Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my poetry blog – Poetica Domestica! I am enjoying writing my poetry and this poetry blog has been running for a little while now. I have had long periods when I haven’t sat down and written anything but I hope to post more regularly. My work isn’t “high art”, but it is written from the heart and about things that have happened to me or people I know or the world around me. So I hope you enjoy reading the posts. If you do please feel free to press Like at the bottom of the poem or leave me a comment. Take a look at the About page (click on Menu above) to see why it’s called Poetica Domestica and to see two of the three poems that inspired the title.

Hambledon Hill

Whilst visiting friends near Shaftesbury in September we climbed up part of Hambledon Hill and this poem is a reflection of my thoughts when I stood on top of the hill, looking at the quintessential English countryside below us. Plus these thoughts and feelings were amplified by a recent concert by the Thomas Tallis Society marking the centenary of the end of World War I with music and poetry from composers and writers of that era.

Hambledon Hill

High on Hambledon Hill I stood
And watched the clouds float by the hills.
The patient sheep, who turned to look
At who was passing through their lea,
Returned to chewing grass and leaf,
Skipping skittishly through the gaps
Left open for them by their squire,
Following friends to pastures new.

High on Hambledon Hill I stood
And looked at rolling, quiet hills,
The little hamlets nestling, snug
Against the trees and meadows bright
With crops and berries, birds and men
All gathering in the golden hoard,
And cars and lorries rumbled far
Away to distant country towns.

High on Hambledon Hill I stood
And thought of how they felt when called,
Those brave young men, those country men –
A hundred years ago they left
This idyll scene – how did they ache
When down these lanes they marched away
With shouldered arms, to teary waves,
Following friends to pastures new?

High on Hambledon Hill I stood
And wondered if they climbed here once
Before they left, to take a print
Of all this beauty, all this view,
Their homes, their lives, their land, their heart,
A glowing photo in their heads
To light their darkest hours and dread,
Away in distant countries’ towns.

High on Hambledon Hill I stood
And thought of those who came back here,
Returned to take again the plough
And make their living from the land
For which their comrades fought and gave
Their lives, the missing ones who roamed
This countryside, this old green hill,
Then followed on to pastures new

The bee and I

On Saturday 7th April Pete and I went to The Potted Garden and I was looking at a tray of plants when a bee climbed onto my hand. I tried to shake him off but he was so drunk with nectar that he wouldn’t budge. I wrote this poem about it when I got home.

I wonder who was more surprised –
The bee?
Or me?
I plunged my hand into the plants
And he
Found me!
He climbed up on my fingers, then
I froze.
He rose
A little higher up my hand!
I shook,
He stuck!
Now what were we supposed to do?
Impasse,
Alas.
I waved my hand to set him free.
He flew!
Adieu!

Trosley Walk

Trosley Walk
The path leads us down into the green woods
Which lie upon a ridge, following close
The flowing contours of Kent’s North Downs hills.
Hardly mountains as found in other places,
But steep enough in parts to catch our breath
In pants. No Everest or Snowdon, still
The views afforded by this dreamy height
Appear in bite-sized chunks, through little frames
Showing their tantalising glimpses of
A distant, sun-streaked landscape. There the towns,
The houses, people, roaming cattle, horses,
Are pale against the golden ripening corn.
The trees conceal the intervening sights.
As we press on from gap to gap, I muse.
Could these small, bright snatches knit together
In our mind’s eye, to form the panorama
Of what lies below this tranquil Downland way?
October 2016

The river runs gently

Yesterday I attended my granddaughter’s bronze award art exhibition at the University of the Creative Arts campus, high on the hill in Rochester, overlooking the river Medway. During the session we stood in the canteen looking down over the Medway. Afterwards I wrote this short verse contrasting the slow run of the wide river with the excitement of the young artists at the exhibition :

The river runs gently, reflecting blue
And silver, winding broad bends, rounding banks.
Behind me flows the chatter of young Art,
Excited by the prospects of such fun,
And chance to bring their different worlds to life.
Their minds, young rivers, tumbling, racing down,
Whilst far below the ageing Medway runs,
A quiet, gentle flow down to the sea.

6th April 2018

A gloomy day in winter

Mist hangs upon the mind as fog the day,
And mind turns moody as the day light fails.
No piercing rays cut through these darkening bonds,
No warming sun yet rising overhead.

No cleansing rain comes tripping down to quench,
No soft-down snow falls lightly on the grass,
But grey, dull gloom blots out with glowering clouds
The warming sun not rising overhead.

