Thursday, 31 January 2013

Ghazal: Goldmine

Receding harshness of this winter wind,
And wav'ring heart from yours I find, my love.

I speak the anxious moments...gone from here,
And search again to touch your mind, my love.

Alive to taste the beauty of this grace,
Three strands that keep us in this bind, my love.

Will winter haunt with summer's coming light,
If strands pulled tightly can't unwind my love?

Vows yet unbroken golden rings confess,
Gold on the surface must be mined, my love

With ev'ry passing second comes my sight,
For your eyes only have been kind, my love.

You grow my love and we are further wound,
beloved by you proves love is blind, my love.

Over at dverse poets Samuel Peralta introduced the ghazal poem. It was a new one to me. Samuel writes "Ghazals are beautiful poems, originating in Arabic verse from the sixth century, written traditionally about poetically physical or spiritual love, with a melancholic air of separation or longing." Visit the link if you want to know more about this very interesting type of poem.

My ghazal is based on a sentence from the book of Ecclesiastes which says "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." I've related it to a marriage relationship and I've included the Hebrew meaning of my name, David, (which is beloved) in the final line. (Read Samuel's notes if you want to know why!) Finally, I must confess I've "mined" some of the lines from a song I'd written a while back. If you're interested here it is:

The Short Monologue of Candy's Dog

Dogs like us...
Ain't got no family trust,
Lyin' around this ol' bunk shed
With nothin left but to be led.
They's saying that I stink and smell
But I don't give a hoot'n' hell...

Maybe so I can't hardly stand
But I sure been the swamper's right hand.
Don't do nothin' now but suck on meat
Can't stand upon my own four feet
Still, I got him and he's got me
The closest we got to family...

Who's this takin' me out for air?
They's talkin' about me, but I can't hear,
Why's Candy sittin' so still over there?
Hey, what's that gun doin' at my ear...

At poetry jam we were invited to write from the point of view of an animal. As I've been teaching "Of Mice and Men" again recently to my S4 class, this point of view came to mind. If you can bear to watch, there's a movie clip below :(

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Open letter to Eden Hazard

Dear Eden,
         Everything in the garden is not so rosy now. Paradise lost. I guess it's written in your name, but I didn't heed the warning. Let's get this out of the way. I'm here to help. To serve you, sir. If it wasn't for me, you'd have to walk over red-faced and deal with your own mistakes. Opposition support jeering; maybe even trying to grab you as you bend down to pick the ball up.

So I wait. So that you don't have to face that.

Ninety minutes of standing right here in the corner waiting for you to miss the target so that I can collect the ball for you. It was really cold last night. You wouldn't have noticed because you were running about. It was freezing, but I didn't mind. It was a chance to help out and do the club proud.

I've seen plenty of guys like you, sir. Moving around like the millionaires you are. You're my teachers. I've been watching, see. Been some folk saying I pulled a flanker, but what you've taught me sir, is that it's ok to bend the rules. Go down too easily? That's not a problem really. If it gets you the right result. So, for the record, maybe I did go over a little too easily, but is that not what your colleagues have taught me to do?

I didn't want you to be sent off and miss the next three games. Honestly I didn't but those are the hazards you face when you tangle with a ball boy. I would ask, with all due respect, that you let us do our job. It gives us a bit of dignity. At least allow us that. Your pay comes from kicking the ball and from what I gather, you command wages that are fit for a king. But always remember that a cat can still look at the king and maybe even serve him in some small way.

Hopefully you are aware of my position now: I've picked up plenty of balls in my time and I think you realise now that I've got some myself.  This isn't an apology. Just a reminder that in your case money can't buy manners. Enjoy the three match break. I'll be right here in the corner doing my job, hoping to regain my anonymity.

The Ball Boy (17)

(Based on an incident from last night's Capital One Cup football semi-final between Swansea and Chelsea which can be viewed here. )

(photo courtesy of The Independent)

Monday, 21 January 2013

Z-A: Rebel Teacher Manifesto

zone in the zealless
year on year
(e)xcavate the x-factor and
walk with the weak.

voice the voiceless
understand the uninitiated and
try to teach tolerance.

share sunshine as you shoot down the shameless,
receive the reckless,
quieten the quarreler.

practise peace:
offer openness
nurture the needy (as you)
motivate the mocker (and)
learn to live with losing.

keep calm.

jettison the juvenile,
invite the ill-at-ease inside to invert the introvert.

hand out hope as homework. heal hatred.

guard the grateful
forgive the foolhardy
enliven the effortless; educate the eager.

deactivate the defeatist; defuse the derogatory; disarm the destructive; drive their dreams.

choose to challenge the challenging and
battle to break down bitterness.
alleviate anger: absolve the abuser; advocate for the abused.
(and after all this: be the architect of their ambitions, the artist of their aspirations...)

(NOTE: This poem uses the Poetry Jam prompt of "Rebel/Breaking all the rules". Having previously written an A-Z poem, I went for the Z-A inversion here. I chose my job as the inspiration for this poem, since teachers deal daily with would be "rebels without a cause". To my mind, however, most teachers are a breed of people who, like so many caring professionals, dare to rebel against the me-first social norm of our times. Instead, they give themselves for the future benefit of so many. This one is for you if you are a teacher, or if in what you do, you contribute to the welfare of the adults of tomorrow. Keep inspiring and believing in them!)

Also posted on Poets United

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

polaroids of soundbites of internal monologues go walking

holly is holding firm
on branches lit
by tired sun
bowing low down
stirring this soup bowl

seagull sky clacks out
insistent on union
commuter cars
yo-yo back
to the place where
they've come from

ducks in two flanks flee
on water rippling sapphire

bring George and Lennie out
for at least the twelfth time now

ear-muffs and poodles mix
small boy does scooter tricks
green fields in technicolour
rise to anoint this

a drinking swan dabbles on
a slither of cutlass moon
marching like Stansfield
stalking prey in Leon

trapped in this symphony
soothing sphere turning on
dating dependency
trying to hate no one.


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

sweeping statement

waiting for the perfect tidal wave:
a soul tsunami
knuckle whitening
cataclysmic change.

waiting to inhabit second earth:
send out satellites
bursting full of
shot or sought self-worth.

waiting to discover smoother roads:
while trudging through
the ruts and ridges,
rocks and broken bones.

waiting for this masterpiece to form:
as broadening brush strokes
slosh the canvas
staining sky in storm.

sweep though Sarayu
and whisper revolution:
send virgin snow
to bloody ground
fresh landscape dream
without a sound
sweep pneuma through
breathe deeply
to refresh reveal renew.

Posted on Poetry Jam

Thursday, 3 January 2013

lighting up time

trees are toppled                                                      
tinsel tucked away
baubles buried
in boxes
under our stairs.

lights, illuminated,
are eliminated
and extinguished as
electricity exhales,
happy to take a breather.

spiced orange scents
to remind us
of mulled wine warmth
and midwinter mirth.

in a city of lights
plunged into darkness
we are now the candles:
high on a hill
all that is left
but burning bright
staying lit
shining strong
flickering on.

Posted for Poetry Jam: Candles and Poets United


White trash-lovers, Freaks for all they’re worth, Anarchy in beady, brazen faces, Seizing stares, Standing ground...