Bluebells

 

Awakened by the warming sun,
Shy crowns of blue have just begun
To frolic and to entertain;
Roused by drops of quenching rain.
 
All winter long they slumbered low,
Hiding from the frost and snow.
Waiting for their chance to bloom,
When light dispelled the season gloom.
 
An azure blaze of colour spreads,
As Bluebells raise their lovely heads.
Amongst the trees, along the street,
Rhythm-of-life pulsates to their beat.
 
They cast a spell upon my shoes
To wash away those winter blues
And dance in breezes soft and warm,
Uplifting soul. . .  A new Spring born!

 

Dormouse

In dead of night, a little mouse
Strayed a long way from its house.
This creature small, a tiny ball,
Had dared to climb a stem so tall.
 
But ghostly shadow in the gloom,
Alerts it to approaching doom,
As hunting owl from darkened sky
Swoops low, emits a frightening cry.
 
The mouse to peril is no stranger,
Acutely it perceives the danger.
Terrified, it turns to run,
The owl draws near, the race is on.
 
Claws spread wide, with open beak,
It dives upon its prey to keep.
The mouse speeds down towards its nest;
Safe at home is always best.
 
From many such encounters past
It has escaped, but luck can’t last.
This time too slow; the night has come
For mouse to end, in owl’s fat tum!

 

Coffee culture

Cappuccino, large or small,
Chocolate muffin, Latte tall.
Hot Panini oozing cheese,
Orange juice, freshly squeezed.
 
Small round table, leather chair,
Americano, poured with care.
Barista turning up the steam,
Patrons staring at small screens.
 
Pain au raisin looks so good,
Can’t resist but know I should.
Espresso in a tiny cup,
Not enough to get revs up.
 
Girl alone, empty plate,
Invite her for a twilight date.
Body language said she might,
But all she wanted, was Flat White!

 

Spirit of the vault

Phantom spirit, ‘neath shroud of green
tangled ivy, wrapped in strangle-hold
around your form unseen.
 
What lurks hidden until the light
of fading day is by the earth consumed
to welcome spectres of the night?
 
Can your dark visage be so vile
that you should cower like some clandestine soul
condemned to haunt this vault with artful guile?
 
Furtive form, reveal yourself so
eyes might see the nature of your being,
or skulk forever with them that passed below.

 

Close encounter

A gentle breeze brushed through her hair,
Lifting it with jaunty flair.
She raised a hand to pat it down,
Causing me a puzzled frown,
For I mistook it for a wave,
And cheerfully waved back.

 

She seemed surprised;
Enchanting me with glowing eyes.
Upon her face a radiant smile
That did me so beguile,
I cast aside my shy reserve
And eagerly smiled back.

 

Then panic struck. I turned away
Like someone fleeing from its prey.
Perplexed by my reluctant stance,
She fixed me with an anxious glance
That caused me to reverse my turn,
And nervously glance back.

 

Perceiving that I harboured fear,
She bid me softly to draw near,
But I, unsettled by her grace,
Blushed and took a backward pace.
Then in a daze did I submit,
And timidly pace back.

 

Overpowered by her scent;
Unrecognised portent,
Her body moved in close to mine;
Souls together tight entwined.
She placed her hand upon my shoulder,
. . .  and stabbed me in the back!

 

Sweet dream

dreaming-02

Damn the dawn that stole from me, sweet visions of the night.
Oh heartless sun, could you not wait until my dream was done?
Like a knife you cut the cord that bound me to her breast.
Reverse at once your climb, cruel thief, so I might slumber on.
 
Spiteful light, do not allow this precious picture fade.
I grasp her hand, it will not stay; pleading eyes, forlorn, dismay.
Allow I beg, one final chance to plunge back into sleep,
Before this dying dream of love is torn from me away.

 

 

The Underworld

(A narrative poem based on Greek mythology)

 

underworld

 

As tearful mourners walked away,
They left you here alone today.
Nevermore to see the sky,
Your body in its grave does lie,
So to the Underworld your soul must go
And be judged by the three, who wait below.
hermes
Hermes, is your guide appointed;
On wingèd feet you’ll be escorted
Swiftly from this mortal state;
Your transition, he’ll facilitate.
Before he bears your soul in haste,
A coin upon your lips is placed,
Ensuring you can pay the toll
To the man with eyes as black as coal.

 

No returning is there now,
No final message be allowed.
Down winding paths and tunnels deep,
Along the way you hear men weep.
Ghostly shapes ahead you see;
Gaunt faces stare vicariously
Through haunted eyes, abandoned years,
The endless crying of dry tears.

 

Your guide no further can proceed,
He’s not allowed to intercede.
Hermes leaves whilst you await
That fearful voyage your soul must take.
Dark clouds and thunder overhead;
You’ve reached the place where they greet the dead.
charon
“You’ll receive no charity whilst down here,”
Charon the ferryman says without cheer.
With pole in hand, he stands in his boat,
“Your time has come to cross this moat.
Spit out the coin from between your lips,
If you want to be carried across the Stix,
Or wander in limbo twixt living and dead,
Forever on the banks of this riverbed.”

