Green Tears for Beauty

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*

for jemma brown and the invitation theatre company
on the occasion of anthony brown’s production
of ‘war of the worlds’, at st. mary’s in devizes

*

a mellifluous light

cello ripe and butter sweet

slides through the silence

a river of silver

flute bright and sugar spun

streams through the shadows

forever the autumn’s

melancholy melodies

play on the heart strings

suddenly remembering

past loves and passion plays

men become young again

 …

envious angels

up in the rafters weep

green tears for beauty

 *

© Gail Foster 20th November 2016

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The Jester’s Tea Party

Simon Griffiths at The Round Tower, Frome; a poetic review

Images may not be reproduced without the express permission of Simon Griffiths http://www.simonjgriffiths.com

*

I went to The Jester’s Tea Party

In the tower with the winding stair

Frida Kahlo manned the door

And God and the Devil were there

The artist was stood in the shadows

Silently summoning me

To stand with him like a tiny child

At the edge of an innocent sea

He showed me the sadness of circuses

And the violent colours of night

Swept by the brush of his sorrow

Upon canvases heavy with light

He showed me the bones of roses

Strewn on a luminous land

Yama and Dali and Karma and Kali

A heart in a mannequin’s hand

He showed me a skull full of sinister dolls

The ink on a baby’s skin

The wild provocation of beauty

And the unsubtle presence of sin

He showed me unusual clichés

Arranged in original ways

Dudes in the gloom of a glorious doom

Rocking the Ancient of Days

He showed me a girl with an earring

A boy sat alone with a scream

The mischievous mosh of Breughel and Bosch

Through acrylic satirical dream

He showed me the judgement of jesters

The torments of transient lust

The whirling of dervishes whipping up wind

The imprints of pride in the dust

As he showed me his rainbow emotions

His passion, and bright neon grace

Solemn tears came tumbling down

His secret and hidden face

When I asked for the key to his magic

To his powerful mystical prayer

He turned

In silence

And pointed to

The lonely clown on the stair

 …

‘Tis time to face the darkness

The words of the flyer had said

In Simon Griffiths’ art I found

The light of his soul instead

 *

© Gail Foster 2016

 

Confetti; a Devizes wedding

Confetti; Kirstine Carr

Every year, during Carnival in Devizes, we have a Confetti Battle…

*

We dance in town, as bright confetti falls

Upon our hallowed ground, we move as one

The old and young among the market stalls

All blessed by Ceres and the setting sun

We move as one, we laugh, we catch the light

In coloured flickers deep within our eyes

A cloud of happiness, a merry flight

Of beautiful beribboned butterflies

We dance in town, bedecked like bridesmaids gay

Our hair all strewn with prettiness and joy

Our cares for one brief moment blown away

We move as one, man, woman, girl and boy

As, blessed by Ceres in her wedding gown

We all, as one, are married to our town

 *

Sonnet and photograph of Kirstine Carr

© Gail Foster 2016

 

Potatoes

*

We shall have to eat potatoes with our meagre humble pie

Sit chilly in our garrets writing verse until we die

Sacrifice our sanity, relationships, and health

Forego all thoughts of kudos, recognition, comfort, wealth

To draw the light from darkness, and to write upon the page

Words of painful beauty, words of love, and myth, and rage

To be alchemical, polemical; be vulnerable, be bold

Make magic from mundanity, and turn the dross to gold

To be poor, but to be Poets, who shall ever blessed be

For we possess potatoes and the power of poetry

© Gail Foster 2016

Beautiful Bitches (I See You, Girl); for Sarah Cox

Sarah Cox

*

I see you, girl, with your lovely face

Your painted lips, and your fiery grace

Scorching the earth with the steps you trace

Oh how we shine, how we shine

I see you girl, with your heart undressed

By pain of joy and sorrow blessed

All glory, and all sin confessed

Oh how we love, how we love

I see you girl, with the tear in your eye

Falling like sun in the rain from the sky

I see you girl, I hear your cry

Oh how we weep, how we weep

I see you girl, we are beautiful bitches

Mischievous muses, and angelic witches

And ours is the earth and all its riches

Oh how we burn, how we burn

*

© Gail Foster 2016

(photo courtesy of Sarah Cox)

