Poems before bedtime: ‘Where does the wind go?’ and ‘Coffee and crumbs’

Where does the wind go?

Where does the wind go,
When all blown out,
Do you know?

Does it run out of breath and lean red-faced,
Against the bended trunk of a winded tree?
Or haunt the stooping widow, by slamming doors
And snuffing out ‘the old man’s’ absence candle?

Does it lie on its tummy by the open fire
And flick the pages of a good book?
Or plump up the sofa cushions and ask,
‘Who’s been sitting in my chair?’

Does it howl like a child with the terrible twos
Stamp its feet, then fall asleep?
Or kick dry leaves in circles in the yard
Then beneath an upturned bucket, sulk and weep?

Does it choke back the tears of hurt
Turn its back and run to the hills?
Or grow bored and soar, soar
Above the clouds, to where the astronaut snores?

Perhaps it shatters in pieces against the wall
Then scatters like mercury across
The floor? Or jumps off the cliff and follows
Its dreams out to sea?

Where does the wind go, do you know?

Coffee and crumbs

They stand like
Upended ocean liners
Clutched from the seas
And thrust like harpoons

Into the ground. Their cabin lights
Sinking into the whirlpool
City depths below.
From which a lone fellow

Spinning. Falls.
His coat-tails
Flapping
Like broken wings.

A jumper.
On his way to a self-made grave
Who lost life’s footing,
Making headlines on the way.

Far from the prow
On which he once stood
So rich and proud
‘Beloved husband, son and father’

To those who knew him.
But not you.
Nor I.

Tomorrow we shall
Flick his story aside
With coffee and crumbs.

 

August 2016

New Poems for Spring by Simon Denegri: ‘Easter Weekend’ and ‘Daffodil’

Easter Weekend

I.

I wake to see sun-bathed tree-tops
Reflected in the white, wardrobe doors
Like colour polaroids of my childhood garden.

And turn over to watch daylight
Run down the trees
Like honey on the breakfast jar.

II.

Daffodils
Chatter in the wind,
Their excited bonnets bobbing and nodding,
Children dutifully waiting, at the church door.

While great clouds
Hunt winter from its den,
Galloping and charging over hill and glen
Their barrels skirting tree-tops along the way.

Long brush-like
Tales, trail behind them
Sweeping the last vestiges of autumn
From the garden path, mottled by passing showers.

III.

A rainbow rises
Bright, promising, but not to be.
A sweet half-eaten, sucked
Then stuck like gum against the sky.

The first buds
Break open with worshipping hands
Called forth by each glimmer of an architect sun
Ready to build cathedrals by rule of thumb.

IV.

At night I go to sleep
With thoughts only for nature’s return
And know it is but a matter of time.

Before I fall for her
Before I fall for her
And all her summer fun and mid-riff trickery.

Again.

 

Daffodil

No daffodil should be alone
An orphaned child, pleasing
But bowed in sorrow.

 

February 2016

National Poetry Day 2015: ‘Lantern Fish’

It’s National Poetry day today, Thursday 8th October.  The theme is ‘Light.’  Here’s a poem that I submitted unsuccessfully to a ‘Poetry News’ competition a little while ago on the same theme.  Ah well!  It’s probably not quite ‘on theme.’

You may be interested to know that this poem was inspired by waking up in the middle of the night to see early morning flights emerge from the clouds on their way to landing at Gatwick.  I live right under the flight-path.

Lantern fish

I wake
To see lantern fish,
Emerge from the depths of the ocean sky,
Out of silty clouds where others hide.

Then fly
Towards me,
One, two, three, sometimes more,
Their lights before them.

I am
The night fisherman,
Trawling black heavens with my rod,
Reeling them in, hook, line and sinker.

I am
The passenger,
Fallen overboard from his sleep,
Thankful for their company in this expanse.

I am
The dreamer,
Searching for light, for life,
Their flight inspiring me with belief.

I watch
As they glide,
In phosphorescent procession and descend,
Into the shoal that glows beyond the reef.

