangles!

So many loose ends, where to start?
We tug the fraying ends apart
These early setbacks cause us grief
We have no ministerial brief.

How to design a pattern new
When the raw material just won't do?
Like the old adage - it is clear
No silk purse comes from this sow's ear!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

BREXIT - Exit!

Clause 50 signed in Walpole's gaze
Was our first P.M. amazed?
Our fate is sealed come what May
A step change is enforced today.

Neville Chamberlain's «piece of paper»
A flourish - then a mad-cap caper
Can a trace of ink on papyrus
Really change the likes of us?

For an Island thriving on free trade
More custom tariffs, I'm afraid
Not to mention barrels of red tape
I'm puzzled – there is much at stake...

The «Consequences» game begins
And at the end of it – who wins?
Has Europe spread a bit too far
And tarnished Britain's guiding star?

What a media frenzy and mixed press!
Marine le Pen will make us stressed
Our way with challenges is strewn
The dust will settle none too soon!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Tuesday, 28 March 2017


The dawn chorus greets me from the wood
I fling the curtains open – good
No street lamp glow, but early sun
Yes, winter shadows on the run!

More neighbours stop and have a chat
The village gets its ambiance back
A few young bulbs on window sills
Nature in her new clothes thrills!

Wow! Frothy blossoms on the trees
And here and there soupçons of leaves
More light filters to the soil
Where tiny green shoots now uncoil.

Occasionally, I see a smile
On passers-by; it's been a while
Since we have felt warmth on our faces
But now the pulse of new life races.

This change of season brings a wave
Of optimism – our souls bathe
In the thought that summer days draw near
How I love this time of year!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 27 March 2017

Thomas - Climbs Aboard!

Alas, the days of steam are gone
But the lure of big trains lingers on
Thomas gazes round wide-eyed
Down the platform he has spied

A life-size version of his toy
Whose automatic doors deploy
He cannot wait to climb aboard
It's waiting there to be explored!

Most passengers just sit and read
As this big beast picks up speed
Its diesel engine makes no noise
Not so young Thomas who enjoys

The scenic view along the track
A taste perhaps of the Outback
As the silver bird glides on its way
Thomas lives his dream today!

(c) Poet in the Woods 2017

Friday, 24 March 2017

Midnight Musings

Late at night with birds asleep
Only shadows from the street lamps keep
A vigil in our cobbled street
Time to think - and thoughts to tweet.

Snippets of news on CNN
Trump due in Brussels; Really? When?
The chance to put the world to rights ...
I ponder on this week's harsh sights:

Westminster guardians of the Realm
Shocked but unbowed at the helm
The crazed attempt near Antwerp's Meir
Of a driver bent on causing fear...

Such attacks and actions unprovoked
By those intent on killing folk
Are becoming sadly commonplace
What's happening to the human race?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Westminster Palace - perhaps deliberately out of focus?

The Meir - Antwerp's largest shopping street

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Positive Thoughts

The injured and those who have lost
In last year's bomb attacks, a friend
Or family member, count the cost
Will this suffering never end?

But the human spirit soars aloft
Blame and hatred cast aside
The feelings they express are soft
In contrast to their bumpy ride...

Awareness tempers their ordeal
They see the world with outlook new
The lessons learnt are harsh but real
Positive thoughts now get them through.

Minutiae have quite lost appeal
How others see them, cuts no ice
Their values have been honed like steel
Perception won at roll of dice...

The perpetrators who believed
Their Holy War was justified
Have no reward but death received
Or will spend their lives «inside»...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

22nd March - First Anniversary

Already one whole year ago
Interruption in the traffic flow
A bomb upon the Maelbeek track
Commuters suffer an attack!

Not far away the Airport quakes
The terrorists have upped the stakes
Innocent passengers in line
Will not make their flights this time ...

Such senseless actions – all confused
Shock! Horror! Items on the News
Communication lines get crossed
Vital messages are lost...

A nearby hotel* does its best
To help the victims, hurt, distressed
A repeat of Paris in the air ...
The city, shocked, is in despair.

The death toll mounts but who's to blame?
It's clear life here won't be the same
Security is now more tight
Patrolling soldiers stay in sight ...

Rising costs and rising fears
Recovery from this takes years
So spare a thought for those who've died
And the badly injured - who survived!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

* Hotel Thon

35 deaths, including 3 terrorists and over 300 injured ...

World Poetry Day!

