Friday, 30 December 2011

Ode To A Fly


Several readers who like to dip into both blogs spotted this poem on my gay-interest blog recently and have asked me to post it here too ‘because gay people don’t have a monopoly on casual sex.’  Okay, point taken. Besides, what better time to enjoy thoughts of summer’s heat than during winter’s cold...?

Now, it has been my experience that those people always expressing moral disapproval of casual sex are, just as often, those who enjoy it the most. Sexuality does not really enter into the equation; unless, that is, you count yourself among those unenlightened socio-cultural-religious bigots who insist it should. Yes, some straight people might be offended by the idea of two gay men or women enjoying casual sex under sun, stars or bedroom ceiling, yet those same people are, more often than not, perfectly comfortable with the notion of a heterosexual couple enjoying the same freedom.  So don’t try and tell me it has anything to do with morality. 

Casual sex happens. It is a fact of life. We should enjoy it. Certainly, it is nothing to get up on a soap box about. Even so, we owe it to ourselves and any sex partner to act responsibly, practise safer sex and use a condom. Nor is it only HIV-AIDS we have to guard against. The rise in various venereal diseases in recent years has been little short of astronomical, not least in chlamydia, which can result in infertility.

About the poem, for anyone who may not know, Hampstead Heath comprises acres of natural beauty close to central London; a well-known, secluded part has been a cruising area for gay, bi and even supposedly ‘straight’ men for years, especially late at night and in the early hours. Many a heterosexual couple has been spotted enjoying intimate encounters, too, and the occasional lesbians, but elsewhere on the Heath. (What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, after all.) 

I am 66 now and haven’t gone there looking for sex for many years. It’s not that I am too old, but simply don’t have an appetite these days for one-off encounters. No, I am more than happy just to enjoy regular daytime strolls across its  expanse of grassy slopes,  admiring  splendid trees of every description, ponds, and varieties of enchanting wildlife, but only ever in search of some peace and quiet away from the general hubbub of city life. I’m never disappointed. Sounds boring? Maybe, but I love it, whether I am on my own or with a friend. Besides, I have some delightful if increasingly distant memories to keep me company...

So…whoever you are and wherever you do it, have fun and play safe.

ODE TO A FLY

One beautiful day
I chanced where you lay
and my heart filled
with music, but my feet
refused to follow else
the vision go away,
and leave me feeling
oh, so hollow!

Three shirt buttons
were undone, cheeky tan
tickling my spine;
one hand suggestively
stroking a mane
of hair spread like sand
on the grass and the other
in your shorts

Zap! Fly caught.
But what's this? Set free
by a caring hand
blowing kisses, beckoning,
although I knew
you could not see where
I hid like a spy, full of envy
for a fly

I emerged, strolled
by leisurely, not daring
to trust a glance
till you called to me
and (laughingly)
asked my heart to dance
while a friendly tree played
our first waltz

Like a fly, caught and freed.
Only, I stayed...

[Hampstead Heath, circa 1970]

Copyright R. N. Taber 2002; 20 11

[Note: This poem has been slightly revised from an earlier version that appears in First Person Plural by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2002; 2nd ed. in preparation.]

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Yes, What?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

I once remarked to a friend that people can be are such a puzzle, to which he promptly replied that it probably was because we are such a puzzle to ourselves.

Ah, probably...

Sometimes we find it hard to express ourselves in words; if we are fortunate enough to be painters or musicians, we can often express ourselves better through those genres, certainly our deeper feelings.

At other times, we may express ourselves perfectly yet still be misunderstood because those with whom we wish to communicate choose to put their own interpretation on what we say rather than try and understand what we mean.

But what do we mean and do we ever mean quite what we say? Oh, but how often do we wish we had expressed ourselves differently!

Our use of weeds, paint, music, whatever...these all open up pathways to meaning that all parties concerned are free to follow; sometimes we are fortunate enough to follow the same path, and meaning is established. Yet, even where meaning is not fully established, the chances are our relationship with the other party will have entered a new dimension; one we are likely to explore whether consciously or subconsciously, and in so doing discover more about each other than before the dialogue began...even if we are not quite sure what, exactly.

YES, WHAT?

