The Widow At The Well

IMG_6957

A rhyme about love and bereavement and loneliness, inspired by the loss of my computer for nearly a whole day, and dedicated to Chris Greenwood, who kindly mended it for me

*

She finds herself without him, at the dawn

A crumpled crazy angel weeping light

The cord that bound them severed with a bite

A bloodied mewling kitten newly born

He was the sun, that stimulated morn

The moon, that soothed the melancholy night

He was her inspiration, the delight

Of glittered stars upon the heavens drawn

She finds herself without him, at the well

A widow weeping willowfalls of tears

Of grief as heavy as a drowning stone

The silence breaks; soft rings a sudden bell

And on the solemn deeps a face appears

That whispers ‘All things come and go alone’

*

© Gail Foster 2016

Advertisements

Desist; a ghazal

IMG_6553

*

Shatter glass, spit out your bay, desist

Lustful dogs who bark and bay, desist

Cold as silver shadows list on stone

Sun’s last ray and heat of day desist

Oracles insist, and dead men know

Luck and fickle lovers may desist

Words upon the wind; I told you this

Take your magic, walk away, desist

Time to reap the harvest you have sown

Silence, let your mournful lay desist

Scry no more, lest death thy mirror kiss

Havoc, all the angels say, desist

Madness, this, to love by will alone

Yield the ghost, Felicia; pray desist!

*

© Gail Foster 2016

 

The Mystery of Love; for Olly Michael Lancaster

IMG_6336-1-2

I wrote this poem for my friend Mike Hopkinson’s little grandson Olly,

who will be three at the end of August

*

I am Olly Michael Lancaster, a special little lad

I love my brother Ryan, and I love my Mum and Dad

I love my funny Grandad, and I love my Nanna Sue

And we all love each other, like all happy families do

I like a little tickle, and a cuddle, and a rub

I like the feel of water when I’m floating in the tub

I like to giggle in the car when Grandad’s house is near

And I like it when you brush my face, and when you stroke my ear

I know you by your kindness, and I know you by your smell

I know you when you’re far away, and when you’re near as well

I know you by the way your pattern weaves within my heart

And I know that we are children who can only know in part

Oh, show me all the colours of the earth and sea and sky

Show me bright and pretty lights, and all the birds that fly

Show me shining mirrors that reflect my smiling face

And I shall show a mystery, and you shall see my grace

Oh, tell me tales of happiness, and joy, and fairy lands

Tell me funny nursery rhymes, and hold my little hands

Tell me all the stories that your Mum and Granny heard

And tell me all the wisdom of the world within a word

Oh, teach me about flowers, about butterflies, and bees

Teach me how the blossoms change to fruit upon the trees

Teach me of the moon and stars that twinkle high above

And I shall teach you with my life the secret lore of love

For I am yours, and you are mine, and all of us are one

I am the light in darkness and the shadow of the sun

I come to show and tell and teach the truth the ancients knew

I am Olly Michael Lancaster, and I love you

*

© Gail Foster 2016

Mercy; a sonnet

IMG_4298-1-1

*

Is this then all there is now, only me

And all there is now left for me to do

Cry ‘mercy’ to the unforgiving sea

And bury all the love I had for you

Beneath the sorry roses in the shade

Of yew trees, in the graveyard, by the wall

Let tenderness and fondest feelings fade

Until the day there is no you at all

Within my mirror, only empty sky

And tumbleweed across the arid ground

No answer to the question of my cry

Just silence; oh my love, in you I found

A heat too sweet and gentle to forget

Have mercy on me, love, don’t leave me yet

*

© Gail Foster 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guilt and Shame in the Market Place

*

The sun bore down on the Market Cross, where Guilt and Shame were sat

Guilt was clad in a penitent’s rags, and Shame wore a dunce’s hat

The steps were strewn with sticks and stones, and faggots had been lit

And smoke rose up to the pinnacles where shadows of psychopomps sit

“It was you,” said Guilt to Shame, “‘twas you, that brought us to this place”

Shame hung her head as her cheek bled red from the whip of the flame on her face

“‘Tis maybe true,” said she to Guilt, “for I was ever this

Destined to burn in the Market Place for the sake of a stolen kiss”

Guilt fell silent, angry tongues flicking ire in the light of his eye

“‘Twas you as well, my love,” she said, “who brought us here to die”

Then she fell silent too, as snakes of flame hissed in her hair

And the stench of smoking human flesh pervaded the summer air

Above the Cross the sun bore down, and the wheels of justice turned

Guilt and Shame in the Market Place; by terrible passion burned

© Gail Foster 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smoke And Roses Blow

IMG_3429

A Villanelle

*

Beyond the veil where daylight fears to go

Behind a swathe of heavy silken mist

The heady scents of smoke and roses blow

Along the paths that secret lovers know

Are wood and blossom tangled in a tryst

Beyond the veil where daylight fears to go

Within the subtle stream’s beribboned flow

Whirl pools of love and darkness in a twist

The heady scents of smoke and roses blow

The sun sinks in to shadow smooth and slow

Through willing earth too wanton to resist

Beyond the veil where daylight fears to go

On perfumed air a drum beat, soft and low

In perfect time without a rhythm missed

The heady scents of smoke and roses blow

The wild in love the sacred orchards know

Who go to be by passion’s madness kissed

Beyond the veil where daylight fears to go

The heady scents of smoke and roses blow

*

© Gail Foster 2016

The Last Dark Magic of the Keys

IMG_1753

The time is now, you said, let it be done

I come to cause you one last piece of pain

You chose a day in summer when the rain

Fell soft upon the road like private tears

To work the last dark magic of the keys

There was a time, and not so long ago

I held your key like Smegal held the Ring

As if the holding of it meant some thing

Some plastic crucifix, some rabbit’s foot

Some lucky anchor in the wild seas

The time has come, you say, for you and me

To stand before each other one more time

In some symbolic moment quite sublime

Where I shall fall before you like the rain

Like some dead broken rose, upon my knees

There was a time, not very long ago

You had the key to me, and to my door

But all your rights to me you have forswore

And I shall fain deny you this last wish

To see my tears, and your dark purpose please

For now the time is mine, so come, and go

Come find your key beneath my Welcome mat

Beneath a grey rock under gaslight sat

Before a door forever locked to thee

For I have for mine own heart mine own key

*

© Gail Foster 2016