The Writing of Thane Zander
General Poetry Twelve
The Hawg Series
General Poetry Six
General Poetry Seven
General Poetry Eight
General Poetry Nine
General Poetry Ten
General Poetry Eleven
General Poetry Twelve
General Poetry Thirteen
General Poetry Fourteen
General Poetry Fifteen
General Poetry Sixteen
General Poetry Seventeen
General Poetry Eighteen
General Poetry Nineteen
General Poetry Twenty
General Poetry Twenty One
General Poetry Twenty Two
General Poetry Twenty Three
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Poetry of an eclectic Nature

Grey Blue ducks fly south

 

On a wing and a prayer

 

Statues in a pork covered in pigeon poop

a hippy smokes a joint on a bench nearby

Sally and Jane chase dandelions around.

 

From the Maimai guns poke.

 

Could be any street really,

the stark darkness of squealing tyres

laid to rest on a hot tarmac, planes land

 

Over the weed ponds game birds fly

 

They stand sentinel at the local war cemetery

the new arrivals draped in cloth

widows and widowers cry.

 

The Everglades shine a welcome to land

 

Sports people from far and wide

winter their sporting bride

more soldiers died.

 

In a war where fowl have no place

 

A mark of respect, the lowering on a flag

half mast to indicate the passing of a dignitary,

if for a soldier past, be endless, such is war.

 

South to the lands of water and trees.

 

It’s official, thousands passed

thousands more to follow

tens of thousand Iraqis gone.

 

The rape of a Land of the Sunni and Shia

 

Ducks have never flown there

yet enough guns to start a war

disarm the fighting, factions.

 

The Death Dirge

 

Warning, this is morose, I told you ok?

yet you wander on with my deathly reverie

awaiting the words to fry your soul

the list of must do’s before darkness falls

you await my telling you what death is like.

 

I sit and ponder that which I should tell,

living a life in a living hell, alongside doyens

well strap on your boots and let me take you for a ride

from east to west, north to south, the words

aplenty eschewed from my mouth.

 

List One

 

Argumentum

Torch

Spare Batteries

Water

canned food

a towel

(for wetting wounds)

three burner cooker

the bandages

to mind sores

a sharp knife

for amputation

a Ouija board

to summon earthquake

friends list

to let them know

you are dead.

 

List Two

 

A wheelchair

age concern brochure

an elderly rest home

the Times Life section on euthanasia,

a needle filled with cyanide

the will

two wills in fact

one for failure

one for success

the watch that ticks by till dying time

To My Children love letter

a coffin of meagre means

a plot in the local cemetery

a reason now to die.

 

List Three

 

A car

A cliff

a simple urge to fly

 

Marzipan

 

I made

marzipan

from

a recipe

my

mother

left

behind.

 

The kitchen’s a mess, days of leftover food and recipe scraps littering bench tops and drawers.  Visitors marvelled at how it all didn’t smell, fooled by scent blocks everywhere.  Red Mars at night a point of reference for a wayward chef.

 

A sailor

at

sea

washes salt

from

aching limbs

the triptych

shines

blue

under

clear skies

the life

of children

made easier

by astute

parental

attendance

 

Rocks from a  volcanic eruption smouldering and spilling down snow covered slopes, a man caught between a hut and a boulder, emergency services removed both, leg amputated to ease the pain, dress the wound, a volcano still smokes, danger ahead.

 

The Arrival

of Jesus II

king of all men

tell that

to the Muslim

faithful

who await the coming

of Mohammed

two prophets

to bring peace

to stop the wars

yet

in time

war will still

rage.

 

My mother died of cancer, she was only 54 and went way too early, her sister died just before her of cancer too, and not long after her brother died on the operating table undergoing a triple bypass.  I live my life never knowing how or when I’m due, God said 62 once and I’d be happy with that.

 

Mince

pies

the

Christmas

ones

with

sweetmeat

and cake

pastry

mirror

presents

opened

for

children,

Dad’s

clear away

debris

to the rubbish

bin,

filled

to

overflowing.

 

The days were long in the outback town of Coonawarra, the Aborigines long used to the heat and flies.  The Australian males mostly dig for opals to make their fortune, the Aborigines mostly get drunk on the White Fells firewater

 

 

Subterranean Visitations

 

Rustic reds on blue azure mantel

yuletide yellows yammering for life

those grey green grasses dance daffodil dances

 

a bright light assuages bent cottonwoods

the bright orange of an afternoon Sun

purple cassocks wave in a welcoming breeze

 

and in the sonoran desert brownish cacti point

the water beneath scarce, the memory of another life

in children with minds fresh from advancing decay

 

The black limousine delivers white actors

white limousines deliver black actresses

the golden globes won by the best skilled.

