Poetry Blog by Rick
A Walk in the Country
Bramley End, a hamlet
nestling in a valley,
is not found on the map -
there is a ‘Brambly End’ -
maybe it’s a misprint.
I tramped the hard last miles
blistered, bleeding, limping.
Bramley End... Journey’s end;
a tree-trunk wayside rest,
church bells treble-bobbing,
a chapel, a village hall,
a ‘Welcome Stranger’ pub,
Friday 29th March 2019 2:13 pm
Was it Frannie? Might have been.
A butterfly moment - glances shared.
I was not sure. Neither she.
A hesitation. One step. Two.
The woman passed,
Melted into the station crowd -
if it was her.
Her haloed black Afro
faded grey, pinched to a plait.
Cheek bones more prominent.
Same piercing eyes
behind thick lens’
ageing woman glasses...
Wednesday 27th March 2019 11:07 am
You can’t fool me
I know you’re here,
The hint of patchouli
you wore at our last kiss,
and at our first kiss,
gives the game away.
Are you playing hide ‘n’ seek?
Remember the neighbours
thumping the walls
at our midnight parties playing
Archie Shepp and Albert Ayler,
while we snorted coke
and smoked five-skinners?
Remember nights of kiss and ma...
Thursday 14th March 2019 1:19 pm
a gentle breeze may
cool foreheads with a kiss,
ruffle a child’s hair,
uplift a butterfly,
sow a flower seed,
raise a guttered petal
into dancing sunshine,
and so I sigh.
Sunday 10th March 2019 11:29 am
Time to sit a spell
on a crumbling
the road dips and bends
like other roads bend and dip.
milestones and gravestones
and faded-varnish benches,
‘In memory of...’
And then, and then,
‘Bide a wee.’
Gravestones and milestones
and bends and dips.
Time to gath...
Friday 8th March 2019 9:52 am
Tall and slim and elegant – a beauty
with (naturally) raven flowing hair,
that she stood before a mirror, brushing.
It glistened as, naked, she crossed the room
and slid beside me on her perfumed bed.
We appraised each other - kissed and fondled.
The headboard beat a tattoo on the wall
in time with our grunting, sweating, wrestling.
She asked for a favourite fantasy,
Wednesday 6th March 2019 1:22 pm
Yes it was.
That savage hollowness
when you stepped back promising,
‘Yes, we’ll do it again.’
My mouth was dry
ashes coated my tongue.
you were feinting
an easy exit
for yourself first
But you spared my feelings -
a soft deception
piercing my numbness
Sunday 3rd March 2019 11:17 am
I wiped a spy-hole
from a skylight window
as pentecostal fire-balls
peppered pavement mounds
of pet dog excrement
and men - as drunken men -
teetering on the lip of madness
babbled unknown tongues
while drinking deep
of Tiskie twelve percent
Saturday 2nd March 2019 10:18 am
I sat with a girl
outside our peace
but wrapped in love
with a girl.
Friday 1st March 2019 10:07 am
Who spared a glance
at the man of dignity
striding tall down Portobello
through Thursday and Friday
in a dapper blue suit,
shirt and tie,
black shine shoes,
walking cane and trilby?
Standing at the corner of the Grove
peas and rice
and that ganja
he never smoked back home
in Guinea Bissau.
Thursday 21st February 2019 7:08 pm
(a glass of Rosé in Robin Hood’s Bay)
This was late June, maybe early July.
I was booked to sing. The cafe was packed.
A three-legged stool available at
a sea-view verandah table. I made
space beside a red-haired stranger. She wore
a red silk dress. Was this kismet at work?
Memories flooded me: a torpid stream
of weeks and months of mornings and evenings
Saturday 16th February 2019 2:43 pm
It's a sonnet of 8 syllables per line - I added a Petrarchan remix (8/6/8/6) and may this aftie try out a Shakespearean iambic pentameter version - - it's here - as threatened :)
There’s a woman I admire. She
carries the wisdom of Athene
with understated artlessness
Sunday 10th February 2019 11:33 am
This is proving a tricky blighter to pin down - it involves metempsychosis - I chance encounter I had on the TRANSPENNINE from Hull (and embellished a little). Apparently there are rabbis who teach that holocaust souls have been re-incarnated in order to complete their Earthly mission...
I edited it since - on the advice of a friend with acumen - I she wondered if the old guy was insane so I gu...
