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.


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

Resilience

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 the 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

Promptings

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.



Monday, 3 July 2017

A Snapshot of Paris

Paris – in the pouring rain
Slippery cobbles near the Seine
Tourists swarm in narrow streets
The Jewish quarter never sleeps.

Bistrots and bakeries abound
Their arts and crafts scene world renowned
Umbrellas clash, turn inside out
A raincoat must be bought – no doubt.

The Sorbonne lies just up the street
Think Cinquième - Mai Soixante-Huit
Ile-Saint-Louis – built-up maze
Whose houses have seen better days...

Quaint boutiques down small impasses
Florists and antiques en masse
Avant-garde and tourist tat
Traditional, modern – all of that!

Ile de la Cité – Notre Dame
Quintessential photo in the can!
Gothic splendour; Roman baths
Nothing here is done by halves.

Pavement cafés, chinking glasses
Apéritif-time – men make passes!
Medieval art on Cluny site
Lady and Unicorn delight!

Parisians love good food and dine
Buoyed up with knowledge of fine wine.
Their legendary 'savoir-faire'
Like champagne, bubbles everywhere.

A Sunday stroll round Père Lachaise
69 thousand stone des. res.
Amid long avenues of trees
Rich, poor and famous take their ease.

In death united on a slope
What price religion, what price hope?
Sharp contrast to the Left Bank crowds
Both hidden under rainy clouds ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Thursday, 29 June 2017

Bruxelles-les-Bains/Brussel-Bad

With the River just a memory now
Canals North-South our waterway
The Brussels' Powers-that-Be endow
The quays with sand and palms that sway.

Bruxelles-les-Bains or Brussel-Bad
Is a feature citizens enjoy
In deck chairs cocktails can be had
A «By the Sea» for hoi polloi!

Mojitos: lime with rum and mint
Are welcome on a sultry day
It's nice to hear those ice cubes clink
And imagine you are far away!

Music concerts, sports and games
The programme at week-ends is charged
The stalls all have exotic names
Their lists and menus written large.

OK, it's not the Côte d'Azur
Or Costa Brava down in Spain
But it has its own unique allure
Just don't go there in the rain!

(Quai des Peniches - 16th Edition)

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Monday, 26 June 2017

Byte-sized

As you scroll down on the Internet
In search of some elusive fact
Temptation in your way will step
Lurid headlines try to trap

Your interest, or maybe a quiz
Annoying adverts catch your eye
«Pop-ups» put you in a tizz
Your concentration blown sky-high!

Hail to the short attention span!
Modern children find it tough
To read a book through but they can
Surf until they've had enough.

In gentler times, not long ago
Letter writing was an art
Newspapers kept you «in the know»
And TV played a major part.

Now knowledge comes in tidy bytes
Pre-packaged with a point of view
An avalanche of smart «insights»
But I think for myself, don't you?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Thomas Scales new Heights!

Ups and downs, hills and dales
Life's a journey – wind in sails
Small boys make progress at great speed
The daily challenge is a need!

Wee Thomas, edging on to four,
Loves climbing – so much to explore
On sunny days why stay inside
When you can zoom down on a slide?

Steep steps beckon – off you go
Hold on tight and take it slow
A moment later you're on top
Survey the scene then down you drop.

The confidence of Thomas grows
His lust for freedom clearly shows
Amazing what these playgrounds teach
Brand new summits within reach!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Saturday, 24 June 2017

In a Sweat!

It's humid – shades of Seventy-Six
May-September on hot bricks
Standpipes, buckets in long queues
Yellow grasslands make the news!

Farmers mopping dripping brows
Pasture land too parched for cows
Restrictions: «Please don't wash your car!»
Empty shelves – no bottled «Spa».

Yet these extremes breed customs new
Picnics under skies of blue
Resorts along the coast do well
And ice-cream vendors sell – and sell!

My terrace flowers shoot up fast;
Unbidden, tough weeds grow too – blast!
We swelter, wear hats, carry fans
Gardeners wield big watering cans.