 

Another day shines bright white on burnt retinas

the feeling you get when you stare too long

the sense of losses as a brown coffin tilts down.

 

 

Do you love me My Love?

 

“Do you love me My Love?”

 

“Yes I do my dear!”

 

Things are simple really

no need to over express sentiments

no need to overstate a power of being

all the want to express in short breaths

things that need saying from time to time.

 

“I’ve bought you a new car.”

 

“You needn’t have, I don’t drive.”

 

The hast in knowledge is to impress

to shine where only black/grey illuminates

to place priorities where they firmly belong

the car is for me to drive you in comfort.

 

“Are you ready to make another of you?”

 

“Not yet my darling, we have plenty of time.”

 

Those days when the sun warms relationships,

when five foot waves allow surfing of the water kind,

when a sand dune is scaled and slid down,

the idea children should arrive soon diminishing.

 

“Have you found your niche in life?”

 

“No Husband, I am still searching.”

 

The traps of old age beckon, sad days ahead,

I leave her to chase her dreams, her visions

they no longer express what I want to hear,

My niche is unclear, I need to search the internet

 

‘Maybe Wikipedia will have an answer for me.’

 

 

 

 

The P Words

 

Plant

 

a kiss on my dear cheeks,

a potted tree in the front yard

a foot on either side of the state line

 

Potty

 

Where kids go to wee

where nutcases go when estranged

not putty, used in building things.

 

Passion

 

a fruit filled with enamoured delight

the heat in the bedroom hitting 40C

the kiss (again) that registers 6.8 on the Richter scale.

 

PotBelly

 

an American Blues singer of the finest quality

the stove that keeps winter’s chill at bay

the shape of a bay on a coast bereft of shape.

 

Playboy

 

a Hefner vision turned into stark reality

a girl that works for the Hefner empire

a sleek Greek with smoothed back greasy hair

 

Problems

 

in this world too many to resolve

in the bedroom – Viagra called for

in the finance sector, Wall Street plummets.

 

I like the way you are

 

I like the way you drive

how you take charge and rocket through space

how you make other vehicles disappear

with your wild driving style.

 

I like the way you move

gyrating and cavorting on the dancefloor

generating whirligigs and free-for-alls

with your sexually tempered tempo.

 

I like that way you sex

hot and heavy in the heat of passion

not ready to cede passion for pleasure

with your hips driving home.

 

I like the way you moan

when the children do something wrong

when the car in front slows to a stop

with your lips pursed for action.

 

I like the way you sleep

your dreams clearly giving you great pleasure

the mumblings next to me cognisant of sweat

when you awake and we ride.

 

Yes there are times I like with you

though those dreams have me worried.

 

 

The Invasion of Poland, 1939

 

from - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Poland_(1939)

 

the September Campaign," "Kampania wrześniowa,"

a time when Nazi Germany and the USSR signed a deal

to split Eastern unit into two zones, Nazi and Russian

to power share.

 

It started on the 1st September 1939

was over by 3rd October, split in two

the Polish Army withdrawn to neutral Romania.

 

In a place in history, people starved

others got by, Jews rounded up and herded

like cattle to the concentration camps.

 

The polish rights were severed

cut from reality, survival

the need to get by with new masters.

 

20% of the pre war population perished

the Germans took hold of the USSR bits

when they invaded the USSR in June 1941

 

the Red Army reclaimed it in 1944,

the Germans on the run, tails between legs

the Red Occupation to last for many years.

 

The Fighting Man

 

Built like a two tonne Sherman Tank

reminiscent of Goliath of Biblical terms

the strength of ten elephants on heat

 

made to withstand desert storms

the battle from ground and air, his realm

takes out regimental guards and terrorists

 

a food supply pure uranium, essence

the drip feed of water from a portable reservoir

the stamina of running bulls in a Spanish town

 

Takes to water with special feet, mechanised heels

chases death ships and cargo bearers with alacrity

the patience to fire nerve rockets to destroy pain.

 

In his death throes centuries from now, he’ll remember

a man in a machine, sort of Robocop of the Army

the need to strip him bear to walk alone, unarmed.

 

Even Sad People Smoke

 

They stand outside at work come rain, hail, or shine

puffing away in a healthy environment, fresh air

 

their conversation rigged to the rigours of the day

their need to be outdoors once every hour or so, done

 

at night, the pubs and clubs, someone’s private home

out puffing away never once looking sad, ecstatic.

