Category: Poetry

Two journeys, one destination

I remember listening to T. S. Eliot reading his poem The Four Quartets for the first time. The words held me spellbound: “We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.” My wife and I had first travelled to Inverness four years ago, we came … Read More Two journeys, one destination

#ShortWrytz : three things

Sometimes there is a kind of poetry in the arrangement of objects in a landscape, not seen, fully, before the finger presses them into personal history. The symmetry, the visual song, is seen later, as here with ancient rocks, weathered and waiting; the out at sea lighthouse; and the distant volcanic dome, worn down into a bullet by millennia. The arrangement is not created, … Read More #ShortWrytz : three things

Wine with Crows

We sat, in end of day repose To speak of evenings drawing cold And grass with moisture in its folds And share our wine with crows ➰ One, bolder than the rest Climbed high, as if to rise and reach A silver phantom, caught in sun’s Descending rays out of the west ➰ Within the moment’s crest and hiss What thoughts, I wondered, passed … Read More Wine with Crows

Crow on a Summer Breeze

I am crow, on summer’s breeze Glimpsed in love with beating wings Within the bright sun’s leaving. ➰ My feathers’ strong and hollow shafts Are filled with air you breathe And softly lit in our reflected passion. ➰ Remember this when dark and sodden bird Looks out, short day’d from tree of Ash Asking nothing of your walk of logs to fire. ➰ Raise … Read More Crow on a Summer Breeze

Top Drawer

Will I layer my data, uniform, Till that obedient plateau Where the arranged and ruling desktop stamps me ‘passed’, no threat Or Shine and gripe, outrageously Refuse to corner, close or fit Until a newborn’s bloody fingers Stain the pallettes Of billionaires’ mahogany ©Stephen Tanham, 2020

Unfolding Lilac

And then one day there will unfold Before delighted gaze A purple ring where thickest mud Had tempered walks on winter days ⦿ Where sliding boots had struggled To cross the sodden land Our eyes now look with wonder To gaze on colour’s gentle hand ⦿ Time and tide’s persistence Their essence of ascent From sodden bulb to flower’s joy A hidden rite of … Read More Unfolding Lilac

A Hundred Years of Calais

You took us to your window To see the cliffs of dawn Across the miles they shone like sheets Hung on a washing line We knew, you said, beyond the chalk On scribbled boards you waited And prayed that you were searching, too For those who searched for you… ©Stephen Tanham

The Opening

I know the words The long-learned words With which this view is framed These slats of wood I crafted round The Opening… ➰ Yet there it lies, unshut before me The rawness of the world Behind my words I kneel, now Afraid to stop their flow’s intent In widening my wood ➰ One day the words will be unspeakable The splinters brushed aside By … Read More The Opening

Out Along the Song

And so we meet again Bright blaze of flaring life A green defiant in its going Ashamed of nothing in its flowing Up to the crispy end it sings With melody of screaming joy So far beyond our space and time And out along the song To where there is no right and wrong ➰ And when the crisp is mush And when the … Read More Out Along the Song

#ShortWrytz : “thank you!”

Thank you. Oh thank you… thank you. 😎 Steve

Primal screen

Somewhere in the frontal cortex of our brains there’s a very special junction – a place where we learned to do something truly different with our minds… Let’s call it the Primal Screen… Our spines can be considered the highway of our historical evolution: the inherited paths of form and energy that developed from single cells in oceans, through fish, lizards and apes. At … Read More Primal screen

Orphans of Summer

Orphaned shoots of summer’s fullness Sway high in January’s blue Like gifted children graced with wisdom Defying winter’s hidden fury Escaping falsely changing hue ➰ Against the black we could not see you Yet, dancing in the violent storm Your gentle tips flowed round the deluge Untouched by night’s electric harm A younger magic, bold and warm ➰ But, come the day when icy … Read More Orphans of Summer

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