If I’d said this, or that,
said - what?
If I’d done this, or that,
done - what?
Tortured souls crying out
their guilt, left
hanging in some limbo
to - rot?
What good purpose, that?
None.
We cannot (ever) change
what’s done,
bring back loved ones
long - gone?
No, but here in the heart,
forever
willing us to live again,
move on;
Nothing, said or done then
would - what?
Have eased whose pain,
whose guilt?
Choices, rarely plain, but
ours alone
will take us here, there,
where?
No one to blame having
chosen - wrong?
Who’s to say, play judge
and jury?
Enough, surely, to be…
what, exactly?

[From: A Feeling For The Quickness Of Time by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2005]

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Frost On The Glass


Sorry, I am getting my days muddled up this week and intended to post yesterday’s poem today. Oh, well, never mind.

I remember as a child lying in bed  on a winter’s morning, sun shining on my window and Jack Frost painting all manner of shapes and scenarios there...

Nothing has changed except I am 60+ years older...


FROST ON THE GLASS

Snow leopard pacing
its territory;
Eagle circling
its prey;
Wolf howling to others
across eternity;
Avalanche stirring, poised
to destroy – even
as we watch, listen, wait
for winter’s cruelty
to abate;
Each to our own pillow,
eyes on a window...

Too cold for snow
and whatever happened
to that universal love
someone once promised us
for Christmas?

Never too late, even for
we frosty leftovers...

Copyright R, N. Taber 2009

Friday, 23 December 2011

The Snowflake


Today’s post appears on both blogs.

Many thanks to all of you for your support again this year; I am delighted to say that both blogs are likely to pass 13,000 hits by New Year or soon afterwards, which is encouraging for any poet. [Let’s face it. Poetry is never likely to appear near the top of anyone’s wish list.] Do feel free to send the URL/s to anyone you think may enjoy my posts and poems; the more, the merrier.

I hope some of you will order copies of my new collection, Tracking the Torchbearer, which will be available from early March; it will contain some 150 poems in seven themed sections. I’ll let you know when it is ready; I am still collating the poems at the moment, and deciding which to include and which to leave out. In the past, sales have paid for additional print runs of previous titles as well as new publications. However, this may well be the last collection I publish in book form. I may publish direct to Kindle next time, especially if book sales are as poor as I am half expecting given Governmental austerity measures world-wide. Whatever, I will continue posting new poems on the blogs from time to time and readers can explore the archives any time.

A BIG thank you also goes to those of you who have expressed pleasure at the videos my friend Graham and I have uploaded to YouTube; we probably would not have continued without so much encouragement. Oh, the hits are relatively small compared to videos uploaded by others, but, yet again, surprising for poetry videos. I only hope you have enjoyed the poems as much as Graham’s photography:


To those of you who are enjoying the fiction blog I only started a couple of moths ago (with grave reservations) I hope you will continue to enjoy the storylines I plan to serialise during the months ahead; there will be a mixture of gay-interest and general titles since, as with poetry, I don’t see them as separate genres within a genre. [It is always particularly rewarding when heterosexual readers get in touch to say they have enjoyed a gay-interest story like Dog Roses or a poem like Three Little Words]:


Meanwhile...

I sent this poem to everyone on my mailing list instead of a Christmas card. Last but not least, it comes to you, dear readers, as I wish you a very happy and peaceful time...whoever and wherever you are, and whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

THE SNOWFLAKE

I spotted a snowflake on a leaf,
watched it settle for seconds there,
and in those precious seconds saw the face
of my love appear

Eyes that glittered like the snow
smiled back at me as you used to do,
and in that smile I relived the happy times
we’ve  shared, sad times too

By the light of a solstice moon,
snowflake and leaf began to dance,
and their togetherness recalled how we met,
not quite by chance

Lips as red as a robin’s breast
kissed mine, like a breath of spring
gently insisting that you to me and me to you
are its life, love, everything

You were my snowflake on a leaf
seconds before a feisty white flurry
interrupted our waltz, Earth Mother insisting
we home in on eternity

I spotted a snowflake on a leaf,
watched it settle for seconds there,
and in those precious seconds saw the face
of my Christmas appear

[London; December 2011]

Copyright R. N. Taber 2011


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Between Land And Sea


Today’s poem has not appeared on the blog since 2009 and I am posting it today by way of celebrating the first time I visited Brighton (Susses) on my 8th birthday.

I have loved the seaside since I was child, especially Brighton; my mother would often take me there for day trips during the school holidays from the time I was about eight years-old. .

Brighton has changed, and I have changed. But the sea...the sea is as it always was, and when I go there, as often as I can nearly 60 years on, it is a good feeling to be able to identify at least something that hasn’t changed. In this sense, the sea has given me a sense of on-going stability where all around me life is in a state of constant flux.

