Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Shades of Comic Genius

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

Growing old can bring all manner of health and other problems. Yet, most of us feel little different
within ourselves than we did as we passed through various stages of youth and middle age although (hopefully) more than a shade wiser.

Every now and then, it feels GOOD to defy the outward signs of age and let the inner self let its hair down…

Never let anyone tell you that old age is a killing field.

SHADES OF COMIC GENIUS
(For old[er] people everywhere)

We stripped naked under a leafy sky,
saw our bodies turn to gold,
for a while forgot about growing old

Rediscovering youth’s feisty passion,
we surfed its glorious tide,
put aches, pains and home truths aside

A balmy breeze gave us its blessing
and songbirds sang an amen
while halcyon days revisited us again

Though years pass and take their toll,
the spirit of adventure remains
to seize the day, throw off its chains

If love is the greatest adventure of all,
sex is but half the story,
a shared empathy, its power and glory

We dressed quickly, nature applauding
bodies frayed at the seams
acknowledging its comedy of dreams

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

(Update, 2016: All my poetry collections are now out of print; revised editions in e-format will eventually be available on Google Play.)


Monday, 29 October 2012

Autumn Leaves, High Notes on a Falling Scale

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

Several readers have been in touch now and then to say they enjoyed my 'Four Seasons' quartet of poems in my collection. Appropriately enough, here is the one for autumn that last appeared on the blog in 2010.

I love autumn. I don't find it a depressing season. The incredible colours of turning leaves never fail to fill me with optimism along the lines of optimism, hope, and defiance even at a time of sadness for the beginnings of endings…

[Photo taken from the Internet]

AUTUMN LEAVES, HIGH NOTES ON A FALLING SCALE 

In a garden spread with dead leaves
and heads of flowers,
I heard a story told by a dying rose
soon to breathe its last,
about a Stoic in Red passing through
the world scaring us
like the Bogey Man who lives under
a child’s bed, pretending to roar
like a dragon out for sport
yet made to look small, caught out
like the family pet

Neither young nor old, a Stoic in Red
wears buttons of gold
on a coat the colour of blushing cheeks
at our making a faux pas,
made to look as small as a dragon under
our bed at night long ago
when every dawn a prologue to adventure
though, by sunset, traces of blood
enough to make us glad
computer games are but fairytale
gone mad

According to the rose, the Stoic in Red
has kindly ways
in spite of luring savage cloud and wind
like hungry beasts
to feed off gentle trees, rip them bare
while a few songbirds dare
watch and wonder about songs they once
made, turned into dreams then
gave a friendly sandman
to paint the world’s bleakest scenarios
with brave colours

He comes for me, said the rose, and I depart
though a Stoic in Red keeps me in his heart

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



Sunday, 28 October 2012

Strangers On A Train

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

A number of readers have asked me to repeat the link to my (very) informal poetry reading on the 4th plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square back in July 2009; it was my contribution to Antony Gormley’s One & Other ‘living sculpture’ project that ran 24/7 for 100 days during which time 2,400 ordinary people were invited to do their ‘own thing’ for an hour. I included some poems on a gay theme among others. [The entire web-stream is now archived in the British Library.]

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

Meanwhile…

Today’s poem last appeared on the blog in 2009 it was first published in two poetry magazines - Psychopoetics (No. 42, 1998) and Reach (No. 27, 1999) - before I included it in my first major collection.

As more of my poems were accepted for publication during the 1990s, my confidence as a poet grew and I had the idea of publishing a collection. Regular readers will know that poetry publishers showed no interest (especially as I intended to include poems on a gay theme) so I went ahead and created my own imprint. Until recently, sales have paid for new publications and new if relatively small print runs of previous collections. Sales for Tracking the Torchbearer (2012) have been disappointing, though, if not too discouraging given the global economic downturn. (Any 2nd editions will be in e-format and include revisions of some poems.) I have yet to decide whether a final collection - Diary of a Time Traveller - that I am working on for publication in 2015 will be in print or e-format although I am feeling more and more inclined towards a very limited print run alongside an e-book.

