Sunday, 19 November 2017

And Then A Skylark Sang

The following is a remembrance poem for Novembers Guernsey open mic evening.

And Then A Skylark Sang

I picked a soft red rose today,
It made me think of you.
Even though my heart felt sad
Its colour warmed the blue.

I felt the prick of blackthorn tree
the day that you fell.
And then one Skylark sang so sweet
In the bloody depths of hell.

I saw a soft red rose today
Strong and vibrant in its hue,
I pursed my lips and blew a kiss
For it made me think of you.

Julian Clarke © 2017

Linked to Poets United



Sunday, 29 October 2017

Jack o' Lantern

Samhain, Night of the Dead, All Hallow's Eve, Halloween, call it what you will. A scary time when ghouls and ghosts return to earth. However, for many an enigmatic time when our parallel worlds a-line for a short while so we may reconnect with passed souls.

Jack o' Lantern

Jack o’ Lantern sits on the old oak sill;
scary hollowed eyes blaze orangey bright.
Circle cast with hawthorn, and all is still,
even-tide folds to the darkening night.

A soul long passed we'll merry meet once more
and ride as one on the winds of winter;
the biting chill, no match; for love will thaw.
Jack o’ Lantern wards dark spirits thither.

And now the time is nigh to bid goodbye,
we’ll meet again on the wheel’s full turn.
So the sun rises in the eastern sky
Jack o’ Lanterns eyes, dead, no longer burn. 

Now Jack o' Lantern your work is complete
back to Will-o-the Wisp on the bogs of peat.

© Julian Clarke 2017

Notes
A new piece I penned for this season and is loosely inspired by Irish mythology.

Linked to Poets United Sunday Pantry



Tuesday, 17 October 2017

October

The dew soaked grass feels soft as silk
Shrouding the valley floats a ghostly mist.
Just for a breath the sun rests on tree tops
Climbing slowly for a new autumn day.

Golden brown leaves fall from the trees
Dancing in a frenzy swirling around,
Foreboding clouds sail on blustery winds
A watery sun hides behind one, it rains.

Julian Clarke © 2017

Linked to Sundays Pantry at Poets United


Sunday, 8 October 2017

1973 - 74 : Up The Creek

One ha’ penny in his begging bowl
dirty finger nail scratches his soul.
Oi mate! can you spare me a smoke?
Get a job, snarled a grey suited bloke.

The call of the ballot, eighty one percent
unions have given their consent;
the radio broadcasts a stark news flash,
miners on strike, there’s no more cash.

See ’em all on a 3 day week,
the lights have gone out
we’re right up the creek.

Disgruntled bean counters on the 3rd floor
the plaques fallen off  the directors door:
Rod Stewart bangs on, You wear it well.
From his ivory tower the grey suit fell.

See ’em all on a 3 day week,
the lights have gone out
we’re right up the creek.

Dirty finger nail scratches his soul
two ha’ pennies in his begging bowl,
he looks on the suit with little care
Oi mate! I've got a ha'penny to share.

See ’em all on a 3 day week,
the lights have gone out
we’re right up the creek.

Notes:
To help conserve coal stocks and limit the commercial use of electricity the prime minister of the day,  Edward Heath, on 31 December 1973, implemented the Three-Day Work Order which remained in force up to 7th March 1974. Along side the miners strike the government had to deal with the 1973 - 74 oil crises / embargo.
(How those glasses become more rose tinted as time passes with age)


Julian Clarke © 2017

Linked to
Poets United, Sunday Pantry

Friday, 22 September 2017

Reapers Wall

Written to: Fireblossom Friday writing challenge "The Distorted Lens"
follow this link for more details Imaginary Gardens

Reapers Wall

Today started crispy cold, but nice, as
weather warnings came on the car speakers.
The grit truck missed a patch of black ice and
slowly my world turned topsy turvey. You
stole my ride with your phosphorescent eyes
in the bright velvet darkness of night, and
I saw my life dance to the ice maidens
tune waved along with her slim finger tips.

A scribe in a white coat spoke in strange tongues,
as a quill wrote in transparent black ink
filling an empty scroll full of weird scribbles.
And all the while the Tappers kept tapping
tappity tap, tappity tap, all night
long under a meridian green moon.
I looked through your hot phosphorescent eyes
when something cold burned against my chest.

