Poems

Ver Poets for Sustainable St Albans 2016: 


Saturday 26th November


WHAT WILL SURVIVE US

by Robert Peake

Bronze statues of men on horses.

Small pieces of tarmac, glittering like shells.

Skeletal towers, disconnected.

Concrete hives with glassless windows.

Yellow foam congregating in eddies.

White bridges overtaken by gulls.

bronze-horses



AUTUMN HARVEST

by A.C.Clarke

On the same bush

wizened blackberries

others still red, others

plump to bursting …

In the damp ground

toadstools brown and crinkled

beg to be gathered up

by someone who knows …

From the young apple trees

windfalls starting to fester

offer a guiltless feast …

Hurry! Nature can’t wait.

FSwork



Friday 25th November


ST ALBANS ABBEY

by Sylvia Banham

We see it, riding south, sun in our eyes,

familiar outline, as travellers have done

these last nine hundred years. Glimpsed

from this angle, buttressed against pale sky,

it dominates, proclaims the continuity

of more than the Roman bricks which shape its tower:

place of carved stone and crafted glass

of bells, of glowing manuscripts, of learning;

home too to Alban, patron of refugees.

Sunlight on brick and stone. Travelling towards

our present, we see it still, above the city,

unconsigned yet to oblivion, to dust.

abbeysun



Thursday 24th November


LAKE MURRAY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

by Gillian Knibbs

Four boys are poised, like vultures, in a tree,

stark silhouettes against the setting sun.

The branches prong like daggers, the boys seem

empty, their shapes are thin and hunched.

The smallest takes an acrobatic leap.

He shapes his plunge in the orange air;

his body is free with innocence.

He will slip, splashless, into a deep pool.

The lake that waits beneath him is a soup

of toxic mining waste; his skin will crawl

with it. It will coat him like disease.

dive


Poem for Wednesday 23 November


APPLE TREE                                                                                                                                                                                        by Sylvia Banham

Apple tree, are you weary of

standing patiently in weathers,

under sun, under moon?

Bluetits, little acrobats,

peck at your branches,

outspread, like Buddha’s arms;

worms ferry your aged roots,

feed on your discarded leaves;

you shed ripe fruit, pragmatic.

Yet each year you astonish

with a dazzle of blossom

only feet from my kitchen sink.

applebirds


Poem for Tuesday 22nd November


UNDOING

by Beliz McKenzie

It’s overflowing;

we try to contain it;

reach for wrappers tangled in trees;

pick up papers –

ripped and mud-splattered –

from under our feet;

collect cans abandoned on benches.

It’s overgrown;

we want to maintain it;

shape what we see,

search in the scarred landscape

for that gem, rare and delicate,

protect and nurture it

from growth which could destroy.

It’s overused;

we need to sustain it;

to preserve our energy

in this overheated world;

to create a path,

bright and rainbow-lined,

leading long past our point of departure.

treesplastic



Poem for Monday 21st November


FIG

by Alan George

Leaves fall down with little warning;

the figs follow soon, footkill on the track.

I pick one up, its blood juice coated with grit.

During the summer the sun has flirted

through the foliage to turn green into purple.

Last night this fig fell pregnant here.

For me a reject, I toss it into the hedge,

its seed essence seeping into the soil –

By chance I may have nursed a tree’s re-birth.

figfallen


Poem for Sunday 20th November


THE LAST SPROUT

by Bob Niblett

Tara, staring at her plate,

saw the world coagulate

in chilly gravy, as the fatal

tipping point was reached,

all the laws of nature breached,

because her dinner went to waste,

because it had a nasty taste.

Steeling herself unwillingly

to serve sustainability,

Tara resolved to carry out

a deed that made the angels shout

with joy. She swallowed the last sprout.

sproutpic


Poem for Sat 19th November

SUFFICIENT

by John Mole

A texture of little purposes,

No single big thing

But an intimate criss-cross

Of planning and impulse

In search of design.

Every thread a wonder

And the whole cloth

Yet to be revealed

As no less than our life here

On this precious earth.


cloth


applebirds

bronze-horses