Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – snow


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            ruffles beneath the trembling ivy,
            divergent verticals in the hazel coppices;


            reverent steps, and in the cavernous
            grey of high hangs the faintest, pink;


            on a woodland bank a single lesser
            periwinkle holds up a blue flower,

            by the wall a solo leaf descants to the ground
            and a snowflake touches the cheek;


            the black background of the woods
            a million flakes seen,

            in the classroom thirty pairs of eyes
            drift across to the window

            and the music teacher holds
            his sentence;


            leeward black, and fields of white, if
            we were to hate everything that

            included rip and tear of any ugliness,
            there would be nothing left to love;


            through window panes the sun
            is a flat yellow disc viewable

            without hurt to the eye,
            mist divides land into borough

            and alleyway stepping crunch from the
            steam kitchen into the sparkling garden;


            at the bottom of the garden,
            piglets stop snuffling around and stand

            looking, like little pink statues, then …
            hurtle across the yard barking at the sun

            (the sow had rather build her nest in the
             corner of the field, one morning

             she was there, an army of piglets
             lined up at the milk bar

             the most ridiculous expressions
             of content upon their faces, and

             a robin on the solid water
             of the cattle trough);


            the ch-nnk and bite of axe in log
            bounced across the fields to the woods and back with

            such clarity I expected it to continue
            as he laid his axe aside, “Morning”,


            it is not winter that dispels life,
            but life that dispels winter


read the collected work as it is published: here
this is an appliquiary to: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J Redford – Snow




black & blue & echo & eyes & faces & fields & garden & grey & kitchen & life & love & morning & pink & silence & sky & snow & sound & sun & walls & white & windows & winter & yellow wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J Redford – Snow
faces wormhole: “The Lady from Nowhere”
passing wormhole: trying to focus / on walking
thought wormhole: Clea
waiting wormhole: returning home handsome


The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J Redford – Snow


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There is a great expectancy in waiting for the snow to begin.   Sometimes the snow comes with the wind when the trees are flailing and the Ruddock ruffles his breath beneath the trembling ivy.   Then, the contours of the land become accentuated, blackened on the leeward side to eye-shocking contrast to the whiteness on each other.   Each iron furrow stands in stark relief, a symbol of winter’s Herculean grip.   And where the skimming flakes have hurled themselves upon the wooded hills, each twig upon every branch, each branch upon every tree, hugs close a spectral image and hazel coppices become an abstraction of diverging verticals.

Sometimes however, the snow comes upon us unheralded; its approach is silent; no movement is seen among the fields or felt upon the cheek.   Somewhere below, the dormouse sleeps, and as the sparrow waits in the hedge I find myself walking with reverent steps as if, when in a house of worship, one feels the presence of the graven saints.   Eventually I must pause in my tracks, feeling guilty of the very movement of my limbs when all else is still; and in the greyness of the sky there is but the faintest suggestion of pink.   On a woodland bank the adventurous lesser periwinkle displays a solitary blue flower and from the old red-brick garden wall of the big house on the hill, the ivy casts down a leaf that slips rhythmically from side to side like the baton of the music teacher in the village school below.   The leaf touches the ground and a snowflake touches the cheek.   The eye is directed from the sky to the black background of the woods and a million flakes are seen; a million pieces of perfection yet each one different to the other.   In the classroom below thirty pairs of wide eyes turn to the window and the rising undercurrent of excitement is checked by the teacher’s baton.   I would indeed be guilty of a grave hypocrisy if I were to say that only young hearts flutter with excitement at this particular moment, for I too have never outgrown my love for the snow and look forward to the white, silent world to come.

Of course, snow brings with it its hardships as do the frosts, the winds and the rains.   They bring discomfort and sometimes death to the aged, the sick and to the wildlife about us.   But then so do the searing hot summers that parch the earth and lay heavy upon the fevered brow.   Always there is something inimical to or destructive of life, yet at the same time and in many cases because of it, life is somehow strengthened.   I remember how uneasy I once felt when harrowing a field of oats for the very first time.   The teeth of the harrow clawed at the tender green shoots, breaking and bruising them, threatening to tear them bodily from the soil.   Had I misunderstood my employer’s instructions? Was this really what he wanted me to do?   And yet two months later, despite its apparent destruction, there stood before me a field of rippling, luscious green.   If we were to hate all things that displayed an ugly side, there would be nothing left in the world to love.

