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.




Thursday, 29 June 2017

A Ballet: Forbidden Love

Act 2, scenes 1 and 2

Epoch 1872: mid-summers eve
Setting:  glade in ancient woodland
Principals: Ballerino with Prima Ballerina

Scn.1  
            And now, the Stradivarius begins.
            With such graceful fluidity you glide;
            I slide forward, in awe of your beauty.
            Oh, ballerina, the dance lives for you.

            Heavy hearted, and with arms open I’m 
            seduced by your arabesque, arms allongĂ©
            reaching for clouds that scurry across a
            true love on this warm celestial night.

Scn.2
            A symphonic cacophony, then hush . . .
            The violin leads your adagio.
            My heart falters, ragged in peasant clothes.
            Sadly, I ask, ‘is this to be your swan song?’

            Coquettishly, you tilt your head, listen,
            the piccolos tune frees you from the trance;           
            and the Stradivarius plays with gusto.
            “Dear ballerino, forever we shall dance.”

End.
Curtain call

Julian Clarke © 2017








Tuesday, 27 June 2017

A study: Oil on canvs 1970

Bohemian in her semi-nude pose,
Dunhill cigarette impatiently burns
Belying loves truth of white petal rose.

Art of capriciousness in amber eyes
Captures spirit like dancing fireflies,

Lying abandoned, Pucci, Capri pants,
With chiffon scarf her modesty covered in scant.

Of course her playfulness be cast in part
Cold Excalibur, drawn, pricks crimson heart.

Poets scribe her in gilded lily prose.
Enigmatically the painter flourished
Blood red, on lips, thorn of Baccara rose.

Julian Clarke © 2017

I shall link to Poets United Sunday Pantry 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Manhood

Something not quite so serious in a world that's so topsy turvy and angry. An extended limerick.

Manhood

There was a man with a dangly so small
The size of two garden peas were his balls,
Now he really did fret
So he searched the Internet
For a machine to make his manhood stand tall.

The apparatus he laid on the table
The instructions said, to sit on something stable
He read, it won’t take too long
The suction is very strong
Soon you’ll be hung like a donkey and able.

His John Thomas he smothered in lube
From his balls hung the weight in the shape of a cube
When he fired up the pump
The poor bugger did jump
When his manhood disappeared down the tube.

Julian Clarke © 2017

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

On The West Winds Return

Enough diets of bloody violence.
Flowers in tribute for those we behold
stolen from life, now sleeping in silence;
it beggars belief, some, not ten years old.

Eyes, weeping silver blue while sad hearts bled.
And while taking hold of a neighbour’s hand
respectfully, we all lowered our heads,
with compassion, and love as one we stand.

Finding that space, to contemplate, loss, love;
to understand souls free of their being.
One day, your heart will let go a white dove
to feel spirits dancing in hues of spring.

Now nature’s wheel must continue to turn.
You may meet again, on the west winds return.

Julian Clarke © 2017

Shall link to Poets United for the Sunday pantry.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Here is the question

Conspiracy Theory:

a truth, in theory?
or,
a practical lie?

a theory in truth?
or,
a lie, in practice?

a mechanism to hide behind,
to apportion anonymous deceit?

Fake News or Conspiracy Theory?

Julian Clarke © 2017.


Sunday, 14 May 2017

Breath


Breath
 is our being.
Being is beautiful, and
being with you is as beautiful
as the breath itself.
Take nothing for granted,
appreciate the love
 our breath
gives.

Julian Clarke © 2017

Linked to Poets United
Linked to Guernsey Poets

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Urban Arteries

Spice scented air, colours, sounds.
Urban markets are vibrant with life.
                          *
Droning birds carry deadly intent, 
fuelled by cataclysmic opinions.
A loved city, bombed and broken,
screams ricochet off shattered lives.
Refugees flee to the edge of insane,
shadows of home facing their backs.
                            *
Many lost, souls rise in dust laden air.
Urban arteries are running with blood.

Julian Clarke © 2017

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Song for you

Before you go I’ll write a song,
A love song for you;
With endless skies infinity blue
And a summer breeze to weigh our love;
I’ll write of a loving sweet friend so true.

I’ll star you in beautiful lines
With melodies for smiling eyes,
White birds of truth flying high
We’ll sing of happy days gone by.

Before you go I’ll write a song,
A love song for you;
With starlit nights deep velvet blue
And a soft west wind to weigh our love;
I’ll write of a loving sweet friend so true.

© Julian Clarke 2017.

