The “want” of men.
There’s some regret, can it be said,
For what was scorned; a mark of threat;
Those lascivious whistles of men at work,
When attractive women passing walked?
There’s some regret too for the trouble spent,
Sporting that smart-waisted, little red coat,
With matching cap and shoes no doubt,
And you knew your shapely legs could elicit a shout,
From those Italian “brickies” lacking erudite clout;
“ ‘allo sex!”…losing the essential “y” in their haste,
Tho’ not in meaning..nor, let it be said..in taste.
There’s some regret, it must be known,
That loss of appreciative whistle at sites in town,
When one flounced by with scornful frown,
To see those wandering eyes in windows reflect,
In passing of the hungering “want” in men…
The young courter.
I wonder if young boys court the girls,
Like we courted girls long ago,
I wonder if they too do wonder on the mystery,
That we pondered upon in those Summers that passed so slow.
Those days when I rode my pushbike past her front hedgerow,
With my shorts, brylcreme’d hair and ‘fair isle’ vest just to make a show.
When I rode my pushbike past Jean Beacham’s front hedgerow.
What I was seeking there, I then was not to know,
For a girl was as much a mystery to us as was the impulse to grow,
Which was the mystery would draw me to that front hedgerow,
And Jean would sometimes flirt to me from her front window,
So her younger sister could aim – with ripe nectarines to throw,
Where I sat there on my pushbike at the low hedgerow.
Jean would laugh the kiss of the summer hills,
And smile the moonlight of June,
She could mock me, shock me, and tease me..still I would return,
To ride my trusty treadly past her house forlorn..
But I wonder if the young boys court girls nowadays,
With such faithful concern?
Upon the sands with thee.
‘Twas not across the sands of Dee,
That I edged my trusty craft.
‘Twas not across the rocks and scree,
That Mary walked avast,
‘Twas on the sands off Seacliff shore,
That came my Mary that I did adore,
My bonny boat I rowed the sea,
In the “Buona Fortuna” I rowed with thee.
I rowed up to the “whiting patch”,
I rowed with the strength of a young man’s back,
And Mary stretched her long white legs,
She stretched her long, white legs between us.
And ‘twas not off the sands of Dee,
Where Mary coaxed love from me,
And we loved upon that rocking sea,
In the sturdy ‘Buona Fortuna”, Mary and me,
We loved and loved upon that tossing sea,
But ‘twas not out from the sands of Dee.
Mary cried with delightful ecstasy,
She cried across the wind-blown sea,
“Oh take me, lover to the sandy shore.
And let us finish loving all the more….”
My sturdy craft, my-cock-my-mast,
But I tell you ..‘twas not on the sands of Dee.
Where the beauty?
Where does beauty lie,
In the silhouettes of the trees,
As I wander past them by
Or is it in the stars of a dark sky?
Is it in deep silence of the night,
Its vast splendour and delight,
In the hoot of a passing owl,
Or perhaps in my lover’s eyes?
No..it is none of these things..
Not in the trees or heaven’s stars,
Nor the deep silence of night’s sky,
Beauty lies gently, sleepy and quiet,
In the soft, beating heart of thy..”
The Slight of Aphrodite.
With love betrayed, all reason to stay
And substance for existence gone.
Now…; falling, falling away..
Without sound or purpose,
To lay silent like Autumn leaves forlorn,
On the forest floor…
And with eyes turned
From salvation’s door,
Do we strike out alone, down barren roads,
Under the stern disdain
Of the slight of Aphrodite.
Come the end of Autumn.
Come the end of Autumn,
Will you still think of me?
With the passing of Summer days,
Languid by the sea,
We rode the wild brumbies of laughter,
Rode them hard..you and me.
But with Autumn leaves now fallen,
Now come the end of the season,
Letters lost , time gone by,
The great distance between thou and I,
When I’m so far away from thee,
Will you still recall one sweet kiss,
In a full Summer of such bliss,
Will you still think of me?
Into the fire she did cast,
Letter by letter until the last.
Her stern face, flame-lit aglow,
No pity nor sentiment did it show.
No regret, nor heartfelt loss,
As letter by letter she did toss.
Until the last in hesitant hold,
One short sentence writ in bold,
One final line that caught her eye,
And though the rest she did despise,
That one broken promise with love’s death,
Gave pause for memory’s catch of breath,
Forgotten above this, all the rest;
“Forever my Love, my love, to you,
I do bequeath”.
Little dreams of a moth.
I have little dreams,
They are quiet and shy.
I dream of primrose days
And the patterned wings of butterflies…
Sometimes I dream of thee,
And sometimes I dream of us,
But come the Primrose light of day
My dreams fall back to dust.
But when next I lay abed,
Eyes clos’d by night’s velvet glove,
Return to me quiet dreams,
My shy dreams..
My dreams of sylth’n love.
I held a bird with broken wing.
I held a bird with broken wing,
No more to fly, tender thing.
