Threnody

West of York on ways along which  

ancient warriors rode: the

half-forgotten places lie:

Hessay,

Long Marston,

Marston Hill,

Marston Moor.

 

This last, now, a field-

tidy rows of green crops.

Then, on the 2nd day of July

AD 1644- at evening and

after a brief thunderstorm,

and in the failing half-light,

four thousand died for their king,

three hundred for parliament,

maybe more, maybe less.

 

Now -quiet by day, eerie at night,

but we heard and saw nothing save

the clip-clop-clop, not of a horse –

but only a girl returning home in the

misty glimmer of early dawn.

Slowly she walked alongside what is

now just a field of green crops

in tidy rows.

 

08/20

                                                       

   HAIKU 

 Santubong[1]


Beautiful the turquoise bay,

Beautiful the emerald mountains,

But how indifferent to our fate!



Serenely stand the emerald mountains

As if they know the answer

To man’s eternal question.

 

We always seek for higher meanings

But these myriads of palms, these mountains and this sea

Are just content to be.

 

Silent flashes

Illuminate the Western horizon

Somewhere they’re enjoying the downpour.

 

Now it’s our turn

As a thousand drummers

Beat on the roof of our bungalow.

 

Like a glowing golden pillar

 The setting sun

Hovers over the bay.

 

How cool the mountains look

But we step from the air-conditioned car

Into the draught from a furnace.

 

Homage to Virginia Woolf

A hundred-thousand blossoms

Stare at the sea, gaze at the sky

But they see nothing [2]


[1] A resort on the coast of Sarawak near the city of Kuching.

[2] This refers to a sentence in To the Lighthouse in which flowers are said to be “terrible” because they see nothing.

Winter Haiku

Frost glitters on the road;

An arc of hills ablaze with lights;

How long these icy winter nights.

 

Like a sudden oasis

In the grey, cold street,

The greengrocer’s stall.

 

A filigree of green and gold

The twigs and branches of this bare tree

Lit by the winter sun.

 

Pale January sunshine

Brings relief

To the shivering palms.

 

In a distant desert the din of war

But here the cheerful woodpecker

Drums Spring’s arrival.


Occasional  Haiku

In the early mist

Distant hills & clouds;

One cannot tell them apart.

(Kent Dec. 2nd  2004)

 

A poor summer

But this radiant October dawn

Promising warmth.

 

As if a child again

I beheld with wonder

A rainbow in the Eastern sky.


In the early light of dawn

My sleep -full of

Confused dreams.








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