 

The toll is settled, the boat moves away;
Few are so foolish as not to pay.
The Stix is wide and uncontrolled;
Souls borne over since times of old.
Through blanketing mist and swirling fog,
You listen to Charon’s monologue . . .
“Cerberus the dog, guards the gate,
All worldly possessions he’ll confiscate.
Three heads he has but have no doubt,
He won’t be trying to keep you out.”
Charon’s face twists with a knowing grin,
“His sole intent is to keep you in!”

cerberus

You disembark on a foreign shore,
The trail you follow is well-worn.
Up ahead at the Iron Gates,
Your journey briefly terminates,
Whilst Cerberus sniffs the air
With all six nostrils wide aflair.
Extravagantly he says to you,
“All are welcome; please pass through.
Many souls travel this way,
But remain on the path and do not stray
Until the fork ahead you see,
Then stop to be judged, by the panel of three.”

 

Compliantly, you do as told,
Naked branches crackle with cold;
Lightning illuminates cliffs that encase
A heaving dank chamber where souls are erased.
Then out of the mist, the judges appear,
Countenance stern; no humour here.
Rhadamanthus, Minos, and Aeacus,
To begin your review, fair and judicious.

underworld_judges

“We are charged to appraise your life above ground.
By the laws of Hades our king, we are bound
To seek kindness and valour in the tales that you tell,
Or evermore in suspension you’ll dwell,
Existing in misery, your soul in disgrace,
Fading to nothing in a dark barren place.”

 

Aeacus raises his sceptical head,
The very sight of him fills one with dread.
Guardian of keys fixed to a chain,
Signify agony, horror and pain.
“Say what you’ve done to deserve our respect;
Answer with candour, don’t let us suspect
You are gilding the truth to disguise your fears
Or torment endure, for the rest of your years.
Dispensation was granted Persephone our queen
To leave in the spring and in meadows be seen,
But you for eternity, must remain down here,
Accompanied by souls that do not reappear.”

persephone

In the stillness that follows, you shake with alarm,
Surely some way of avoiding this harm?
The judge on the left looks less severe,
You hope he’s aware you’re being sincere.
Rhadamanthus radiates an air of mystique
As you listen intently to hear him speak.
“Your soul can be spared from that joyless hell
By avoiding the arrogance others befell,
But you must convince us before end of day,
If, in the Fields of Elysium you’ll play.
For there in a heaven of blossom and trees,   
Petals are carried on soft scented breeze,
Transforming in wonder that magically grow                             
Into fountains of flowers where waterfalls flow.
In this world of perpetual spring,
Music plays softly and songbirds sing.
Happy and blessed would be your life,
Indulging in pleasure, free from all strife.
So prove now your worth in a manner concise,
And be invited to Paradise.”

 

Your mind spins about, recalling the past,
Desperately grasping for what was the last
Good deed that you did, kind word that you said,
To remove this Damocles sword from your head.
Impassive the eyes of the judges remain
As you stammer and stutter whilst trying to explain
How sorry you are for hurt you have caused,
When without warning the hearing is paused,
By the hand of Minos, to signify
The judge’s decision is now to apply.
Rhadamanthus looks pleased, Aeacus is stern,
If the vote goes against you, in hell you would burn.
They cannot decide; it could go either way,
No further pleading, this judgement will sway.
Stalemate it is, so Minos must choose;
All ears strain to hear his views.

 

A bell tolls on a distant hill,
The portals to Paradise are open still.
But your fate is sealed, no more can be said,
The law is clear in this realm of the dead:
To accept without question where it will be,

 

Elysian Fields  .  .  .  .

heaven-hell

.  .  .  .  or Purgatory.

 

 

Open book

open book
Forlorn it waits, though time does age
That open book; an empty page.
Lashing rain the seasons blow
Scorching summers, winter snow.                  
 
Years pass by into neglect,                          
Decaying mould spreads unchecked.
Dream of a renaissance gone,
Colour fades into the sun.
 
Inscribed atop the facing leaf,
A name and loving message brief
From those that did remain and wait
‘Til they themselves should lie in state.
 
But what befell the family who
Had planned their father to pursue?
What caused him now to lie alone
Bereft of words on fragile stone?
 
As leaves change brown and turn to dust,
Likewise too this gravestone must.
Transcendent souls endure sublime,
Abandoned book consumed by time.

Circle of life

white gull

The night was dark, no time to cry,

Frozen tears hung in the sky.

Stars lit dim by winter moon,

A dawn that broke far too soon.

 

Vision fades like melting dreams,

Raindrops gather into streams.

Precious water downward flows,

The window on a life has closed.

 

River runs into the sea,

Taking with it part of me.

My aching heart can bear no more,

As crashing waves pound the shore.

 

But icy wind the surface sweeps,

Raising memories from the deep.

They form a ball of dazzling light,

Unrestrained to soar in flight.

 

Circle high; life pursue,

Snow-white gull fades from view.

 

Shrouded moon

Shrouded moon (2)

 

Deep at night ‘neath shrouded moon,
Are laments of the dead consumed
By howling wind between the stones,
O’er graves protecting sacred bones.
 
Apparitions in the gloom;
A line of shadows ring the tomb.
Heads bowed low in reverence deep
For one consigned to endless sleep.
 
With burning tears they do recall
That feeble voice upon the squall.
Whispering to the family she begot,
Her final words . . . “Forget me not.”
 
A stillness calms the brutal gale,
But soothing change cannot curtail
The torment felt by those bereft;
That fearful void her absence left.
 
Then breaks the dawn and floods the land,
A pretty posy in her hand.
Playing again in fields of dreams
On rainbows, scattered by sunbeams.