Working on a series of poems inspired by birds in and around Glasgow Green, and in and around my memory.
Dreich day, the gab o’ May
was early this year and refuses to leave.
Along by the Clyde a cherry tree in wedding gear
hunkers among her spring-green bridesmaids,
birches, standing in drizzle, stoic as cattle.
Flakes of blossom trickle
From her dress, confetti
clinging in clumps to the edge of the walkway.
Rounding the river bend the wind
a wet sheet, slaps our faces.
As we follow the grey, graffitied wall
of the sewage works the air turns shitty:
this is not the romantic side of the city.
Across the water, birds stand, humanoid,
high off the ground—a treeful of cormorants.
Suited draculas, when the rain stops
they open their capes,
hanging their fish-hunting wings out to dry.
With macabre sails draped in the sewagey air,
a litter of bin bags caught in the branches,
today they are omens of doom with a toothless curse:
for how can these plague days get any worse?
And suddenly the morning breaks out singing—
a screaming skyful of house martins, arcing,
rise on swells of air, flitter like butterflies,
then dive, arrowed like fighter planes.
Just in from Africa, drawn by avian satnav,
foraging even in this sodden grey—
an exuberant monochrome firework display—
with a lust for life which,
like some kind of hope,
brightens the day.
The Universe Is My Companion
The spirit of the universe is my companion
I want for nothing
You give me rest in quiet places
You go with me beside still waters
And complete me
You lead me as I learn to love and respect all beings.
Even though I am followed by the shadow of death
I will not be afraid, for you are with me
Your laws and your presence comfort me
You present me with abundant life
In full view of those who are cynical and envious
You bless me
The forces of my life are greater than I can imagine
Your fulness and grace are with me each day of my life
And I exist within the holiness of your life, forever.
An interpretation of Psalm 23
AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON
and as an ebook from KINDLE & KOBO
Comic, romantic and polemic poems, ballads and raps written for performance, together with more personal, spiritual pieces.
Themes include: Love in its many forms, Friendship, Seeking the self, Belief and Ecology.
LISTEN TO POEMS:
A Lovely Thing
You’re Never Alone With Testosterone
We Are Many, They Are Few
A piece written after the Brexit vote, becoming more relevant by the day. It refers to Shelley’s poem, The Mask of Anarchy, written after a worse catastrophe, the massacre at Manchester, known as Peterloo.
A COUPLE OF QUICK ONES:
I take a walk to find a poem
A rhyme that’s never quite at home
But leads you, like all roads, to roam.
Illustration for Let’s Dance by Bevin Richardson, for his Poetry Zine, 2013:
Bevin is an artist, calligrapher and illustrator based in Sheffield: https://www.bevinrichardson.co.uk/
*The poem ‘Faithful’ is based on these words by Rudolf Steiner –
Let your loyalty to another human being come about in this way: there will be moments — quickly passing by — when they will seem to you filled and illumined by the true, primal image of their spirit. Then, there can come, yes, will come, long stretches of time when your fellow-being seems clouded, even darkened. But learn at these times to say to yourself: ‘The spirit will strengthen me; I will remember the true, unchanging image that I once saw. Nothing at all — neither deception nor disguise — can take it away from me.’ Struggle again and again for the true picture that you saw. The struggle itself is your faithfulness. And in those efforts to be faithful and to trust, a human being will come close to another as if with the protective power of an angel.
Responses to my poetry:
Hooray, hooray for Peter Howe of Transition Town Stourbridge for bringing us the Transition Town Rap! It’s fantastic!
Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition Network
… deep, yet light, playful and at moments, profound.
Wanda Root, USA
Thank you very much for this wonderful poetry.
Michitaka Seki, Hirosaki, Japan
I just read and read – right to the end – loved them!
Melanie Taylor, Stourbridge
… some of them should go well with music, Scottish of course! Are you going to stick your job?
Duncan Ross, Black Isle
…witty, profound, warm and moving; thought and discussion-provoking too!
Rev. Monika Knight, East Grinstead