Strumble Head

At Strumble Head

 

A half hour stolen from the day, so

I came to Strumble Head.

The sea, blue grey rolling hillocks.

An oyster catchers cry splitting the bay.

Foxgloves, daisies, sky blue candy tufts,

and a cormorant, jet streaming the billows.

 

The intermittent mirrored wink of the lighthouse

gleaming, sun streaming.

Always, the inner gasp as a breaking wave

behoves a porpoise – or impossibly not.

Simply in my dolphin dreams?

Ever, the reverberating of the gulls,

persistent squalls, mews, occasional screams.

 

Outside this bubble, a world becalmed

The noise, the mighty chaos and upheaval,

and the smaller fuss, went on.

In Germany, a man, armed

Took a fatal spree, a cinema shooting run.

A composer died, aged one hundred.

Refugees lay, exposed in 50 degrees of heat,

unhindered by aid, a blanket between seven,

no tents, no water, no food.

As the waves primped and plumed,

I wondered

how it is that,

across this planet of ours

the odds remained:

Uneven.

 

As people on our islands voted

Again, again, again…

My mind was tumbling, Strumble bound

To past walks with you, picnics and dogs.

A curious seal, whiskered and severe

Head bobbed brightly in a cove we know.

The coast path meandered, stumbled.

Lost, then found.

 

Then, returned to my small reality,

albeit cage dragged and reluctantly.

My heart and soul ablaze, it’s true.

For Strumble, Penrallt and so much else besides.

Gifted, treasured,enormity

this sea bound, cliff scaped endless beauty.

The odds are stacked,

my card marked…

My reward:

From, my ever treasured you.

 

This poem was written on the day of the UK Referendum (aka Independence Day – ha, the irony!) I shall continue to seek refuge in the beauty of landscape, environment and the unconquerable nature of Nature itself. And, am grateful to all – most especially HB, for this was written expressly for you – who have spoiled me with love and affection. 

I am indeed, a most fortunate man.

 

 

 

 

 


Referendum Poem

Referendum poem

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” (attributed to Winston Churchill)

Sunday – a rainy day in late June,2016.

 

(1)

The dust is settling,

the leaflets, posters, social media messages, badges

are tumbling forlorn, misspent

nose diving through the ether and the recycling bins.

A nation where a joyful, 52 per cent,

celebrate the gift, apparently,

heaven sent.

(Though there’s future hell to be raised,

in Parliament).

 

 

(2)

This referendum now

as ever they were

an unwieldy hammer

to the half split nail

of popular thought

and the nation’s been sold

a blunt and dulling, instrument.

 

(3)

But,

” the people spoke”

(though with only half a voice,

and, a quarter besides,

exercised

no choice).

If you happen to have

your preference

denied,

you can “like it or lump it”.

For this outcome,

the, all too slight majority,

must decide.

(4)

Depending where, you placed your cross,

join in with,

or tolerate, the triumphant grins,

(though it is hard to joke,

when your breakfast vote

has caused you to choke).

Is there scope to placate?

Or simply the case :

“Get on with it”

“Get over it”

Live with the loss.

 

(5)

Now we all, must wait and see,

the outcome of this heavy handed

dose of democracy.

Yes, perhaps some sovereignty will be restored

European laws – as with some people –

are out,

excluded and forlorn,

can be tossed

overboard.

“We’ve got our country back”.

Village greens can echo to cricket and cream teas,

warm beer, good cheer, the gentle buzzing of the soporific bees.

Markets can crash, governments fall,

who knows, perhaps,

we’ve instigated the collapse of the European Wall.

And we needn’t worry

about the Great Divide,

the angry voice,

of youth, denied.

And, who needs the Union?

Let it fall to its knees.

For we’ve smashed the bureaucrats

stuffed the fat cats

given the politicians a bloody nose

And,

” It’ll all work out well”

(Nervously spoken, whisper it)

” We suppose? ”

 

(6)

The Leave campaigners, must now

for all of us

do the very best they can.

And we have to be sure

(for these are “conviction politicians”)

that they wouldn’t have got us into

this, “short term” mess,

without a very substantial Plan?

