Saturday, 29 April 2017

The Hanging Terrace

My wisteria with its graceful plumes
Should be in flower as May looms
The frost alas has laid it low
Hardly a green stem to show.

Meanwhile the terrace gets a clean
The chives and rosemary are green
The hostas never let me down
Though many pots are dead and brown.

No matter - as the days get longer
The air warms up, the sun gets stronger
I roll my sleeves up, mix the dirt
A dose of potting soil won't hurt.

My indoor plants look quite forlorn
Their little roots are cramped and torn
No help for it, I re-pot all
In no time - colour in my hall!

The nursery man said «Don't plant yet,
More cold is forecast, don't forget!»
So new containers cut a dash
Untenanted – that would be rash!

Plants and flowers – source of peace
Happiness on a long lease
I'm tired of this lengthy freeze
And long to hear the hum of bees!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Friday, 28 April 2017

100 Days

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

The first 100 days of the Trump presidency
Emmanuel Macron elected new President of France.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A Sudden Disappointment

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Note: The Erasmus House Museum in Anderlecht

Anderlecht Beguinage

La Salle de la Grande Dame

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Something for Nothing?

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 24 April 2017

Hexagon Politics!

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Friday, 21 April 2017

An Opposing View

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Seeking buried Treasure...

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

A Snap Decision!

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

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

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

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

Monday, 17 April 2017


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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Saturday, 15 April 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Thursday, 13 April 2017

At the Laeken Greenhouses

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

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

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Wrath of Neptune?

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 10 April 2017

An Evil Flowering?

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Friday, 7 April 2017

A Walk through the Hallebos

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Thursday, 6 April 2017

A Chance Remark

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Ice Saints days: 11,12, 13 May

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Thomas - at Seacliff Beach

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

No Fear!

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 3 April 2017

Raising a Toast - at Breakfast!

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017