Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Massacre At Houla

Regular readers will know that (among many other themes) I try to record significant events across the world in my poetry; the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Perhaps it is wishful thinking, but I have this image in my mind of someone coming across my poetry collections years ahead and finding a personal snapshot of this sorry world of ours in the early years of the 21st century.

Horror tales continue to come out of Syria about an appalling massacre by Government forces in the town of Houla in Syria’s Homs province on Friday, May 25th; it is one of the worst recorded killings in the country’s 14-month long uprising; many of the 100+ civilian victims were women and children.  

Whatever our cultural-political-religious persuasion, our thoughts should be with the ordinary people of Syria during these troubled times; they cannot be blamed (any more than ordinary people anywhere) for the sins of their Government. As for Governments around the world, they may well express their revulsion and expel senior Syrian diplomats, but one can’t help wondering whether it isn’t, at heart, little more than a vote catching exercise.  Kofi Annan deserves more real support in his efforts to broker a peace of sorts in Syria. 

Given that Iran is a close ally of Syria, Russia and China too, military action of any kind appears to be out of the question. Fair enough, but it hasn’t been out of the question on other occasions in other parts of the world where the stakes were high yet favoured intervention, so what does that say about this sorry world of ours and its powers that be?

This poem is a villanelle.


Massacre at Houla,
another failure for diplomacy;
poor, bloodied Syria

UN a toothless tiger
growling at Earth’s inhumanity;
massacre at Houla

Country in a civil war,
a second spring for democracy;
poor, bloodied Syria

Killings door to door,
the parental home no sanctuary;
massacre at Houla

Children of Endeavour,
siblings despatched to eternity;
poor, bloodied Syria

Consensus of Horror,
(enter, the Politics of Hypocrisy);
Massacre at Houla;
poor, bloodied Syria

Copyright R. N. Taber 2012

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Curtain Rising

Sometimes we wake up and wonder why we bother. Time to force ourselves, throw open curtains and windows and breathe in deeply, imbibe the smells of life and let them inspire spite of everything that seems t be working against us.

Nature may be as fickle as humankind, but we only have to open our minds to acknowledging its capacity for life, love, and peace to feel invited to share it...


Heart feeling top-heavy,
an ache in the soul,
and no one here to listen,
everyone on vacation
or an answering machine?
Time to try again - say
life’s worthwhile,
see sunshine through rain
making flowers grow...
Trust heavens in the know,
to wipe tears, put smiles
on each face lined with pain
for going that last mile
with friends who let us down,
loved ones dead and gone

Listen! The trees are singing
in country, city and town...
Look! Children playing, lovers
wishing on stars, a watchful earth
enduring, for all its tears

Troubled mind, a summer mist;
in its curtain rising, let us trust

Copyright R. N. Taber 2007

[Note: This poem has been slightly revised since its last appearance on the blog in 2010 and in 1st eds. of Accomplices To Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2007; 2nd ed. in preparation.]

Please note: All my poetry titles are still in print, but only on sale in the UK. There will be no further print runs of my poetry titles, but I hope to upload e-editions to amazon at a later date. Second editions will contain revisions of some poems (available already on the my blogs) and only be available as e-books. 


Thursday, 24 May 2012

At The End Of The Day

We should make the most of each day to its very end  if only because tomorrow is another story altogether...

Carpe Diem.


Sleepy sun like a yellow tee shirt
after a summer shower,
logo proclaiming peace and love;
songbirds on cue, soul of summer
bursting with pride and joy,
wishing us kind dreams and sleep

A pink glow infiltrating grey clouds,
tips of angels’ wings
spying out the lie of borrowed time;
jet lag moon among laid back stars
telling tales on our humanity
to fill a wide-awake media’s pockets

A grey squirrel turning over garbage
is quick to turn up its nose
at an envelope marked ‘Top Secret’;
kids trespassing on a new building site
unearth skulls, go-betweens
for this developer, that archaeologist

Night falls, harbinger of sleep waiting
in the wings, time’s hopeful
understudy groomed for second best;
world’s top rated spotted flogging
dead horses with Apollo’s customised
tee shirt, come Armageddon

[From: Tracking the Torchbearer by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2012]

Please note: All my poetry titles are still in print, but only on sale in the UK.

