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.

One Size Fails All

One Size Fails All

Office chairs with starfish bases,
Wobbly levers, sofa wheels –
They never fit quite right, most cases –
Either leaving swinging heels,
Or bunched-up knees and hunched-down shoulders,
Wimpy pistons full of slack.
But still, a useful perch for folders
Till the backside needs it back.

The Inner Demon

Inner Demons by AConstantBother

The Inner Demon

Think right, say right,
Keep it careful, keep it kind –
Keep a clean and healthy mind
That wants no truck with spite.
And yet, that inner voice
Who always loves its little games,
Who always knows the nasty names,
Will whisper up its choice.
It knows they’re wrong, and that’s the point,
It’s daring us to shout them out
Because they’re wrong and still have clout
Because they’re out-of-joint.
It’s bating us to say the word –
It wants to make us take the blame
For ev’ry hurtful hateful name
We’ve ever heard.
But these are not our whole –
These shall not define or break us,
Just stray thoughts and troublemakers –
We are in control.
It only loathes itself, infact,
But we can still refuse to sink –
Let’s judge us not in what we think,
But how we act.

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.

Euphoric Euphorbia

poinsettia

Euphoric Euphorbia

Come the Twelfth Night and the tinsel comes down –
It’s time to de-decorate, if that’s a verb –
The fairy lights lodged in a box in the loft,
And the tree swiftly shunned to the kerb.
But we always leave the poinsettia,
She’s always the last to go –
We purge the urge to scourge the spurge,
As long as she’s on show.
For maybe a little of Christmas lives on
While her red and her green are in clover –
But after a week, so she’ll wither as well,
And that’s when the season is over.

Twenty-Twenty Hindsight

Twenty-Twenty Hindsight

Twenty-Twenty – what a blast,
The year when the planets kissed !
We were so young and life so vast,
With not a moment missed.
We met by chance, we met online,
When hiding from the flu –
That year I tippled too much wine
And fell in love with you.

Twenty-Twenty – let it sing,
The year we sang our tryst !
The swallows came upon the Spring,
And you had taught me whist.
From kitchen top or garden bench,
Our screens would share the view,
That year I learned to speak in French
And fell in love with you.

I know, I know, we were the lucky ones,
Laughing along with the doomsayers’ chimes –
We weren’t the heroes, we were the stuck-at-homes,
Making the best of the worst of times.
But when I look back on that strange, strange trip,
I’m glad that we saw it through –
If I ever must face the Apocalypse,
Then the end is much better with you.

Twenty-Twenty – whole world shook
In the year when we mustn’t move –
I tried and failed to write a book,
And saw my cakes improve.
I spent all day upon the phone,
And watched how the garden grew –
In the year of my neighbour’s loud trombone,
And falling in love with you.

I know, I know, we were the silly ones,
Giggling our way through the horror of it all.
I know that we felt it, just like the millions,
But those aren’t the memories we choose to recall.
I’m glad that we were lived with that strange, strange fate,
When the world was surreal and new –
If I ever must wait such a lonely wait,
Then the lonely’s much better with you.

January the Sixth

bauble

January the Sixth

And with that, it is over –
The baubles taken down and packed,
The tinsel and the fairy lights,
The crib stowed with its Israelites,
The cards recycled, tree exiled,
The wilted wreath is rudely sacked.
That time has passed, so let it go –
The year moves on, the snowdrops grow.

The Triumph of the Magi

magi
Journey of the Magi by James Tissot

The Triumph of the Magi

There came then Wise Men from the East
Unto a stable by an inn,
And there amid each lowing beast
Were sheltered weary folk within –
For knelt beside a feeding trough
A man and woman vigil kept,
As on the hay and woollen cloth
A baby lay and softly slept.
The elder Magus then addressed
The object of their noble quest –
Whose sleep was peaceful as the blessed –
And unabashed, the old man wept –

“Behold, sweet babe !  There in your cot
The future of mankind is held –
For you are ev’ry chance we’ve got,
With ev’ry hope and fear excelled.
We begged the heavens for a sign,
And with your birth the gods have smiled –
Yet not for any charms divine,
But virtues many, unbeguiled.
Now all who look upon you see
The future of humanity –
More precious than a deity,
Is each belovèd human child.”

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.