Blaze poems on line

http://www.danarts.co.uk/2014/02/cheshire-artists-networkblaze-poetry.html

Follow the link to find the poems we wrote in response to some of the work displayed as part of the open art show at VAC, following John Calvert’s workshop on cinquains.

Phosphorescent Grapes, a poem by Edwin Stockdale

mystery-lady

A sombre figure in russet
like an autumn leaf of buckthorn.

She has been reading Persuasion observed
by fieldfares in the garden.

Her elderberry eyes search the surroundings.
What is she thinking?

She gestures to a blossoming orange,
the tree her captain brought

from his travels. In a bowl a bunch
of grapes, phosphorescent as moonstone.

A whippet, black-muzzled, begs
at her feet. She rises,

a Queen Anne figurine,
removes herself from the room.

A Poem by Jan Dean

In the Moroccan garden

in the green shade
five tortoises
doze
eyes shut slits
toes tucked
into shiny shells

when they wake
they are lumbering stones
their claws click
on blue tiles

their slow jaws
gently mash
pale lettuce

beside them
the fountain sings
like tiny glass bells
and the tortoises
dip their heads
and drink the music

Jan Dean
(From The Penguin in Lost Property; Jan Dean & Roger Stevens; Macmillan 2014)

PLP

Two Poems by Steve Waling

MAY
(after Appollinaire)
gorgeous May May Rhine river ferry
the ladies peer down from their cliffs
the boats float by you’re gorgeous
why do willows weep on the banks

rooted orchards blossoming astern
May’s cherry drifting petals like
painted nails I love to distraction
those petals fade on her eyelids

very slowly along the road
gypsies lead bear monkey dog
donkey pulled caravan behind
gliding past the Rhenish vines
regimental pipes distant marcher

May gorgeous among the ruins
ivy Virginia Creeper rose
willow shivering Rhenish breeze
bulrushes whisper to the naked vines

PRESS CONFERENCE
What – to camera – are we going to do now?
some things should never be said. That time
you called him a bastard, the mike on,
out of context, out of control
when a wag from the back shouts, Give up!

Never show any weakness, never admit
to the crippling depression that makes you –
atomised, anomied, reduced to a cipher –
crawl across the face of the Ops. Room
those mornings when the gloom’s too raw.

Those mornings when the gloom’s too raw,
crawl across the face of the Ops. Room
atomised, anomied, reduced to a cipher,
to the crippling depression that makes you
never show any weakness. Never admit

when a wag from the back shouts, Give up!
out of context, out of control –
you called him a bastard, the mike on –
some things should never be said. That time –
what – to camera – are we going to do now?

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Poem by David J. Costello

Horseshoe Bat

It must have been a keen blade
that eased you from night’s heart.
God’s own shrapnel
creasing the dark.
Your convulsing fragment
pressure-cracking the brittle black
like ice.

Transfixed beneath I watch
you stitch yourself
back to the sky.
An invisible repair
disappearing
as I acquire your blindness.
The whole world dissolving
around you.

You are the dark moon.
The nocturnal crescent
orbiting unseen.
The flung shape
that always returns.

horseshoe-bat

CHESTER WALLS, a poem by Maureen Weldon

 

 CHESTER WALLS

 

Warm evening

tranquil greens (freshly mown)

beneath King Charles Tower.

 

Midges dance through a bangle of sun

now dipping gold on distant Welsh hills.

Beneath me pink blossom and new-leafed trees.

 

I stand on the old Roman Walls

alone and not alone

sucked in a bliss of ages past.

 

As the last birds sing in the twilight air,

the Evening Star winks her knowing eye.

 

Maureen Weldon 

 

Copyright © Maureen Weldon 2002

[Included in the author’s pamphlet EARTH TIDES, Poetry Monthly Press, 2002.  Most recently published in Reflections, Issue 94.]

Shag Tobacco

In my wee poem below I try to convey a certain feeling that comes over me sometimes, wandering the banks of the River Weaver.

Best Wishes to you all for 2015.

 

SHAG TOBACCO

 

A wisp of shag tobacco, perhaps?

A balloon adrift in the valley,

self-esteem a snapped mooring.

 

So the willowed water’s edge I wander,

sun glaring from plankton depths,

brain percolating,

florescent fungus twitching with broom.

 

Humble I connect.

Proud and the poetry eludes me.

A wisp of shag tobacco, perhaps?

 

Paul Beech

 

Copyright © Paul Beech 2015

[First published on the author’s blog, Grandy’s Landing.]

 

Poem for the Ending of the Year

Poem for the Ending of the Year
What do I say to you, you who know me
and know what I am capable of ? I can give you
nothing I have not already offered but the desire
to keep on offering it, not asking for return.
It is not a petty bargain that we make, not a totting up
of meaningless figures, more a delight in the giving,
the hope of acceptance. My hand is open to you.

The years move along, crawling and running,
matching our work and rest, our sluggishness,
boredom, our moments of laughter and our silences.
The end of the century begins its slow approach.
Neither wants to be in this position when it comes
yet know we will look back to say, we were happy then,
we were young, we knew what desire was.

Angela Topping

First published in The Fiddle (Stride 1999)

 

fiddle

Too Much Blue

During my career in social housing, the work I loved best was helping the homeless.  Sadly, domestic violence was all too often the cause.  And Christmas was a bad time to be on the street with nowhere to go…

 

TOO MUCH BLUE

Paul Beech

 

Her unborn kicks as weary she rests on a frozen bench in a bleak northern town.

Seven hours have passed since she fled his fists with naught but the babe in her womb, the clothes on her back and a small knotted bundle.  Seven hours of bus after bus, caring not where she went, only to pile up the miles behind her.  He mustn’t find her.  Must never find her.

The darkening clouds have a purple tinge, a sure sign of snow.  Strangers hurry by; crows croak in a foreign tongue.  Across the road, outside the Town Hall, garishly lit with coloured lights, stands a Christmas tree.

A headscarf bobs before her.  A withered hand points to a door.  A modest side-door with a department sign outside.   Her unborn kicks.  Then stiffly she rises, bundle in hand.

Too much blue, she thinks, crossing.  Too much blue.

O for a splash of gold…

 

~~

 

Copyright © Paul Beech 2013

[Previously posted on Linkedin and the author’s own blog, Grandy’s Landing.]

Box Brownie

 

One day last spring I opened the brown canvas case that had lain gathering dust in a corner of my study.  From it I took the camera I had as a Lancashire lad in the late-50s, my Kodak Brownie Flash II.  I was a keen young photographer back then, proud of my “Box Brownie”, the first camera I’d ever owned.  The funny thing was how familiar it still felt as I ran my fingertips over its black leatherette skin.  Looking through the viewfinder for the first time in over half a century brought a lump to my throat and sent me in search of old albums…

 

BOX BROWNIE

 

My old Box Brownie, parents young I clicked.

Tenderly still, in black-and-white, they cling;

Penmaenmawr sunsets for my album picked.

My old Box Brownie, parents young I clicked,

Barely out of short trousers, my quiff slicked.

Viewfinder clear, I feel you near and sing.

 

My old Box Brownie, parents young I clicked;

Tenderly still, in black-and-white, they cling.

 

Paul Beech

 

Copyright © Paul Beech 2014

(Previously published on Linkedin and the author’s own blog, Grandy’s Landing.)

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