Monday, 27 June 2011

Road Signs

Go carefully...


It was a bright light that led me to this place,
as I fought for breath in a mother’s womb,
painting pictures of peace, glory and grace,
wings of a dove on a warrior’s tomb

Where now the light that led me to this place
as I took my first breath outside the womb,
painting pictures of peace, glory and grace,
wings of a dove on a warrior’s tomb?

It’s a long road that led me to this place,
some call it destiny, fate, even doom,
and although my sight dims, I see a face,
spreading the joy of love on womb and tomb

Who watches out for its peace, glory, grace,
journeys well from first to last resting place

Copyright R. N. Taber 2008

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Blackbird Has Spoken

[Update 5/5/17: I am 71 now, have been living with the prostate cancer for 6+ years and still eluding the Grim Reaper thanks to hormone therapy. I still avoid social media, but all e-mails welcome and answered...except any trolls whom I simply delete!] RT

I have always made it clear that I will not post comments as I think they clutter a blog (yes, even the nice, intelligent ones) so please do not be offended when you receive notification that your comment has been deleted. Nor do I have time to go on Twitter or Facebook except to link my blogs as some readers have requested. [I will never return to social media having had experience of trolls.]

To be honest, on-line social networking never was my ‘thing’ but I am always happy to exchange emails if I have their email address or there is a contact button on their blog so I can at least thank them for their comment/s. I always reply to emails. (My email address is in the Blog’s introductory paragraph.) I have enjoyed a regular exchange of emails with some readers for several years now. So feel free to let me know what you think of either or both blogs and, yes, I can take constructive criticism of the chin.

I am doing fine with the prostate cancer treatment, but I’m 65 and get tired so need to rest a lot. I try to write up my blogs after discovering that I get withdrawal symptoms on days I don’t.... I am also struggling with writing Book Three of my gay-crime trilogy (Blasphemy-Sacrilege-Redemption) as well as preparing new editions of my poetry collections (with revisions to some poems) and proofing my second Fred Winter novel in case Catching Up With Murder (2010) .sells at least moderately well. In addition, as I live on my own, there is always shopping, cooking, cleaning etc. to be done and I especially like to spend as much time with friends as possible.


Oh, how bright mornings can fill even sleepyheads a feisty passion that demands partners stay in bed a little longer... if only on the pretext of caving in to the cat’s refusal to budge from its favourite spot on the duvet.


on a leafy, swaying branch...
A forefinger coaxing
tired nipples...
Chirpy young sparrows rippling
our personal space

Feisty fingers
at shirts, belts, stubborn zips;
late spring scents
teasing far suppler thighs
than ours and, yes,
we’ll miss that train,
the board meeting
at ten - and leave the curtains
open, closing eyes 
for a blackbird’s renewed joy
at such a coming alive;
common body,
three-in-one, grave decisions
celebrating acts
of redemption, blackbird’s
finest hour, throat throbbing,
wings flexing

Now, in full flight,
flung free of tree and branch
to sweeps of sky;
will settle soon enough
but never for less again
than this

Copyright R. N. Taber 2005; 2017

[Note: Slightly revised from the original version that appears in 1st eds. of A Feeling For The Quickness Of Time by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books; revised ed. in e-format in preparation.]

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Horse Whisperer

This poem has not appeared on the blog since 2008 and is repeated today especially for 'Clive and Kate' who have recently retired to live by '...the love of our lives, the sea.' Oh, but I am so jealous.

Now, Regular readers will know that I have a passion for nature from which I take what I like to think is a strong sense of spirituality. For me, personally, religion offers nothing. At the same time, who’s to say the power and glory some attribute to ‘God’ does not belong to Nature? My understanding of God is that He is everywhere, but I cannot go along with the idea of a personified God or supreme power so all my senses feel inclined to embrace nature instead. I have felt this way since childhood, long before I became aware of my sexuality. [Just as well, I guess...]

Whatever, we should respect each other’s points of view instead of constantly sniping at them and fighting over them. [I am often accused of sniping at world religions, but if you read my preambles and poems carefully, you will see it is the hypocrisy and bigotry on which so many so-called ‘religious’ people feed - not infrequently with undisguised relish - that I am attacking.]

Incidentally, I started writing this poem on Brighton beach in 2007 and finished it on the train back to London the same day.

(Photo from The Internet)


Foaming passions crashing down
on this, my art

God’s stallions on a last ditch run
of poetry…

Apollo, master-catcher, anxious
to break us in

Ghosts in the frame calling us out
in heaven’s name

Salty tears, a sandman’s labours
all but won

Lead palomino rears, cries, bows,
spirit unbroken

Leaning forward to bend its ear,
I, the horse whisperer

[Brighton (E. Sussex, UK) September 2007]

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

Monday, 13 June 2011

The L-Word, Defining the Better Part of Eternity

In my collection, I dedicated today's poem to a lovely American couple I met on a train in 1999 while travelling from San Francisco to New York; their children had treated them to their first trip outside California for a golden wedding anniversary present. 

It was a wonderful journey, a lively adventure that took a little over three days. It was the conference season and no sleepers were available so we slept in our seats. I got to know some lovely people on that train and during my 4-week stay in the States, I kept in touch with that particular couple, I am so glad to have met them; their devotion to each other shone through as did their sheer goodness and sense of fun, all of which made a lasting and deeply spiritual impression on me. [Needles to say, they had no problem with my being gay.]

[Update 2/2016: Sadly one of these friends has since died and his widow has Alzheimer's disease; a lovely couple, a sure sign that love is, indeed, the better part of eternity.]

Love, of course, comes in  all shapes and sizes ; family, friends, animals, even places...all may find hold a special place in our hearts, invariably bringing out the best of human nature while doing its utmost to compensate for the worst. How far (or not) it succeeds ... well, that is down to each and every one of us.

This poem is a villanelle.


Love, sweet mystery
rising above all things,
ecstasy or misery

Poor though we be
or walk among kings...
Love, sweet mystery

Who can say or see
of what a bluebird sings?
(Ecstasy or misery)

Around our history
forever running rings...
Love, sweet mystery

A millennium story
that to each of us brings
ecstasy or misery

Bringing to eternity
the lesser of our failings,
love is a mystery,
ecstasy or misery

Copyright R. N. Taber 2007; 20016

[Note: A different version of this poem appears in A Feeling for the Quickness of Time by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2003; revised ed. in e-format in preparation.]