Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Sunday, 15 November 2009
Injured birds break my heart
Like injured innocence
Losing the gift of flight
If only one could cradle
Them in warm palms
Heal with the touch of love
Breath fresh confidence
Into their timid breasts
Their recovery would mend my heart!
Copyright © Res JFB 13th April 2008
The weather, it comes storming in.
The waves do build, the wind does wail
As the weather climbs the Beaufort Scale.
At Force Six, Strong Breeze, large waves with foam
The fishing fleet starts to think of home
At Seven, Near Gale, the foam does streak
Out-doors is no place for the weak!
At Eight, the waves are eighteen feet,
And cars veer across the street!
At Strong Gale Nine, the slates do fly,
And chimneys shake against the sky.
At Ten, Whole Gale, whole trees do go,
And whole roofs too, "Look out below!"
Force Eleven has thirty seven foot waves,
And has taken many to their graves!
But Force Twelve has another dread name,
And that dread name is hurricane!
Ninety miles an hour winds, sixty foot seas,
Will do with you just what they please!
And wind and wave can go much higher,
If I told you now you'd think me liar!
But in the shriek and wave and wail,
You'll pray to God that you prevail!
And when it's over you won't believe
This friendly breeze knocked you to your knees.
You count your dead, lay them away
And brace to face another day.
But remember when fishers head away,
And sailors seek a sheltered bay,
When the weather is unfit for all,
The Life-boat is ready for your call!
Those brave, brave men will always sail
No matter what the Beaufort Scale.
They'll do their best for you and me,
And all in peril on the sea!
Dedicated with the greatest admiration to the Crew
of Lifeboat Solomon Browne, who, on the night of 19th December 1981
gave their lives trying to rescue the Crew of the Coaster
Both Crews were lost.
After one day of searching for survivors or bodies,
another full crew of volunteers reported for duty
on the replacement lifeboat!
Here in Cornwall
We get such weather
We often staple
To make our sea wall
Strong and stout
To keep the tide
And water out.
But sea salt and iron
You can trust
Give way to rust!
So now when our sea wall
We must heal
We put our trust in
Copyright © Res JFB 9th May 2008
If you were a Fairy Queen
A crown of Clover would be seen
Upon your head and in your hair
I know because I'd place it there.
I'd scatter bluebells round your feet
And bring honey for you to eat.
I'd ask the birds and ask the bees
To sing you songs and bring you ease.
Robes I'd weave from Mermaids Hair
Scatter roses everywhere
Write songs of you, for others to sing
Were you my Queen and I your King.
Oh yes I know it's make-believe
Like favours sewn upon a sleeve
And heraldry so seldom seen,
But to me you are my Queen.
And though we work and though we play
The magic is not far away
Your lovely hair crowns your lovely head
You bring love and rose petals to my bed.
Copyright © Res JFB 11th May 2008
A pretty pastel morning,
The sea a gentle swell,
The morning Sun is climbing,
Over sand and sea and shell.
The air is like cool satin,
A caress against my face,
I stretch my legs and swing my arms,
Picking up the pace.
I want to get to Marazion,
The next town round the bay,
There and back will be five miles,
I hope to keep fit this way.
The light is always changeing,
The scene is always new,
It would take a lifetime,
To tire of this view.
There's rabbits playing on the grass,
And always dogs I know,
They'll remember me for a biscuit,
And bring me balls to throw.
There's flowers there to photograph,
And swans fly over the foam,
And maybe a "bacon banjo",
Before I venture home!
Copyright © Res JFB 12th May 2008.
A sweet friend who I love dearly
Not halfway through her beauty
Starts to fear for her passing
Starts to fear her dying hour
Will she waste the beauty
Of her loveliness and spirit
By fearing the one thing
That we know will come to pass?
We are all upon a journey
An exciting vivid pathway
Not just from birth to death
But from alpha to omega.
From amoeba to future man
From Africa to America
If we can trace our DNA
To the dawn of time in Africa
Surely by all that's Holy
It must stretch as far the other way!
All of us who have loved someone
Must have felt that consciousness
That expanding of awareness
Beyond the function of the brain!
That knowing beyond thinking
That's the senses of the spirit
That's the knowing that can go with us
When we leave this life behind!
