Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

Lest We Forget

Posted: 26/02/2017 by Alternate Celt in poetry, political
Tags:

I wrote this for my latest TMA


Lest we forget

The poppy

In Flanders Fields it grows

Flowering for one brief day

Shedding petals on ground

Still scarlet stained

By the blood of blossoming youth
Lest we forget

We fought fascism

We fought it in trenches

On fields, streets and beaches

From bomb shelters

On radio waves and postered walls

In our living rooms and consciences

We fought fascism

And we won.
The promise of peace

The post war pact

The NHS

The Welfare State

Our safety net

Our life of civic order
Pay income tax

National insurance

Vote in the ballot box

Put in a lifetime’s 

Peaceful contribution

No more should we be,

Left alone, left behind

Prey to fear, prone to war

Torn by class, race and hate

Never again?

Lest we forget

Advertisements

Adagio

Posted: 16/02/2017 by Alternate Celt in poetry
Tags: ,

Adagio

Reflections on ‘Adagio for Strings’ by Samuel Barber


The dead season

Little black trimmed postcards

In the village shop window

Multiply as the nights draw in

As the leaves fall

The rain and wind blow

At us


Murmurs of the sickroom

The dull beat of the ticking clock

Fading flowers for the patient

Lend their decayed, bassy funk

To the sharp sterile scents

Of this hushed vigil

Lives held, not breath

While inexorably approaching

The ultimate crescendo


The final movement

That wracks body and soul

Pulls acutely on delicate heartstrings

Until they sing a bittersweet note of mourning

Enrapture us in agony

Before fading into drained silence


The muted, spent heart

Cocooned in numbness

Smothered in grief

Seems incapable of more

Yet aches reawaken in the darkness

Stage a swelling reprise to the cold night

Bringing us at last

To catharsis

Jarring, jagged

Raw

But ultimately

We breathe again


Listen to Adagio for Strings here and let me know how it compares!

Waking up

Posted: 16/06/2016 by Alternate Celt in Dark Tales, poetry

Another poem from my wee poetry book.

Waking Up

Shapely Mountains
White as Icebergs
Cut across the Blue Sky
Like giant, soft pillows
Rising above the bed of land
Life is stirring
Beneath a heavy blanket
Of Snow
The sunlight tugs back
The covers
Birds sing a wake-up call
And Suddenly
Lambs Spring up
Across the fields
Crocuses, Daffodils
And Early rising Snowdrops
Lift their pretty heads
Blades of grass stretch
Up to the sun
A world awake
And drowsy
Until the sun
Warms it’s bones.

The Bride

Posted: 10/06/2016 by Alternate Celt in poetry, writing
Tags:

It’s June, wedding season I have been told.

The Bride

The bedraggled bride
Blood stains on virgin white
her head hangs, her hair drips
just like she
was on their
wedding night.
The astonished
groom
Mouth gaping in shocked surprise
His hand shakes, the gun rattles
He can see
murder in her cold, dead
eyes
A
bullet flies
Then another
, and once more
While she advances, unrelenting
His hand goes limp,
the gun hits the floor
Such cold hands
Clutch his
face, pull it near
He is choking at her necrotic stench
Staring in her eyes, paralysed with fear
He hears her
voice
A gurgling whisper, a half-formed rasp
“You may kiss the bride,”
Icy lips touch his,
he hears his
own gasp
.
Pain flowers in his chest
Bone spliters and
blood explodes
He feels the wrench,
a staggering agony
Then she
rips his heart free and his chest implodes
It beats in her fist
She lifts it to her
rotten maw
And bites deeply as his vision
fades
His last sight, his
blood dripping from her jaw.

Totenique

Posted: 07/06/2016 by Alternate Celt in poetry, writing

Many years ago we went to Southern Portugal to help a friend build a dyke at his mother’s little eco friendly holiday home in the Totenique valley. There were a group of us there, all mutual friends, and we had a very nice time with lots of late night, outdoor  meals, rabbling conversations and games of Settlers of Catan. There was a guest book, so I scribbled this into it and copied it down to preserve the memories.

