Poetry Blog by ray pool

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THE SANDS OF TIME

Times were rough for the Punch and Judy Man

this year harder by far

until with the arthritis kicking in

Samuel hit rock bottom.

With health and safety measures newly imposed

looming large

his enthusiasm for the seaside art

like the tide ebbed away.

 

On that fateful day

while Mr Punch, Judy, the Policeman

and The Dog were silent and stiff

Samuel drew a blade acr...

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TIES THAT BIND

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SCHOOL HOLIDAYS IN THE FIFTIES

Little more than urchins

we were discoverers along dusty terrain

scuffing about with dilapidated bikes

atop old dump hills and down

to jar our bones and test our nerve

 

cross legged playing with fag cards

using provided handkerchiefs to tie marbles

gorging on the remains of old sweets

ready to burst, so keen we were,

with the ghosts of industry our backdrop,

skele...

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TIES THAT BIND

Your shoelace is undone, she said

which threw me quite off balance,

for such considerations run

outside my sphere of talents.

 

Such observations that ladies tell

will bring us down to earth

from higher realms wherein we dwell,

challenging our worth.

 

A shoe is just a metaphor

when in that state the ladies find us,

to rescue us from siren's muse

and use thei...

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WAITING - FOR URINATION

I'm waiting

just waiting

for urination

 

The time is right

the urge is right

 

but the train is as it were

held up outside the station.

 

Young men either side of me

continue on their merry way

 

while this old fella

waits for the off

managing just a nervous cough.

 

imagining trees and cows

porcelain extrusions

fostering old youthful illusi...

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SUMMER SEASON

Light is dripping from the trees,

the nectar of July under a silver sky

collected by the air

is the breath that I take.

 

Could this be the season of fear that's talked of,

just a poison cup offered

by the mind so twisted

as to pervert all joy?

 

If so I am misled by what I see

and feel on this so special of days

when nature hangs full of promise

for the taki...

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SHIPPING FORECAST

When static ruled the airwaves,

Britain never being slaves,

morse code across the bows of uncertain ships

took to the skies, while

receivers were tuned to the shipping forecast

 

just as I twiddled on my crystal set

in a bakelite bedroom

before the dark doom of oceanic night

and heard that calm voice proclaim:


"Faroes, North Utsire,

north west four or five increa...

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GLASS MARBLES

She thought them childish

and once they were

as we rolled them along the carless gutters

of a yesteryear

 

and watched them clink and bounce

with skilled abandon

then pocket them.

 

Yes, I suppose that was childish

but the memory is clear

and now again I see them

all bubbling up at me:

 

languid glass,

feathered,

refined

and tell her how can roll ...

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THE OFFICIAL VERSION OF EVENTS

The doctor told me frankly:

said i'd had issues

leading to an event

which turned into an episode.

 

Well I didn't know what he meant.

I 'ad been feeling dicky,

quite icky from time to time

 

so I put meself in 'is 'ands, as you do.

Five days in orspital,

the works, the full monty.

Orders to cut out smoking,

 

I thought: you must be joking.

Now there's f...

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ANTEDISESTABLISHMENT VEGETARIANISM

Pigs are in blankets

too late to save them now.

Better to forget porky

and drain a cow.

 

McDonalds never had a farm

never EE I EE I EE I owned one.

The world of food goes round and round,

what eats and provides it

returns to the ground.

 

Consider the chicken's versatility,

a life of service, of total futility.

 

Incidentally sheep may not safely graze

...

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TAKING THE PLUNGE

I grasp the rails, climb the steps,

climb the steps, grasp the rails,

grasp the rails, climb the steps,

then on to the top board,

a slim springing finger of accusation,

a jibe, a nazi salute

over the blue sequence of water.

 

My feet are ridiculous, inadequate,

heart ready to burst

but the decision has been made,

no going back.

 

Since those early days I have...

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ON VINCENT PRICE

Vincent Price, actor extraordinaire

reaches into his cloak with large sympathetic hands,

smiles with that crooked cataclysm of a face,

eyebrows as restless as Tower Bridge,

pulls back the velvet to reveal plum red lining

 

and have us fooled;

what might happen next?

will there be bats or spiders

or perhaps the Tingler.

 

He merely recites in broad sweeps

as camp...

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FORGOTTEN DREAMS

I first noticed the village pump some years ago

when there were farms, spreading fields,

a lovers lane, open sky to the west.

