‘Smoke and Roses’ and ‘Takin’ the Pith’

This week I published two books, which are available on Amazon and through Devizes Books

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The first, ‘Smoke and Roses’  is saucy, serious, and sweet, and the second, ‘Takin’ the Pith’, does exactly what it says on the tin.

I guess that ‘Smoke and Roses’ is my mythology.

Both contain poems and prose in different forms, and the language is edgy in both.

There will be some content that you have not read.

I hope you like them.

Thank you so much for your interest.

Gail

What’s it about for you, then?

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What’s it about for them, then

Loneliness, poverty, pain

Bang of the bailiff at the door

Death in a ditch in the rain

What is it like for the Joneses

Bigger and better you think

Posh port and pigs in blankets

Sick in the kitchen sink

What’s it about for him, then

A clock, and an empty chair

Picture of her on the mantelpiece

Candle smoke curls in the air

What is it like for her, do you think

Hairdo and heels and hurrah

Hampers and champers from Harrods

Packed in to Daddy’s car

What’s it about for the Christians

Return of the sacred child

Under a star in a stable bare

Jesus, meek and mild

What is it like for the Druids, then

Stood in the circle at dawn

Frost on the moss on frozen stone

Lit by the sun reborn

What’s it about for the children

Mysterious, glittery, bright

Hope of a mythic benevolence

Come as a thief in the night

 …

What is it like for us, then

Rushing and spending and stressing

Cursing the souls in the queue at the till

Kissing a friend with a blessing

 …

What will it be like for you, then

What will you will it to be

Riotous ostentation, or

Peace and sweet charity

 …

What it’s about for me is this

One white and holy dove

The silence after the shops have shut

And love

 *

© Gail Foster 3rd December 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Muse Looks Like Morrissey

For Steve Doolan

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The mysteries of muses lie within the hands of fate

Your muse may be your lover, or your muse may be your mate

The stranger on the corner, or the friend you used to know

The somebody you’ve never met who makes your juices flow

The one who sang the joyful song that set your heart alight

The one who wrote the rhyme that left you crying in the night

The ways of love and poetry defy all sense and reason

But every rhyme will have its day, and every love its season

The comedies of muses tickle mischief from the pen

Therefore the fates have given me a wonder amongst men

A muse who looks like Morrissey.  It’s true, I kid you not

I only chucked a line or two and this is what I got

Apparently it’s good for when one’s pulling on the lash

Or busking on the corner when one’s rather short of cash

I’m confused, and yet besotted, I am this, and I am that

Anyone but Morrissey.  I just can’t stand the twat

The irony’s amusing, though, I’m moved to write a rhyme

The difference between the two is really quite sublime

One will make you slit your wrists or have a little cry

The other stir your ass upon the dance floor till you die

One drones on and on and makes a proper old palava

The other shows, not tells, a bit more like your Raymond Carver

One is needy, wan, and wafty, like a pampas in the yard

The other, slightly weedy, yes, but dare I say it…hard

Oh, the mysteries of muses are a monster to define

I’ve ended up with one that looks like Morrissey as mine

For a moment, or a season, none may know or yet can say

But I shall take his inspiration, for a year or a day

And his rampant positivity and witty observations

On the ins and outs of Haworth, Keighley, and the other nations

For the bugger has me heart aflame and all me neurons fired

Sigh.  He looks like Morrissey.

He’s hired.

 *

© Gail Foster November 12th 2016

If the reader is unfamiliar with the work of Morrissey

or is simply up for a good laugh

just check out the music video ‘November Spawned A Monster’…

The Souls of Spring’s Children

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softly, whispering

featherfalls on silent stone

winter, gravity

lost in the fog, birds

grieving morning voicelessly

remembering love

dead diamonds, ditches

glittering cold promises

fossil furrow froze

darkness, deepening

the womb and the grave hiding

secrets and shadows

in the ground, waiting

the souls of springs children sing

muffled lullabies

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© Gail Foster 2016

Crying for Light

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Be still, can you hear the drum, the drum

Hear it beat like a heart in the heavy night

Hold on to your soul, for the dead are come

To look to the living for light

Ashes and sulphur, blood on stone

Lavender, lilies, and roses blown

 …

Out of the mist, they come, they come

Through the slip of a stitch in the hazy veil

With their feet all bare, and their faces pale

The dead come, crying for light

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Lavender, lilies, and roses blown

