Paris Interlude

 

Pablo Picasso - Seated Woman, 1927 at Art Gallery of Ontario - Toronto Canada

 

She sat quite alone at a sidewalk café,

on a street near the Seine and the Musee D’Orsay,

silver hair shining through the shadows of leaves,

trembling above her, caressed by the breeze,

loves past and lost years, were those tears in her eyes,

when softly she smiled, as one who soon cries,

then picked up her glass of red tinctured wine,

with an elegant hand I wished could touch mine,

and drank again memories of rebellions and art,

As we sat there united, at tables apart.

 

Revelations of the Night

mystic night, image

Beyond the wind, beyond the seas, beyond the dawn, they went,

by land and sail, by horse, by ship, the open sky their tent,

always east they journeyed on, this caravan of eight,

two by two, or four by four, towards their common fate,

through ocean storms, through desert winds,

through hunger’s grip, they passed,

and always had the same reply for those who sometimes asked,

the reasons for their travel, the meaning of their path,

to illuminate their ignorance or flee a tyrant’s wrath,

‘we’ve heard a tale of lands far-off where peace and justice reign,

it’s that we’ve searched for far and wide but fear we search in vain,

for all we’ve found is misery, leavened with despair,

and among the dispossessed are few who dare,

to see what’s right before their eyes,

or defy with angry questions the lies that swarm like flies,’

and so they passed, in times of old, hunter, farmer, engineer,

the weaver, and the poet, with songs of woe and cheer,

the doctor and the star-man, round the world they went,

learning all they ever could, how flowers made their scent,

until one day they found a place that filled their very need,

a land where people led themselves and all had time to read,

where wars were long forgotten, for they had the best defence,

walls of wisdom, moats of tears, and arms of common sense,

where making love was still an art, and art exposed their soul,

where learning, and not riches was the only worthy goal,

and so astonished were they, at all they witnessed there,

that soon they spoke of passage home for this they had to share,

but just before the dawn appeared, in gown of rosy sky,

they all awoke from deep in sleep, and began to wonder why,

the things they’d seen were nowhere round their dying fire’s light,

and wondered who would listen to revelations of the night.

 

 

 

 

 

The World The Right Way Up

 

foodsofengland 1647upsidedown

It was a day ago, a week, perhaps,

while strolling past a market stall,

there stepped out to the front of me,

a brazen looking boy,

who in a strangely whispered voice

did shyly ask my name

and with his blue eyes locked on mine

calmly blocked my way

to ask me where I journeyed,

and what I had to say,

but while searching for the answers,

in thoughts so strange to me,

I heard an old and damning voice

speak ghostly in my ear,

‘leave him and his sinning,

the dead have had their say,’

as somewhere in the distance

old priests began to wail,

for gods long gone forever

their wailing all in vain,

so on I went past whispers,

past shabby streets and shops,

past all the bourgeois hopes they sell,

wrapped up with despair,

and found myself on boulevards

like a well-off, well-to-do,

but when the pocket’s empty,

desire’s a heavy chain,

so burdened, bitter, broken,

lost in lonely gloom,

I wandered sordid saddened streets

until I saw a shadowed door,

in an alley in a quarter

where kings are still unknown,

on which in glowing letters gold,

were writ three words,

“the common right,’

that made me open wide the door

to find within a place of light

where Justice was by Peace embraced,

while Reason played guitar,

that truly seemed a world apart,

a world turned upside down,

and so I came to tell you,

a message old yet strong,

the door’s not locked, it’s open,

and we only have to dare,

to turn the world the right way up,

and bring the wrong side down.

 

 

They Cut Down The Trees

trees sad

 

They cut down the trees,

one hot summer’s day,

to save us from squirrels

or maybe the snow,

or was it to widen

those old fashioned paths,

for questions drew silence,

and they never were clear,

they marked them with red,

with their crosses of blood,

then cut down the beauty,

and destroyed all the shade,

and left us a wasteland

they thought rather grand.

The Prisoner

Goya-The prisoner

He sat in a chair,

unable to move

a prisoner without name

in the jail of despair

that rose high on the hill

of world circumstance,

surrounded by shouts

of the armies of night,

preparing for war

on the refuge of peace,

and as they prepared

the hot seas rose high,

the skies flashed with flame,

and even stars wept,

for the millions to die,

for those already slain,

while assassins and tyrants

claimed, with righteous disdain,

that it was all for our good,

that all would be fine,

and silenced the few

who dared still to protest.

 

 

 

That Sweet Serenade

peaceful scene

Where is the silence, that sweet serenade,

to bring me some peace, with a soft calming air,

to heal me, to soothe me; a sun-dappled glade,

where gentleness sits in an old rocking chair,

for long is the journey, the path hard to find,

shaded by shadows, illusions of light,

this stumbling forward, this walk of the blind,

endlessly seeking a way towards sight,

in lands full of troubles that fall like the rain,

and flow by black streams to plutonium seas,

while we struggle, alone, with Time’s heavy chain,

each of us damned by the loss of the keys,

but I’m tired of asking, the asking a plea,

for silence, for peace, some rest for my head,

so to hell with it all, I’m up for some tea,

or whisky, or stronger, to ward off the dead.

 

Jupiter Rising

 

xg19vbrupsry

To see Jupiter rising in a May evening sky,

an arcing bright light among shivering leaves

and early white blossoms of an old cherry tree,

caused me to think of my brief passage through time

as the rise and the fall of a lone shooting star,

a wanderer, from nowhere, whose gone in a flash,

while the planet, unchanged, moves still on its path,

and the leaves, from bright green, turn to autumnal gold,

then fall, and decay, yet with spring are reborn,

while the blaze that was me is now just smoke and dark dust.