Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Day 30 Family

A good child
Makes you dependent,
Reverses the roles
The longer they stay
And makes it
Harder to let them go,
And maybe
harder for them to leave.
And yet,
And yet….
Is what family is all about.
I never saw it
For what it was
Til now.

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 29 Road, a free association poem

The hint for this day was to take a favourite poem (in this case Return to Scalpay by Norman MacCaig), and pick a noun from it. I chose the word 'Road' as it is repeated many times in the poem and has a great significance. Then we were to spend five minutes writing down any words that came to mind in free association with the word itself. This is the resulting poem constructed from those associations, the original word list is beneath.

The road stretches endlessly,
Disappearing over the hills
My destination's at the end
Of the ribbon, in the distance,
At the end of a winding drive
Through valleys' wet tarmac,
Heat-haze hot plains, traffic
Steaming through in tired lines.
Kestrel hovering, roadkill in verges,
The journey home hemmed in
By banks and bridges - roadworks
In view, closed lanes stretch,
But on foot or by car we will visit,
Nothing will keep us away.

©Mary Parker 2017

Destination  ribbon  distance  drive  winding  end  journey  tarmac  valley  plains  disappearing  heat-haze hot  wet  verges  kestrel hovering  roadkill  traffic  endless  tired  car  foot  view  home  away  visit  closed  roadworks  banks  bridges  lines 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Day 28 Cefn Onn, an almost sonnet

I'm walking, far from Cardiff my home town
But close to home. A chaffinch sings out loud
And there am I, eighteen, deep in painting,
In a country park. My daydream broken
by the chaffinch song in branches above,
The starry moss so green beneath my feet
And rhododendrons bright in every nook,
With drunken bumble bees on country paths,
Blissful sunny days of painting in peace.
In childhood, trains would stop - a halt and bridge
Inside the park. In teens, the halt was closed,
With trespass the sole way to platform two.
Now just the centre pillar stands before
The tunnel's gaping mouth beneath the hill.

©Mary Parker 2017 

(Cefn Onn is a beautiful country park to the north of Cardiff, where I spent many happy days painting while doing my Foundation Course in Art and Design back in 1988/89)

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Day 27 Tasty Tanka(rd)

A smell of childhood
Captured here in a bottle.
Brewing scented air
Early morning, comforting,
I drink memory and smile.

©Mary Parker 2017 

Dedicated to the aroma of brewing that still drifts across Cardiff from the Brains brewery.

Day 26 Internal space

A grain of sand lies
Within a shell,
Another beside
Green sea-worn glass,
A third and fourth
In the bowl of
An old clay pipe
Without its stem.
These all lie,
Within the velvet dark
Of a bluebell matchbox,
Treasures compiled
From disparate days
Long-past and
Long forgotten

©Mary Parker 2017 

Day25 Double elevenie

Awakens me
Jar to cup
Caffeine hit jolts me.

Risen rock
Form country's spine
People climb, avalanche rolls

©Mary Parker 2017 

Day 24 Millpool

Millpool jewel
In greenway lies,
Precious cool
Though sunlight tries
Heating through.

©Mary Parker 2017 

Day 23 Neurosis

You slip into a comfortably uncomfortable
And scream silently at the world.

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 22 Waiting

Waiting for the next month
To be over before it's begun
For exams
And examinations
To be behind us all,
Hoping for a time,
However brief,
Of rest,
Without 'the next thing'
Hanging over us
Like a threatening cloud
Or the ever-present risk
Of a rug being pulled
From under our feet.

©Mary Parker 2017 

Friday, 28 April 2017

Day 21 Haiku: Stolen

Light-fingered thief takes
Great handfuls of cosmetics,
Guards find defence fake.

Wrestled to the ground,
All he's taken has been found.
Marched out of the town.

©Mary Parker 2017  

Dedicated to the security guards who wrestled a shoplifter in town on April 21st 2017.

Day 20 Nocturne (day 17 hint)

The busy day leaves me
Silent under arching stars,
Meditating on the comfort
Of the heavens' inky blanket
And the beauty of its lights;
Watching satellites, noiseless,
Sliding by overhead
While redwings, unseen, call,
Flying beneath them in the dark.
I leave this calm oasis
And return to the busyness
Of the evening meal.

©Mary Parker 2017  

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Day 19 - Menopause

With thanks to William Shakespeare's 'Seven ages of man'

The stage is set -
That stage at which life
Begins to turn around
And head back to the start.
The 'seven ages' ring
Another age's start,
The fourth, perhaps -
The soldier's sudden temper,
Not quite the justice's
Fifth age comfort.
Yes, the fourth age,
The centre point,
The middle age is right.
Youth's hormonal rush
Begins its full reverse,
As our youths rush on
Into life's rich promise.

