#amwriting #poetry #poem Smaller Than Last Year

Smaller Than Last Year

Withered limbs drag the unmoving bulk
over a bed of last year and tomorrow.
Black teeth from a chocolate rotten mouth
grin through lips of moss. Nubs for eyes.
Plug-wood lens that once held sticks.
And we, drawn into the open wood
by sparkled sunlit melted streams,
pause to make patterns in the fallen chaos
of faces, and monsters, and dreams.
How sweet the wild garlic's breath
caught amid the bluebell mass.


#amwriting #poem #poetry #sketchbook playground

Blind they come, to all by pleasure,
descant, calling songs of leisure;
these the days of sundrenched treasure
out of which all men measure
childhoods journey to the sea.


#poem #poetry #amwriting Common Core

Common Core

Walking past a playground, I see three girls arm in arm
promenade, with noses raised, in the cage where football's played,
amidst a horoscope of boys, pulling shapes of their stars they seek to ape
without technique nor style, around the pinging ball they pile.

And seeing this, as I pass, provokes a spiteful thought. Alas
how sad would it be for fickle fate to intervene
to put these girls in their place, back in the grounds beyond that space.

My fag ignites, and I delight, gleeful at the ball in flight
scooting, mis-kicked far from goal, and up the arse of the left hand girl.

A schoolyard ma'am, in alarm, calls for calm, knowing well which boy did harm.
He might protest, in tongue bitten rage, but that does not keep him in the game.
To prove the gynocentric point, and push further noses out of joint
she orders that the game must end, and send the boys to join their friend.

Where they all kick their heels against the wall
learning men have dogs lives after all.


#amwriting #poem #poetry #sketchbook

Walking past the playground, I see three girls arm in arm
promenade, with noses raised, in the cage where football's played.
A horoscope of boys pull shapes of the stars they seek to ape,
without technique or style, around the pinging ball they pile.
And seeing this as I pass, provokes a spiteful thought. Alas
how sad would it be, if fate would teach those girls three a lesson.


#amwriting #poem #sketch

England is a land more photographed than known,
says the writing on the wall.
Chalked in politeness, without quotation,
so as not offend the procession who do not see it.
A passing inspector, on stilts,
checks for unmade beds in first floor windows,
and fare dodgers on buses
and litter in the nests of birds: who they fine for tweets.


#amwriting #poem #poetry #easter Hymn .... after Wordsworth

     ...after Wordsworth

pinched, the ragged daffodil
   risen from new rollen earth:
points the way to risen sun
   as slippered winter, disappears.

Then dance the lamb, more free
   than they: bulbous, rooted, clod to clay:
who see not there the brighter day
   of leaden coldness, disappeared.

Torn from tawn, ungilded shine
   each petal held in prodigal:
for those inclined to witness time
   when darkness washed, disappears.


#amwriting #poem #poetry Naked in the Springtime Orchard

Naked in the Springtime Orchard

That which curved now stretches in the birth lines of falling
bruised green, and red, into inked shadow black.

A cyclist purrs past in gaudy lyrca'd gear-change flash.
Somewhere out of time, a still caring clock strikes
the while of passing chimes.

She does not hear the voice that calls.
But just the same, she takes a parcelled packet
from the brood, she carries always in her bag.

Pulling her fingers across the forgiving rotted ridges
of the long dying tree: a silvered white trail she leaves:
of ashes.

And then she licks her tips again,
to dip again into him,
she traces through the pen-knifed names:

