Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

BACK TO BLACK

Despite the media rhetoric and the predictable virtue signalling of minor celebs, it isn't only plastic waste that blights our oceans.














OIL

The tide-line, like a black-edged card,
records another oil spill. 
Tarred birds, helplessly, 

their plumage black,
lie stunned,
blind eyes clogged up with glar,
as we, the volunteers,
who gather in
these sorry, broken things
and weep,
will fall, exhausted, into bed 

at close of day
but will not sleep.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

DARKNESS AT NOON

Those who have had to bid a gentle farewell to a loved one when Time has finally claimed them will recognise that moment shortly before the end when surrender occurs and the claims of the world are set aside. 












CONVERSATION WITHOUT WORDS

The digits on the clock face blink.
I count each minute as I sit
beside your starched hospital bed.
Your fragile fingers interlink
with my strong digits. Words unsaid
travel between us. You emit
no sounds apart from rasping breath 
in this room, unembellished, stark,  
and yet there is disclosure here.
I sense that you now welcome death,
that somehow you have ceased to fear
that endless falling through the dark.
   

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME

Such heedless creatures we were as children: animalistic in our approach to life, each day a new beginning and Time a matter of no concern.
How different it seems now.




DANDELION CLOCKS

As children, we scattered them
not caring where they flew or fell
and thought we measured Time itself.


I count them now, this season’s crop,
each puff-ball head, each milky stem.


Uncut, run wild, they flourish well
that white-haired mob, unlike myself,
who dreads the moment time will stop.

Friday, 28 June 2019

LEARNING THE ROPES

Fake news, false clues, untruths ... who can tell what's real or unreal nowadays?




ROPE TRICK

A crowd of backpacks gathers round,
like cattle where cool water flows,
to watch the dormant rope spring up,
unaided, as though it arose
by magic to the flautist’s sound.
They drop some rupees in his cup.
A child, big-eyed, all skin and bones,
ascends the rope, now vertical:
up, up he wriggles like a thief.
No explanation, rational,
explains this. Out come mobile phones
to validate their disbelief.

Friday, 21 June 2019

HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW

I've spent much of the afternoon watching sparrows feeding their young in one of the bird-boxes in our garden. 
It's the second brood this year and they seem to be thriving. 
I read that sparrow numbers are diminishing in the UK and friends in Ireland say they rarely see any nowadays so it's truly a joy to find them in such abundance here in Guernsey. 




 















SPARROW

A sparrow’s building in the box
we fixed up on the wall this spring:
hardly the tenant we desired;
a dull, unprepossessing thing,
unlike the Technicolor tit
but then, we had no choice in it.

He builds his nest there, bit by bit.
Labours to find, fetch, gather, knit,
while we watch on and gradually
applaud his efforts, even cheer
this hero who was no one’s choice,
uplifted by his presence here.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

WINGS OF DESIRE

On a recent trip to Brussels I visited the Musee des Beaux-Arts and saw Pieter Bruegel's Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, a truly impressive painting by one of my favourite Old Masters. 
The Icarus story is one we can all relate to: a tale of a young man whose ambition overrode his judgement.
Which of us has not, at one time or another, aimed impossibly high and consequently been brought crashing to earth when reality shone its fearsome rays on our ludicrous aspirations. 




ICARUS

I am falling from high
but they do not notice.

The air, through wings
that promised much,
keens like a mourner.

Creeping ants below
evolve
to shepherd, ploughman, angler.

I fall unseen.

Someone
will dream it later.

I have no time
to scream.

The water is
hard as stone.

Monday, 10 June 2019

PANDORA'S BOX

I'm a great admirer of the work of English film director, the late David Lean, whose cinematic triumphs ranged from the wonderful low-budget classic, Hobson's Choice, to epics such as Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, the latter of which launched actor Peter O'Toole to stardom.  In 1945 Lean directed a film version of a Noel Coward play, Still Life, a poignant love story about a couple who meet in a railway station: the sort of film that my mother's generation would have referred to as 'a weepie'. The film was entitled Brief Encounter.
My story's title is obviously a play on the film's name and is also about an encounter in a railway station but there the similarity ends, except, as a few film buffs may note, both my protagonist and the male lead in David Lean's film are named Harvey.
Briefcase Encounter was recently placed third in the Guernsey Writers Flash Fiction competition.  





 








BRIEFCASE ENCOUNTER

Eurostar disgorged its passengers like a pod expelling seeds.
Harvey, clutching his briefcase, allowed himself to be carried forward slowly, legs still stiff from the journey.
Security checks were in progress but Harvey moved forward confidently, certain his bland exterior would ensure cursory attention.
Waved through, he waited by the railing close to Betjeman’s statue, briefcase resting at his feet.
He saw the woman approach; her stride confident. She gave him a quick, cold smile and set down her briefcase, departing with his. Harvey picked up her case, identical to his own, and hurried to board the returning Eurostar to Paris.
He wanted to be far away from London when Pandora released the deadly spores in Oxford Street.
Safely aboard the speeding train, Harvey cradled the briefcase, itching to handle the stacks of hundred-euro notes he knew lay inside. He thought of Pandora preparing to text him with the combination to open the case: his portal to a new life.
Of the devastation awaiting London’s population, he thought very little. After all, who said life was fair?
Mid-way through the Tunnel, Harvey was on his third cognac when the text came through. He fumbled with the lock; suddenly remembered Pandora’s icy smile, and felt terror engulf him as he opened the case.