Demeter and the Poet

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A sonnet for the Autumn Equinox

*

‘He’s taken her away!’  The woman cried

He sighed, and put aside his poetry

And sat beneath the tree, and she beside

And listened to her grief. ‘Persephone

Has gone to Hades!’  How the woman wept

‘He took her last year, didn’t he?’ he said

‘Here, have a handkerchief’ he said – she kept

On weeping – ‘Look, it’s not as if she’s dead

She’s only sleeping.’  ‘It’s alright for you’

She said, ‘you’re just a poet.  You can write

About how black the berries are, how blue

The sloes, how hazel brown and apple bright

And beautiful it is.’  ‘You don’t look bad

Yourself’ he said.  That poet – what a lad.

*

© Gail Foster 21st September 2018

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The Blossom On The Bough

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Two sonnets for May, and my muse

*

The fires are lit, my lover, and the hills

are flickering with little points of light

The sun is set, and deep within the rills

the seeds of stars are littering the night

The smoke is rising, lover, rising high

in winding spires of ribbons in the air

and in the rivers where the willows cry

and on the leys the ancient druids dare

to walk, the chalk is glowing.  I know you

will never leap the Beltane fires with me

or rise on one May morning in the dew

beside me, spellbound by my poetry

Or so it seems.  But oh, my lover, how

the blossom burns, so brightly on the bough

The maypole’s up, my lover, on the green

its willow ribbons flutter in the breeze

I would you be my king, and I your queen

for one night only, here beneath the trees

The hawthorn froths, my lover, in the hedge

the buds are bursting, birds are nesting high

yet still you fly, my hawk, above the edge

of some cold mountain way up in the sky

Come down, or are you wary that a flame

might fall within your feathers, or a spark

ignite your heart, or god forbid, you came

to want to stay beside me in the dark

It’s so, it seems.  But see, my lover, now

the blossom burning, brighter on the bough

*

© Gail Foster 1st May 2018

 

 

Orion and The Moon

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A Villanelle

*

Come catch me then, Orion, if you can

We’ve played this game before.  I play to win

I am the moon and you are just a man

The same old same old game since time began

We’ve started, so we’ll finish.  Let’s begin

Come catch me then, Orion, if you can

Some lesser constellations also ran

I left them all stood standing in a spin

I am the moon and you are just a man

A man of stars, a huntsman, fiercer than

The lot of them, with finer light within

Come catch me then, Orion, if you can

Come chase me cross the spaces in the span

Before the night grows old and darkness thin

I am the moon and you are just a man

All stars must fall according to the plan

Before the morning I will have you sin

Come catch me then, Orion, if you can

I am the moon and you are just a man

*

© Gail Foster 30th January 2018

 

The Ancient Bitch Of Days

for Chad Bittner Hurt, an American poet

*

It stood a while, alone, the perfect phrase

Entire and beautiful upon the stage

As lovely as two words could ever be

‘Till came the muse, the ancient bitch of days

Demanding blood and ink upon the page

Insisting passion and complexity

And sacrifice, and violent hymns of praise

Her hunger and her ardour to assuage

In wild defiance of simplicity

The poet quaked in terror, and betrayed

His words to slake her raw and awesome rage

In her cold hands they cried for company

 *

© Gail Foster 13th December 2016

My Muse Looks Like Morrissey

For Steve Doolan

*

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’…

Oestrogen Mythology

*

Beware, for she writes poetry, and ye

Unwitting pilgrim, may become a king

Anointed at the new moon, in the spring

Within an oestrogen mythology

Take care, for she writes poetry, and thee

Good man, may move her blood and heart to sing

Be crowned with oak leaves, bound within the ring

Become her ovulation fantasy

She fair may be, but subject to the pull

Of hormones, gravity, and tidal flow

She makes her heroes, though unconsciously

From those who touch her when the moon is full

She’ll cry and tear her hair out when you go

And pen progesterone tragedy

*

© Gail Foster 7th September 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiona In The Night

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for Fiona Meyrick, poet and musician; a Petrarchan sonnet

*

Fiona, in the silence of the night

Sings songs of sorrow soft in minor key

That sigh above all formal melody

In cadences that dance like birds in flight

She rests within the dark, composing light

In subtle shades of sweet philosophy

Transposing on the stave a mystery

In spills of sound like ink on paper bright

Fiona, at the stroke of midnight blessed

Plays pianissimo the ocean’s rage

Transforming all the sins of man confessed

In gentle rhythms traced upon the page

A modern muse, an ancient truth expressed

In lullabies to sooth our restless age

*

© Gail Foster 2016