 

Today, I find a maze of habitation,

a settlement satisfied with itself,

taking serenity for granted

 

leaving such little trace;

a pond of sorts surviving,

crude tyre marks of mountain bikes

bloodied by mud at the bank.

 

I was frank...

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ON MUSHROOM HILL

On mushroom hill

the ground is rich with promise

fertile all consuming,

through veins the pulse is carried

and the blossom of caps

 

tender, secretive with nightmares

of sweet languor,

butter wouldn't melt in our mouths

on mushroom hill.

This muted sun, the schism

 

of autumn bounty may be

the last you'll see

as sink down to mould

you surely must,

 

...

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GOTHICK

The professor was found

staring wide eyed straight ahead

brow deeply furrowed,

his hand gripping a pen,

an unfinished sentence,

starburst ink blots,

 

a book open showing hieroglyphs.

 

Heavy drapes were drawn tight

deep scratchmarks on his face

a pair of spectacles torn away.

 

Outside the rain hammered insistently

like answers on the wind.

His servant...

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LEFT BEHIND

Such a dreamer,

he was going to some planetary body, he said

when no one was looking,

with that old tortoiseshell suitcase with the stickers.

He saw himself en route

bound by purpose and a strange sense of gravity.

 

Had packed his case with all he held dear,

significant papers and artefacts:

old perfume bottles his wife thought thrown away,

a diary or two, hand wound...

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NO ARGUMENT

 

I'm like:  what do you mean by saying what you said

and he's like: saying what

so i'm like: the way you spoke to me yesterday

and he's like: I didn't though

then i'm like: you know you did and I didn't like it

so he's like: you're making it up

and i'm like: why would I make it up

then he goes quiet.

 

So i'm like: that's your trouble you go into a shell

when you ...

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THE RECKONING

She stood under the eaves of a shed,

door open, inviting him in.

"This was his world, everything has to go," she said.

 

"There's a light switch somewhere."

Then he peered about.

Everything exactly as it had been left.

 

Chests of tools, walls pegged for ready access.

A woodwork bench with vices.

Racks of chisels - the smell of linseed oil.

 

Cabinets with escut...

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SHOAL

I kept   filling   the gaps

with fish             but still

the water came through

until there was  no deep

           left deep enough

      no fish large enough

        to fill my fish mouth

                       with water.

 

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DON'T LOOK NOW

Don't look now

but here comes Julie Christie in mourning;

Nick Roeg is a flash of colour in a gondola.

Those doe eyes of Donald Sutherland

beseeching flocks of birds up the canals

escaping his presentiments

reflected in mosaics

that shatter dreams of old sinking doges

in wet flannel palaces.

 

Your ticket will soon expire,

best drop it and clear out

before the e...

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SAME OLD SONG

Ensnared in the lyrics of romantic songs

dressed to kill with a story to tell

no one wants to hear.

 

Lend me your ear.

Not today - nor any other day

yet the lyrics weave their spell.

 

Hollow footsteps up my spine

those of only me and mine.

A lonely echo of a silent voice.

Is there a meaning?   who can tell.

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WAIT HERE FOR INFINITY

This platform is for Infinity

spake the railway worker

his words lost on the wind

as he passed.

I was looking in the wrong direction

but I knew what he meant.

 

If Infinity is a slow process

that would account for the gap

that I was minded of

between me and where I thought I was going.

 

and was it worth waiting for?

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PODS

I said goodnight to the peppers

my wife had prepared for freezing;

on their ends they stood

showing puckered dimples,

reds greens and yellows.

Smooth, glossy

in a virginal sort of way.

 

With the night light on

they watched me

like effigies coming to life.

That night I dreamed of Alien,

woke up constricted in the throat

just a dryness and sense of relief

 

...

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CEREMONIAL

There's a cleft in a rock where blood flows out

from a gorge in Turkestan,

accessible only by arduous routes,

those who see it are mightily uplifted.

 

A blind man apparently started to see

when the sun came round at a quarter to three

on a highly significant alignment day.

 

A man sells ice cream from a four by four

a queue discreetly off to one side,

many pilgrim...

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I'M IN LOVE WITH MATT BAKER

I'm in love with Matt Baker

he's a mover and shaker,

 impeccably human and warm,

a master of challenges

rickshaws and ropes

and he always seems on form.

 

I know he is young and I am quite old

but he's very mature and incredibly bold,

enthusiastic, masochistic,

a guru of the gritstone hold.

 

I have a strong sense

that we might mend a fence

in the Dales wi...

