The Longest Day of the Year

stonehenge england
Photo by John Nail on Pexels.com

 

The Longest Day of the Year

She was born at Solsticetide,
And so they named her Summer –
Blond and bright and beautiful,
And all the Spring a comer.
But once the longest day was done,
She felt the nights draw in,
Just waiting for the Winter low
To let the next begin.

Now I will barely notice how
The evenings have crept,
Until the clocks have messed about
To show how dusk has leapt.
But then, she saw a greater change
Than I, from day to day,
For she grew up in Lerwick town
And I down Jersey way.

 

 

Nala

what happened to my eyebrow
Study of the Head of an Old Man with Curly Hair by Rembrandt

 

Nala

I know a man who’s all at sea,
But that’s alright, for he can sail –
He knows the winds, he knows the tides,
And where the undercurrent hides.
And back on land, it seems to me,
He’s just as calm within the gale –
He’s not afraid of getting wet,
And trusts upon the course he’s set.

He knows his destination isn’t fixed,
But just a stated aim –
The breeze may have its own idea
That he can’t fight, but still can steer.
He is a man of air and water mixed,
An old hand at this game –
But even sailors sometimes wish
For fresh dry clothes and no more fish !

I know a man who’s all a-shore,
Who dropped his anchor on the land
And found a port to beach his hull,
And trade the blackbird for the gull.
Yet still he hears the breakers roar,
And finds the driftwood on the sand –
But he’s content to furl his sails
And leave the whale-road to the whales.

 

 

Transatlantic Cable 1 – The Wake

jane
Jane & The Prisoner of Woolhouse by Kinuko Craft

 

Transatlantic Cable 1 – The Wake

The sea is wide, my son, so wide,
And the wind is free, so free –
The sea is long to the other side,
And the currents strong on the Westward tide.
Don’t tarry here because I cried –
Your boat is at the quay.

The land is big, I hear, so big,
The boat is small, is she –
But you must leave aboard this brig,
To seek out better roots to dig.
I know you won’t return, my sprig –
You won’t return to me.

 

 

 

Tick-Tock, Writer’s Block

nursery rhymes

 

Tick-Tock, Writer’s Block

The ants are marching ten-by-ten,
Running through my brain,
Where nine little Indians
Are dancing for the rain,
With eight green bottles
That they’re trying hard to fill,
And seven for a secret
When Jack falls down the hill.
Six geese are laying,
Though they’ve nothing yet to show,
With no knick-knack or paddy-wack
Where five men went to mow.
This little piggy stayed at home,
When the hickory-clock struck four
But three in the bed, in my empty head,
Find counting such a bore.
So two chirping crickets
Are all that’s left behind,
As one lonely tumbleweed
Is blowing through my mind.

 

 

Hysteranthous

cherry eggs

 

Hysteranthous

A Blackthorn Easter falls in March,
When Easter seems to come too soon –
But when it’s April, then we see
An Appleblossom Easter bloom –
And when it’s late, we celebrate
A Cherry Easter at its boom –
When leafless boughs are full of flowers,
Sprung from out of Winter’s tomb.

 

 

Coming of Age, Twice Over

twins
Self Portrait by Auguste Vinchon, also showing his imaginary twin brother (the original is on the one on the left).

 

Coming of Age, Twice Over

When I was just your age, you twins,
I dreamed of heading West,
Of hitching rides between the inns
That stretch from hill to crest.
I planned to leave at earlybird –
And yet…I never did.
For on that very morn, I heard
Your ma was got with kid.

When I was just your age, you twins,
I almost saw the world.
I almost got to grin such grins…
Till word came from my girl.
I longed to sail the ocean blue,
To joist with sharks and squids –
And oh!, I would have made it, too,
But for you pesky kids !

 

 

Again-Doubled Roundle

folk dance

 

Again-Doubled Roundle

Back up to the top, keep it going on round,
Keep it going on round and never let it stop,
And never let it stop, run it outwards bound,
Run it outwards bound, send it back to the top.

And better move it on, don’t ever let it drop,
Let’s keep it in the air and take it underground.
So never break the chain, pass it on, chop-chop,
And back up to the top, keep it going on round.

And in and out of knots, getting tightly wound
Dodge left, weave right, all over the shop –
But the race ain’t won till the victor’s crowned,
Keep it going on round and never let it stop.

And gallop for the line, catch the hare on the hop,
Let’s fly with the fox and chase with the hound –
So dig in the spurs and whip with the crop,
And never let it stop, run it outwards bound.

And never stop living while our hearts still pound,
While the music’s sweet and the colours pop.
Never quit the quest till the answer’s found,
Run it outwards bound, send it back to the top.
Keep it going on round…

 

 

Gods’ Breath

wind god

 

Gods’ Breath

Cry out your name to the wind,
As it gathers and flies,
Let it carry your name on its wing
To the edge of the skies.
Cry out your name to the wind,
And the wind replies –
“I am Aneurin, I am Belinda,
The unseen and wise.
Now I am Cormac, blowing, blowing,
Davina rising, Ezra free –
Soon to be Fortune, waiting, growing –
Filling the sails at mill and sea.
I am the storm and the maelstrom twinned,
The harbinger-bringer, the hurricane eyes !”

So cry out your name to the wind,
And your name shall rise.

 

 

The Memory of Woods

tree with brunch and green leaves during sunset
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

The Memory of Woods

Ashes to ashes
And ashes to beeches,
Ashes wherever
The passing breeze reaches,
To scatter and nourish
The bluebells and oaks,
Whose branches are neighbours
And flowers are folks.

Ashes have grown
And ashes have fallen,
But not before raising
Their saplings from pollen –
We sleep with the ivy
And grow with the lime,
Whose roots are in mem’ry,
And crowns are in time.

 

 

The Ballad of Evermore

agincourt
Agincourt by Donato Giancola

 

The Ballad of Evermore

The Thousand-Years War did not come to an end,
So they say – it just came to a stop.
When the gold and the men and the food has all gone,
Then the number of battles must drop.

The sheep were untended, the cattle were stray,
While the geese were so full they must walk,
For there’s none could survive, save the crickets and mice,
When the harvest remained on the stalk.

So famine and fasting would follow the fighting,
As fighters would follow their swords –
And even the nobles ate turnips and gruel,
While the ravens were dining like lords.

For year after year, as the sun dried the ground,
So the raiding would start with the Spring,
Till the storms and the Autumn at last gave a rest,
Till the battles that next year would bring.

When home for the Winter, the men would greet newborns,
And plant in their wives their next growth –
But all of the fighting brought all of the dying,
And birthing was slower than both.

So fathers and brothers, on hearing the muster,
Rode off with the equinox sun –
Then followed their heirs, from the firstborn and eldest –
To younger – then youngest – then none.

The plague swept the camps and the swords swept the necks,
And the romance went out of the roam,
And the tales and adventures for telling through Winter
Would often not make it back home.

Then even the daughters, for lacking their brothers,
Would join for the pride of the shire –
When even the women were thrust into arms
Then you know that the world is on fire.

The war couldn’t last now, with nobody raising
The next generation to fight –
So either the feuding must splutter to ashes,
Or burn all to keep it alight.

The Thousand-Years War did not come to an end,
So they say – it just came to a stop.
Now folk and their cattle are slowly increasing,
And harvesters bring in the crop.

But I hear my countrymen, those who came home,
As they tell of their travels with sword.
And what of our enemy ?  Cheated us victory !-
Grandsons are dutif’ly awed

The war has been wounded, and needed to heal,
But it’s now getting frisky for gore –
Were years of futility not pain enough
That we’re keen for a thousand-odd more ?