My first grapes!
Kept thinking about The Vine and the need to ‘abide’ if one is a branch.
I am a minor twig, but I want to be fruitful so I am not pruned and
thrown on the fire.
Robert- gassed at Ypres. Lived to 90s
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Photo- Stephen Sweeney. Titan crane
The trench gaped to receive him at last,
over seventy years since he’d escaped its maw
at Ypres. Other bombshells had been cast:
his daughter’s death at four; her hair as straw-
hued as bales bedded in Picardy barns.
She’d waited for him in the nether tier,
between the pewter Clyde; Kilpatrick tarns –
close to where he’d toiled as an engineer,
in ruts of rusty shipyards, hail or thaw.
I stroked Wilfred, Pip, Squeak in childish awe;
loved the sepia photo of Five Bobs;
marvelled that only one of them came back
to supplement the King’s shilling with jobs,
where the main goal was to avoid ‘the sack.’
It was little better than digging graves.
I used to ask him how he’d survived the gas.
He said he’d run away from its green waves.
I asked him to recount how lads would burn, en masse,
lice from their tunic seams with candle flame,
until they heard shells crack. Then and I unrolled
his trouser leg, amazed he was not lame,
with that lump of shrapnel, which was pure gold,
as a Blighty wound, taking him away
from the Front line, to Palestine.
The cranes, his guard of honour, now gone too.
when you don’t have the stomach
for endless rumination.
Chew the fat; not the cud.
What’s done is done,
so you would be better placed
to concentrate on
management of the future,
though control is limited.
To realise that
need not be fatalistic.
Take life by the horns
for your deeds – not the whole world’s.
Engraving by Bernhard Rode, c 1775
Photo by James Steakley, 2009. Wiki Commons
My friends let me down
and they vandalised the house.
I went through the roof –
deus ex machina (not).
Talk about vertiginous!
I felt suspended,
like those spies in Jericho
whom Rahab rescued.
Well, I was a stretcher case,
until Joshua –
this one – spoke to me.
I do believe that
He could make the sun stand still.
(My friends will repair the roof.)
9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 syllable poem
Here is one I wrote earlier:
Healing of Ten Lepers by Tissot.
Brooklyn Museum. Wikipedia
There were nine lepers who forgot to thank
the Lord for healing. Only one
seemed to show some gratitude
and so it is with us:
we take for granted
and feel no
A quennet- a form invented by Raymond
Queneau in 1975.
This is an Ekiphrastic poem, dealing with the
discussion of a visual work of art. It was commended
in the Ware Poetry Competition, judged by John Greening
and appears (ed) in the subsequent anthology.
It was inspired by a visit to The Sandham Memorial
Chapel at Burghclere, near Basingstoke, which Stanley
Spencer decorated with murals, depicting the
ordinariness of war, on The Home Front and in
Macedonia, where he served as a medical orderly.
The formatting is not quite right as WordPress
doesn’t allow me to centre and retain the spacing,
with the short noun phrases being centred beneath
the long line of 3 noun phrases. The 5 line interlude
with the syllable counts of 2-5 should also be centred….
Nevertheless, you’ll get the idea!
precious horses scavenging boar tortoise company
protective firebelt unravelled puttee distant Christ
Macedonian map heavenly tea wounded convoy
unravelled company Macedonian mosquito precious kitten
Given to me by our church organist…
Photo and image Candiacomesclean.wordpress.com
Went to a talk on Peploe, Fergusson, Hunter and Cadell
Was inspired by these Scottish Colourists