This morning the window panes were covered with acanthus and the sun was a flat yellow disc that could be viewed without hurt to the eye.   The mist seemed to smooth the scene into a two dimensional pasteboard picture which gave the impression that I could reach out and touch the pastel blue hills across the valley.   I donned an additional thick-knitted woollen jersey, pulled on my gumboots and gloves and stepped from the warm steamy kitchen into the sparkling garden.   The brilliance and frostiness of the air sent the blood racing to my cheeks and my ears began to tingle.   In the piggery at the bottom of the garden, a mother sow with her nine three week old piglets were taking the air.   The little ‘piggles’ as they were sometimes called in this area, were racing around with their snouts down, like little pink snow ploughs forging furrows in the frost encrusted snow.   As I approached, their heads jerked up and, like tiny pink statues, they eyed me for a brief second before turning on their heels and hurtling across the piggery barking (or were they laughing) at the morning sun.   The impression of nudity that young piglets must give must be seen to be believed, and the sight of these nude little bodies coursing through the snow set me shivering.   I once heard of a sow who, in preference to the warm, dry sty supplied by her human master, built her nest in the corner of a field, and nothing on earth would induce her to return to the comfort of the ‘maternity’ ward.   Early the following, bitterly cold, morning, she was found burrowed deeply within her nest with an army of piglets lined up at the milk bar with the most ridiculous expressions of contentment upon their faces.   Not ten feet distant, a robin alighted on the solid water of the cattle trough and proclaimed the good news to the world.

However, it was too cold to stand watching the antics of these endearing little creatures (I dare not think of the hours wasted in this way during the warmer days) so I entered the lane that led to the fields.   The dull klunk klunk of axe striking wood came to my ears and I saw through a gap in the snow-bound hedge the rhythmic rise and fall of my neighbour’s arm as he stooped over a pile of logs.   The sound bounced across the fields to the woods and back again with such clarity, that I half expected the echo to continue as he laid his axe aside.   He saw me, nodded at me and said, “Morning”.   I nodded at him.   “Morning”.

The countryman has an almost psycho-analytic method of extracting information from the unwary traveller.   By a few pointed remarks or statements he finds out all he wants to know without having asked a single question.   Having lived in the countryside for half my life, I have developed to a lesser degree the same technique.   I did verbal battle with him for five minutes but my defences began to crumble when he said, “Better watch that plank over the stream, bound to be slippery with all that frost on it.”

“I expect it is,” I said, “Still, the tread of these boots is almost new.”

Now he knew where I was going, for the plank in question bridged the stream that ran along the north side of the woods.

“Surprising how much longer it takes to get across country when there’s frost and snow about.”   He peered at me from the corners of his eyes.   “Best get a move on or else you’ll be late.”

I gave in.

“That’s true, but then I’m only out for a stroll.”

Questioning my sanity, he returned to his chopping and I to my walk.

It has often been said by the townsman (although having spent most of my childhood in the grimy streets of Greenwich I no longer regard myself as a townsman) that the countryside is ‘all very well’ in summer, but ‘muddy, dismal and uninteresting’ in winter.   Muddy it may well be, but it is clean mud, untainted by diesel oil, slime and soot.   As for being dismal, are they so blind they cannot see the beauty in a curtain of falling rain brushing the distant hills, or hear the music of a million drops of water among the shining leaves or smell the fragrance of freshly dampened earth?   Can they not see the beauty that I see now, of glistening white lacework of the frosted elms against a crystal clear sky, and undulating fields of virgin snow, pure and smooth, a countenance of innocence that has yet to bear the mark of man’s impropriety?

