Saturday, 4 July 2015

Waves: Metaphor for Life


Some readers also dip into my fiction blog, and those of you who enjoyed the first part of my fantasy novel, Mamelon, will be pleased to know that I am (just about) on track for completing the second (final) part by the end of this year.  Sorry for the delay, but I am still experiencing difficulty walking (even with a walking stick) after my accident last year. However, I am learning to manage the pain and get out and about. Better news, though, is that hormone therapy continues to keep my prostate cancer at bay. Gotta look on the bright side of life, YES.

Now, regular readers will know I love the sea. For me, it is one of nature’s finest metaphors for life; love, war, peace, spirituality, inspiration, fulfilment, regret…a potpourri of its more splendid aspects while, at the same time, acknowledging the starkness of its reality and the comfort of home grown illusion.

 Photo; from the Internet

 WAVES: METAPHOR FOR LIFE

Waves, splashing
against me  like a meeting up
of old friends…
rushing to shower me with kisses,
only to run away…
just as you did towards the end
of our living together
when we had no more giving
for each other,
only the pain of recalling
how once we were,
one life, one love, twin waves
embracing the same shore,
flotsam spreading across pebbles
like prayer beads
at your throat, fragile fingers
trembling at each fastening
and unfastening, hearts rising, falling,
like waves lingering
oh, so briefly at a still much loved,
if (now) all but deserted shore,
my back to a crumbling sea wall,
ever listening out for your call – but
only seagulls…

Copyright R. N. Taber 2004; 2013

[Note: This poem has been slightly revised from an earlier version that appears in 1st eds. of The Third Eye by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2004; revised ed. in e-format in preparation.]


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Last Orders OR A Leave-Taking


As regular readers worldwide will know, I’ve been living with prostate cancer for 5+ years now and am doing OK. Hormone therapy continues to keep my PSA low and the cancer at bay. However, I will be 70 this year and time is not on my side.

One of these days (hopefully not for a good while yet) the Grim Reaper will pay a visit, and my blogs will eventually disappear from the Internet.  Now, the blogs are the only record of my revised poems as well as many others that have not been published and are not included in my collections. I am considering publishing them as e-books to Kindle Direct Publishing. If any blog readers think they might be interested in buying (inexpensive) e-editions, please let me know as the response (or lack of it) will determine whether or not I proceed. I would have to open a separate bank account and if the chances of at least breaking even financially are not looking too good, there is no point.

In the past, I have self-published my poetry because no publishers were interested in my gay-interest material which I have always insisted on including. [Why should p[poetry on a gay theme be seen as something quite separate from poetry on any other major theme?) Yes, I have broken even, but, no, I will not publish any more print editions.

Should I feel sufficiently encouraged to go ahead, I may well try and publish the serialized novels on my fiction blog to KDP as well. [Incidentally I am still working on ‘Mamelon’, Book 2.]:


Now, I don’t allow comments on the blogs because too many people flood blogs with irrelevant, even silly comments but if you would like to express support, please email me:


Meanwhile...

Of all the love poems I have written, this has to be one of my favourites.

LAST ORDERS or A LEAVE-TAKING

May the last thing I see
be a lark dropping
from the sky;
May the last thing I hear
be its sweet song
of cheer;
May the last thing I smell
be a fragrance
of flowers;
May the last dream I have
be the life that
was ours;
May the last thing I touch
be the pleasure
of your skin;
May the last thing we share
be a toast to love, in
homemade wine

Before the good earth
calls “Time!”

[From: First Person Plural by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2002]


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Cry Me Sometimes


A colleague once asked me if I thought he was ‘betraying’ his late partner by finding happiness with someone else.

Well, why be lonely when you can be happy, and who would want anyone to be lonely anyway?

As it happens, they were a gay couple, not that sexuality has anything to do with love, loss, or moving on. Moreover, as I have said on the blogs more than once, moving on doesn’t have to mean leaving anyone behind. Love never dies, but remains an inspiration along life's journey and beyond. 

Ah, but never compare love and lovers; that isn't fair on anyone.