I am quite content to know
The limit of my understanding
Cannot hope to encompass
Everything that will be so.
Whether playing harps in Heaven
Or going walkies with a Dog God
Or worshipping a Goddess
Oh Goddess let it be so!
Or imagine just an energy
With that loving consciousness
Merging with all others that have ever been.
Imagine all the sparking, the laughing and the larking
When this life is over I'll be content to go there.
I'm in no hurry to move onward
But I know it's surely coming
There's one or two would kick my ass
If I went too soon!
When my time comes I hope
I'm not a miser at my ending
Clinging greedily to days and nights
Who's worth is sadly declining.
But ready to hopefully
Face the onward journey
With all the love I've saved up
In my ever-loving' life!
Someone said 'twas better
To always travel hopefully
Than to arrive.
I think that's a better way
To try to live your life.
Live up to life's promise
Live all your life hopefully
No matter what the setbacks
Love as many dearly
As you'd wish to love yourself
This can be a life of beauty
And your only duty
Is to do your very best
For the best part of your life.
There's no need to live fearfully
Because of what is coming
That is just to waste the thing
That life has given us.
Death is just the next step
In the journey we must travel
To regret any part of it
Is to regret life itself.
So give yourself to living
Give yourself to loving
Give yourself to travelling
This lovely vivid road
Give to travelling hopefully
Till age make travelling wearyfull
Then allow kindly death relieve you of your load.
Copyright © Res JFB 18th May 2008
This is dedicated to my dear friend Dena with Love and Admiration.
To Lao Tzu and The Earthquake
A Message From The West.
You spent your life
Learning and teaching
Serving by being.
Like water content
To take the lower path.
Seeking the common level.
And like water
But wearing away
Mountains of greed,
Ignorance and prejudice
By the practice
Of your faith and
The truth of your words!
As you grew older
Who knows if 'twas
Towards the end
Or the beginning
Of your sacred life,
You abandoned mans greed
And took another pathway.
You mounted your Water Buffalo
Xiao Gao Jiao, Little Longhorn
That most patient of companions
And rode away
Towards the West,
Where your wisdom
Was then so badly needed.
More so than at home.
I have often wondered
When you would get here!
But as you told me in a dream,
To those whose hearts are open,
You are already here.
Perhaps now, Honoured Friend,
Whilst China's bosom is bleeding
By the Dragon's shrugging shoulders,
So many dead, so many needing comfort.
It is time for you to return
To China once again.
Ah! But of course,
Lao Tzu. Wo lao pen yu,*
To those whose hearts are open,
You are already there!
Take your wisdom and your acceptance
To those in need of understanding.
Join with Lady Kuan Yin,
Bring healing to the sore.
Lay the hand of comfort
Upon the souls of those who suffer,
Grant them the strength to survive
And the wisdom to rebuild.
Tell them that those who see
The Tao. By whatever name
Different peoples give it,
Send their wishes for recovery
And our hopes for days to come,
And their love to share
In both the sorrows and the happiness
Of our brothers and our sisters
In the East and Everywhere!
Copyright © Res JFB 21st May 2008
*Lao Tzu. Wo lao pen yu = Lao Tzu. My old friend.
Saturday, 14 November 2009
A Mothers Sacrifice.
In the Land of the Giant Panda,
In the Province of Sichuan,
They were digging in the rubble,
Still hoping to find someone.
They found a Mother stiff and cold,
How long had she been there,
Dying under the wreckage,
Dust and grit all in her hair.
As they gently turned her over,
Knowing they were too late,
They saw, shielded by her body,
A baby, saved from it's Mothers fate.
A careful Policeman noticed,
The Mother clutching tight,
A cell phone with a text upon it,
The last thing she'd ever write.
"Dear Baby" she had written,
Trapped there in the dark.
"Remember the person who saved you,
And these words you must mark!"
"Make a meaningful life for yourself,
Live so all our neighbours can see,
That you were worthy of my sacrifice,
And an Honourable Son to me!"
Poem Copyright © Res JFB 22nd May 2008
The Worthy Teacher.
This heaped up pile of rubble,
This was once the school.
Where The Teacher held his classes,
And taught the Golden Rule.