#amwriting #notes Blood Moon

Caught in the last autumnal sunlight, another pomaded girl, her veil now hanging at her nape, larked with her family and newly forged relations on the seaside bound platform. Her stout husband, so broad his sailor’s uniform could barely contain his shovel-built frame, gulped beer from a bottle. Around them swirled the laughter and chatter of the wedding party in vignette. Though Celia could not hear the conversation, sat as she was in the train on the opposite platform, she could guess the smutty quips that set the ample breasts a-rolling beneath the dresses of mauve and yellow and ochre. A boy of perhaps ten, his hair greased down and parted sharply, gnawed at a hunk of pork pie. Another child of maybe seven squirmed beneath the peppermint spittle of an aunt lick fingered wiping coal smut from her cheek. Those of rectitude mixed with the reckless, and the feckless, to wish the happy couple well and each other ill when later gossiping at the poor behaviour of this person or that.
At first Ceclia hadn’t noticed such wedding scenes, but as she journeyed inland and northward, she became increasingly aware of them; and increasingly fascinated to see, and note, the similarities and the differences. Some, like the present scene, were open demonstrations for all the world to see, whilst others were more sedate affairs: the families waiting like Russian dolls in neat line with the father beside the bridle couple, and the mother’s clutching, twisted, handkerchiefs. And, yet others were entirely furtive, the couple waiting patiently on a bench with a bottle of tea and packet of sandwiches, to slip way to the consummation of a boarding house, with a sea view. And then there were still others, that fitted somewhere into this broad device though all shared a common thread, for the groom was uniformed and the bridal dress was at most her hurriedly altered Sunday best.
The oily scent of steam which signalled imminent departure was rising when the compartment door flung open and in rushed a Jack. Celia turned from her musing on the wedding scene instinctively to see the nature of the new arrival: perhaps she would be required to move the hat box from the seat beside her, or perhaps the new passenger might be pleasant or objectionable, but principally because it is natural for a human being to see and assess their circumstance. Having dashed for the train Jack was breathless. He dropped into the seat by the door, dropping his suitcase between his feet and puffing out his cheeks before releasing a overly dramatic sigh.
Before Celia could react with anything other than alarm, the stationmaster’s moustachioed face appeared at the window as he secured the door, then he raised a red flag, and let out a shrill blast on his whistle.
She looked back to the opposite platform as an arriving train broke wedding scene into a Zoetrope of goodbyes. Celia glanced back at Jack, adjusting the brim of her hat. The flash of panic within her had subsided though thoughts still raced through her mind of how she might escape the situation. However the taut lurch of the train taking traction dispelled these hopes. The feeling of being trapped was compounded by a child on the other train racing to the window directly oppose her and rudely staring at her.
The train slid past the grime blackened stone cottages, past a flash of hawthorn, before breaking once more into the sheep stripped moorland. Everything, as far as the eye could see, was devoted to farming of wool. The treeless landscape was as industrial as any mill or factory. The chequered fields marked out by the grey stone walls had a monotonous regularity that matched the beating of the wheels of the rail. And, always there was the backdrop of the higher moorland, rusting against the skittering clouds.
“Do you mind if I smoke?” asked Jack. And receiving no response, he asked again, “madam, do you mind if I smoke.” Celia shook he head, and found herself grasping at the brooch at her neck like a spinster, all the while trying not to show her face fully. Jack reached into his jacket pocket to retrieve his cigarette case but as he retrieved it he caught his rank insignia on the on the inside button stud, tearing it from his cuff and leaving it hanging by a weft of thread. “Blast!” he exclaimed, before quickly saying in an apologetic tone, “Oh, please excuse my language.” He held his cuff towards Celia as if in some form of explanation, though she was still turned away from him, the brim of her hat shading her face, and he hand still clutching at the brooch at her throat. He thought the lady’s behaviour odd in the extreme. Whilst it were true they were unchaperoned, her reaction to his presence was more of the type one expected in second rate novels. That is until he noticed the monogram on her travelling bag, which caused him to look at the woman more closely. “Celia, is that you?” he asked, guessing full well that it was from what little he could see of her profile.

Knowing she could not hide any longer, Celia turned to face him, “hello John,” she said.
At this Jack almost laughed. “Good Lord, this is a surprise.”
“Don’t mock me John,” chided Celia.
“I wasn’t mocking you. I am genuinely surprised to see you. I was under the impression that you were a fixture on the London social circuit. It is rather a surprise to see you here, in Yorkshire.”
“I might very well say the same for you Mr Jackson,” replied Celia, somewhat climbing from her high horse, though only somewhat, “aren’t you supposed to be teaching at a minor public school in Sussex, or Surrey, or some such place?”
Jack held up the ragged cuff, from with daggled his mark of rank, “I’m second lieutenant Jackson these days. Or I will be if I can ever find the company I am supposed to be commanding. I was supposed to meet them in Leeds, but when I got there I was informed they had gone to Bradford, and when I got there I was told to find them at a place called Wenn Ghyl.” He tapped a cigarette on the silver case and was about to light it when he suddenly remembered “doesn’t your cousin Bunny live at a place called Wenn Ghyl?” Celia nodded. “I shouldn’t worry Celia, if things carry on how they have been going I shall get to Wenn Ghyl, only to find that I will have to go to Manchester, or Plymouth or Glasgow: and you shall never see me again. Not that I mind really. So how are you? You’re certainly looking well. You got married didn’t you?”
“Yes, of course, I saw it in Tatler, or some such scandal mag. One of the maids at the school was most keen and keeping up with the affairs of the rich and famous, I can’t say  it much interests me but she happens to leave old copies lying around and I happened to take a peak and there you were. Oh wait,” said Jack, suddenly realising the situation, “I see. You married a German chap didn’t you.”
“Not that it is any concern of yours.”
“No, no, of course not, you’re free to marry who you like, as and when you like.”
Celia turned her gaze again to the barren landscape flashing past the window. This chance meeting with Jack was yet another confirmation to her that fate’s fickle finger had picked her out for torment. A point emphasised by his apparent good humoured callousness at seeing her again. For he looked no different from the man she had known two years before, the man whose heart she imagined she had broken, and yet there he sat calmly puffing at a cigarette with seeming disregard: a point proven by his grin when he caught her slyly looking at him, which immediately forced her to turn back to the passed landscape and the fleeting sky.
“I didn’t suspect you would enlist,” said Celia, cautiously, afraid that conversation might inflame Jack to lead it in directions she did not wish. “Of all the people I know, you were the least likely to run to the colours.”