Put it down or leave it go?
Let nature deal the final blow?
Yet in its small, frightened eye,
A touch of myself do I espy,
Who am I to refuse it balm,
When never has it done me harm?
Why not, with helping touch,
Can I not relieve its hurt,
And with tender love & care,
Will it not sing once more its air?
“It will not fly” you c’ld say,
And does a tree run away?
And does the oyster glued to rock,
Not wait with patience for its food?
So this bird, broken now,
Us together shall allow,
Some moments when we shall share,
A little of life’s splendid air.
A bright blue balloon
As blue as blue as an azure sky.
Catched for a moment
By an Hibiscus flower.
Held for an hour
Of fragile kind-ship,
The delicate thread broke free..
Now, can you see me anymore
As I drift away
Shape and colour
Lost against a vast array
Of blue as blue as an azure sky.
My bright blue balloon
She is gone…
Goodbye my sweet..goodbye..
A Cold, Cruel Dream.
I dreamt she’d died, unsatisfied..
And our children asked me to attend the rite.
And though divorced these many years,
Would I please to view her in state?
Now that, is not something I’d normally do,
The plastic presentation of death I eschew.
But curiosity urged me abide ,
To view that woman I’ve many years evade.
As I gazed on the broad, Irish face,
That had lied and cheated from my embrace,
I blanched at the look of innocence there,
Rose blossoms dappling her now grey hair.
As if to deny to me by this final sight ,
The justice for many years that was my right.
Forgiveness not what I sought,
But rather admission for the damage wrought.
Upon marriage, relationship and our children begot.
But now, in the silence of this final place,
No word from those lips so bitter she’d trace,
No reason, no ’scuse, no thought of disgrace.
Just an emptiness , as per her usual escape.
Nothing..save one long-stemmed rose strategically placed,
HER request, no doubt….sensitive to an image she’d like embraced,
Always keen to leave an impression entranced…
I turned to go…then..in a moment inspired ,
I took that rose there so astutely attired,
Broke off part of the stem.. and did place
The thorny stalk, it’s vicious spikes,
Across those tight, pressed lips now forever chaste.
That meager kitchen light
Cut his reflection on the glass.
He looks…the collar of his overcoat tugs,
A fumbling with the latch.
Another dawn interminably,
The workplace calls him down.
The trains, the jostle, the silent journeys
Through winter’s cutting edge.
Though visible within my memory,
No touch, no talk, no sound,
But an awkward gentle smiling,
That baleful knotted frown.
The evening family rosary,
Pray God maintain our health.
HIS prayers I’d say were directed
To stay the creeping stealth
Of years, that cut a swathe
Through the patience of the man,
The blocks, the bricks, the working tools
Raised welts of callouses on his hands.
When the cup of love went empty,
Would do to fill it up with wine.
He drank to forget the future,
He drank for Auld Lang Syne!
The weakness was his, they tell us;
The drink, the swearing, the hand
That struck us fiercely stinging…
But I see the courage in the man.
And though his “achievements” were empty,
And poverty enriched our band,
I’d do worse than esteem his persistence,
Nor prefer I memories of “better” men.
The Siren’s Song.
The Siren sang her song.
Irresistible in her comeliness.
And yes..I answered..
Along with others,
The clues were numerous,
The seduction of her face,
The perils of her warm embrace.
Small things ; gifts and trinkets
To secure her exclusiveness.
Along with mine..
Shipwrecked upon her palliasses.
Now, behind cold glass,
I touch her face,
My fingers hesitate on lacq’d plate
Of the silvered frame.
She smiles out at me.
Again the Siren song my heart fills.
She is calling…!
She is calling…!
I cannot resist..does she love me still ?
I am falling…
I am falling…
I am falling…
On the day she went away.
We kissed, on the day she went away
The air was heavy with the cut-scent of hay.
On the day she went away.
We kissed and her kiss was as soft..as soft,
As a thrust of air from a parakeet’s wing,
Her touch; a downy feathered thing.
“I’ll call” was her parting say.
No laugh or smile nor “ in a little while”,
Just ; “I’ll call”…that never came.
When we parted on that Summer day.
And though her-self is gone,
Her scent remains… and memory.
More precious for its hint of hunger,
More perfect than a fleeting romance.
For perfect makes its own promise,
In that it remains unchanged, just so.
Now, as evening or morn’ awakes
With air on air of breath intakes,
I touch her dress and kiss her nape,
With tender memories once more..
For we were so much in love.
A shaft of sun through the Parthenon glows,
Upon a wild, White Athens Rose.
The blossom of that tender bush,
Is tinged at heart with a gentle blush,
When held, ‘tis said, ‘tween lovers fingers twined,
Would, with age-old chant, their voices bind;
“Oh Sun who gives the blush to thee,
Grant her cheeks may blush for me,
And with the passing of this day,
Grant the wish I wish I may.”