Whenever I go to Brighton, it feels like going home even though I have never lived there; at the sea’s edge, its waves greet me like the old friends they are.

Today is my 66th birthday and I would have loved to go to Brighton to spend time with friends there, but am not feeling quite well enough to make the journey. Yet, I only have to close my eyes and I am on its pebble beach, my friend the sea, making its ages-old music in my ears as passionate and inspiring as ever...

I spend my 85th birthday there last December and you may care to watch  the videos on YouTube:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQYxGAPZuQ8  Brighton Beach (1)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuYSgSvgbSE     Brighton Beach (2)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEb7Kuiz_hM      Brighton Beach (3)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHRrMhwOgvk    Brighton Beach (4)

or just go to my YouTube channel and scroll down:

http://www.youtube.com/rogerNtaber 

BETWEEN LAND AND SEA

At the sea’s edge, I met a boy like me
who smiled, said let’s be friends;
we laughed, dipped toes in the water
and splashed each other;
later on, we taught ourselves to swim
blue skies smiling down at us
as we laughed, chased fish in the water
and splashed each other

At the sea’s edge, I met a youth like me
who smiled, said let’s be friends;
we laughed, dipped toes in the water
and splashed each other;
later on, we stripped naked in a cove,
blue skies smiling down at us
as we laughed, chased crabs in the sand
and tumbled each other

At the sea’s edge, I met a man like me
fishing for the moon in the water;
a dark wave came, the mirror smashed,
pieces everywhere;
later on, a near deafening cannonade
sent us scuttling for shelter…
and (finally) a man who looks like me
found it in Earth Mother
  
Copyright R. N. Taber 2009



Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Dancing Snowmen


Today’s post appears on both blogs. After all, weren’t we all children once, we adults who should be pulling together to make the world a kinder, safer, better place for children everywhere?

Now, they say we discard the whimsy and magic of childhood once we grow up and start making our way in the real world.

Oh, yes? And what do ‘they’ know...?



THE DANCING SNOWMEN

I was rudely awakened 
one Christmas Eve by the rapid beating
of my heart and a tugging
at one frayed, striped pyjama sleeve,
but there was no one there,
no one at all, and then I heard someone
calling my name, ran to the window
and looked up into the sky
where snow was falling, moon blinking
between cotton wool clouds,
but no sign of Santa
so it couldn’t have been him getting
up to his old tricks

I looked down on the garden,
could not believe my eyes, the snowmen
dancing there, carrot noses
like the glow of old coal fires, chestnuts
where eyes should be,
lips reminding me of scarlet ribbons
I first heard tell of in a song
played on the radio only yesterday,
while on their heads
the snowmen wore hats of all shapes
and sizes, the sort
found in an attic. Me, I was already
lost in the magic

I shinned down a drainpipe,
didn’t feel cold at all, soon jigging away
at the Snowmen’s Ball,
a passing owl hooting its approval,
Man in the Moon
showing his face now and then, torchlight
in a steady, sleety rain,
looking for Santa, last seen heading...
(could be for my room)
so I’m saying goodbye to my new friends
returning, oh, so quickly
to where everyone’s favourite story ends
and its magic begins

Where childhood innocence dead and gone,
the dancing snowmen live on...

Copyright R. N. Taber 2011


Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A Robin's Take On Winter


This poem appears on both blogs today.

Now, regular readers will know that I love the villanelle poetic form almost as much as I love robins...

Once, when I woke on Christmas Day and was feeling sorry for myself as I’d be spending the first Christmas on my own since my partner died, I heard the sweetest sound. When I pulled back the curtains, it was to find a fat robin singing its heart out on my windowsill, its red breast bursting with a pride and joy that touched me as no other birdsong has before or since. Unperturbed by my presence behind the glass, the bird I still think of as ‘my’ robin did not instantly fly off, but stayed as if to treat me to the performance of a lifetime.


We had only a few years together, my partner and I, but I can look back on them with pride and joy rather than despair for never having found anyone with whom I wanted to share my life ever again. [Not for want of looking.] It could have been so different but for ‘my’ robin not only reminding me that life goes on even during wintry days, but also there is beauty to be had there too and not to be missed.

This poem is a villanelle.

