Thursday, 30 April 2015


Our thoughts are with Nepal - no words
can alleviate your pain,
your loss - so many, so many…..
The daily joys of one survivor found
bring hope, we hope for many more,
but still the figures grow of those
who will not return. Clinging to faith
or fatalism, trusting that there is purpose,
harmony in eternity, clinging to each other,
we reach out to you in the only way we can,
and send our help, our thoughts,
our prayers and hopes, hoping
in some small way
to help you to your feet again.

Please donate what you can to the aid appeal - here are two options, you may know of many more, but please do give something.

Watching spring from the car

The small plane hums overhead,
lumpen clouds amble, azure peeps through,
twigs and branches wave around
as the air rushes through and over them.
Spring is moving through the gardens,
each tree and shrub in various states
of vernal undress, modestly covering
their nakedness in the slowest of motions.
Wordsworth's muse gives way to the dandy lion,
same yellow, serving the same insects.
Spring bulbs exchanged for summer bedding
risking its delicate toe in the late frosts.
Frantic birds feed and defend their young,
letting them loose in lion-filled gardens.
Here I am in a metal box, watching it,
window open, ring-side seat for the cycle of life. 

©Mary Parker 2015

28.4.15 Millpool sonnet

An empty ice cream box sails down the pool
and moors, becomes becalmed in the spring green
of algal soup. It joins its friends, a cool
selection, represents the current scene
in social drinking: caffeine fuelled or else
a can or five of cider, trapped in slime.
Two footballs bob about, a trainer smells
as if all minnows in the pond, in time,
have used it as a grave. A heron stands
totemic, shallow waters yielding food
of dubious worth, a meagre living. Bands
of oil across the surface where it stood.
Last year the coot her brood did lose, caught fast;
the moorhens try to win if they can last. 

©Mary Parker 2015

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

27.4.15 a couple of Haikus


Lime green, cherry pink,
sun sings bright, so clear, I think
sky's a heady drink.

Backlit wings, black line
around the white - clearly defined, 
he's flying confined. 

©Mary Parker 2015

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

26.4.15 Clerihews

A Clerihew is typically two rhyming couplets of irregular line length, about a person, whose name is usually the first line. This was the prompt for the day so I thought I'd have a go! Two local to to us here  in Stoke (Sir Stanley Matthews and Reginald J Mitchell), and two of my favourite actors.

Reginald Mitchell
His aircraft pitch'll
knock you for six, hire
a crew, build Spitfires!

Stanley Matthews,
a man whose
pass from the wing
made the crowd sing.

Tilda Swinton
with glorious wigs on,
inhabits her roles
as do minks their own stoles.

Tom Hiddleston
played Loki Laufeyson
but he's much more than that
sneakily devious cat. 

©Mary Parker 2015

25.4.15 Repression loses

I wanted a rest
to get this anger off my chest.
I can't.. you say that I'm too weak,
yet weakness causes me to speak
and give my trouble voice:
your hand too heavy on my life
I seek to take it off,
to run my race without your help
or hindrance, you may scoff,
but time is opening up to me
and now's the time to run,
to stretch my legs and find myself,
how far my path can be,
what lies ahead, what I can choose,
two feet to stand beneath me. 
My future's here, I take my leave,
don't try to come and find me. 

©Mary Parker 2015

24.4.15 continuing Life Circle (20th)

This harmony sings our lives,
the tissue petals fall like tears
upon the wasted years
and soak up all the grief,
caught up on breeze and thermal wave
high up and over this, your grave,
and how we follow with our gaze
the course of our tears' flight. 

©Mary Parker 2015

Sunday, 26 April 2015

23.4.15 Two troubled pieces

We are in the midst of a lot of stuff at the moment as a family - these are two fragments that came a couple of days ago, they're not going to get any further than this so here they are.

We drown in daily waves of trouble, great
The causes calling, time away from that
Which needs us most can make us start to hate
The duties that we must perform. 

Driving home, mind full of my Aunt,
Knowing that in times like these I can't
Use my authority to sell
that which is most precious to her,
I am expected to do just that. 

©Mary Parker 2015

Friday, 24 April 2015

Book character hint poem

I have used the hint given for April 21st, the character from my most recently read book. Here is a short one through the eyes of Jonathan Pine, main character from The Night Manager by John Le Carre.

I must forget my past,
It haunts with bloody accusation -
My own sins condemn,
Of action and inaction.
But I must avenge -
Though my revenge will be sweet,
I'll pull the rug from beneath his feet
And win back my own life,
Learn to be myself,
whoever he may be,
And win her too,
So that she can be
A person, free to move 
With no fear of retribution. 

©Mary Parker 2015

Two lines that say it all....

I have been struggling to find time to write these last few days - this couplet sums it up, and was the sum total output for the 21st of April:

Just as the words begin to sing,
The wasps of interruption sting. 

