Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Mum, August 18th 2005

I can still feel
kissing your still-warm face
just after you fell asleep,
the nurse a guard
not trusting you alone with me,
owning you, as if
I didn't deserve to see.
I wonder
what made him feel that way,
what he saw in you
when you went home,
what I was not
to witness.

©Mary Parker 2014

Cemetary visit

When I was a small child, up into my teens, my Mum and I used to use the local, massive cemetary as a short-cut to the allotment where my Dad grew a lot of our vegetables. It was a beautiful place, a wildlife haven, a little piece of the country in the middle of a big city. I learned a lot about nature, and about looking properly, about seeing what was in front of me, which in time helped me a lot as an artist, putting marks on paper. I owe a massive debt to my Mum for this education, which stays with me every single day. Not in a morbid way, but in a joyful one, fitting for her name which was indeed Joy.

I walked with you in places like this,
you taught me to look, to see small things -
learning names of plants, birds; looking up at trees,
reading headstones, I recognised their shapes
and learned that angels were winged guardians.
Now you are here, with no-one to share your stone.
I wish my father could be with you, so many miles
separate the pair of you, appropriate,
yet always wrong.

You would have loved this though - kingfishers,
the canal nearby, the trees, lichen on headstones.
The limes rain their flowers down in spring,
the summer's crown of leaves your autumn cover,
and winter's blanket, if it comes, transforming all.
I hope that hedgehogs trundle by, that puffballs
and primroses, in their times, brighten the day.
I come when I can, not often enough, to say hello.
But you are always in me, I think and see through you.
We are, almost, one, and I know you more
with every passing year, my Mother dear.

©Mary Parker 2014

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Spring Haiku


Tree-top and sky-borne
birds heralding in the spring,
revelling in green

©Mary Parker 2014

21.4.14 - Actor

Why, for man's pleasure, would you
play the sole victim, or the
one who inflicts pain, just to
entertain? For no reason
you accept pain, you hurt,
you bear the memories, scars,
for what? Experience? Fame?
Money? Your reputation
could change forever, early
roles tainted, young fans damaged,
risking failure. Looking back
will you wish you could erase
this chapter, or have you changed?

                                                                                        ©Mary Parker 2014

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Yes Man/No Man

High hopes, great expectations,
no pressure, no sweat,
make good your first impressions,
don't stint, or you'll regret.

Your best, total commitment,
don't put yourself at risk,
keep going til your best's spent,
your name is on the list.

Management in one more shot,
cups of tea and papers,
five more years that's all you've got,
saving some for later.

Trading in your brain for cash,
they're lying on the job,
fast car ends up in a crash,
wiping dirt for snobs.

Poured in everything you could,
or keep it all back in,
dedicate your life and blood,
or hate even their skin. 

©Mary Parker 2014

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Dog Haiku

For light relief after the sonnet-wrestling, an ode to our terrier :)

Jack Russell nose high
his eyes gaze, longing, outside
as trees brush the sky.

©Mary Parker

Hester #2, re-write

I was annoyed at the lack of rhyme, so had another go. Relatively happy.

What sense in this - a marriage all undone
and husband left dismayed and stunned. Just one
deep need stood unfulfilled. She threw her life,
her self, away - her choice his love, his strife,
devoted only to his touch, his arms,
but he in truth could only do her harm,
not care like him she left. Passion is all
he trades upon, and she, consumed, gives all
until she's spent - and still she loves, hoping
against all hope, until he leaves. Coping,
she can't go back, she won't return to him
whose love was barren. She should sink, not swim,
for life is dead - but life goes on. She cries,
she lifts her eyes, her head, and hoping, tries.
                                                                                       ©Mary Parker 2014

Saturday, 5 April 2014


This one has been a battle over two days - I wanted to try a sonnet, so each line had to be an iambic pentameter. Didn't manage to rhyme it but I've decided to let it stand now! It's inspired by the Rattigan play The Deep Blue Sea's main character Hester Collyer. I watched a recent film version of it over a couple of evenings recently and the theme kind of stayed with me.

What sense in this - a woman gives up all
for him who fills just one desire; just one
deep need stood unfulfilled. She threw herself,
her life, away, for one whose love has failed,
devoted only to his touch, his arms,
who never, never can do her justice,
nor care like him she leaves. Passion alone
is all his trade, and she, consumed, gives all
until she's spent - and still she loves, hoping
against all hope, until he leaves, alone.
She can't go back, she won't return to him
whose love was barren. She will die, she thinks,
for life is dead - but life goes on outside;
she lifts her eyes, her heart, and hoping, tries.

©Mary Parker 2014

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Actor #2

Cast against type:
a lover as a hater,
the thin line crossed
even as you take her.
Conflicted mind
stops you getting closer,
too uptight -
the fear of turning loser.
Need control,
a shaker and a mover,
nerves exposed
you push her even further
until she falls.
Your purpose here is over.

© Mary Parker 2014

Actor #1 (Apr 2)

I watch your magnetic presence -
so many faces, playing up
to circumstances. Can you sense
the way they see you? Deeply cut
and beaten, running words like wine
intoxicating, looking out,
your blue eyes burning, halting time
and breaking heaven with a shout.

   ©Mary Parker 2014

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Tripped over the start line

April first came and went
before we knew, the time was spent.
Another day, another try,
another to write poems by...
So on the second my endeavour
will be to rhyme two words together!

©Mary Parker 2014