Poetry

*****

The Last Boat Home, or, Panic on Rannoch Moor

(Yvonne Marjot)

(to be sung, ballad style, to a lilting Scottish tune)

Heading uphill to Rannoch Moor,
the petrol light came on.
There was petrol not too far away:
behind me – at Tyndrum.

What to do? It wasn’t far.
I could easily choose to turn,
but if I went back and took the time
I’d miss the last boat home.

When in doubt, my motto is,
always keep moving on.
Twenty-four miles to Glen Coe:
that shouldn’t take me long.

I ploughed ahead, behind a bus,
willing myself to calm.
Surely it was worth the risk,
to catch the last boat home?

I fixed my gaze on the petrol gauge,
steadily creeping down.
By the edge of Glen Coe it was south of left,
I was driving on the fumes.

A wind arose and shook the car,
The rain came pouring down.
I really began to doubt that I
could make the last boat home.

A petrol station saved my hash,
and I filled her up and went on
The wind and rain began to lash,
but I drove my poor car home.

Across Corran ferry, the last dash back
with only an hour to go.
I drove like a fool through tempestuous air,
and arrived in Lochaline with minutes to spare,
but I caught the last boat home.

*****
Leaf

(Julia Winnacker)

I don’t know, the leaf did think, where do I come from?
Is all I’ve said and done just a mere dream?
The howling wind, the chilling wind
That has brought me here, brought me to this state of mind
This state of mind where darkness surrounds me
A darkness in which I can hardly breathe

Is this all, the leaf asked the wind,
The wind that howled in response
Once again the wind raised the leaf up into the wild air
Oh wind, please tell me, where is this place you bring me to?
Home? Certainly not
I don’t know where I did come from, how do I know where I go to?
Is this all life has to offer for me?
The leaf asked while being swept onto a train’s roof

*****

LEAVING MY ROOTS BEHIND

(Cas Meadowfield)

My bags are packed and by the door.

Hugs that put a lump in my throat,

Good-byes, till I can stand no more,

So I hurry to put on my coat.

A familiar bus ride, feels strange today.

A train, platform with people in line.

My seat found. There is no delay,

I’m leaving my roots behind.

*****
(Werner Krotz)

if when i die

i had a trunk

to take with me

whatever would be

important to me –

i’d take with me

infinity

*****

Ferry Haiku

(Yvonne Marjot)

My prosaic morning
To the supermarket
Past Lismore lighthouse.

Oban afternoon:
Sapphirine sun-flecked water;
Three ferries dancing.

Up the Sound of Mull:
Moon jellies churned in the wake;
Seven porpoises.

In the rising tide,
Cormorants with feet awash;
Dancing on the spot.

Balanced impossibly
On the substanceless sea:
Hidden rock with seal.

*****
Last bus – First love

(Norman Morrow)

Flaming red hair, a tender touch I bid farewell
back then it knew no bounds
endless, forever it seemed
love-wrapped in sensuous delight
ambled to the bus stop.

Was he a steward of my heart?
a grinning soothsayer declined my outstretched hand
number seven coughed rancid fumes, it passed
to flaming love returned, embraced,
taxi driver nodded as I said goodbye.

Years roll over the dim recollections
other buses beckoned with a lover’s outstretched hand
the flaming hair of first love never lost
the memory in the corner of my eye
for other’s sweethearts number seven still rolls by.

*****

The Lion Who Came To Tea

(Cas Meadowfield)

This is a tale about reality not fantasy

For a lion came to my home for tea

He travelled north by rail,

While he manicured his nails

We asked him about his lair

While he tossed his shaggy hair

He told us he lived near London Zoo

As he fixed a chair with glue.

He was very polite he said please

As we fed him on ham and cheese

When we asked would he like cake?

He said ‘Oh good. Did you bake?

He left after he drank his tea

You might still think this is a fantasy

But he had no tail that came to dine

He was a man born under Leo’s sign.

*****

Rush hour shower

(Andrew M)

The i pod chants unto the wearer
Sanctuary from an over bearer
A kindle can save you from a starer
In the rush hour shower.

Bumping hips and bloodless lips
White knuckled hands grasp business grips
Avoiding last nights revellers chips
In the rush hour shower.

The sardines keep on squeezing in
Your train has now become your tin
Bad breath becomes a mortal sin
In the rush hour shower.

