Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Mexico on the Edge

The Earth moves in mysterious ways
Rock solid – molten mass
Right now we're in an active phase
With aftershocks and gas.

Big cities cannot stand the strain
Now Mexico succombs
It's rattle and roll time again
The population runs ...

Cracks and fissures, dust, debris
As pressure finds release
Busy streets now barren scree
Nature's War and Peace ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Bubbling Cauldron

I love to stir the pot a bit
With one long spoon, the mixture swirls
Break up our certainties grown thick
And watch the heat rise up in whorls...

Role playing, it seems clear to me,
Gives the old status quo a tug
Allowing thoughts to filter free
Motives born of hate not love...

So much around is harsh and cruel
Greed, resentment, power, lust
Our natures garish headlines fuel
Violence shakes our planet's crust!

Calls for calm and peace unheeded
Hot spots on the globe ignite
Our way to Hell seems unimpeded ...
Halt, look up and see the light!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 18 September 2017

Autumnal Thoughts

September - the year's middle age
Rustling leaves, high water gauge
Blue skies still but heat has faded
Suntanned faces now look jaded...

Crowded buses, trams and train
Consoling soups and stews – weight gain
Should I put the heating on
Now hope of long warm spells is gone?

Schools in full swing, evening classes
Morning mists now fog my glasses
Long-sleeved sweaters fit the bill
Essential to ward off a chill!

Cobbled streets aren't safe when wet
But shopping needs must still be met
Glossy conkers in the mire
Thoughts turn again to crackling fire ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Sunday, 17 September 2017

At Parsons Green Station

Please, no more bad news or I'll scream!
Bomb attack in Parsons Green
A quiet suburb, Fulham way
Commuter lives in disarray ...

The Net, or Met, spreads very wide
A youth near Dover now inside
Raids upon a foster home
Conflicting news on mobile phone.

What? Why? and Where? are headline news
The fifth attack - a myriad clues
More police must be deployed
The stiff upper lip destroyed.

The bomb, home-made, was badly wrought
All its components counter-bought
Times are uncertain, that's my point:
The Parson's nose is out of joint!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Note: 29 people hurt ...

Friday, 15 September 2017

Thomas the Captain!

Does it have a name, this yellow boat
Stuck in dry dock; and can it float?
Thomas – Captain on the deck
Peaked cap but lacking epaulette -

Grips the wheel with all his might
Determined to keep land in sight!
What thoughts assail his boyish mind?
The real sea can be unkind.

But here ashore, he pits his wits
Against a small skiff, not tall ships
Who brought the settlers long ago
To the Australia we know ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Sallying Forth!

More rain – the Autumn mood is clear
Leaves underfoot, gusts wreck my hair
I nearly lost my hat today
My walking shoes splashed with dirt spray.

A most unsubtle change ignites
My troubled Muse these chilly nights
Puddles, roadworks, crowded buses
A fellow passenger who fusses...

Busy crossroads, long delays
Rain-sodden hoardings meet my gaze
I fish out scarves and sturdy shoes
Hear traffic hold-ups on the news...

Somewhere my brolly I must find
A pal not to be left behind
Its clammy closeness I detect
As it weighs a ton when it is wet!

September festivals outdoors
Heritage days - fun guided tours.
Car-free Sunday looms once more
Skateboards and cycles to the fore!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

A Deafening Silence!

The phones ring – no one picks them up
Today, it seems, I'm out of luck
It's hard to row one's boat alone
Between jobs, life is demi-tone...

It's always «next week,» «later on»
My friends' work ethics tough and strong
Retirement has its quieter side
As I anticipate the tide...

The urge to «be involved» burns bright
Life's stream is stong, I hold on tight
Grip on both oars and watch the spray
Till new adventures come my way!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Clearing the Air

At times the Truth just must be told
Diplomacy may be oversold
One must dot the «I's» and cross the «T's»
Being PC is none of these.