In the days of winter when the hedgerows are empty and the ditches and river banks laid bare, one can discover more easily the badger’s sett or the otter’s holt.   One is able to make a mental note of where the blackbird is likely to build his nest; perhaps the disused nest of a song thrush now exposed by the skeletal hedge will eventually house the spotted white eggs of the blue tit in the warm days of May to come.   Close scrutiny of tree and bush will reveal a host of living green buds wrapped tightly in their protective coats; life is expanding beneath the frozen ground, straining to burst forth, and even as the blackbird sings, the lambs are falling.   The countryside in winter is not dead; there is life, vibrant and pulsing as the blood in one’s veins.   It is all around, above one’s head and below one’s feet.   It is not winter that dispels life, but life that dispels winter.   The immigrant swift brings with it the warm southern winds and life throughout the land erupts, forcing the icy blasts, the snows and the frosts into the North Atlantic.   And after all, without winter, there would be no spring.


read the collected work as it is published: here




black & talking wormhole: returning home handsome
blackbird & echo & fields wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J Redford – A Sign of the Times
blue & rain & sky wormhole: the too big moon
branches & wind wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – … as the new town marches in
death & white wormhole: the 19th century
eyes & morning & sun wormhole: traffic lights and broad avenue
garden wormhole: what life went on
green & grey & life & red & silence & walls & windows wormhole: did I get old?
hills wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – A Precious Moment
kitchen & school wormhole: hello, luvvey, do you want a cup of tea?
love & sound wormhole: new-found love – poewieview #36
pink wormhole: languidly close the portal
snow wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – Contents
sparrows wormhole: tired
stillness wormhole: the sounds of 1969 // [would have] seemed that way – poewieview #13
trees wormhole: was there a moon / on the alleyway wall / confused in front of / the city skyline?
valley wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – moment
winter wormhole: The Boats of Vallesneria by Michael J. Redford – Autumn Thoughts
world wormhole: let it all go
yellow wormhole: magnificent salad


traffic lights and broad avenue


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                it is always the willed renege
                that let’s the face dislocate-
                hideous in full disclosure
                when implications emerge

                that the mouth no longer
                forms, the nostrils lose
                their boundary, the eyes no
                longer level, that the body

                fulfils its natural grace to
                tend to travel where point
                is cornered without street
                to edge and dwelling stands

                familiar as brick but
                stacked in storey and cipher
                whence cones and bolts will
                manifest but unoriginate

                `till squint is healed and
                morning cloud will shred
                the evening sun between
                traffic lights and broad avenue


not surprised by the camber of “The Demon’s Disciple!” by Lee & Ditko in Strange Tales#128, January 1965




buildings wormhole: fresh destiny
clouds wormhole: did I get old?
Dr Strange wormhole: Clea
evening wormhole: the 19th century
eyes wormhole: adjustment
morning wormhole: magnificent salad
mouth wormhole: a crack of lightning / in the dark of night
realisation wormhole: just one, open, nerve,
streets wormhole: through the pane – poewieview #34
sun wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – I suddenly / remembered
traffic lights wormhole: Christmas lights / around the lamp post
travelling wormhole: “The Lady from Nowhere”


the too big moon


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                it is only in Autumn
                that leaves will fall to pensive infrastructure,
                that is the time when the

                Bat-figure crouches, up
                there somewhere and glanced-askance, in the
                dark sky-contemplative

                between brick stacks and
                background avenues of downtown uprise while
                below the city spreads

                about the busy bays rain-
                and gold-spattered by blue waters and ink
                under the too big moon





autumn & gold & leaves & sky wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – … as the new town marches in
Batman & moon wormhole: was there a moon / on the alleyway wall / confused in front of / the city skyline?
blue wormhole: the 19th century
city wormhole: returning home handsome
rain wormhole: fresh destiny
river wormhole: Quiver of / Tiffany – poewieview #20
time wormhole: did I get old?


did I get old?