Pickpockets mingle with their prey
With sleight of hand as bodies sway
Their happiness our disarray
In the rush hour shower.

Counting stations one by one
Wishing that your day was done
Depressed for it has just begun
In the rush hour shower.

The next stop thankfully is yours
You fight your way towards the doors
Sweating now from all your pores
In the rush hour shower.

The air gets cooler as you wait
Your chance to flee and escalate
Towards the skyward ticket gate
In the rush hour shower.

Your easing breath becomes less stressed
As oyster cards are firmly pressed
You gain release like all the rest
In the rush hour shower.

Then all at once you hit the street
The traffic fumes smell perfume sweet
Your feelgood factor is replete
Until we meet again at five.

*****

HOPE – For my country

(Catherine Lenderi)

Is it a ray of light
that brightens your shadows?

Is it a friend’s smile
that warms your heart?

Is it a lover’s “I love you”
that makes everything better?

Is it a parent’s hug
that promises a shelter?

Is it a smell
that brings back a happy memory?

Is it a song
that makes you dance?

Is it the tear you shed
right before you smiled again?

No matter what it is,
fill your life with it
Greece, beloved country of my birth!

*****

Imprisoned Train

(Norman Morrow)

Upon surging waters of swelling tide, canopied beneath an azure sky,
across the heads of swaying, sweating travellers, I yearn to see.
Envious of the hooded man, draped against the window pane,
beer slopping, from lager can clasped by unworked hands,
his moaning mouth, foul words blight my soul.

Stale breath courses around the carriage, a baby cries
above the muffled chatter, cloaked in my despondency, a silent groan.
Tunnelled echoes, in darkness sealed, I close my eyes.
Carefree children frolic on the sand dunes of my dreams,
memories faded by the span of ageing, waves.

Screech of braking wheels, shuddering carriage, rustling bags.
Whispering bodies of seated ones, stir,
push against the fragile tempers of comrades stood.
Eyes cast towards freedom’s door, and the hooded one,
tips can one last time and curses those that made him poor.

*****

The Waiting Game

(Michelle Richardson)

Life is like a bus stop –
a waiting game, for sure.
For when you think you’ve got it sussed
It makes you wait some more.
The traffic coming in and out
can get you in a spin,
and you must beware of heartbreak
if you let this traffic in.
For things that look like taxis;
made to pick you up each day,
turn into big red buses
so they crush you on the way.
But if you stand there long enough
And wait with patience and a smile,
Then life can be a journey
That makes waiting seem worthwhile.

*****

Snow

(Cas Meadowfield)

Warm coat, buttoned up to my chin,

Feet pushed into Wellington boots,

Woolly hat pulled down over my ears,

At last I’m allowed out into a white

World to play in winter’s gift ¾snow

That still falls from the sky. I hold

In my hand, to see closer, fluffy flakes

Full of six pointed stars, none the same.

Friends call and sudden coldness down

My neck makes me scoop up soft snow

To squeeze into balls to throw back,

Till gloves are sodden and hands tingle.

Snow drifts down on the wind. Snow

Ploughs struggle to clear roads. Buses

And school are cancelled. Shopping will

Have to wait as winter grips us tight.

*****

Sitting at bus stops is free

(Yvonne Marjot)

‘If writers want inspiration,’ Lucienne said,
‘Try using public transport.’ I’d like to,
But since I lost my job it’s all I can do
To eat and keep a roof over my head.

Looking for work means daily, bitter frustration.
I save and stay fit by walking everywhere.
But the pleasure I miss the most, the worst loss to bear,
Is the simple, daily art of conversation.

I miss the workday round of chat and cheer,
And the bus driver’s words and friendly morning smile.
If only I could find some company, just for a while.
Suddenly I have an amazing – a brilliant idea.

With a thermos of hot water I act on my realisation:
It’s free to sit in the waiting room at the bus station.

*****

He said…She said…

(Catherine Lenderi)

He said: Dreams are worthless!

She said: What would our lives be without dreaming?

He said: I see no point in life any more.

She said: You are a grumpy old man, that’s all.

He said: But life has no meaning. We live for a short while and then die.
Why should I care about life?

She said: Because you can live your life with me, share my smiles;
see the world through my eyes; you can hold my hand
and watch the sea as its waves wash away all your fears.

He said: ……………..

*****

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