 

(7)

The lines in the sand are drawn

new flags unfurled.

I’ll sit and await

(Europe, still born)

the arrival of this

Brave New World.

 

Marc Mordey 26 6 16

 

 

 


A poem for St David’s Day

014August and sept 2015 034 

My angels were singing : a poem for St David’s Day 

This poem was written a few years a go now – and I have shared it previously. I wondered about ‘recycling it ‘ but (rightly or wrongly) I love this poem, and, given that St David’s Day is an annual event, well….here’s to him, to Wales and the Welsh, and ultimately ; to us all!

Ddiwrnod da ac yn flwyddyn wych I ddod.

 

I stood near the house

where Grace once lived,

My angels were singing.

 

I watched as birds

and daffodils dived.

My angels were singing.

 

It’s spring and the sun

bursts fat and alive.

And my angels were singing.

 

Old crow, silhouetted against Carningli rock,

purple shadowed on blackened burnt bracken,

gorse and heather reeling :

the after shock.

But my angels were singing, still.

As seagulls wheeled across the bay,

catching sea breezes,

tumbling at will.

 

The Irish Sea lies beneath

becalmed and silvered blue,

and my angels were singing.

 

Wales’ favourite saint remembered

the new season breaks forth, springing,

flowers dancing, church bells – ringing.

His angels – singing.

 

Seasons, people, live and die,

here and now is for the living.

But remember those you love or loved –

do try.

And let your angels be singing.

Let your angels be singing.

 

 


The Thin White Duke no more

It seems strange to me, almost uncanny, how the death of someone one has never met, and now, never will, (and of course, probably never would have encountered anyway!) can feel like such a personal loss. I felt this following the death of Terry Pratchett and now do so about that of David Bowie. And, as witnessed by the incredible amount of tributes and commentary, lots of other people do too.

The statement that an artist provided the “soundtrack to my years” is, of course, a cliché – but hey, David Bowie is right up there amongst my inventory of magical musical discovery….of lost summer mornings abandoned to song,  of sneaking a disc onto the radiogram (in the early days, prior to the Dansette) of the thrill of the new, crisp covered LP, of talking though the nuances of photos, lyrics, sleeve notes, with various friends. Of life, of love, of sadness and of the sheer, brutal thrill of new sounds, new visions. Rest Well Mr Bowie – you deserve no less, well at least, as far as my – inadequate – book is concerned. 

  

As suburban adolescence slid by

Our small town’s parks disturbed by smoke, cheap beer, chatter

Indiscretion and mild obsession

You, somehow, showed us what might matter

Sometimes snarled lyrics, harsh guitar

At others, a love letter, whispered

Hermione and the Starman in harmony.

 

Later, we rode from Station to Station

Having been a Lodger, Low, an occasional zero

Rock and Roll Suicide denied

Dogs, cats, diamonds amongst the genocide

And yet, you sang, the possibility that even we

Even I

Might become, reclaimed, refreshed, a Hero.

 

Last night, the moon split by dark cloud

(A favoured line, of mine)

I sang to you,  windswept and westward

though this is not America

skybound, space scattered, unfettered

Blackstar indeed

As the radio waves vibrated with your muse

So sad, so very personal, somehow

Dear David, wondering

Where are you now

Where are you now?

 


Light parade – for National Poetry Day 2015

A buzzard floats,

a feather dusted flight,

mottled by the, ever sweet surprise,

the first fingered, soft whispered flush

of Pembrokeshire sunrise.

Dinas Head, capped in mid morning,

hurricane warning,

nettle nectared light,

honey busted,

green field and wind worsened hedgerows,

shimmering, clustered,

apparently lanced by purple tongued shadows.

Later, Berry Hill cows

cotton wool and soot splashed skins

soaked in castle bound, church wardened

gravestone greyed, flagstone mossed

autumn crazed sunshine.