Incidentally, readers are often curious as to why the covers for my first four volumes are not in colour. Partly, the reason is because it was much more expensive at the time and I had no way of knowing whether I would recover costs. However, the main reason is that they contain many early poems and I used to think of myself more in terms of black and white than colour in those days.

Meanwhile…

Have you ever looked at your face in a train window and seen a complete stranger? Sounds weird…or familiar?

STRANGERS ON A TRAIN

Met someone on a train (was it yesterday?)
heading away from things held dear
but meant little any more once fate knocked
on my door smelling of adventure
(a heady perfume) and like a fool I let you in;
must have been a devil on my shoulder
getting bolder as I get older, feeling a need
to show the world I’m not afraid
or, to tell the truth (as told on the train)
lonely for my youth again, again...
so we danced all night and the devil sang
(To hell with what’s right and wrong!)
One life, let’s have fun, where’s the harm?
None, thought I. Yet, one by one,
the flowers in my garden began to die
till a day came when you looked,
turned away, shrugged a short ‘goodbye.’

Couldn’t face friends then so caught
the first train. A stranger looked me in the eye,
told me not to cry, how I’d learn to live
with pain and love again, I only had to try;
I was many years in the learning, alone
and left for dead… then I met you, saw how
that face in the train window hadn’t lied,
me, too scared to believe a word (and how!)

Till now

Copyright R. N. Taber 1998

[From: Love and Human Remains by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2001]


[Please Note: My collections are only on sale in the UK but anyone can order (signed) copies from me at a generous blogger discount. For details, contact rogertab@aol.com with ‘Blog reader’ or Poetry collection’ in the subject field.]



Thursday, 25 October 2012

A Strictly Private Viewing

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

Today’s poem has not appeared on the blog since 2009. It first appeared in a Forward Press anthology, Poetry Rivals, 2009: Lyrical Winds and subsequently in my collection.

Now, dreams are often seen as an intrusion into our personal space, but personal space comprises conscious and unconscious thought. I see dreams as affording us a strictly private viewing of it, taking in all those parts that comprise the whole; reality, illusion, ego, home truths, denial, wishful thinking...etc. etc.

How we interpret dreams and may or may not let them influence us for better or worse...well, that's called choice.

A STRICTLY PRIVATE VIEWING

Cartoon faces moving across my sky
like a home movie;
I close tired eyes to push them away
but they haunt my mind;
happy faces, sad faces, tearful faces,
lips mouthing my name;
familiar, faintly familiar, some skeletal
expressions breaking out

Past, present, wishful thinking signals
to the brain to shut down
but they have logged on, not ready yet
to turn me off;
lies, half lies, bad errors of judgement
like some grotesque mob
up for rough justice for want of answers
I don’t have, never did;
monstrous accusations and insinuations
fall like bird droppings
on a statue’s public profile, frozen in time,
trapped in its own failings

I hear a distant cry, an echo of centuries
in pain, anger and grief
for all private lives and a personal space
relegated to speculation
new faces, clear signals, warning off
Conspirators to Nightmare,
put expressions of defeat to rout, deleted
like redundant icons on a screen;
benign spirits enough to grace a totem pole
take control, cast out
demons let slip past a kinder humanity
by an unforgiving hierarchy

Eyes open, eyes shut. Sky relays to pillow
the many faces of love;
we sleep, we awaken to direct and star
in our own reality peep-show

Copyright R. N. Taber 2010

[Note: This poem first appeared under the title 'A Penny to See the Peep-Show in On The Battlefields of Love by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2010]


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Suburban Hero OR The Good Neighbour

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

Today's poem has not appeared on this blog before. I have nothing to add, but will let it speak for itself.

However, I would say to the reader who kindly says he enjoys many of my poems but thinks my collections would sell better and that I'd probably acquire a higher media profile within the arts media if I 'scrapped the gay poetry altogether...' Well, yes, you may well have a point. [Do I care?]

