Tag Archives: Poetry

Hornbeam #haiku

hornbeam-forest12
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hardy forest man

flirting boldly with the sun

~ schoolgirl pleats unfurl ~

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hornbeam-leaves123.jpg

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Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), is a tree native to the south of England and parts of Europe.. It is a deciduous, broad-leaf tree which can easily be mistaken for the common beech. Their leaves are similar, but those of the the hornbeam are more deeply serrated, and young ones have a rare and beautiful symmetry as they unfold.
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The Daily Post Unfurl

©Jane Paterson Basil

Message to Saturn

saturn.jpg

Waking,
wondering why or where I am on this weighted planet.

Breakfast waits
while I bring to mind the shape of yesterday
and my cause for tomorrow.

Light that once burned with promise now fades
into a child’s fairy tale pages,
whose favourite rhymes are yellowed by the worn thumbs of time.

Jaded by the world’s repeated spin
an aching stiffness plays in wintering hips,
bringing hints of grief to be shaken free, unstirred by memories
which clamour to be heard.

Saturn looms in wait
to hang new rags befitting of increasing age.
I cannot know the nature of the cloth he brings to me;
He holds his dim-lit secrets close.
I will not see till richest jewels embed red velvet robes,
or humble sackcloth meanly coats my modesty.

Yet he may choose to steal away my mind,
taking every gleaming gem and cleansing all the dirt of my design,
to leave me naked,
staring blindly through dementia’s whitened eyes.

Should this be my dusty fate,
if I can find whatever courage it may take
to face the kingly bringer of old age,
maybe I’ll be bold enough to beg one small request,
and this is what I’d hope to say:

Saturn, through the changing milky way, you have viewed my every inch of life, my ant-like triumphs, my small mistakes, my deepest suffering and my utmost joy.

You know I’ve borne three daughters and one boy, and with their children we have built a family that is more than life to me. If you insist, then whip away those cherished memories, and those from childhood days when love for mother reigned supreme.

Rob me of the lifelong passion I have carried hidden deep – the one enduring dream which freed my breath and eased my nighttime sleep. Take the trees I climbed, take my friends and my possessions, my ego and desire.

Take the earth and take the last remains of smoky fire.

Hack away the tangled rope of sanity.

But please
leave the one perfect moment that my life contained —
you know the one I mean:
That simian day beneath a beating sun;
a silly prank while in midst of friendly fun,
Russian-marching down the road, kicking high, grinning wide.
He grabbed my ankle, held on, made me hop.
Humorous indignity multiplied by unbridled hilarity
ached in my sides,
while occupants of passing cars laughed; became part of our antics
and I held a fine balance beneath a magic sky.

There in the eye of the mad storm of chortling glee,
I felt the peoples of the world reach out in quest for peace
as the earth briefly spun into line.

You remember it, Saturn, bringer of old age and senility —
who could forget the moment when eternity stood still,
and for an instant,
pain, suffering and death did not exist;
nothing remained but love,
and love was the funniest thing.

You and your sibling Planets froze in space,
awaiting that moment —
that quintessential moment —
to pass,
that you may resume
spinning.

Please,
let what little I have left
be the funniest thing.

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©Jane Paterson Basil

All Of The Pieces

Only four days after posting John T Wood’s ‘Poem for Everyone’ I’ve stumbled on another rare poetic treat. Written by Carol J. Forrester, it contains echoes of Wood’s poem – purely by chance, since Carol wasn’t aware of its existence until today – but tells a different story.

Writing and Works

I’m far too good at handing over pieces of myself

and it’s a wonder that there’s any of me left to give.

Each time, I held my heart with both hands.

Shattered it with a white knuckle grip

and offered out the fragments like bon-bons,

melting and sticky in my palm.

I should have kept them closer,

away from those who saw only wrappers

and threw them aside without thought.

Others tucked them into corners

or placed them on shelves out of sight

out of mind.

No one realised I’d become a jigsaw.

Not until you.


Daily Prompt: Delivery

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Charred remains

forest-fire-424

You delivered him in pain,
yet with his emergence, pain eased
and love took its place.

His innocent face,
his little boy’s embrace –
they were sweet life to you,
and you trusted that nothing he would do
could take that away.

Slowly he grew.
You heard rumours,
but you didn’t think they were true;
each time he looked at you,
you got lost in his eyes;
taken in by his lies.