©Mary Parker 2017  

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Day 18 Perfect

The joy of sun through fresh leaves
Each shade of green, hedge and trees
The reds and mauves in borders free
And arching blue in cirrus wreathed
Another world outside my door
Brief vision of a peace so pure.

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 17 High Cloud

Feathers of ice
Reach across the azure.
Overhead the heavens
Fade blue to white
In a gradual
A network of complexity
Seen by us
As cirrus, mist, nothing.

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 16 Easter day acrostic

Rolled away the stone
Empty tomb behind,
Surprise on every face
Up to life He climbed.
Rose to conquer death,
Rose to bring us peace.
Everyone who comes,
Caught up with His breath
Telling us of God
Inspiring us to turn.
On He goes ahead,
No-one will He spurn.

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 15 Human Been

When the world implodes
It's hard to get
How these lodgers
On a small sphere
In a giant universe
Can hate each other
With so much force
That they could want
To wipe each other out,
Be victors on a crater's edge
And lords of nothing.
But we see the same
In a household,
Tearing each other down.
Can we be good inside
When hate comes so easy
And love is our worst weakness?

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 14 Good Friday

Good Friday, the day
That saved my soul
And took it straight to heaven.
What Jesus suffered,
The death and hell
That should have been mine forever,
Has earned forgiveness from God to us
If we can believe and trust Him.
It was not the end
His life, His death
His life again, to be continued…..

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 13 Know your place

All those who think themselves great
Are just pawns in a greater purpose
And those who seem so small
Can speak a word of peace
And start a quiet revolution.
We will not know until
The whole of history is laid out
What our lives have really meant.

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 12 Parenthood

The girls are older now,
Grown up, independent,
But a mother's fear
Is always there - delay,
A long wait, silence,
All these still strike panic
Into the calmed mind,
Overcome by consuming joy,
Just for a moment,
When they come back home.

©Mary Parker 2017

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Day 11 End of Days

Cautious they peered
Round the door of the year,
Holding their fear
As they glimpsed the sheer
Depth of their tears;
Slowly their dear
Hearts were speared
As their world disappeared.

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 10 Repairs

In limbo, in different rooms,
Listening to work and waiting
For all to be completed,
The long-awaited function
Of heat and water
To be restored
But painfully aware
That this luxury
Is temporary, will fail
Like all things.
We treasure blessings
While we are allowed them,
And thank the worker.

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 9 Rain!

The dry earth gladly
Drinks the new rain steadily.
Soil swells gratefully.

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 8 April

A dry heat at spring's beginning
The air is August's end
Primrose and celandine blooming
In summer's tired hand

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 7 Fortuitous Poem

A shoe, a sporting shoe,
Ran its own sweet way.
Its partner knew not what to do
And slowly pined away.
When at last its fate was sealed,
At last to bin consigned,
The first lost shoe was soon revealed
And promptly lost its mind.

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 6 On The Cusp

Miniature forests of seedlings grow
beneath their leafless mothers,
Turn the drab earth into a lawn of sycamores.
Those dear days before grass
shoots up to strangle the infant copse
And those remaining are felled
In the first mow.

©Mary Parker 2017

Monday, 10 April 2017

Day 5 - Nature experienced

I walk in Jackson Fields
beneath the aged beeches.
The squirrel's fluid form
pours upward against nature,
propels itself branch to branch
into the morning vapour.
The trees' trunks are fading
from green to brown to grey,
but within the deepening fog
the dampened greens are verdant,
the moss drips as life teems,
and secretly the season turns.

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 4 Past

In the fallout,
the tree-filtered light
wakes nostalgia,
regret-filled for lost chances,
carefree days used up,
blessed islands spent.
A deep ache for times that were
happier, simpler.
We were young,
blasting through life
as though we were unbreakable.

©Mary Parker 2017

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Day 3 - Elegy

I never knew you, yet
You shaped my early life.
Your daughter always kept
Your memory by her side.
Your shadow reached across
The way she thought and did,
And often at a loss,
She kept her grief unhid.
Grandmother, such a weight she bore -
My Mother's burdened heart you tore.

©Mary Parker 2017

Day 2 - Recipe prompt

The spice of life,
The beautiful savour
Of a life half-lived,
Your memory remains
Fondly held,
In the form of a recipe,
A much-loved taste
We share to remember,
And smile at your words.

©Mary Parker 2017

Saturday, 1 April 2017

First Post

Out of the blocks
I'm taking stock -
The first of the month
Or fifth, or tenth,
Brings unknown strife,
Perhaps new life,
Maybe a stagnant
Empty chant
Of routine, routine,
Routine. Moonbeam,
Time to pinch myself


©Mary Parker 2017