For nine days the artillery barrage
rained down on us
that June of summer in the Somme
machine gunners like me waited
in our concrete bunkers deep in the earth
When the shelling stopped
we rushed to the surface
and began our job of mowing down
the slow walking British Infantry
stoically advancing as if in another war
in another time where they might choose
to die bravely and with honour
a hero fighting for his life
his king and country
But here he dies unknown
by the chance turning of my gun
in his direction at that one moment
and the random number of bullets
left to fire.
Poems are skeins of wool waiting
to be knitted
and pearled by readers.
Filed under Language, Poem
Poems slink into dank rooms
stale with human sweat and spit
smash the dingy windows
and flush the stench with salt drenched air.
Fifty Seven winters besieged your brow
gouging deep ruts in your beauty paddock
Quick witted armoury surrendered now
sparking like the neurons of a haddock
The Celtic black hair so thick and so strong
Now salt and peppered grey and sparsely thin
And where has that fiery tempered man gone ?
My one time brave and fearless larrikin
You’d take up the cudgels, face any fight,
survive any skirmish, stoush or battle
Your banner unfurled for the good and right
But these days, nothing your cage can rattle
Arise my champion you are not too old
A thousand warm nights before you grow cold.
First published in THE MOZZIE,Volume 14, Issue 6, July 2006
No grecian urn nor sculpted monument
can live beyond the realms of space and time
But in these lines of skilled form and content
you will live on, the centre of my rhyme.
Ozymandias, mighty king of kings,
colossal statue turned to desert sand
Yet, Shelley’s verse awoke these lifeless things
immortalised this man from antique land.
Both clock and scythe circle with the seasons
We cannot escape Fortune’s deadly wheel
None are free from Nature’s laws and reasons
Yet. in this verse you are divine and real
Your beauty and worth forgotten never
You will live in this poem forever.
Look in the mirror and what do you see ?
This is your golden time, your early spring
A dew-fresh face, peachy and wrinkle free
You are sweetest rosebud near blooming
Your sparkling dark eyes of the deepest blue
are a hidden sea by Nature painted .
Your luscious berried lips of blushing hue
are with gentle lovers not acquainted.
Your vernal looks recall your mother’s prime
Beguiling, fair and lovely was she then
Before she faced the whips and scorns of time
But winter’s ragged hand will come again
To your daughter make your beauty’s bequest
Let her and this poem be death’s conquest.
My lover’s eyes no longer navy pools
bleached paler by years of beating sun
His nose over facial dominion rules
and skin with liver spots is overrun
A dandelion man, confused and tall,
a long thin stem and a puff of white hair
Unsteady gait, joints need an overhaul
the crack and creak of cartilage wear
His views are fixed and often dogmatic
expressed in cold voice with power and force
He never cares to be diplomatic
preferring a more a belligerent course
Yet, he is my love and ever shall be
as long as the tides rush in from the sea.
In the moonlight, high in the Lemon Gum,
perched under the arching ghostly branches,
two eyes of jet peer from a snow-white mask.
Tyto Alba, the Barn Owl, with heart shaped
facial disc, edged with ruff of stiff feathers.
Mottled pearl-grey body feathers above
the moth like plumage, purest white beneath;
her slim legs are bare on the lower half,
with small feet that end with deadly talons.
Nocturnal, she roosts in the heat of day.
You will hear her screeching in the cold night,
hear the scream before you ever see her.
She can see in the half light of humans,
night vision even in total darkness;
pinpoints her prey by listening to each sound
the desperate, scuttling little creatures make.
She is a well designed killing machine
with hooked beak, powerful feet and sharp claws.
Her flight feathers have softened edges
to make her deadly flight near soundless
She swoops silently down without warning,
seizing victims with her claws, biting deep
into their neck arteries, puncturing
their most precious organs for a quick death.