Totenique
Sun sets softly
Behind green cloaked slopes
Olive groves whisper
Their susurrus
Caressing the ears
While fragrant smoke drifts
Leaving an impression
A peaceful place in the mind
November sunshine

The Secret Colour of Crows

Posted: 03/06/2016 by Alternate Celt in poetry, Self Published, writing

Last one for now! If you like these poems and also like photography,  my partner and I put together a book of my poems with his beautiful pictures which you can buy here at Lulu. It’s a glossy coffee table book, but I feel it’s worth the price.

The Secret Colour of Crows

A wing shapes across a sky
Black as night
Obscuring day
Feathers spanning, light leaks through
Flying closer
Sunlight sparkles on the black
Rainbows spark
Dancing from it’s flight
Hues deeper and richer
Inviting inspection
Inviting enthralment
It wheels, spinning against blue
So stark
Bright and Dark
Day and Night

Still confusion is invited
When the light strikes
Blackness fractures
Defracts to dance along
The length of a wing tip
And from the black
Comes a myriad
A milieu
A cacophony of brilliance
That steals my eye
Oilslick purple and green
White that burns in the sun
Blue that hides beneath it all
Subtle and blinding
Hidden beneath the sinister
Beauty few perceive
Beauty few acknowledge
The secret colour
Of crows

Monday Morning, Dumfries

Posted: 03/06/2016 by Alternate Celt in poetry, writing

I’ve found a motherlode of old poetry. This is one of my favourites.

Monday Morning, Dumfries

Walking up the cobbled street
As the town is waking up
My heels clack loudly, echoing
As I pass by shuttered shops
A door opens, an alarm beeps
Words are exchanged across the Vennel
As for once today Neighbouring shopkeepers meet and speak
While they’ve time enough to greet
They’ll soon be ensconced
Behind their separate big windows,
Time only for the drip-drip stream
Of customers.
In the cafe,
In Costa,
With it’s soft leather sofas
And hardbacked wooden chairs
Vacant faces stare
Monday morning stares
While the Barista splashes
Coffee and milk
On the counter.
It’s still early
Still too early
To be doing this for her.
The bin lorry skulks
Along the pedestrian precinct
Filling up on white bags
Blue bags and the nameless contents
Of giant wheely bins
From which it scoffs
Scooped up with it’s great metal jaw
Then tossing back into it’s cavernous maw
With mechanical abandon
How many times does it chew?
25, Like they tell us to?
Almost 9am
Strong black Coffee and a pen
Wake me up
At least I hope.
It’s Monday morning in Dumfries
At least the sun is shining

Dulce et decorum est pro patria sacrificare

Posted: 02/06/2016 by Alternate Celt in poetry, political, writing

Was looking for something else and found this quite old poem. Plus ça change!

Dulce et decorum est pro patria sacrificare

Or so they tell the soldier they send
into their “theatre of operation”,
Or to the police officer they equip
with riot shields and guns
Or to working man whose job
falls to austerity
Or to the disabled child whose support
dwindles as the bills rise
Or to the homeless woman whose shelter
is closed because of other priorities
Or to the broken family that grieve
after a case of mistaken identity

Sacrifice is necessary, they preach to the poor
the disposessed
the weak
the sick
the hungry

Dulce et decorum est pro patria avi

As they have never said to the banker
who gambled away millions
Or to the politician who fiddled the books
to claim their ‘fair’ share of expenses
Or to the businessman who juggled his accounts
to avoid their ‘fair’ share of taxes
Or to the journalist who scooped
an exclusive from a murdered child’s phone
Or to Cabinet Minister who with the stroke of a pen
let the blood of his compatriots
Or to the General who with a word sent
the flower of our youth to their deaths

Sacrifice is never made by the elites
the ruling classes
the rich
the powerful
the deserving
So my friend, don’t believe them when they repeat the old lie:
Dulce et decorum est pro patria sacrificare
(It is sweet and honourable to sacrifice for one’s country)

Life is Strange

Posted: 28/04/2016 by Alternate Celt in Extracts, poetry, writing

Life is strange
Like in the way
Experiences
Come at you again
And again
In different guises
And different voices
It tells you
Just the same things
You should have learned
Last time
Life is strange

Life is strange
Like in the way
Chances
Come to you again
And again
In different guises
And different voices
It offers you
Just the sames things
You should have grasped
Last time
Life is strange