I shall link to Poets United for the Sunday pantry

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Soothsayer

I’m a gypsy roaming turquoise sunsets
Fixing pots and pans with artisan hands,
A troubadours quill with poems to scribe
Wandering psychedelic mystic lands:

I way laid a silver haired soothsayer
On the eve of an emerald green day
I bid her to fore-say of what may come . . .
For eight long days she’d not a word to say.

Ferrous wheels turned the hues in her eyes
Subtle indigo blues, violets and red:
As rainbow butterfly’s filled yellow skies
And on the ninth day of the week she said.

See in my globe set in gold filigree
Dark clouds coming from a kings white tower
Libra must set her scales of justice
Play her trump card and balance the power.

Then diamond shapes fell across her bronze face
Her filligree globe she covered in lace.

© Julian Clarke 2017

I shall link this poem to  Poets United for Sunday's panty. 

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Old Rope

My following poem is just a bit of a light hearted nonsense. Hope you enjoy it.


What if we had a length of old rope
What if we each had hold of an end

We both have an end so where does it start
It’s not in the middle that is plain to see.

The length of old rope has no beginning
As you have an end and so do I,

If there’s only two ends and therefore no start
It goes without saying it starts at the end.

Julian Clarke © 2017


Friday, 17 February 2017

The Follower ( flash fiction)

The Follower (flash fiction)

    Sally’s heart raced as her quickening footsteps echoed off the graffiti covered walls of the pedestrian underpass. She almost fell as she changed direction to avoid discarded condoms and syringes lying on the ground.  Sally could hear the heavy sound of footsteps a little way behind and caught a glimpse of a blue jacket with a flash of red as she glanced over her shoulder. And then she was out . . . out of the underpass and into the grey afternoon; but it felt like sunshine after her ordeal. Sally slowed to her normal pace and after catching her breath she said “Thank God” as she entered the High Street. It was full of Saturday shoppers and groups of teenagers milling around. Flustered and still a little panicky Sally said “Excuse me” to an elderly couple on one of the many benches. “Ok if I sit here?”
“Hello dear” the old lady replied, “Of course you can.” She said, putting her bag on her lap and shuffling along the seat.
    And then Sally saw him again. There was no mistake. “Oh shite” she said, under her breath as she recognised the blue quilted puffer jacket and red scarf the man two benches down was wearing. She fumbled in her bag and found her mobile “Where’s my purse?” she said “No, where the hell is it.”  In quite a state Sally started to text her boyfriend and all the while she discreetly kept looking over at the man as he took the Guardian newspaper from a plastic carrier bag. “Oh my God” Sally muttered to herself when she saw the black patch over his left eye partially covering an angry scar. He adjusted his hat to sit at an angle; it reminded her of how hitmen wore them in prohibition movies. He opened his newspaper and Sally grimaced, argh that’s gross she thought as she saw the deformity where his left hand little finger should have been.  She glanced down at her mobile - I'm being followed - send. Sally pulled her coat tight about herself as she clutched her phone in one hand and folded her arms tightly across her chest as the man reached down into his plastic bag; he stood up and started to walk towards……


© Julian Clarke 2017

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Three facts one fiction

Three facts one fiction

The Provencal sun was streaming through the dining room window when I came down to breakfast. I felt refreshed after a good night's sleep as I always felt at home in this part of France.  But I could not understand why a deathly hush hung over the busy dining room. I was certainly not prepared for what I saw next.

© Julian Clarke 2017

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Riding the dragon

I may work this poem about coming off hard drugs into a song. It's not autobiographical, however I'm pretty sure allot of us have been affected in one way or another by addictition, all be it a friend or loved one.

Riding the dragon

You don’t need that to get by
Do you have to get so damn high?
You shut me out
I scream and shout
You ride the dragon flying high

Steel railings round your heart
Me one side keeping us apart
You slam the gate
I want to hate
Scratch your arm a muddy dart;

You don’t need that to get by
Do you have to get so damn high?
Gave your loved ones a bag of tears
Gave your loved ones a bag of despair

You’ve opened all the rotten the doors
Lain on all the piss stained floors
You run the line
Things ain’t fine
Love’s run raw, hard to stay yours

Crazy trips you’re up like a Kite
Take cold turkey it’s time to fight
You cry for help
I hear your cry
Your soul is safe wrapped up tight.

No more Lady Caine or smoking dope
Rehabs hotel a holiday from hell
No more Lady Caine or smoking dope
Anxiety and pain glimmers of hope.

©Julian Clarke 2017

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Wishing Well and Last Hope

The following two pieces are for this months open mic evening which are loosely based on the non compulsory theme being, Hope.


