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Noeleve

On this night, old snow lies thick,

hardened into rigid smudged creases.

In every house where children sleep,

a deafening silence of anticipatory slumber.

At Mass the devout smile cynically

at the unusually full congregation.

Homeless bodies defiantly condescend

to seek warmer shelter and a festive meal.

And with the glue, still damp on “sale” signs,

the ...

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Dream Tiger

  Last night I dreamt of tigers

in the fractious dozing hours,

they were my guardian felines

curled tightly at my feet.

 

Last night I dreamt of tigers

those fearsome striped cats

in the fractious dozing hours,

through the safari of my sleep

they were my guardian felines

staying close to ward off harm

curled tightly at my feet

so great to keep ...

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Pals

Those muddy boys,

pressed as moulds

into the grey-blue stench,

quiet now.

The terrifying cacophony

still rages through their skies,

though silently.

Their chilling lifeless eyes,

stare a fruitless search,

for England, mother, home.

 

© Graham Sherwood 11/2010 

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All Hallows Eve

Glum, doleful moon, alone,

our only witness to such dreadful tragedy,

spies on deadly Scorpius,

chaperone to the winter’s chilling breath,

who, dragging slain Orion’s bloody cloak,

sweeps the crackling bronze crisped leaves,

like autumn’s janitor.

On this night all souls are blessed.

This bloody month, this killing time,

O mischievous night, a fragile a...

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Come Ghosts

  Thus they loom toward my mortal precipice,

arranged around my bedside, the spectres of a life,

whose auras fade or flare as with my faltering mentality

as I consider the who, the where, the what

and how they made me smile or cry or frown or not.

 

Some are angels, perfect beauteous girls, nubile in youth

that flit amongst my other ghosts as if to tease.

Whil...

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Loss

  We have modernised.

Gone, dining table and faded velour chairs.

We turn away hesitantly, guiltily from the porch

so as not to watch

the battered rusty recycling van,

eagerly carry away our beloved.

The bearer of our family’s growth

our happiness, our joy and tears,

those thirty-five Christmas meals

two special weddings

one hideous wake.

Untouche...

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Octen

A grey dust bloom smears plump blue sloes,

fat rabbits and badgers sniff the damp and turn to go,

as nature’s balance rounds the leaves to russet gold,

so swallows, swifts and starlings gather to their fold.

 

Small children run and tease folk with flickering punky flames,

now harvest’s in there’s time for apple-bobbing games,

the new wine, warm, tumultuous gu...

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Bitten

How hard can this be?

I am chewing the inside of my cheek,

without knowingly doing so.

An irascible frown sits disconcertingly on my brow.

Eyes close in slow motion, but tightly nonetheless.

Legs are leaden, fingers tropical, throat parched, arse damp.

Time’s up, the moment has arrived, no second chances.

It has to be done,

Now. 

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Tags: Bite the bullet

Brainkisses

A sweet young child has taught me how,

to store kisses in my brain.

It seems, he collects his from his mum,

until she needs them back again.

On hearing this, a thought occurred,

of opportunities much-missed.

If I’d had half his common sense,

more lips I would have kissed. 

 

© Graham Sherwood 9/2010

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September

The harvest barley now stands in crooked stooks,

impatient, Vulcan waits and stokes his fiery forge.

Hark, Goosefair time approaches fast,

excited children pick the conker and the blackberry.

Under heavy sapphire skies young schoolgirls dance,

corn dollies jiggling from their belts.

As asters bloom, seven becomes nine,

and without a nod the stubble burns.

 

...

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Starlet

  I will remember that I met you

and that you made me special tea,

the badly washed-up mug unnoticed.

 

You were wearing thin pyjamas,

and eating pancakes with a fork

when I arrived, stopping in my tracks.

 

From the tiny balcony

we smiled across the dowdy roofscape

toward the lights and music that beguile you.

 

Such fragile open beauty

...

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Succubus

 (Inspired by Incubus by Ann Foxglove)

 

With eyelids closed, I notice briefly,

for hardly one second,

the slender-limbed diaphanous wraith

that stands watch, from the open window.

My dumbfound hypnosis, lifeless,

her touch becomes a peach bloom cheek

upon my thigh,

tumultuous tresses around my sex.

Saffron mists swirl like a crown,

she is at once a...

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Melancholium

  A creased and discarded tarot card,

the litter swirling through the museum of a life,

of unfulfilled hopes, failed wishes and whimsy dreams,

 lain heavy, sodden, undisturbed as silt in the depths of memory,

await the callous prod of apathy’s endless benign ache

that, like the phantom of matters past,

serves to churn old thoughts and memories.

