Sorrow Weeps For Me

*

In dusty cupboards, far from prying eyes

I hide my dark and private miseries

And dress for town in bright accessories

With reddened lips, and silkly stockinged thighs

And sickly smile, in magical disguise

For there be war to fight on days like these

Dark demons to defeat, and gods to please

And light to draw down from the sullen skies

In dusty cupboards, Sorrow weeps for me

There be no place for cowards in the fray

Nor dark despair, nor moaning misery

To dull my fire and fill me with dismay

Or worse, betray me to the enemy

– I’ll catch you later, Sorrow, I’m away…

*

© Gail Foster 28th January 2017

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Here, Again; The Autumn Equinox

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This poem was written for the Avebury Gorsedd; 24th September 2016

for everyone who was there, and for those who were not…

*

I’m here, again…

Come riding in, upon the western wave

My hair all wove with golden leaves, my breast

As pale as moonlight on a hidden grave

And all the sins of summer long confessed

I come, again…

In sweeping skirts, with white swan feathers strewn

To brush the summer dust from weary grass

Make ash of aspen, damp the flame of noon

Before the frost freeze water into glass

I bring, to you…

Windfallen apples, berries from the hedge

Long shadows on the barrows, and the chalk

Wild winds to stir the willows and the sedge

And mist, and myth, down every path you walk

I’m here, again…

The promise of the harvest to fulfil

The energy of autumn, streaming through

The swirling springs that spiral round the hill

To drench the land in red and russet hue

I come, again…

Between the longest day and shortest night

To fill the blood and marrow of your bones

With all the orange glory of the light

Before the dark descend upon the stones

I bring, to you…

A cornucopia of ripened fruit

Dark juices of the vine in bottles bright

To nourish soul and body, to transmute

Your thought to dream, your dream to second sight

For I am She…

Am Autumn writ, in every field and tree

Am mistress of the Owl and running Hare

So yield unto my kiss, and blesséd be

And dance with me, oh Druid, if you dare…

 *

@ Gail Foster 23rd September 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

*

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

Smoke And Roses Blow

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A Villanelle

*

Beyond the veil where daylight fears to go

Behind a swathe of heavy silken mist

The heady scents of smoke and roses blow

Along the paths that secret lovers know

Are wood and blossom tangled in a tryst

Beyond the veil where daylight fears to go

Within the subtle stream’s beribboned flow

Whirl pools of love and darkness in a twist

The heady scents of smoke and roses blow

The sun sinks in to shadow smooth and slow

Through willing earth too wanton to resist

Beyond the veil where daylight fears to go

On perfumed air a drum beat, soft and low

In perfect time without a rhythm missed

The heady scents of smoke and roses blow

The wild in love the sacred orchards know

Who go to be by passion’s madness kissed

Beyond the veil where daylight fears to go

The heady scents of smoke and roses blow

*

© Gail Foster 2016

The Trickiest Mistress

*

Desire is the trickiest mistress

A strange unpredictable beast

Tickled by fancy and circumstance

Afflicted by famine and feast

A delicate matter to master

An unruly monster to tame

Lightening flash turning wood in to ash

Fickle wind flirting with flame

The shock of a shot in the darkness

Rending the fabric of reason

Twist of the moon in the bloodstream to

The flow of the earth and the season

A flicker of feathers, a furnace

A shaft through a crack in the gloom

A kingfisher flash, and a cymbal clash

Stunning a moth to its doom

The lustre of dew on the morning

The rushing of rain from the heights

Soft light of the haze of a lazy day

The scream of a curse in the night

Dark tryst, with the forces of fury

Sharp wound to the breast of the brave

Tears streaming forth from the altar

In penitence down to the grave

A hypnotist, haunting the astral

A soul sold for pennies to Death

Dark lies from the lips of a lover

Spake on a sorcerer’s breath

A trickster who picks the wrong moment

A joker who laughs at his joke

The strike of a flint over kindle and lint

Drawing flame from a nuance of smoke

A trigger, a shiver, a whip crack

As swift as a swallow in flight

A shimmering dust of desire and lust

On a mirror upturned to the light

How it craves for its own consummation

And seeks its own purpose to feed

A bottomless well that can never be full

A cup all half empty of mead

‘Tis a mare that the Gods cannot master

As the wildness of wind in a tree

A force as elusive to harness

As the unbridled waves of the sea

Desire is the triskiest mistress

The riskiest creature to catch

For there in her eyes and the cleft of her thighs

May morality meet with its match

*

© Gail Foster 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

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast and the Curious Cocks of Brownsea Island