World poetry day! That makes me think
How inspiration takes a drink
In a trough filled choc-à-bloc with thought,
Words and feelings neatly caught

In the web that makes up who we are;
Impressions gleaned from near and far
Odd expressions, quirky views
Or something heard on morning news.

It's like a haybarn lying still
The words all jumbled up until
A spark will set my muse alight;
Images in my head ignite.

Our saving grace the metaphor
A useful trick where less is more
The mundane has another side
A hidden meaning steps outside!

I've said it many times before
The poet's role is to explore
The arcane workings of the mind
And try to capture the Divine.

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Sunday, 19 March 2017

R.I.P. Chuck Berry (1926-2017)

Chuck Berry - ninety - now départs ...
Think «Johnny B. Goode» which topped the charts
How we danced and sang with «Maybellene»
What an icon of the music scene!

«Roll over Beethoven» hit the spot
A classical twist to modern pop
Charismatic Chuck launched his career
With «Rock and Roll Music» loud and clear!

A Libra from St. Louis way:
Brushed with the Law, was put away...
But the Sixties saw this all forgotten
As Berry got us all a-rockin'!

Records in millions were sold
Chuck, like Midas, turned to gold
With «No particular Place to go»
In time the whole world came to know

The genius of this pioneer
Foot-tapping, catchy, in-your-ear ...
A space now yawns where he has been
But his music lives on – ever green!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Died 18th March, 2017

Saturday, 18 March 2017

The Dutch Vote

Dutch Barn, Dutch Auction, Double-Dutch
All these expressions have a twist
What of the fine Dutch wife to touch?
A bolster you perhaps have missed!

With interest I contemplate
This stalwart country's cultural lore
Some words are used in pristine state:
«Apartheid» stays in fashion, hoor!

The «Dutch Treat» is no treat at all
«Dutch Courage» brings booze into play;
But «Going Dutch» in voting hall
Sends those Extremists on their way!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Friday, 17 March 2017

Winding Down

The weekend looms but all is still
One lone bird on my window sill
My terrace is a sorry sight
I'll need a day to get it right.

The radio buzzes as I clean;
Domestic Goddess ain't my scene
But needs must when the devil drives
Wow, my orchid still survives!

Spring's on its way - the dust must go
But my enthusiasm's low
Determined though to make a start
I roll my sleeves up and take heart.

Big tidy-up; I put away
Items that have gone astray
And bring downstairs my lighter coat
Though scarves stay handy for my throat!

Feast or Famine - that's my way
Six hours guiding yesterday;
No pressure now so I stay home
Spring cleaning till I hear the phone!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

What is Truth?

It happens often when on line
Some lurid 'post' attracts my eye
A quiz invites me to waste time
Taunting me my skills to try.

How many fall right in this trap
And seem amazed at their high score
What hidden knowledge do they tap?
Myself, I think that less is more!

Are these set - morale to boost?
To think we know more than we do?
Ignorance comes home to roost
My trivia quotient is shot through!

The world moves forward at such speed
Those who learned from books are old
The internet creates a need
Which younger generations hold

To find out answers straight away
Though a quick foray on the Web
Yes, the Trivia quiz is fun to play
Though reference books are far from dead!

What price accuracy today?
Is 'Cut and Paste' work error-free?
We «sticklers» spot gaffes right away
Genuine research is key!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Title: famous quote from Pilate ...

Monday, 13 March 2017

Clause 50 - at Gunpoint!

Europe of the twenty-eight
May soon lose some real estate
Across the Channel trouble brews
«Clause 50» now makes headline news!

Only 52% rejoice
At the outcome of this choice
But what of the other 48?
3 million Scots are still irate...

Over the Border should they vote?
A referendum seems remote
Could the Kingdom split apart
And challenging new problems spark?

Ted Heath brought the Brits on board;
(A move De Gaulle would have deplored
But it seems the General was not wrong!)
A divided Britain is not strong...

A quandary for Theresa May!
Should we go or should we stay?
Waiting makes the problem bigger
Will she, won't she pull the trigger?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Article 50. 1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements. ... A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

The Twittersphere

Be brief, be sharp, stay on the ball
Let your hashtags say it all
Abbreviations catch the eye
Prime your arrow – let it fly!

Your target audience is wide
Politicians now take pride
In «going viral» with their news
Gossip or scandal – what's to lose?

Misinformation can be dire
As fast-primed darts sometimes misfire
But now that news is Twitter-led
It's Action Stations on the Web!

It's the way to go - so I join in
To cut a dash - it's sink or swim!
@poetinthewoods will find
My inspirations all in rhyme!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Twitter founded 21st March, 2006.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

To You, My Readers!