Simon Denegri
October 2015

Lone Knight (Spitfire over Kent)

This summer – the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain – we have been treated to many sightings over Kent of the few remaining airworthy Spitfires, as they make their way to airshows and special events. I wanted to voice my own respect for this aircraft and those who flew it. I hope people get some sense of this from the following poem written over the month of August 2015.

Lone Knight (Spitfire over Kent)

What is it about you that makes me point and wave,
To rush to the open window with a child’s heart,
And hope that you will tip your wings to me alone,
As you make your gallant way?

Rolling over hills lined up like casks of warm ale.
High over the vale where ironed fields are laid
Like napkins at an ancient table,
Set for you to tell your hero’s tale.

For a moment, I lose you among puffed-cheeked clouds
That hang from the sky like washing from a line,
Among the swifts and swallows that swoop and dive.
But then your throaty song returns.

For this lone knight, no longer our chariot of fate,
Must continue on its way, for charity and the fete.
To thrill the crowds and cast its spell
To protect, to serve, to save the day again.

Simon Denegri, August 2015

Poem: This Cotton Reel

I felt a tug, and then a pull
And like the spider’s good night’s work in the morning wind
The cotton thread on which I hang, is reeled back in.

What I thought was infinite,
Is finite. No more party streamers
Or ensigns on Ocean liners.

I know I am lucky
To have got this far without snag or break.
Yet I can’t help, I can’t help but wonder….

This cotton reel. My life.
If only I could make it run and run,
I have so much more to weave til i am done.

Simon Denegri
1 May 2015

Wordspace mission

I

I unhand it
To fly through space
And land upon the page.

To go
Where no words
Have gone before.

A soul
Where once flew,
An unmanned phrase.

Without
Purpose nor,
Life-giving punctuation

II

From mission control
I watch its flight.
Its path is true.

So many missions before
Have foundered,
Failed to return.

But every word slain,
Or laid to rest to date
Was not in vain nor misplaced.

The word is
At work
And the race is over.

IV

For this one,
This one will reach its orbit.

A rocket ship of ambition
Released from its berth

To be spied with wide-eyed
Imagination from earth.

One small word to you
One bold work to me.

I do not remember you as others do

I do not remember you as others do.
By entries past in monogrammed diaries
Or symbols, marks and numbers scored
On the calendar hanging aback the kitchen door.

I do not remember you as I should, some might say.
With framed photographs, or disciplined candles
Well worn toasts over warming wine
Or the recalling of your name to fill the time.

No, it is in the aching passage of the day –
The place setting foolishly laid, and the waiting bed
With white sheets tucked and made –
That I remember you.

Ordinary days
You made extraordinary.
Now emptied and made solitary.

But time will pass and it will be you that remembers me.
In the sun’s rays falling on my shoulders
Or the rain tapping at my window.

You will find me
And your memory will warm me
In the harshest climes.

I am sure of that
For we never did love each other as others do.

Poetry on Friday – ‘Stylus’

Stylus

You fell upon me,
A diamond-tipped stylus
On vinyl

And set me spinning
Inexorably.

You danced and then grooved,
Turning tables and heads.
My heart

Palpitating in
Anticipation.

In those opening bars,
I was sold on you
Only you

And by breakfast you’d gone
Platinum.

But now my jacket is torn
And well worn tracks
Scratched.

So we nuzzle close, and dust
Each other off

Before settling down to
Play our greatest hits again
As if it was

Only yesterday that they were
Freshly laid and pressed.

June 2014

Jubilee

The bunting droops
Like the lower lip of the fallen clown
And the litter froths
From the battered roadside bin.

Teenagers with jeans half-mast
Flag drunkenly for cabs
As neighbours soak up
One-off episodes of TV Soaps.

Gushing rain,
Waves of painters wash
Wiping livelihoods
And summer smiles away.

Subsides then stops
Leaving rivulets
Paths disappearing under sodden leaves,
Like dirty sheets being pulled down below.

Stick-on numbers fall
On headless mannequins
To the shop window floor
In front of crowds

Backs turned, stretching necks
To follow the passing parade
A glorious memory
Of fading ceremony.

March 2014