The ground is hard and powder dry
And not a rain cloud in the sky
The reservoirs at all-time low
Make life for farmers touch and go.

But people smile and wear bright clothes
Or sit in parks to read or doze;
We know the rains will surely come
But in the meantime – let's have fun!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Friday, 23 June 2017

What a Nice Bit of Skirt!

The heat pokes fun at silly laws;
When it's sweltering indoors
Boys and teachers find it hard
To wear long trousers, but are barred

From wearing shorts – it's just NOT done ...
But a loophole has been found – what fun!
They turn up in white ties and shirts
but instead of trousers, pleated skirts!

The genius of it – it's not new
The Scots are expert at it too!
We revel in this scorching heat
As men in skirts are a rare treat!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

At the Gare Centrale

So it's «Shoot to kill!» time once again
Armed soldiers do their bit
A slight fire somewhere near the train
Then the Terrorist is hit.

Station cordoned off, delays
Blue lights converge on site
Fear stalks again in summer haze
Security is tight.

Aghast, we scroll down on the web
Is there no one we can trust?
Our joie de vivre at a low ebb
As we try to earn our crust...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

On 20th June, 2017


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

In Memory of Karen

Warm day in June with sweet perfume
Rose petals fall – it is too soon
Our dear friend - known for her kind heart
And radiance - has lost her spark.

There are no words – she slips away
Unconscious, free of pain today
Her spirit soars just out of reach
We clutch at straws to fill the breech ...

The fragility of life's fine thread
We could wish it stronger, but instead
It was soft and rich with golden sheen
And wove with memories a dream.

Brave Andrew left with his fair Rose
Surrounded by the friends he knows
Such sweet families are rare;
We all loved Karen and we care.

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

(Karen Boreham-Garside: 9th May 1957 - 7th June 2017)



Watery Thoughts

The shadows shorten – the sun climbs
The heat dissolves all thoughts of rhymes;
While walking to the shops I think
What would I not give – for a drink!

There's talk of drought in Belgium; really?
The water table drops quite clearly
The Walloon Region is too dry
What happens if a spark should fly?

In Portugal the forests burn
Too many deaths; when will they learn
To build away from leafy glade?
Great scenery but early grave ...

Water - now known as «Blue Gold»
Brings life to crops, turns wheat to gold
But too much sunshine is a curse
Rain must quench Dame Nature's thirst ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Sunday, 18 June 2017

BREXIT - Action Stations!

So - talks on BREXIT now begin
Brits flock to Brussels and look grim
This game of consequences seems
To cloud the issues, breaking dreams.

We're an island, thriving on free trade
So you'd think the E.U. had it made
But die-hards scared of immigrants
Bought into the «Get out!» stance.

Reels of red tape must be cut
The Bank of England may 'tut-tut'
We've bitten off what we can't chew
Legislation has a lasting glue.

Screaming headlines just last year
Proclaiming BREXIT were quite clear:
The E.U. was a big mistake
Our sovereignty at stake!

The die is cast, we've made our choice
(Though Brits in Europe had no voice)
Brussels brokers this debate
I hold my breath – what is our fate?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Friday, 16 June 2017

Waiting in De Lijn

Not all are locked on mobile phones
Or wired-for-sound, like detached clones
Today at bus stop for De Lijn
Going out of town this time

I engaged in brief but friendly chat
With a would-be passenger, who sat
With her daughter who's impaired
And cannot go alone – too scared...

Entitled to a special pass
They travel free, but it's not fast
Though buses go in all directions
Iffy schedules – missed connections.

Sadly, she's not learned to drive
So she and daughter daily strive
To keep appointments via the bus;
It's complicated, causes fuss.

Normally I have my car
So lunch in Hoeilaart isn't far
But it was garaged for repair ...
Hence De Lijn to get me there!

A chance encounter – food for thought
Bus transport out-of-town is fraught
I now realise how she feels;
How easy for those who have wheels...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Thursday, 15 June 2017

Pulled up Short - Again!