There will be no further print runs of my poetry titles except for the latest, Tracking the Torchbearer; I hope to upload e-editions to amazon later this year. Second editions will not be available until after publication of a final print collection in 2015; these will contain revisions of some poems and only be available as e-books. 

Meanwhile, signed copies if 1st eds. can be obtained from me at a generous blogger discount; this applies to overseas as well as UK readers. 

Contact: with 'Blog Reader' or Poetry Collection' in the subject field (or the email will not be opened). 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A Tree Speaks

I posted today’s (new) poem on my gay-interest blog the other day and reader ‘Marc’ has asked if I would post it here ‘because my mother suffers with depression and reads your general blog, but would never dream of reading a gay blog. My brother is gay and she wants nothing to do with him.’

Oh, but how sad for the whole family!

Given that I often post Gay Awareness poems on both blogs, I feel very disappointed that this man’s mother has not felt able to be more understanding of her gay son. Feedback suggests that a growing number of readers have started dipping into both blogs during the past year or so and several parents of gay men and women have said my gay-interest poems have helped them come to terms with their sexuality. I can only hope this reader’s mother may eventually join them, and feel able to be no less openly loving and understanding towards her gay son than towards her other children.

Now, I have been feeling very low lately and struggling to keep a deeper depression at bay. As regular readers will know, creative writing always helps. If I can just begin to write a poem, working on it over a period of hours, days even, gives me a sense of achievement.

It doesn’t matter if the poem or novel turns out to be good or poor; what matters is that sense of achievement keeping my head above water in a hostile sea.  

Any creative work can help keep the pitch black depression at bay; there are many shades of grey to pass through first and a sense of creating something can restore colour to a seemingly colourless life. 

It doesn’t matter what we try; it can be writing, composing, gardening, catching up with the decorating or making a paper aeroplane...Nor does it matter if we don’t finish whatever creative task we’ve set ourselves, so long as we find the motivation to try; if things don’t work out for one reason or another, we just have to dig deeper, rediscover some motivation and try something else.

Never contemplate the notion of failure. Failure is losing the will to have a go at this or that through no fault of our own but an inability to cope. Failure is not even being able to feel that we want to try, which usually means we have put ourselves through all those murky shades of grey and are well stuck in that pitch black pit we call depression; the only way out of it is to heave any sense of failure as far away as we can, give ourselves a well-deserved pat on the back for that, and then look long and hard within ourselves for the will to try something, anything that will help put our lives back on an even keel.

We shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help either; being able to find the words to ask for help means we are half-way towards making a full recovery already.

Sadly some people don’t begin to understand depression and think we can be jollied out of it. In the end, though, it is down to us whether we sink or swim.

Did I say it was easy?

It has rained a lot lately. A tree outside my front window is a vivid leafy green and daily plays host to songbirds of all kinds. One day, it reached out to me with a life-line, and a GOOD feeling I had been looking for but hadn’t experienced for a while made me grab it with both hands...’s poem.


An old tree outside my window
assures me all year round
Earth Mother’s looking out for me
because in me she’s found
someone who cares, always hears,
is always there for her
as she’s always here for me
(so speaks the tree)

An old tree outside my window
assures me every day
Earth Mother’s always here for me
and doesn’t give a damn
about sex, sexuality, creed, colour
or what age we are
if we’ll be here for her always
(as she for us)

An old tree outside my window
has many tales to tell
how Earth Mother has shed tears
for the likes of me
who sought refuge in religion
but found no sanctuary
only a self-centred expectation
(no salvation)

