Friday, December 25, 2015

A Secret Christmas Sonnet

Shall I compare thee to Summerville House?
Thou art more lovely and more permanent.
Dim bulbs do not the dozing student rouse,
Echoing rooms are not to good prose lent.
Sometimes too hot the central heating runs,
And often is one's gold attendance dimmed;
And every pun from ear sometime declines,
By chance, or good taste's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal verses shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of this craft thou know’st,
This Yule thou wand’rest on this gift that's made
Of iambic pentameter it grow’st.
     So long as men can scribe, or eyes can read,
     Long live Alan and the Writers' Society!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Clear Conscience

We joked and laughed
As quietly as we could
While seated at the back
Of the church hardly ten minutes
Into Saturday evening mass
And whispered that we'd need
A weekend to make a full confession

And when Sunday came we climbed
To heavenly heights to hear
A host of gulls screech and
Glide over southern cliffs,
And under the pagan sun
Of the summer solstice
Our skin burned for our sins.

Friday, January 9, 2015

After the Storms

Gold and silver fingers reach
Pleadingly toward the sky
From ivy-tangled soaken sleeves,

Trunks wheeze and wail
With shuddering breaths for their
Splintered and fallen
Sisters and brothers

Broken, cut, drowned and rotting
Where the sun scarcely dares
To warm the edges
Of dark puddles in the carpet

As sheep gather, stranded
In the middle of a new island
In a cloudy cluster standing
Above burst river-banks

While the two o'clock January sun
Shines like September in
The hour before dusk, lying low

And seeming through glass
Still to be warm, yet warning
Of a chill that is to come,

It reflects off leafless limbs
And bleaches matted patches
Of cut grass at edges of fields and
Dripping motorway ditches in the Midlands

While the West dreams of dry days
And sweeps driftwood and dirty deposits
After a nightmare of high tides and howling winds.