The colour of magic – for Terry Pratchett

28/04/22

On Terry Pratchett Day – which was his birthday – here’s my homage to him. The poem was written in 2015. But thought it’d be nice to republish by way of a birthday greeting.

Hats off to Sir Terry.

OOK!

Terry Pratchett’s wonderful books have graced (occasionally disgraced) my bookshelves since the late 1980’s and like, so many, the news of his death left me, perhaps irrationally (given that I did not know the man of course, but he had let me into his world, so I felt -somehow – that I did) saddened, with a feeling of personal loss. This is a very inadequate, but heartfelt, tribute to a writer who has enriched my reading life. My thoughts are with his family and friends, and with us – his legion of fans. GO WELL FRIEND

The colour of magic

What’s this?

The Discworld suddenly stilled.

The Librarian utters a muffled, choking Ook!

Angry mutterings issue from a star dusted, rainbow crazed, magical book.

The Luggage lifts its lid in silent tribute.

In the Assassins Guild, knives and other such Thieves of Time

are lowered.

A Golem glowers, breaking the mould,

dwarves, goblins, werewolves, trolls,

gone the stories, gone the gold.

Witches lower their broomsticks,

to fly no more.

Lord Vetinari is blacked out,

the clacks have nothing to shout about,

The Nightwatch nowhere to walk about.

Sam Vimes, Lady Sybil

all left to doubt.

The cast of characters too many, too bold,

how much story, how far the masterful imagination,

must remain,

untold.

IT IS DONE

The great turtle, serene, untroubled perchance

paddling its huge flippers

in the ever changing celestial dance,

notes, a wide brimmed hat

a grey beard, a whispered hint of black,

an author, happenstance?

THERE IS NO MORE.

Ah, maybe, but are you sure?


My Angels Were Singing. A poem for St David’s Day. Dedicated this year to friends in Ukraine, as well as to all those in Wales. Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus.


Jamie Leaping – dedicated to Jamie, Bronwen and Tom

Jamie is a highly gifted dancer, and he and his family are good friends of ours. His mum took some photos of Jamie dancing on Newport Beach last summer, and for some months now these images have been percolating into a poem. So here’s my first poem of 2022. I hope it makes you feel a little lighter.

Let your spirit take flight. Though I doubt we’ll ever jump as high as he does!

JAMIE LEAPING

And here’s Jamie

Up and coming dancer

Scissor splitting the sunset asunder

Dinas Head dazzling

Leaping, stretching

Knifing the waves

Which are dawdling in from Ireland and beyond

Exhaling a gentle foamy breath

As they hit their sanded destination.

He is physicality personified

Ballet brought to life

Vivid, golden

Exploding into uplifting action

Leaving us

His virtual audience

Overawed, breathless.

Trapped in the virtuous circle of delight

As Jamie, leaping

Takes flight.

Like Dolphins arcing through the waves

Gazelles shying on the savanna

Red kite swooping earthwards

Condors catching the thermals

The wolf elevated from

It’s lair

Jamie too is suspended there

Gracing the stage

Rewriting the page

Defying gravity

Springing forth

An acrobat

A tumbler

An athlete of the air

Jamie dancing

Elemental

Jamie soaring

Fundamental

And yet also

Somehow

Transcendental


Two poems, remembering Andrew (dedicated to Janet, and all the family).

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

Andrew died a year ago today, after a long and harrowing illness. He was 43. He loved kite surfing, and was a great, green fingered gardener.

We all miss him.

These poems were written on the night of his death. And they are in honour of his memory.

A vigil (for Andrew)

In the still of midnight

As November closed the door

And moonlight silvered the new born

December night skies

I lay awake

Half listening to

Gregorian plain chant

Mesmerising

Soothing

I could only think about you

Wishing you

Willing you

Safe passage on this

your fateful journey

Knowing that

In the morning

Granted that we should see

The

Ever startling sunrise

Our being alive

Must feel

Somehow

As if it was

unjust.

 Kitesurfing

“I have slipped the surly bonds of earth”

There’s a garden here

Fat with beetroot, leeks, peas and tomatoes

Dripping with the scent of sweet peas

Michaelmas daisies, wallflowers and foxgloves

Bursting skywards.

I’ve tended them well,

Worked this good earth

And loved it too

But now

Must leave.

For the winds are rising

Sending sand scurrying

Whale blowing gouts of foam

caressing Cat Rock

Surf scudding

The sea is greeting

Beckoning

The great kite sail unfurled

I’m ready

Psyched up, Adrenalin fuelled and eager

Holding steady

Gripping 

Hearts eased and alive

Taken up

Fast flung skywards

The beach unfolding below

The waves unwrapping

And I’m soaring

Aloft where the gulls, oyster catchers, osprey make flight

Breath taking and beautiful

Exhilaration beyond delight.

There was a time

when

I’d return

To all that’s best

But now

I fly,

Unfettered, uncaring

Spiralling

Corkscrewing

Splitting the sunset

Silhouetting

Pirouetting

Set loose and

Free as a bird

Migrating

Heading into the West.

Marc Mordey 1st and 2nd December 2020

Photo by Helen Carey. For her nephew.

Two rabbits a poem on 9/11.

This poem was written whilst walking above the beach at Bournemouth. Like so many others, having watched events unfold a few days before, I was filled with a sense of dread, of uncertainty and of shock. And yet, even then, a name etched in sand caught my eye, a message of love? And the rabbits carried on, unmoved. This poem is dedicated to everyone who has lost loved ones, across the world, across the great divide, as a consequence of 9/11.