An old tree outside my window
took me to its heart;
Earth Mother would not have me
thrash at life in pain,
but as sun and rain nurturing
the natural world,
seeks to inspire the likes of me
(so speaks the tree)

An old tree outside my window
has wiped my tears,
falling much like autumn leaves,
leaving my branches bare
through a bleak winter of despair
until love songs, like spring rain,
would have us rework our history...
(so speaks the tree)

Copyright R. N. Taber 2012

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Covenant With Love

This villanelle has not appeared on the blogs since 2010 and a number of readers have asked me to repeat it during the past six months or so. For this reason, this post is duplicated on both blogs today.

I have to say I am delighted that a good many readers of both blogs appear to share my passion for villanelles. [For some of you who hate them, I will be posting a new poem tomorrow that isn’t a villanelle.]


Though saddened hearts would break
and HIV-AIDS a rising toll,
love, with loss, its peace shall make

Watch ripples spread on heaven’s lake,
sun and moon, fair heart and soul,
though saddened hearts would break

Come disease, fate, or God lives take,
anger, grief, like burning coal,
love, with loss, its peace shall make

See a light from dark, its prison break,
let better times roll…
though saddened hearts would break

Though we live for living’s own sake,
no matter affairs of the soul,
love, with loss, its peace shall make

Let the world’s worst its own forsake
and healing be our goal;
though saddened hearts would break,
love, with loss, its peace shall make

[First published in Accomplices To Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2007]

All my poetry titles are still in print, but only on sale in the UK.

There will be no further print runs of 1st eds.except for the latest, Tracking the Torchbearer; I hope to upload e-editions to amazon later this year. 2nd eds. will not be available until after publication of a final collection in 2015 and will only be available as e-books; these will contain revisions of some poems. Meanwhile, signed copies if 1st eds. can be obtained from me at a generous blogger discount; this applies to overseas as well as UK readers. 

Contact: with 'Blog Reader' or Poetry Collection' in the subject field (or the email will not be opened). 

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Last Donkey Ride

Nature may be fickle, but so is human nature; the chances are whoever takes the last donkey ride will look around and see a coastline that’s nowhere near as sound or green as we see now or may have done centuries ago; even the sea is losing its wildlife to a polluted modernity. 

Humankind may we rail against nature where it wreaks havoc and tragedy, the greater irony being that, in our desperation to harness and make it serve our own ends, there is really little to choose between the two.

Most if not all we human beings are vain enough to think we deserve priority over the natural world. Could it be, though, that Earth Mother has other ideas?


Time and again you have passed me by,
turned a cloth ear to cries from a heart
begging release or at least some relief
from such pain as only they know who
wander the shores of life asking why,
in spite of those willing to lend a hand
where the need is greatest, you prefer
to deny, ignore, a rhetoric of discretion
the better part of valour

So weary am I of being taken for a ride,
on wings of a prayer or bored donkeys
at the seaside reassuring children
how sand shells tell tales of a golden age
not yet spent… where the sea is as safe
as the sky is blue, grass is green and corn
grows high, hopes for world peace alive
and well if but as driftwood on time’s
uneasy swell

How long can it last, me doing my best
for nature’s finest, you abandoning us
to empty words and promises of better
days, left railing against humankind’s
inhumanity, sure to get the better of me
without even a native dignity to cover
my blushes as they strip me bare, caring
no more in their naivety for my decline
than our salvation?

Hear me, your Earth Mother in distress,
you who see past the politics of progress

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

This collection is still in print, but only on sale in the UK.  All readers, including any outside the UK, can obtain (signed) copies direct from me at a generous blogger discount on [retail price + shipping]. Enquiries to: with ‘Poetry collection’ or ‘Blog reader’ in the subject field.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Watership Down Revisited

Regular readers will know I suffer regular bouts of depression. Creative writing is the life line that empowers me to drag myself out of it. Okay, so some of it may not satisfy my critics, but it helps to keep me on an even(ish) keel and feedback suggests that it helps other readers to do the same.