The role of friends takes many forms
There are weeds in the most perfect lawns!
You must speak your mind and clear the air
Your thoughts and feelings must be clear.

By inadvertence or neglect
A cherished friendship can be wrecked
So, best to put one's point of view
Maybe the other has no clue ...

That some past action hit a nerve;
In every straight road there's a curve!
Small cracks great fissures can become
Resentment makes life's ink all run...

Do I speak in riddles? Get my drift?
Misunderstandings cause a rift
Perhaps we don't know we've offended?
Pride must be swallowed; fences mended!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Friday, 8 September 2017

Not Irma-la-Douce

It depends, of course, what you believe
Dame Nature has tricks up her sleeve
Tsunamis, high winds, heavy rains...
In the Caribbean - havoc reigns.

Paradise islands in the sun
With golden beaches every one ..
Then Irma, one bad hurricane
And life hangs by a thread – again...

From deepest blue to skies of grey
Torrential rain - not gentle spray
Lives are dashed and dreams destroyed
Insurance policies are void!

Dependent on the tourist trade
The glossy brochures quickly fade
When lashed with wrath from Nepture's fork
Bright blossoms ripped down to their stalk...

We think, poor souls, we've got it sussed
But Nature's last laugh is on us;
Hi-tech is fine in its own way
But Mother Nature still holds sway...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

*Cheeky Title taken from 1963 film starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

My Gift to You!

When young, there seemed so much to learn
New challenges at every turn
Skills and knowledge to acquire
Each year the bar placed that bit higher...

At first I pushed through every door
Great possibilities to explore ...
But then I found what grabbed me most
One special talent I could boast ...

We're all unique in our own way
The question is - what is our trait?
It's liberating when we find
Exactly how God wired our mind.

It happened many years ago
I cottoned onto words that flow;
At under ten, I toyed with rhyme
And scribbled poems at bedtime.

On Shakespeare's sonnets I would feast
So my treasury of words increased
Books my imagination fired
Images in words inspired.

The sounds of verbs give gentle clues
Patterns form - so I enthuse
It's like falling off a log
Hence the creation of my blog!*

You're such great Readers and so loyal
That my flattered Muse stays on the boil
As each day dawns – will lightning strike?
Who knows - not me - what I shall write!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

* In September, 2013

Friday, 1 September 2017

Throwing down the Gauntlet!

The day-to-day and the mundane
Honed reflex actions, blunt routine
Have somehow dulled our once-sharp brain
Our cells go grey that once were green.

Our «What if?» game of make-believe
That focused thoughts in every mind
And drew scenarios from our sleeve
Has ceased to function - we are blind.

Now media-numbed and spoonfed fake
Enticed by click-bait to acquire
Miracle cures, or facelift take;
This modern, vapid world is dire...

Our minds are hijacked, we don't think
While doubtful leaders play their tune
Fa niente is the drug we drink;
Across the globe – darkness at noon!*

Complacent, over-pampered West
Imbibing Lethe's fatal draught
Slow to react to nuclear test...
Whose politics have the last laugh?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

* Book by Arthur Koestler (1940)

Thursday, 31 August 2017

A Snapshot of the Grand'Place

What did Gide* say of this square?
It's theatre in the open air!
A city's history, built in stone
To Burgundy a second home.

Its Gothic Town Hall, graceful spire
Witnessed executions dire
Once thriving market, bakers' hall
Destroyed in French fire, now stands tall.

Showplace of rich corporations
Medieval groupings of nine nations
Proud bold Baroque with Flemish touch
Grand'Place is Grote Markt in Dutch.

A UNESCO listed, stunning site
With son-et-lumière at night
In sun its gilded gables gleam
If life is coffee, it's the cream!

Its discreet hotel has stunning views;
Its beer museum, local brews
Chocolate heaven – tempting wares
Quaint taverns with carved wooden stairs.

