Veterans – a D Day tribute.

75 years before…….

Young men stumbling into the shell bound surf
Silver flying fish
Stunned
The boys, wading on and in
Falling, camouflaged no more
Booming, battling forth
Whistling bullets, the siren song of war
Deafening the ocean’s unerring roar.

Years ago
in Juneau
I watched ‘Saving Private Ryan’
With Pete Bibb
Self appointed ‘old timer’
Who left the movie house
“Cannot watch this, have to go”
he muttered
As the faux machine guns
Cinematically stuttered.

This D Day morning
The robes of priests, clustered
The coat tails of politicians
And hats of royalty
Fluttered
As the bemedalled veterans
Mustered
Attendant, attentive,
Old men now
Memories shared, perhaps, despairs
Some stood and stared
As the peace yearning prayers
Were uttered.

In the fields at home
The buttercups, the thistle heads
Were bowing in the stiffening wind
That blows across the Channel
Westward, ho!
The clouds scud seawards
A breath of memory passes
Back across to France
Where death gleaned a mighty harvest
No respect for rank, for officer classes.

The flags and flowers
Half masted
The crowds lost
Perchance
In collective trance
Subdued respect, even awe
For
Our veterans.

And own them all, we all surely must
Those alive
Others sand blasted,dust
Their debt, in full, is met
Our account
Ever owed
To remember
And not forget.

2015-flowers-family-friends-018


In Crete we dreamed in blue

We had a holiday in Crete a little while back. The sea and sky were as blue as can be. The greens were equally intense. The kingfisher combined all these colours. The sunsets bled into the sea.

Helen and I met on a Greek Island, Kythira, when she was teaching creative writing. I was one of her students…I came home with the First Prize.

Helen Carey, this one’s for you.

(Oh! And hats off to Homer too! And a muted apology to the writer of ‘Grease’) 

IN CRETE WE DREAMED IN BLUE

It’s autumn

But in Crete the leaves are not yet falling

And I’m bursting with life

Olive grove glad

Back Home

In the land of the Iliad

We are here

Our 18th year

Greece, the landscape

Soaked in ancient Sage

Washed with Thyme

History beyond belief

And the nearly new

That’s me and you.

In our spring

Kythera was King

Oleander lit the way

Winding down dusted tracks to

The azure blue, Kapsali bay,

Hora above, gleaming alabaster white

In our autumnal , peacocked Crete

Kingfishers dripping jewels in flight

Across the Lake at Agir

Turtles stroke the tranquil waters at Koumas

Now, in the dream dented, honeyed night

My Cretan Queen whispers

Impish delight

“Greece is the word”

And I heard

And I heard

And I heard….


A red kite, but no osprey (dedicated to Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita…and the Dyfi Osprey Project)

2015 flowers, family, friends 052(PHOTOS by Marc Mordey – the Penrallt Eagle, created by the blacksmiths

at Dinas, Pembrokeshire)

 

(The music, like the bird itself

Soars

Above the Dyfi Estuary,

and over the mangroves

fumbling their way to the

Isle de Palétuviere

as the pirogues drift down glassy water

and a pelican dominates the jetty)

 

In Pembrokeshire,

a red kite

eddying the cloudless sky

imperious above our crop dusted fields

might spy

siskin, finch, wood pigeon

a thrush, jack hammering a snail

between two stone dogs

keeping their green mossed vigil

A young jackdaw

striking a cormorant pose

bewitched by the chimney

beating time on the ridge tiles

 

(It’s hot, this year)

 

There are swallows skimming

and Amazons at sail in the bay

muted blue below

 

(and the harp still swoons

and the kora

flying fingered fishing line

rocks a gentle rhythm

whilst I am at sea

in a pyjama striped hammock)

 

Blue tits, dipping for water

in the stone bird bath

that celebrates a golden grand-parented wedding

of 50 years ago

 

There are lilies blooming

amidst the dying embers of foxglove

and jasmine perfume teasing

romping in a green gaged balloon of bush

St John’s Wort in full throttle

And pink flushed, sunset resplendent

oliander, a whisper of Greece

and the road to Milapotamos

that we took

so long ago

 

(and the opsrey, Dinas, fledges

takes fleeting, freewheeling flight

and feels Wales on its wings

maybe anticipates

instinct, deep chested and hidden

Senegal sunshine

 fat flowing river

sea hawk’s delight)

 

The honeysuckle is draped

and honeyed

whilst the weather vane is stilled

the umbrella stifled with gaffer tape mends

no breeze

no sirocco

blowing the wind southerly

from Africa

 to lighten the atmosphere.

 

(but, no fear

for the music still plays,

swaying, stirring, evoking

 the sea,

Carningli

Dinas Head

Morfa Head

and the Land of Song beyond

still here

still here)

2015 flowers, family, friends 051

 

 

 


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


Always Rosemary – a poem for my mother in law

This poem is written for and dedicated to my mother in law, Rosemary, who died in early May of 2015. Rosemary had Alzheimer’s, and the purpose of this poem is to celebrate and to admire the person – I have been taught (by example) ; see the person, not the age or this illness. Rosemary was a beautiful woman and I am glad to have known her.

Always  Rosemary

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.

Marc Mordey

May 2015anniversary pictures 022


How I wish – A London, Christmas love song.

Dedicated to Jules and Bea (Beazley) for their wedding, 6th December, 2014. May all your wishes come true.

How I wish

You were with me now,

On this west bound train.

Your head nestled on my scarf shrouded shoulder, 

As hills, estuary and city-scapes slide by.

Seeing occasional bouldered tops, and

Winter scarred fields, with 

Cows and sheep reddened in December, shadow sharpened sunlight.

The train roars by, and 

Crows scatter, shocked but unruffled.

And the tinnyness  of maddening music

Moleing in someone’s headphones

Is suddenly stifled.

 

How I wish I was with you 

In Oxford Circus sunshine.

Salvation Army songed,

Santa thronged

Peacock motif light strung 

And subdued Swiss shopped.

Walking wok wards 

Or sipping our piping hot coffee 

In the Photographers Gallery. 

After viewing wind chilled,

Snowbound and desolate Finnished landscapes. 

The portraiture of Martina Lindqvist,

Startling and sublime;

Living and loving, on

best borrowed, London time. 

 

How I wish I was with you in an Uber car,

Being teased and cosseted all in one go.

The South Circular,

Wedding party bound and perilous slow.

The paper lights 

Small globes in a sun boundaried marquee.

The confetti, floating ghost petalled toward the uneven floor.

The rusted statues gaping at a glitter of guests,

Speeches, stumbles, extracts and jests,

Celebrating this days marriage –

And other such states of union. 

Past, present, the family bond,

Wherein New Zealand Eritrea, South Africa

Wales and well beyond,

Played their part, 

In sumptuously stated affairs of the heart.

I’m here, and the glass raised is in genuine spirit, but 

In my mind I’m on a Lizard Mountain

Eagle crested 

Canadian roof topped once more.

And then 

As now,

My word is forged, feather breathed,

To cherish, to adore. 

 

How I wish I could be with you,

Now

And evermore. 

  

 


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