Ashes and sulphur, blood on stone

 …

Out of the past they come, they come

From the shadowy halls of history

From the battlefield, and the hungry sea

The dead come, crying for light

 …

Ashes and sulphur, blood on stone

Lavender, lilies, and roses blown

 …

Out of the earth they come, they come

From the cold of the grave at midnight’s bell

From the harrowing heat of the fires of hell

The dead come, crying for light

 …

Lavender, lilies, and roses blown

Ashes and sulphur, blood on stone

 …

Out of the dark they come, they come

With their winding sheets and their cobweb hair

With their violent curses and innocent prayer

The dead come, crying for light

 …

Ashes and sulphur, blood on stone

Lavender, lilies, and roses blown

 …

Out of their minds they come, they come

Who are lost in the maze of space and time

Who are seeking the grace of a love sublime

The dead come, crying for light

 …

Lavender, lilies, and roses blown

Ashes and sulphur, blood on stone

 …

Be not a-feared when they come, they come

Be as still as you can, and touch them not

Show them the way to the light forgot

Love them, and let them be

 …

Be gone

In to the light they go, they go

To the glow at the end of the tunnel’s gloom

To the source of the scent of the rose’s bloom

In to the light they go

 *

© Gail Foster 30th October 2016

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The Fall of Camelot

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Down where the bins were overflowing

On concrete where the cracks were showing

As weary winds came slowly blowing

A manky crow began a-crowing

Songs of Camelot

Through window dim the lady saw it

Heard it, and could not ignore it

Acknowledged, there was nothing for it

She had lost the plot

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She blamed the mirror, false perceptions

Embarrassingly dire reflections

Figments of her own deceptions

Misread signals, misconceptions

And bloody Lancelot

And other knights, they’d all been arseholes

Shites wrapped up in pretty parcels

Crawling back to rule their castles

When the day grew hot

And Good Sir That, and Good Sir This

She’d let them all just take the piss

So grateful was she for a kiss

Or any scrap of earthly bliss

That scraps was all she got

The last one, oh, he’d been a giver

Until the day when, all-a-quiver

He caught a catfish in the river

And her love forgot

Enough, she said, enough projections

All of you, take your rejections

Yer fish and shit, and your erections

Faithless hearts, and imperfections

For I like you not

With that she fastened up the latches

Made a bonfire, found some matches

And, as was mentioned in dispatches

Blew up Camelot

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© Gail Foster 11th October 2016

Glad Eye

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for Steve Doolan

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A man saw a maid, dancing high on a hill

She was wild as the waves of the sea

I’m thinking, he thought, that she’s looking my way

And she sure has a glad eye for me

I may do, I might do, but how would ye know

Whether my glad eye’s for you, boy, or no?

No, sir, she said, ‘tis a trick of the light

You’re deceived, for I’m looking elsewhere

And ‘tis only by chance that my mischievous glance

Has been caught by your curious stare

 …

I may do, I might do, but how would ye know

Whether my glad eye’s for you, boy, or no?

 …

How she danced, how she danced, on the top of the hill

How she swirled like a cloud in the blue

Appearing to flirt with a flick of her skirt

And the bat of an eyelash or two

I may do, I might do, but how would ye know

Whether my glad eye’s for you, boy, or no?

 …

She was here, she was gone, she was there, she was gone

As the moon on the wings of the fay

For a moment, the light, then the fall of the night

Then the smile, then the looking away

I may do, I might do, but how would ye know

Whether my glad eye’s for you, boy, or no?

Now your man was a no nonsense sensible cove

And time waits for no man, nor he

It was tea-time, and late, so he asked the girl straight

What’s with the glad eye for me?

 …

I may do, I might do, but how would ye know

Whether my glad eye’s for you, boy, or no?


She stopped for a moment, up high on the hill

And she blushed to the prettiest pink

Why, no sir, she lied, there’s just stuff in my eye

And your man is mistaken in drink

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I may do, I might do, but how would ye know

Whether my glad eye’s for you, boy, or no?


He thought for a minute, there wasn’t much in it

And tea had a finer appeal

So he bid her good day, in a chivalrous way

Doffed his hat, and then turned on his heel

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I may do, I might do, but how would ye know

Whether my glad eye’s for you, boy, or no?


Come back!  she said, ‘Twas all bullshit!  she said

Though my fancy is fickle, ‘tis true

You may take me, or leave me, but better believe me

I so have a glad eye for you

I may do, I might do, but how would ye know

Whether my glad eye’s for you, boy, or no?

 …

He thought to himself, she’s a right silly lass

But she sure has a glad eye for me

So he beckoned her down from the top of the hill

And took her back home for some tea

 …

I may do, I might do, but how would ye know

Whether my glad eye’s for you, boy, or no

For truly it’s really quite tricky to tell

Whether your man has a glad eye as well

 *

© Gail Foster 5th October 2016

Confetti; a Devizes wedding

Confetti; Kirstine Carr

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

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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

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Sonnet and photograph of Kirstine Carr

© Gail Foster 2016

 

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

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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’

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© Gail Foster 2016