Two rabbits,

oblivious to

two towers tumbling

and thousands of

subsequent oblivions.

Sometimes we forget

that telegraph poles

were once trees,

and that great civilisations,

and their emblems,

never lose their capacity to lose their dominion

and be brought,

awesomely, abruptly,

to their knees.

In the sands at Bournemouth

Someone has scraped a name –

Caitlyn.

I hope it was the work of a lover.

For we must remember,

That love’s constancy

aims to please.

Meantime,

we are all but as rabbits,

caught in the twin beams of headlights

and impending oblivion.


For Afghanistan

I remember

floating down in a DC10

high above your sand scarred landscape.

Bullets were flying in Kabul, even then,

and we could not stay and see

but were removed, despatched, transient.

It was 1982

when I made fleeting acquaintance with you

and I had hoped, one day,

to return. Anew.

But now, the only offering I can make

is to place an orange flower in a green, gold vase

and hope, wish, it might burn bright for you

in this time of stunting, brutal war.

And trust that

in some desert flowered future view

Afghanistan 🇦🇫 might green once more.


My Columbine Valentine. For H B-C-M

Two years ago now, we were at sea! The sentiments expressed here though are before, contemporary and beyond. It’s all for you. Thank you. From the heart.

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My seaside Valentine

If I could choose

Just one

Moment in time

To take ahead with me

Into unfathomable eternity

Governed by uncertain deity

Then

It would be

Standing Forward

Bedecked by you

( and, in my mind’s eye,

two ghost dogs

standing by)

On our voyage sublime

Watching the watery world slide by

The Pacific, painted by

Glacial blues

Awake

Gelato cream confusion

Melting into the black mirrored swell

As scimitar shaped birds

Slice the crested waves

Balletic marine fencers

Weaving, careening and

En Garde!

Hunting

The ocean’s ceaselessly hungering mouth

Restless, inscrutable, immutable

Breathing, deep water scheming

Its owners have

But scant regard

for our lumbering vessel –

Man made iron muscle –

Outflanked and bested

By shearwater and petrel

Undone by dolphin and iridescent Dorado.

It is as though we were

Tipping over the Equator

Outstripping day and date

Adventuring, ever southwards

Our ship in full spate

Speed baffling knots

Nautical miles

Our beating hearts rate.

 

Yes!

This would be the moment I’d choose to take.

With

You

and I

Yours and mine

Atlantic,

Caribbean

Pacific

To be specific

My salt spray adored

My seaside companion

My maritime best friend

My own worlds end

My sweetwater , Columbine

Valentine

 

13/2/19

 

 

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Looking for a great read? Hurry along to http://helencareybooks.co.uk 

 

 


Always Rosemary

The 21st September is World Alzheimer’s Day. This poem, written five years ago, is dedicated to my mother in law, Rosemary, who lived alongside of Alzheimer’s for a number of years.

Sleeping now.

May your blanket be woven of spring time threads,

and flamespun from the azalea outside your window,

wild garlic fattening the woodland paths,

your fields, bested by bluebells,

Welsh oak, wild cherry, the rising sound

of saplings, keening in the breeze.

The crushed camelia heads that cushion the verge

below the trees

that you loved to see

as we were Fishguard, ferry bound.

Red petals gracing too, the secret garden,

where, a few snatched weeks ago,

we picked for you

Derek’s daffodils,

lingering strong and plump,

golden on your windowsill.

Sea thrift and campion binding the two Heads,

Dinas and Morfa dipping Westwards,

unwittingly majestic and yet, now, forlorn.

No longer held in your view.

Yet you loved to look out over these landmarks,

contemplating, ruminating,

reflecting perhaps,

on kinder, gentler days,

as you stared across the Bay

sometime sea shimmered,

at others, murk misted

 and

“Can’t see Dinas Head’, you’d say.

But cliffs and headlands prevail,

rock steady,

as you well knew,

through older age and illness,

stoically surviving,

cup of tea reviving,

discomfort, trauma,

bravely borne.

Ages slipped by, unwittingly,

as such they do,

and gradually,

and I am sure,

unwillingly

you gathered your very self in,

breathed deep,

withdrew.

Harder to distinguish then

your hopes, your fears,

the altered state

the change of mind.

Some things are, it seems,

beyond the ken

of us, the ones to remain behind.

Left, bereft,

to nurse your memory,

there must be laughter,

there will be tears.

But for all that changed,

across these widowed years,

you remained

a smile,

a crossword clue determined

a flash of will.

And of this I am,

ever certain,

always Rosemary,

somewhere,

it might seem to be

adrift,

yet fixed,

blossoming still.

Resting now,

sure enough and

ready to greet us

from

behind the ethereal, floating curtain.


Heroes

Hats off to the unsung heroes

Consistently saving our lives

The cleaners

Shelf stackers

Checkout people

Delivery drivers

The post workers

Rubbish collectors

Street sweepers

Waiters

Baristas

Checkout workers

Carers

Kitchen porters

Washers up

Laundry staff

Hairdressers

Reception people

The list goes on…

Unheralded

Underpaid

Undervalued

Passing by without much sound

But now we know

They’re the ones

Who really make the world go round


Friendships and community

The Borrowed Boy. I’m really looking forward to reading this new novel by my friend and colleague, Deborah . And I’m intrigued to see how she will have woven some of our community based work into her story. Exciting! Deborah can be found here on WordPress, search for Abra K Deborah.