Poetry Blog by Peter Taylor

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Martin Elder on THE MEANING OF BIRDSONG (5 days ago)

Peter Taylor on THE MEANING OF BIRDSONG (5 days ago)

Dorothy Webb on THE MEANING OF BIRDSONG (5 days ago)

Martin Elder on BRIDGES BACK HOME (12 days ago)

raypool on BRIDGES BACK HOME (12 days ago)

jennifer Malden on BRIDGES BACK HOME (12 days ago)

Dana Robles on A SPLIT LIP (Tue, 30 Apr 2019 10:51 pm)

raypool on EASTER MUSINGS (Sat, 20 Apr 2019 10:59 pm)

Wolfgar Miere on MUSIC DOWN THE MORGUE (Tue, 16 Apr 2019 08:37 am)

Peter Taylor on MUSIC DOWN THE MORGUE (Sun, 14 Apr 2019 03:50 pm)

THE MEANING OF BIRDSONG

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 ...

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LIGHTSWITCHES

 

 LIGHTSWITCHES

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 ...

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BRIDGES BACK HOME

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...

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A SPLIT LIP

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...

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BACK FROM A DREAM

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...

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EASTER MUSINGS

EASTER MUSINGS                                                              

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.

 

I s...

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MUSIC DOWN THE MORGUE

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...

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GETTING USED TO IT

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.

The ai...

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WILL YOU STILL NEED ME,WILL YOU STILL FEED ME?

 

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...

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YOUR BLUE EYES

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...

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ONCE LOVERS

ONCE LOVERS

Self-preservation requires

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...

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LOST CONNECTIONS

LOST CONNECTIONS                                                         

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...

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TREES IN WINTER

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...

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CAROUSELS

CAROUSELS

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...

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PEBBLE GAME

PEBBLE GAME

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...

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Seaside Thoughts

SEASIDE THOUGHTS                                                          

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...

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UNDERFOOT

UNDERFOOT                                                                       

“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...

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AN ACTOR'S LAMENT

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 ...

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WALKING AT SUNRISE

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...

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