The Sycamore Prince Returns

Today is a momentous day for me. Today is the first time as a member of the Write Out Loud Poetry Group Stockport, that I feel accomplished. Not through being published, not through any quality of poem produced but… to be able to pull out of my bag a poem previously written and read, re-edited and rejuvenated.  You may think this unremarkable, but allow me to explain. In the last two years of joining the group, I have been running to keep up. Each meeting a theme is set and we have a month to write a poem ready to read at the next meeting. I have always been envious of those poets who can say, “I may have read this before, it’s one a wrote a while back.” This month, with the publication of my new children’s Picture Book “The Fixer Man” (shameless plug – I’m sorry!)  I haven’t had the hours needed to write a poem for the group…but I do have “one I have read before, one I wrote a while back” and there you have it… I have now reached the point where I have my own back catalogue of poems, which I can delve into and pull out when called upon. I feel I’ve earned my stripes, done my time, passed my test, graduated into poetry. Today is a good day.

 

The Sycamore Prince Returns

 

Each year impatient for his return

marking time until the majestic moment arrives.

In a shaft of pure light, when reverent air lies still

on a soft whisper he comes.

 

The Autumnal Prince towers

above ethereal mists caught

between earth and sky.

His slender ebony limbs outstretched beneath

the canopy of his golden crown.

 

A silvery sun showers him in sparks

igniting flaming hues.

Baptised in fire a volcanic blaze erupts

burning with vibrant life,

copper passions and saffron embers smoulder.

 

But one who burns so bright cannot stay,

his reign fleeting.

Cool light fades. Cruel chill winds blow

loosening the desperate grip of his fragile hands.

I mourn each yellow fingered leaf

as it falls and returns to its roots.

His glory too quickly lost.

 

Cast into wintry shadows,

our dreams left to sleep for a season.

sycamore

A Lesson In Victory

#Napowrimo Day 7 – Victory

A Lesson In Victory

 

The Defeat:

“You’ll never make it at Art College.

Others are more talented than you.

Choose something more academic”

Dreams massacred, self-belief brutalised

 

The Wasteland:

30 years passed without paint touching canvas,

Without pastels blending, charcoal shading,

pencils sketching, or clay fired.

A hollow career followed; haunting a soulless

corporate 9-5 graveyard where the dreamless roam.

 

The Victory:

An opportunity presented was seized – carpe diem.

My paintings hang on Art Gallery walls

not Picasso, not Monet, but they hang among artists.

 

The Tragedy:

With education, training (dare I say encouragement?)

would I have trodden a path of art, culture,

of colour, imagination and expression?

 

The Gift (to others):

The truth – if you love it, do it.

Never let a sun set without trying.

 

 

**Image Jonathan Mannion On Capturing ‘Victory & Strength’ For Gucci Mane’s New LP Cover

Near Rhyme Hell Whilst Corona’d

Napowrimo Day 6 using prompts from Christina Thatcher.com

Write a poem about a project, collection or activity. Distracted by my symptoms of Corona Virus I have used artistic license in that my “activity” is making sense of my day!

 

Near Rhyme Hell Whilst Corona’d

 

A symptom of corona virus is confusion

I was outwitted by a simple lock mechanism

So please forgive me the occasional delusion

I’m personally finding, within it, amusement

I shall isolate in my castle of seclusion

So not to spread to you my infectious pollution

I hope to soon see a swift and final conclusion

Full recovery, not the end of my inclusion!

 

*Featured Image by Parvez Taj

**Opening the patio doors outwitted me; I couldn’t fathom the key turn and lever arm mechanism, which alerted me to something being wrong (other than the cough and lack of energy). I hadn’t realised this was a symptom until consulting NHS 111 online. If you find yourself in this position please bear it in mind. You dont need to have a fever to have Corona Virus.

Expect Miracles

Napowrimo Day 5 using Christina Thatcher’s prompt, based on the poem by Ellen Bass “Relax”: Include the phrase “Bad things will happen.” My thanks to Randy at

https://ethicsbeyondcompliance.com/

for suggesting Christina as an alternative source of prompts for the challenge.

Expect Miracles

 

Is your glass half full or half empty?

To paraphrase, Einstein said your life experience is based

on whether or not you view the Universe as kind.

Growing up, no-one paid much attention to Einstein

in my household, nor the Sufi poets who decreed

“This too will pass.”

My family worked all hours and missed these valuable insights.

Instead, they settled on a twisted, self-limiting prophecy

of their own making:

Expect the worst then anything good that happens is a bonus.

