Archives for posts with tag: cityscapes
Street gutter in Old Town Stockholm

By Bengt Nyman (originally posted to Flickr as IMG_2356-1) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Tight red-green leaves sprout on
the curbside trees. Drizzle taps the
flattened Strongbow cans
stomped down with an empty pizza box

American hot
pepperoni and chilli.
Baronsmere’s pink petals
line the gutters;

blown down in April rains.
I even spied a spider.

12 and 13/4/2015

In rhythm and feel, this poem bears a resemblance to ‘Ninja Turtles Strike Again!’. They both hint at melancholy and contain a tone of nostalgia for things past. In each, things of the gutter and underground animal world are referenced. Plus there’s mention of pizza.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

Colias croceus – the Clouded Yellow Butterfly. Image courtesy of Zeynel Cebeci via Wikimedia Commons.

I will be 80 this year
here in my flat
only a mile and a half
from where I was born.
I have tried 
to lead by example, by
plunging my narrow balcony
into the principality of hanging gardens.

Concrete is brutal.
It needs softening.
Plants should have dominion.

We breakfast amidst the crisp verdure
and watch a nesting bird,
fledgling wrens, butterflies 
and such wild visitors.
The flat faces of the 
daisies, pansies and geraniums 
accrue the afternoon and evening sun.
Most years –
A wren nests somewhere
blanketed by the ivy leaves.
Her fledglings zing past 
while we’re eating.
They’ll even call 
on us at table.
In warm summers,
the clouded yellow butterfly 
may join us from abroad.


Sometimes some quirky combination of words and images will capture my imagination. This time last year it was a comment in a Gudrun Sjödén catalogue about a Senegalese artist who sculpted birds from flotsam-and-jetsam.

Sunday last, the Guardian Weekend’s column “How does your garden grow?” hooked me. William Howard’s evocative interview about his balcony garden in the Barbican (London) – and the fantastic photograph of him in from of his verdant kingdom – had me enthralled. (Read the interview from the 28th June 2014 Guardian Weekend here.). “This garden,” explains Howard, “is about memories, sharing and reminding people to look – really look.”

Perhaps being a poet is in some respects like being a gardener.

(P.S. One of the most affecting books I read during my young adolescence was Rumer Godden’s An Episode of Sparrows, in which a scrabble of children try to grow a garden and learn how to look – really look.)

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

Image courtesy of Norfolk-based artist, Nicola Slattery. View her enchanting work at www.nicolaslattery.com

“Taken Care Of” courtesy of Norfolk-based artist, Nicola Slattery. View her enchanting work at www.nicolaslattery.com

The 2×52 project developed in April 2013 when I committed to posting two poems a week for a year. I completed my self-made creative challenge this April when I revealed the 104th poem. Next month (June 2014), all the poems will be available in a book at my Blurb bookstore. In the meantime, here are the 104=2×52 poems listed in all their glory! And for your convenience, so that you can click on the titles that pique your interest. Enjoy!

  1. On a rock amongst rocks
  2. Things of the Heart, Told in Quiet #1
  3. £299 from Strand
  4. A Thousand Scientific Facts about the Sea
  5. Nice Words #1
  6. Benefactor of the Blind
  7. On the Way to Westminster
  8. Solutrean Hypothesis
  9. I don’t work for you (or Modern Frustrations)
  10. red herring
  11. Tarantella (two versions)
  12. Conversation
  13. Pakistan’s Gold
  14. 29oC
  15. An arrangement of strangers
  16. Recycled
  17. Packed Lunches
  18. Tightly Sealed
  19. Another Summer’s Day
  20. Look At
  21. Hairpin (a short poem)
  22. A definition, notably for the cloud-dwelling artists
  23. Instructions
  24. Scherzo: Allegro before the Finale
  25. Impatience
  26. Screens
  27. Leo’s Entries
  28. From a Stone
  29. Autumn’s ripened harvest store
  30. The Character Building
  31. An autumn evening in
  32. Preceding seafaring that was not to transpire
  33. The Home Commute
  34. On the declaration of the first day of the Year of Our Light
  35. What we were all thinking
  36. Emulation
  37. Genuine
  38. Stuck
  39. An address from a lectern
  40. Her magical box
  41. Sun Doves
  42. At the right age
  43. Just Punishment
  44. Every morning, because it’s wonderful
  45. Is it worth it?
  46. A Bequest of Wonder
  47. The Benefits of 320 Kicks
  48. I do. Do you?
  49. Five Consequences of Repeated Actions
  50. To the Valleys
  51. supreme ultimate
  52. Operations Meeting, El Dorado
  53. Without realising it, the postman leaves a poem
  54. Another drop in this week before Christmas
  55. A quiet night preludes
  56. Let them eat
  57. I learnt
  58. A New Room
  59. Philip’s Log: Entries about my moonlit sylph
  60. Pairings
  61. Conscripted
  62. Bursting Art
  63. Afloat
  64. Would you ever live in Heather Green?
  65. London’s Molten Hour
  66. Two poems about grey
  67. My friend Ellen
  68. Nice words of the moment (from autumn)
  69. Today
  70. Outpourings
  71. She’d read it in books
  72. Tube sketch (one of a few)
  73. St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden
  74. Near Liverpool Street, under scaffolding
  75. On the occasion of a dinner party in Kennington
  76. Tunnel Days
  77. London. Is it worth it?
  78. At the moment: £2
  79. the currency of sugar
  80. High-end Liquids
  81. Glomerulonephritis
  82. Dying is probably easier than this
  83. The Age Show
  84. Nice words #2
  85. How do you make a dream come true?
  86. Do engineers dream?
  87. Appropriate Recompense
  88. It’s complicated
  89. Every Sign of the Zodiac
  90. Saying it plainly
  91. The Brothers Three
  92. This morning’s request
  93. Recipe
  94. Kindly exit
  95. In the ocean one night
  96. Degas’s Business Card
  97. A small heart panics
  98. Interior holdings
  99. Reviewing the pursuit
  100. Absorbed
  101. Nearing the End
  102. Different Rides
  103. Spring Wants
  104. Escucha
They who serve 
	the suction of daybreak,
beneath the earth,
beneath the dew,
beneath the kitchens where there’s burning toast
	and grapefruit,
bury, with the morning light,
their hope of hearing birdsong.