Famous visitors of note:
Karl Marx and Victor Hugo - gloat
Their plaques still proudly on display
Maybe you'll join them today?

Flags, festivals and Ommegang
For a thousand years the cobbles rang
With footsteps of the Great and Bold
Yes, still today pageants unfold!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

* André Gide (1869-1951)

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Porte de Halle

Last bastion of great city walls
That girded Brussels long ago
This «medieval» landmark soars
Above two lanes of traffic flow.

Once fortress, granary and gate
Prison and archives dépot
Its survival gave rise to debate
The Dutch decreed it should not go.

Re-built in neo-Gothic style
By Beyaert, the King's protégé
In granite, brick and turret tile
It has a "Disney" look today.

Perched on an outcrop, facing Spain
With pre-Renaissance themed displays
Modern pilgrims come again
To imagine life in bygone days.

A Galicia monument nearby
Recalls this much-trod pilgrim route
While silent cannons face the sky
Their role in our defence is moot!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 28 August 2017

More Aftershocks ...

Hurricane Harvey sweeps the Coast
Houston Texas suffers most
The Lone Star State in deluge caught
Low-lying areas are fraught...

While Nature shows us all who's boss
A world away Japan is cross
As Kim Jong Un plays with his toys
'The Mouse Who Roared'* makes a loud noise.

Uncertainty in different spheres
Life as we know it, ends in tears
At least the sky is blue today
With no eclipse to make it grey!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

* 1959 Film starring Peter Sellers and Jean Seberg

Sunday, 27 August 2017

The Last Gasp of Summer

Wow! It's still warm as August ends
«La Rentrée» beckons; drinks with friends
All buzzing with new tales to tell
September catch-ups augur well!

Floods of snaps on Instagram
Exotic locations in the can
From near and far and the unknown
Is no one missing Home Sweet Home?

I like the respite summer brings;
Contrast to BSF* that zings
With concerts, fireworks, walks with guide(!)
And exhibitions – held outside.

Dear chaotic Brussels is compact
With intermittent cycle track
But with many quaint streets to explore
This guide is happy to learn more!

*Brussels Summer Festival

(c) Poet in the Woods 2017

Friday, 25 August 2017

Intuitive Thomas!

Time passes, Mummy's tummy grows:
Dad takes Thomas on his knee
He feels it's time that Thomas knows
That soon they will be four, not three.

How to broach this family news?
At nearly four, his wit is sharp
Dad wants to canvas his son's views
It's problematic – where to start?

But Thomas looks up, child-care smart
As Dad explains a babe is due;
«A sister, please» comes from the heart;
The scan confirms that this is true!

We're all amazed, how could he know?
Wee Isabella lies concealed
His intuition in full flow
Post Christmas - all will be revealed!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Sounds Familiar?

Light frisson as I step outside
Late August – sun plays seek and hide!
Rush hour - spare seats on the tram
Time to muse because I can ...

I'm lost in thought when mobiles buzz
This frequent irritation does
Make fellow travellers check their phone:
Who's calling? Business, friend or home?

I catch the mood – the need to know
Sets bored, tired faces all aglow
A general fumbling begins
Till the buzzing stops and someone grins.

How life has changed these past few years
Electronic noises in our ears
All wired for sound, we're miles away
Who dares to pass the time of day?

Now I'm all for progress – of a sort
As modern life is often fraught
With stress and 'burn out' on the rise,
But - is the way we're going wise?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

For Angela - at Forty!

A wee thought flickers through my mind
Are my calculations kind?
Is this the year you start anew?
At Forty – it's the thing to do.

So much achieved – a sharp-eyed son
And in the bakery – a bun
Although the secret's wisely kept
You'll soon know whom to expect...

So your birthday this year is big news
I'd come to Oz if I could choose
But a world away means that I come
With greetings to a special Mum!

Words, warm thoughts and hugs I send
You know I care and am your friend
Take it easy – but for goodness' sake
Do enjoy some birthday cake!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Disruption - on a Grand Scale!

