Sorrow Weeps For Me

*

In dusty cupboards, far from prying eyes

I hide my dark and private miseries

And dress for town in bright accessories

With reddened lips, and silkly stockinged thighs

And sickly smile, in magical disguise

For there be war to fight on days like these

Dark demons to defeat, and gods to please

And light to draw down from the sullen skies

In dusty cupboards, Sorrow weeps for me

There be no place for cowards in the fray

Nor dark despair, nor moaning misery

To dull my fire and fill me with dismay

Or worse, betray me to the enemy

– I’ll catch you later, Sorrow, I’m away…

*

© Gail Foster 28th January 2017

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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

 

Too Late For Words

IMG_1608-1

*

Oh, when they were alive we never said

The things we say about them now they’re dead

Too far away now, too far gone to hear

Gone, never to return or reappear

Too late to say how much they meant to us

Just hollow words, and funerals, and fuss

And sorry tears, and memories, and pain

And wishing we could see their face again

That gaze exchanged by eyes when last we met

That lingered a split second, we forget

That precious image, vague, so hard to find

In cupboard corners of unconscious mind

*

Why didn’t we just tell them they were great

Too late today, too late now, all too late

We had that thought that day, we didn’t call

What if we never called that much at all

Or when we did, droned on and on and on

No chance to listen now they’re dead and gone

And our last words, a blessing or a curse?

A dirty joke or elevating verse?

*

And what if it was bad, so very bad

Unreasonably difficult or sad

Too late to shake hands now, forget, forgive

For they have gone and we have stayed to live

To reconcile our difference alone

With icy wind and cold unyielding stone

With questioning, with anger, fear and prayer

And all the time just wishing they were there

*

They change us most, our dearest kith and kin

Lay waste the landscapes that we dwell within

Leave shattered palaces in ruined wake

Leave with that part of us they chose to take

Make waves rise up on ponds in silent glades

Blast particles of light through sunken shades

Part oceans with their leaving, break the sky

Leave fish upon the shore line high and dry

*

And even those we never thought we knew

The ones we thought were simply passing through

However long the number of their days

Do change us, in small subtle little ways

Make dust prints on the table in the hall

Leave crumbs on plates, and scuff marks on the wall

Blow gentle breezes soft through window crack

That whisper ‘I am never coming back’

*

The more we loved the more we miss, the more

We yearn for some strange loophole in the law

Unwilling to concede the battle lost

To pay for love, and ever count the cost

We search in dream, in lonely mountain walk

For one last touch, for one last quiet talk

And briefly, in the corner of our eye

We see them come, and go, and wave goodbye

*

At every funeral we stand and swear

That next time we will say how much we care

Say that we love them, call them on the phone

To let them know that they are not alone

And every time we fail and forget

That well intentioned heartfelt course we set

I loved you, did you know that, tell me true?

Unanswered echoes coming back at you

Dark holes within the soul and endless night

Bright angels lost in distant blinding light

The empty vase, the upturned empty chair

Deep lesions of the heart and songs in air

*

by Gail

Gnawing Resentment

Some folk never let it lie…

*

He gnawed on his resentment

In public and alone

Like a dog he kept on worrying

The marrow from the bone

Till he gave himself an ulcer

Till his teeth got small and stumpy

Till other dogs said, Hang on, Fang

You’re starting to look grumpy

He wouldn’t leave the thing alone

Just wouldn’t let it lie

Time to put the bone down, Fido

Go on, try

*

by Gail

The Unbearable Brightness of Beauty

Beauty

*

Beauty, your colours

Wash the eye with paint and pain

In rainbow prisms

*

Beauty, your music

Astounds the ear to silence

In cadenced rhythm

*

Beauty, your raw touch

Stirs the flesh to birth and death

In passion driven

*

Beauty, your deep scent

Calls forth sudden memory

In flash unbidden

*

Beauty, your rich taste

Licks the tongue to wild delight

In manna given

*

Beauty, your glory

Ripples water, shatters stones

In revelation

*

by Gail

The Gift of Eros

love and bird shit by gail

Aloft flies Eros; mischief fluttered wings

With silent rustle whisper overhead

By arrows pierced; the hearts of knaves and kings

The chilly grave, the restless lover’s bed

Blue London air, red Piccadilly light

Above the shifting crowd and constant noise

In summer heat, in neon and the night

He aims his slender bow with perfect poise

Aloft flies Eros; underneath his feet

As shadows of the Circus slowly shift

I contemplate my own love, bitter, sweet

The wound that Eros wrought in me, the gift

And as I turn my tears up to the sky

A pigeon drops an arrow in my eye

by Gail

Empathieves

my first sonnet…

empathieves

Are empaths thieves, of feelings not their own?

Like magpies stealing precious shining rings,

They see the pain by strangers’ faces shown

And understand our secret hidden things

Our tears run down their faces, our delight

May swell their hearts with love or blood or pride,

Fond friends, or someone lonely in the night

Who saw us on the telly and who cried

Unwitting thieves perhaps, but nonetheless

Possessed of power to bless or else to curse,

They know our soul while others merely guess,

May mean well and may love us much; far worse

The psychopath, who sees us without feeling,

Devoid of empathy, beyond all healing

***

by Gail