Poetry Blog by Stephen Gospage
Glad to belong to the mainstream;
Delighted that my boats are burned.
I’ve joined the crowd life passes by,
The columns of the unconcerned.
My friends will never admit it,
But we are all set up just fine.
The ink, still drying on the page,
Initials with gusto each line.
There is now no way back for us;
The contract is sealed, like our fate.
And what is ...
Saturday 10th April 2021 5:41 pm
The cynics are the enemies of love;
Though cheats and low deceivers have their faults,
A part of them is driven by their heart.
The cynics know the fickle candle’s flame,
The ravages of time, the wilderness,
The unaccomplished ventures of our dreams.
But isn’t it delightful when they’re wrong
And one condemned liaison turns out long?
Wednesday 7th April 2021 6:03 pm
As soon as they cast eyes upon
Our muddy shoes and soaking socks,
The other kids and parents knew
That we were from the unmade roads.
Of the school’s catchment area,
The fraction we made up was small.
Reputed brutish, we compared
Badly to the pounded pavements.
In truth, I think that they envied
Our potholes and rough traditions:
Card schools, brisk tra...
Friday 2nd April 2021 6:19 pm
The horny-handed sons of toil
Roll up their sleeves and till the soil.
They function as a perfect foil
For lovers, hidden in the trees,
Who cool with pleasure in the breeze,
In huddles which nobody sees.
They wander later back to home,
Each one tired from their labours;
Here they will subsist as neighbours,
Friends, dispensing valued favours,
Monday 29th March 2021 5:53 pm
The blossom sparkles on the trees,
And now spring time is here.
This should be a new beginning,
But it is not, I fear.
For infections rocket upwards,
The situation’s tense.
It’s as though someone is having
A laugh at our expense.
Monday 22nd March 2021 4:23 pm
I walked upon the water.
I really walked
Upon the water.
You who do not believe me,
Come back tomorrow and
I will tell you
That last night
I did it again.
Thursday 18th March 2021 5:30 pm
Our centre forward, just before the game,
Downed quantities which put us all to shame.
The dressing room was strewn with girlie mags
And at half-time we puffed on full-strength fags.
A few jars at the club then down the town,
Towards steak joints and strip clubs of renown.
Back then you could stagger to your motor
And fiddle overtime on the rota.
Those were t...
Tuesday 16th March 2021 4:42 pm
Let’s give three cheers for public schools;
They fill the country full of fools,
Whose birthright is to make the rules.
In places not displayed on maps,
The locals queue to doff their caps
And show support for these fine chaps.
The playing fields, the blazered crowd,
The exhortations shouted loud,
The offside goal not disallowed,
Space reserved for each re...
Saturday 13th March 2021 5:36 pm
It’s such a waste when people who
Spend half their lives engrossed in chat
Perceive that they are having fun,
With pallid mates, all underdone,
Or hangers-on. They chew the fat
Until there’s no fat left to chew.
The world spins round
And time goes by
And then they die;
Once they are safely in the ground
We wonder what they could have done –
What they woul...
Tuesday 9th March 2021 5:14 pm
(As we approach the anniversary of the first lockdown, the theme of this poem from March 2020 may still be familiar)
At six o’clock, the hour strikes;
The fragrance of the flowers still remains.
The man about town stays home for dinner
And churches are closed to every sinner.
This March twenty-twenty,
In the land of plenty.
At eight o’clock, the hour strikes;
Monday 8th March 2021 5:43 pm
If you pay me,
I’ll say daylight is black,
I’ll say the sun is blue,
The moon’s held up with glue.
If you pay me.
If you pay me,
I’ll say the square is round,
Your friend fell through a crack,
The world is safe and sound.
If you pay me.
If you pay me,
I’ll give you the nod,
Get you in the squad,
Make room up on the stack.
If you pay me.
Sunday 7th March 2021 5:02 pm
Awake at dawn, with almond eyes,
The queen is seated on her throne;
Confronted, under leaden skies
With prospects of a life alone.
The taste of young and tender shoots
Was too soon soured by the storm,
And crushed by soles of marching boots
Which flaunt their predatory form.
In some far field his buried feet,
Anonymous, lie, like the rest.
The one who m...
Sunday 28th February 2021 6:14 pm
In sunny times outdoors,
They will drag down the tone;
But when the weather’s foul,
They come into their own.
They keep at bay the mud
And swallow up the rain;
They fight the bitter wind
And, best, they don’t complain.
(From "The Shape of the Trees"). For all gluttons for punishment, this book is available free on kindle (Amazon) from Friday 26 -Sunday 28 Feb...
