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.

 

 

April Love

clyde
Shipping on the Clyde by John Atkinson-Grimshaw

 

April Love

It rained the day I met you,
It poured the day you left.
And truth to tell, the drizzle fell
From rapture to bereft.

You deluged, and I let you,
Then you stormed right out my door.
And as you swept, the heavens wept
In tawdry metaphor.

My memories are wet through,
My hope is all washed out.
I do not need the sky to bleed:
My tears face no drought.

Papyrichor

woman in blue striped flannel shirt holding a book indoors
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

 

Papyrichor

We all of us have sneaked a look
Beneath the fly-sheet of a book,
And fingered off her jacket, bared her boards –
Within, she’s nothing but a prude,
Her marbled end-sheets firmly glued,
Her bindings taut and frayless in their cords.
Her underwear is stiff and plain –
Her paper blouse must block the stain
Of endless greasy paws and sweaty hordes.
But she is flimsy in her gown,
It tears and creases, lets her down,
As grasping, eager hands make careless wards –
The better writ, the more she’s read
Until her spine is cracked for dead –
So dogs shall ear all good books, save the Lord’s.
And worse, the paperbacks !   Those dames
Who proudly bare their racy names
Across their breasts, like penny-dreadful broads –
Yet she too welcomes ev’ry leer,
Her first of many lovers here
Who gorge all words she joyously affords –
Though she’s still crisp and virgin-white,
Her pages quite uncut and tight,
That readers must tease open with their swords.

 

 

Hill Spheres

influence

 

Hill Spheres

The Earth could have a ring, you know –
The Moon as well.
Perhaps they have already done,
But that was then.
There would be nothing left to show
So who can tell ?
Unless, of course, they’ve yet to come,
Though who knows when ?

But then, that’s just how gravity
Is all around,
Its spheres of influence we must
Obey, or break –
Like how your eyes will grab at me
And grind me down –
Trapped about your orbit, I am dust
Within your wake.

 

 

The Valentine Virus

lovesick
Lovesick by Keight MacLean

 

The Valentine Virus

February – season of mists
And sniffles and sneezes and snorts.
The lurgy is lurking, the palsy persists,
That no patent tonic or tincture can thwart.
My fluid-filled senses are under attack so,
And nothing can soothe me by Pfizer or Glaxo.
Instead I must mop them with Cussons and Lever –
The sweats and the shakes and the chills and the fever.

Is it just because my hands are swollen
That my nat’ral poise is stolen ?
Clumsy fingers uncontrolling,
Rolling like they’re locked in boxing gloves.
Is it just the syrup that I’m spooning
That sets my giddy head to swooning ?
Drifting in and out of tuning,
Mooning like I’m some young thing in love.
Either way, the outlook’s flaky –
Something’s come and left me shaky.
How am I to stem this phlegm cocooning me,
That’s strewn in tubes below and pipes above ?

Unless…
Unless it is you who is making me bluesy,
Unless it is you who is laying me low,
Weary and woozy and bleary and boozy
I hate to be choosy, but say it ain’t so !
A cold front is passing, a hard sleet is falling –
I hope they will blow over once spring comes a-calling…
Yet if I’m infected by what I suspect –
Then there’s no cure can save me, and no ward protect.

Is it just because my eyes are streaming
That the world looks like I’m dreaming ?
Hazy psychedelic gleaming,
Seeming strangely vivid yet unreal.
Or is it my subconscious that I’m spying ?
All the drugs my brain’s supplying
Must have set my nerves to frying,
Flying off and sleeping at the wheel.
Either way, the outlook’s gloomy –
Something’s come and left me rheumy.
How can I declare my love undyingly,
When dying is precisely how I feel ?

 

 

A Litter of Angels

up pig

 

A Litter of Angels

And if I ask, she might commence
To stroll with me upon the croft,
And though I know she’s happy hence
To never cross our friendship’s fence,
I pray she’ll learn how much I wish I’d doffed
My shy concern, and share those eyes so soft –
And with this burn, I call on Providence
That we may chance discern
to glimpse that fabled herd aloft.

For surely must her ’mazement form
As pigs come gliding from the west,
And may she gape in wonder warm
As grunting gammons flock and swarm.
Atop the trees, the sows are in the nest.
Upon the breeze, the shoats are cherubs blest –
Such hogs she sees !  These razorbacks in storm
Shall rend her heart’s decrees
and forge sublime within her breast.