A ROBIN’S TAKE ON WINTER

Among stoic evergreen, a robin’s peeping,
singing in answer to a snowman’s call;
 world weeping, Earth Mother but sleeping

Hungry winter days, a fine harvest reaping
of summer’s illusions autumn let pile;
among stoic evergreen, a robin’s peeping

If Heaven. its duty watch, faithfully keeping,
why do its tears freeze even as they fall?
World weeping, Earth Mother but sleeping

Bleak though the landscape, albinos leaping
like children grabbing time to be playful;
among stoic evergreen, a robin’s peeping,

Where a silvery twilight stealthily creeping,
interlopers quick to grab its treasure haul,
world weeping, Earth Mother but sleeping

At sand in a hourglass relentlessly seeping
via cracks in some amateur’s crystal ball,
among stoic evergreen, a robin’s peeping;
world weeping, Earth Mother but sleeping
 
Copyright R. N. Taber 2011





Monday, 12 December 2011

The Usual Suspects

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

Today’s poem has not appeared on the blog since 2008. Given the results of the latest European summit during which President Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Merkel of Germany appear to have succeeded in marginalising Britain from the rest of Europe, at least in the short term, its title may seem appropriate.

It is important that Britain should not be sidelined while fiscal discussions on the survival of the Eurozone take place. It is all very well for Sarkozy, Merkel and other countries to argue that Britain cannot have its cake and eat it, but they are glad enough of our huge monetary as well as political contribution to the EEC which, as I understand it, will continue anyway.

The Eurozone is a mess, and that isn’t Britain’s fault. David Cameron’s demands to protect the City of London from those who are to blame were not unreasonable. If ever the Politics of Cain was given its head, it appears to be now.

I love Europe, but cannot say the same for its various Governments. Mind you, I am not a political animal, and that often goes for my own Government too. My support for David Cameron in this instance is not an endorsement for British politics as a whole.

As far as I can see, there is not one giant on the British political scene to whom the electorate can point and say, ‘Yes! That person has my vote (regardless of their Party) because I feel I can trust him or her and they know what they are doing,’

The Germans are fortunate to have Chancellor Merkel at the helm; I may not agree with her, but she has a strong sense of political direction and integrity, and sticks to her guns. It is also clear that she is one of the few European leaders who has not only her country's best interests at heart in resolving the present crisis in Europe, but Europe's too. The rest rely (far) too much on rhetoric.

I admire Angela Merkel, while I cannot say the same for the leaders of France and Italy. As for the rest, especially Greece, well...Enough said.

And is the rest of the world in any position to judge?

THE USUAL SUSPECTS

Chains dragging on hands and feet,
a shabby grey vine under a three line whip
demanding satisfaction in the best
interests of the nation, a well-paid-for
education

Casualties of demonstrations against
the best intentions of well-heeled maestros
better schooled (indeed) to take a lead
ostensibly for a common good,knocking
on wood

Let the punishment fit the crime
else a whiff of success go to the head,
win a prime TV slot, make capital
out of it (if only a reprieve) and shoot
up the stock market

Gold stars for a job well done, no liberties
taken, whistle blowers exposed, co-operation
(the key, surely?) sparing us anarchy
and mass destruction, not to mention
indigenous reparation

Call out the dogs, round up any strays;
keep a weather eye on rebels for lost causes
in case they get it right, turn one-to-one
into three times three, altogether re-invent
our ABC

Copyright R. N. Taber 2004; 2011



[Note: An earlier bversion of this poem appears in 1st eds. of he Third Eye by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2004; 2nd ed. in preparation.]

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Winter Sunshine

http://www.authorsden.com/rogerntaber

Today’s post is duplicated on both my general and gay-interest blogs. Oh, and what has winter sunshine to do with being gay? Nothing whatever. Nature is happy to embrace us all so long as we are happy to let it. So let's be happy, yeah? Sadness may well overcome us sometimes, even grief, but we can make it back to happiness if we try, and life is too short not to.

Now, I live in London, and we have been enjoying unseasonably mild and sunny weather across the UK, especially in the south-east. It didn’t last, of course, and the weather is now awful in Scotland and parts of the North of England. It’s sunny but cold here in my part of London (Kentish Town) in London, and a good day to take a stroll on nearby Hampstead Heath. Even if we have a terrible winter at least it will be a relatively short one.

Meanwhile, in the winter sunshine, it is GOOD to see a smile, if only a flicker of one, on the faces of even the most dour among us.