When deceit comes easy to a child,
danger can ensue,
and though he later rues his wayward ways,
he is not wired for change.

Thrills burn bright, making sparks fly;
they alight on those he claims to love the most.
When storms rage, the fire dies
leaving a lonely hole,
dusted with the charred remains of all your hopes.

You delivered him in pain,
and through the tender, loving years,
you tried to teach a better way to be,
yet failed to keep him safe.

Blackened by the flames,
flattened by the falling rain,
still you would willingly risk any pain
if you could only make him well again,
but you have no potency to deliver him
from the grip of his sickness.

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The Daily Post #Delivery

©Jane Paterson Basil

Spinning Seasons

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Few weeks have died
since oak leaves swelled to greet a brightening sky,
a welcome treat that screened my eyes from dun-hued proof
of teeming human life across the street.
The sky’s white sun gave promise of tomorrow;
its tenuous rays reeled in our faith as it beckoned buds to bloom,
while clean rain rushed to nurture roots beneath the earth
and tease new life to sprout through damp nutritious dirt.

Summer swells and fades far sooner than in former days,
as if the the carousel of nature’s failing fast;
the fickle sun can’t wait to hide behind a wall of foggy grey,
and amber tinted hands begin to wave amidst the green bouquets
of helpless branches swaying in the cooling breeze.

The evening sunset hints at autumn gales
that whip wet hair across the face,
that wreck umbrellas, leaving busy shoppers wringing wet,
so, eyes downcast,
they watch the slippery path beneath their feet,
and many miss the bronze display of nature’s brief retreat.

Ageing folk will button coats and wrap up snug,
complaining of the cold, forgetting childhood’s biting weather.
They’ll creak past harried mothers bustling through the mild chill
boldly chiding scuffling kids who kick on rustling golden lawn
as careless litter flutters by,
and swarming birds fly home to warmer climes.

Skeletal trees will briefly mourn the passing of their glory,
then settle in for pregnant winter sleep,
and I will sit and watch wild horses race across the sky
and beg the carousel to quickly bring the Spring.

The Daily Post #Carousel

©Jane Paterson Basil

A poem.

I want to share a beautiful, poignant poem with you. It was written by John T. Wood, and I have a copy of it on the wall beside my bedroom. It’s been there for over two years, but even now, I often stop and read it. Sadly, I’ve been unable to find anything else written by this man. The first time I read it, one of the thoughts which went through my mind was “I wish I had written it”.

POEM FOR EVERYONE

I will present you
parts
of
my
self
slowly
if you are patient and tender.
I will open drawers
that mostly stay closed
and bring out places and people and things
sounds and smells,
loves and frustrations,
hopes and sadnesses,
bits and pieces of three decades of life
that have been grabbed off
in chunks
and found lying in my hands.
they have eaten
their way into my memory,
carved their way into
my heart.
altogether
– you or i will never see them –
they are me.
if you regard them lightly,
deny that they are important
or worse, judge them
i will quietly, slowly,
begin to wrap them up,
in small pieces of velvet,
like worn silver and gold jewelry,
tuck them away
in a small wooden chest of drawers

and close.

John T. Wood.

If Only

climbing tree.jpg

It is too late to live out every dream;
I must prioritise.

I can’t blame the Seasons,
since each one carried its weight.

Once, honeyed hedgerows towered above my head,
while life stretched to eternity.
Brown limbed child’s play climbed and skipped
toward exhaustion’s sleepy contemplation,
and mother’s lap was always warm for love.

I recall the rumbling storm that hailed the wane of spring,
and now I know the lessons nature tried to teach me.

I was up a tree,
and I could say the leaves concealed the text,
but it would not be true;
it was I who tried to hide from view.

Summer brought a raging blaze of opportunities,
and though I knew that I should choose a highway,
in my greed for life I tried to run a mile down every lane.

Some were dark, some were bright,
and some shone with a dappled light,
so I absorbed a quarter of each shade;
a whirling dervish fighting time as if I were three people,
always working, skipping sleep,
rising tired to keep the furnace burning,
trying to learn each skill within the world,
for fear of dying incomplete.

But Autumn came with whipping winds and ticking clock
to warn me of approaching loss.

It froze my bones and slowed my pace,
and now I amble through the days wishing I were stronger.

A foolish thought runs through my brain:
“If only I’d retained my speed I’d live a great deal longer.”

The Daily Post #Amble

©Jane Paterson Basil