Saturday 30 June 2018

Mr Taylor

Probably a polar bear was not a good choice
for my first attempt at whittling. 
A hamster would have been simpler
and avoided the multiple leg fractures..
“Don’t worry girl, no problem”, Mr Taylor said,
when I showed it to him.
“Leave it to me. 
Bit o plastic wood, 
That’ll soon sort it”
and it did.
The tail was more challenging.
But all was not lost, just the tail,
and I managed to convince the Examiner
that polar bears don’t have tails.
Maybe they don’t.
I’m no expert.
I progressed slowly, and probably 
a rocking elephant was not the best choice
for my Final Piece.
There was a lot to cut out,
a lot of curvy bits.
The huge electric saw bench
loomed ominously in the corner.
“Don’t you go near that, girl”
cried Mr Taylor if I glanced in it’s direction.
“Here, give it here, 
Leave it to me. 
There you are.
Now just a bit o plastic wood...”
And then disaster!
Someone stole the rockers.
Who the fuck would steal my rockers?
They never rocked very well,
but even so, they were better than nothing.
And Mr Taylor was hard pressed 
to make new ones 
in time for the exam,
even with multiple,
“No problem, don’t worry, girl”s, 
I was concerned.
But in the end
we both passed.

Thursday 28 June 2018

Two Sides to the Story

There are always two sides to every story,
you said.
The marchers were armed.
The marchers were aggressive.
Faced with tanks.
Faced with soldiers in full combat gear.
Faced with snipers armed with live ammunition.
Armed with only stones,
and only some of them.
There are always two sides to every story,
you said.
They were going to storm the border.
There was going to be a mass invasion.
Two sides
to every story?
Do you really believe that
for a demonstration of unarmed people
marching along their own border
when the snipers and soldiers and tanks
are already waiting.
There were terrorists amongst them
waiting to cross over
intent on doing us harm,
you said,
there are two sides two every story.
Would the harm be similar
to the tens who were killed
and the hundreds that were injured?
We have a right to defend our border,
You said, and yes,
there are always two sides to every story.
Every story.
Well ok, fine,
if that’s what you think,
you will want to hear it for the Nazis then!
No! That’s not what you meant.
That story stands alone
one sided.
Really? No!
It’s not alone.
Not really.

Sunday 24 June 2018

Sometimes There’s Magic
See that raindrop
falling into wetness.
You see it falling,
a silvery teardrop
then it disappears
into wetness,
becomes invisible.
Is that magic?
if it could choose invisibility,
or choose to stay
a raindrop.
That would be magic.

Friday 22 June 2018

When I was nine,
by accident
I stepped on a caterpillar.
Stepped on
one end of a caterpillar.
And it’s caterpillar shape,
bright emerald green,
shot out the other end.
Since then,
I have taken great care
never to step
on a caterpillar

Wednesday 20 June 2018

I will not die.
I will not die.
I will not die
I have unloaded
a hundred poems
to tell me why.
I will not die.
I will not die
I have unloaded
a thousand songs
on why
I will not die.

Sunday 17 June 2018

Once Upon A Time
Once upon a time
they used to line the streets
with the heads of the enemy on pikes.
The heads rotted away in time
leaving only the pikes
standing empty.
there is too little left,
too little remains to separate
the head from the body of the defeated
remnants in the rubble of the city.
Too little left.
So they take the helmets
and set them on pikes.
This time
the pikes will
rot away
But there
is no one
left to see.

Friday 15 June 2018

Last night I dreamt
a squirrel's dream.
It must have been a squirrel’s.
Possibly red, possibly grey,
but definitely a squirrel’s.
There were so many nuts.
They were falling from the sky
like heavy rain.
I had to put up my blue umbrella
to protect me from the showers.
And on the ground,
ankle deep acorns
and hazels
were overtopping my blue boots.
But I saw no squirrels,
only their dreams
of nutty profusion.