Wishing Well.

Insanely balanced on the brink of blue
A parcel of jealousy tied with sisal
Ardour, so emerald green, wanting you,
To triumph your love without reprisal

Flick of a coin, heads or tails, your call;
Hoping for a wish, a dream to come true
Down into the darkness can’t see it fall
Oh wishing well, my last hope lies in you.

Slowly the emerald green fades, vivid red
Wishing well? But a mere hole in the ground
How loves foolish obsession ruled my head
Who was I kidding? And I’m ten pounds down.

© Julian Clarke 2017

**

Last Hope

The visions are clouded for the cynics of mankind for blindly believing it best not to believe; but Layla’s last hope for her sick one lay in the palms of a pagan priestess. And so the priestess cast her circle upon the ground and with eyes closed she rode the latitudes of time. From all points of the compass winds were weaving weighing mystic chants from the shaman of nations to dance in spiritual trance. Karma gathered and harnessed in heart and so the priestess returned to her own awareness; her rainbow gown laced in white flowed silently while hands circled the air as she sang incantations of spiritual care. With gratitude Layla wore tears on her cheek that fell to the earth as she wept with joy at the breath of her daughter’s soulful re-birth.

©Julian Clarke 2017




Thursday, 12 January 2017

Revenge

I thought I'd try get away from the norm' of posting my poetry. Here is an offering of flash fiction I started a few months ago and finaly managed to find a conclusion to this week. I hope you enjoy it.

 Revenge

        The lady with auburn hair slipped the incriminating photos back into the manila envelope. Although she knew about all the back-handers he had taken over the years, it was the lies and habitual infidelity that was the last straw; cheating Bastard she muttered under her breath. Sitting forward, she looked from keyboard to screen and attached the scanned images to the e. mail. Momentarily, her finger hovered over the mouse…she took a deep breath and clicked send. A man two screens away glared at her and then gave an aggressive, Sshhh, as the metal legs of her chair squeaked and scraped loudly on the wooden floor as she got up to leave. “Get a life” she said, while deliberately slamming the door behind her; tossed the half smoked cigarette into the gutter and then got into her Mercedes.
        Councillor Jason Rose placed his Audi keys on the glass topped desk and took the post-it his P.A had stuck to the monitor, Melanie’s wedding anniversary present, your favourite table’s booked at Pierre’s 7.30 pm; he put the note with his keys. Coffee in one hand and mouse in the other he navigated the cursor to the e. mail with, URGENT, typed in bold capitals in the subject bar,
“What the f…” he said, as he stared in disbelief at the images of himself and the wife of a prominent businessman in a passionate embrace, he read the text. Tomorrow, 7am usual routine, health suite, £20,000 in used notes, leave in locker, swim, go to work, deviate from instructions your wife and newspapers will receive copies of images. Jason felt sick at the realisation that his rising political career was about to take a huge nose dive into oblivion if he did not act wisely. Melanie, well, he had to admit she was pretty good in bed and still looked a charm on his arm, but he was starting to get quite bored of her.
*
        Melanie put down her glass of Chablis and picked up her vibrating mobile from the table.
    “Jason,” Cheryl asked. 
    “Yeah,” she said, and then pressed reject call.
With compassion in her eyes Cheryl reached across and gave her friends hand a reassuring squeeze.
    “I’m fine, Cheryl, honestly I am.” She paused a moment and looked back on how Jason had courted her with flowers and gifts and sexy romantic weekends away.
    “Oh Cheryl, I tried so hard, so bloody damn hard not to fall in love with him.” Melanie said, as she sat back and took a long sip of her wine. She could not help but give a little smile as she thought about the recently acquired twenty thousand pounds in her safety deposit box.
    "What is it Melanie? you look miles away"
  “You know, I will be okay, Cheryl” Melanie said, as she started to scroll through her contacts . . . Delete.

© Julian Clarke 2017


I will link this to Poets United for Sundays pantry.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

#taglabels

The interminable writers block has struck again, and so the following is something completely left wing for me that perhaps should be consigned to the waste paper basket.


Colour race creed diversity
introvert extrovert opposites
superior inferior, (that’s complex)
genders, male female
categorisation
straight
gay
bisexual
other (exclamation mark).
Do not delete cannot delete,
genetically encoded  D.N.A
programmed to label we’re
classified chromosome X or Y.
Cyber café, searching, found profiles # tag X
blind date (question mark) bio’ # tag Y... send . . .

© Julian Clarke 2017