Wednesday 6th February 2019 12:06 pm
Angoisse Des Gares
The unborn Pierre looked back dismayed
at the fading light from which he pressed.
Ahead a stretching tearing fissure:
Eyes. Masks. Lights and latex fingers.
Forceps at his temples.
Gripping. Pulling. Grunting.
Pain and voices,
‘C’est un fils.’
The umbilicus cut –
another rupture from the one
who gave him a name and
Thursday 31st January 2019 12:46 pm
Equinox at Frank Seago’s
It’s Christmas Eve 2018,
I’m alone in a frigid kitchen
beanie-hatted to beat the cold
trawling late-night radio options,
swerving drunkards singing carols,
the crazy shite on phone-in shows -
plus jingles praising senna pods -
when right out of the blue I caught
a snatch of Coltrane’s Equinox.
I’m back in 1966,
a Debden council-h...
Sunday 27th January 2019 11:32 am
A Concrete Pond
A concrete pond.
A concrete city.
Harsh and pitiless
drowning in rage,
its skirling sirens
The foetid water’s
spurned by mallards -
no kids dibbing nets
through jagged flotsam.
Kate squeezed my hand
I squeezed hers. ‘Once
this was a lake. There
used to be willows.’ ...
Wednesday 23rd January 2019 11:34 am
Lost in a Durham Landscape
I kicked my heels in the living room
while Aoife was in the kitchen
a painting above the mantelpiece
(where a mirror ought to be)
drew my eye
a watchman is walking through a gate
pushing a rusted bike
behind him tumble-down allotments
ahead a row of cottages
the sky has darkled
Saturday 19th January 2019 11:27 am
A pome about dysmorphia
I hated my looks in mirrors
reckoned I was pretty ugly
until Dee mentioned, in passing,
she liked me - liked me ‘more than friends.’
‘Love’ was an unknown abstraction,
I never had a hug from Mum:
if I fell off my Hercules,
scraped my elbows or grazed my knees,
Mother never ‘kissed it better.’
No bobble hat Satu...
Monday 14th January 2019 11:44 am
I woke up thinking about mountains and how I'd love to compose a pome about a mountain, a loved one, and me - this is a diversion in a kinda loose sonnetry stylee :)
Since man ‘conquered’ Chumo-Langma,
prayer flags still flap and temple bells chime praises.
A defile of climbers queues ‘to summit’ and
transmit a video to family and chums,
‘Top of the ...
Saturday 5th January 2019 12:45 pm
A Day Out with Aoife
Two ‘Seaside Special’ day returns
to ‘Kiss me Quick’ and candyfloss;
I was looking forward to the
“Pirate Cruise around the bay (no extra).”
A shuddering halt – somewhere
in the middle of nowhere –
unruly livestock blocked the line.
Aoife giggled, ‘Let’s explore.’
We walked an ancient track-way:
the lane, an overgrown...
Monday 31st December 2018 11:44 am
Mainstream Student Partying
a boiling scrum of raucous
tarty boys and tattooed girls
all wearing flesh-revealing
fishnet tights for ‘Carnage Nite’ –
arching the ‘white noise’ clamour
for ‘something we can dance to’
coke-dust nostrils snorted clear
Rizlas cursed coming unglued,
somebody is crying
Wednesday 26th December 2018 10:36 am
Brendan - a Brief Encounter
A shock to bump into O’Byrne today,
he’s older than me, smokes sixty a day -
if there was any justice
he should have died years ago
coughing his lungs away.
'held together, probably,
by tar and bloody obstinacy.'
He was in Fruitopia wearing an ethnic hat
(with battered remembrance poppy attached)
Friday 21st December 2018 11:55 am
I met Solly today,
he wore a ‘not here’ grin,
a battered fedora,
flapping loose in the wind
a threadbare three-piece suit-
no kippah no tzitzit,
He’d lost a lot of weight,
‘Are you feeling alright?’
‘Do I know you? Will you
spare me a cigarette?
I’ve seen far worse than this.’
‘The meshuggah’s lost it’
His feet were raw, bleeding...
