April the 6th

tax

April the 6th

First, stick with a calendar
That clearly isn’t fit for purpose –
Stick with it because, old son,
That’s just the way we’ve always done.
Tradition is a glut of yesterdays,
Where silence runs a surplus –
Until the change has grown too great
(Yet still two hundred years too late).
Then hack eleven days off all at once –
A week-and-a-half, just done away –
And then a twelfth is added, see,
For the non-leaping century.
(But next time round – it isn’t,
Cos it isn’t, cos that’s what they say.)
And that is why our pounds and pence
Outweigh our bloody common sense !

Sprung

Rue by Rodney Davis

Sprung

Now that Winter’s easing,
And the Sun is breaking cover,
Then what could be more pleasing
Than to wake from hibernating with my lover ?
And as the sap is rushing
And the Spring is turning bold,
Then what could be more crushing
Than to hear she wants to clean-out with the old ?
We’d clung to one-another,
While the Winter held us in its thrall,
I thought she was my lover,
But I guess that April makes fools of us all.

Now with the lambs in clover
And the daylight on the rise,
So she wants to be a rover
And she wants to try the Springtime on for size.
She slips out after equinox
With all the world at play,
By the changing of the clocks,
Then I know the cruellest month’s not far away.
With the first song of the skylark
And the golden tulips growing tall,
She’s off to find another mark –
I guess that April makes fools of us all.

Snow Angels

Shepherd Wedding by Jennie Hill

Snow Angels

Strange, how this day of love
Is a day of sneezes and fingers numb.
Why does it fall with a deathly chill
As the hothouse roses succumb ?
Maybe it serves to underscore
How love is often bittersweet –
Whereas, in the height of Summer,
This day would be lost in the endless heat.

Strange, how this day of red
Is a day of snowdrops and Winter mould.
Why does it fall when the days are short
And the nights are bitterly cold ?
Maybe it serves to warm the frost,
And give our torpid hearts a shove –
Whereas, in the height of Summer,
Who needs a reminder to fall in love ?

Plastic Roses

Plastic Roses

February rolls around,
And on comes the propaganda –
Singletons are not allowed,
We put a downer on the crowd.
So February rolls around
And ev’rybody has to pander.
Haven’t we all heard the songs ?
Haven’t we all seen the movies ?
Still we seem to get it wrong,
And still we just won’t play along,
And still we’re far too choosy.

“You there !  You on your own !
Out after curfew !  Come here, sonny !
Where are your papers ?  Where are your cards ?
And your chocolates ?  Oh, so you think this is funny…?
I think you’d better tell me which restaurant you’re booked in,
And the name of the one you’re meeting, too…
You know it’s only lovers who may walk the streets tonight,
All spinsters, slobs and nerds must hide from view.”

Ah, ignore me –
What am I even getting angry for ?
So the world is in love…
Would I rather the world were at war ?
Go – shout it out, have your fun,
And I’ll get on with mine –
Just please, never pity me, never that –
And we’ll get along just fine.

Suburban Spruces

de-spruced

Suburban Spruces

At the meeting of the streets
And the corners of the road,
So grows an unexpected copse
No seed has ever sowed.
It sprouts up overnight
Like a fungus on the make –
This squatter on the pavement,
Brings the Winter in its wake.
Its trees have all blown over,
And its needles all have shed
To the gutters and the breezes,
Until even these have fled.
Then suddenly one morning
We shall find the corner bare,
Save the grey of frost and concrete
And the chill upon the air.

Dry January

dry january

Dry January

I overindulged last month:
Had far too many ideas.
Now I’m a bloated, empty husk
Who’s run right out of tears.
My motor’s barely revving now,
From weeks of crunching gears.
My spark is fused, my wit is blown,
I haven’t a thought to call my own.

Plough Monday

Plough Monday

Put away the tinsel and put on a sober tie,
It’s time to all resume the working world –
Another year has started, another passed us by,
So it’s onwards to the future with a brand-new hue-and-cry
(While already planning holidays to sunshine in July)
And so into the cauldron we are swirled.
On the 7:22 with the paper on our thigh,
Or page 1 of the diary, with a hope or with a sigh,
There’s no escaping progress – tomorrow’s never shy –
And so into the New Year we are hurled.

How I Wonder What You Are

star

How I Wonder What You Are

I spy…well bless my eye,
A comet shot across the sky.
Is this a sign ?  For good or bad ?
Is this how God would toast the lad ?
I know what doubters say:
That comets happen anyway.

I spy…well how ’bout this:
Two planets close enough to kiss.
And sure they’re bright…but bright enough ?
Is that how God announces stuff ?
I know how doubters mock:
Conjunctions happen by the clock.

I spy…hang on…alright,
A supernova bursting bright !
Now those are rare, so what’s that worth ?
And yet…A death to hail a birth ?
I know how doubters sneer:
These things take months to disappear.

I spy…well here’s some more:
A nova ?  Or a meteor ?
I guess…but not the clearest clue –
Is this the best that God can do ?
I know the doubters’ line:
Why not just magic up the sign ?

I spy…I know, I know
A pagan myth that steals the show,
When ev’ry ancient hero born
Was heralded before the morn.
I know what doubters see:
That stars are stars, so let them be.

Just January

winter veg

Just January

There is time to be festive
And time to be restive,
A time for a breather
From excess and fun.
Janu’ry’s time is busy and new,
For getting to do what we should have got done.

There is time for the goblins,
And squirrels and robins,
A time for Orion
And waiting for snow.
Janu’ry’s time is starry and dark –
The weather is stark and the sun is hung low.

There is time to prepare
For the snowdrop and hare –
It’s time to plant onions
And harvest the swedes.
Janu’ry’s time is whitened and browned,
Spent prepping the ground and in sowing the seeds

There is time for mysterious,
Time for the serious,
Time to be golden,
And time to be grey.
Janu’ry’s time is the sober and young,
For getting things done in the short Winter day.

Quarter Days

book of hours
detail of December from the Très Riches Heures by the Brothers Limbourg

Quarter Days

In March the Ladies have their day,
In June, the Summer’s mid,
And Mickel holds his mass, they say,
In late September, come what may,
Just as he always did.
And then we get to Christmas…
That well known day for paying rents,
And hiring staff, and starting school,
And other secular events
That prove there’s nothing new, alas,
In monetising Yule.