Thursday 25th February 2021 4:59 pm
So, it has come to this, I hear:
The total sum of human existence,
The very germ that led to our creation.
Don’t give me that, I’m a busy man;
I can’t be bothered with such things.
What I have to do is resolve
This argument over who can fill, or empty,
The dust bag in the fastest time.
Let battle commence:
The referee checks his watch,
The seconds are r...
Saturday 20th February 2021 5:50 pm
Listen to the spring: arriving
Discreetly, like a masterpiece
Of understatement, noticed when
The chilly air melts in our hands.
Then longer days of time relax
And pass their message to the world.
This is no moment to forget
But, by nature of reminder,
A step upon the path we tread
Towards our better selves and lives.
Friday 19th February 2021 5:45 pm
That’s not me standing there;
It’s not my face I see.
The music is so beautiful
And I yearn to be so free.
I want to float up on those notes,
So sweet and gently lilting;
I want to sail in heaven’s boats
And feel the blue sky tilting.
Never more will I feel this way;
A unique moment has now passed.
He has nourished my perfect day;
Banality now seems ...
Tuesday 16th February 2021 5:33 pm
During their sixty years, it was him:
Always the one thinking big, dreaming
Of contour maps of the shires,
The rapid spread of forest fires,
Views of the moon, magnified,
Deserts, stretching far and wide.
How the diamonds glinted
And his projects hinted
At non-stop, love-soaked fun,
At daring days blessed with sun.
While she focused on the miniature:
Wednesday 10th February 2021 4:54 pm
In the woods, unkind glances cascade down;
Corpses howl as they dangle from the trees.
Bored beasts run wild and roar at every pass;
Trespassers beg for life upon their knees.
The night-time tunes of childish thirst for blood
Make matters worse by willingness to please.
The rain drips through and drenches body parts,
As errant spouses plead outside and freeze.
Friday 5th February 2021 5:28 pm
I was born in Essex,
But I never really lived there.
In truth, nobody does.
The county, like its cricket grounds,
Gets up each day and does the rounds.
On one hand, there’s Basildon:
‘A Taxi Town’.
On the other, Kelvedon Hatch,
Where next door’s son or daughter
Is ‘something of a catch’.
Misplaced commuters, left to roam,
Walk streets near Hornchurch...
Wednesday 3rd February 2021 9:50 pm
Those socks that Dad gets at Christmas,
Sellotaped in packets of three.
The monosyllabic young man
That your daughter brings home for tea.
The fair to middling result
Of your son’s prestigious degree.
The mediocre performance
Friends and family had come to see.
The soufflé which for once falls flat,
Reminding one of molten brie.
The putt ...
Tuesday 26th January 2021 5:02 pm
Behind the door, true love awaits,
But not like any love we know.
It is a feeling stronger than
A star-crossed tango, taken slow.
The peak of amorous delights
Lies beating in air mountain-thin.
The wordless, unrepentant act
Sinks deep beneath our shedding skin.
This is a force beyond control
Of any stable, settled mind.
Obsession is a gentle term
Thursday 21st January 2021 5:19 pm
It began when a man discovered a hole in his trousers.
A bullet, a burn, an assault? The police were baffled;
They had no answers, only theories.
A suspect was arrested, then released.
Discontent rumbled in the town.
The victim made a tearful public appeal.
Vigilante groups were mobilised.
Journalists probed, going door to door;
An on-line team led a large-scale e...
Tuesday 19th January 2021 6:26 pm
My perfect day
Begins imperfect, flawed,
Even downright miserable,
But becomes a little less so
With the passing of the hours,
Until the sentinels of sleep,
Calling from above their towers,
Say : 'This, in its unlikely way,
Has turned into your perfect day.'
Wednesday 13th January 2021 6:15 pm
We dash around and do
The things we should not do,
And then enjoy our fun
To countervail the pain
Of races we have run
And will run once again.
Friday 8th January 2021 5:29 pm
Somewhere out there exists a voice,
Distinctive and unique as yours,
Which shuns the norms of rise and fall
And spits out harsh staccato roars.
Though issued from another place,
It soon seeps through inside your skin,
And, once you bolt too late the doors,
Invades your conscience from within.
At first you notice minor traits:
You say things that you do not...
Monday 4th January 2021 5:38 pm
One dark Sunday afternoon in the gallery,
We watched the people stream out of the theatre.
I remember the men, identical,
All dressed in sharp, grey suits;
And one sparkling woman of a thousand kisses,
Trying, with inadequate translation,
To explain each one.
Sunday 3rd January 2021 5:35 pm