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

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 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
Unicorn and Dame 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