The poem takes its title, of course, from that wonderful fantasy novel by Richard Adams.  [I often use titles from novels; it doesn’t matter whether readers have read the novel or not, but should he or she have done so, it may well give them a deeper insight to both.]


I ran like a frightened rabbit,
a once-friendly darkness all but
choking my lungs;
every exit blocked, no escape,
sentenced to death in the pages
of a novel

Panic-stricken now, desperate
to feast my eyes on one glimpse
of freedom;
finally, surrendering to despair,
I paused, all but ready to see how
my story ends

Suddenly, the faintest memory
of some long-ago spring charged
my ailing heart;
calling upon a half buried will,
I somehow managed to chase it
down the last tunnel

In fresh air and warm sunshine
I found the peace that closes eyes
and lets dreams pass
where, oh, but we would follow,
give reality the slip and be a hero
in someone else’s novel

Yet, the story is mine alone to tell,
second chance at living, promising
a kinder ending;
as for those readers burrowing
dusty bookshelves, may they too
re-invent themselves

[From: Tracking the Torchbearer by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2012]

NB The cover image for this new collection reflects the fact that 2012 is the year the Olympic Games come to London; the collection aspires overall to capture something of the spirit of the Games. Copies are only on sale in the UK but UK and overseas readers can obtain signed copies directly from me. 

Contact: with 'Blog Reader' or 'Poetry Collection' in the subject field.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Going To The Movies

My thanks go to several readers have said how much they enjoy the videos and poems that my friend Graham and I upload to my You Tube channel from time to time.

Hopefully, as well as enjoyment, both videos and accompanying poems might arouse sleeping senses in some viewers and get them asking questions if only to themselves about life and nature.

Today’s poem consider the subject at a deeper level than Graham and I aspire to on You Tube, but it is not irrelevant all the same.

I watched a film on TV recently about the Vietnam War; it was a fictional but very realistic take on the war and pulled no punches. The next day I overheard a group of local young people in their early teens talking about it and getting very excited about some of its more graphic action shots. A girl felt it was ‘a bit over the top’ while one of the boys pointed out that such things are only to be expected in a war. The other boy asked,’ ‘What’s all the fuss about anyway? It’s only a story. I mean, it’s not real is it? It’s not as if that sort of thing actually happens in real life...’ At this, all three shrugged their shoulders as if in agreement and started talking about football instead.

Don’t happen in real life? Do they imagine the horrors of any war are little more than the products of a vivid imagination?

Hopefully those young people will get around to thinking and asking questions about wars past and present, and what they come up with will give their dozy senses a nasty jolt... for real.

Fictional or documentary, the ability of the camera’s moving eye to draw us into its complex web of genuine sentiment and positive argument can never be underestimated.  All credit to the person behind and directing the camera, of course. 


The moving picture speaks,
and having spoken moves on
to haunt the creative mind,
play with words on the tongue
that may (or may not) paint
pictures of thought others may
(or may not) be invited to see,
interpret as we (or they) intend,
only to subtly, discreetly, let it drop
in a history bin

The moving picture captures
and having captured demands
 its captives consider if we’re
but slaves to its fictions or privy
to what goes on in those murky
corners of reality we are all free
to access any time but prefer
someone else take a closer look,
and clean it up without too much ado
 about nothing

The moving picture speaks
and having spoken moves in
on the senses if only to see
what (if any) effect on emotions
kept under wraps for fear
we betray aspects of selfhood
that may be misconstrued
as weaknesses where we’d rather
wear our strengths on sleeves frayed
at the edges

Compelled to join forces once
a moving picture has said its piece
and moved on, inner sight 
asking of the inner ear what it has seen,
agreeing they feel uneasy 
for having been given a taste 
of untouchables cast out 
by croc tears and canned laughter...
Oh, but let's just call it entertainment
and forget all about it?
Copyright R. N. Taber 2012

Saturday, 12 May 2012

A Poem For All Seasons

People often ask me why I write poetry. I try to answer this in many of my love poems. Although the love of my life died many years ago and we had only a few years together, our love for each other continues to sustain me. Yet, as I often say to people living alone as I do, love comes in many shapes and forms; family, friends, pets, places...all these can be loved and become an integral part of not only our lives but also our whole being.

