Swallows

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for Tracey Lawrence

*

She scans the sky for swallows in the Spring

Down in the Rowdey gardens, by the shed

When I was low and January dead

She held my hand and helped my spirit sing

I saw her soul, a swallow on the wing

Still flying high when other birds had fled

Such loving kindness in the words she said

Such gentleness on earth is everything

She’s in the garden, sitting in her chair

And laughing as the swallows in the skies

Make witty patterns in the Wiltshire air

Like little arrows shot across The Vize

I think that I shall just leave Tracey there

With tears of joy and swallows in her eyes

*

© Gail Foster 2nd May 2017

Not In My Name

 

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I wonder how she feels today

The Muslim girl I spoke to on the bus

The girl who had so many things to say

About how she feels free and safe with us

I wonder if today she feels the same

Dear child of the warm Damascan breeze

Cry God and Allah we are all the same

Not in my name, not in my name, please

*

© Gail Foster 23rd March 2017

Plump Fruits; for a randy friend

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Ha ha, Girl, you know who you are…

*

I meet her sometimes when I’m walking

She’s as ripe as the fruit in the hedge

Today on the corner, she’s talking

Of the virtues of sex, and of veg

 …

She shows me her favourite carrot

Like a rabbit, she says, oh I see

I’ve read about those in me garret

They look a bit scary to me

My voice gets her all of a flutter

Oh bless her, so randy, but sweet

Like the apples she turns in to butter

And the jam that she makes for a treat

 …

We both prefer men, she’s just flirty

And her light innuendos are fun

Next to her I feel slightly less dirty

And more like a well behaved nun

 …

Oh, she fizzes like sherbet fountains

And no rose be as fresh, or as pink

And as for the plump of her raspberries, well

I’d best leave it there, I think

 *

© Gail Foster 28th October 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasoning with Icarus

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Icarus, mate, come on down from that ledge

Lest a mischievous breeze tip you over the edge

Icarus, mate, you’re a worrying sight

And your winged silhouette is obscuring the light

Begone, Doubting Thomas, stop talking to me

I am glittered and feathered and wild and free

The skies sparkle sapphire, the winds are all still

And I’ll do what I wish, and I’ll fly as I will

Icarus, dude, you’re just not talking sense

And you’re coming across as unwisely intense

Your delusions of flying are frankly absurd

Mate, don’t get me wrong, I’m just having a word

And what would you know about flying with wings

You with yer earthly material things

Go crawling back under yer sensible stone

And leave my ethereal being alone

Icarus, mate, we all know you’re odd

Just a little bit Satan, a little bit God

You can call me a stick in the mud or a liar

But Icarus, mate, you are Not the Messiah

Fool, look at my wings, and admire my glory

Generations to come will be telling my story

As I shimmer with beauty, all shining, transparent

Oh, see me and weep, I am spirit apparent

Icarus, friend, it’s like clearly your call

But isn’t it rather a long way to fall

Come down, smell the flowers in the meadows of Crete

For the grass on this side is as lovely, and sweet

You’re bugging me, friend, you’re a bee in my bonnet

Bear your own cross and hang sighing upon it

Put down your bow and desist with your arrows

And go back to flying with pigeons and sparrows

Icarus, mate, you’re as high as a kite

It so pains me to see your precarious plight

And unlike the Devil, I’m here to insist

That you turn from the edge, and like Jesus, resist

The breeze stirs my wings, all my quills are a quiver

I am flustered with light and electrical shiver

As I fill up my lungs with cold rarified breath

I am all full of grace, and not frightened of death

Icarus, mate, don’t do it, don’t do it

Come down from that height and we’ll sit and talk through it

For this lyrical mystical flight you intend

Is madness, just madness, my mythical friend

Talk to the wings, for I can’t hear you now

Hazy legions of angels are kissing my brow

No dark lamentation or dubious prayer

Will stop me from drinking the wine of the air

So I watched in dismay, as Icarus flew

For a moment he shone like the sun on the dew

I told you, he shouted, triumphant with glee

As the hint of his shadow swam light on the sea

There was pain in my heart, and a tear in my eye

For a moment I thought, perhaps he will fly

Then I watched in dismay, as he dropped like a stone

In a flurry of quills, and of wax, and of bone

Oh we all die alone, it is said by the wise

All dissolve in the sea, or are took by the skies

But black is the comedy known by the dead

For I died when Icarus fell on my head

*

© Gail Foster 2016

The Mourning After The Night Before

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*

 

“Knock, knock” “Who’s there?”  I haven’t a clue

What day is it? Who’s at my door?

“Here is some breakfast I made just for you”

Says some stranger who slept on my floor

The sight of the eggs and the bacon and tea

Turns my stomach inside upside down

Migraine’s the price that I’ve paid for the glee

Of a banging night out on the town

“‘Ere, it’s New Year, do you fancy a beer?”

“No thanks, mate, I’m feeling quite rough”

I may have blacked out after midnight I fear

But now I’m…remembering…Stuff

Slowly but surely it’s coming to mind

As glimpses emerge from the fog

Of a twist and a twerk and a bump and a grind

And my new Christmas phone down the bog

I thought I was hot but in retrospect not

In the morning light nowt could be plainer

And that I remember I like not a jot

My naked and drunk Macarena

Oh me and my mates, we do get in a state

And last year we gave it some welly

But if anyone had not enough on their plate

We’d do onesies and pizza and telly

My mates are my life, we’re a pretty tight bunch

They’re alright, mate, they’re really all right

But last night I must have been well out to lunch

For I reckon I started a fight…

It was something to do with a girl I once knew

And a joke that she did stuff for money

And a fine upper cut in the queue for the loo

Well, I thought the punch line was funny

Oh, what’s in my pockets, this isn’t my coat

As I’m clearly not Super or Dry

And what are the words that are writ on this note

‘Bell me, baby, you’re totally fly’

And I’m going commando; hilarious bants

Will be had in regards to my loss

Much mirth to be had from the sight of my pants

On the top of the Market Cross

It’s not looking good, and tucked in to my hood

Are two gherkins all wrapped in a bra

Half a kebab and a squashed Christmas pud

And a wing mirror nicked from a car

I think I’m experiencing chemical guilt

And at some point I’ll have to atone

But right now I’m going to hide under my quilt

Crying blubbery tears for my phone

*

by Gail

Harriet’s Gift

For Harriet, and for Devizes; a poem for Advent

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Today, my dear friend Harriet gave to me

A tiny glittery nativity

Like Russian dolls, the size of half a thumb

A tiny Joseph Dad and Mary Mum

And Jesus, smaller than a fingernail

Such tiny things to tell so grand a tale

And as she pressed them in my hand her eyes

So bright and hopeful, old and kind and wise

Were simply brimming with that shining light

That fuelled the star that lit that mystic night

Some weeks ago, she gifted me a stone

Found on a beach where she had walked alone

All gold and smooth from rolling ocean’s wear

For me to hold in moments of despair

And there were candles then, that she had lit

Upon the table where we sometimes sit

And then, like now, I very nearly cried

So touched by all the love she has inside

If only love and Christmas were like this

All simple joy, delight and friendly kiss

All gentleness, all light and subtle sheen

Like all the things in her that I have seen

I wish you joy, like Harriet wishes me

A Christmas full of love; all blesséd be

*

by Gail