They aspired to nothing more than survival of dark times,

an unquestioning acceptance that bad things will happen.

Ironically, their neglect regularly left me alone with books.

The ability to read allowed me the freedom to choose another path.

Positivity is my conscious choice.

If this is the progress made by one generation,

imagine the possibilities which open up to the next.

To expect miracles? I hope they do.

 

Dream Home

Napowrimo Day 4 – Write about a dream

 

It started with a dream

of a home in the forest

with a ceiling of stars

of a life non-conformist

 

I climbed a great oak

there I laid the first planks

made a bed in the boughs

with moonbeams for a lamp

 

I drank from the waterfall

I ate berries from the bush

I forgot about the city

its pollution and the crush

 

Time evaporated into air

joy took its place

I was living without a care

I lived at my own pace

 

Wild roses were my perfume

small animals my friends

birds serenaded daily

leaving my soul fully cleansed

 

My pulse did not race

my arteries didn’t harden

I was healthy, I was happy

In my rustic home and garden

By Gum!

Day 3 of Napowrimo – use rhyming words

 

My resolve I now need to harden
Got the look from my prison warden
Was summoned to tackle the garden
The weeds she sees cannot be pardoned

Before this beautiful day closes
She kindly, thoughtfully proposes
I should prune and cut back the roses
Their fragrance will once more thrill noses
So I’ll summon my strength and amass
The inner strength to mow the long grass
Perhaps I may scrape by on a pass
Though the neighbours compete and outclass
Kneeling weary on two creaky knees
Carpe Diem! This day I will seize
Though I huff and I puff and I wheeze
I’m determined to win by degrees
Such joy now the long winter is done
Mopping my brow I turn to the sun
Need a massage and bath but By Gum!
I came, conquered, I weeded, I won!

Schooldays in Accrington

Day 2 of Napowrimo – write of a specific place

 

I remember the hypnotic sound of incessant rain

beating against the classroom window on a grey afternoon.

I remember a crate of tinkling milk bottles arriving in class,

each with it’s own paper straw.

I remember the harsh smell of little oblong bars of green soap

in the school toilets.

I remember holding my breath in case the fumes burnt my nostrils

whilst I washed my hands.

I remember rough grey green paper towels.

I remember reading a Ladybird book of Cinderella, she had

two ball gowns, one pink, one blue and at the end of the story

a fairy tale white wedding dress.

I remember wanting real fairy wings and a wand for Christmas.

I remember Julie Hesmondhalgh striding onto stage in a school pantomime

holding everyone transfixed with her booming voice and incredible energy.

I remember wanting to be Wonder Woman, spinning around endlessly

on flagstones outside our corner shop.

I remember being locked in a cemetery late at night, terrified,

with blood pounding in my ears.

I remember living two streets away from Jeanette Winterson.

I remember the hushed whispers in the bookshop as furtive ladies

bought “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.”

 

Collage

It’s Day #1 of Napowrimo, here is today’s response to the prompt;

 

My life is an ever-evolving collage

writing, painting, cutting, pasting,

shuffling, replacing, editing, re-working

adding more colour, erasing pencil marks,

researching, refining, improving, fine-tuning,

exploring, questioning, discovering, analysing.

A lifelong quest to find answers.

A lifelong quest to understand.

One lifetime is not enough

as hours slip by into days, into weeks, months,

decades….

Picture Book Perfect- Tiny Tree Titles — My Shelves are Full – reviews The Fixer Man

Thank you to My Shelves Are Full, for this wonderful review of The Fixer Man, there’s no better gift to an author than to post a review, many, many thanks x

I love Tiny Tree books, they are publishing fun, colourful and engaging books. These three are top of my list! This is a lovely book, it features a heart warming story, gorgeous illustrations and a rhythmic rhyming text. The fixer man lives alone fixing broken items with a clang, bang,fizz. When he finds a nest […]

via Picture Book Perfect- Tiny Tree Titles — My Shelves are Full

Wake Up!

It’s very rare you’ll hear anything remotely political from me, I prefer to listen, observe and cast my vote quietly, with little fuss. However, these are peculiar times. In response to Boris’ “no show” at a press conference yesterday, I felt compelled to write the following, in the hope that it resonates:

Wake Up!

 

Wake up dozing Englishmen

from armchair’d dusty slumber!

Though cricket bats have been oiled and stored,

the orchards are swollen, the flowers in final bloom,

do not rest!

Heed this call to action – trouble is afoot.

A national threat stands before drowsy eyes;

the price of tea will rise!

Wake up and speak out now

before European gates clang shut.