In my case, my friends and nature are the foci of my love and also my love for poetry.

The  latter, by the way, is a gift from my dear mother who would often recite poems to me at bedtime as well as reading me stories; she died in June 1976 when I was 30 years-old, but I feel her presence whenever I write a poem just as I feel my late partner’s and others I have loved. Yes, there is sadness in me because I will never see them again, but that is more than compensated for and transcended by love...every day of every year.


Love is a poem that turns on eternity,
touching on a thousand themes,
perceiving a rare beauty in integrity

Forget prose testing us to extremity,
tearing us apart at the seams,
love is a poem that turns on eternity

Where some may see cruel ambiguity,
love lends us promising dreams,
perceiving a rare beauty in integrity

Where harsh words, rooted in bigotry,
and humanity not all it seems,
love is a poem that turns on eternity

When we fall, let’s preserve our dignity
where Earth Mother s eye gleams,
perceiving a rare beauty in integrity

Where colour, creed, sex and sexuality,
life’s darker comedy redeems, 
love is a poem that turns on eternity,
perceiving a rare beauty in integrity

[From: Tracking the Torchbearer by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2012]


Friday, 11 May 2012


There is much wrong with the world, and the planet itself is screaming a warning.

So what are we going to do about it?

Dare I suggest that we need a least one leader with real vision and a commitment to it that others might follow?


They suggest we try and save garden creatures
and ocean whales before it’s too late

They suggest our luxury choices are sure to leave
the generation of 3000 with none

They suggest parents are scared of their children
and raising monsters

They suggest religious leaders pay more attention
to compassion than division

They suggest politicians aren’t listening to those
who put them there

They suggest our multicultural societies are failing
themselves and each other

They suggest we start learning the lessons wars
should have taught us

They suggest we’re but living will and testament
of a dying planet

So who are they, daring to suggest humankind look
to its shortcomings?

Among leafy choirs, anxious waves, nature’s children
rehearse this world’s passing
[From: Accomplices to Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Book 2007]

This collection is still in print, but only on sale in the UK. Overseas readers (as well as home readers) can obtain (signed) copies direct from me at a generous blogger discount on [retail price + shipping]. Enquiries to: with ‘Poetry collection’ or ‘Blog reader’ in the subject field.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Listening Out For Nature

I have just uploaded the video that concludes my friend Graham’s visit to the Cheddar Gorge along with a poem I wrote especially to accompany it; you will hear me read the poem over the video:

Unfortunately, the poem in the You Tube ' Description' does not transfer to the blog but become crowded and unreadable. However, it appears that not everyone can access You Tube so I am also posting poem and video here today.


Birdsong in the wind
making promises it cannot keep
to every flower, tree
and blade of grass, each hair
on the head of creatures great
and small

Tears in the wind
but acid rain, humankind’s gift 
to every flower, tree
and blade of grass, each hair
on the head of creatures great
great and small

Joy, too, in the wind
same birdsong busy serenading
every flower, tree
and blade of grass, each hair
on the heads of creatures great
and small

Love songs in the wind,
composed for every flower, tree,
and lade of grass, each hair
on the heads of creatures great
and small to take heart,
know it will flourish in the light
of Apollo’s smile;
ageless, the tell-tale wind,
like our pride in every flower, tree,
and blade of grass, each hair
on the heads of creatures great
and small exhorting us
to answer its call to keep this world
colourful, peaceful

Birdsong in the wind,
let fly to reassure every flower,
tree and blade of grass,
lift the heads of creatures
great and small threatened daily
with extinction

Tears in the wind,
at the passing of each season
for every flower, tree,
and blade of grass, each hair
on the heads of creatures great
and small

Joy, too, in the wind,
at each springtime’s returning
to nurture every flower,
tree, blade of grass, creatures
great and small counting on nature,
nature on us
Copyright R. N. Taber 2012

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Chain Gang

This post is duplicated on both blogs today; the poem appeared on my gay-interest blog in 2010, but never on my general blog.