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Water Under The Bridge
The Canadian canoe submerged as we got in
too clumsily.
The cushions, brought thoughtfully for comfort
were soaked
along with everything else.
Then we discovered that we were unable to co-ordinate
our paddling
so moving along the narrow canal in a straight line
was impossible.
Thus we made slow progress.
And then we came to the long tunnel.
The sign at the entrance was disconcerting,
forbidding entry
except with a torch.
Of course, we had no torch,
just spluttering roll ups
made in darkness
from damp tobacco,
and five loud voices.
Yes, we were five.
Four adults who should have known better
and a thirteen year old
in despair as usual
of his out of control parents.
All water under the bridge
when we emerged
into the light to tell
a survivor’s tale,
now a memory.

Monday 11 June 2018

The Graveyard of Dreams
The rubble and wire
are the graveyard of dreams.
The long march to the wire
is the graveyard of dreams.
The long march to nowhere
is the graveyard of dreams.
The merciless ocean
is the graveyard of dreams.
The desert camps
are the graveyard of dreams.
The swollen, empty bellies
are the graveyard of dreams.
When even the dreams
of the graveyards are shattered
will the broken dreamers waken?

Saturday 9 June 2018

Midas Touch
The sorcerers and scientists
of past times
experimented with their powders
dissolved them,
fired them up
in their laboratories.
searching for the glows and gleams
from base metal,
the Midas touch
that would create the riches of gold
for them.
They never found it.
Now, the sorcerers and scientists
have discovered how
to dig deeper,
scrape harder
and stand by while
we dig and scrape for them.
And watch the gold flow,
watch it pour
like magic
making wrinkles and scars
suffocating our skin.

Thursday 7 June 2018

Where is the Real World
There was a broken circle in my field of wheat this morning.
Can’t explain it.
Walked through the wheat scratching my head with a stalk.
Can’t explain.
There are shapes in the circle, shapes which look like
the shapes and spaces of this world. Lands and seas.
Can’t explain them.
Fell asleep in the scratchy stalks of my field in the sunshine.
Can’t say why.
Awoke in England, I think, lying there, floating above it,
I think.
Lying here, drifting away, like a balloon out of control,
but avoiding the sun and the stars and the other worlds.
I think.
Or am I lying below, in my field with my heels on the ground?
Difficult to know.
Hard to discern this place and know my place in it.
Can’t explain
why I’m floating here, unsure if I’m drifting above or below.
I might fall. I might fall up or down. I don’t know which.
Can’t explain my confusion.
But, I’ll know when I stop spinning round, seeing the stars
in the sunshine.
But how will I get down if I’m already below, my heels grounded
in reality,
in England, in my field of wheat, scratching my head, looking,
up at the shapes in the space of the sky drifting above me.
Can’t explain.

Where is the Real World   There was a broken circle in my field of wheat this morning. Can’t explain it. Walked through the wheat scratching my head with a stalk. Can’t explain. There are shap…

Tuesday 5 June 2018

What Lies Beneath
I dug up so many things
to create my garden
not only rocks
and pieces of slate
but tools from those who
had worked in this difficult land.
I built walls from the rocks
and edged my new pond in slate.
The tools became decorations
to tell the story of the land.
Then I found the tractor,
or so I thought,
a toy
that some child had played with
dreaming of flat land
with good soil.
Then I looked more closely
and saw it was a soldier
in the driving seat.
Not a tractor
some sort
of killing machine
I buried it back where it came from.
It seemed the best thing to do with it.

What Lies Beneath by Lynn White I dug up so many things to create my garden not only rocks and pieces of slate but tools from those who....READ MORE

Sunday 3 June 2018

I was young once,
unbelievably young,
almost a child
Oh I was young once,
waiting for life
to begin
to grab me
take me
up and over.
Yes, I was young once
No end
to it
just waiting

Friday 1 June 2018

Running On Empty
We take care how we fill our shoes.
Our trainers and boots.
Our flats and heels, stilettos and cuban.
They may match our mood, specially chosen,
or be eternal representations of our unified self.
So surely something of us must remain
when they are emptied.
Not just our smells and mis-shapes,
evocative as they are,
but something more fundamental.
Something spiritual.
Something symbolic.
See here
empty shoes
laid out tidily in rows.
Blocked together on a grass field
or concrete yard.
Rows upon rows of them
that once contained the school children
now shot dead,
our children.
See here
empty shoes
piled high in untidy heaps.
Heaps and heaps of them,
that once contained peaceful people
now massacred, bombed, burned.
Our people
spanning place
and time without end.