Stone by stone up went a charred wall to the
monotonous rhythm of, beep, beep, beep.
At the topping out ball the Tappers skipped
to the frantic swish of the reapers scythe.
But from golden fields with ears of rye corn
came a warm whisper, hang in there my love.
Through snow winters blue and red summer nights
I fought with an electrical maelstrom.

The reaper was grim and seemed to weaken
as the scribes apprentice knocked down the wall.
And there was the green moon on a white screen
as my lightning bolt swords flashed up his scythe.
And soldiers clad in green gathered around
and cheered me on in victorious song.
Now golden fields smelled fresh and soft as silk
as they brushed across my tormented face.

Julian Clarke © Sept' 2017 

Linked to Imaginary Gardens
Linked to Poets United for Sunday's Pantry



Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Future is Imminent (acrostic)

The brass key turns tightening the spring
How the second hand races, chasing dates
Evenly stitching together the edges of time:

Facing its face, no smile, no frown
Unzipping the seconds into minutes
Tormenting, teasing, running late
Unperturbed silently setting the day;
Relentlessly sweeping round and round
Each hand turning towards the future:

If the clock work were to stop, no tick-tock
Suspended in time the hands would wait.

Ingeniously, somehow they will always turn
Magically pointing to impending events
Mocking us, they will never age . . .
In time zones across the lands these hands
Never stuffed in pockets in perpetual motion
Engraving the past and sealing the present.
Now the digits twist in time, one understands
The future is imminent . . . (it’s not in our hands)

Julian Clarke © 2017

Linked to Tuesday Platform Imaginary Gardens

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Angelique

The following piece is not autobiographical. However, I tried for a period of time spread over several days to imagine what it would feel like to be in love with someone for many years, someone whose love was given completely to another and blind to me. Perhaps, in hindsight, this is not a good thing to do as it left me feeling quite low for a while. 

Angelique

I shall tell you a tale of forbidden love.
Letters, you never wrote,
words, my eyes never read.
For two and twenty years I was blind to all others,
but your rainbow heart was in love with another.

Now I am a dreamer in a dark lonely night
caught in every catcher where shadows always fight.
I am but a dreamer looking out from within,
glazed in every mirror that will not let you in.

Time passed as shooting stars crossed a blue velvet sky.
Words, weighed on summers breath
that never kissed your neck.
Today, I wept as I swept autumn leaves from your grave
and touched the pot of gold where your heart now lays.

Julian Clarke © Sept' 2017

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Summer shapes (uncomplicated things)

I find the inspiration to write about sad or tragic events is becoming a regular process for me. And so I thought I'd try and write a short piece on less complicated times and things.

Summer Shapes (uncomplicated things)

Rectangular splashes of colour on sands,
a philatelist’s dream of patch work stamps
nestled behind blue and red canvas screens.

Hear the squeals of laughter as children run
to the rhythm of white lapping waves.

Paisley patterned kerchiefs knotted by four
and milk bottle tops and milk bottle legs,
some should cover up their wobbly shapes.

Triangular sails dance on the blue,
filled with a warm breeze out on a broad reach.
A round sun flames, then fizzles to the eve
to new sounds of sweethearts kissing the night.

© Julian Clarke Sept' 2017

Linked to Poets United Sunday Pantry

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Dilemma, in his / her own eye

Who knows where the gods went when the rains fell?
Who said that they have an all seeing eye?
Their scales weighted, unjustly, perhaps.
Rains fell on green lands, rivers run swollen.
Who knows where the gods went when droughts took hold?
Dried river beds, famine; bellies swollen.

Dancing for the rain,
praying for warmth of the sun.
Gods own dilemma?

Julian Clarke © Aug' 2017

Gillena's Prompt at Imaginary Gardens
To stretch your imagination; ponder a natural disaster, past or recent, and tell me, what role you think, the gods might be playing, resulting in that particular natural disaster.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

A Summers Portrait (Uncomplicated things)

Soft summer breeze in fluttering leaves,
homemade lemonade, strawberries and cream.
Dappled shade under fruiting apple trees.

