A sovereign remedy

1 November 2011 § 3 Comments

A Charm Against Ye Knavish Trick-or-Treaters

Attend ye, this All Hallows’ Eve,
Heed my warning: take thy leave,
Get ye hence, touch not this door,
Retrace thy steps, disturb no more
Our sweet repose at close of day.
Thou art not welcome, go thy way.
Thy witch’s hat and monster mask
Shall not avail thee: prithee ask
Not here for toothsome snacks or sweets –
Demand elsewhere thy tricks or treats.
For in this house a creature lies
With sharp white teeth and burning eyes.
Flee while ye may, rouse not his wrath
And take again thy homeward path.
Be ye not heard, be ye not seen
Within our bounds this Hallowe’en.

Rather than my usual grumpy offering, I posted this on the front door last night to ward off the regrettable American import that’s usurped our native All Hallows’ Eve traditions. I’m pleased to say it proved 100% effective!

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Duet: a love story

28 October 2011 § 9 Comments

At break-time in rehearsals
A flute lay on a chair
And let out little silver sighs
Of sorrow and despair.

Her heart had just been broken
By a cruel cor anglais
Who’d charmed her with his double reed
And smooth, seductive ways.

He’d loved her con fuoco,
Their passion ran con brio
Till he spoiled it by asking if
She’d like to form a trio.

Seduced, abandoned, cast aside
The poor flute wondered whether
She’d ever find an instrument
Who’d want to play together.

And then she saw another flute
Reclining at his ease
And as she stared a shiver ran
Along her trembling keys.

He shimmered in the spotlights’ gleam
That subtly revealed
His head-joint made from finest gold –
“A Louis Lot!” she squealed.

But then she wept, resigned herself
To love him from afar:
He’d never give a second glance
To a humble Yamaha.

Yet when the orchestra returned
Replete with cake and tea
He met her gaze and whispered
That he loved her desperately.

He wooed her with a Bach bourrée,
And a Mozart minuet
Then they made a little night music
As they played their first duet.

So now they’re happy, side by side
In harmony – and, who knows?
Perhaps she’ll quit the orchestra
And raise some piccolos.

A thorny subject

25 September 2011 § 12 Comments

By any other name?

Call me
Barbed-flower
Flesh-ripper
Swell-tendon
Blood-dripper.

My scent is dulled
My colour bled
My suckers rampant
Leaders dead.

Call me
Shirt-snagger
Finger-finder
Hand-harrow
Eye-blinder.

Hack me down
Cut me deep
Burn my remains
Leave me to sleep.

Call me
Fly-ridden
Rust-spotted
Mildew-powdered
Canker-rotted.

Then tell me how
Sweet I smell now.

Pruned a rose bush this morning. Didn’t enjoy it much!

Forecast

5 September 2011 § 11 Comments

Spells of rain

The Met Office –
With all their talk
Of satellites
Doppler radar
And models crunched on mainframes –
Don’t fool me:
 
In her den
Beneath the building
The weather-witch
Is in control.
 
Firing up her cauldron
She conjures clouds
From the rising steam.
More cackled incantations
Fill them, chill them
Then spill them over southern England.
 
And on the screen
Her familiar
In the form of a smiling, suntanned man
Foretells her next week’s wicked work:
 
To put us under
Spells of rain
And turn fair Summer
Into a crabbed and wrinkled Autumn.

Villanelle: Rehearsal

14 July 2011 § 8 Comments

Conducting experiments

It’s better than it was before.
But it must be exactly right.
Please can we try it just once more?

That’s just what I was hoping for,
You strings; you kept your bowing tight.
Far better than it was before.

Flutes: sorry to be such a bore:
Those quavers must be quick and light.
Please can we try it just once more?

Remember, trumpets: really soar
In bar sixteen – be bold and bright.
Still, better than it was before.

You’ll notice if you check the score
A rallentando – very slight.
Please can we try it just once more?

You’ve worked so long and hard, I’m sure
You’ll sound amazing on the night –
Much better than you did before.
Now: can we try it just once more?

A small tribute to our wonderful Community Orchestra conductor; a gracious lady with infinite patience and nerves of steel who gives her professional experience freely to amateurs possessed of far more enthusiasm than skill. She works us hard, sets high standards and encourages us to play music, not simply the right notes in the right order. For two hours a week, there’s no room in my brain for anything except music. And for that, perhaps above all else, I’m incredibly grateful to her.

Friday knight nonsense

24 June 2011 § 7 Comments

Friday knight

I wish that I could be a noble knight
And roam the kingdom wide on errantry;
But there are now no dragons left to fight
Or damsels in distress that I can see.
Yet I can still assume a gallant manner
Though chivalry be dead: I ride alone,
A freelance, fighting under no man’s banner
But that I choose; my destiny’s my own.
What need have I of any sword? I wield
The pen – a weapon mightier indeed.
I have this screen before me as my shield;
My lady’s favour all the spur I need
To accept the challenge of my daily quest,
And fight on, dauntless, to my nightly rest.

Three chords and the truth

23 May 2011 § 6 Comments

Chapter and verse

Everything I had to know
I learned from country music:

‘bout Love and Life, man-and-wife.
Broken hearts, brand-new starts;
Getting in fights, lonely nights,
Smoke-filled bars, steel guitars;
Untamed broncs, honky-tonks,
Pickup trucks, last few bucks;
Missing you, dreams come true,
Endless highways, long hot dry days,
Tall tequilas, eighteen-wheelers,
Rivers of tears, ice-cold beers;
Cheatin’, lyin’, laughin’, cryin’,
Wantin’, choosin’, winnin’, losin’.
Long slow dances, lost romances,
Slamming doors, forever yours.
Words unspoken, promises broken,
Bridges burned, lessons learned.

Seemed everyone I heard was giving
Three–minute manuals for living.
And the only thing that I done wrong
Was thinking life was like a song.

Apologies for the radio silence: I’ve been working on a long-stalled novel for the past couple of weeks, and the blog’s taken a back seat. I wrote this silly poem this morning just as a bit of a loosener, but decided to post it to reassure my much-loved readers that I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. Thank you for sticking with me; I’ll catch up with all your work during the week.

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