 

Yes I smoke, once every 45 minutes of my waking day

yet I feel no sadness, just overheard someone say so.

 

The Last Train to Babylon

 

You made a million dollars last week, yet you cry the world owes you a favour.  The washing in your room ranks five deep, and rank is what it is.  Spend some money on a maid or housekeeper.

 

The Last Train to Babylon

left the rails south of Baghdad

the carnage for all to see

Sunni, Shia, Kurd, and foreigners

the taste of blood drying on a mouth smashed

I open

the emergency

box

try

to lift

the last

medical supplies

to help

patch

the wounded.

 

The cup on the nightstand beamed piping hot coffee, the cigarette in the ashtray drawing down.  The polite discussion on the TV makes for background noise.  I see the love for the written word flash across the screen as you tempted another morsel from the acclamation journal.

 

The Iraqi’s flashed a warning to all

the tracks being blown to smithereens

no, the oil pipeline is safe, secure

the days of Hussein the Hated passed

you crawl

through

damaged

carriages

looking for children

broken bones

dead hearts

the loss

great

compared

to the war

that rages

diminishing now

a scream

another

lost mother

 

The ride downtown to choose your next business partner a major hassle with cars locked in grid-lock, the cell phone constantly beating out the next meeting.  Cairo called to say something big is going down in the Middle East, something about a train of peacekeeping citizens being sabotaged for the sake of religion.

 

The crucifix, the star of David,

a mullah with a memory of the Koran

practice death rights amongst the carnage

the disinterred bodies of the dead and dying

passing on their way, no matter the medical supplies.

 

I walk amongst

the evil

stand pithy

to their

ministrations

toss love bonds

deep

into

the

bowel

of the Eagle

silently

the Last Post

plays

another soldier

another three

citizens

the delay

between now

and then

the outcome

ongoing.

 

She draws the curtain in the office, now dimly lit by fluorescent tubes, the computer screen blinking email.  You watch her go about her job, wondering if she would wear a burkha?  Of course not, this is the free world.  The urgency of another phone call reminds you to check your investments, to dial the doctor for another check up.  Oh, she says the doctor is in Baghdad to help.

 

Last Days in the Palace Grujon

 

We fumbled around in the dark

lights long dimmed by neglect

the carpet covered in droppings

the furniture dust covered and barren.

 

You pointed out the dust on the mirrors

the genuine misconduct of housekeeping

long passed since human habitation

the kitchen rust coloured and stenches

 

The real estate agent holds her nose closed

the place where the downstairs toilet overflowed

the smell of rat urine and bird faeces

the need to think this one over for prosperity

 

“but monsieur, it is a bargain, ready to spend”

we shuffle upstairs, the second level a little cleaner

the smell from downstairs permeates every room

the windows nailed shut since the French Revolution

 

Today we open the chequebook, especially the view

from the third floor bedrooms and a sitting room,

the dust thinner here and less of a worry, nor smells

we look at the spare cash register, place an interest

 

That was thirteen months ago now, the sun shines

and every room shines brighter for our work, guests

wander around the palace and enjoy, the gardens

manicured by your tender love, my forte decorating

 

No this isn’t central France or anywhere in France

this is a little town in New Zealand called Oamaru

and the Palace Grujon is a fictitious name

for a three storied Bed and Breakfast my wife wouldn’t buy.

 

Something to do with cold winters.

 

Sniffing Glue

 

It's a problem in most societies

the constant use and abuse of solvents

to gain an immediate high.

 

You see kids wandering the streets

with hoods up and a bag to their nose

see them in the supermarket, blotchy faces

 

It's a sign that society doesn't overly care

that it's willing to make it easy for solvents

to be purchased over the counter no questions asked.

 

Sure the Wikipedia article talks more about

registered inhalants, yet it still mentions something

about the scourge on society, the blot on the face.

 

My Bad Back

 

It catches me unawares

bend down to pick something up

crack

bad

back

smack my head to ease the pain

the lasting ache

I wish it was fake

but no,

I move

this way

or that

and hang my hat

the pain hits

crack

it goes again

and when

we men

get

bad

backs

it hurts.

 

Sir Robert Falcon Scott

 

We set out on this adventure

to beat Amundsen to the South Pole

as prepared as we could be,

 

The ice was broken with wind driven snow

Antarctica's best defense against Man

the want to make haste tempered by needs

 

needs to have enough food

needs to have good clothing

needs to manage good distance

needs to be the first.

