Daffs on Parade.

How do they know?
How do they know that the time is theirs?
Are they the first to feel the warmth rising,
the sap sprinting upwards,
tightness unfurling?
A longing to move?

Soldiers of the Spring,
uniformed, precise.
A regiment of happiness
reporting for duty,
jostling for position,
straight backed and trim.

Yearly manoeuvres almost complete
they wait to receive their dress uniforms
from the touch of the sun.
“Stand at ease!”
“Present blooms!”
“Show time!”


Looking for Christmas.

A time of stillness and memories-
a gathering against the dark.
A time of roistering and foolishness-
dressing up and pigging out.
Silly jumpers, bright red trucks,
naughty elves and melted snow.
Flickering candles, holly wreaths,
home made treats and fire glow.

Memories are laid down,
milestones alongside the path of life
as the young rush forward.
Still believing. Still alight.
Christmas is always real to a child.
Thoughts of how things used to be
hide behind watching faces.
Still hoping. Still wishing.
They remember how things were-
before the season slipped away.

The world doesn’t stop,
but in the silence
you can feel it turning.
A pinprick in the darkness
revealing a star.

Lives of Quiet Desperation.

Quiet desperation
does not rant and rail.
It does not shake its fist
at the injustices of the world-
although they are many.
It does not suffer.
It does not begrudge.
What it knows is how to endure.
It digs in its heels and stays put.
It waits and watches,
clings on and hopes.
It lasts out.

Quiet desperation
is the one secret
which everybody knows
and nobody admits.
Not even to themselves.
A secret which thrives
in sealed dark places-
the dark places within ourselves
where we dare not go.
It squats, wide eyed, lingering,
curtains drawn,
still and silent.

There may yet be time
for it to sing its song
before the lights go out.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.
Henry Thoreaux.

More things, Horatio……….

Beneath the rings of Saturn the rain falls.
It begins as a sifting greyness,
born out of lightning.
A drift of carbon.
Soft, falling dirt
which hardens as it falls.
As it reaches towards the surface
of a hostile home
it blossoms into a cascade of
sparkling diamonds,
a short, sharp shimmer of wealth,
then melts into the arms of a liquid sea.
One thousand tons of them.
Every single year.

Of course nobody has seen this
and nobody ever will.
We have to believe…………
but it is good to imagine
that it might be so.

Farewell to the Futurist.

When they send in the Wrecking ball
let them think of this.
Hidden in the rubble
are the ashes of those who queued together,
sang together,
laughed together.
Two thousand people,
united by the simple joy of being there.
People who didn’t get out much
and now here they were,
glowing red from the heat of the sun,
filled with fish and chips and warm beer,
ready to see their heroes walk out
from the fuzzy grey of a television screen,
bursting into life, colour and movement
before their very eyes.

Twice nightly.
All summer long.

When they fill up the skips
let them remember this.
A pool of light,
a space once filled with joy.
Bob Monkhouse times a perfect punchline.
Ken Dodd spreads his own brand
of delicious, delirious anarchy,
and Tommy Cooper walks out, live size,
to face a tidal wave of pure love.
Mythical figures from a far off world
set amongst glittering curtains,
magicians, dancing girls and acrobats.
A safe haven where life is in focus,
brighter, kinder, sharper.
A chance to reach out
and touch our dreams.

Twice nightly.
All summer long.

How Quickly We Become the Past.

How quickly we become the past.
So many things we thought would last
hang, half forgotten, in the air-
so vivid and yet barely there.

The scent of tall geraniums
on a fly blown window sill.
The engraved surface
of a warm sixpence
clutched tightly in my hand.
The sound of voices,
singing their way home.
The colours dancing
in an open fire.
A blue dress with daisies.

Sitting in an old black Vauxhall
outside a beer sodden pub.
Singing wide eyed hymns
about fights and battles
from a tattered roll.
Stretching out my splayed fingers
to pop a shimmering bubble.
Watching scattered raindrops
as they race down a window.
I’d love a Babycham.

How quickly we become the past.
So many things we thought would last
hang, half forgotten, in the air-
so vivid and yet barely there.

Moments when we realise
that the world has turned
without us noticing.
Fragments of a time
which has been discarded
littering our days.

We blink at the unfamiliar,
tripped up by the sight of an eyebrow,
the emptiness inside a closed shop,
a space where a tree once was.
We have become strangers
in a world that has been changed by stealth.
Little by little the dust has settled over us.
We have been stripped bare,
set aside, but still here.

How quickly we become the past.
So many things we thought would last
hang, half forgotten, in the air-
so vivid and yet barely there.

Sea Fret 3.

We walk in shadows,
flitting in and out of the light,
half seen by a pale white sun,
half known, misunderstood.
Faint wanderers.
Going nowhere.

We have stumbled
into a a chilled grey world,
a place of clinging secrets,
where unseen waves turn.
We walk among distant possibilities,
a mystery, even to ourselves.

I look up into the soft sky,
and examine the shades of grey
as they sharpen and fade,
begging for a burst of blue,
a blaze of light,
and life restored.

So close.
So far away.