He took his duties seriously,
He loved to bring the light
Of learning to his pupils,
And taught them wrong from right.
"Be true to yourselves and each other,
Stand up for your fellow man,
Help your brothers and sisters,
And protect all those that you can!"
When the Dragon shook it's shoulders,
And tore their world apart,
There was only one lesson left,
For that worthy Teacher to impart.
Three students he pushed under the platform,
Protected by the overhanging shelf,
And when he couldn't cover the entrance,
He covered it up with himself!
He gripped the edge of the platform,
His fingers locked on so tight,
They had to break his poor dead fingers
When they bought his poor body to light!
But under the platform, protected,
Saved from all flying stone and glass,
Three teenage pupils were found safely,
Where The Teacher had held his last class!
With the vice-like grip of his fingers,
With his blood and his very last sigh,
He proved that the lessons he'd taught them
Were the things for which he would die!
This is one tale among many,
Of brave people who answered the call,
But the lesson that brave Teacher taught
In his last class, is one for us all!
Copyright © Res JFB 25th May 2008
This is the last (I think) in my Earthquake Trilogy.
Both pictures are borrowed from Blog.QQ.Com, and as I cannot read the Chinese captions may not refer to specific incidents mentioned in my poem. I heard of this Teachers courage from the blog of my friend Yang Wei, who works in one of the many hospitals to which badly injured survivors are being evacuated.
The Chinese people in the Sichuan Earthquake Area still need every help we can give them, whether it be money, food, shelter or just prayers and well wishes. Give generously of what you can.
Love to all of you ~ Res
The Miracle at Country Life Press Station
There comes a time in many a young life,
After stony roads and loads of strife,
We can fall into places inter-tidal,
Then hopeless we sink to suicidal.
Young girl sitting by the railroad line,
Feelin' she'd just run out of time,
Body and mind shrieked the same refrain,
"I'm gonna end it under the very next train!"
Sitting down the end of Chestnut Street,
Waiting there her fate to meet,
Praying for that final expiation,
On disused Country Life Press Station.
Just sitting there in a world of pain,
Waiting for that lethal train,
She thought she sat all alone there,
When "Got a Smoke?" whispered in her ear!
An old Hobo sat there by her side,
Frightened her so she nearly died,
Then she saw that as a ghastly joke,
So they sat there quiet and shared a smoke.
A train was coming! But she just sat there,
Suicide is a very private affair,
Her innate good manners, she couldn't end
Her life in front of her smoking friend!
The train pulled up, in that screeching way,
"Better get on this one," she heard him say,
"Won't be another chance." he said so mild,
"Thanks for the smoke, God Bless you child!"
She climbed aboard and waved good-bye,
He wasn't there, she didn't know why.
"Tickets please!" said the Conductor Man,
Standing there, holding out his hand.
"I haven't a ticket, I must confess,
Can I buy one from Country Life Press?"
"You must be mistaken, Child, I greatly fear.
Trains ain't stopped there for many a year!"
She was too shocked to argue the matter,
Her heart was beating pitter-patter,
A pain in her soul like a bowie knife,
Had an Angel Hobo just saved her life?
From that day on she never looked back,
On the smoothest roads or the outward track,
Not once more did she go adrift,
She made good use of the Hobo's Gift.
Young Girl grew up strong and true,
Good friend to me, good neighbour to you,
And the only flaw in her reputation,
Is a belief in Angels on a disused station!
Copyright © Res JFB 26th May 2008
This is a true story that happened many years ago while Country Life Press Station, Long Island was closed, though trains still whistled through!
Your studies have my skin on fire,
Each touch and slide with hand or knee,
Are fuelling fires deep in me.
I feel your gaze as you take in,
Every line from toe to chin.
I feel your breath upon my skin,
It makes my senses reel and spin.
I wouldn't stop, I wouldn't wait,
There stands a Queen at my gate.
Oh Welcome, welcome, come inside,
I pray that you have come to 'bide.
Explore my body search my mind,
There's love here, love, for you to find.
Aye Love and Lust in equal measure,
Give me, take me, equal pleasure.
Pleasure me, love me, once, again,
The perfect potion for all pain.
And let this be a flowing sea,
Between the shores of thee and me.
There's nothing that you may not ask,
Pleasure, pain or worthy task.