 

Scott: I stand at the Pole, the Norwegian flag nearly decimated by the strong Polar Winds, the sign we had failed, the shoulders of the men slouched in failure, too hard to get them going again, the loss so hard to take.

 

He made for the Ross Sea, his return journey

the supplies dwindling as endeavour bit,

the rice swelling with the cold, cold, bitter cold

 

Scott:  Evans perished today, a sign perhaps that we won't make it.  We pee and defecate in the tent now, a sure sign this will be our dying place.  The wind outside too cold and bitter and very cutting, we lost another to the storm, Oates, frostbitten and sour.  If I had a pipe I would share it, but all I have is words of comfort and our diaries.  Some write letters home.  I estimate were are within reach of One Ton Camp, but physically we are readying for death, too far gone.

 

Scott is remembered as a great adventurer

even though he lost on two counts

the fact he tried I suppose evidence enough

 

Do we hear about the deeds of the dead on Everest?

 

Ten minutes before Stanley met Livingstone

 

Livingstone:

 

I sense a change in the mood of the party.  They too sense something momentous.  The blacks have a spring in their step, the Arabs - measured increase in pace.  Personally I have the feeling a new mountain will come into view, or perhaps another new animal species.

 

Stanley:

 

I’ve been lost too long now though I know I’m travelling in the right direction for something?  The carriers and horsemen trot single file down the jungle growth, the undergrowth hacked with machetes.  We sense something new, something daring around the next bend, but all have been through too much to even contemplate.

 

The meeting:

 

Stanley I presume.

 

The last time two white men met in Africa

was never, unless you talk about the Crusades

but this far into deepest Africa, no one

the light in the afternoon sky dimmed

as hands were shaken, backs patted

such good luck and fortune for the two to meet

a few hundred yards to left or right

a possibility history would never had been made.

 

What she knew about my lineage.

 

I met her online

she knew more about me than I her

did she have association with my ex?

 

We’d talk for hours

me more to help her get through depression

she lost her husband, heart attack

 

I was a willing ear

so we’d chat and soon it was more than chat

long discussions of past and present, future too

 

the breakfast I made

was soon followed by a hearty lunch

the dinner we shared with alacrity,

 

we swapped addresses

presents this way and that, warmly received

cards for birthday and Christmas, love maybe

 

yes I went missing for two years

she never gave up hope, waited everyday

a hint of a return, a snippet of news

 

through my Ex off all things

the reassurance I’d be back, to swoon her again

yet still, I wonder how my ex got her email address?

 

Ribbonwood Lane and the Castigans

 

The ripple on the water at Blackmarsh Grove spirals

aquamarine mirrors of Oaks and Willows reflect upon

artist Monique paints the scene with pale watercolours

her sense of hue redolent in a summers day refracting.

 

A Blackberry hedge down Ribbonwood Lane shines indigo black,

Children run and press themselves in for the fruit within,

Those gates at Reubensteins farmlet open to produce seekers,

the painter taking it all in as he daubs oils of the Lane scene.

 

The Minstrel Diego sings a life song as he dances down,

giving the lane another voice, another colour on canvass,

both painters imbibe in his enthusiasm, drink it to palette

seven cars in a funeral procession drive through darkly.

 

Hanky Panky the maize crop scarecrow whistles a bird song,

a farm free of birds, the crops still in one piece, just

the chime on Mayor Dromgool’s clock tower chimes mid afternoon,

people run hither and yon to attend churches as is done.

 

Ribbonwood Lane resounds to the patter of feet and children,

the lifeblood of a farm town drawn to reality, beauty, signs,

that the time of life is slow and meandering, painted,

the artists continue apace, gathering ribbons of colour, daubing.

 

Night comes all too soon, buggy’s with oil lamps and whips,

the horses clip clopping down the Lane, snorting for effort,

the painters long gone now, light turns to dark, gloomy,

the blackberries hiding for another day, the Castigans claiming night.

 

Yes, the Castigans, or the body snatchers, the night callers,

the long black dray, and Clydesdale horses whipped

the lady Candroghast laying dying at the Cottage Clamatis

just one house down from Cappy’s Corn Farm, around the bend.

 

They overstretch their welcome, the children run for cover,

the great horses clop their way down the drive, whinnying,

at the sound of the horses, the widow passes, the body readied,

for it’s final journey down Ribbonwood Lane, past the chiming clock.

