Where the Birds Sing

May I never stop seeking you where the birds sing

May my heart lift with hope at the beat of a wing

May the rustle of Spring stir my quickening breath

And the signs of new life banish tendrils of death

May a morning’s fresh promise yield warmth and a smile

And a journey look hopeful beyond gate or stile

As I stand in a meadow, my soul in my hands

May delight lift me upwards to bright dreamed-of lands

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Shooting Stars

There are shooting stars up there, you know

Beyond the Earth-bound cloud

The heavens are bright with dancing lights

If our eyes could pierce the shroud

A day can seem unfathomable

And life so strange and pale

But wonders rich dance on, dance on

When glory lifts the veil

The Tree that caught the Moon

Her blackened branches cradled there

A lustrous gift beyond compare

Spread, wide, yet undeserving, she

Upheld the night sky’s deity

An orb immense, whose borrowed light

Suffused the tree with pure delight

Though leaf and bud had left her frame

This honour magnified her name

Her royal crown and steadfast bole

Well-suited to a starring role

As tall she stood, and proud and fine

The expertise of her design

Enveloped Heaven’s spectral sphere

Her exclusivity now clear

She swayed and smirked at trees around

Convinced she stood on hallowed ground

But ere her branches stooped to bow

A darkened shadow kissed her brow

Her love departed all too soon

As she, bereft, let slip the moon

Skin

What a marvellous thing is the human skin

It’s the perfect thing for a covering

It keeps our bones and sinews in

What a marvellous thing is the human skin

 

What a wonderful thing is the human skin

It does its job over fat or thin

From a tiny babe to a man mountain

What a wonderful thing is the human skin

 

What a fabulous thing is the human skin

With the rainbow shades it’s available in

From the richest ink to the pinkest gin

What a fabulous thing is the human skin

The Woman whom Fashion Forgot

The clothes she chose said ‘je ne sais quoi’

A woman indifferent to fashion faux pas

No couture by Balmain, not even her bra

The woman whom fashion forgot

 

Her trews and blouse were lacking in taste

A covering thrown on in indecent haste

Unmindful of bosom, or bottom, or waist

The woman whom fashion forgot

 

That some were donated, well evidently

With T shirts misshapen and stains plain to see

No-one would pay money to look drab as she

The woman whom fashion forgot

 

Her ‘friends’ often smirked that she dressed in the dark

A person unnoticed in party or park

Oblivious to censure or catty remark

The woman whom fashion forgot

 

And yet she succeeded where others had not

Her famed TV series was hot beyond hot

A host of admirers for her primetime spot

‘The Woman whom Fashion Forgot’

The Siding – Part 1

As she scrambled clumsily down the bank, her M&S skirt snagging on the tangle of brambles, she wondered again at the madness of what she was about to attempt. Her sandals slid in the greasy clay underfoot, causing her to veer backwards. Her teeth dug into her bottom lip and she propellered her arms out to steady herself, before arriving precipitously at the wooden door.

The paint was peeling and there was evidence of a rodent gnawing the bottom edge. The hole where the handle had once allowed access enabled Jen to glimpse the dingy interior. She poked her finger into the gap and leant back to tug, expecting great resistance.

Surprisingly, the door gave easily as she pulled, snagging only on the briars that had overgrown the bottom edge. Kicking gingerly with her sandaled feet, Jen cleared an arc, sufficient to allow her to squeeze through, and let out a gasp of satisfaction once she was safely inside.

A sudden rumble made her duck down. The 9.47. She glanced at her watch. She had meticulously studied the timetables this past week and made a log of the different times she needed to be careful. If this was to work at all, it was imperative no-one knew she was there. Driving round the area at odd hous, she had identified a suitable place to leave her car, where it would not cause too much suspicion. She had also tried out a few different routes to the siding, which was on an embankment that backed onto a trading estate. A wall of brambles had rendered the concrete hut near-invisible from any direction.

She had found a couple of access points, just so she could vary it a bit as she came and went. Not that she was planning to move about too much.

She unpacked the rucksack she had brought with her containing essential supplies. Her Pilates mat would suffice as a mattress, its garish pink at odds with stark concrete shell. A couple of litre bottles of water – these would have to be replenished at some point but she had pictured herself topping them up in a local pub toilet if the need arose.

Jen continued her unpacking, hoping that she had all the essentials for her stay. What had she calculated? Well, she had booked a week off work, telling her boss she had a family emergency up in her home town of Stoke. They hadn’t questioned it, knowing that she was an only child and therefore the sole support for her elderly parents. Actually, they were both long dead, but Jen had never shared that with her employers and accountants are remarkably uninterested in the lives of their staff, just as long as they do a good job and enhance the reputation of the firm.

It was much as she expected when she first spied the concrete bunker on her way to London last week. Staring dreamily out of the carriage window, studiously avoiding eye contact with the retirees opposite, who were chattering excitedly about their trip to the Olympics planned for that afternoon, Jen’s eye caught the dilapidated bunker nestled deep into the embankment, almost obscured by bushes.

At what point her idle musings about it being a perfect hideout for a tramp turned into this – what was it? Jen wasn’t exactly sure. In her mind, on that day, it was conceived as more of a social experiment. What if? And here she was. Surveying the detritus of a previous adventure, perhaps by neighbouring teenage gangs – although there had not actually been any neighbourhoods nearby.

Jen had done a recce after her London trip, which had been a perfectly ordinary business meeting – little thinking that she would end up on this hair-brained venture. Was it hair-brained? Let’s see, she thought, as she used a bit of cardboard to scape a clearing in the junk and dust surrounding her sandalled feet.

Rollright Stones

Clouds ascended, tier on tier; the lowest a soft bruise, the highest, a celestial tower, climbing fist over swollen fist to the Heavens.

And all the while the sun, a diamond distilled against a crystal sky, glared as we passed the silent Rollright Stones. Druids in modern garb stood sentinel, faces masked in grateful reverence, hands clenched as if in prayer.

The sun’s corona bathed them in resplendent light. How long they stood, no-one knew. Nor if the Fates’ alignment was in any way altered. But their silent mutterings intoned a warning. Ignore the portents if you dare.

Rebirth

Hope is simmering like a pot to boil

Germinating in new-fertile soil

Now relinquishing the sorrows past

Freed to entertain my dreams at last

Knots unravelling that seemed tight bound

Loosing tentacles that wrapped around

Breaths completed as they ought to be

Unrestricted now to step out free

Recreated from a self dissolved

Starting fresh with all my puzzles solved

Childhood

The purity, the innocence

The heart in love with love

The world a dazzling playground

A boundless treasure trove

Each day a great adventure

Each day new hugs and smiles

With endless vistas opening

Delights that run for miles

No mistrust and no caution

Expecting only blessing

Where kindliness is pre-ordained

And needs no second-guessing

Our childhood spirits still live on

Though trials may hide their light

But now and then we glimpse the past

Our young selves shining bright

Blackberrying

I love the sound of the wind in the trees

As I fill my pot with blackberries

Those shining orbs of purple-black

Their swollen lustre calls me back

To pick and pick beyond my needs

Each straining, laden spikelet pleads

Take more! Take me! How succulent

And so I grab till force is spent

And home return with thorns and scratches

To bake my puddings into batches

And still the topmost branches call

Come back! Come back!

There’s more for all!