Inspiration strikes and likes to tease!
It's a puzzle to me what will please
In terms of topic, news or place
Will it bring a smile to someone's face?

I can't be funny all the time
Things happen – accidents and crime
Some date in history seen anew
Or the quirky things that people do.

Politics is such fair game
But let's not mention any name!
Weird trends we've never seen before
Science theories to explore.

Celeb lifestyles, apt quotations
Horrors - causing palpitations
I shuck each oyster for a pearl
And give my daily thoughts a whirl.

Like ripples on a deep blue pond
Some poems reach out far beyond
My wildest dreams – I'm deeply blessed
You, my Readers, are THE BEST!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 6 March 2017

R.I.P. The Herald of Free Enterprise

The Herald of Free Enterprise
30 years ago* – huge loss of lives
From Zeebrugge harbour off the shore
Someone did not check the door...

Innocent lives in mortal peril
Engulfed - as water found its level...
Sad negligence – a «minor» slip
Spelt disaster for this ferry-ship.

A ceremony held today
For the 1-9-3 who passed away
Their lives cut short that fatal eve;
So many families still grieve ...

Worst peacetime maritime disaster
Huge headache for the Harbour Master
Surpassed in tragic loss and panic
By only one ship – the Titanic!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

*On March 6th, 1987.

Fake News?

It all depends what YOU believe
The Media has tricks up its sleeve
The buzz which causes this day's drama:
Was Trump phone-tapped by Obama?

Meanwhile, the Russians bide their time
More politics dragged in the slime
Does the Press report the news
Or just repeat fictitious views?

Journalists should check their sources
But CIA and the Armed Forces
Are faced with situations new
Does the Helmsman's voice ring true?

We've challenges enough, God knows
Recall the Emperor* – with no clothes!
And the tiny child whose voice rang out ...
Who speaks the truth and who has clout?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

*Hans Christian Andersen ...

Saturday, 4 March 2017

For Grandparents' Day

You never know what you will learn!
Life's a book – each day you turn
Its myriad pages and discover
Some fascinating fact or other.

Today – an email unexpected
Promoting e-cards - was selected
For those of us who've reached an age
When grandkids swarm across the stage!

I've many friends who have this joy:
They dote on wee kids who annoy
And charm us all in equal measure
Cute, precocious, human treasure ...

Grandparents beam, admire, condone
Their charges, never left alone
And help them make their own sweet way
Through complicated life today.

Perhaps they suddenly recall
Their memories when they were small
Their jaded palettes are refreshed
Hearts warmed with new eggs in the nest!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Friday, 3 March 2017

Tintin! - What a Clever Double-Act!

Victor Horta's flagship store
With oaken beams, mosaic floor
Once sold fine cloth hence natural light
From lofty windows was just right.

Built in Rue des Sables, a busy street
Where Brussels' pressmen used to meet
The North-South Junction broke the line
And cut off trade and trams – big time.

The Press moved out, weeds grew apace
The Sandy street soon fell from grace
The shop changed hands then squatters came
The Sixties - a decade of shame...

But Brussels then cleaned up its Act
Now pride of place on tourist track
It houses Belgian graphic art
Strip cartoons bring a new spark!

Two birds with one stone are killed
Art Nouveau and Hergé are thrilled
The building, now restored, is known
As Tintin the Reporter's home!

The Belgian Comic Strip Center: 20 Rue des Sables

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A Meditation on Ash Wednesday

First day of Lent – fasting begins
Time to think of higher things
The Devout bear ashen-cross on brow
Remembrance of Palm Sunday now.

In the hurly-burly of our lives
Strange that this custom still survives
So when did you last see this Cross?
Religion's grip is faint - our loss...

And as for fasting 40 days
In memory of Christ's desert phase ...
Post-carnival - which means meat-free
Who understands why this should be?

As winter dragged on, years ago
The salted meat was first to go
People lived on grains and bread
The Easter lamb lay weeks ahead ...

But in a time of glut and greed
Of these traditions there's no need;
Who will eat a steak today?
More than go to church to pray ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 27 February 2017

The Japanese take a Stand!

«When Ignorance is bliss
'Tis Folly to be wise»
This, Thomas Gray's* superb bon mot
Should come as no surprise

With the media frenzy at its height
The Japanese refuse
To translate Donald's sharp sound byte
On the national news.

Startled, shocked or maybe smart
As it would cause offence
With a lack of logic at its heart
It defies plain common sense...

