Saturday, 18 November 2017

At the American Women's Club of Brussels

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Friday, 17 November 2017

Bruxella 1238

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017








Thursday, 16 November 2017

What a Load of Rubbish!

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Success - of a Sort!

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Monday, 13 November 2017

Mindfulness

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Saturday, 11 November 2017

Thoughts on 11th November

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Thomas - A Change of Image

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



The Hurtling Handcart ...

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Monday, 6 November 2017

Chaos in Carrefour!

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Friday, 3 November 2017

A Week of Folly

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Thursday, 2 November 2017

A Chilling Thought

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Wednesday, 1 November 2017

A very British Conundrum

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

FAKE NEWS, folks!


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Off the Script

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Saturday, 28 October 2017

Spain - a Split in the Ranks?

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Thursday, 26 October 2017

On Serendipity

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

A Visit from the Black Dog

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

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

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





Sunday, 22 October 2017

Thomas - Plans to Move!

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Friday, 20 October 2017

At Place Schuman

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

EU Summit on BREXIT: 19-22 October, 2017



Thursday, 19 October 2017

The Slow Train to Ostend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Monday, 16 October 2017

Thomas Takes the Floor!

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Sunday, 15 October 2017

A Success Story - in Boitsfort!

Indian summer – dappled, shady leaves
A slight incline among the trees
A neighbour's family stakes their claim
To woodland dell – in all but name.

Small table, chairs and coffee pot
Round which their children climb and trot
In a quiet lane, well tucked away
Where only walkers tend to stray...

Boitsfort's like that – calm, discreet
Artisan houses, small and neat
Define the Green Belt we all love
From builders who would push and shove

With hotel plans and parking lot;
But «people power» put a stop
To this encroachment on our fief
Much to the «Bezemhoek»'s relief!

(c) Poet in the Woods 2017

Coin de Balai/Bezemhoek is a picturesque area in S.E. Brussels



Successful protest - spring 2016

18 Degrees!

Mid-October – Wow, 18 degrees!
Golden sun through copper leaves
Short-sleeved shoppers in the streets
Strolling tourists eating frites.

Topsy-turvy weather hereabout
It's an Indian summer – I've no doubt.
So warm, my jacket stays undone
Not a breath of wind just warming sun!

It's weird and wonderful today
No wafting of rain clouds my way
It cannot last but while it does
It gives dear Belgium such a buzz!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Friday, 13 October 2017

California Burning!

California – holocaust of flame!
Winds fan these verdant hills again
In Napa valley's Northern reaches
Far away from surfing beaches

Crackles soundtrack smoke-filled sky;
Outlying district firemen try
To beat the flames which still persist
To burn late vineyards to a crisp.

Many grapes are garnered in
For those who waited – deep chagrin
Fire leaps down vine-filled slopes
Devastating vintners' hopes.

Well-drained and neatly planted rows
No match for a wind that blows
Bringing havoc in its wake
Death stalks abroad – and no mistake...

'It's an ill-wind' goes the phrase;
Nature has such violent ways
Is this global warming, or a blip?
To ponder on, when next we sip!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017



Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Pace of Life

Think positive! That's what «they» say
(A facile comment when life's grey)
Some friends have issues that are fraught
While others, stressed, are overwrought.

Jobs for life? Don't make me laugh
Recession cuts our hopes in half
Damp air leads to aches and pains
And Depression when it rains...

Poor diet choice – we pile on weight
Traffic chaos, we come late
Impossible to make up time
So much work to do – online!

What makes it worse is non-stop news
Who can a Smart phone buzz refuse?
We bite off more than we can chew
At day's end we are quite worn through.

Where's «peace» and «calm» and «letting go»?
24/7 we're on show
Like coiled-up springs we do our best
But sometimes it is good – to rest!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 9 October 2017

At Dawn

It's imperceptible at first
But Night's dark cloak is rent and cursed
While street lights boldly shed their glow;
Dawn, waiting in the wings, will show ...

Her face against a brand new sky
Where misty cloud shapes waft on by
Perhaps a slight wind sweeps the board
As she steps out and walks abroad...

Silhouettes of trees appear
Still wreathed in leaves this time of year
October's velvet sky turns pale
Behold the glistening of a snail!

The warming rays call birds awake
Sweet daily chorus at daybreak;
Then street lights switch off one by one;
A brand new story has begun!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




Sunday, 8 October 2017

A Clear View on a Rainy Day!

There's satisfaction to be found
In taming chaos, clearing decks
A filing system smart and sound
Removes huge millstones from our necks!

What use a bygone birthday card
Used tickets, programmes from old shows?
Be ruthless! It is not that hard
And while you're at it - too-tight clothes!

Chipped crockery, unmatching socks
Old kitchen items past their best
Plastic gadgets, broken clocks ...
Give no dust collectors rest!