I would not wish to jolt your day
But another neighbour's passed away
That makes five in just one week
And pulls the rug out from my feet!

That life is fleeting is not news
It's hard sometimes to pick up clues
We cannot always understand
What's happening – much is unplanned.

When did we see our dear friends last?
How many months have now gone past ...
When we rang to say hello
Did we realise they were feeling low?

Death comes, alas, in many guises
At every age there are surprises
Illness, accident, neglect
Or suicide slips through life's net...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Generous June

A blank page – what can I report?
This is a challenge dearly bought
My readership grows day by day
I wonder what I'm going to say ...

I scour the headlines – Trump and May
Continue on their own sweet way
Earthquake in Greece* – in minor key
West London flats** fire – kids jump free...

No deep thoughts bubble through my brain:
End year exams in schools again
Too early for the summer sales
Each garden now much work entails.

You could say all is set at fair
What's the rush? Let's stop and stare
With parks and gardens at their best
Time to slow down – take a rest ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

* Off the coast of Athens on 13/6 - no deaths
**Grenfell Tower fire, West London 14/6 - 79 confirmed deaths ...



Monday, 12 June 2017

Unpredictability

There are days which fragilise the soul
Cracks which appear and take their toll
For many moons all has been well
Then sad news comes - you just can tell...

A chance encounter – twice today
I learned of friends who'd passed away
And on a notice board I saw
The 'faire-part' of a couple more...

Life is not stable, carved in stone
Fate intervenes – you're left alone
Wondering why friends had to part
Leaving footprints in your heart...

That life is finite we all know
Since birth we sense that it is so
Hence each in turn will leave the Room
Many, sadly, far too soon ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Saturday, 10 June 2017

Thoughts in the Shower

Damp hair from shower fits my mood
Bedraggled, washed out; thoughts intrude
What a week - sad death of friend
And two lives which will never mend...

«C'est la vie» as the French say
The irony blows me away;
Our earthly presence a short span
Oh, the fragility of Man!

Yet we touch lives, love, are sought after
Engender wonderment and laughter
Make inroads on friends' minds and hearts
Which linger as the soul departs...

My thoughts and hair in disarray
I towel my head and start my day ...
Sadness tinged with happy times
But life must go on - the sun shines ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

In memory of Karen Boreham-Garside, a wonderful neighbour and friend ...



Friday, 9 June 2017

UK - Election Results!

Politics – a high-risk game
Do shuffled cards come out the same?
52 - one for each week
Their positions alter as we speak.

No landslide victory this time round;
«Hung parliament» has a hollow sound
Labour gains across the board
But only one Green card has scored.

The buck stops here, to our disMAY
Who I wonder wins the day?
BREXIT looms in a new form
Will «soft» or «hard» now be the norm?

Many, sleep-deprived, observe
How the PM suffers loss of nerve
The SNP stays out in front
But Wales and N.I. bear the brunt.

No clear-cut mandate as surmised
But is the outcome a surprise?
The Island People spoke their mind
But their ducks are not aligned!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

P.M. Theresa May called a snap election for 8th May, 2017




Sunday, 4 June 2017

By London Bridge

Blue skies, the buzzing of a midge
On Island of Elizabeth ...
Now barricades on London Bridge;
A barmy evening marred by death.

Once heads of traitors were on show
A gory past we had forgot
But history does repeat we know
In an instant we turn back the clock...

Unsuspecting, crowded bars
Tourists – several of them French
Chatting under summer stars
The clink of beers at wooden bench.

Three evil spirits break the spell
Onslaught of a knife attack
A scene of blood, a modern Hell
Puts politicians on the rack...

First Manchester, still grieving now
For children and their shattered dreams;
We must protect ourselves – but how?
Death comes in brand new ways it seems...

This ancient bridge oft built anew
Once thrived with busy stalls and shops
But now presents a starker view:
Mangled bodies, shell-shocked cops...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

7 deaths and many wounded ...





Heads on spikes ...