The hazy characte...

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Cotswold Tale

  And I came upon Arcadia, the

burnished mellow honeyed stones,

along the fosse meridian,

where sleepy chippings bid me rest,

amongst the woollen churches shade,

to nibble scones with China tea

and marvel at the charming wolds,

where now, the fleeces wear pink rinses

and bleat in sundry foreign drawl.

 

© Graham Sherwood 7/2010 

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Memories

Creeping like a rumour

from cold room and colder still,

no need to keep the lifeless silence

that hangs, as if some assassin’s chord

has deftly strangled last year’s

incarcerated air.

The comfortable dust is wary too

lest I might break its reverie,

but no, I float through  space

with vaporous eyes as empty as

the cupboard drawers.

Am I the first ...

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Pandora's Box

  Disease Hatred Cowardice Intolerance Anger

Idolatry Deprivation Rape Bigotry Deceit Abu

se Hunger Pride Shame Disregard Murder Am

bivalence Conceit Oppression Terrorism Pain

Sedition Lust Poverty Racism Thirst Deceit Pe

rversity Avarice Panic Theft Sarcasm Loathing

Torture Disregard War Arson Starvation Gree

d Assault Pomposity Fear Extortion Disrespect  

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Green Park Eleven

  The crocus have fled and the daffodils gone,

bereft, just the dandelion gold lingers on,

a tame squirrel tugs at the creased trouser legs

of beautiful girls strewn like discarded pegs,

on tattersall rugs on the damp summer turf

their bleached Sunday newspapers billow like surf

bringing whispered languages foreign to me

from passionate lovers beneath every tree

...

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Otis cries

  I have never known so many shades of black,

each stand immobile in uncomfortable resignation

to await the sombre arrival of Norma’s box,

silently gliding by

the preposterously long shiny car, black of course.

Of course there are tears, and tears make more tears,

all sorry sadly for themselves,

strangers who are strangely old friends

here to say goodbye and ...

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Hustings

  I understand what you need

so  trust me,

I have extensive experience

take a look at my record,

I also feel your pain

so follow me,

I will take you to a better place

let me make a difference,

I know what to do

if you’ll believe what I tell you,

I am the right man to deliver

so don’t listen to others,

I will never lie to you

your life i...

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Gaia

Glance idly and drink the drowsy

lilac’s heady bloom,

or doze a dream beneath the lilting

banana fronds,

appreciate this idyllic time we share

lest these bounteous gifts disappear,

wasted by drugged ambivalence

abandoned with scant promiscuity, then

raped in doubtful ignorance

minutes to millennia flee

into some cosmic rendezvous

none slow or choose...

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Lion and Lamb

  A fearsome battle looms

early on this Martius Ide,

as Rhedam growls her wicked breath,

a loud and stormy lion roar

that rips our throats, our eyes, our sense,

throughout these lengthened brittle days.

Her sharpened diamond glacial eyes,

direct an icy phalanx down

to break another bent and battered foe,

whom though defeated, stricken, lain

on harsh scr...

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Tantric

Charm me, like a snake

draw me up,

use your hands to hold me there,

firm but wavering,

my intent unclear

in gentle sway, erect

with piercing concentration,

transcendental

one aching tip,

unable to satisfy my basic urge

to spit and strike

into your soft plum flesh.

© Graham Sherwood 2/2010 

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Fearless

  So I tread on your Lego whilst still in my socks,

and listen when you tell me that I’ve slowed down a lot,

I need a little magic (you say) to keep up,

with your matter of fact honesty, candour and pluck,

then I see the ten years that your parents have aged,

in your three and three quarters of continual rampage,

but sat here with me on our pirate-ship bed

we sai...

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January

January’s weak, unlikely forward wind,

sneers a growling bark at yuletide’s indulgent frivolity,

then scowls again, to usher brusquely in

the new year’s hopes, desires and fears.

And in the dour and clammy chill,

Janus with his ancient tethered clanking key,

hesitates, unsure which die to cast,

then plays his hand

to scatter fortunes with ne’er a blink.

...

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Mole

  A full sky,

so crammed full it may plummet,

pale grey, dense, delivering polar snow.

The paddock in shining cloudscape,

a brilliant white duvet of silence.

The five oaks sleep

beneath a funereal gauze of morning mist,

as the nauseous silence demands my attention.

Then stirring noiselessly, at my feet

dark wet earth,

an eruption of chocolate crumbs,

...

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