Under the ground
moves a silent earthquake
and splitting bulbs use firmly anchored
to bulldoze their inquisitive shoots up to the surface,
their first warm rays of sun;
an end to their continuous darkness.
On the trees,
once frozen buds,
turn overnight to awakening blossoms
and green foilage slowly
emerges from its winter prison;
becoming more intense with each
In the fields,
once petrified with frozen fingers,
the remains of last year’s
are now shades of green, yellow and white,
from where new born
as they frolic in oblivion of winter’s harsh
Are you queueing?
The elderly lady asked me
with an impatient look upon her face,
her wide-open eyes insisting
on an answer.
I replied with an affirmative nod and an unmotivated "yes".
I was the queue,
my solitary presence at the bus stop,
now being abruptly terminated
on her arrival.
We stood in silence,
she arranging her shopping bag and umbrella
for the forthcoming
And I, ascertaining with a glance at my
that the bus was now five minutes overdue.
"There it comes!" She announced;
brusquely out of my thoughts.
Hurrying forward she mounted
the bus with a surprising agility,
taking for granted her
feminine right to enter first.
Amused at her innocent "queue jumping",
the bus greeting my fellow passengers with a smile.
The full profusion of her garden
was oblivious to a six-year-old
whose childhood pastimes
blended out such floral splendour.
I sneaked into her paradise
on clandestine missions
to rescue her trees from the burden
of ripened cherries, apples or pears.
On occasions I was invited to enter
her botanical world to be rewarded
with something sweet and sometimes sticky,
just for being the child next door.
Her house stands empty now,
her garden in a neglected slumber.
Hedgehogs snuggle in hibernation
‘neath autumn’s decaying leaves
petrified by winter’s first frost.
On the eve of St Stephen
I enter again her garden,
this time in search of that winter wonder.
As if by some invisible conjurer’s trick,
it appears in the entwined, lifeless shoots
of summer’s rambling raspberry bushes,
blanketed in white with last night’s fall of snow.
With a virgin’s shyness
it reveals a captivating beauty.
and thank her in silence
for her perennial legacy,
my Christmas rose
IT BLOSSOMS IN GOODNESS
(An ode to George, Lord Byron)
by David A. Thorpe, 2005
blossoms in goodness,
like a springtime meadow of frolicking lambs,
echoed in their bleats,
the pastoral peace content.
friendly battles of sun and foliage
in ever contrasting light and shade.
idyllic garden refuge,
exists a peacefulness untold,
disturbed only by its gurgling fountains
of dancing sunlight,
reflections in a thousand fold.
warm caressing air,
with multitudes of fragrances abound,
to the dextrous bumble-bee
is part of nature’s wonder to astound.
uninvited spectator of its beauty,
a visitor is more an intruder here,
whose heart with joy and contentment rewarded,
sees his own life’s faults more clear.
A silent remembrance for some dear friend. A religious thank you for a granted prayer. A speechless companion of the buried,
a flicker being the only movement,
occasioned by the passing of some fugitive spirit. Once a glimmer of hope in some isolated crofter’s window,
a haven for lost and weary travellers
stranded in the mist on some lonely moor,
in search of abode on some dark and stormy night. The burning clock of ancient Rome,
its slowly melting minutes
trickling away the hours to a Caesar’s betrayal. The stage illumination
for King Arthur’s feast of Pentecost,
a gathering of his chivalrous knights,
players of equal rank
in Camelot’s Celtic tragedy.Candles.
Veiled by the early morning mists,
the bleak and wuthering heights loom over
the barren moor landscape of the Brontes’ windy Howarth.
Was the eerie silence broken now
by Catherine’s mournful cry for Heathcliff? Further still the Dales roll out their pastoral carpet,
a scenery then chosen for some majestic abbey,
its fallen beauty in captive isolation
of its own history. The once satanic stacks, now stilled forever,
witnesses to England’s glory days,
await with condemned pride their sentence
or conversion. A Roman town on the banks of the Ouse,
Eboracum, walled fortress against some forgotten foe,
a capital and glorious house of kings.
What treasures are still to be discovered
beneath this cathedral city, whose name was later given
to some new world port. Remember young Rutland,
the Yorkists’ virgin rose,
cut down at Wakefield,
with Lancaster’s treacherous sword. The towering light above rugged Flamborough
marks the limit,
for further out “white horses” command the ways of return
to Kingston’s safety. A new pulsation drives the land,
the former proud ridings,
from north to south, from east to west,
in lost identity.
From deep inside,
the longing to be back “among ‘em”.
The salt of the earth,
the folk of Yorkshire.