Brussels and roadworks make a pair
Yellow and blue barricades
«Déviation» signs are everywhere
Pipes and sewers need «upgrades».

Journeys now take twice as long
Transit buses out of sight
Timetables often simply wrong;
A half-hour wait - or deadline tight!

Asphalt mixers, stacked-up bricks
Deep trenches dug in clay and sand
Teams of workmen come to fix
Our cobbled streets, bare-backed – and tanned!

In theory, long hours, sunny days
Should translate into work soon done
But progress slows in summer haze;
Watch where you put your feet, old son!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Elijah Immanuel Kerby

The luckiest patriarch alive
Is Miles, whose tribe has grown to five!
As Tim and Sheena blessed with love
Have a precious bundle from above.

Our Kerby clan now grows apace;
Over Internet the brand new face
Of Elijah wrapped in swaddling clothes
Mass of dark hair, cheeky nose,

Peeps out for all of us to see
A new star on the Christmas tree!
Fast asleep - content and warm
A perfect son, November born.

Immanuel is his second name
It means “God with us”, that is plain
No one could have a better start
He’s left his footprints in our heart!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 21 August 2017

Struck Dumb!

Whitechapel foundry cast the Bell
Which took a full two weeks to cool
Pugin's last design bode well
He went mad later – that was cruel!

In Gothic splendour it resides
Iconic symbol on Thamesside
Its chimes more frequent than the tides
At 96 metres, London's pride.

Majestic, much loved, bold Big Ben
A giant timepiece now struck dumb
Four years before it's heard again
Its vow of silence has begun.

At a cost of millions, so we hear
Full overhaul and shining face
This British landmark has no peer
Though a stone's throw from the «Other Place»!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Sunday, 20 August 2017

No Immunity in Turku!

Who still dares to watch the news
Or listen to the radio?
In crowded places, Europe-wide
Lurk terrorists – now in Turku!

Finland, northern land of lakes
Where Father Christmas crafts our toys
Rarely horror headlines makes;
Stays on the sidelines and enjoys

A peaceful lifestyle: skis and ships
Sibelius, Aalto, Nokia phones
Then suddenly the image shifts
Surprise attack – and more dead bones ...

Is nowhere safe? The threat remains
Fanaticism on the rise
Injustice many converts claims
Inured to death - who shatter lives ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Saturday, 19 August 2017

R.I.P. Bruce Forsyth (1928-2017)

«Nice to meet you, to meet you, nice!»
That sums up Brucie in a trice
After such a long career
Seventy-five years the Beeb makes clear

Your smile and cheeky repartee
And twinkly eyes, have ceased to be...
Mainstay of Palladium stage
When Variety was all the rage

You trod those boards with tap-dance feet
Not many have skills that compete.
Stage presence, dapper, in control
With audiences, on a roll!

Panto and Generation Game
Suave performer, household name
In «Strictly» once more right out front
Not adverse to a tap-dance stunt!

Long after many had retired
Past eighty, you were still inspired!
Down here the show must still go on
But it is hard now you are gone...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Friday, 18 August 2017

Bereaved Barcelona

Disaster strikes, this time in Spain
Van driver, crazed, intent to maim
Speeds through La Rambla; fourteen die
Many wounded; hue and cry...

Lightning attack, devoid of warning;
Barcelona, scarred, in mourning
Fine city now in sombre mood;
A sense of horror will intrude

On those who saw it all unfold;
Sagrada Familia's heart grows cold...
Then Cambrils, seventy miles away
Target of terrorists today.

A gas canister attack is foiled
Small comfort; many lives are spoiled
This reign of terror strikes us dumb
Is this the shape of things to come?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

On 17.8.2017

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Celebrating India in Brussels!

Do you realise it is seventy years
Since Gandhi's cherished dream came true?
Partition - post the Raj - brought tears
Subcontinent split into two ...

