Poetry Blog by Peter Taylor
Devon Brock on CHASTE KISSES AND CONSTELLATIONS (Wed, 24 Jul 2019 10:39 pm)
NOW OR NEVER?
How often do I hear that the years are just flying by,
assertions made, in the main, by those who have seen
many already and are startled by the sudden onset
of things that simply slow you down so less gets done,
yet not less than you would confide to anyone.
I think about my own struggles with the spoken word,
for example, those painful moments when, say,...
Monday 16th September 2019 3:50 pm
A THOUSAND DAYS
It feels like a thousand days have passed
on each of which I’ve looked back and fondly asked
the question that is left of me and ties my tongue
and other limbs so long indentured now to
a devil’s throng of just my kind, each bound unto
the dark one as the price (and what an awful price)
for some brief relief, peace in my head for a day that offered
Monday 2nd September 2019 6:20 pm
MUSINGS WHILE STARING AT HEATHER
August’s more reluctant dawns mark shorter summer days
and darker dusks on beloved Blackdown Ridge, splashing
heatherspreads of violet blue and myriad hues of
purples, pinks midst random sprays of mottled mauves;
as if to mark the Northern reaches of the nation’s
newest Park, its endowment designed to accommodate
its spine, the ancient South D...
Saturday 17th August 2019 5:02 pm
Light and life both sapped away,
dark winter’s day, I long for
bright, bold artist spring to splash
crocus colours over grey.
Faint hearts miss the majesty
of winter’s sun, warming cold,
the hush, the calm of fallen snow
the blue, streaked silver, canopy.
Strong hearts strip the light from d...
Sunday 11th August 2019 3:33 am
CHASTE KISSES AND CONSTELLATIONS
Long love loses the passion of love’s beginning –
it is an unlike love that differs more with each day spent,
the grown oak as to the acorn that has just found vigour
by rooting firm in fertile soil.
Oak that cheats understanding, it barely bends to high winds
and after, blown, refreshed, grows only stronger.
Wednesday 24th July 2019 4:21 pm
HANGING FROM THE RAFTERS
An Irish band was over to open the Festival;
first visit for us to St Alban’s church – not sure
why we’d always passed by, so much missed:
vast arched ceiling, simple, revealing
rafters high enough to remind us all that
men once worked there, close to the heavens,
to set them, make them fa...
Saturday 20th July 2019 5:28 am
I stand on the edge and lean right out
towards the light, the face of one, of
so much more than someone, just met;
won’t forget the tingling of my skin, the
smell of hers, won’t let this slip, this chance to
be unequivocal, say what must be said,
do what must be done – as t...
Sunday 14th July 2019 10:52 pm
SET ADRIFT BY SCIENCE
I lose the thread, quickly, when I
consider the context of all I do or say:
the play of light out there, where
night holds sway and I can safely
watch other stars far too far away
to really understand what it is I’m
part of; and the reasons why
I’m not wholly satisfied with the...
Sunday 7th July 2019 5:25 pm
THREE WARM EVENINGS IN A ROW
Three warm evenings in a row
I’ve sat out here to toast my toes
and await the advent of a constant muse;
to no avail: in each such case, my eyes have
flickered, closed, reopened, all involuntarily
and in random order, my body telling me that
sleep has prior claim – certainly where
its opponent has no gentle voice or lullaby
to propagate incho...
Wednesday 3rd July 2019 10:05 pm
LOVES NOT LOST
Thinking of loves long gone, loves of learning, yearning,
burning inside, of passion for life, memories sown firm and
deep in the garden of a soul still fertile, growing strong,
enduring. I know their vigour because I seek them out,
youth having slipped slowly away, leaving me to
rest on laur...
Monday 1st July 2019 6:02 pm
Hot July ’75 days left a sky’s breadth lethargy
over the living world, where a breath of cool air,
a trickle of cold water, a draught of cold beer
were our day-to-day deities – all else
one weary step to another, even birds hushed, it seemed,
weather-wise, shaded in silent woods,
Wednesday 26th June 2019 10:58 pm
And as the pen at rest inside my head
awakes and aches to resume its place
at our favourite table or easy chair –
which of course we gladly share given
the time we spend together there;
so, to keep it sweet as best I can,
despite a delinquent grey June day,
I tell myself that my plan will be to follow,
closely, this unprepossessing thing in
plotting the route f...
