Samples of Poems from On the Move
Moving to Gran Canaria
Easy it was for us to change
The cold complacent soil of England
For Gran Canaria’s warm, expectant sand.
No children, no grandchildren left behind,
Friends of course, but they can visit us
And we them,
If ever we can drag ourselves away.
The windmills of Arinaga
Stark against the skyline, orange spies loom over roofs
Multiples of Sauron’s malevolent eye.
Don Quixote’s giants
Have slimmed down
From robust torso to tapered trunk.
Instead of sturdy limbs
Slim propellers with orange cuffs girate.
Mechanical monsters from War of the Worlds
Prepare for battle.
The footsoldiers line up
Threaten the landscape
Assert that wind power rules.
On the Steps
The tide is in.
No beach left.
I sit on the steps between La Barca and Libro Oasis
Watch and listen.
Sun on the bay trembles on the lilt of the waves,
Sliding stripes of midnight and turquoise
Trimmed with white frills of lace
Where the waves wash
Ashore the multi-shaped, multi-coloured pebbles of
Cream and ochre, slate and terracota
and one huge stone of pure white
that lands on the bottom step
and just misses my foot.
Far out, the frilly lace turns to sterner stuff
The breakers froth a hint of danger
And I hear, as in a dream,
The sound of sea and surf and sonic thunder
And decide I will not swim today.
A young man, baby aloft like a periscope
Rides the breakers like a L.A. surfer.
The baby, face puckered,
Leads a charmed life.
Enchanted by sea and sun,
encased in the strong arms of his protector
He shows no fear.
The child’s mother sits on the steps,
watches the pair with keen bird-like eye,
Towel at the ready,
As her heroes cruise home again.
Her husband she greets with a nod,
Her son she envelopes in towel and blanke soft as her womb
And holds him close,
Covers his face with little pecks,
While the young man, having delivered his charge,
Strides back into the ocean with his surfboard
without a backward glance.
Weddings and Funerals
We used to meet at weddings
Exchange a smile or two,
Chat a bit of this and that
What was what and who was who.
Now we meet at funerals,
Avoid each other’s eye
Aware we share the fearful thoughts
Of our mortality.
(with apologies to Tim Firth and his character, Angus, from the play, Neveille’s Island)
Middle-aged, middle management, middle income, that’s me.
I live in a middle-sized, middle-priced house
In an avenue, not a street or a road,
With my middle-sized family,
middle-sized cat, dog and mouse,
In middle England
In a middling sort of town.
Middle-class born and bred, that’s me,
I drive a middle-sized , middle-priced car,
I keep to ther middle of the road, you see,
Never venture too near the edge or too far.
I isten to middle-of-the-road music,
Classic FM, Mantovani, Gilbert and S
And expound middle-of-the-road opinions on matters of politics,
morality and the press.
Five out of ten for my life.
There’s nothing wrong with it.
Nothing right with it.
Sometimes I think I’ll do a Thelma and Louise and set myself free
From the prison of safe sex, the comfort of ensuite and Rich Tea.
But my hand betrays me on the steering wheel
And, without real thought of why,
I reject the freedom I dreamt could be mine
And veer back to that safe middle line.
After all, why change?
I’m doing just fine.