The Old Lights Of Christmas


Devizes, Wiltshire; New Year’s Eve…


The cyclist sees, in the edge of her eye

Fireworks flash in the distant beyond

Ghostly swans on the dark of the pond

The old lights of Christmas go glittering by

The cyclist sees, in the edge of her eye

Houses shimmer with sparkling rain

Curtains drawn on sorrow and pain

The old lights of Christmas go glittering by

The cyclist sees, in the edge of her eye

Stars wheel over the Market Place

The shift of a shadow on Ceres’ face

The old lights of Christmas go glittering by


© Gail Foster 31st December 2016

My Arse; a Lament



I understand that getting old

Is just a stage we pass

But can anybody tell me

What happened to my arse?

It used to be quite lively

And a distance from the ground

Ashamed to say it though I am

It used to get around

It was nifty on the dance floor

And comfy on a chair

It was pert and it was bouncy

But now there’s nothing there

And what is there is saggy

And not worthy of remark

Not flattered much by moonlight

Disappointing in the dark

Inevitable, gravity

That’s what it’s all about

In some tired hotel lobby

My butt is checking out

Play a mournful serenade

Sound the final horn

‘Tis off, my sorry arse, beyond

The Tropic of Capricorn

If I’d have seen it leaving

I could have waved goodbye

Packed a flask and sandwich box

And had a little cry

Ageing, such a pantomime

A farce, a silly plot

“It’s behind you!” Not my arse it ain’t

It was, but now is not

So, don’t take your arse for granted

It’s for fun, and sitting on

Enjoy it while you’ve got one

‘Cos you’ll miss it when it’s gone


by Gail

The Solstice Door

The light is coming… and I wish you well


The Solstice Door


Behind the running, running man the land

Lies silent, fallow, haunted by the cry

Of one lone mourning rook who flies alone

Inscribing solemn circles in the sky

There is no time to take a backward look

Just running, running, running, running blind

He leaves the flowered garlands that she wove

With ribbons bright, with summer’s love, behind

He runs with only hope in empty hands

All faint of heart, with life blood running cold

The chill of winter earth beneath his feet

All water turned to ice in frozen fold

All out of breath with minutes yet to live

He runs, through elder grove and stand of yew

Runs, seeking for the ancient Solstice door

Described in tales the bards and ancients knew

 ‘Till suddenly he stumbles on a glade

All silent where no wild bird wheels or calls

And in the glade there stands a single stone

And on the ground a moon dark shadow falls

And there, within the shadow’s light he sees

That which before him other men have found

A stairway leading down in to the earth

A dark descending path in to the ground

No way but down now, this the only way

He gathers one last breath, and full of fear

Goes down the old and foot worn ancient steps

That lead towards the portal of the year

How dark the endless steps of winter’s stair

That shadow down, down to the Solstice door

To where, beneath the door a chink of light

Hints soft and bright across the cold stone floor

He sits upon the bottom step to rest

Reflect, and contemplate the year behind

And lo, she comes, bedecked in leaves and fruit

And dancing, dancing, through his weary mind

Forget me not, she sings; I am still here

I wait for you, for life to shift and stir

And through the keyhole and the chink there blows

A fragrant waft of birch and silver fir

Reviving, blessing, soft upon his face

The promise of new life upon her breath

Touched by her grace he weeps upon the step

For she has saved him with her love from death

Another year dies, another lives

He sits and waits; she watches from afar

And as he waits the light in darkness shifts

And creaks the ancient Solstice Door ajar…


by Gail

Journey to London, August 1st

Thoughts on Public Transport



Pewsey Hills

mist of Vale rising

unclothing hills of ivory

revealing glory









The Train Cuckoo

In the Reserved seats,

elsewhere by fate diverted,

invisible men;

weather, lover’s bed or grave?

What cares the cuckoo for why?

by Gail