You can't think straight. The reins
were always slack. They slipped
from your hands again. You can't
remember when; could've been
in your sleep or while you
escaped into butterfly flight,
clicking: once, twice, watching
colourful wings flit...
could save you...
anyway you let go or maybe
those reins were stolen and
now there is no escape from
the claw that clamps your flesh,
back into the cold
of an echoing cave.
Morning brings a fragile visitation:
the hint of a poem whose silken threads
ebb and flow,
playing hide-and-seek with my mind,
gradually reproducing into compatible flecks
which swim like dust motes
on a sunny day.
Words and phrases
float through an open window: tender gifts
bestowed by an unknown source;
obscure miracles which mingle with the mix,
transforming raw verse till it fits,
displays a hint of beauty,
and on occasion, blooms
with exhumed truth.
This brave beauty
has been buffeted
by autumn's steely breath,
robbed of its faded cape.
Not one thread clung
to shield it
from winter chill.
Twigs snap, strained limbs
creak and break,
yet victory is gained; the tree
tall and erect.
by harsh wind,
and decay into mulch
to feed next season's
With apologies to the oft-disputed author of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas
It's a dim little Christmas we're having this year,
stranded from family and friends we hold dear.
Factions are splattered all over the place,
there is fear and denial, ragr and bad grace.
World leaders sit haggard on prickly fence
while scientists struggle to make them see sense.
Conspiracy geeks prittle predictable prattle
and the papers continue to treat us like cattle.
Mother is shielding and father is fraught
by the dreadful cost of the gifts that he bought.
Business is failing, his debts are a-growing,
since Covid put paid to the seeds he was sowing.
His children are sleeping in confident bliss
faithfully dreaming of generous gifts.
Santa has packed up his sleigh with great care,
he's padlocked his storehouse and fed his reindeer.
He's flying up high on his usual rounds;
although visits are tricky, he won't let us down.
Since rulings preclude him from entering chimneys
he drops down the presents and flies away nimbly,
with a groan in his throat and a tear in his eye;
he'd be glad of a drink or a lovely mince pie,
to fill his fat belly and give his heart ease -
but he cannot risk catching a nasty disease.
As he smoothly directs his crew through the air,
he's pleased to be giving but filled with despair.
He reflects that it's been a difficult year:
There's lots of goodwill, but damn little cheer.
Over the past few months, I’ve found it difficult to write. I put this down to the fact that my soul is less tortured. So, last Friday I began a poetry course which was offered by our County Council as part of a mindfulness programme, to help people through the difficulties of Covid, so it wasn’t really designed for poets. However, I thought it would be useful as a kind of refresher. The above poem is the fruit of my first session’s labours. I hope you like it x