Thursday 13th December 2018 11:25 am
I met Leon today
he wore a vacant grin
a battered fedora
and a greasy three-piece
flapping loose in the breeze
he’s lost a lot of weight
I asked after his health
he shrugged, ‘never better’
adding, ‘do I know you?
gotta spare cigarette?’
blue toes poked through sock holes
‘what’s happened to your shoes?’
a vague point to nowhere
Wednesday 12th December 2018 11:38 am
A Postcard to a Lover Departed
I reached for the shelf where stood
like shiftless vagrants
jars of fragrance
(yours was woody sandalwood)
I unstopped the jar
you filled the room
Saturday 8th December 2018 10:57 am
on Arran with Aoife
we sat side by side
on a rocky brae
sharing a sea-shell
listening to waves
the blame was mine
I kept the shell
I need not put it to my ear
in guilty sighing
returned on the breeze
I catch the sea
Friday 7th December 2018 11:22 am
a tottering table a toddler
a teapot a reaching hand
a fast vast scalding scarring flood
a stick-waving young boy shouting
with tears ‘stop fighting stop swearing’
ignored by screeching mum and dad
eyes tight-shut out of sight
under a kitchen table until discovered
fingers at his throat squeezing
the orphanage window afternoon stroll...
Sunday 2nd December 2018 12:11 pm
I saw her from the window
of my signal-stalled train
stranded beside the bay
a soft green hat
a bright red scarf
again and again
she threw a stick
for a dog to fetch
from the waves
and in between
a hovering half-dance
she put in a satchel
worn around her neck
Sunday 2nd December 2018 12:10 pm
Solitary - wrapped in the frosted isolation
of a magnolia tricked into blossoming early,
slow-turning to swirling Qawwali ghazals
borne on the breeze from a distant marquee:
Willing herself into another time, another place...
home best of all stroking Beefheart the cat,
Lauren wandered the litter-strewn showground
wistfully wishing the whining children
wanting chocolate thi...
Sunday 25th November 2018 12:37 pm
Hugging Lauren at WOMAD (1989)
Solitary - wrapped in the frosted isolation
of a magnolia tricked into blossoming too soon
slow-turning to swirling Qawaali -
ghazals from a distant marquee -
willing herself into another time, another place -
home best of all stroking Beefheart the cat -
Lauren wandered the litter-strewn showground
wistfully wishing the whining children...
Friday 23rd November 2018 12:41 pm
Occasioned by Thomas Hardy (Thoughts of Phena (1890))
Her délicatessence distilled in a fragrance
Stoppered in a vial for a mourner’s tears
Re-awakens sun-lanced lotus memories:
The secret temple garden we uncovered
Long neglected in a forest thicket
Delighted over at green-mist daybreak.
Days of endless hours of wine pleasance
Unrolling like horseback Caucasian ...
Wednesday 14th November 2018 1:07 pm
Seen in Morocco 1974
A run-down village of adobe walls
painted shabby shades of rose-red pink
stands forlorn on an Atlas plateau -
this is Morocco.
A long-dead jacaranda
with sun-bleached rigor mortis branches
reaching like beggars’ beseeching arms
too flimsy for goats to roost on
supporting ravens and
a loose-slung canvas awning
stands in the square....
Friday 9th November 2018 11:52 am
A wispy grey wind
teases my beard.
I sit on a mildewed bench, inscribed,
‘In loving memory of...’
but the name’s worn off -
on the snow-dusted granite hillside
rising high over town.
Streetlights prickle my eyes.
Vehicles snail the roadway
nose to tail.
The moon carves a stately
tranquil arc – I try to catch
the song of the spheres.
Wednesday 24th October 2018 1:28 pm
Call me Abe
I am a wanderer
an invisible man
an urban wayfarer
a nomadic wraith.
In search of solitude
my feet pad stealthily
down tarmac pathways
and concrete wilderness.
My private places are
little known hideaways
lurking behind parades
and shopping complexes
where Wasteaway bin herds
stand unconcerned stoic -
Tuesday 23rd October 2018 6:39 pm
The Accidental Tourist
A long hike in high summer
Crossing half-familiar terrain.
New walking boots.
With every step my blistered feet
Stab exquisite pain.
I am parched.
My canteen is dry.
Distilled sunlight sheeting off the bleached marble
Of the age old abandoned quarry
In whose navel the farmhouse nestles
Hurts my eyes.
I should have bough...
Wednesday 17th October 2018 12:32 pm
Another Little Piece of my Heart
The night porter yawned
busied his eyes with paperwork
ignoring the girl
I smuggled from the hotel
before first light.
The porter’s seen it all before.
Her cheeks are streaked with smudged mascara
she’s wearing last night’s silver hot pants
matching boob tube
no bra no underwear.
She said, ‘Since you tore them...