Towards sunset,

a late blackberry,bruised and fat

falls, a tiny world of globes,

fruitful, untroubled as

motes of dust sparkle

amidst the faltering strobes,

the cautioning, duskling cackle

of Canadian Geese,

gradually muted, as the sky fades,

souped and stilled,

horizon blended.

Tonight?

Starlight sponged on the ink blacked,

spangled sky,

split by Strumble headed

lighthouse telescoped beams.

As we sleep, kaleidoscoped and vivid,

in the land of Westerly illuminated dreams.

Latest photos (Jan 2013) 009


For HB – a small poem about harvest ( Don’t ever doubt it)

I see you, in my mind’s eye,

as the rail skimming miles slide by.

You are peeling apples

in our kitchen,

two ageing, worsted cook books,

flour dusted, unflustered

by your side.

Chunking, slicing, chutney dicing.

Slooshing, whooshing, liquid reducing.

And that, which cannot be denied?

You’re the jam, the jelly roll, adoration preserved.

The unadulterated, unreserved,

honeyed, sugar coated,

butter bested.

The core – I’m sure,

and yet, by me : surely undeserved?

The bowl of cherries and more.

Ever the apple of my eye.May and June 2015 020


Heaven Has No Fences – dedicated to the memory of the 800 migrants who died this last weekend

this poem was written six years ago, but, in the light of the tragic events of this week, has a renewed resonance for me. Rest well.

Heaven Has No Fences

In our world……

The sky is blue bolted and stilled,

spring washed and not yet

summer stilted.

I lay in the garden

gazing across the Bay,

a chiff chaff summoning, bell like trilling,

unwittingly willing to add thrill to

a Sunday evening revelry.

Earlier, we walked along the Nevern,

woodlands pin pricked by wood anemones,

bolstered by wild garlic

and the first blue bells creeping skywards.

Nothing untoward until

an owl, a tawny streak,

chased by a furious blackbird

disappeared, chastened perhaps

into the green tented, splintered tree tops. 

In your world…… 

Dawn, presumably, could not come too soon

as you fought your way to the side,

galvanized by the hope a passing cargo ship

might provide.

The Mediterranean, at one point

a moonlit, blank canvas,

the next moments, a swirling scramble,

angry abstract patterns, peopled by those

in extreme, ultimate, unimagined distress.

And beyond…… 

I must confess,

a shared sense of hopelessness,

the frustration that our two worlds can be

so far flung, heart strung,

devastatingly beautiful

and one almighty mess.

The awfulness of what drove you on

the headlong rush to emigrate

is likewise tough to contemplate.

In part, I too must bear the burden

for these casting votes of carelessness.

Life, the casual combination of magic and loss,

toil, sweat, leisure, excess

the daily, weekly, yearly struggle,

the explosion of the senses.

Can leave my mind muddled, confused,

my values and principles

shadowed, huddled

assaulted by the restless flow of news.

But one thing, for me,

remains as clear as morning dew :

heaven has no fences.

Mediterranean migrants

13,500

Migrants rescued 10-17 April

1,600

Feared to have died attempting the crossing so far this year

  • 35,000 Migrants have arrived from North Africa in 2015
  • 218,000 Estimated to have crossed the Mediterranean in 2014
  • 3,500 Migrants died attempting the crossing last year

Source: UNHCR


Poem for Armistice Day 11 11 2014

Remembrance Sunday.

What would you have had us remember?

As you mustered in the trenches,

Around the gun emplacements.

As you hopped into the cockpit

And flung yourself skywards,

Or plumbed the depths

Submerged and submarined?

Should we remember your bravery?

Your mockery? Your cynicism in the face of duty?

Your gut wrenching anxiety,

Your fear, your mortal pain,

As you were killed and wounded,

Again and again and again?

Do the flags, the parades,

The preachers, the cavalcades,

Act as sufficient homage?

Or would peace, justice, equality

Be more deserving of your patronage?

But whichever,

It is true.

We must continue,

To remember you.

(This poem, and lots of others, to be found in  my collection, ‘Marcism Today’)


The ordinary act – dedicated to the people of Flight MH17

The ordinary act

Suddenly, the everyday act of

Standing on the stairs

Stopping, to tie my shoe laces

becomes miraculous.