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                      at which point
                between the lifting metal-crimson
                      fingers of behind
                      the skyline

                      the never sure
                when the clouds will part          once
                      and stab through
                      the window

                      and the (eventual)
                late(r) grey-green click and silence of voices
                      behind the wall
                      did I get old?





clouds & grey & silence wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – … as the new town marches in
green wormhole: new-found love – poewieview #36
identity wormhole: Clea
life wormhole: adjustment
red wormhole: returning home handsome
skyline & walls wormhole: was there a moon / on the alleyway wall / confused in front of / the city skyline?
time wormhole: “The Lady from Nowhere”
voices wormhole: cut while you’re ahead/cut while you’re a thread – poewieview #35
windows wormhole: the 19th century




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                     she is made of circles and stars
                     but gazes only from brick-lined

                     tunnels that hang in space – portals
                     of thought – then eyebrows frown

                     to look, and fingers splay in fanned
                     direction; she will dispel the tiresome

                     play of self and other – claim to
                     claim, rhyme to spell – and obliged

                     a morality to stand firm on its
                     own two feet, despite paths that

                     lead in ribbons and head of open fire


through the portals hung in space from Strange Tales #s 126 & 127, by Lee & Ditko




Dr Strange wormhole: “The Lady from Nowhere”
identity wormhole: just one, open, nerve,
looking wormhole: let it all go
obligation wormhole: true nature
others wormhole: even / a second
path wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – … as the new town marches in
play wormhole: Jericho
space wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J Redford – Simon Upon The Downs
thought wormhole: time




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                           did I talk to the girl
                           on the bed as I woke
                           about how the eyes
                           need to adapt to the
                           light when you open
                           them at first which feels
                           uncomfortable but is
                           a sign of adjusting to
                           the light which is a
                           new addition and that
                           anything given to do
                           in life which is good will feel
                           uncomfortable at first
                           because it is good being
                      adjustment of perspective to the new
                           or did I dream all that …?





doing wormhole: [once a] dilemminal [always a dilemminal]
dream wormhole: what life went on
eyes wormhole: !
girl wormhole: Hurst Green
life wormhole: just one, open, nerve,
light wormhole: was there a moon / on the alleyway wall / confused in front of / the city skyline?
muse wormhole: returning home handsome


returning home handsome


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                returning home handsome

                and you are city-smart
                pony tail, black jacket
                perfect haemoglobin nails
                not too long, waiting

                with your mother in her
                damson beret at the airport
                attentive at the table
                listening to her with sheer

                ankle socks – well, they’re
                practical! – such strong feet
                stood up out of comfortable
                slipper-shoes – heel arch

                ball knuckle toe pointed
                or fabulously wrinkled with
                every parenthesis – that they
                do not realise I am writing

                this poem, and don’t need to,
                with concluding laugh





attention & writing wormhole: time
awareness wormhole: and smile / like a bud
being & city & muse wormhole: “The Lady from Nowhere”
black wormhole: the 19th century
daughter wormhole: finding my own true nature – Plumstead, Woolwich, 190915
feet wormhole: reaching branch
listening wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – … as the new town marches in
mother wormhole: hello, luvvey, do you want a cup of tea?
red & table wormhole: magnificent salad
talking wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J Redford – Safe Home
waiting wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – introdepthion


poets for peace

I’ve just found out I’ve been published: a project [“A collaborative poem comprised of more than 250 segments contributed by #poetsforpeace from around the world”] hosted and published by Praxis Magazine; somehow I missed the launch, but it’s never too late for peace, go’n’avvalook … and click on the ‘peace poem, 2016’ link on their page for the pdf … please!

“The Lady from Nowhere”


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                “The Lady from Nowhere”

                and then one night – lost
                above the 2D canyons – he

                rode the wisps downtown
                and found the girl with

                fishnet veil; she stands
                entranced, she sits entranced

                bidding all allure with
                shrouded presence through

                teetering stacks of time
                back to the cat-like face


from Strange Tales #124, September 1964, ‘The Lady from Nowhere’ by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko




being wormhole: magnificent salad
cat wormhole: new garden
city & faces wormhole: was there a moon / on the alleyway wall / confused in front of / the city skyline?
Dr Strange wormhole: languidly close the portal
muse wormhole: Hurst Green
night wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – moment
time wormhole: time
travelling wormhole: and here I am