Now, yes, it’s good to cry sometimes, but let’s never forget how to laugh, love …and live.

CRY ME SOMETIMES

Don’t cry me
because you still love me,
yet cry me sometimes
if only because it so happened
I couldn’t stay

Don’t cry our love
left in your safekeeping,
yet keep it safe
if only because love deserves
its say

Don’t cry the times
we’d always pull together,
yet cry me sometimes
if only because it so happened
I couldn’t stay

Don’t cry the mistakes
we’ll always be sorry we made,
yet cry me sometimes
if only for those we didn’t get
to put right

Don’t cry me
because time did the dirty on us,
yet cry me sometimes
if only for your being happy
with someone else

Copyright R. N. Taber 2011



Saturday, 20 June 2015

Slump OR (Almost) in Free Fall


This may not be one of my better poems, but it has a certain therapeutic value, for me at any rate. 

Haven’t we all been there at some time or another, past caring and simply wanting to shut the world out, slump in a comfortable armchair and forget about everything and everyone for a while…?

The trouble with slumping is that it has a nasty habit of temporarily removing life’s more attractive distractions from the inner eye and insisting it takes us down the darker side of Memory Lane, thereby making us feel even worse…

At the time I wrote this poem, I was recovering from and reflecting on a very bad cold when a good ‘slump’ is just about all I’d felt like doing. 

For many years, writing a poem has been my way of not letting ‘slump’ get the better of me.

SLUMP or (ALMOST) IN FREE FALL

Slump in a chair, thinking about life
and all the people I’ve known,
wondering where have they gone?

Slump in a chair, thinking about life
and all the things I have done,
wondering where I went wrong?

Slump in a chair, thinking about life
and choices made from the heart,
wondering where fear played a part?

Slump in a chair, thinking about life
and lovers who promised to stay
but left within hours of a night or day

Slump in a chair, thinking about life
and all the years wasted on regret
where I should have stood up to fate

Slump in a chair, thinking about life
and every epiphany I’ve known,
wondering where did I go so wrong?

Slump in a chair, thinking about life
and growing older, weaker,
for knowing I could have done better

Slump in a chair, thinking about death,
and all the people I’ve known,
wondering if there’s a hell or heaven?
  
Slump in a chair, watching television,
soaking up soap opera friends ,
lost the plot, left wondering how it ends

Slump in a chair, fret about being alone?
Not this time (slam on the brakes);
will get my life back, whatever it takes

Copyright R N. Taber 2008

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Dressing Table Wars


I suspect that aspects of the human self are as often at war with each other as suing for peace it is a confusing, even distressing scenario of which mind, body and spirit not unsurprisingly or infrequently grow weary, sometimes all at once, and we sink into depression.

Sadly, there is still a stigma attached to any form of mental illness, not least because few people understand it unless they have been depressed through it themselves or close to someone who has. It was much the same when I experienced a severe nervous breakdown some 30+ years ago. Few people understood what I was going through, and it was only after a long, lonely battle over several years that I began to feel well again. I even managed to find and hold down a job although it would be a few more years yet before the sense of fighting a losing battle would leave me once and for all. Well, not quite once and for all, but I can honestly say that my quality of life and resistance to despair improved beyond measure as the years passed. I still take a m low dose (25mg) of antidepressant nightly and – as regular readers well know – writing has been more a creative therapy for me than an art form even as a child. (I will be 70 this year.)

Being depressed is nothing like being fed-up; it is a soul-destroying nightmare from which the depressed person can take a very long time to awaken, if ever.  An invisible illness, it is easily misunderstood. Sadly, one of the last people to recognize depression is the depressed person him/herself. Uncharacteristic mood swings, aggression, rudeness, bouts of crying for no obvious reason, over-reacting and getting things out of proportion…all these can be signs of depression, likely to culminate over a period of time in a firm of mental breakdown unless professional help and support is made available.

While the best help and support can be provided by family and friends, not everyone has family on hand while some friends feel so let down by a depressed person’s attitude towards them that they drift away; they SEE the same person, but have no idea of the emotional turmoil that person is going through and which, if left unchecked, may well permanently damage his or her whole personality.