I am happily, openly gay. But it wasn’t always that way. As regular readers will know, I am still haunted now and then by dark, cold, closet years when I was afraid to tell anyone. Throughout my youth and in the early years of young manhood, gay relationships were illegal here in the UK. Yet, after these were decriminalised, I was still more in that damn closet than out of it.

Part of the reason I hesitated to be openly gay was that I had such trouble shrugging off all the offensive stereotypes with which I had been burdened for years. Another reason was that I could rely on no support from family or friends for much the same reason. In many areas there are support groups available now; there is also a LOT of support available on the Internet that includes access to gay forums. [Always keep your wits about you when chatting to people on the web, though, as not everyone is as genuine as they may seem.]

Much has changed for the better since those dark days some 30+ years ago. Many of the stereotypes still exist but are countered these days by supportive (rather than just defensive) arguments, and in some parts of the world gay men and woman can turn to Equal Rights legislation.; in other parts of the world, though, there is none of this and gay people, especially young gay people, are suffering much as I did all those years ago.

It has to stop. Societies whose leaders support anti-gay legislation must be made to see sense by more enlightened societies; political pressure must be brought to bear and be seen to be brought to bear.

All the blame for the continuing suffering of gay people struggling with their sexual identity and in need of support and reassurance does not always lie at society’s door. Support and understanding starts in the home. Even in the so-called liberal West, gay boys and girls, men and women, are living in a gay-unfriendly environment.

Wherever you look, and closer to home than you may think, various socio-cultural-religious anti-gay pressures are being brought to bear on gay people. Bad in the southern hemisphere, yes, but no better in some parts of the northern hemisphere either.

As I keep saying and will keep saying, the key to supporting gay people in home, school and workplace lies in educating, family, friends and work colleagues into just what it means to be gay; dismantle all those same stereotypes and arguments that kept me in the closet once and for all. Parents and teachers worldwide must start taking responsibility for this and societies’ less enlightened leaders must start taking responsibility for taking a lead.

Those readers who get in touch to tell me I am being a dinosaur, things have changed and gays have never had it so good should take a closer look at what is happening in Uganda and many other African countries, for example, also in Russia where gay people amongst others must be aghast at Putin’s re-election as president.


I kept on shifting lies, bundles at a time
though threw back my head and sang,
tried to make out I didn’t give a damn
for breaking my back on a chain gang

If I ever thought about breaking loose,
it never played on my mind for long;
I couldn’t face ever having to choose
between alter ego and the chain gang

For long hours, days, weeks and years
I slogged on, didn’t put a foot wrong,
nor did a soul ever see me shed tears
for making a career of the chain gang

I knew office politics, chapter and verse
but still kept singing the same old song,
time ringing changes, for better or worse,
and a few new faces on the chain gang

One face would linger in my mind’s eye
and a sweet smile found me responding
that I couldn’t ignore even though I’d try
‘cause it just ain’t done on a chain gang

I’d been afraid to strike out and get real,
told gay love ungodly so must be wrong,
but how could anyone argue with a smile
that lets heaven shine on a chain gang?

We got to know each other better daily,
the office gossip machine near breaking,
anticipation growing like a monkey tree
(what were we doing on a chain gang?)

We did a runner one day, my love and I,
got a life, began doing our own thing,
happier at work (even happier at play…)
so glad to be gay, free, alive and kicking!