Bold, fabled India took her chance
The rift, so great, could not be healed
Freedom - with a boil to lance ...
It was no level playing field.

Migration on a giant scale
Death and horror in the ranks
British negotiations fail
The last Viceroy will get no thanks.

The teeming millions wave their flag
Proud of their destiny diverse
From scorching plains to upmost crag
Mother India comes first!

Brussels a festival now hosts
With Indian spices, food and tea
What exotic flavours it now boasts
With dancing in a big marquee.

Artistic, henna-painted hands
Strange music wafting through the park
India comprises many strands
And each today leaves its own mark.

Cinquantenaire in August sun;
Crowds gather eagerly and queue
Tastes east-of-Suez will be fun;
Who thinks what Indians went through?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Indian Festival in Brussels 12-13th August, 2017
Indian Independence: August 15th, 1947

Saturday, 12 August 2017

The Bees cause a Buzz!

Cool day, I open garage door
A hectatomb of bees on floor!
Not quite knee-deep, but all the same
Mass murder by another name.

They've made a bee-line for the car!
They can't have come from very far
The neighbours have put up a hive
In forest nearby and have tried

To get a honey business going
The buzz is - this idea is growing!
How did the swarm land on my car?
I did not leave the door ajar...

Some heavy brush work cleaned the mess
Hot water for the car was best
Now clean and tidy – all resolved!
But the mystery remains unsolved ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Honey bee drawn by Sian Cook

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

R.I.P. Glen Campbell (1936-2017)

The Wichita Lineman is no more;
What a haunting voice! His lyrics soar
Into the concert in the sky;
Glen Campbell's music will not die.

Arkansas boy and Nashville teen
Youngest of seven on the scene
Massed audiences loved his guitar
He caught the mood, became a star.

His Rhinestone Cowboy topped the charts
His gentle tenor captured hearts
Did he get to Phoenix? I forget
He and Dolly Parton sung duet.

Galveston hums in my head ...
Between Pop and Country - his style led
To hours of happy listening time
Guess he stays Gentle on my mind...

But Alzheimer's caught him on the run ...
Sad news - his death at eighty-one;
Cool dude, relaxed and debonnaire
Whose songs still echo in my ear ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Died 8th August, 2017

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Here, Kitty, Kitty!

«World Cat Day», Folks is August 8
But how do felines celebrate?
Animal Welfare thinks this way
Every Puss should have her day!

Her fluffiness deserves this praise
Twitching whiskers, piercing gaze
Since birth she's coverted this spot
Till now her humans had forgot.

To award her elegance and poise
Pedigree Cat got squeaky toys!
But recognition comes at last
So she tilts her head when going past.

Pert, inscrutable and sharp
From scratch, she gains her owner's heart
Her frolics entertain, amuse
Her instagrams are Facebook news!

Playful Pussy has her moods
Thwarting her can be bad news
From purr to sharp claw in one step
When Madame's ego is upset!

The female deadlier than the male?
Watch out when she flicks her tail
But today of all days, she's serene
As even moggies lap up cream!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 7 August 2017

It's a Wrap!

What packaging we throw away!
Expanded polystyrene tray
Cellophane and plastic wraps
Plastic bottles, metal caps.

Ribbons, gift wrap, carrier bags
Cardboard loo rolls, freebie mags
Plastic nets for onions, fruit
Jars and beer cans follow suit...

Has it always been this way?
Potato peelings are OK
Teabags and coffee grounds compost
And cores of apples can be tossed!

Our precious forests must be saved!
Let's unite on this Crusade
And bring our own bag when we shop;
By thinking «Green», wastage will drop!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Saturday, 5 August 2017

On Staycation!

Hey! What today is headline news?
August's pace is slow
The poet casts round to enthuse
Where will the spotlight go?

Holiday photos flood the Net;
Suntanned, smiling faces
Rock climbing, cute streets in Provence
Beach-sports at seaside places.