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast and the Curious Cocks of Brownsea Island

*

an epic tale of innuendo

*

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Philosopher, poet, and muse

Wore Victorian skirts that swept up the dirt

And peculiar button up shoes

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Found herself suddenly slighted

Bereft and bemused, and less than amused

And suffering love unrequited

The effect on her verse was dramatic, and worse

‘Twas inspired by horns and baguettes

As hysterical rage seeped through pen to the page

Like some awful poetic Tourettes

Eyebrows were raised as her work was appraised

It was said she was caustic and crude

A potty mouthed tart with a poisonous heart

Who was totally randy and rude

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Watched her story unfold with dismay

Watched her petticoats slip as each vulgar quip

Made a whore of her more every day

So she packed up her quill, and pink ink for a thrill

Spare petticoats, perfume and papers

Her smelling salts, eye mask and lavender bags

For random attacks of the vapours

I will go to an island, Fantasia said

I will contemplate beauty, and truth

I will take me a train, travel far, and regain

The lost innocence of my youth

The romance of islands, Fantasia thought

All lost in the shine of the sea

Supernaturally kissed in a glimpse through the mist

How inspiring, how perfect, how me

The day on the train was a bit of a strain

There were some sticky moments with tunnels

And the bit where the guard blew his whistle real hard

Made her tears of mirth flow in runnels

Much to her shame, the boat was the same

Flushed her delicate cheek to a bloom

Oh, the sniggering joys of seamen and buoys

Being tossed on the wave and the spume

The island was lit by a mystical light

And the breezes blew scents warm and heady

Like a virgin, she thought, that has never been caught

Although many had been there already

She started to feel profound and unreal

No man is an island, quoth she

An island’s an island, a man is a man

And neither’s the other one, see

She undid her bonnet, inspired, and on it

Licked her quill and began to create

A verse about loneliness, islands and stuff

Solemnness, sorrow, and fate

It was peaceful and sweet, there were flowers at her feet

And the soft sound of sea through the trees

All became gentleness, sweetness and light

Purity, poetry, ease

For a moment, a moment, Fantasia there

Channelled a serious grace

Although anyone else would have just seen some bird

Looking mad with a gurn on her face

Gone was the gut churning river of smut

That had streamed from her mouth and her pen

I am making a vow, Fantasia said

No more innuendo or men

The universe heard, every well-meaning word

‘Tis the way that the universe works

And God likes a joke, like a mischievous bloke

Who plays practical jokes upon jerks

What sound is that, our Fantasia thought

Absentmindedly watching a deer

Like a low distant grumble, a curious rumble

Got louder, and odder, and near

Suddenly, far in the distance, a herd

Of curious cockerels appeared

Oh my goodness, she said, and reached for the salts

For a sniff’s always good when a-feared

They’re coming, they’re coming, the curious cocks

They’re growing, they’re growing in size

Not surprising as they were much nearer by then

Running swifter than any crow flies

The cocks are upon me, Fantasia cried

Like a rabbit in lamplight she froze

As, eager to play and all puffed in display

They peck, pecked, at her skirts and her toes

They were all shapes and sizes, blue, green and red

Some aggressive, some shy and retiring

Some had a wild beady look in their eyes

And one had no cylinders firing

It was surely a shock, the appearance of cock

In the midst of the island idyll

Ironic in fact in the light of the pact

Fantasia had made with her quill

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Suddenly knew what to do

For all that was needed to scare off the cocks

Was the swish of her skirts and a “Boo!”

Growing smaller, and smaller, the curious cocks

Disappeared as fast as they came

‘Twas all quite astounding, Fantasia thought

And the universe reckoned the same

*

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Philosopher, poet, and muse

Inspired by the tale of the curious cocks

Penned a verse to surprise and amuse

The wink of the sailor boy on the way back

Made her flush with a blush that was red

There was something about him that floated her boat

“Just call me Fanny” she said

*

by Gail