 

 

Bullet

 

Bullet

Ignited into action by a firing pin,

sent rifling out of a long barrel,

spinning through the air, nose cutting

burning air molecules, dust motes dying

 

Target

Boar stamping, rutting

sharp tusks upwards point

dirt matted fur, muddy

the hole in the side, bloody

tusks pointing sideways, death

 

Hunter

Walks with joie de vrie

knife held heavy

in right hand

left – 308 calibre firepower

the twitching prey slowly passing

a thought - wild pork for dinner, fresh

the thoughts of mother nature and her bounty.

 

Bullet II

Designed to kill

designed to thrill

designed to spill

blood on a barren hill.

 

 

The Day Jesus failed Martyrdom

 

Ok, so Jesus was born on the 25th Dec 1AD

why is it then we know nothing of his life

just that he was a carpenter in his latter years.

 

The Romans were in the habit of crucifying Jews

it was like a business, two or three a day perhaps

the remains left dangling for worrying citizenry,

 

I read the Bible, the bit that mattered, the begat this

and the begat that, the progression of life and Men

I see how Islamist use the Old testament too, Ibriham

 

Today people banter religion in all realms, lazily

like you HAVE TO BE a Christian or Muslim,

Nothing else, just a believer, well I believe in God

 

Is that enough?

 

I cringe when people try to force their will on others,

turn TV evangelists off where they belong, black screen

Lucifer the fire god ready for the next sucker to turn it on.

 

Arrowtown

 

Little place, tucked away behind soaring mountains

a pub, grocery store, a police station

some other stores that pander to human needs

 

In winter the ice glued to the roads

cars and SUV’s aplenty slide and skid

the Doctor administering to swollen ankles

 

the tress in autumn gold and brown

the hills green and white, the snow and tussocks

the water off Lake Hawea ice blue, aquamarine.

 

The houses, some ancient for New Zealand times,

built to withstand bitter winters and boiling summers

the design to withstand the foibles of human afflictions.

 

Sadly the population is increasing, growing

no longer small town countryside, but tres trendy

the dollars from the cities building mansions aplenty.

 

There’s a dog that wanders the main street, peeing here,

shitting there, demeaning the new uncaring population,

a cat climbs a tree and discovers vertigo, meows loudly,

 

Yes

small town

New Zealand

could be anywhere.

 

Testing the palette.

 

There’s a raison d’etre for the existence of everything

 

Buttered Haddock for taste

garlic to spook vampires

Tabasco sauce to inflame a digestible stomach,

 

Food, according taste, is a happening thing

 

The Dog rolls and awaits petting

a cat licks it’s paws after another delicacy

the Horse in the back paddock whinnies

 

The Desert burns salad plants

 

Mark rinsed off the dishes, down a martini

Sue ate a small course of oysters and clams

Xien Hui She turns noodles deftly on chopsticks.

 

The dice on the casino rolls sevens

 

Making babies was the main task of newlyweds

seven ships sailed silently off to war, secrets

a mailman drops the good letters and ditches the bad

 

Frozen X chromosomes await a new life, stem cells

 

In laboratories world wide the race is on

to build a human out of a petrie dish, there’s more

penicillin cures a lot, but oh boy, the side effects

 

LSD and Apromax are NOT good for the mentally ill

 

These two children, Janet and Sean, play hopscotch

a bully on a skateboard terrorises adults, knock outs

a barn in the next farm caught fire up went the winter feed

 

Lemon and grapefruit turn your face up in a grimace

 

President Bush the Second thinks he’s US royalty

Osama Bin Laden would love to disprove that

In Iraq, children are shell shot, stop the war.

 

Thinking about a lot of things.

 

The day dawns clear when snow is in bed

take a spade to a pile of horse manure, spread

great things happen when the shit is flung miles,

 

originally you could write a poem about nothing

the heat from a heat seeking missile chasing it’s tail

doctors smack babies bums for the pleasure of life.

 

Roebuck’s on a Sunday afternoon is busier than hell

coffee the order of the day, The Gates of Hades beckoning

salad tossed by dumb waiters delivering red wine.

 

Spoken truths blast ice off towering glaciers

the river ensuing suffers ice blight for eons

the dam at the foot of Gracial Canyon provides power.

 

South of the border are hungry heathens, a threat

freedom discolours a border rent with blood, rust stains

woman give birth on sand floor huts, the afterbirth brown.

 

No rain to speak of, the trees leaves dying of blight

The Hawkes Bay rugby team travels through a gorge

the White Horse Rapids scatter white water hither/yon.