And ev’ry time their trotters pound
For ham-thrust launch, so ardour springs.
And ev’ry volant-piglet’s sound
Of flapping brings such sighs profound.
These airborne swine, these porkers shot from slings,
These boars divine, these swooping, free-range kings,
Such hope they mine when soaring heaven-bound –
These aeronauts porcine
shall speed her love on bacon wings.

 

 

To His Cold Mistress

sophy
Sophy Gray by John Millais

 

To His Cold Mistress

Shend me not, my mistress,
Send my not to Coventry,
Attend to kinder business, pray,
To mend and soften me.
Defriend-me-not, my darling,
Let me tender and atone.
Unbend a little, starling,
Ere we spend our years alone.
Shend me not, my mistress,
Send me not distressed and listless, pray –
O, end this plot, unblend us not,
Engender nor us misbegot:
For we have kenned such tenderness
And we have wended as we went –
We can re-friend such splendour, yes !
We can ascend and be unshent.

 
To shend is a wonderful if now archaic verb meaning ‘to put to shame’ or ‘to reproach and scold’.

 

 

Golden in the Fall

autumn autumn colours brown countryside
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Golden in the Fall

The leaves are falling down again,
They do so ev’ry year
It doesn’t mean a thing to you and I.
The days are full of wind and rain,
But we are not, my dear –
It is eternal Spring for you and I.

If trees have lost their beauty,
Then I guess they felt the need,
But we are still perennial and pure.
And even if we’re fruity,
Well, we sure ain’t gone to seed –
We’re nothing like Autumnal, that’s for sure !

The leaves are falling down again,
The boughs bear only rooks,
Or else are torn and splintered by the storm.
The frost may star the windowpane,
The ice may sheet the brook,
But we’ll just snuggle closer, safe and warm

If days are getting shorter,
Then our nights are getting longer,
And the season’s chill is firmly kept outdoors.
I don’t see why we oughta
Be beholden – we are stronger
Than the puny pull of Autumn’s metaphores.

 

 

To Ev’ry Dream I Ever Dreamt

sleep
Sleeping Venus by Simon Vouet

 

To Ev’ry Dream I Ever Dreamt

Oh, what a night we spent together,
That night I spent in your arms !
That night I fell headlong for your charms,
That night we met in the dark.
Though my eyes were closed, I saw it all,
And yet, so little I recall…
And yet…I kind-of sense you’ve left your mark.
Oh, what a night we spent together,
It felt like the night would last forever –
Yet ev’ry night ends with the lark,
The radio’s bark across the hall,
The clanging bells that wrench me from the ball.

Oh, what a night when I slept with you !
For just one night, and never again –
Now ev’ry night I wait in vain,
Until another REM-ling takes your place.
We had a time, though, you and I,
Just wish I could have said goodbye –
But I was snatched from your embrace,
Or when I looked away, you fled –
Our words unsaid with the dawning sky,
One more lost thread, one more forgotten face.
We were, alas, a one-night lie,
And now I wake to an empty bed,

The Misanthrope’s Love Song

honest john
Honest John by Alan Coulson

 

The Misanthrope’s Love Song

Ah love, the reddest of congealings
Oozing out of ev’ry pore,
And pouring in from ev’ry spout,
And weeping from each sore –
This slushy syrup’s seeping out:
A haemorrhage of metaphor.
Flooded by this tide of treacle –
(Better, though, than sludge or faecal !)
If love must be this sickly sweet,
I guess I’ll have to grab my spoon and eat.

Ah love: the Romeo of feelings,
Acted out for evermore,
With nothing new worth saying,
And the sayers such a bore –
The role we’re always playing,
Like the millions who came before.
So how are we to find the heart
When offered such a clichéd part ?
But if we cannot be the first,
I guess at least this script is well rehearsed.

Ah love, the feeblest of concealings,
Giggling its guffaws galore –
The grinniest of poker faces,
Blurting out the score.
It favours twos to lonely aces,
Bids on hearts and bets the store.
You know, a sharp or cynic could
Defraud such love of all that’s good –
But maybe I’ll relent today,
And sigh, and shrug, and ante up to play…