Chuck books you will not read again
Ditto tools quite blunt with rust
A whirlwind sweep makes you feel zen
And fills this rainy day, I trust!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

A Backward Glance

Time capsule – memories inside
I grasp the key, hold back the tide
But images come flooding back
My, what a convoluted track!

I saw the signs but went my way
Backed hunches more than I can say
Let my heart guide youthful steps
In the open sea hit several wrecks.

It's been a choppy ride all told
But amid the gravel, there was gold
Friends the treasures I've acquired
Each special - in their way inspired.

Oft when alone my mind's eye sees
Long-lost faces, fallen leaves
From the golden tree now gnarled and worn
That grows with me since I was born ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Monday, 2 October 2017

Spain - at a Crossroads?

I must be careful what I say
As politics get in the way
Of events that follow thick and fast
Referendum - Catalonian cast...

More transparency, media-led
A wild horse allowed its head
Runs helter-skelter through the crowd
Defiant to the last, unbowed.

Huge challenge at the ballot box
How opportunity now knocks
On hearts and minds in disarray
This thorn in the flesh will stay.

On the sidelines, Europe waits;
Already many multi-States...
The wild horse kicks up clouds of dust
Tensions run high, make or bust?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Referendum held on Sunday 1st October, 2017




Sunday, 1 October 2017

Schoolboy Thomas?

You can't stop progress, golden rule
Time to think of primary school!
Decisions loom for Mum and Dad;
Thomas, nearly four, has had

A happy, peaceful interlude
But soon his sister will intrude
Upon the scene post Christmas time
(An occasion for another rhyme?)

Meanwhile, upheavals in the home
Thomas soon won't be alone
Dad's office plans to sport a cot
Thomas's world will change – a lot!

Wide horizons hove in sight
The choice of school must be just right
But oh, what fun to make new friends
As school begins and child-care ends!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Friday, 29 September 2017

The End of an Era

A sunny day – but tinged with grey
M&S closed its doors today*
Empty shelves, disgruntled staff
Last faltering steps on Brussels' path...

Not once but twice it flew the flag,
For Brits abroad good times were had
Twice we thought that it would stay
And twice they pulled the rug away!

Could «bête noire» BREXIT be the cause?
A Business Plan with fatal flaws?
But hundreds streamed through «golden» gates
Its premium food sold like hot cakes.

Outside in Toison d'Or a truck:
Paint tins and ladders loaded up ...
Workmen eye this prime location
New tenants need no invitation!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

*Farewell to Marks & Spencers on 29th September, 2017

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Playboy Extraordinaire? (1926-2017)

Hugh Hefner – well known ladies' man
An Aries in Chicago born
Who oozed with charm, no 'also ran'
Creator of a softer dawn.

Who brought spice to dull Fifties lives
With Playboy magazine,
Sex fuelled its meteoric rise
A sybaritic dream!

Demand soon far outstripped supply
Its centrefolds - pure art
The Swinging Sixties' battlecry
A magazine – with heart!

At 91 - his bolt is shot
And Playboy is no more
But Hefner's was a happy lot
With a high ranking score!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017








Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Hanging by a Thread

Does every life hang by a thread?
The Sword of Damocles was said
By Cicero in ancient times
To hold in peril he who dines
In opulence upon a throne
Beset by fear or fears unknown...

The flatterer, for it was he
Who yearned in the King's place to be
Dazzled by riches beyond measure
Craving these ripe fruits of leisure
Soon lost interest in the scene
When a sword point faced him from a beam...

Greed and jealousy pursue
Those at the top. Beware the view!
Who can a reigning monarch trust?
He knows such luxury is dust
All outward trappings just a sham;
How double-edged is every man!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Damoclès = an obsequious courtier
The reigning monarch = King Dionysius II, a 4th century B.C. tyrant of Syracuse




Monday, 25 September 2017

Joining the Party!

German elections – brand new mix
Art of the possible – politics
Angela Merkel - 4th term win;
Let power-sharing now begin...

The Socialists in second place
But a brand new party shows its face
A right-wing, Eurosceptic group
For 50 years out of the loop!

Shades of a past most would forget
The AfD now stands to get
A chance to change the status quo
It's early days – where will it go?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Germany's General Election: 24th September, 2017
AfD = Alternative für Deutschland



Bundestag - Berlin

Friday, 22 September 2017

On Being Famous

"What's fame?", I ask. Why is it sought?
A fantastic dream that can't be caught
Elusive, pressing, clasped in vain
Huge sacrifices in its name...

Success, though heady, has its price
In the grip of stardom, why look twice?
Recognition's best when it comes slow
But impatient Youth won't have it so...

Hope and talent, drugs and booze
Keep shooting stars in tabloid news
Oh, to be seen, heard, loved, admired
And still stay grounded and inspired!

But the time for turning back is past
Caught in the spotlight, they burn fast
Think of Amy, James Dean, Kurt Cobain
Idols once – now just a name ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017




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
Which 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»
PC of course 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) "Quel riche théâtre!"


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