 

The Houses of Parliament are bathed in morning glow,

the beetroot top billing in a house full of men, glasses

spread around with decision making whiskey and dry.

 

Moving the ball on the pitch from goal mouth to goal mouth

the players from Mid West Malawi and The Belgium Congo

the letters on Winston Churchill’s night stand unread.

 

Buzzards over a desert where the last wagon train rolls

Sioux and Apache remember the Buffalo, chase wild dreams

magnificent Genuphrena the ancient Redwood thrives.

 

You couldn’t ask for a more baffling experience, time

minutes slipping away without a drug test proving haste,

The second hand a reminder that your life is coming to an end.

 

Suddenly the letters of the keyboard leap out at you

begs the question have you the eyes to write, cycling

the energy expended to make sure days are not wasted.

 

Fantastia

 

You drink from poisoned chalice

the nectar of Evermore and Gilead

 

the ancients turn in their graves

pasteurised dreams instill fear

 

the virgins of Slathhaven pass

their white gossamer gowns flowing

 

seven children of Gamorey yodel

the mountains resonate with their love

 

My mind pictures your graven haste

the waters of Hickledgely shimmer

 

Today the Kings of Men and Women march

to battle the Dragon of Drugs, cursory

 

the Battle of Lock silent under dying skies

the blood of nations and dreams spilt

 

silently the Wizard of Commonsense

pastes notices of Cholmonderly

 

a mouse and a cat practice yoga in the glen

the dog and the rat chase their tales, again.

 

Robots of the 23rd century flurry and hiss

the maiden chooses the biggest to kiss.

 

 

What it means to be alive

 

I have no dreams of death

nor the afterlife

though I’m assured both exist

 

I scratch my head

a lacework of baldism

the Mohawk out of character

for my advancing years

 

I shudder from time to time

wonder if death was stalking

fading in and out with nausea

and wobbly limbs sweating

yes the end eschews nearly.

 

I have no dreams of life

nor the past

though I’m assured both existed.

 

My mind plays tricks with my body

there’s a game being played by forces

that invade and assure me I’ll be fine

I choke back the tears for my parents

I shudder from time to time

the thought that love lost is death gained

the days when I look with hazy eyes

fresh from another tearful session

self discovery has come too late.

 

I have no dreams of passion

nor life actionless

the light in my head switching close to red.

 

I married a sweetie, she is still sweet

we no longer share our love, I killed that

my love affair with other lives

the surety my Bipolar was in charge.

 

I sometimes wonder, why I’m still alive?

God’s will I hear you say, and I agree,

I am meant to be a good poet, effort

to write about such things as life and death

to arrange English in a form others say Wow! at.

 

I have dreams of futures past

a merry go round

I lick my forget-me-not pencil and write

 

I strode to the front of the cue, pre death

asked St Peter the necessary question,

I walked away bemused, but of course

I’m not a Christian, so where do I go?

 

I created a heaven on earth with a few poems

surely the right of passage is the right one

lick postage stamps to all those that know

send a warning my life is about to pass,

I don’t cry, I just know that in time, my time comes.

 

I have no dreams at all

passing nightmares

the superhero in my own film factory

 

You God, made me believe, yet you tease

a cramp here, a tweak there, an itch all over,

is it a heart attack, or cancer, or something else

maybe a hereditary complaint not yet known to me,

 

The day is quiet now, just Rugby league on the radio

the light of my computer and shallow glow globe,

five minutes since I started writing this eulogy,

I have cold sweats, pins and needles, doctor you say

nay if I don’t post tomorrow you know my pen is silent.

 

No dreams left to fulfill

she died a while ago

my heart still beating out hope.

 

The Siege of St Petersburg (Leningrad)

 

It happened in 1941, German troops circled a city,

a negative effect on a population used to excess,

suddenly closed off to Russia, death loomed.

 

Babushka and elderly made up the 800 thousand dead,

between 1941 and 1944, the worst winter in years

food rationed to a pound a day, to get by on.

 

Doroga Zhizni – the Road of Life a bridge of ice

the winter frozen, in summer mud and grime

some escaped certain death, most remained.

 

Petra Daboravov – skin and bones then

remembers the hard times, a large concentration camp

a city where treasures were hidden in St Isaacs’ Cathedral.

 

The solace of vodka sought to numb each siege day

the ice freezing on long beards and children’s feet

the dead lying in the street to be uplifted by the throng.

 

Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery filled to overflowing

500 thousand buried in their home city, siege does that,

the stink in summer too overbearing for the hardened.

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