#poem #poetry #amwriting #beehive #bradford beehivepoets digest compilation

Don't mind me...

 I'm just putting some poems together for my trip to the Beehive tonight....



the room lay up three flights of stairs
the telephone three flights down again
and those below never climbed
   when it rang
- which suited me just fine -

for in my simple life of luxury
- of foldout bed - I sipped my tea
from the finest china tea cup I have owned -

when the door closed behind me I was alone -
free to view from chimney height
   the backs of houses opposite
and the higher clouds that drifted
above horizons out of view -

and there was no you -
to interrupt this life of what could be boiled
on a single ring -
and there was no you to interrupt
the blissful silence of reading


 sonnet of the hanged man

only he who has lived in shadow
can know the truth of the light
or the joylessness of the lightdwellers
in their constant fear of darkness

only he who has drunk his tears
and been drunk on those tears
and felt his guts in his mouth
can know happiness of freedom

for all else is plastic of design
no matter how roughened the surface

and only we who have lived
in appreciation of our limit
and gone beyond without care
know the truth of foolishness



the town hall clock strikes maunful tone
   tea washed and dried
                                  she leaves her home
this time of day she calls her own
    as she makes her way to evensong

those who live their life by reasons
    will not comprehend her love of seasons
    nor the smallness of her hoped for pleadings
        as she slips away for evensong

she goes not for god or wealth
not even really for herself
but to hear the birds in full breath
    in glorious joyous evensong


 Triangular Trade

occasionally I will shake my tambourine
crying sisters and brothers repent
repent the day of judgement
was last tuesday
and now we are all damned

but mainly I avoid angels except on utube
and live a quiet life of contented
drunken joy

sometimes I help others and sometimes
when asked directions
I deliberately send them in a circle
so they can shake their fist
through the help the aged window

but mainly I don't do that
as selfies annoy me
almost as much as other people's faces

I'm changeable you see
aren't we all
well you not so much

I draw the line at meths and weak lager
preferring the middle ground

though if I am feeling extravagant I will drink dutch gin
distilled by the desperate
each stone bottle contains a suicide note
and when corked
the factory throws them into the sea
without regard for profit
      then mermaids collect them
      taking care not to break their nails
      and deliver them to remote scottish islands on winter nights
      when half mad scotsmen put them in boxes
      and send them south to tangiers for distribution

the gin is terrible

but like the henna smoked by teenagers
it's the thrill that makes it worth it
and the license it gives

you do have to be off your head to pay for a bottle

but the blurred words of desperation
and the knowledge that creatures real and mythical
have died to bring you poor pleasure
makes it worth the need to top up on shiraz
if you want to feel anything at all


 suffer little children

it is always the slightly gritty scrape of clarkes shoes on stone
    mixed with the lingered perfume of candle wax and brasso
    and a subtle hint of incense from the high church vicar
         long departed
         to tend richer flocks in greener pastures
which strikes me upon return

at school christmas service we would squeeze into dark wooden pews
    nudging ever eastwards
    to chalk the elbow of the unlucky outsider
    on the damp whitewashed walls
and sing into our sleeves of sock laundering shepherds
    or the magi following the star by bus and taxi
                                                         and on scooter
                                                         bibbing his hooter

later I gathered from a church poster
    attempting to lure my return
    that god is in the smiles of the happy children
but in this church with the vicar and sir
    unamused by boys singing no-A no-B n-C noel
we learned not to mock the headless saints
    but to fill the holes in which their crumbly bodies stood
    with respectful song
at the price of the slipper or the cane



The Blue Book