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POSITIVE

I've come over all funny recently;

gone to the doctors

got the results.

 

Apparently i've been tested positive

whatever that means;

i'm in the system now.

 

I don't know wnether to laugh or cry

I have to think positive,  he said;

I thought I was already.

 

Suddenly i'm staring at the calendar

that list of days,

chocolate box pictures,

me going out of th...

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75th BIRTHDAY

On my birthday, the seventy fifth of my life

Storm Eric dropped in.

The skies broke wind

gusting spring bulb selections in plastic bowers

making communities of blown bags.

 

Tall boundary hedges bristled,

long loping evergreens

careened across the ragged landscape

blunted with rain.

 

A harsh but necessary greeting it felt

leaving me happy as witness

to the l...

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FOG BANK

Always beware

what lies there,

of what is concealed

hiding behind the limbs of trees

lurking in the far off field.

 

Beware of yourself

all a - tremble

at the hushed wraith that dissolves

and dissembles

 

and keeps everything for itself

leaving you on the periphery.

Prod it with a stick,

watch it swirl on your clothes.

 

Bound to be a witch or two

...

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TRANSFORMATION

Nature turned the taps on by midday,

trees heavily laden with snow

bowed to the master,

shuddered and relieved themselves

uncontrollably.

 

The sun saw the funny side of it,

put on its shiny face

before sinking down again

behind the monoblocks of sheds

saying goodbye to crocuses and snowdrops

risen from last night's treacherous duvet of white.

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LOST CAUSE

I hadn't seen her for some time

but the dolls in her pram hadn't changed.

She had got older of course,

more haggard,

but still the nurturing went on

willing herself into the background,

her dedication a flight from reality.

 

She seemed to have taken to the streets

since her low key cafeteria was glammed up

throwing a spotlight on her entourage,

raising more questi...

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MURDER MOST FOUL

Successive stars have forged their name

in the heat of the cinema killing game.

Sylvester Stallone stands alone for

rampant destruction for a worthy cause;

Liam Neeson has added a frisson

of genuine grievance to other's malfeasance.

The list is endless but there'll always be

the biters of bullets for you and me.

 

The English have an admiration

for more subtle means o...

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ENDINGS

I'm thinking of an ending

not to life, that's too drastic

but to some remote drama

too painful to resolve

that everyone would eagerly await.

 

I suppose that won't happen,

as endings require a push start at least

to lead up to themselves.

Mostly ideas just end up on shelves.

 

Life can be tantalizing

but mostly needs revising

to stay ahead of the game -

no...

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DRINKER

He stood as if to hold up the wall,

looking down, leaning in,

his face obscured.

 

Behind him, a penumbra of wet traffic

lit up a thin stream

ongoing, seeking an outsource,

 

a purpose; at the drain it said goodbye

with a blush of steam,

just enough to remind me

 

of the persistent thud of need

taken from the well

and re-distributed.

 

 

 

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IT'S ONLY RIGHT

It's only right we should cheer ourselves up

when hearing of the death of innocents,

of those fresh from the womb,

and of those who have outstayed their welcome

through age; of those who were

in the way of someone's plans

through strife, moving objects,

gun or knife, it's only right.

 

It's only right we should feel guilty

though innocent ourselves, for who would not

...

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SPARROWS CAN'T SING

Gawd strewth, there ain't no bluebirds round 'ere,

no whippoorwills neither,

the sparrers are getting rarer too,

though I did see one in Waterloo.

What with the flyovers taking to the sky

there's only pigeons that seem to fly.

 

Why O why can't we hear the bells

get our East End back agin'

with the corner pubs, the rub a dub dubs

as we used to call 'em.

 

It's a...

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CHIC LIT

There's a little cove on Cornwall's coast

where a lady is writing her latest book

making the most of the atmosphere,

imagining drifting boats in the sun

and sporty chaps in flannels with pipes

or controlling types with attitude and gripes;

and someone is falling in love again.

 

No fast food outlets to spoil the view

of a harbour wall where gulls descend.

No slicks or...

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THE INN AT THE END OF A LIFE

The sign at the inn swung like a gallows,

the light lay low on the heath.

Old Ben was in his settle

sucking baccy through his teeth.

 

Puddles formed on the flagstones

where a one - eyed dog stood watch;

underneath a ragged sky

the inn was dark as a crotch,

 

except for a fire - lit window

that glowed like a winter star,

through which a cluster of faces took in

...

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