Monday 8th October 2018 1:10 pm
On the radio
‘O Rest in the Lord’
I’m thinking black suit today
the Paul Smith will do nicely.
The diet’s working
I can button the trousers
without too much gut sucking
have to buy braces
the way it’s going.
Shame about the white shirt
it went in the wash
with something red
Friday 28th September 2018 10:48 am
I want to wake again
and reach with tender arm
to find you there beside me.
I want to lie in early half-light
listening to the songs of birds
and your gentle zephyr purring.
I want to stroke your dreaming face
brush your cheek with a lover’s kiss
and taste again your sleep-stale breath.
I want to hide my head in
the pillow bought to h...
Thursday 20th September 2018 10:24 am
My old friend, Brian, an artist, called,
“Dig out your bus pass, we’re off to York.”
He likes York – the train museum.
Brian’s work is painstaking,
he takes months and even years
to finish a painting.
They are worth the waiting -
his skies are amazing.
He collects lead animals,
must climb steps real slow –
Thursday 20th September 2018 10:23 am
An intangible beauty lit up our street and moved on.
Friday evening under sodium lamplight
dark enough to shadow my ferreting
of an old dumped door for firewood
and pallets from a builder’s skip.
Singing emerges from somewhere
down the street of tall terrace houses
warrened into cheek-by-jowl accommodations
for transient drunks and the dispossessed
of nationhood and family
Saturday 15th September 2018 12:30 pm
A rare dip into free verse:
A View from the Bridge
Lounging on the back seat of the Humber Flyer,
day-dreaming, watching, and hoping
for inspiration to spring me free of lethargy –
where will it come from?
Maybe a leaper off the bridge
casting their fate into crocodile water -
that would be something worth recording.
A gambler risking all and bound to...
Thursday 13th September 2018 12:54 pm
Occasioned by my Wedding Photograph pome - a memory seared into my infant mind around the days my parents parted their ways.
No afternoon nap for us,
not until the twins passed by.
I’m assuming they were twins,
they dressed like one another,
in identical attire.
Taking the air, side by side,
dignified, in bowler-hats,
with silver topped walking canes,
Thursday 30th August 2018 9:05 am
(back story - I never really knew my biological father - have only vaguest of vague memories (none good) - last evening my daughter sent me a pic of a wedding - he is in it - since my mum cut him (literally) out of all their pictures it is my first real sighting of him. I pondered the pic - slept on it and at 4 am woke and knocked this out - I may edit it over time but for the present I like its ...
Wednesday 29th August 2018 6:31 am
[with apologies for the bad language]
Lonely Guy’s eyes blazed
as he skimmed pebbles at the
carcass of the pleasure pier
where he used to stroll each evening
with Mum, Dad, and Scooter
their ancient obese pet retriever.
The crowd jollied along to Blaze Away
as ‘The Happy Wanderers’ closed their
nightly ‘Seaside Special’ pierrot show,
Thursday 23rd August 2018 1:09 pm
While sauntering the Scottish coast
beyond Plockton, past Applecross
though not as far as Ullapool,
I found myself enveloped by
a stillness. Broken by squawking
seabirds and waves beating the shore.
In the wind, snatches of shouting
from a man on a tide-washed rock.
Intrigued by the white-beard, white-haired,
arm-waving intensity as
he engaged wind and waves with...
Wednesday 15th August 2018 7:43 am
God helps three kinds of people:
fools, children, and drunkards –
we were two of the three.
We were on a jaunt,
Carolyn and I that is,
in her beat up van
with two ounces of hashish
and headed nowhere special.
Just mooching Ireland,
in and out the Republic,
crossing the border
when munchies or booze ran low,
driving slow and staying cool.
Sunday 12th August 2018 3:39 pm
We set our tent on the hill
in the shade of the fractured
A valley falls away at our feet.
The canvas door
flaps in the breeze
reminding me of childhood days
wrestling a felucca lateen.
enticed by lamp light
Shumaila wears a jasmine robe
against the night chill
her goose pimple...
Thursday 9th August 2018 6:14 pm
I’m waiting for uma mulher
It has been a long day
She’s left it late
She will come
So they say
It's Monday again - it comes frequently.
A life smart-metered by bingo sponsored
daytime telly. Dry toast. No milk. Black tea.
There’s beans in the fridge – I can eat them cold.
I need to stock up. I’d go to Aldi,
but a flat tire makes that a long wet trek
in sighing rain. So maybe ...
Wednesday 8th August 2018 8:50 am