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Wisdom of Animals

We all love pets; sometimes it seems
This special bond betwixt us means
Time to relate sans needless stress
No backchat so love stands the test!

Always thrilled when you come home
Providing solace when alone
They purr (or bark and wag their tail);
This is friendship on a mega scale.

Who cares if mongrel or pure breed?
Their warm heart gives you all you need
Companionship, a sense of self
Fidelity their greatest wealth.

Whereas people just might let you down
Sometimes a smile is met with frown
Irritation, anger, lack of time
Our selfish nature on the line...

Yes, friends with animals show care
Despite their schedules they are there
To listen, talk or lend a hand
They weave in life a magic strand!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Friday, 2 June 2017

On a June Day

Swallows greet us with sharp cries
With nests in Beaulieu – a surprise
They swoop across the shining rails
Visiting cards leave mucky trails!

Down our busy street next to the wood
Under wooden gutters they make good
Their short-lived homes with moss and twig,
And loop-the-loop - their favourite gig!

One swallow does not a summer make
But there are many – no mistake!
Blue skies seem set at fair – but hark
Storms threaten Brussels after dark ...

There are buds and insects in profusion
This rich increase is no illusion
Nature in her brightest garb
Catches this Poet off her guard...

Politics has gory sights
More scheming lords than shining knights!
But Mother Nature in full glory
Provides the most enduring story!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Swallow nests

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Repartee of Thomas!

My handsome nephew grows and learns
Frustrated, peeved and smart by turns
Take breakfast, which he eats with Dad,
He fiddles with his food, gets mad -

When told that time is on the wing
As Daddy's patience can wear thin;
«Time to clear the plates away,
Thomas, we've not got all day!»

«Stop whinging, Lad!» is the refrain
As eating slowly is a pain...
Thomas takes these words on board
And in his brain they're carefully stored...

«Meal's nearly over, quickly now!»
Is met with gently furrowed brow
Then cheeky grin: «Stop whinging, Dad!»
Skilled with repartee – our lad!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Thomas - aged 3 and a half

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Feeling Hot and Bothered!

Too hot to write – don't you agree?
The lack of breeze means I'm at sea
I sit down tired and mop my brow
The heat distracts my thoughts and how!

The terrace door is open wide
Flies in battalions zoom inside
Some divebomb glass panes, drop down dead
While others buzz around my head.

After a spurt in last week's rain
Plants need water, look in pain.
The weeds, however, spring up tough
A daily trim is not enough.

Herb seedlings snuggled in the earth
Now shoot forth stems for all they're worth
They welcome muggy days like these;
My wisteria is a mass of leaves!

It's rare in Belgium it's so hot
Aircon sure would hit the spot;
The pressure drops – a storm is due
Maybe a cool change coming through?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Sunday, 28 May 2017

Grounded!

In airport terminal* – a crowd
The tannoy blares its message loud
All flights are grounded on B.A.
Ruined – another holiday!

Confusion reigns and nerves are frayed
«Flights cancelled» on sign boards displayed
A devious gremlin gloats unseen
What's happened to computer screen?

The mystery remains unsolved ...
Fun travel plans are now dissolved
All those who saved to take a break
In sunny climes, must stand and wait.

On-line ticketing is fine
In theory it should save us time
High tech is great, yet fraught with flaws
When there's a glitch, blood pressure soars!

Refunds are promised – that seems fair;
Damn - piles of luggage packed with care
All dressed up – nowhere to go ...
And who's to blame, I'd like to know!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

*Gatwick/Heathrow
This cost 90 million Euro - 726 flights cancelled (28%) during the long weekend ...


Friday, 26 May 2017

Press the Pause Button

A blue sky, hardly any cloud
It's Brussels – can this be allowed?
In a breath of air, rose petals fall
No Air Force One – no siren call.

A time of peace while the sun shines
A long weekend – a church bell chimes...
Big shops and banks stay firmly closed
Gardens put on princely shows...