To achieve this, travel is involved
Airport and crowded train
The traffic chaos can't be solved
So the stress remains the same!

On weather map, France shows deep red
Above forty degrees
An inferno everywhere you tread
No whisper of a breeze...

Back here «up North», the sun beams down
But its rays are less intense
We turn a gentler shade of brown
And save all that expense!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Thursday, 3 August 2017

A Tribute to Prince Philip

Odd TV snippets whet my muse
The BBC has startling news
I'm half-awake – did I hear right?
Prince Philip – journalists' delight -

Is scaling back his public role;
At 96* – I find that droll!
Faithful consort of the Queen
Since '47, they're a team.

While most retire at sixty-five
The Royals, no time off, still strive
To show they're made of sterner stuff
But at over ninety, that's enough!

Scrutinized with eager eye
Slight indiscretions blown sky high
Scandal papers make a mint;
He can't react or give a hint

Of what he's feeling deep inside;
He protects the Monarchy with pride
So I take my hat off to the Duke
Who this week took his last salute!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

* Born 21st April 1921

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Brussels behind Barricades!

The roadworks go on unabated
In Brussels this is understated
Craters, trucks and barricades
Chaos caused by digger spades!

Orange signs say «Déviation»
On every possible occasion,
The binmen struggle to go through
Caught up in the mayhem too.

New surfacing, new I.T. lines
Make parking difficult at times
Our main access road's a wreck
Please be careful where you step!

Place de Brouckère is much worse
Deep delving in the City purse,
Upheaval on a giant scale;
Passers-by leave muddy trail...

Across this wasteland, workmen swarm
Long summer days begin at dawn
Their actions all seem hit or miss
A World War bombsite looked like this!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 31 July 2017

A Snapshot of Groningen

Windmills, lush grass, proud cows, bikes,
Groningen: picture postcard sites
Vibrant market, happy people
Church Romanesque with brick-built steeple.

Cycle paths that criss-cross streets
A cloud formation that completes
Farms and crops on every side
Well organised, the Nation's pride.

Land reclamation at the coast
Wind farms give fossil fuels a boost
Villages scattered on the plain
Kept pristine in the frequent rain.

Fruit and flowers in profusion
This is no artist's fond illusion
Sailboats catch the rippling breeze
Stupendous sunsets through the trees...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Meanwhile, down in Le Var ...

While Brussels, at its best, is cool
In South of France, sun is the rule;
The benefit of constant showers
Provides us with amazing flowers!

Our gardens blossom; if we stay
We can enjoy their bright display
But those who hurtle down to France
Their feeble suntan to enhance

Are overjoyed with cloudless skies
And find the drought a nice surprise
Campsites burgeon near the coast...
Then Nature ups the stakes, they roast!

Raging wildfires crisp Le Var
Converging firemen from afar
No sleep, no rest for these brave men
Who toil all night and still stay zen.

Disruption and evacuation
An unexpected ruined vacation
A force majeure one can't avoid
No deaths, but many trees destroyed...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 24 July 2017

R.I.P. Jim Morrison (1943-1971)

Down the shady paths of Père Lachaise
In the company of Paris graves
Near La Piaf and Oscar Wilde,
Jim Morrison – famed Pop Rock child.

Iconic singer of «The Doors»
Psychedelic inspiration scores
Youth counter culture, Hall of Fame
Six great albums to his name.

In UCLA Kafka and Rimbaud
Inspired him as did Jean Cocteau
LSD and Baudelaire
Balzac, Nietzsche, Molière...

'Love her Madly', 'Light my Fire'
The Sixties mantra does not tire
Ed Sullivan had him as a guest;
Drugs, alcohol and heart arrest...

Dependency his spirit stole
At twenty-seven - burnt out soul...
Death stalked in Paris' quatrième;*
His like we shall not see again...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

*Rue Beautrellis, 75004 Paris

Jim Morrison's grave

View of Paris from the Père Lachaise cemetery

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Thomas chills out!