*

an epic tale of innuendo

*

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Philosopher, poet, and muse

Wore Victorian skirts that swept up the dirt

And peculiar button up shoes

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Found herself suddenly slighted

Bereft and bemused, and less than amused

And suffering love unrequited

The effect on her verse was dramatic, and worse

‘Twas inspired by horns and baguettes

As hysterical rage seeped through pen to the page

Like some awful poetic Tourettes

Eyebrows were raised as her work was appraised

It was said she was caustic and crude

A potty mouthed tart with a poisonous heart

Who was totally randy and rude

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Watched her story unfold with dismay

Watched her petticoats slip as each vulgar quip

Made a whore of her more every day

So she packed up her quill, and pink ink for a thrill

Spare petticoats, perfume and papers

Her smelling salts, eye mask and lavender bags

For random attacks of the vapours

I will go to an island, Fantasia said

I will contemplate beauty, and truth

I will take me a train, travel far, and regain

The lost innocence of my youth

The romance of islands, Fantasia thought

All lost in the shine of the sea

Supernaturally kissed in a glimpse through the mist

How inspiring, how perfect, how me

The day on the train was a bit of a strain

There were some sticky moments with tunnels

And the bit where the guard blew his whistle real hard

Made her tears of mirth flow in runnels

Much to her shame, the boat was the same

Flushed her delicate cheek to a bloom

Oh, the sniggering joys of seamen and buoys

Being tossed on the wave and the spume

The island was lit by a mystical light

And the breezes blew scents warm and heady

Like a virgin, she thought, that has never been caught

Although many had been there already

She started to feel profound and unreal

No man is an island, quoth she

An island’s an island, a man is a man

And neither’s the other one, see

She undid her bonnet, inspired, and on it

Licked her quill and began to create

A verse about loneliness, islands and stuff

Solemnness, sorrow, and fate

It was peaceful and sweet, there were flowers at her feet

And the soft sound of sea through the trees

All became gentleness, sweetness and light

Purity, poetry, ease

For a moment, a moment, Fantasia there

Channelled a serious grace

Although anyone else would have just seen some bird

Looking mad with a gurn on her face

Gone was the gut churning river of smut

That had streamed from her mouth and her pen

I am making a vow, Fantasia said

No more innuendo or men

The universe heard, every well-meaning word

‘Tis the way that the universe works

And God likes a joke, like a mischievous bloke

Who plays practical jokes upon jerks

What sound is that, our Fantasia thought

Absentmindedly watching a deer

Like a low distant grumble, a curious rumble

Got louder, and odder, and near

Suddenly, far in the distance, a herd

Of curious cockerels appeared

Oh my goodness, she said, and reached for the salts

For a sniff’s always good when a-feared

They’re coming, they’re coming, the curious cocks

They’re growing, they’re growing in size

Not surprising as they were much nearer by then

Running swifter than any crow flies

The cocks are upon me, Fantasia cried

Like a rabbit in lamplight she froze

As, eager to play and all puffed in display

They peck, pecked, at her skirts and her toes

They were all shapes and sizes, blue, green and red

Some aggressive, some shy and retiring

Some had a wild beady look in their eyes

And one had no cylinders firing

It was surely a shock, the appearance of cock

In the midst of the island idyll

Ironic in fact in the light of the pact

Fantasia had made with her quill

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Suddenly knew what to do

For all that was needed to scare off the cocks

Was the swish of her skirts and a “Boo!”

Growing smaller, and smaller, the curious cocks

Disappeared as fast as they came

‘Twas all quite astounding, Fantasia thought

And the universe reckoned the same

*

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Philosopher, poet, and muse

Inspired by the tale of the curious cocks

Penned a verse to surprise and amuse

The wink of the sailor boy on the way back

Made her flush with a blush that was red

There was something about him that floated her boat

“Just call me Fanny” she said

*

by Gail