Grandpa's, creaky, rickety rocking chair
where rests his moth eaten Panama hat.
Memories full of mouth-watering fare.

Squeals of laughter riding the garden gate,
dip in, dip out of a water sprinkler.
Fine innocence of a summers portrait.

Julian Clarke © Aug' 2017

Kerry's prompt, Uncomplicated things in ten lines or under at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads 

Shall also link this to the Sunday Pantry at Poets United


Saturday, 12 August 2017

The Alley Cat

My latest poem is in the form of a, Terza Rima and to the prompt, Cat, for Guernsey Poets August open mic evening. Link to Guernsey Poets

The Alley Cat

I saw in a shop window’s reflection,
a jazz cat, cool and quite hunky-dory,
strutting with poetical perfection.
                                                          
With an air of superiority,
jaunty yet graceful, hooked tail held high.
By my side he glided confidently.

Mirrored in puddles he kept slinking by.
Yes, you’d be a fine catch, now that’s a fact,
I thought, as I purred a reflective sigh.

Argh! Delusions of grandeur spat the rat.
Whilst washing my whiskers I hissed, think on!
Me? Deluded; I turned my back and down I sat.
Mangy, no way, for I am the top alley cat.

Julian Clarke © Aug’ 2017

I shall link to Poets United, Sunday Pantry

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Promises and lies

This is the darkest and most difficult piece I've written to date. One of which I did not enjoy writing. However, sometimes a reality kick in the stomach is not a bad thing to make us realise that most of us are not that badly done by. How one human can inflict such degrading pain upon another is beyond me.


Promises and Lies

Body tearing pain forced upon me with
vicious rapes and beatings. I’ve no tears left.

Mum paid her life savings to set me free,
backs of trucks lorries and boats. Sardines
contained inside this hard metal tomb.
It stinks, it’s hot, no water no toilet;
children clinging to their mothers crying,
old man in the corner, undignified . . dying.

A land of dreams, buy new things
You’ll have a job waiting on tables.
Promises, promises lie upon lies.

A cigarette hung from his lips
paid ten quid to ride on my hips,
only the pimps seem to get rich
now I’m just their dirty little bitch.

Today is my birthday and I’ll be 15, yet
I’ve witnessed a life time of such horror.
Promises, promises lie upon lies
all I have now, a life I despise.

Julian Clarke © 2017


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Sanctuary

The practice of meditation is a personal ongoing journey that takes me down a path to the reliance of my own awareness. Sometimes, however, I may feel that nothing has been achieved, apart from the art of the practice of just being in an inner place to reflect.

The sanctuary of stillness
when the feral world runs wild.
Inhale, accept, exhale, be free;
body still, body quiet:
take these precious moments
relax in the sanctuary of being.


Julian Clarke © 2017


Sunday, 23 July 2017

In Memory

Valour

Beautiful flowers laid in memory
for beautiful souls once vibrant,
folk like me and you, just ordinary.

Regimented wreaths laid for the valiant
brave men and women of land, sea and air,
you’re saluted with emotion, so ardent.

We thank you in silence, with a prayer.

Julian Clarke © 2017


Sunday, 16 July 2017

End of the line

For Brendans weekend challenge: Imagaine a Changing Earth. At 'Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads' and what a challenge this was.


Crystal meanderings on ochre bed
romancing of song from a babbling brook,
a willow weeps, not in sadness, but joy;
dragonflies, blue green, skitty in the sun.
Along its banks, lovers touch lips and kiss
free of the fever of life’s concessions.
Right here, love . . . is love, not a possession.

Woooosshhh------thhwack

Inter-city train,
argh! Rush, crush, sardines,
standing room.
Smelly armpits, yuk!

Calling at all stations:
Polluted oceans, carbon monoxide, greenhouse gas,
Now stoppin at De-forestation.

We’re all here for the ride
Glued to the fever
living concessions
possessive lovers
hugging possessions.

Trans-continentals final stop:
Depleted ozone, affectionately known as, Apocalyptic Dystopia … 
End of the line.

Julian Clarke © 2017.


Linked to Imaginary gardens for Brendans weekend challenge: Imagaine a Changing Earth.