What's with this life - we can't stay still?
Admiring Nature is a thrill
Each day small seedlings stretch their roots
And bring us joy with verdant shoots.

Though the living world works round the clock
Humans need to pause, take stock;
«Consider the lilies, how they grow»
Forget the fast lane – take it slow.

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Circus hits Town!

Hey Folks, the Circus comes to town
400 now are Brussels-bound
Vast local crowds clog sun-filled streets
Their banner headlines – doubtful treats!

Security - a prime concern
That's how they spend the cash we earn
Brussels and Evere await
The role of NATO to debate...

Fine tuning – whistle-stop event
This first foreign tour is meant
To put the U.S. in new light;
We brace ourselves – and hold on tight!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Data Martyrdom

Being «on line» is such fun
In terms of «breaking news», we run
To CNN or BBC
To get updated – and it's free!

Research from books is so passé
The printed word has had its day
Rumours flourish, causing doubt
Journalists have their work cut out!

Each one has a different view
What is lies and what is true?
Impressions flood in – we protest
Our shell-shocked brain cells need a rest...

But the 'need to know' does not abate;
We scroll down screens till very late
Losing sleep, we rub our eyes
It's progress, yes – but is it wise?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Tuesday, 23 May 2017

R.I.P. Sir Roger Moore (1927-2017)

This has not been the world's best day;
Suave Roger Moore has passed away
Once Ivanhoe, that gallant knight
Then Simon Templar – halo bright.

With panache, Fleming's third James Bond
Who beat the Baddies, got the blonde!
Immaculate on stage and screen
In The Persuaders – a dream team!

Smooth-talker with that twinkly smile
Seduction - guaranteed with style;
Heart-throb of a generation
Icon of the British Nation -

Who won all battles save the last;
At 89 his die was cast
The Big C caught him on the hop
How sad we can't wind back the clock...

True Gent with built-in flair and charm
We dreamed of being on his arm
News of his demise is hard
And devastates this grieving Bard ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Manchester - in Mourning

Another bomb blast – children killed
Manchester with blood is spilled
Ariana's concert – foyer shock;
Will this carnage never stop?

Thousands gathered for a show
Little ones with parents go
A night out on a long May eve
Yet Fate had horror up its sleeve ...

Headline news flashed on our screens
Innocence in smithereens
Did the bomber act alone?
Who, we wonder, will atone

For this, an unprovoked attack?
The mirror in our lives is cracked
Society looks on, aghast;
I fear this will not be the last...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

At the Ariana Grande Concert - Manchester Arena - 22 confirmed dead ...



Sunday, 21 May 2017

At Boitsfort Sunday Market

Velvet roses block our way
Their petals form a rich display
Wisteria decks the brick facades
Weeds of all kinds fill back yards.

Nature, on the move, at last
Gives of her best – bright flowers cast
Amazing shadows on the walls
Bouquets on sale at market stalls!

Boitsfort on Sunday comes alive
Some old traditions still survive
Glossy vegetables entice
Crunchy, fresh-baked bread, looks nice

Fish, meat or cheese in rich profusion
Could this be Provence? An illusion!
Why not a summer skirt or hat?
A pervading smell of chicken fat!

A lazy Sunday in the sun:
Long queues and idle chat – it's fun
With goat's cheese, salmon, apple tart
And assorted olives – we depart!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Urban Disruption

With the warmth, the crowds fill bars
Relax in much-loved sun, sink jars
Smile and laugh and mope their brow
Brussels' radiant face – is now!

Yet dust unbidden clogs my street
Road menders have an annual treat
Huge piles of asphalt block my way
Cracked paving stones in wild array.

This annual foray slipped my mind
With warm days you will often find
Earth-moving monsters on parade
And traffic cones to be obeyed!

I ask one workman to explain:
What is it this time – a new drain?
And how long will the road be closed?
As everywhere they're in the throes

Of laying bare the cobblestones
Hence awkward access to our homes...
I gaze upon my dusty feet
And hardly recognise my street.

