Thursday, 19 August 2010

Shell Seekers

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

I have changed the appearance of this poem from the original version that appears in my collection which I first posted here on the blog in 2007. It is no reflection on the original poem (that has also appeared in other poetry publications) but I felt it was crying out for a makeover of sorts. Some readers, I know, prefer the original version which was always well received when I read it at several poetry readings around the UK. Listeners, of course, unlike readers, are oblivious to how a poem is laid out so hopefully people will like the later version as much as if not more than its predecessor. You are welcome to judge (and let me know) which version you prefer.



Any changes to original poems will appear in revised eds. that I plan to bring out in a few years, but in e-format.

You can see/hear me reading the (revised) poem in an early video on my You Tube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj2HSJCvvBo

If the link does not work, either go to mu You Tube channel and search under title:

http://www.youtube.com/rogerNtaber

OR 

for those of you who tell me you often cannot access You Tube for one reason or another, I have also posted the video here. (See below.)

Meanwhile, especially for Tony, Adam, Kylie and Roxanne from ‘Somewhere in the middle of nowhere’:

Original version (1991):

SHELL SEEKERS

No harder thing I do than loving you
at a distance as of sea and sand
at the going out of each tide,
at each coming up of the sun,
all the colours of morning strung
like prayer beads across the sky,
a benediction! You and I
as footprints on the shore;
Together. Parting. Wiped out.
Another tide, another morning,
another day - someone's searching
who'll know that we were here;
Beyond time and space,
false perimeters of place,
our love well-preserved
nor finer served than
by a shell's poetry, as
restless as the sea,
deceptive as each dawn

Like prayer beads, to
each our own

Revised version (2010):

SHELL SEEKERS

No harder thing I do
than loving you at a distance
as of sea and sand
at the going out of each tide,
each coming up of the sun;
all the colours of morning strung
like prayer beads
across the sky, a benediction!
You and I, footprints
on the shore; together, parting,
wiped out

Another tide, another morning,
another day and someone's
searching who'll know for sure
we were here

Beyond time and space,
false perimeters of place, our love
well-preserved nor finer served
than by a shell's poetry as restless
as the sea, as deceptive
as each dawn

Like prayer beads, to each
our own

Copyright R. N. Taber 1999; 2010

[Note: The earlier version of this poem appears in 1st eds. of Love And Human Remains by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2001.]


Thursday, 5 August 2010

Floods Of Fear

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

In my collections, I try to reflect, albeit selectively (depending on inspiration) something of the times in which the poems were collated; this includes natural disasters, tragically a recurring phenomena. As the arguments for and against climate change continues to rage, people are suffering around the world and need our help.

Yes, there are probably terrorist cells in Pakistan but the same can be said for the USA, the United Kingdom and other parts of the world. The ordinary people of Pakistan are victims of terror too. Whatever, humanitarian AID and rescue channels should be opened and stay open as soon as humanly possible. There is no room for red tape while people’s lives and livelihoods remain at such appalling risk.

Here floods, there drought. Nor are hostilities confined to Afghanistan and the Middle East. What kind of a world are we creating for future generations, eh?

This poem is a villanelle and, yes, I have taken a few liberties with ‘hidden’ rhyme (where words have similar sounds but do not exactly rhyme).

FLOODS OF FEAR

Floods of fear confronting Pakistan,
indiscriminate, rich and poor;
terrorism no less a threat than rain

Now and then, the worst monsoon
breaks down the strongest door;
floods of fear confronting Pakistan

Pain and grief as the world looks on
(some say could, should do more);
terrorism no less a threat than rain

Those left homeless, no peace plan
for reconstructing their future;
floods of fear confronting Pakistan

Across the border with Afghanistan
some two-way trafficking for sure;
floods of fear confronting Pakistan

Aid on its way, cannot arrive too soon
nature wreaking sickness and more;
floods of fear confronting Pakistan;
terrorism, no less a threat than rain

Copyright R. N. Taber 2010

[Note: I will include this poem in my next collection - Tracking The Torchbearer - scheduled for publication in 2010.]