So, Translators of the World - Unite!
When faced with text that's tricky
Should you adapt to make it right
Or refuse to take the Mickey?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

* Thomas Gray was an English poet, letter-writer, classical scholar and professor at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He is widely known for his Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, published in 1751.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Beware a Woman Scorned!

A strange quotation* caught my eye:
How women are angels and they fly
Above the clouds with gossamer wings
Gentle, fragile loving things...

Their graceful beauty, frail but sweet
Makes them resilient; when they meet
A man who wants to kerb their flight
By snapping off their wings, they might

Not take this “liberty” as read
But soar above his brazen head
Clinging to a broomstick tight
Turning his days to darkest night!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

* "Women are Angels, when someone breaks our wings, we simply continue to fly on a broomstick, we're flexible like that …"

A Lone Voice?

This poet pens a line or two
On events that catch her roving eye
Themes familiar painted new
All craziness is worth a try!

The TV News airs what is bad:
Scandals, accidents, disaster
Good things are missed, and that is sad
Horrors catch the viewers faster!

An indictment on our mindset now;
In micro-bytes, caught on the fly
Life's balance is upset - and how!
What is Truth and what's a Lie?

A Certain Person – views extreme
Pervades our consciousness; it's weird
Anxiety invades the screen
Shades of the Thirties have appeared...

My thoughts are veiled; the poet's task
Is to reveal in subtle ways
Questions many fear to ask:
Am I alone to fear this phase?

In deviousness of course well schooled
Our politicians' smiles are meant
To allay fears - but we're not fooled
We thinking souls see their intent...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

R.I.P. Dédée (1927-2013)

I returned home from Australia
To the snow and some bad news
My long-time Belgian ma-in-law
Had paid her lifetime dues.

At eighty-five the cancer had
Reached to her very soul
She suffered four months in her bed
And died at home – her goal.

The last time that I saw her
She wore a woolly hat
As the chemo had destroyed her hair
And made her round face flat.

I think of Bob, whose love for her
Grew stronger through the years
And hope he’ll find the courage
To fight on through the tears...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

A Case of Lethargy

As it's cold and damp outside
Feeling smug - emails replied!
The damned clock ticks but I've no clues
Awaiting answers means no news.

The drizzle weighs my soul down fast;
I wonder - is the cold snap past?
Could I be caught in 'winter blues'?
The temptation of a 5-star cruise ...

There's a rumbling in the street below
A concrete mixer – on the go
No local cars can now squeeze by
Boitsfort cut off – high and dry!

My sense of isolation grows:
This mid-week day is one of those
When my 'get-up-and-go' takes flight
Procrastination grips me tight ...

I've done my best, thrown out my net
But somehow I cannot connect;
The echo of a ringing phone
Serves to remind me - I'm alone!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Out of Sight, not Out of Mind!

I hugged him tight then waved my hand
But perhaps he did not understand
The airport trip meant fond farewell;
Dragging my suitcase I could tell

My departure into deep blue skies
Would come perhaps as a surprise
The distance vast - by him unknown
Reduced to chats on screen, by 'phone...

Though I did not see him every day
My presence meant fun games to play
We've bonded - family links abound
He was happy when I was around.

So two weeks down the track it came
Puzzled, Thomas called my name
Where had I gone? Auntie in bliss
How wonderful to be so missed!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 20 February 2017

Braving the Chill

On this winter's day the light is pale
Mulched up leaves leave soggy trail
Neighbours' dogs have left their mark
On the outside pavement – in the dark...

Criss-cross branches gently sway
Fledgling birds now forge their way
Dank murky puddles in my street
A chill wind blows – the view is bleak.

My much-loved boots are down at heel
In a way, they look much as I feel
Worn out in the cold and wet
Showing sure signs of neglect!

Winter drags its feet for sure
So a walk is called for to explore
The woodland just behind my home
A quiet escape – without my 'phone...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Thursday, 16 February 2017

A Smart Move

When it's warm and sunny – my heart sings
The sun's a spur to “go do” things
Belgium's blue skies are quite rare
So time to act – rise off my chair!

I think of those condemned to sit
For hours each day; they cannot quit
Their I.T. screens or databases
It's a stagnant life when no blood races …

A health risk - all this sitting still
Doctors warn us there's no pill
To compensate for static pose
Sport is the answer, Heavens knows!

Yes, the human body needs to move
Death threatens those stuck in a groove
So I give myself a special treat
A midday walk in sun-drenched street!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017