Give me strength, my father cried
I as a child, of course, complied,
And to his will, this willow bent,
Not understanding discontent.
But now I’m grown, his mood I ken,
I ‘get’ the strops of gentle men:
Dissatisfied with what they’ve got
Yet little work to change their lot.
I hope in future my own kin
Will know enough, not let me win,
But challenge me in time of need
And push to overcome my greed.
I know myself, I know my power,
Yet hope my kids upon their hour
Of struggle, mine will overcome
That they may triumph, have some fun.
And in old age, their wisdom find,
Choosing then to know their mind.
Not seeking ever-young to stay,
But give the youth their precious day.
I look to the future and what do I see?
My year-ful of past gazing fondly at me.
I turn on my toes and do an about face,
To find myself staring back at my first place.
But try as I might, twist and turn all my days,
The future will greet me, my mind is a maze.
I see now how vain was my endless display,
To seek out my present and past with one eye.
Yet trained in star-gazing and picking up jokes,
Not learning the nature of time, nor her yokes,
I still on occasion, though valiant my fight,
To catch my own tail, pirouette in the light.
A love I knew that flew away
While I grew up, returned today
And with him brought, to my surprise
A smile I knew, and two brown eyes,
A bubbling laugh, not from his chest,
But from his heart, you know the rest.
I could not see, though eyes were wide.
I don’t know why – perhaps I cried?
But glad I was, to find him thus:
So filled with joy, though not for us,
My black-heart-monster, ever grave,
Yawned and crawled back to his cave.
I loved him then, I love him still,
Yet find I bear him no ill will.
Despite the pain of losing you;
For he did what he had to do.
And now we’ve grown – how strange it seems;
This shadow once did haunt my dreams,
But he has gone, and in his wake
A moment’s silence I shall take.
To mourn his passing, shed my tears,
Look back fondly on the years.
Then put aside these wounds – now mild,
And join in laughter with his child.
Love, as though you’ve never lost.
Face your fears at any cost.
Learn some new thing every day.
Miss them when they’ve gone away,
But live your own life, find your feet.
Stand alone, dance in the street.
And on your path, stray if you will
To chase a rainbow and fulfil
Your every dream remains your own.
Ensure your child a happy home.
And to yourself, be ever true,
For everything is up to you.
I watch the air grow dark with cloud
Until the tension is so loud
It finds its voice and spills to shout
As insults, accusations out.
Their barbs that stick into our ears
And mar our conscience, rot our fears
So we retaliate in kind;
Bile oozing forth from tongue and mind
And frothing loud as thundrous strike
To echo our profound dislike
For all you hid, and all you feel.
When spoken thus, a Catherine-wheel
Of torture grows with rack and screws
As we absorb your poisoned views,
And sickened, know the sad demise
Of love’s young dream, before our eyes.
I caught your eye and looked away.
Your look a thousand words did say.
I dared not gaze upon your face,
Fearing reflected, my disgrace.
Apologies gushed forth from me
But each bounced off your misery
And I to greater depths did sink
In that one tear I saw you blink.
So did I turn away from you
Unfit to bend to kiss your shoe.
For love, I left. For love, your pain.
Some balance, then, in this refrain.
And I no comfort can derive:
I hurt ‘the one’, my soul, my life.
But know that when things fell apart;
T’was not just you, with broken heart.
A maiden fair did gaze one day
Into a well I heard her say
I shall not wish for silly things,
What good are princes? Diamond rings?
Instead, I ask for common sense;
The right to choose from this day hence:
What path I take, for good or ill,
And whether I go on the pill.
(This maiden fair was as you see
More sensible than you or me).
She begged the well then, on her knees
To grant her one last favour, please?
And my ears pricked to see what might
The girl choose now to ease her plight.
Dear reader, be you not amazed,
Though I was shocked, in quite a daze
At what next I heard issue forth
From that peculiar rosebud mouth:
She bid the well send her a gift,
Not tall or handsome, strong or swift,
But one which would (and I don’t err)
Next in life, be “good for her”.
So there I stood, struck dumb with awe
Wondering at what I saw:
A girl, though young and lithe of limb,
Choosing wisdom over sin.
A kiss may conjure many things,
Some dream of lust, others of rings.
A sleeping princess, it awakes,
A cut-knee mends, a promise breaks.
And all these thoughts occur to me
To see you there upon one knee,
Knowing, though ignorance was bliss,
This whole world turned, upon your kiss.
My very own brand of silliness I patent here and now
For who else with a moon to jump would choose to be the cow?
Such effort here I do expend as mooing cosmonaut,
You’d think even a cat might care to spare me a retort?
But owls, though wise, and cats not shy pass by without a thought.
They no more do acknowledge me, than algebra, a nought.
So in my childish wisdom, spaghetti-o’s I buy,
And look to build a telescope with which to view the sky.