It's picnic time, rug on the grass;
Fish and chips may not have class
But don't they taste good in the sun
And bring a warm glow to the tum?

Mum and Thomas take a break
It's so laid-back here, time to take
A moment to admire the scene
Where eucalpts are always green.

Australia – land of sharp contrast
Modern towns, primeval past
Wide open spaces next to none
Red soil, blue skies and burning sun.

Thomas, born here, knows it well
But what he thinks, no one can tell
Yes, outdoors is the place to be
With distant views of beach and sea...

Away from childcare, time to chill
Outdoor eating is a thrill
Cuddling up with Mum, replete
The day for Thomas is complete!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Friday, 21 July 2017

For Sian and other "New" Belgians

Cool rosé on a summer's day
Graceful damselflies display
Their lacy wings as they flit past
The odd bee on his pollen task...

The day is dry, clouds just mere wisps
The garden flowers all sun-kissed
Deck chair on the patio
Time at last to take it slow

And contemplate our hectic lives
Where drama moderates 'high fives'
On this, wee Belgium's national day*
When politics is put away.

Thank God it's Friday – long week-end!
Many «now new» Belgians blend
Into Brussels' melting pot
With yellow, black and red on top!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

*21st July

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

94 Years Young!

Once again we turn the page
Not many reach this august age
No shop-bought cards have Ninety-Four
You're a rare pearl – that's for sure!

I can't help wondering how you feel
High numbers make my senses reel
So many lives rolled into one;
Dawn of life in Kenyan sun

Pink country on colonial map
Independence swept away all that
A changing world, wars come and go
A way of life I could not know...

A true survivor flying high
Hands-on, active, smart and spry
A volunteer in mature years
Mum, you've earned your golden spurs!

So many never reach this date
You've got good genes – not for debate
I marvel at you, birthday Mum
Your stamina is next to none!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Baudelaire's Brussels

In the 1860s Baudelaire
The poet with a rhyming flair
Sojourned in hôtel Miroir
And considered Brussels rather dour.

Its twisty streets, its river dank
Its women, heavy set, who stank
Its Faro beer, its smoky dives
Its, in a word, provincial lives...

Strapped for cash, the poet spoke
In glowing terms of men of note
In the King's House upper hall
But public interest was small...

He took a trip to Waterloo
And dined on Hugo's famed menu
Observed the landscape, drenched with rain
And contemplated that "morne plaine".

He admired the city's Baroque past
Was there when Leopold breathed his last
Saw flight of Nadar's air balloon
Wrote poems in his hôtel room...

A Namur excursion proved too much
A malaise at Saint Loup was such
His health, once robust, now declined
He left 'La pauvre Belgique' behind.

But his verse encapsulates a time
When early photos showed the grime
Of working lives by river bed
Where cholera reared its ugly head.

On the cusp of visions new
Vast enterprise of Leopold II
A modern Brussels, tree-lined, free
This, Baudelaire did not live to see...

Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) in Brussels 1864-66.
Died 31st August.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

100,000 Hits!

I am unknown – I write for fun
No effort – ideas seem to come
In waves and send new thoughts to shore
They well up from life's ocean floor.

In times gone by, my quirky muse
Would just fill notebooks, leave no clues
Except to those who know me well ...
But on-line posts cause giant swell!

I am amazed since I am told
That poetry cannot be sold
Old-fashioned, of another age;
And yet, as far as I can gauge

My 'rhyming journal' day by day
Attracts new readers who may stray
By chance upon my humble blog:
A clever keyword? On they log!

Just friends at first, four years ago
Then friends-of-friends, the rise was slow
But now the hits come thick and fast
A hundred thousand votes are cast!