This poem has been requested by ‘Bradley’ for his mother, Helen ‘...for no other reason than I like it and it makes me think of spring.’ Bradley adds that he only discovered the blog recently after a friend gave him On the Battlefields of Love for a birthday present, and ‘...I now read a poem or two most days.’ Welcome to the blog, Bradley! Oh, and here’s wishing you a belated Happy Birthday too.

Bradley adds, ‘I never thought of myself as a poetry person and used to think it was an elitist genre, but am beginning to see what I have missed.’ Now, that made my day. Bringing just one person to poetry for the first time has to be every poet’s dream. I only hope Bradley stays with us when he discovers what my critics insist is an anachronistic passion for rhyme.

Winter Sun, Lavacourt by Claude Monet

WINTER SUNSHINE

Could be forgiven for thinking
it’s already spring

Blue skies, a kindly sun smiling
on huddled streets

Children playing, their laughter
tugging at the heart

A funeral procession demanding
we show respect

Glossy carbuncles confounding
their critics

Second thoughts setting us up
for more mind games

Could be forgiven for thinking
it’s already spring

Copyright R. N. Taber 2007

[From: On the Battlefields Of Love, by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2010]

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

An Elementary Take On Expressionism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

Whenever I skip a day or two of writing up the blog, I receive a flood of emails telling me they miss it! Well, many thanks for that, and okay, you win. I’ll do my best, but cannot promise a post every day. I will continue to post new poems when I can. In the meantime, readers will have to be content with poems that have already appeared on the blog although I will continue trying to make sure there is usually a gap of at least eighteen months to two years between appearances on a particular blog even if not between blogs. [A poem posted on one blog often appears on the other a few weeks or months later.]

Relatively few readers dip into both general and gay-interest blogs, but no surprises there since there is still a social divide in many parts of the world, even in the West, between heterosexual and gay people. By including both general and gay-interest poems in my collections, those readers who feel obliged to be discreet, for whatever reason, are free to be seen reading them without anyone knowing whether it is for the general or gay material or both.

Npw, I appreciate that many of you do not have the time to browse the blog archives for poems, especially those of you who are unable to access a computer at home. I am delighted with and very grateful for your continuing encouragement and support. I can but hope some of this might express itself in book sales, especially regarding my new collection - Tracking The Torchbearer - in the spring. In the past, I have always sold enough copies to cover printing costs and contribute to new print runs/publications. However, I have grave doubts about even recovering costs for Torchbearer given the tough financial climate in which we are living.

Let’s face it. Poetry is never going to be even near the top of anyone’s wish list. If I do lose money on Torchbearer, I may well not be able to afford to fund another collection from my pension and retirement savings. Even so, I will continue to offer a generous blog discount; contact me at:

rogertab@aol.com

A poetry publisher once implied they might be interested if I left out my gay-interest poems. Oh, but no way! [There is a literary if not moral principle involved here.] Readers will always be able to access the blogs, of course, although a good few get in touch to tell me how they enjoy accessing the various sections of my poetry collections on the bus or train, while grabbing a few minutes of peace and quiet in a favourite arm chair or even in bed.

We shall see what we shall see. I will be letting everyone know when I can start taking orders for signed copies nearer the publication of Tracking The Torchbearer.

Meanwhile...

Now, some gay friends don’t like the world ‘homosexual’ whereas I have no problem with it. Others are at perfectly ease with ’Queer’ whereas I never will be comfortable with it due to its association, for me personally, with verbal and physical abuse towards gay people years ago.

Straight friends have been known to suggest I am over-sensitive regarding various terms for gay men and women, but I guess it depends on the way in which they are expressed; even 'Queer' is acceptable to me if said with a cheeky grin and a wink. Humour may well touch a nerve, but if we can't laugh at ourselves, we might as well be dead. Even so, what a friend can usually get away with is often inappropiate coming from someone else.

It is all very well for people to say we must move with the times, and I am all for it, but some emotional and psychological as well as physical scars from times past are slow to fade; some never do.

Arguably, the ‘legitimacy’ of a word, phrase or sentence depends on the spirit in which it is delivered, not its place in some reputable dictionary and subsequent ‘definition’.

