Archives for posts with tag: seasons
adroit, adept, conker,
weary boeuf and stew.
The nights are closing in;
the mushrooms sprouting
      on their monopeds.

The pipes are closing in
with nights re-wakening with heating.


Here above, some words combined at the end of September last year as autumn brought in a change of light, of taste preferences, of colours and of temperature. Autumn brings in earlier darkness, fallings conkers, longed for comforting stews and a weariness at the thought of the long winter ahead. Sylvia Plath’s poem always comes to mind when the mushrooms make their seasonal appearance. I see the little fungi relishing the increased dampness in the soil and the dank of darker mornings in self-fuelling ways I simply envy.

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

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Rain slaps against the windowpane.
Wee! Wee! It jests and jeers. 
Look at our ease of water-dash
and drip and fall
while you – Haha! –
neith’ eight nor sixteen lines have wrought
on that page. It’s all for nought,
despite your ink-filled fountain pen.

Yes, I see
the sky makes way its blue for grey
              carriers of short-lived sport. The assent
shows far more grace than any 
of those regiments of pressed attention 

marching in my head. Daily it is
to their silver – buttons, medals, lining;
to their praise, rigour and filing, 
my polishing by draft’s employed.


As @BeadedQuill, I tweet regularly about writing and the creative life, but infrequently about English rain.
BeadedQuill also has a Facebook page. Please visit and give us a ‘Like’.

In 2013, I compiled two books of collected poetry online. Click on the titles below:

Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys bundles together twenty poems offering insightson life, love and work for the Modern Boy.

In addition to presenting poetry written by BeadedQuill from 1999 to 2012, Shining in Brightness includes two essays on creative process.

Yonder far o’er vale and glen
whereto grooms return
and bread is leaven.
This is another country.

Today, outside, is a new room
in which five builders,
tiered upon scaffolding,
cannot hear All Blues.

This is no time 
for saxophone wails.
Stand at the window
and look out

on the fresh planks.
The backdrop:
bared trees and
blue-skied bright.


All Blues” is a track from the Miles Davis album Kind of Blue (1959).

The books, available for preview:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys 
Shining in Brightness

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill

Over the hills 
in this fulsome of seasons,
the rains trigger migration
of hartebeests in cravats.

With dress suits and readings
of love  patient, love kind,
they sniff over the morning 
for griddle-pan scones,

white-veiled receptions, 
soft hands at their temples. Ah, 
all those summers a-toiling 
they bring back to the valleys

as rings in their pockets
in snapped shut hinged boxes
to find all brides
have left for the sea.

As hinted at last week, here is the poem about grooms flocking to the valleys.  It was spurred by a dictionary explanation of fiancée that read “He went back to the valley to marry his fiancée.” In my accompanying essay to last Thursday’s post, “I do. Do you?”, I explain my wonder at such a contextualising mini-narrative. I also predicted a sprouting poem.

As a companion read, I recommend Liz Berry’s wonderful poem “The Year We Married Birds”. Hereunder my favourite line, no less because of the colon.

“My own groom was a kingfisher:
enigmatic, bright.”

It’s a busy marriage market out there with hartebeests in the valleys and magpies, Trafalgar pigeons and snow buntings in the cities. Too bad the brides have left for the sea.

P.S. The hartebeest is species of antelope.

Still looking for a completely original Christmas gift for a bibliophile? Preview my books of poetry.

Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys – Fresh off the press! 25 poems on life, love and work derived from the field-notes of an observant poetess.

Shining in Brightness – 20 selected poems chronicle twelve years of travel, relationships and growing up. Praised as “jewel-like droplets in a grey, urban landscape”.

Find Beaded Quill on Twitter (as @BeadedQuill) and Facebook.

Little Knowing, a lonely desert bird,
was small and light of wing.
Along the road he saw a woman.
She smelled of cinnamon.

“My bed,” she said, “smells of more – 
of myrrh and desert aloes.
It is richly covered, soft – and ours –
in colourful Egyptian linen.” 

Little knowing saw the tent
to which he now was bidden:
a desert plain in bloom and blush,
a-sighing after winter’s hold,
in lighter joy  ‘fore summer’s ambush.

The lady then held out her hand.
“Little Knowing,” she whispered, “come – ”

He hopped into her painted palm.
Her veils fanned him with her scent.
Her eyes cupped his restless wings
and said, “Little Knowing, be not afraid.
Tonight we drink deep of love.”