As I catch my breath,

before rushing out,

People are falling like snowflakes.

A child’s rucksack, a stuffed toy monkey,

the body of a St Bernard, and of macaws,

jettisoned, marooned,

Sprawled amongst the wheat sheaves that are

reaching, cathedral like, towards the sun switched summer shadows.

Silage rolls basking like petrol drums.

A bitter crop for Ukraine

and for the world, well beyond.

The tractor tracks of harvest green

scrambling, ploughing

slough of despond.

 

As I eat lunch,

tanks are scouring sandy paths

in a ravaged landscape,

savage hewn ruts of falling machinery,

rockets, surly and skywards menacing

dust plagued army vehicles,

the bloated belch of the side splitting guns,

the pylons staggering, the wires ablaze with the noise of war.

 

Here, as I stare out of the train window,

trees fill the skyline, and there are sunflowers

and cornfields, basking in the peace of an English summers day.

The harvest should be full and fat

the table fully laden, untroubled by despair.

Elsewhere – on the bad days,

it can feel like almost everywhere –

we reap people, homes, schools and hospitals,

the table groans, splits, splinters

destroyed by an overwhelming burden of care.

A skeleton building, a dolls house, fractured

Curtains shivering, post explosion blasted,

young lives, rich with promise, now ever disabled

and only ghosts left to sit at this harvest table.

Outside Newport, Gwent, I see a mattress hanging

drunk and halfway out of a window,

but it’s only out to air.

In Gaza it would act as an emblem for despair.

 

Might we replay, replace these moments, I wonder,

in some fondly imagined,

great blue yonder?

 

Months later, I awake early,

a storm is battering the mountain side.

I remember a morning, nearly 30 years ago,

a dustbin lid, a galvanised chariot wheel,

careering up and down Bullar Road,

awakening the citizens of Bitterne Park,

the dawn ghosted, wind maddened,

alarm clock fumbling of the semi dark.

Right now, it is wild outside, the trees are stuttering

whooshing, swishing and swirling.

Yet I am safe, cocooned, unperturbed,

secure, loved, undisturbed.

 

Elsewhere, the storm clouds curling,

warfare, Ebola, conflicts clattering,

the media chattering, gabbling,

politicians and generals, as ever, squabbling.

And all across this battered globe

there will be those, saddened, shattered,

bruised and betrayed, left bereft, barely intact.

 

Later, I will tie my shoelaces, walk the dogs,

fulfil, I trust, a host of everyday miracles,

celebrate my great fortune, and for those I love.

Privileged to work on something in which I believe.

 

Needing , ever, to remember the simple grace,

the joy of place, the ability to eat, sleep, breathe,

the breathtaking, gut wrenching, savage celebration

of simply being alive.

 

The daily, extraordinary,

ordinary act.

 

21/10/14

A note of explanation.

I have thought, long and hard about this poem, both with regard to writing it, and now to publishing it, as it could seem both heartless and cavalier to celebrate one’s own good fortune amidst the devastation and desperation of so many people’s lives. But I do believe that there is an obligation upon those of us who are fortunate enough to enjoy good health and prosperity to recognise that, and to be thankful for it – and to utilise the opportunities that such good fortune allows us, to be of benefit to others, however we might choose to do so. Like so many people, I was shocked and appalled by both the reality and the awful imagery of the downed Flight MH17 – and so much else that has occurred since – and my heart goes out to everyone affected, left troubled or worse, as a consequence of it. My poem, for what it is worth, is dedicated to all who suffer, and to all who strive to alleviate everyday pain and despair.


A link to a blog piece on our National Poetry Day (2014) event

lovely photos and a nice piece from Diana – we had a brilliant evening, a richness and diversity of poets , wonderful music from Lowri Evans and Lee Mason, delicious crepes provided by Beatrice of Ffwrn (and served – with great aplomb – by Helen Carey)  ….think we will return!!

http://dianapowellwriter.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/pancakes-poems-at-ffwrn-fishguard.html?spref=fb

thanks Diana