Copyright R. N. Taber 2007

Monday, 7 May 2012

The Crowded Sky

As a child, I would love creating stories in my head from cloud ‘figures’. People would laugh and tell me I’d grow out of this fantasising. Well, some people still laugh, but I’m glad I still feel inspired by clouds even 60+ years on.


I’ve seen ghost riders
chasing sandmen into storm clouds
and leaves fly

I’ve seen ghost riders
throw a sandman into a dark place
and trees cry

I’ve seen ghost riders
pluck such as I from fragile shelters
and no one notice

I’ve seen ghost riders,
others like me into this sorry world’s
worst nightmares

I’ve let ghost riders
drag me from my armchair, re-awaken
my consciousness

I’ve let ghost riders
rescue me from assault by prime time
TV advertising

I’ve let ghost riders
force me to face my more fragile selves

I’ve let ghost riders
trample a rainbow, watched it crumble,
only to re-assemble

One by one, ghost riders
falling away, till nothing left to say they
are even history...

Except me

[From: Tracking the Torchbearer by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2012]

Note: Feedback on my collections (good or bad) is always welcome. They are only on sale in the UK but overseas readers can contact me for details of a generous blogger discount on signed copies. Contact: with 'Blog reader' or 'Poetry collection' in the subject field. 

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Home Grown

Terrorism is not only a global threat from fundamentalists and fanatics who think they are right so everyone else must be wrong.

Most if not all of us have our own private terrors within our own personal space; many of these are spirited away into the rose coloured mists of time by kinder forces to which we become more sensitive we grow up, but...rarely if ever quite all.

Before we can hope to defeat global terrorists perhaps we (and they) need to address and rise above our own private terrors?


A cry in the night, could be
human or beast,
sneaking past the Old Man
like a snake

A stalking star, fallen upon
its victim?

Feet dead, thought paralysed
by indecision;
Does someone need help, but
in what direction?

Probably a cat, trapped in that 
dark alley’s jaws

Quiet. Blood rediscovering its
everyday route;
Mind functioning sufficiently
to agree inaction

Body heading for home, as if
never disturbed

A cry in the night, marking us
for human or beast;
Heart beating madly, madness

Of global terrors, none greater
than home grown

[From: Accomplices to Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2007]

Note: The original cover design for this collection is by my dear friend Graham Collett who has designed  covers for (many) other books besides mine in the course of his full-time job as a graphic designer. He also finds time to shoot the videos for my you-tube channel: I am fortunate indeed to call him my best friend. 

Friday, 4 May 2012


Nothing provides a rush of adrenalin quite like love...


Words of love tumble like Niagara
from heavenly heights, a thunderous roar
of metaphor, simile, rhythm and rhyme,
a wondrous sight, vision to behold…
only to be carried along some eternal river
of the soul about which tales are told
but no one ever goes for fear the unknown
prove too much, poetry alone no match
for a frantic tide of mixed emotion, devotion
to themes of love, desire, need, drawing
crocodiles to feed, swallow us whole who dare
take a chance on our dreams; instead, we act
the sightseeing tourist snapping for the album,
keeping a diary of nature’s unsubtle cut
and thrust, mocking the foibles of humanity
with such sheer profanity that we hear old gods
laugh, call out names (meant to provoke us
to take action?) as we but watch in awe, give
Imagination its due, soaked in the spray
of an elixir of youth, testament to the truth
of our inhibitions if we but care to admit,
rise above, meet the death defying challenges
of life and (most of all) love’s finer glory,
the, oh, but never ending story of a waterfall
bringing our senses into full play

Copyright R. N. Taber 2005; 2010

[Note:This poem has been slightly revised since it last appeared on the blog and in 1st eds. of A Feeling For The Quickness Of Time by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2005; 2nd ed. in preparation.]

The collection is still in print, but only on sale in the UK. Home and overseas readers can obtain signed copies direct from me at a generous blogger discount on [retail price (£9.99) + shipping]; total cost will depend on shipping (postal) charges.

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