And after lust is all assuaged,,
And you lie with bed and legs dis'rayed.
Come back to love and love me sweet,
You'll be my wine, you'll be my meat.
You'll be my love, my heart and Queen.
Like no love that's before been seen.
Let's build a love as bright as day,
And pray it never, ever fades away.
I should point out that Servant in this case means one who serves, not necessarily one who is subservient. It is also a play upon my surname which in Old English originally meant "A Servant in the Bower" or "He who serves in a Noble Lady's Bed Chamber." Eat you heart's out Guys - Lucky Me!
Copyright © Res JFB 1st January 2008
However, I was at the top of Causwayhead, in Penzance and feeling a bit crook, so I stopped at Sean's Diner, sat at a picnic table outside and ordered a pot of tea. I was a little shaky and having chest pains so I decided that with the tea I'd take an aspirin, SOP.
The tea came and I searched my bag for the aspirin I knew was there. Now there are many pockets in my bag and there is something in nearly every one of them. But no aspirin!
Oh shit, search more carefully, this takes a while, feeling worse, no bloody aspirin. Sean came to the door of the cafe to say, "Hi." By this time I was visibly shaking and sweat was running down my face and down my back. "Sean. Have you any aspirin?" said I urgently. "Nah. You'll get some at the bottom of the street at the Newsagents." he replied casually, turning and sauntering back to his kitchen. I thought, "Sod it, woulda done ya good to run down there for me." But of course, ever the good Taoist, I bit my tongue.
Across the street, Sweeny Todd's the Barber Shop, all the girls in there know me, they all know I have a bit of heart trouble, they'll help. I walked to the door, my shirt by now drenched with sweat, shaking and clutching my chest, raucous laughter, Essex girls chatting quietly, "Has anyone got an aspirin!" I shouted over the row. "Nah, but I've got asthma, if that's any good to ya!" A voice shouted back. "Huh!" I thought, "If I'd offered a bit of leg-over you'd have shown more interest!"
Now, I've danced with death a time or two and it doesn't hold any more fears for me than the next man, but if I'm gonna go, I'd like a little more warning than a goddam big finger pointing down at me from the sky and saying "Now". Besides, there were things left undone. And I thought it would be bloody stupid to die now for want of a tuppeny ha'penny aspirin!
So off I set, down the hill heading for the newsagent. Staggering a little by now, still clutching my chest and shaking quite badly. Vaguely aware of glances but no help at hand. By now I'm thinking to myself, "I could die here and no bugger would even notice. I'd probably be lying here till the Road Sweepers turned up!" This seemed totally unacceptable so I became even more determined to survive this brush with the Grim Reaper.
Finally I made it to the door of the Newsagents. McNews, members of that old Scottish Clan of Stationers and Newsagents. But what's this? Stuck in the doorway, two sweet old ladies. "Now Dear, shall I go in and get … while you go elsewhere and get… or shall we both go in…. and go elsewhere after together…etc etc. Do you know how long an et cetera can become when you're having a heart attack?
Now it did occur to me to shout, "Get out of the f*cking way, I'm having a heart attack!" Of course I realised that this could confuse the issue more, and what right did I, as a good Taoist, have to shout at two little old dears anyway. All this I considered, while jumping from foot to foot, not deliberately, the shakes had developed into the sort of macabre gyrations of St Vitas Dance. Could I shout at two little old ladies? F*cking right, I could. I filled my lungs, to capacity!
It was then, a Damascus Road revelation. Oh God/dess. Knowing my luck I'd just get to shouting! And the Golden Gates would crash open and I'd tumble through yelling, "Get out of the f*cking way!"
Well. Imagine it. You'd be able to hear an angels feather fall to the fluffy cloud floor, wouldn't you? Oh Shit, the disgrace, especially when you were there for the long haul. An' there's me wanting to be a Saint, but not till a half hour before kick-off, if ya catch my drift.
So I dithered while the old ladies dithered, and then they moved. Leap for the gap, slip through, and there's Michelle.
Ah Michelle, daughter of the McNews Clan, pretty as a picture, she'll help, born for the role of Angel of Mercy. "Michelle, Michelle, have you any Aspirin?" - - - "Yes," nonchalantly, "Up the end of the shop!" Turning away. Jesus, McNews is the longest shop in Penzance, I can barely see to the other end.
