Where Last We Met

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Where last we met was a shallowing stream,

And over it’s course leaned a wise oak tree,

And all seemed well, as though in a dream,

Yet there, again, we never would be.

Passers-by now feel a deep sombre mood,

As though a sad spectre, lonely, there stands,

Longing for her, the one he once wooed

With talk of the seas, and far travelled lands.

Some hear a whisper, as if called out to stop,

Others see phantasms floating through leaves,

From which drip tears, drop after drop,

As if Nature for Love and lovers bereaves;

Some see a shadow man rising to reach for the hand,

Of the woman who waits, as if unaware,

Haunted and haunting in a dark ghostly land,

Few stay there for long, for few wish to dare.

But I see a place, now barren, decayed, 

Of a life torn apart, it now seems to me,

And though all seemed well, as once in a dream,

It is where, again, we never can be.

The Dying Of The Age

Their voices distant sing to tunes,

Of laughter, love, surprise,

While fireflies softly sink, and rise,

On light of tragic moons,

But, nearer still, the empty sounds,

Of thoughts I cannot, dare not think,

Torture me like shadow hounds,

And bring me to the brink,

For all’s not well, and while they sip,

From cups of hope, that ever-empty be,

Or drink honeyed words from every lip,

Well, when you’ve lived, you’ll see,

For now we’ve turned the final page,

And there can read what all can sense,

The Dying of the Age.

Old Man To A Child

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I don’t look up much, no, not anymore,

No reason, really, to a wide empty sky,

Oh, what was it like? You’re right well to ask,

But where are the words, it’s right hard to describe,

Emptiness now, where once was plenitude of life-

But now-

Yes, the clouds are fair, or threatening, still,

Dark hovering one day, delighting the next,

Throwing daggers of light with cannonic sound,

Or arches of colour, like a child fairy’s dream,

But the swirling flocks that once danced above,

It’s been some years now since I saw the like,

And this year and last, in autumn and spring,

Search as I might, none flew south, and none north again,

Yet, in my time, they covered the heavens, for many a day,

But the insects have gone, the fields and the trees,

So they have too.  And the bats? 

Oh, they stopped coming two year ago.

No, I don’t look up much, no, not anymore,

There’s little to see, and I don’t like to cry.

Winter Note

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The town is fixed in icy gloom, 

And grim the sallow faces,

Bent against the bitter wind,

Like penitential cases,

While in the church, with reaching spire,

A priest prostrates in supplication,

Imploring gods to save us all,

As if we’re their earthly nation,

And there, on frozen river bank,

Tracks of footprints in the snow,

Where once a sad-eyed woman walked,

And last talked there to the Crow,

For in the shops and in the homes,

The air is thick with desperation,

Nothing is as once it was,

There’s nothing left but resignation,

And for the rest, we lead our lives,

In search of meaning, love, for reason,

But life just is, it comes and goes,

No more-there is no other season.

The Hawk’s Reproach

(On encountering a Hawk with its prey)

The Red Hawk’s eyes shot into mine,

As if to touch my mind,

Warning, this death is my necessity,

Let me feast, if you be kind;

The winter’s cold, the hunger’s long,

Like you, I must survive.

You cringe at death, and me condemn,

For a squirrel slain, ah, once your friend.

Pass on from here and go your way, 

Death is Life, and Life is Death,

In all of Space and Time.

Go slaughter more your fellow men,

As you are wont to do,

For power, riches, lust and fame,

The many for the few,

But I must kill to live, to be,

So, continue on your wayward path,

But don’t you dare judge me.

   Reflections On A Telescope

(And Claims We Will See The Beginning Of The Universe)

They’re all agog and mighty pleased, the ignorant, and the press,

With that new device they’ve sent to Space to prove that God exists,

A telescope to capture light-that comes from nothingness-

A moment in eternity, the greatest of their myths,

For nothing comes from nothing, as dear Lucretius proved;

Matter is eternal and space is limitless, 

A simple fact these fools will learn, to bitter tears be moved,

When they see, with their own eyes, no hand of God at play,

Just countless stars and galaxies in myriad stately rows,

Extending back through endless Time, no matter what they say.

They hope to see explosions, and childish magic shows,

And, behind all that a wizard’s face, to them the great Unknown,

Like the one that lived in Oz, but had his cover blown;

Cosmology is by dogma ruled, despite the facts described

By other minds that told us truths the fearful try to hide,

-Einstein knew it long ago, so did Alfven, Ratcliffe, Arp –

But myths support the structure of their Doctor Pangloss world,

So, they’re all agog and mighty pleased, and with themselves impressed,

But I think they’ll find that, in the end, they’ll have caused a great unrest.

Journey’s End

The hills are ever silent now

Or so it seems to me,

Since you left, that destined day, 

To cross the restless sea,

Where eastern winds caressed your hair,

And northern stars fell fast away,

Where southern waters warmed the air,

And diamonds danced the water’s way,

So far away your journey’s end,

While mine’s a slow walk down the road,

Passing through illusion’s veil,

Along the verdant valley floor.

There Stood A Man

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Upon a rock upon a hill,

That looked on distant sea,

There stood a man in quiet pose, 

Who knew not how to be,

For nothing was as once it was; 

The future held no dream.

Dark winds blew from stranging lands, 

A final symphony,

Of strangled cries, and dismal moans, 

Of all humanity,

While, faint, a lonely songbird sang, 

Variations on the theme.

And with the wind came memories,

But faded, indistinct,

For existence was illusion veiled, 

The secret hid, where life had gone,

Why love had never come,

He fought the urge to scream,

Then slowly turned to search his way,

Back down the craggy slope,

With mouth turned grim, with knotted brow,

Coat heavy, and the cane,

Descending to a vast unknown,

And dark it all did seem.

The Supplicants

Long the line of supplicants

Before the tyrant king,

Begging for the favour

Of kissing hand and ring,

While round the throne

Attendants stand,

Silent, severe, serene,

Who truly rule the land

But speak only to them selves,

Gathering in secret,

To dangle puppets from their strings;

It’s all a vast confusion,

An illusory, shadowed world,

You and I forever lost, not knowing what to do,

What is right or what is wrong,

And right and wrong for who.