So may I say, to YOU out there
I'm grateful you have time to spare
This «Poet in the Woods» is glad
To learn she's not a passing fad!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Thursday, 13 July 2017


There are two ways to see each day
Sunshine-filled or dark and grey
Two ways to act when life is fraught:
Accept the status quo - or walk!

Life's a case of ebb and flow
Storm or breeze – you never know
But the constant movement gives us choice:
In challenges we find our voice.

Steep learning curves hove into view ...
A chance for a perspective new?
We gain experience as we age
What shall we write on each blank page?

Life's not easy – that's a fact
Forget regrets – we can't turn back
In time we learn by our mistakes
Because - we have got What It Takes!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Think Before You Post!

Facebook Readers – have a care
A wrong move and you start a scare!
Check before you share a post
Its truth may be an idle boast!

All reporting on the Net
Devoid of ethics, is a threat
Mascarading facts reach out
Disturbing audiences-with-clout!

Fake news permeates our screens
Purveying scandal, crushing dreams
Bright reputations torn to shreds;
Enraging countless thinking heads...

Misunderstandings rise and flow
Raw emotions come and go
Politicians and world leaders quake:
Sift wheat from chaff, for goodness sake!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Approaching the Big Event!

A deafening silence; buses few
Rain clouds threaten – what's to do?
My Facebook friends are all away
In foreign places – making hay...

But Brussels in July is great!
Culture overfills our plate
A summer festival is held
There's theatre at Parc Karreveld!

So stroll and cycle, see the sights
Lots of stands and tasty bites
Parades before the King come soon
And a fly-past in the afternoon.

Independence day, the twenty-first
We congregate to slake our thirst
Wave flags and banners, get excited
And are for one day, all united!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

The Belgian motto: "L'union fait la Force" = Strength in Unity...

Saturday, 8 July 2017

What Price Retail Therapy?

You must have noticed – parking spaces!
The silly season – smiling faces
Brash carrier bags with garments new
Filled with «bargains» - what think you?

There's crowd control at PRIMARK store!
Cheap clothes; low wages for the poor
Shoddy goods for shoddy minds
But who reads deep between the lines?

Over-consumption boldly stares
Consider brocantes and street fairs
Excess and wastage fill our lives
So retail therapy survives...

But possessions stay here when we die
So do we need to stock-pile high
Our homes with clothes and ornaments?
Perhaps I'm being too intense ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

PRIMARK in Rue Neuve, Brussels

Thursday, 6 July 2017


Why do I write? The question's tough
Thoughts crowd my mind – it's full of «stuff»
An Americanism I abhor
But apposite; what are words for?

The brain just buzzes, won't keep still;
Observations and emotions will
Spill out in swirls across the page
Ideas pace, like lions caged.

There's an inner urge that comes and goes
The blank screen fills up; Heaven knows
What I shall find to write today
It's quiet - friends on holiday...

G20 summit – Hamburg quakes
Trump's arrival ups the stakes
Riots, water-cannoned streets
And this before a single speech!

Farewell to France's Simone Veil
Aged 89, she blazed a trail
In post-war politics, a star
Who proved that women can go far!

As always, a mixed-bag of themes
Harsh reality and dreams
You see, I really can't explain
Poetic workings are arcane!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Simone Veil: died 30/6/2017
G20 summit: 7-8/7/2017 in Hamburg

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Curse of the Big "C"

It's the transience of life that's hard
Impermanence, the moving on
You think you hold the winning card
A stable perch to stand upon.

Then the apple cart is all upset
A roll of dice by hand unseen
Dark factor you wished to forget
And something curdles all your cream.

Those earthly riches all at nought
A volte face now obscures your day
Life and health cannot be bought
Certainties may slip away...

Imperceptible at first
No outward sign of deep malaise
Though an inner firework has burst
Engendering a misty haze...

The «cellule folle» as the French say
Hides its progress from our eyes
Hope fights to see the light of day
And the glory of a new sunrise...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

The Big "C" = cancer.