My commuting is less than a tenth of many who live and work in London. But when I am on the move, I often slot in writing, people watching and eavesdropping. Journeys by bus and Tube (and occasionally, by train) have become both companions of and subject matter for my writing. The Tube in particular has featured in a number of poems. Hereunder some from the growing set of related verselets:

Tube sketch (one of a few)
The Home Commute
On the Way to Westminster
Every morning, because it’s wonderful to watch
supreme ultimate

After finishing “Tunnel Days”, I recalled that I had linked daybreak with grapefruit in an earlier poem. In “Dead Star” (2006) I referenced the fruit’s colour and palate-cleansing taste in a description of morning rays.

As @BeadedQuill I Tweet about my life in London, being a poet and my current interests.
BeadedQuill has a Facebook page. Please visit us and leave a ‘Like’.
Books:
“Dead Star” is one of twenty poems in Shining in Brightness, a book of selected poems about travel, love and growing up.
Through the character Emily, I wrote twenty poems offering insights about life, love and work for the Modern Boy. You can preview Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys here.

Cold fingers,
       the volunteer gardeners rake leaves
       from the flowerbeds 
       that circle tree-trunks.
       A last green and white hydrangea
       stares its bath-cap head at me.
       Cars hoot near Bedford St.
       There’s a helicopter overhead.
       Leaves and Tesco receipts 
       blow across the square paving-stones.
       It’s 1 minute to 10.
	  A cold breeze catches
	  the morning.


Covent Garden is my destination on many mornings when I disembark from the tube. If I have a few moments I sit in the garden of the Actors’ Church, St Pauls of Covent Garden. This poem was drafted on a cold November morning as an exercise in specificity; a careful attempt at noting sound, touch and sight sensations.

@BeadedQuill
Facebook
Books:
A volume of twenty-five poems about work, love and life for the Modern Boy and another of twenty poems about the ‘stretched decade’ of 18 to 30. 

The man with the notebook
draws attention.
The woman alongside hum
drops her Evening Standard
to glance.
	Left-handed he is
	writing with a ballpoint
	in a Moleskine, A5-sized.

Two page turners 
	across from each other.


The poems this week centre around London and the ordinary, daily observations living in this metropolis offers. Our first poem considers a scene during a tube commute.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys 
Shining in Brightness

Lento con agitato, for 10 minutes

to to to

tomorrow

tomorrow

tomorrow

too morrow

to

to morrow

tomorrow

row tomorrow

morrow

tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow

After the stroke

Aunt Edie struggled with tomorrow

and words. We performed patience

with wrapped chrysanthemums

for twenty minutes

each week.

She lay tied up in tubes.

In much printed Western music, there are performance instructions in the top left-hand corner. These instructions guide character and tempo. The poem above adopts this idea.

If you enjoyed “Stuck,” have a glance at my first published volume – SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS.

I tweet about my observations on life, my current practise and this abiding interest in writing. Please follow me. I’m @BeadedQuill

When it is from deep inside

and through my eyes,

that crinkled nose –

my truest smile.

For some time I was a regular attendee of a writing group. I often presented very short poems (some of which were to feature in ‘Shining in Brightness‘, my first volume and others which are earmarked for the forthcoming ‘Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys’.) It helped that I could print out eight copies of a poem on one A4 page. This meant I saved on printing. The resulting items to be read out were palm-sized scraps of paper. In honour of their size and effect, one of my fellow attendees declared my signature pieces “sushi poems.”

I love the idea that these short verses might pack a punch, prove tasty and nutritious. The poem above is a fresh addition to the ever growing bundle.

Here are some more of my sushi poems available on the Beaded Quill blog:

String

Pavement Writer

Ode to a Golden Mango

Things of the Heart Told in Quiet #1

A Poem about Scales (red herring)

Conversation

At Noon

The hummingbird stands for love

926 Breathless Accomplishments

The Poet

Clementi Brings in 2013

If you enjoyed the above read ‘Pavement Walker’, the first poem in my volume ‘Shining in Brightness, available for purchase and preview at blurb.co.uk

In pack-a-punch style, I love the challenge of a good tweet. Follow me on Twitter. I tweet as @BeadedQuill