Friday 21st June 2019 9:13 pm
A phrase which suggests to me an outcome,
Born of reason; not the season for legal treatise but could
Call time on each resting pair of marching boots plus owner,
Dulled, still, at dawn following deadly all day military drill, the
Excess dust now gone and marcher done – he forever
Full of phrases, though no And Because, each one more
Grouchy, generally, than the on...
Tuesday 18th June 2019 10:35 am
HANGING GARDENS, HASLEMERE
Those of Babylon, no record left,
if half as beautiful as those you’ve kept
they deserved inclusion in the glorious Seven,
the wonders of which we’ll never know
sufficient for clever comparison; but enough to
win much more than accolades in words and gaze
than I, a devotee, might quickly assign
to their beauty, to...
Thursday 13th June 2019 1:05 pm
He sat at a metal mesh table on a matching bench,
smoking each time I passed at the end of each day –
noticeable because he looked, when he smoked,
right in the eyes of strangers as they walked, sauntered, staggered, ran
either to or from the river; a look that said I am, you know, like you
Thursday 6th June 2019 5:41 am
SHARING THE SUN
Summer morning I sit in worship
of a rising sun in a cloudless sky,
unblemished blue, almost too perfect
in a world discoloured by the human tide.
I’d like the warmth to slow us down,
with open eyes and emptied minds,
to let inside fine sights and sounds
then turn them into words that rhyme.
Saturday 1st June 2019 5:26 pm
A LAPSE OF CONCENTRATION
After we met, when we both
watched out for the other
(you were as sharp as a needle),
when we quietly moved on to “going out”,
I was drawn, most of all, by your
darting, quizzical eyes (swift as arrows)
and that slight furrow lying low in your
forehead (you said this was unremarkable,
I said maybe you should chill a little).
And now and then y...
Sunday 26th May 2019 11:28 pm
THE MEANING OF BIRDSONG
Warm May morning, pink azaleas alight,
never been so bright before, so
fiery so soon after winter’s wake
(quite late this year). I toast my feet beneath
a dodging sun, soaking up essential D, and
settle on a garden seat to listen to what I
cannot see: a tree-top high cacophony
of birdsong, every ...
Saturday 18th May 2019 10:31 pm
Her last few days and nights
flashes of light and dark in
grey-blue eyes that know that
sight will soon abandon those of
tethered, tied down, waiting souls,
unblinking, fixed on her or those
unsure of where to let them lie.
I think I hear a soft, sharp crack
of slammed shut eyelids as if, of a sudden,
half a dozen giant gnats have
smacked right ...
Wednesday 15th May 2019 10:35 am
BRIDGES BACK HOME
Morning walks in cold September,
can’t remember quite so many in
other years: horizontal, silky threads,
eye level, spun by unseen spiders
across wider gaps than might be
believed to be of this world.
What flight of fancy this leap from
tree to gorse or gorse to tree?
I speculate that, in light of the
spider’s weight, h...
Saturday 11th May 2019 10:45 pm
A SPLIT LIP
It’s only recently I started to ask myself
the reasons why my upper lip is split –
initially just a narrow, shallow slit but left alone
to care for itself and so to slowly stretch and grow.
I don’t pretend to be one of those who claim
the right to tease for human frailties.
I too may look too long in a mirror and do not mock
others for asking some trusted f...
Tuesday 30th April 2019 6:45 pm
BACK FROM A DREAM
Once more woken by my body’s aches
called away from recent dreams
that in a moment flee cool reading rooms
through one of four blue wooden doors
each to reach nothing less than
muddles heaped across a field of
bubble-wrapped, incoherent scenes.
My return each morning on zero gain
is caught on mundane memories
so trite as to leave them in the dar...
Monday 22nd April 2019 8:02 am
First warming sun today at last, to follow
cold, sharp winter; new buds start to dress
the land around, to adorn once more after nature’s rout,
stripping down to stark dark shapes summer-green,
winter-grey trees and hedges, belittled still by
funereal firs, blood-flecked holly, brooding yews.
Saturday 20th April 2019 7:22 am
MUSIC DOWN THE MORGUE
I sometimes see the world through stand-in eyes
required to face the fact of newly broken parts,
immobilised by indulgent recklessness;
yet disrespectful of the powers that be
that would rule us all and all our hearts
as we stumble, artless, through our useful years,
transient as a species, our lives full of cares.
Cut to the chase: I broke an ank...
