She dropped the Blood orange moon
and stained the evening sky,
a gluttonous autumn feast, raspberrie and plums
smeared from her sticky thumbs.
Mouth wiped clean on dusty clouds
and grey beard contrails that divide
the heavens – new realms of
mackrel scale, tabby fur, owl feather, speckled hen.
Waiting for the fire to go out.
I lost my breath, and then
a bat swoops low above
rose tinted thistledown.
The farmhouse’ sightless eyes
reflect the gaudy show –
delights for turks or shepherds or
weary walkers on their way to home and sleep –
a cut across the tops – a quiet treat.
Calves butt and play in twilight fields.
Heptonstall silhouette against the lurid sky.
Turning my back, not left to the black chapel
where we said our scarlet vows,
but down in the dark past
cricket pitch-black and silent
in the shadow of the mill,
Windchimes twinkle and blend with echoes
-clogs on cobbles, chattering and clattering,
Someone has left a coin in the washing machine.
Before me the moon in full display again,
Washed clean, damned spots got out.
Glory against an ink blue sky –
liquorice mountains in the early night.
Nature’s jewellers have been out early,
stringing bright necklaces of morning tears
in the soft, quiet, mist.
New ploughed fields picked over by the glossy pheasant
and his hens, a bridal party of tiny twites in tow.
Cows watch proceedings and chew, ponderously
deliberating on deeper things
that never enter into the minds that race,
the scuttling creatures, who are too busy and blind
to see beauty in the rise and fall.
Chill in the air, smoke on the breeze.
Long shadows lay carpet for the frost
to skip across the hillside, dance beneath the trees.
So delicate a touch, yet deadly –
Not long and those diamond webs will freeze,
and shatter, scatter with the ashes of our broken hearts and dreams.
The weavers never weep. Simply pull the thread again,
start a new stitch and breathe deep.
1 Onion, diced
1 Red Pepper, diced
1 Green Pepper, diced
1 stick celery, sliced
1 Courgette, diced
1 cup green lentils
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp fresh marjoram or oregano, chopped
1 stock cube (veg or chicken)
1 tbsp tomato puree,
1 tin chopped tomatoes,
1 pint water,
1 tbsp oil,
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Lightly fry the onion, peppers, celery together in the oil until softened. Add the tomatoes, stock, water, garlic, courgette, lentils and herbs, and bring to the boil, simmer until the lentils are tender, adding more water if necessary. Taste when all vegetables are cooked, season as required, adding tomato puree to taste also. If too thick add a little more water, if too runny simmer a while longer until the required consistency. Use a stick blender to blitz half of the soup (or more, dependin on how chunky you like it.)
Is it just me that finds it strange, when I go back to read something I wrote years ago – that the voice sounds like someone different. We change – we all change of course through life, but reading words I wrote only a few years ago, just feel like reading someone else’s thoughts. Old essays – amaze me as I actually sound like I know what I’m talking about. (All this prompted because someone had looked at my “Who am I?” page – which sent me to remind myself who I’d said I was.
I was obviously in a bit of a tiz about what I can / can’t say online as a civil servant. Still something that infuriates me – but I am so exasperated with politics and the world in general these days that I try not to think about it. It’s not good for my mental health to rage against things. I will leave that to my husband. And lets face it, I don’t actually blog that much any more. A few poems here and there. I have a new blog specifically for library related things, as I am doing my chartership. If you are interested you can find it at http://omniscienciabliss.wordpress.com/ – though I’m finding it hard to write even there. So bloody busy this year.
So anyway. I think my “who am I?” needs an update. And a better editor.
The Calder cauldron boils again
Hardcastle hags conjouring the change
The slip from green to golden glow
The burnished throne.
As though the bubbling mists were steam
The heat rises
Summer grasping on with her last gasps
To the leaves
Before they crispen, and fall
Crumble to rust
Wash the river red and sleep
Under their snowy bed.
Stoodley peaks above the foam
Through mellow mists
O’er rose kissed meadows
Where contemplative cows
Chew cud and watch the swallows fly.
Beneath the peace
Shaded from the sun
The grey dawn daily race is begun.
Enduring faces waiting for release
Play out their roles
Earn their tickets to the feast.
Soon she will peel back
The steamy skin
For one last glimpse of her
Radiant and high,
Before the fall,
When she is distant, cold,
or barely seen at all.
Children play and cats roll,
Bathe in that leaving light
Twilight is coming,
Get ready to be tucked in
For the long cold night.
Today i want to tear myself open
so you can see the mess inside.
Today I feel like somebody has.
I am the swan
floating elegant and desolately by
– you cannot see beneath the oil slick surface,
the turmoil beneath that keeps me moving,
keeps me breathing.
The swan is hollowed out –
gutted by a hunter.
Taxidermised and filled with clockwork
to imitate life.
Its eyes are black and shiny all the same.
living life according to another’s rules.
But isn’t she elegant.
Isn’t she pretty.
(At this point I laugh.
Maybe I am not the swan after all)
But then, I could happily be
the ugly duckling.
As long as my insides were still there.
As long as everything was in order.
As long as i could happily be.
You could take your pristine white feathers then.
For all the difference they would make.
From a distance, she is so beautiful.
So serene, so calm.
Wrapped round with wisps of white
Glistening In the sun
The great blue green goddess
Our mother, our home.
Who brings us life, or
With her indifferent emotions.
Her catastrophic ways.
And yet we make a paradise a hell.
Come close and hear the weeping
And the screams.
The crash and blast and whistle of
Our wars. Large and small.
The solitary struggles and the global strife.
Hear the sobbing of the hungry,
The cold, the afraid.
Hear the laughter of the blind,
The clink of coin and gush of oil and blood.
Close the door, the blinds. Draw the curtains and
Do not, whatever you do, read the news.
But still the chaos reaches in.
Our hearts and broken
Our bodies strained.
For sixty years the grind
We pay the piper for our way
And when he is done with us
Time takes its toll.
What is life for?
For work? For money? For fear?
We have not cracked the code.
We do not understand.
Life is for love, for living,
Not for power, wealth, or land.