SUBURBAN HERO or THE GOOD NEIGHBOUR

He was just an ordinary man, living
an ordinary life on an ordinary street,
and whenever we chanced to meet
he would always make time for a chat,
ask me (for example) did I know that
Mrs T at number ten had been ill again
with lumbago, old J at number five
caught a bug in hospital and was damn
lucky to be alive?

He was such an ordinary man, living
such an ordinary life on such a street
as you might expect to find anywhere
if you care to look beyond dull fronts
of ordinary houses, could be forgiven
for thinking no worse fate (surely?)
than this spending one’s days in such
predictable ways, the stuff of suburban
myth for centuries

He was such an ordinary man, died
only a few years ago in a road accident;
no complicated will, only a pre-paid
funeral insurance, a few items to friends
and the house to an HIV-AIDS charity
that found everyone confiding how they
had suspected he was ‘one of those’
but …immaterial, and the whole street
turned out for the funeral

Such an ordinary man, nothing special,
simply a nice, neighbourly homosexual

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

[Note: My collections are out of print now and there will be no new (print) editions, but revised editions in e-format are in preparation;  poems on my blogs include revised versions as well as poems that do not appear in any collection.] RT 11/16

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

An Affinity with the Life Force of Dead Leaves

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

A new poem today for autumn, and falling leaves everywhere…

We all feel low sometimes. Only yesterday, I found myself relating to a dead leaf in the street, heading for a drain; a depressing experience until I reminded myself that it was not the end of the last leaf in the whole world; others would follow in an endless cycle of life and death where dying is not so much the beginning of the end but a way of leaving space for new beginnings.

An old man who lived on the street where I was born and lived until I was 14 years-old told me once that I should never fear death but think of it as a life-force. He was not a religious person so I thought his 80-something years must have taken their toll or perhaps it was just wishful thinking. (He died only weeks later.) It has taken me more than half a century to understand what he meant.



AN AFFINITY WITH THE LIFE FORCE OF DEAD LEAVES

I drifted lonely as a leaf
left to fare as it will on a wintry breeze,
perhaps (who knows?) missing
its parent tree, the company of siblings,
playing host to feathered friends
as long as their seasons last, world
a happier place if only a kinder nature’s
wistful take on it

Who can ever say (for sure)
a leaf cannot think, feel, experience
the ebb and flow of life
in ways only Earth Mother knows
who gives, takes away,
and gives back again when the time
comes to renew her vows to humankind
at each spring blessing?

I watched the leaf sucked
into a drain, lost forever among sewage
beyond salvaging (who knows?)
as I feel myself sucked into a vortex
scaremongers call Old Age
where the hope is we’ll be saved  
as lovingly pressed collectables between
pages of living memory

Did it feel rejected, the leaf,
and was it glad to drown in a dark sewer
where all the world’s garbage
flows into its seas, as likely to kill off 
countless life forms as the shrewd
property developer felling trees
or an old poet infecting imagination
with its worst fears?

Back home, a glossy magazine,
repudiating my distress as bold as brass
with the latest fashions pics,
celeb gossip, ideas to impress the boss,
tips on keeping old age at bay;
in the garden, leaves faring better  
than a gutter (compost) giving glossy
a good run for its money

Copyright R. N. Taber 2012

Friday, 19 October 2012

A Poet's Shrewsbury

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

A poetry reading in 2007 took me to Shrewsbury where I engaged with a lovely audience in a local bookshop. I did not get around to including my poem in a collection until this year and have to say I feel more than a shade self-conscious about posting a poem of mine alongside mention of such a fine poet as Wilfred Owen.

Wilfred Owen (1883-1918)

Owen, a homosexual (the word ‘gay’ was not used in this context in those days) is probably one of the best known of the World War 1 poets. His name appears on the Great War Memorial tablet inside Shrewsbury Abbey.