Saturday 13th April 2019 11:02 am
GETTING USED TO IT
I have been slow in getting used to it: I have
not got to grips or taken the bull by the horns;
I’ve fought battles each day to remain in the swim,
fearful of eddies, of brackish backwaters,
with no punch left to get back in the flow;
whirling slowly, treading water, seemingly stuck.
Sunday 7th April 2019 8:06 am
WILL YOU STILL NEED ME, WILL YOU STILL FEED ME?
So sang Sir Paul, a late Sixties landmark song,
lyrics and score penned in seconds I’m sure and
jaunty as they come, neither revealing nor concealing
the big issues of the day, but a ballad for our time, a devotion,
a short, sweet love song, a subliminal gong on the froth and sweat of
Britpop’s arriviste best, a testament to th...
Friday 29th March 2019 10:07 am
YOUR BLUE EYES
Your blue eyes shone in the sky on the day
that waited for a simple sign that said,
though officially dead since yesterday,
she’ll be with us still, she won’t fade away.
We saw that sign in the sight and sounds of some
nearby trees that bent a little in the lightest breeze,
respectful, as much as gardens might decently be,
in offering a bow, then a bende...
Tuesday 26th March 2019 4:48 pm
that I may no longer let myself
fix my gaze, or let a glimpse alight,
on old, ever-treasured photographs:
those you lit with light brown eyes and
gently reddened lips together forming
envied smiles, talk of the town for
miles around; you scarcely knew
the purpose of a practised frown,
how to sully, spoil a face;
in hidden plac...
Wednesday 20th March 2019 11:24 pm
There is dignity in the dark, the unmoving:
nothing can hurt any more, nothing can
fail again, nothing can be misunderstood.
no residual good can desert me, nor my words
spill sloppily, a mild vomit, alongside those
orators all around, silvery sounds, ever on song.
I long for lost laughter but I chase af...
Saturday 9th March 2019 10:49 am
TREES IN WINTER
Trees behave quite differently when wintry winds blow:
now the leaves have dropped, a passable gust must be
sustained enough to force the trees to tremble
through countless twigs and tributary branches –
the chances of bringing even one to its knees
remaining low by any measure or means of calibration.
Back in the summer, a breeze sufficed to have the tree...
Wednesday 6th March 2019 11:17 pm
Been thinking about it, the carousel, for some time now –
the time elapsed since stepping off and moving on.
As these things went, it was, I recall, really not so bad:
it travelled apace, albeit round and round, whether you sat
astride a prancing filly, nostrils flared, a dinky little racing car
or an open top ancient Roman battle chariot,
complete with seat belts an...
Sunday 3rd March 2019 9:58 am
When upon the surface of the earth
pebbles meet a pounding sea,
sit facing me and, eyes blindfold,
pick one and drop it in the space between
your pretty feet, my creaking knees.
We’ve played before, a simple game:
agree the duration of the hunt,
measured as the time it takes for, say,
three cycles of the breakers’ rush
from crashing crest to sucked-ba...
Wednesday 20th February 2019 1:02 pm
We used to take an old black sit-up car
down to the sea, some forty miles, to catch the sun
and lace our hair with sand and run
into wake-up waves that cried all day
we’re after you; and always either pushed us in,
face first, as they crashed down on our backs
or tripped us as the sucking ebb backtracke...
Wednesday 13th February 2019 6:55 pm
“To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why
May not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander
Till a find it stopping a bung-hole?”
So asked the Danish Prince of his friend, returning
Yorick’s, his father’s jester’s, earthy skull to its
ditch of twenty-three years and calling to mind the gre...
Friday 1st February 2019 8:16 pm
AN ACTOR’S LAMENT
Shall I audition for this Shakespeare play?
There is no part in it I really want.
Break wind and blow the lead away –
he was utter rubbish in Charlie’s Aunt!
Though I often think I was born too late –
by,say, half a thousand, six hundred years –
I possess a marked tendency to prate
and my ...
Wednesday 16th January 2019 9:05 pm
WALKING AT SUNRISE
I walked at sunrise yesterday, pink-orange paintwork
spreading wide in the East and coating vapour trails,
each dipped – no drips – for just a moment, in a tin,
hidden from human eyes, like (I surmise) the smocks and brushes.
Once coloured, they striped the sky at random angles,
criss-crossing, and I thought of tangled oriental characters
twisted and bent in...
Sunday 13th January 2019 7:44 am