AN ELEMENTARY TAKE ON EXPRESSIONISM

Gay, homosexual, queer;
these are words we are likely
to hear anywhere
because that’s where you’ll find us
(anywhere)
though I (personally) have to say
I prefer to have it said
of me I’m ‘gay’ because it’s how
I see my sexual identity

‘Homosexual’ makes me feel
like a test tube specimen on some
research laboratory table
exploration into an explanation
for cause, even cure
where genetics (and nature)
are only too happy
to explain away the vocabulary
of sexual identity

‘Queer’ conjures bleak memories;
dark closet days and society’s misuse
of the word,
a closed-minded world of abuse
towards those of us
seeking (and finding) love
among our own sex
where small minds unfit for purpose
anxious to vilify us

Times change, its words passing
from meaning to meaning like bees
to flowers, children
to adulthood, attitudes maturing
(I’d like to say)
a peace and love enduring,
abuses of language
(people too) discovering the poetry
of sexual identity

Let the poetry natural to all of us
have its way, no matter what its critics
may have to say
about our use of rhyme, none at all
or socio-cultural expectancy...
Each poem and person to their time
and a spirit of creativity
that is no more a ‘sin’ or ‘crime’
than sexual identity

Copyright R. N. Taber 2011

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Footprints In The Snow

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

‘Karin and Tomas’ have asked me to repeat 'my video links'. They do not say which one/s so here is the link to my You Tube channel and the link to my (very informal) poetry reading on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square as my contribution to Antony Gormley's One and Other 'live sculpture' project  in 2009. [The You Tube clips are only a few minutes, but the One and Other video lasts an hour.] I hope you will enjoy them, and will be able to watch in an Internet cafe since you appear not to have a home computer

http://www.youtube.com/rogerNtaber

http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20100223121732/oneandother.co.uk/participants/Roger_T

Meanwhile...

Many gay-friendly heterosexuals I know seem to think I am exaggerating when I tell them that gay men and women world-wide still feel threatened; even here in the West. Perhaps they should take more of an interest in their fellow human beings. Mind you, that isn’t easy when the media all but ignore gay issues except when occasions like World AIDS Day demand they pay some token attention.

I recently received an email from the US based All Out organisation regarding recent anti-gay activities in Russia and Nigeria. I am posting part to emphasise (if emphasis were needed!) that there will be gay people from all countries and of all religious persuasions that will have little to celebrate this Christmas or during any of the world’s religious festivals.

Last week, pressure on the Russian government prevented a vote on its anti-gay bill from taking place. All Out members around the world amplified the voice of Russian activists, forcing world leaders to speak out against this law that justifies hate and discrimination. Russia’s gat men and women remain hopeful, but the fight is far from over; the bill may still come back.

Unfortunately there's no time to celebrate. The Nigerian Senate has just followed Russia's bad example, passing a bill this week which would make it illegal to publicly support LGBT rights. Simply showing up to a gay bar could land you in jail for 14 years, regardless of your sexuality.

www.allout.org/nigeria

Nigeria is already an incredibly dangerous place to be lesbian, gay, bi sexual or transsexual. This piece of legislation will only further push the Nigerian LGBT community deep underground.

Here’s a BIG HUG from me for gay people world-wide unable to openly stand up for their sexuality for whatever reason.

Now, Christmas is looming fast. As regular readers will know only too well, I do not subscribe to any religion, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support gay people world-wide to whom religion plays a very important part in their lives. Besides, all religious celebrations are times when people, especially families and friends, come together in peace and love. Well, that is how it is supposed to be although it has been my personal experience that peace and love are sometimes in short supply.

And what of those who spend Christmas alone? Well, I personally can honestly say I have spent many a wonderful Christmas alone; yet, never alone because I am surrounded by the ghosts of Christmases and other ‘together’ times past who never fail to invite me to spend a happy, peaceful if reflective time with them. Moreover, I consider myself a son of Earth Mother, and she is never far away.

FOOTPRINTS IN THE SNOW

I woke one morning to find
snow in the ground;
where my garden used to be,
a vast, white sea,
waves whipped up by the wind
like a frozen Tsunami threatening an island
of woebegone leaves

Footprints across this icy sea
beckoned me;
soon I was following them out
of the garden gate,
where once chirpy fields were,
to winter’s unfeeling whims now laid bare,
trees, like icebergs

The footprints halted suddenly
where daises used to be
you’d made into a chain for me,
each flower a memory,
and we’d promised that spring day
our love would last forever, always find a way
to bring us together

Distant bells ringing joyously,
a snowman smiling at me,
fair Apollo’s coming out to smile
on lovers going that last mile
for one another even in bleakest winter,
all confirming the daisies are with Earth Mother
for safekeeping

Copyright R. N. Taber 2011