I stagger on, this is now like a marathon, oh bugger, there's two steps up too. Up clump thud Up clump thud. My two legs and my walking stick making a three point tempo to accompany the thudding of my heart and the pounding of my pulse.
My vision clears slightly as I near the counter, now is the time for multi-tasking if ever I knew one, so I am now pulling handfuls of loose change out of my pocket, pennies and five penny pieces rolling everywhere, I get to the counter, "Aspirin, Aspirin, gimme some Aspirin!" I shout in a cracked hoarse voice filled with the urgency of a dying man.
"You just wait your turn like everyone else Dear," was the reply, "I'll be with you when I've served this lady!" One of the little old dears from the door had beaten me to the counter. How the f*ck had she done that? I had galloped up that damn shop!
There are those in this world who actually go slower when there is urgency in the air. Yes, I had one of those. Finally, my turn, "Aspirin you want, do you Dear?" By this time I'm practically inarticulate, "Yessssss." I hiss urgently through the rigor of my clenched teeth. Oh! Sweet Jesus, they are at least three feet away, how many steps can you fit into three feet? And they are on the top shelf, two tries to reach them. Ah, she has them in her hand. "I've got Aspirin…" I cannot believe my eyes as she puts them back and picks up the next packet, "And I've got paracet…" "Gimme the Aspirin" I shriek suddenly finding my voice.
She puts the paracetamol back on the shelf, and yes, has two grabs at the aspirin before grasping it. She brings it closer, I lean over the counter to grab it from her hands. She holds it tantalizingly out of reach, "Now wait a minute Dear, You know I've got to scan it first!"
Finally it is within reach, I grab the little box while shoving the pile of loose change towards her. I scrabble with the box, out fall the bloody instructions, do I need these, I think not! Ah! The blister pack, I push one tablet through the tinfoil and toss it to the back of my throat. Quick draw of my water bottle and swig it down. Ah! Saved….. Oh Shit! Shouldn't have necked it, won't dissolve in time. Struggle to get another tablet out of the blister pack. Throw that one in, chew madly, mouth dry, bits of aspirin flying with each exhalation through my gasping mouth, chew chew drink swallow. Phew!
"Have you got a really bad headache Dear?" says the slow lady behind the counter!
Taoist wisdom prevents me immolating her with my glare. I shuffled out to the bench in the street outside and ponder the near Golden Gate experience and it was then that I had my second Road to Damascus moment of the Day.
If I had burst through the gates to be faced with a Man who had promised to love me unconditionally and forgive me all my sins, a responsibility I had always shouldered myself, would I have been able to cope with that. I don't think so. So where could I look for unconditional love and forgiveness?
And then I knew. I saw it all. My enlightenment. All questions answered. Yes I can see it now!
I'd walk in those ol' golden gates and up there on the comfy cushion , pleased as punch to see me. The biggest loveliest DOG you could imagine. Bounding down, jumping up, knocking me down, which wouldn't matter 'cos the grass in Heavens gotta be clean and soft eh? And all my joints would be renewed and supple so landing hard wouldn't matter. And that Ol' Dog would wag and wriggle and I would dig my fingers in his fur and scratch and stroke and tickle and he would lick and forgive me all my sins and love me forever! Who else could do that?
When I die I'm gonna be head down and runnin' at them gates. "Here boy! Here boy! Let me in! I'm a-comin' home. Walkies!"
Cultivating Love and Fruit
Hail, my lady, I stand proudly
In your presence here
I come to polish apples
And plant my seeds down there!
I am intent on cultivation
Is this fertile earth and fresh
Watered by my salivation
To bring sweetness from your flesh?
Oh your apples shine so sweetly
In the candle light of night
And the pips pucker to my touch
Oh you are a lovely sight.
I love your scent I love your taste
I love your peachy skin
I love the splitting of the fig
As you rise to let me in.
But first a salty furrow
I'd plough with tongue and nose
I'll tip-toe through your tulips
Now who's got curling toes?
I see your nectar oozing
I see this earth rise up
I love your taste I love your scent
Drinking from your loving cup.