Photo: Shrewsbury Abbey

‘Symmetry’ in the grounds of the abbey is sculpture, by Paul de Monchaux commissioned by the Wilfred Owen Association (Owen went to school in Shrewsbury) to commemorate the poet’s life and work; it was unveiled in June 1993. The line "I am the enemy you killed" engraved on one side is from Owen’s poem, ‘Strange Meeting’ The design is meant to convey the symmetries in Owen’s poem as well as the trenches of 1917 and the Sambre-Oise canal in 1918.

Photo: ‘Symmetry’

On 4th November 1918, the British 32nd Division crossed the Sambre-Oise canal at Ors, in the face of strong opposition. Wilfred Owen was killed on the towpath on this side of the canal about one kilometre to the north of the bridge.


Photo: Western Front Association plaque for Wilfred Owen by the Sambre Canal, Ors, France. 

Regarding my poem, I should mention that Laura's Tower is a folly built on the summit of Shrewsbury Castle motte around 1790 by Thomas Telford for Laura, the daughter of Sir William Pulteney, as a summerhouse. It is of an octagonal design in red sandstone with conical copper roof. The river Severn flows by

Photo: Laura’s Tower


Mount House, birthplace of Charles Darwin


A POET'S SHREWSBURY

Follow the market trader’s cry
across old Shrewsbury town
where the fickle Severn flows by

Discern in history’s cloudy eye
scenes of Parliament v Crown;
follow the market trader’s cry

At Laura’s tower, dare lift high
the hem of Nature’s gown
where the fickle Severn flows by

Swans over the English Bridge fly
with dive-bombing precision,
follow the market trader’s cry

See sunset’s flames lick at the sky
as if the grand abbey burning down
where the fickle Severn flows by

Ponder a war poet casting the die,
Darwin giving heaven cause to frown;
follow the market trader’s cry
where the fickle Severn flows by

[Shrewsbury, August 2007]

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


[Please Note: My collections are only on sale in the UK but anyone can order (signed) copies from me at a generous blogger discount. For details, contact rogertab@aol.com with ‘Blog reader’ or Poetry collection’ in the subject field.]

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

A Passion For Trees (Two Poems)

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

I posted a new video on my You Tube channel yesterday and today's post is (more or less) repeated on both blogs.:


Since feedback from blog readers around the world suggests that some people cannot access You Tube direct for one reason or another, I am posting poem and video (see at the bottom of this page) again here. 

While I only published the poem here in April this year, it was centred on the page as it is in my collection, but You Tube would not let me do this so I have arranged the poem differently. As I try to leave a good 18 months or so between publishing a poem on the blog,  I am also posting the first poem; it has not appeared on the blog since 2008 and has been especially requested by ‘Jack and Louise’ for ‘[our] son Michael and his partner Jonathan.’

So the first poem talks of gay love…so what? Love is love is love…and never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Both poems appear in my latest collection - Tracking the Torchbearer (2012).

Meanwhile…

The famous opening lines of ‘Trees’ by American writer, Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) spring to mind:

‘I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree...’

Photo: An ash tree.

WAKING UP TO LOVE

There’s a tree in a field
that sings me a love song
every time I’m sitting
where it rises from the ground;
listen and you’ll hear
the lyric of a love song hanging
on a dream lost and found

By a tree in a field
we wrote our first love song,
bodies entwining
as we lay there on the ground,
sharing with the birds
such joy, such passion, hanging
on a dream lost and found

There’s a tree in a field
that watched us kiss and part,
not daring to believe
as we lay there on the ground
how gay love might
survive a world left but hanging
on dreams lost and found

To a tree in a field
we returned to write a love song,
bodies entwining
as we lay there on the ground,
sharing with the birds
such joy, such passion, a waking
dream lost and found

Copyright R. N. Taber 2008

Photo: An Ash tree.

