DOGGEREL ON A LEASH
(For Dr Abdel Hamid)

featured in the poetry forum November 22, 2014  :: 0 comments

A war without an army, a battle
With no flag. It’s fought inside a darkness
We all have in our minds. No bugle call,
No marching bands – and medals? Even less!
You’ll never be on your own but often
Wish you were! You are trapped inside a net –
A mesh that must be killed, it’s either you
Or it. Can you be a killer? You bet!
The conflict zone is larger than you thought.
At first, and also last, it’s doom and gloom.
But then finally you have to face it.
No glory. It comes down to this small room.
He stands, this man who took you through your fear.
He shakes your hand and smiles, and says, ‘You’re clear!’

editors note:

A regular irregular to keep our pathways clear. No brain sepsis here! – mh

ZEN – each day the hour

featured in the poetry forum July 19, 2014  :: 0 comments

Each is the whole
As we touch a wave the sea
The atom’s heart the cosmos soul
To see beyond the trees
Where you were there before
A window staring in on us
A brilliant light each suicide
Which is a precious gift
Condemns a world already dead
A darkness born inside its head
A deep blue sea that sets you free
Truth that has been forged from Time
Each star its own unique black hole
Beyond each leaf that is the tree

editors note:

Constant contemplation; peace to find in this life we live on our way towards death. – mh

SONG

featured in the poetry forum May 1, 2014  :: 0 comments

Nature makes victims of us all,
The driving force that throws us to the wolves,
Gives hunger to our minds, so feeds our desire,
To harvest yet more creatures for its plan.
The tides, the spinning Earth, the burning Sun,
Could fill our days with the peace of night,
To pick the fruits that hang from Eden’s tree.
Instead, this serpent’s lust makes Hell for you and me.
The stag could live his life within a forest’s calm
But has to fight and maim, kill his own kind,
Claim a land that no one owns;
Die to spread his seed in Fortune’s womb.
So this world has been, since time began,
Incarcerating animals like Man.

editors note:

Sweet prison; we long to be set free, yet leave your walls reluctantly. – mh

SUN, EARTH AND LIFE

January 31, 2014  :: 0 comments

I am the darkest earth and rest in peace,
Easing green shoots of spring into the sun,
Tempting into my world new autumn leaves,
Where wars of life and death are lost or won.
A secret place where eyes are sometimes closed,
Their sense of touch – so should our planet be –
Sentient beings often felt as ghosts,
Realising, at last, they are now free!
So turn me over with your fork and spade,
This is your plot as well as our shared home,
We are but stardust, stars that shall not fade.
A cosmic space from which we never roam.
So do not fear to join my starlit night,
This is our raison d’etre, our birthright.

THE WAITING GAME

featured in the poetry forum January 31, 2014  :: 0 comments

The sun shines through winter trees
And songs are sung beneath the crescent moon.
Children and animals complete the painting
But do not touch it,
Well, not just yet.
Shadows cast by falling leaves soon pass
And a failing year will sweep them away,
As the softness of autumn melts into the earth.
But leave it for a while, do not feel it,
Well, not just yet.
Let your life run its course, plan those small steps,
Watch all those smiles, listen to the laughter,
See the orange glow of the day dissolve into the sea,
But do not bathe your soul,
Well, not just yet.
Capture the memories of the past,
Hold onto the present as the future claims your thoughts,
As your friends reach out to you.
Clutch their outstretched hands or are you thinking,
Well, not just yet?

editors note:

That’s exactly what I’m thinking! (Another one from Derrick on his page – check it out!) – mh

ELUSIVE MUSE

October 19, 2013  :: 0 comments

How then should I compile this feeble verse?
Perhaps by just reading, Love’s Labour’s Lost?
Is poetry a blessing or a curse?
Is anyone really counting the cost?!
There must be a reason or we are mad
As the word takes over the mind and soul;
My old friends on Madswirl are never sad
When poems in pieces become quite whole!
So let us be happy for each other
As we concentrate on our careful task –
In this world my sister and my brother
Stare at the universe lifting its mask.
Between us we are with the stars in space
As down to Earth we find our special place.

TIME’S EDGE

featured in the poetry forum October 19, 2013  :: 0 comments

Slowing down to a rhythm of trees
While leaves live in a gentle breeze,
Clouds holding to a line
Of lazy hills yawning at the sky
Towards a sunset that draws me in
By surf pushing pebbles onto a beach.
Earth twisting and turning
Lengthening shadows across white sand,
Seagulls falling to that endless land
Where thoughts are buried
In the salt of the sea and my blood
Flows in a timeless ebb, a gathering tide
As night begins to silence at last
And dreams I have dreamt
Drift into the past.

editors note:

When time decides, we approach that edge; first for each to know. Though we can’t say, when that time comes; we hope it’s in s-l-o-w m-o… – mh

JANE DUDLEY
(beheaded the twelfth of February, 1554)

June 1, 2013  :: 0 comments

Palace or prison, today,
Outside a stone fortress,
Ravens and I shiver
To winter’s hard imagining.
Her summer’s day,
The tenth of July, 1553.
A nine day wonder
Is unkind. Her queenly ways
Were perfect. I’m sure
Summer has gone –
Who can remember?
Perhaps on a double-decker
Or sitting in a taxi
There is someone
With descendant knowledge.
I shake at the thought:
A cold axe, on a cold day.
My scalp shrinks, the year
Gone crisp. Hard frost
Shrivels the impaled head of
Hydrangea, a silver portcullis
Of ice threatens my departure.
The sun ebbs and engines pull
Long ships passed long-handled
Wharves. From up here, the river
Trembles quietly below
The poised bridge.
Watching it fall
Fills an age.
Underneath, as the bite
Shudders into place, a barge
Christened ‘Hope’, moves downsteam.
Escapes the sudden shadow.

WILD OVER WOODHAM

featured in the poetry forum June 1, 2013  :: 0 comments

Dawn’s fingery light hesitates
Over each line on every leaf.
Boots sink to their laces
In grassland drained
Of colour – a grey page,
Stretched by a spine of trees,
Wiped dry of words
By this flight of smoke,
A dark cloud of Canada Geese,
Almost invisible,
A murmur
Rising before the sun

Cuts darkness down
Into black holes
Buried in creeks.

By still waters,
In the depths of the Crouch,
Under roots,
Beneath stones,
Those in thrall
To the night
Wait their chance,
Knowing in the end
They win
As the last sentence is read
Black covers slam
Another day shut.

editors note:

Mundane cycles of light and dark lull us into ignorance of the struggle; mighty forces at odds every day. – mh

UNDERSOUND

December 27, 2012  :: 0 comments

It’s over now, all summer,
The strong
Brought back to life.
Mouth to mouth words couch
Their sentences of guilt:
The leaves, the thieves
Of sky, smotherers of careful
Night. The trees, their
Windings’ rhythm sung;
On its way
November drowns its rural
Twisted skin.
One season gathered in
The Earth’s unnatural
Coiled day;
A moon hung
On winter’s full stare.
It’s over now, all
Summer’s serrated leaves.
The hilt
Of February’s touch
Turns each knife
To spring
The unseen drummer.