To be fair, none of us are mind readers. Even so, the more sensitive and discerning family member or close friend will suspect something is wrong. Suggesting to someone they may be depressed will almost certainly meet with a hot denial in the first instance. Please don’t give up, but stick with it, no matter how tough it gets; and it will get tough, almost as much for the person who is trying to help as for the person who is mentally ill.

There are degrees of mental illness, of course. Whatever, there is no shame in it, especially in the kind of stressful, even dangerous world we live in with stress often coming at us from all sides to such an extent and at such a rate that even the strongest body, mind and spirit feels under siege.

Depression is not a battle that can be easily won, and certainly not alone. If you are depressed, don’t wait, as I did, for depression to get the better of you. Strike first. Ask for help or at least try and express something of how you feel to someone you sense will understand and help you to help yourself. Easily said than done, as I know only too well… 

DRESSING TABLE WARS

Wall, shining like a mirror,
shadows dripping drops of light
like sweat on a battlefield

Words, pitting foe against foe;
a roaring in the head like sounds
of battle in a silent movie

Wall, a white board left blank
to any suggestions from the floor
on the subject of peace talks

Words, advancing like armies
from the shadows, unspoken fears
firing blindly for unshed tears

Wall, questioning the nature
of the beast, philosophy left to run
a lonely gamut of home truths

Words, starting to make sense
of sensibilities modern life so loves
to camouflage in Rat Race gear

Wall, a collage of human selves
reflecting vulnerability to dark forces
and potential for common sense

Words, moving lips in a mirror,
rehearsing a plea for help in restoring
mind, body and spirit 

Copyright R. N. Taber 2015

Saturday, 30 May 2015

An Affinity with the Spiritual Nature of Ancient Woodlands



Where Earth Mother has held a mirror to human nature for centuries, it is small wonder that even great artists struggle to capture glimpses of its reflection, relying on the inner eye to explore its similes and metaphors just as a space probe might home in on moon craters…

AN AFFINITY WITH THE SPIRITUAL NATURE OF ANCIENT WOODLANDS

Leafy dome, a spread of crystal prisms;
like a familiar cheek deflecting its tears

Stained glassiness, images of a sunset;
pink flesh betraying shades of ageing

Moon, shining through, beacon of hope;
human spirit anxious for inspiration

Stars, drawing on mythology and religion
to engage the human mind’s potential

Clouds, siding with the world’s sceptics
shaping like endings to like beginnings

Dome, engaging with our metamorphoses,
inciting we creative dreamers to waken

Glassiness, flushed with dawn’s promises;
pink flesh, responding to nature’s kisses

Birdsong, like distant bells ringing changes;
humanity, left trailing old gods and new

Between earth and sky, our time and space;
to each of us, a prism (some call it Heaven)


Copyright R. N. Taber 2015

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Cave People, 3000 AD OR Globalisation: Potential for Second Chances



True, humankind has achieved much since the beginning of time. I wonder,though, what future generations will have to say about all we didn’t do when we had the chance?

Hopefully, history and the human spirit's enduring capacity for love (in spite of its darker side) will continue give humankind - and the planet - a second chance, and more besides...

CAVE PEOPLE, 3000 AD or GLOBALISATION: POTENTIAL FOR SECOND CHANCES

Where temporal light concedes to darkness,
melting icecaps flood village, town, city,
may the same sheer love of life creating us
fuel its flame’s burning through eternity

Where prayer seems to fail us, God abscond
as we fall victim to worldly desires,
let there be candles lit all over this land
guiding us to kinder, far safer shores

Where we turn our backs on forest and beast,
without any thought for their tomorrows,
may one truly insightful generation at least
preserve humanity’s finer endeavours

Like bats winging their way through centuries,
needs must overcome a native blindness

Copyright R. N. Taber 2005; 2015

[Note: This poem has been  revised from an earlier version that appears in 1st eds. of A Feeling for the Quickness Of Time by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2005; a revised ed. in e-format in
preparation.]