I have for the past twelve years lived in a quiet little village in Wiltshire, U.K. Village life is centred around a church, a post office and a corner shop. I was born in London and lived there for nearly forty years and as such I now appreciate the slower pace of living here in the countryside. I have always been fascinated by words and how they can be arranged into unlimited permutations. What those arrangements point to depends upon the knowledge/memory held by the reader who then decides on the interpretation given to the text. I have practiced the art of writing poetry for many years. It is an art form that can never be mastered as it is always subject to change, be it the various forms of poetry or the changing thoughts/ideas/concepts of the writer. I have until now had no desire to place any of my previously written poems. My wish now is to start afresh.
When Was It
The potentialities of untied shoestrings,
the rolling sound of a cola can filled with small pebbles.
When was it the poet first heard these?
Mother, Resting in the Cotton Grass
Hare's tail cotton sedge silver with moonlight.
Father stood by the grave on the moor whispering the words
inscribed on Mother's headstone:
"My heart, my songbird, to sing evermore!"
Echoing throughout the wide open spaces of Manchester's moorlands.
Caught in a Downpour
Caught in a downpour by the seafront.
We ran through darling pearls of rain, Mother and I,
to take shelter under Blackpool's North Pier.
Alongside us the diving flight of pale blue grey feral pigeons,
their small heads peeping and pecking at their long time foe:
gypsy palm reader Madame Petrovna -
"Stay up in the trees, no more pigeons please!"
We settled wet against cast iron girders, while above on wooden
deck: children deserting their carousel horses,
Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 18 became silent,
Punch and Judy stopped fighting, respectable comedians
blasphemed, and open air dancers stomped into the bar room.
Thus, memories caught in a downpour by the seafront.
The Confession of Louise O
The disease had come quietly. She takes off her old rosary
and looks down at her hands - now not in prayer.
Louise O straightens her fingers; the effort aflame with pain
and begins to type out a poem in response to her editor's plea:
"I would like something more personal, maybe written in the first person."
No longer a worker at Walker and Walker Plastics,
twenty years twisting and turning, fingers swollen,
tender and stiff, limiting their arthritic movements.
Through oak lattice screen, my petitions no longer whispered
to fall on deaf ears, or, maybe it's too personal for others to hear.
The Old Yogi's Cigar Smoke
The old yogi's cigar smoke
will cloud your eyes and clog up your ears,
with puffs of abstractions impossible to decipher -
Human life is a tragicomedy,
close-ups and long shots experienced
in neighbourhoods filled with eccentrics.
Trying to be more than a cameo,
trying to think away the graveyard.
©2014 Lewis Oakwood