©Mary Parker 2015

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

20.4.15 Life circle

Black traffic cones are marking out the space
Where the hearse will find its next resting place
So far all is quiet, there is no-one,
No cars to dispute the 'no parking' zone.
Confetti still blows amongst the leaves
From the weekend wedding, under the eaves
The flower stems still show - life's rich story,
Just a Christening needed, in all its glory,
To complete the circle. Each layer builds
strata, day upon week upon year, great hills
Of life's debris, hidden under ceremony
But leaking out in small ways. These harmonies 
Sing our lives with tissue paper tears. 

©Mary Parker 2015

Sunday, 19 April 2015

First Tanka poem

Time will not be slow
To bring around those events
That we will soon know
As special, days to treasure,
Remembered dearly always. 

©Mary Parker 2015

18th April 2015: Snow in June

Lee, Rob and Annie - here we all are,
With me standing behind the camera.
It's June, and we have climbed a hill
To see the view. Unseasonable chill
Brings snow from the dark sky above
On the city below, where we live and love.
We sit, listening to the snowflakes fizz
As they hit the wires - the pylons kiss
The sky and lose their heads in cloud,
The weather closes like a shroud.
But before it does, one quick shot
Of this brave trio, and doggy Dot
Whose branch is about to be thrown;
How those twenty six years have flown. 

Mary Parker 2015

Friday, 17 April 2015

4 9 4 Haiku experiments

Army of one,
Someone else's brother, mother's son
Calls down the sun.

Carrying him through the floors to her,
Dream fulfiller.

Flowers blooming,
Bitterns in the high reed beds booming,
Swallows zooming.

Late night again,
Picking up my lazy poet's pen,
Well after ten! 

©Mary Parker 2015

Heart gift

My heart was never stolen,
It was given in pity and in gratitude,
Given without hope of its return,
And in receiving it, unknowing,
It was taken to the grave -
Or to the pyre, and scattered broad
To feed and to nurture:
Our joint effort, though the heart
Is just a ghost, no nourishment to boast.
The space it filled in me
As cold as tombs; you lie
Under the trees, a layer of dust,
A soft repose, eternal rest. 

©Mary Parker 2015

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Acting. Managing.

I see your careworn face - what worries there,
What angst has trod those lines, your visage creased,
That furrowed brow betrays your deepest cares
Before the watching world, from west to east.
A year has altered you so much, your age
Increased ten years. Inside your mind what ails
The soul that played so soft, that shunned all rage?
That part you took could take you off the rails.
A frown replaces smile, concern in place
Of joy, avoidance in place of greeting.
Suspicion falls on those who seek your face,
You shun all attempts to form a meeting.
A wall is built, you hide behind and wait
To see if joy will greet you at the gate. 

©Mary Parker 2015

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

His Ex (a dialogue)

He hated her eyes
He loved their surprise
Her face made him sad
Her face drove him mad
He wanted her out
He begged her don't shout
They couldn't get on
He's gutted she's gone
She treated him badly
He loved her so madly
She's sitting just there
I really don't care
I think I should say
I think you should stay
You're taking him home?
That's him on the phone.
Let's leave her in peace
Or silence at least. 

©Mary Parker 2015

Monday, 13 April 2015

St Helen's beach at twilight

Deepening greens and blacks
of rock pools at low tide,
the myriad blues of the sky,
with the clouds, reflecting in the sea.
Red and green buoys rest gently on the sand
beneath shallow water at the harbour entry.
The lifeboat station and its slipway stand
as leggy silhouettes against the horizon.
The slight breeze carries the sound of the bells
in small fishing boats' rigging,
while bigger vessels glide along the Solent.
As the sun sets, the boats at moorings
will drift as they show their lights,
and illuminate the skyline. 

©Mary Parker 2015

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Temporarily high

Uncomfortably numb, I am one with the wind,
Walking through buffet and squall, I go on.
My mind is brightened and dulled at one time
By meds and sleeplessness, dragging me on.
The raindrops pass through me, I welcome them all,
Caressing and cleansing, they play as they fall.
I'm at one with the elements, high as a kite,
Ecstatic, exhausted, but try as I might
I can't hold this feeling, it's just for a time,
A limited bridging of dreamworld and mine.

©Mary Parker 2015

Saturday, 11 April 2015

11th April After a visit to my Aunt

Life goes on, but life has changed.
Her home no longer suits her needs,
So 'home' is now a caring place
Where others too find help.

Responsibility lies with me
To make her life as good as can be.
Decisions still rest in her own mind,
So I must wait and see.

I need to sell her house you see,
To pay for the home where care ain't free
But she is still not sure, so now
Negotiations, tentative, slow.

A seed planted, a thought laid down,
A change is notified - what now?
If gradual settling helps her out,
Her long term care is sure. 