No roaring wind blows freshness through the air,
Nor sweeps away bright autumn’s rotting hoard,
A murky, blurring dampness still obscures
The warming sun not rising overhead.

Still nature knows the Spring’s not far away
And little heads are showing through the grey.
They’ll push their yellow, white, blue buds to reach
That warming sun now rising overhead.

A tale of two days

A tale of two days
The bright sun shining as we drive along
The crowded motorway, full of speeding
Cars, vans and lorries carrying food and wares
To wondrous, unknown places, near and far.
The barking voice commands us now to turn
And we’ve arrived at where we want to be.
The bright sun glinting on the river, calm
And still, with brightly painted boats, and folks
Just taking in the clear autumnal sun.
The warm conviviality of friends.
A meal with those we love and came to see.
Our faces light with joy, this day of fun.

The dark and drizzly damp-soaked day dawns cold.
Drear gloominess pervading soul and sight.
No reason then to stir, so sitting still
And brooding over such a change in mood
Comes hard upon the heels of one so bright,
As if the seasons changed in just one day –
Then summer’s bright day, now winter’s dark night.
The dark and drizzly damp-soaked day drifts on.
A struggle to enthuse our weary minds
With mundane, irksome tasks which must be done.
A day of tedium – a fight to care.
Our hearts are down and dull, this day of gloom.

Autumnal days bring different climes and moods,
One sunny and the next wild wind and rain,
Then back again, a tit-tat game of old,
Played out now as the season turns to gold.

The Fallen

I haven’t posted for a while as I have not had much time for writing. But here’s one I have finished today:

The Fallen
A battle raw has raged these last few weeks.
The fallen masses litter now the way.
Here’s some with rosy cheeks, high on a hill,
While others, pale and green, on low plains lie.
They lie there all abandoned, bruised or cut,
Attracting birds and vermin by their scent.
A little boy then kicks their rotting corpse,
They roll like footballs on the muddy track.
He laughs and runs along, away to school,
Leaving scattered bits of flesh upon the ground.
Next day they’re gone – the way all cleared – but still
The fall’s not done, more brothers yet to drop
And fight as if a show’s required, to take
Revenge for those that fell before, now gone.

A battle raw has raged and now is spent,
The fallen masses vanished from the fray –
The ones with rosy cheeks high on the hill,
The pale and green ones on the plains below.

 

The Cat

Along the winding alley strolled the cat
Stepping daintily like a puss en pointe
And pausing briefly in her dance, she sat
And turned her head, to see if we were wont
To walk along the same, narrow path that
She now so “owned”. Distain upon her face,
Her furry back as lustrous as a mat –
Each strand so carefully groomed and in its place –
She turned again, queen in her habitat,
Resumed, her tail aloft, her single quest
A mouse to catch and toy with, or a rat
To hunt and pounce on, nature unsuppressed.
But seeing none she lazily strolled on
Then stopped, stretched out, long legged, to catch the sun.

Dad

With Fathers Day just around the corner I thought I would share this poem that I wrote about my Dad:

To see those grey, down turning eyes once more
Or hear again those tales he told before
And listen to his chortle and recall
Adventures with his friends, his mates and all
The things that he enjoyed along the way.
I wish he was still with us here today
To watch his great grandchildren growing up
And spend our time together washing up!
His dish-cloth hands so big and always chapped
Were gentle as a baby’s. He always laughed
And played fun tricks and japes to make you smile
And you’d forget your woes for all that while.
So many were his interests and his crafts,
With needlepoint, wood turning, other arts.
A true renaissance man. He loved to read
And worked in engineering. His big need
Was to create and please. He carved in wood
And made such clever things cos he just could!
“Got e’er a pencil” was his favourite phrase
When he was thinking out again the ways
To make good on that promise that he made
“I’ll knock you one up” he would have sayed
When you expressed a need for something new
Which he could make and save a bob or two.
He played the comb and paper, and sang along;
The “organ parts” was my view on his song.
The accordion was his instrument, hearty,
he played it when he could at family parties.
He loved the classics musical, Beethoven
And Faure Requiem, magic woven.
“O Holy Night” at Christmas he enjoyed,
And Dickens’ “Christmas Carol” always read.

He left us in the winter, cold and sad,
Our fun, our loving, clever, happy dad.
We miss him when we make a cup of tea.
We miss him when we share a tale or three.
We miss him when there’s diy to do.
We miss his tricks to cheer us when we’re blue.
We miss him all the time, let’s raise a cup,
To our great dad who did the washing up!