I peel your grape
And taste it there
Oh thou art, thou art,
Thou are fair!
And now comes time
To stir the spell
Mixed in this cauldron
I love so well.
Pestle in mortar
Grind on grind
To stir the flesh
To squeeze the rind.
To mix the fruits
Till juices run
You are my moon
You are my sun.
This is my garden
I till to please
To bring delight
To bring you ease.
This is my temple
I worship here
This is your bower
'Tis where I serve
When duty calls
I serve with verve!
Hail Lady, I stand proudly
To serve I am not loath.
For in your garden of delights
I'm Master and Servant, both!
Copyright © Res JFB 12th June 2008
The Lotus sits
Pure, pristine and symmetrical
Upon her murky seat.
The golden centre shining
Illuminating the creamy
White petals, from within.
I can imagine primitive man
Thinking that Godhead
Resided here, in this perfection.
I too, modern, sophisticated,
Twentieth century man
Trying on the twenty-first!.
Like a new overcoat
And rather liking
The fit and the feel of it.
I also feel, within this one
The touch of the Divine.
By whatever name
To call Her!
Copyright © Res JFB 28th June 2008
A word upon the "Ghan"
A murmur in the Outback
That they're at it again!
Yep, two who should know better
And who never meant no harm
But I do believe they're at it
Up in the Old Hay Barn.
They say they're talkin' literature
Among the bales and stooks
But that's the place for pleasure
Not discussing books!
But now I begin to wonder
Because we know our Jo is Boss
And a Book arrived this morning
And it's called a "Word From Oz."
And it's full of poems by Soma
It's full of words of delight
And the whisper's a Melbourne Bluesman
At last has got it right!
Copyright © Res JFB 18th July 2008
"Ayo Gurkhali" = "Here come the Gurkhas!"
"Jai Mahakali, Ayo Gurkhali" = "Hail Goddess Kali. The Gurkhas are upon you!”
What'd you do if someone
Copyright © Res JFB 16th May 2008
Built a bloody great block of flats
Next door to your little cottage,
Have you ever thought of that?
What'd you do in the winter time
When you want a little fire?
You've just gotta go up on your roof
And build your chimney higher!
You don't want the fire smokin'
'Cos that'll just make you cough!
I bet when that bugger's drawin' well
It'd suck your socks right off!
To be recited in the vernacular of Cornwall. This is the only two storey cottage I've ever seen with a five storey chimney. I wonder who pays the chimney sweep?
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Many years ago
Monday, 9 November 2009
Sunday, 8 November 2009
You, my Witch
My hand is on yours
As we stir the retort
As you mix the potion
And cast the spell
To steal my soul.
In my heart
You stand tall
Against my stake
In the midst
Of my fire
But not burnt
But not consumed.
I was consumed
I burnt happily
In your blaze
And I know
Copyright © Res JFB 23rd November 2007
To All In Durance Vile, Everywhere
A spot of sun
Head - high - on the wall
About the size of an open exercise book
Sloping upwards - left to right
I stand, facing the window
My back against the wall
Head in the sun
Feeling its warmth
On my skin.
The light shines golden orange
On my closed lids
Turning my world
To radiant warmth
Like the touch of God
Upon my face.
I forget my cold hands
Cold legs and feet
I bathe in warmth and light
The universe is warm and bright.
Like a womb
Taking me back to my
Whilst incubating the
Macroscopic destiny of all
I am as One.
The Universe swirls
The world turns
The sun spins
The shadows move
I shuffle crabwise along the wall
Remaining in the ray of light
As long as possible.
The sunbeam narrows
A foot long, a thin bar
On the wall
From left up to right
I stand with my head on one side
To catch the sun, as though listening
And I do listen
To the silence of the sun.
Now the spot of light
Is the size of a postage stamp
Just big enough to cover
One closed eye, still bathing it
Half my world washed with sunlight
While darkness slowly spreads
Outward from my other eye.
The sunspot goes, I sway
Seeking it. It's gone.
Still with closed eyes
I sink to the floor where
Cross-legged, the cold returns
To my hands, my legs and feet
And I try to retain
The warmth, in my mind
And re-live upon my face
That gentle touch of God-
Written in the 1970's
Copyright © 10th October 2008