Sad Solstice Sonnet

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*

This time last year, at Solstice, love, you came

To lie with me, as ancient lore decrees

We drew the sun to earth, and kindled flame

Between us blessed the flowers and the trees

And I wore poppies in my hair, and you

A crown of acorns proud upon your head

How swiftly round the ring the magic flew

When you and I made Avebury our bed

But that was then, and this is now, today

I come without my power and alone

No sign remains of you, or where we lay

No shadow on the grass or on the stone

Another summer, and another ring

I am no longer Goddess to your King

*

© Gail Foster 16th June 2017

The Widow At The Well

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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

Mercy; a sonnet

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*

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blistered

 

Grey days of loss and loneliness are here

Sad nights as long as shadows in the deep

No joy, no hope, no gentleness, no sleep

No ray of light predicted to appear

Just disappointment, emptiness and fear

And sacred dreams discarded in a heap

By some abyss of faith too wide to leap

In ruins lies the love we held so dear

 

Wise folk will say there will be love again

That suns come up, and suns go down, and yet

All I perceive is darkness, drear and grim

All I can feel is searing hurt and pain

My heart, my fingers, too burnt to forget

All blistered, from the flame I hold for him

 

by Gail

Dear Old Johnny Walter

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*

Here comes Johnny Walter, the old geezer on the bike

When he waves and says “Hello there” there’s not much not to like

He is kind and he is funny, and he’s full of Wiltshire wit

He remembers everybody’s name and gets about a bit

For a man of nearly eighty his humour is quite dry

Never underestimate the twinkle in his eye

A Moonraker, a character, an ancient Briton, he

Who reckons that his ancestors lived in Avebury

A child of New Park Street, who heard and smelled and saw

The weary trains of soldiers marching homewards from the war

Who, when he was a teenager, learned how to spin a spool

And hung out at The Palace, and was far too cool for school

Imagine all the movies that he showed throughout the years

How he moved an auditorium to laughter, shock and tears

Fifty years of pictures, all those newsreels and Bond

Folk walking home from Psycho, getting spooked out by the pond

Folk snogging in the back row, swapping hormones, spit and smoke

The porn, the pot, the popcorn, and the icecream, and the coke

Johnny hung out with the Mods, and took a scooter trip to France

And liked to watch the ladies, with a beer, at a dance

Until he married Margaret; ‘twas as his father said

“If you take her to the bedroom, you will end up in the bed”

Johnny didn’t mind at all when she with child fell

First came little baby Michael, and then Carolyn as well

And the cottage, out in Cheverell, where flowed a little stream

Happy years of family, a rural rosy dream

Until the day that Margaret was taken far too soon

Leaving Johnny on his own, to marvel at the chilly moon

He kept calm, and carried on, ‘cos he’s a solid sort of guy

Kids to bring up, work to do and not much time to cry

But to this day he misses her, puts flowers on her grave

One could call him stoical, or practical, or brave

Yet in his quiet moments, sometimes, silent tears fall

Better to have loved, he thinks, than not have loved at all

Kept calm and carried on, and bore his lot with love and grace

Always greeting friends with a bright smile on his face

He stirred the jam at Easterton, rang all the village bells

He filled the air with music and with sweetened fruity smells

He’s still batty in a belfry, still a jammy sort of cove

You’ll see him with his faithful dog, with whom he likes to rove

You might think he’s a boy racer, in his go fast stripy car

He knows who’s who, and who does what, and where wild flowers are

He has grandchildren, great grandchildren, a garden, and some fish

He has the sort of life for which most decent folk would wish

He is full of Wiltshire wisdom, in a quiet sort of way

You’ll see him thinking carefully about what he should say

When he meets you in the street, and doffs his syrup and his hat

And asks after your family, your garden, and your cat

He has some little sayings, gleaned from years of Wiltshire lore

But doesn’t always understand what certain words are for

He can sometimes drop a clanger, with no malice or intent

And once he even asked me what ‘bisexual’ meant

“We’re all different” he says, “it just don’t do to be the same

Tubs should rest on their own bottoms, for the best chance at the game”

He is a loyal friend to many, and a much belovéd Dad

Just the kindest lovely man that Wiltshire ever had

 ‘Tis true that good things come in some unusual disguises

Like dear old Johnny Walter, gentle spirit of Devizes

 *

by Gail

Bride’s Mound; for Kathy Hope

Bride's Mount

*

Up on Bride’s Mound, where the sky meets the ground

Circle wheels within wheels, on a blue winter day

Child of the trees, of the stars and the breeze

How much we love her and want her to stay

Waft of incense on air, words of ritual prayer

Gentleness, blessing, children at play

They who confessed her, who laid out and dressed her

Scattering acorns, wormwood, and bay

No dark corner spared in the memories shared

Of the pain that she had before finding her way

Rivers of sound, through the harp, through the ground

Diluting the darkness, dissolving dismay

Herein is forgiving; the dead and the living

Made fresh by the scent of a rosemary spray

Such redemption and peace, in her final release

Leave us free to remember and love as we may

We are all of us here; she has nothing to fear

Her spirit has gone from the bier where she lay

As together we stand, on this green hallowed land

Holding dear Kathy Hope as we love her away

*

by Gail