Monday, 21 August 2017

Struck Dumb!

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Sunday, 20 August 2017

No Immunity in Turku!

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Saturday, 19 August 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Friday, 18 August 2017

Bereaved Barcelona

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

On 17.8.2017

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Celebrating India in Brussels!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

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

Saturday, 12 August 2017

The Bees cause a Buzz!

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Honey bee drawn by Sian Cook

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Died 8th August, 2017

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Here, Kitty, Kitty!

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 7 August 2017

It's a Wrap!

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Saturday, 5 August 2017

On Staycation!

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Thursday, 3 August 2017

A Tribute to Prince Philip

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

* Born 21st April 1921

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Brussels behind Barricades!

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Poet in the woods 2017