©Mary Parker 2015

10th April - Operation, an abecedarian poem

A difficult day, when something distant
Became more real - denial
Can no longer be maintained, I can't
Draw veils over the inevitable.
Even though it will do good, the thought
Fills me with apprehension.
Great lists of what may happen, caught
Hold of threads of tension,
I try to distract, thinking not of
Journeying to the place where it will happen,
Knowing that it is certain, and lonely.
Leaving my family for two nights,
Making my bed in a strange place,
Not even knowing exactly what the
Operation will involve. Uncertainty.
Partly anticipating, partly apprehensive,
Queueing won't be an issue,
Rather being on time and ready
Shall be the order of the morning,
To be showered and gowned, going
Under the knife under anaesthetic. My
Vehicle a trolley bed, my rest punctuated
With unfelt stabs and incisions.
Xamining me, the doctor will decide if
Yonder plan is viable. I shall catch some

©Mary Parker 2015

Friday, 10 April 2015

9th April Bright day

This glowing blue, sun-drenched sky
brings out the world
in glorious sensory overload.
Fog lifted, each blade of grass
prism-tipped, sparking red, purple,
blinding white in the afternoon sun.
Finches sparring like treetop mixed infants,
broadcasting their wars of words,
competing with the swifts
Screaming past on the wing.
Dandelions and daisies sing out
against the emerald grass,
trees gaze down at themselves
reflected against the sky,
ducks swimming amongst branches
with sticklebacks at their feet.
Breathe deeply, take it in - this oxygen,
this charging of the batteries
to carry you on another day.

©Mary Parker 2015

Thursday, 9 April 2015

8th April Old Men Walking

Watching the old man as he takes his regular path,
His constitutional, no other purpose, out and round the pond,
I see my father, his shuffling gait of later years
Duplicated in this gentleman's determined routine.
He was never young - a father at fifty seven
Will always be old to the child. I was in awe
Of his years, and yet he never looked his age
Until illness came at eighty three and sapped him
Of his drive. But still, when he could, walk he would
To the corner shop for the daily news, steps so low
That I feared he'd trip with every pace; weight forward
To keep momentum going, and safely home,
To sanctuary in the arm chair, reading the paper
Which sagged more and more until snores were heard,
Head tipped back and toothless mouth fell open.

This old man walks, and looking back I see another,
And wonder what their stories are: why they walk,
Whether family awaits them, or if they are alone.
I watch and reminisce, and miss my father still.

©Mary Parker 2015

7th April Sleepless Night

Ah the lightheaded bliss of the aftermath,
Dull ache in the neck, a slant in the path.
Consciousness dimmed, eyes not quite focused
And head reeling, sore with every thought process.

©Mary Parker 2015

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

6th April Spring Haiku

Spring leaves follow rain, 
the blue skies and sunshine bright,
warmth filling the veins.

©Mary Parker 2015

5th April Easter holidays

Easter break, a beautiful watershed,
sun shines in clear skies, time yields rest,
and we can relax a little. It's said
that memories should be made, best
to make the most of every chance we get.
The kids are growing older, time
waits for no-one, but before future's set
our little family, preciously mine,
have these two weeks' grace, peace in stormy days.
Time to breathe, to live the view seen
through rose-tinted glasses in future's haze,
memory's own aching for what has been.

©Mary Parker 2015

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Sleeping dog haiku 4th April 2015

Sleeping dog, your nose
Rests on my knee, I suppose
Yours is my repose.

©Mary Parker 2015

Good Friday 3rd April 2015

For three long years you spoke the truth in love,
Gave all your time to those who sought you out,
But nothing you could do would be enough
To satisfy the ones whose 'rules' you'd flout.
You gave the laws they'd use to see you dead,
You spoke of how they'd turned them to their gain.
They'd twist a crown of thorns to wound your head
And revel in their chance to cause you pain.
The cross they nailed you to stands as a sign
The soldiers at your feet could not deny.
The sun went out, the earth shook: by design
The temple veil ripped at your final cry.
Heaven opened to receive your victory,
In you are safe all those with eyes to see.

©Mary Parker 2015

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Home Not Home

I went home. 
It was not home - 
too full of the young and beautiful,
of people I do not know. 
Not there long enough
to scratch through the surface
beyond the artifice,
to the old haunts.
Old places remade, old faces replaced.
Entering my house and finding
strangers in my bed, and in my armchair,
with vacant stares.

©Mary Parker 2015

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Imaginary Friend

You are a part of a man, the part
that laughs at my jokes, that
listens attentively until I stop,
the ideal part of you that I adore.
You are not the part that leaps
uncontrollably into the unknown,
that wildly enthuses about any
and every aspect of life's joys,
nor the dirty mouth or dirty mind,
the poser or the posed,
the part that I fear and frown
and hide myself away from.
That is the part that I wish
you would hide in a box, and not
let it show in inappropriate places,
embarrassing me, making me blush.
I want you tame, there for me,
at my beck and call, but you
are wilful, free as air, bright
and beautiful, I can't cage you
so you will be free - and I will speak
with the part of you that lives
in the box, the caged bird,
compliant, resting in my mind.

© Mary Parker 2015