Waterloo Station

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I like looking at the people:
Grey, gaping mouthed, headphones in, aimless in their hurry,
Disembarking strangers; embarking lovers…

I imagine I see two years ago us
As I stare from the window of my train.
We are shiny and new against the pallor of everybody else’s everyday dullness.
We stroll side by side down the platform.

I am on the wrong side, of course,
To truly picture the scene
But then I am always on the wrong side,
Wanting to step out into that remembered picture,
Hold the hand that wasn’t held,
Kiss you on the mouth, on the platform,
In full view of the me
Staring out from behind the glass,
On that other train
That idles here. Waiting.

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A Little Tragedy

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The alarm went this morning, early, and the light was gently creeping under the curtains. You were warm beside me and I didn’t want to leave. It made me think of this scene from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and had I been able to remember the exact words, I would have spoken them to you…

JULIET
Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate-tree:
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

ROMEO
It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale: look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east:
Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.

JULIET
Yon light is not day-light, I know it, I:
It is some meteor that the sun exhales,
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer,
And light thee on thy way to Mantua:
Therefore stay yet; thou need’st not to be gone.

ROMEO
Let me be ta’en, let me be put to death;
I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye,
‘Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow;
Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads:
I have more care to stay than will to go:
Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.
How is’t, my soul? let’s talk; it is not day.F39EDEC7-A7F7-4ACC-A2E0-CCAEDA7DF003.jpeg

Irony

I went for a walk this evening, trying to clear my head but life seemed to have other ideas because I found these poems, or maybe ramblings, folded up and forgotten in the pocket of the old coat I was wearing. Who knows how long they have been there or even why they ended up there and I can’t even remember when I wrote them but I know who they are about. Whilst they are not particularly good, I like the rawness and the truthfulness of them written up like this. It suits my mood.
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World

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There’s this solitary house,
Forever yours and mine
A dream, a life, a dinner burned,
A bottle of good wine.
It’s a world of games you lose; I win
We play into the night
With open hearts and mouths and bodies
We let each other in.
And in the morning sunshine
There’s tea with sugar side by side,
We smile and tidy house but
There’s sadness that I hide.

Soon you’ll leave

I’ll watch you as you go
Unsure of all the many things
I thought I used to know.
And I’ll stay, I’ll wait, as the day unwinds
Praying that you will be back,
Down that long and difficult track.

 

 

 

 

Lent Heart

Ilya Repin Tempation of Christ.jpg

Ilya Repin: Tempation of Christ
Created: 19th or early 20th century.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You gave me up.

By Wednesday I became ash,
A cold, grey snow of
Scattered fragments,
Melting into nothing on the wind.

You took back your lent heart
And for forty days and forty nights
Retreated into the desert, deserting me,
For silent penance and prayer.
Pray for me

Your daily devotional.
You are my chosen one.
I am the worshipper at your temple
Or else I must be the devil
Who would, all things give to you,
If thou would only fall down and worship me.

‘The Story Of The Ashes And The Flame’ by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Another little treasure…

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No matter why, nor whence, nor when she came,
There was her place. No matter what men said,
No matter what she was; living or dead,
Faithful or not, he loved her all the same.
The story was as old as human shame,
But ever since that lonely night she fled,
With books to blind him, he had only read
The story of the ashes and the flame.

There she was always coming pretty soon
To fool him back, with penitent scared eyes
That had in them the laughter of the moon
For baffled lovers, and to make him think —
Before she gave him time enough to wink —
Her kisses were the keys to Paradise.

Moonlit Apples by John Drinkwater

Not just a treasury but a very precious little treasure too. Published in 1947, the poems may no longer be quite so modern but they are still certainly beautiful. Here is one I particularly liked …. ‘deep is the silence.’

 

                     Moonlit Apples

At the top of the house the apples are laid in rows,
And the skylight lets the moonlight in, and those
Apples are deep-sea apples of green. There goes
A cloud on the moon in the autumn night.

A mouse in the wainscot scratches, and scratches, and then
There is no sound at the top of the house of men
Or mice; and the cloud is blown, and the moon again
Dapples the apples with deep-sea light.

They are lying in rows there, under the gloomy beams;
On the sagging floor; they gather the silver streams
Out of the moon, those moonlit apples of dreams,
And quiet is the steep stair under.

In the corridors under there is nothing but sleep.
And stiller than ever on orchard boughs they keep
Tryst with the moon, and deep is the silence, deep
On moon-washed apples of wonder.