Tag Archives: poetry

National Poetry Day 2014 – Remember

This year’s National Poetry Day is today, Thursday 2 October.
The theme for 2014 is ‘remember’. 


Memories of Jacob’s Room – At the Sea Lane Cafe

Beyond the pane of glass,
endless strata of sands stretch out to the lighthouse.
Wet swathes of brown and grey in irregular ridges,
in donkey colours.
I think of the rides of childhood he never had.
The sky sleeps snug above,
inverted greyness of the ground,
tucked in
and thickly cloud clad.

Stranded seaweed lies drying,
dying on the foreshore.
Patterns like magnified veins.
Scattered stones,
rounded down by years of wear,
worn down tossing in the waves.
Becoming sand.
Tossing in the waves.
The result of endless cycles of destruction,
worn down under pressure.
Tossing in the waves.
Becoming smaller,
and smaller.

Tiny damaged shells are picked up by playing children,
taken home, clamped tightly in their tiny hands.

Inside the adults sit, each at a table,
one a group of six absorbed in talk of the breakfast,
stolen from the office fridge.
Told by a man wearing tortoiseshell rims
around elegant eyes,
deep in experience,
face etched with laughter, he grins.
His white-grey hair merging with the wintry sky beyond,
beyond the glass.
I drift into daydream.

I would like to have known him.

‘Number fifty-nine. Pot of tea for two?’

‘That’s your peugot, the blue? Isn’t it? You’ve left your lights on.’

An older woman gets up, keys in hand.
Dragged from her steaming reverie,
thoughts abandoned.
Dragged back outside into the cold mainstream of life
by the saving, searching beams of her car.
She stays outside and walks along the ridge.
Kitesurfers catch the early morning offshore breeze
on their voyage out.

And I,
I think of Virginia Woolf
and her pebbles
and of knitting blue woolen stockings
which were so small.

And never worn.



That their sighs should not blow there. My hope in haiku.

No sanctuary
but for a stone of stumbling
a rock of offence.

Houses of Israel
mercy from a gin and snare.
All your peoples

broken bodies strewn
bloodied ashen dust blows hot
bomb blasted towers

children, children lost.
Images. Lives left ruins
ragdolls photographs.

And after these things
I saw four angels standing
on the four corners of Earth:

no more dirt tunnels
no din of drone nor ambulance
no burial wail

holding the four winds
that their sighs should not blow there.
In peace, revelation.


(AFP Photo / Mohammed Abed)

Refs: Isaiah 8:14 / Revelations 7:1

An ode to care (dot) data

To be or not to be, that is the question.
O, what men dare do!
Two gentleman of Verona
Measure for measure
and in a Midsummer’s Night’s Dream
And like the baseless fabric of this vision
imagined there would be much ado about nothing.
Mum’s the word!
But this denoted a foregone conclusion.
Open-eyed conspiracy!
Wherefore are these things hid?

Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
Where most it promises.
The plan would be a winter’s tale.
But as you like it
or as not
Damn’d be him that first cries, ‘hold enough’!
These tedious old fools!
The tempest doth make delay.

Will the work done be love’s labour lost?
Will the storm nay be calmed?
Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever.

Would they want that chinks be earned
Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious gold?
No, Gods, I am no idle votarist!
All gold and silver rather turn to dirt!
As ’tis no better reckon’d, but of those
who have want.
“Shylock, we would have moneys,” you say so
the pound of flesh which I demand of him
is dearly bought. ‘Tis mine.

What might be toward, that this sweaty haste
Doth make the night joint-laborer with the day:
Who is’t that can inform me?
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!
Who bare my letter, then, to Romeo?
The letter was not nice but full of charge,
Of dear import, and the neglecting it
May do much danger!

Ignorance is the curse of God;
knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.
No legacy is so rich as honesty.

For all this same, I’ll hide me hereabout.
His looks I fear, and his intents I doubt.
And exempt from public haunt,
finds tongues in trees.
You are thought here to the most senseless and fit man for the job.
Alas poor Yorrick
a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.
Conscience doth make cowards of us all.

And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
What’s more to do,
Which would be planted newly with the time,
How poor are they that have not patience!
Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong.

Don’t trust the person who has broken faith once?
The quality of mercy is not strain’d
I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea
If we should fail –
We fail!
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we’ll not fail.
All’s well if all ends well.
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

Now this overdone or come tardy off,
though it make the unskillful laugh,
cannot but make the judicious grieve,
the censure of the which one must in your allowance
o’erweigh a whole theatre of others.

What’s done can’t be undone.
Forget, forgive, conclude, and be agreed: Our doctors say this is no time to bleed.

Words taken in tribute,  from the works of Shakespeare
(23 April 1564 – 23 April 1616). 

All his words, not necessarily in the right order.
Celebrated on the date of the 450th anniversary of his birth, on  Metro considered, what if Shakespeare had Twitter?