Next morning Little Knowing shared
his bursting heart with all. 
“My love,” he sang in sweetest tune,
“has brought me joy. Let all rejoice!”

This called the people to the tent
and there, the woman now found out
was dragged to meet deservéd death
and Little Knowing – stupid, foolish bird 
to be seduced by scent and desert blooms,
those kindly eyes and gentle words –
was placed correctly in the noose.
Little Knowing – stupid, foolish bird –
darted into that snare 
and such it did cost him life.

The moral of this tale is thus,
young man and maid forget it not:
your lusts will take you far from god
and with them reap all death, damnation, loss.

I don’t want to write too much about this poem at this stage. I sincerely hope that it does not offend, but I do hope it stirs some mulling. You may find a reading of Proverbs 7 will add a layer to engaging with today’s piece. In tone the above is actually similar to this poem about success, which I wrote in August.

For more of my poetry, see my first published book, “Shining in Brightness“.

You can also add “Shining in Brightness”  as a  “Like” on your list of Facebook reads. Simply search the title in the Facebook search box. Your support would be much appreciated.

I tweet as @BeadedQuill. Please follow me.

There is exercise in

the rooted words. Knead! Knead!

Glance, the rooted words

are closing in.

About the even’ shift

the sprouting pipes creak thin their heat –

a flailing dance of

conker-burst  – Knead! Knead!

The Beautiful Life is different.

This poem is part of a current project to write two poems a week for 52 weeks. The aim is to create a pool of 104 poems and prove that if one writes enough poems some gems will surely result.

In the interim, preview here my first volume of poems published earlier this year.

Follow me on Twitter as @BeadedQuill. I comment on whatever passes through my day – which includes poetry and art.

Black coats, black pavements, black umbrellas, the rain
Nights black by 20:00. Achoos in the office.
Splutters on the train. Time to switch on the heating and
buy doughnuts in the morning. There has sprung the winter hunger
and it will only grow

On the 19th September 1819, John Keats wrote this lilting ode ‘To Autumn.‘ Images of his autumn’s fruitful harvest jarred with my Thursday of cold snap, rain and ubiquitous black umbrellas.

Follow me on Twitter where I tweet as @BeadedQuill.

Preview my first volume, SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS, here, It includes poems selected from twelve years’ worth of writing in South America, the USA, South Africa and Europe.

Pakistan’s Gold 
 A loose Pindaric* ode to a delicious mango

As still-hard flesh, this baton passes
blushed apricots, green-skinned Hasses,**
to triumph in a grocer’s tier.

Event two in a domestic Mount Olympus:
here ripens the sweet-juiced summer discus.

My 87-year-old landlady swears by the small, golden-skinned Pakistani mangoes that are imported each summer. “They are absolutely the sweetest mangoes I’ve ever tasted.” This is the second year she keeps telling me this and occasionally leaving a yellow orb in my allocated fruit-bowl,  a brown earthenware creation that she threw many years ago during her Friday pottery class.

The orbs tend to arrive hard and unyielding to a finger squeeze. I must leave them to wrinkle and move into their mango aroma. It is an anti-race, for the ripening takes time. It only speeds up if there is  a helpful warm spell such as the one we have had these last few days.

When they are ready – and too often I am impatient – I eat the ripened treasures over the sink. Slicing off the skin is as pleasurable as paring orange slivers off the stone. I forego a bowl; I eat the slices there and then.

Gazing at the garden, on view from the window above the sink, is part of the moment. With this mango I take in a blue summer sky above, the pink and cerise wall-roses in abundant bloom. Ah! Such is a full summer discus of a moment.

It’s then that a gust whips a rush of browning petals over the wall, across my scene.

* The Pindaric ode, named after the poet Pindar, originally celebrated athletic victories in Ancient Greece. In this context, it was delivered by a chorus and dancers. In English, Pindaric odes exhibit formal and metrical complexity. The opening strophe is followed and mirrored by the antistrophe. The closing of the ode, the epode, adopts a different structure. Read these odes by Wordsworth and Thomas Gray to see these elements engaged to good poetic effect.

** Oh yes, a Hass is a variety of avocado.

If you enjoyed the above, glance over my first volume of poetry, Shining in Brightness.

I also tweet. Follow me as @BeadedQuill.