Easter Sunday; Devizes

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for John (Ted) Dexter

*

no cars on the road

all of the town sofa bound

food lulled and sleeping

walking home, a man

evensong’s slow gentle peace

on him like monks’ robes

old man and poet

meet in quiet communion

by the graveyard gate

souls of the same shade

in unspoken fellowship

watching the birds fly

on the bridge, silence

white blossom, silver water

Easter Sunday light

*

© Gail Foster 17th April 2017

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Colin’s Garden

For Colin Hopgood, a good man of Devizes, who has been milkman and Mayor, and tends the allotment by Quakers Walk that gives so much pleasure to so many…

*

‘Tis Spring on the allotments, in the air

The scent of hyacinths, the sense of bees

The sunlight on the cabbages and trees

And sitting in the greenhouse, on his chair

Remembering past summers, and the Fair

The Kenyan heat, the icy Kennet freeze

The smallest seedlings grown into sweet peas

Is Colin, father, lover, milkman, mayor

He’ll tell you, if you ask him, where the boat

That sits amongst the marigolds once sat

He’ll show you his banana tree, and bowers

And time and swans will fly, and barges float

Until he calls his dogs, and doffs his hat

And sends you home with vegetables, and flowers

*

© Gail Foster 23rd March 2017

Come Rise

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Written for the Gorsedd of the Bards; Avebury, England, Spring 2017

*

Can you feel her in the blood

The turning tides, the shifting of the skies

Or hear her on the wind, or in the cries

Of gulls that wheel above the drying mud

Come rise…

Can you sense her in the urge

Of flames that lick the furze and lambs that leap

Of sap that rushes sudden from the deep

In swirls of sacred water in the surge

Come rise…

Can you feel her in the stone

The ancient fire, the spark of energy

The force that flows through river, rock, and tree

The movement of the marrow in the bone

Come rise…

Can you taste her on the lips

The heady scents of grass and honey wine

Of sun warmed earth and rain on celandine

Upon the tongue, upon the fingertips

Come rise…

Can you feel her in the beat

Of wing on air, of drum, of run of deer

Or see her colours on the hill appear

All blazing bright, alive with pulsing heat

Come rise…

What are you, man, but water through her hand

The winter’s ashes and the summer’s dust

A flick of life and then a flare of lust

Then back into the earth on which you stand

Come rise…

Be still, and feel her raw and naked power

Come forth as lightening, set the trees alight

Set hares to run and horses to take flight

Through alder grove and furrowed field in flower

Come rise…

*

© Gail Foster 18th March 2017

Bullshit Nirvana

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for Steve Doolan

*

Let the world turn as it will

‘Tis all the same to me

Blah Blah Bullshit Nirvana

Sweet, Sweet Epiphany

Bring on the empty horses

For ‘tis all a comedy

Blah Blah Bullshit Nirvana

Sweet, Sweet Epiphany

We come and then we go

We be and we not be

Blah Blah Bullshit Nirvana

Sweet, Sweet Epiphany

I’m a bloke at a bar, I am

A wild bird flying free

Blah Blah Bullshit Nirvana

Sweet, Sweet Epiphany

So I’ll have a lime and soda, ta

‘Tis all the same to me

Blah Blah Bullshit Nirvana

Sweet, Sweet Epiphany

*

© Gail Foster 6th January 2017

Guilty Tory Crush; Kenneth Clarke

for Jemma Brown

 *

Alas, alack, I am undone, upon my cheek a raging flush

For I’ve discovered, oh what fun, I have a guilty Tory crush

You’d think, you would, a girl like me, a wafty lefty sort of bint

Would fain bestow her fancy free on someone of a redder tint

 …

On Dennis Skinner, him, perhaps, or Livingstone, you might presume

Or younger, pinker, backbench chaps, some decades nearer to the womb

But I’m for Clarke, for Old Blue Ken, a Behemoth of an MP

That wonder amongst Tory men; Kenneth Harry Clarke QC

 …

Girl, you say, you’ve lost the plot, the bloke’s a cad, a Tory cove

But I say Ken is steaming hot, unlike yer Howard, or yer Gove

But Girl, you say, he’s of the Right!  It’s wrong, so wrong, in many ways

Come back, come back, in to the light!  This thing for Ken is just a phase

 …

Much like the Mosley years, I say (which episode was far from jolly)

Oh that, well, mmm, a tough one, hey, I’ll put it down to youthful folly

But Girl, our Kenneth’s not yer man, he’s not your type, your type at all

And come the day shits hits the fan he’d have you first against the wall

Er…

God help me!  Look how dextrously he fondles that big fat cigar

Kenneth, take a turn with me, in some cool posh flash racing car

Or take me, twitching, in your hide, or show me how to dance to jazz

What price street cred, left wing pride, who cares when you’re as randy as

 …

Oh, Ken, Your Corpulence, you’re cute, your chubby cheeks are so disarming

The way you burst out of your suit; so boyish, and so fatly charming

You’re bad!  You’re good! You speak your mind!  But really, here’s the nub of it

A forthright man is hard to find, and frankly

You don’t give a shit

 *

© Gail Foster 21st October 2016

 

(Oh come on, girls you must agree, he’s got it goin’ on, has Ken

Just Jemma Brown?  Just her and me? Much more of Ken for us two then

Bags me first dibs then, Jemma, hey, you can have him when I’m done

I’ll have him early in the day, and you can have a later one

He likes a pint or two, you know, well rather more than that methinks

Me, I’ll have his morning glow and you can take him out for drinks

But maybe, mate, one at a time, no threesomes, even though you’re lush

Ha ha Jemma, here’s yer rhyme, about my guilty Tory crush)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glad Eye

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for Steve Doolan

*

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

 …

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

 …

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

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