«A total overhaul is planned
Resurfacing – hence cars are banned»
He shrugs his shoulders, gives a wink
«Sure to take some time, I think!»

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Sunday, 14 May 2017

Cyber Attack!

Cyber crime is on the rise;
We're interlinked so no surprise
This latest malware havoc wreaks
And to fix it, may take weeks!

Invisible, by stealth it comes
Hidden in a file, it stuns
Destroying data, blocking keys
Ransomware – a new disease!

Not localised, its scope is vast
To find the culprit – a huge task
Firms, the NHS and schools
Must shut up shop so chaos rules!

Appointments cancelled on a whim
Many countries taken in
Dependence on I.T. is high
Keep pen and paper standing by...

Just one blip can set us back
Some smart hacker found a crack
In software systems unprotected
Oops! Have back-ups been neglected?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

NHS = National Health Service





Thursday, 11 May 2017

It's All Happening!

Glass door to my patio ...
Where tender seedlings are on show,
Mint and parsley raise their heads
Modestly from flower beds.

The pots are newly filled with blooms
Their roots reach downwards one assumes
Much-needed moisture feeds the growth
Of fragile tendrils, buds – or both.

Each day the dawn brings welcome heat
And bans the shadows in my street
The sound of birdsong fills my ears
Spring's here at last - though in arrears!

Thyme bursts forth from winter sleep
I trim the woody bits and keep
The bright green shoots with fragrant smell;
My garden full of herbs bodes well!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Monday, 8 May 2017

France Votes!

Cliffhanger in the next-door State...
Finger on the pulse - debate
Round Two in the Hexagon
A vast divide; the voters throng...

Old party politics are stale;
'En Marche' enters in full sail
Placed in the centre – no extremes
For Marine – the end of dreams!

God with us – comes Emmanuel
His youth and good looks serve him well
A momentary celebration
His work cut out to serve the Nation.

Many French are now on board;
With this wind of change, he's scored
The EU trembled but stood firm
Now Macron rules – with much to learn!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Sunday, 7 May 2017

World Dawn Chorus Day

I switch the radio on and hear
A host of birdsong loud and clear
It fills the room and warms my heart
This Sunday what a way to start!

World Dawn Chorus Day I learn;
Time that Nature had a turn
To shine upon my daily blog
As politics does tend to clog

My thoughts these days; let's try
To imagine thousands on the fly
Each with its own sweet chant or song
A wonderful and joyous throng.

Some sounds stand out among the rest
That cuckoo in another's nest ...
But as the dawn with rosy glow
Spreads its light here down below

There's an expectation in the air
A myriad songs, some of them rare
Provide us with a breathless show
That only early risers know!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Thursday, 4 May 2017

May Blues

«Cast ne'er a clout till May be out»
An old wives' tale I have no doubt
I test the air – there is no snow
But the barometer stays low...

Torrential rain, wind from the West
Should I admit I wear a vest?
Such underpinnings show my age
Who cares? I'm still in «keep warm» phase.

The sodden terrace fails to please
Wisteria weeps, caught in the freeze
Why shop for new clothes? It's too cold
The clouds block every ray of gold!

Poor seedlings cower in their pots
No sign of life in window box
Why has the weather gone awry?
I search in vain for spring-blue sky...

The pavement weeds are bold as brass
Nettles curtsey as I pass
Though fragile blooms must stay Inside;
Yes, May this year is a rough ride!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

What Price Truth?

In this disconnected world, we fight
To understand what's real and fake
How do the Press know what to write
When vested interests are at stake?

What part do Ethics play today?
With constant deadlines to be met
Black and white soon turn to grey
The truth is difficult to get.

World «Freedom of the Press» today*
Yet in some places it is hard
To let the people have their say
Woe betide those caught off guard...

We admire those who defy dissent
Through social media or email
And refuse to toe-the-line – intent
On speaking out - for they risk jail!

Challenges beset the press
Whose raison d'être is sharing news
Truth suffers under such duress
What price the chance to air one's views?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

* 1st May