MY HERO IS A TREE

Leaves on my hero are budding,
the music of spring as sweet as ever heard;
swallows returning bring life
to field and valley, filling the lonely heart
with thoughts of love

Leaves on my hero are singing
songs of summer as feisty as passion;
young folks laughing bring life
to field and valley, filling hearts growing old
with memories of love

Leaves on my hero are turning
red and gold in the company of dreams,
swallows leaving, sure to return
to field and valley while hearts young and old
fly the colours of love

Leaves on my hero are drifting
across time and space, world without end;
tears of pain, joy and hope
flying field and valley like bright eyed children
running with kites

Leaves on my hero are budding.
the music of spring as sweet as ever heard;
swallows returning bring life
to field and valley, and new takes on old stories
we tell on love

Leaves on my hero are singing
songs of summer as feisty as passion;
young folks laughing bring life
to field and valley, teasing hearts growing old
they know nothing of love

Leaves on my hero are turning
red and gold in the company of dreams;
swallows leaving, sure to return
to field and valley while hearts young and old
fly the colours of love

Leaves on my hero are drifting
across time and space, world without end;
tears of pain joy and hope
flying field and valley, the children we were,
running with kites

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


[Please Note: My collections are only on sale in the UK but anyone can order (signed) copies from me at a generous blogger discount. For details, contact rogertab@aol.com with ‘Blog reader’ or Poetry collection’ in the subject field.]


Sunday, 14 October 2012

Dunster, Marking Time

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

I have written many ‘place’ poems; places I have visited and with which I have fallen in love. Always hopeless at taking photographs, I try to absorb my surroundings and later compose a poem to reflect them.

Now, I love Somerset so was delighted when reader ‘Kathy’ in New Zealand got in touch recently to say how thrilled she was to come across my poem Dunster, Marking Time on the blog as she was born there. It appears her family migrated to New Zealand in the 1970s. Since I have not posted the poem since 2008 it is good to know that some readers enjoy browsing the archives.

The poem first appeared on the BBC Somerset site which is worth exploring and will also take you to my poem on another picturesque village, Watchet, closely associated with Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner:


For good measure, I am also posting Classic Somerset inspired by R. D. Blackmore’s classic novel Lorna Doone; the poem appears in my latest collection Tracking the Torchbearer.

As well as being a very beautiful part of the UK, Somerset is also steeped in history and some of you may care to look it up on Wikipedia:


DUNSTER, MARKING TIME

Come clouds of steam or sea mist,
its castle ghosts watch over
Dunster village, shore and forest

Yarn market shell among the best,
(hear buyers and sellers barter)
come clouds of steam or sea mist

Where Benedictines have blessed
history’s customary makeover;
Dunster, village, shore and forest

At a water mill its days have kissed,
engage with past and future,
come clouds of steam or sea mist

Where packhorses once crossed
and nuns offered up a prayer;
Dunster village, shore and forest

Where Doomesday stories persist,
along the Avill river…
come clouds of steam or sea mist,
Dunster village, shore and forest

[Dunster, Somerset, May 2008]

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

 Photo: 17th century Yarn Market, Dunster

 CLASSIC SOMERSET

Doone valley, classic fiction
for holiday images
conjuring true inspiration

Come any with a predilection
for turning nature’s pages;
Doone valley, classic fiction

At Badgworthy Water, listen
out for Carver’s rages
conjuring true inspiration

At Earth Mother’s invitation,
share a Love of Ages;
Doone valley, classic fiction

Celebration of Lorna and John
(birds singing their praises)
conjuring true inspiration

Cream teas teasing imagination
to revisit R. D’s pages;
Doone valley, classic fiction
conjuring true inspiration

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

  Photo: This bridge marks the boundary between Somerset and Devon in Doone Valley.

 [Please Note: My poetry collections are only on sale in the UK but anyone can order (signed) copies from me at a generous blogger discount. For details, contact rogertab@aol.com with ‘Blog reader’ or Poetry collection’ in the subject field.]


Friday, 12 October 2012

Poor Sparrow

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

While this overcrowded island of ours badly needs more (affordable) housing, we must protect what remains of our green and pleasant land.


Let’s all speak up to save our trees and woodlands, and make sure there are always green fields nearby for everyone to enjoy, especially our children, and wildlife too… 

POOR SPARROW

Once a village, quickly became a town;
green fields now a housing estate
where we lowered poor sparrow down

In lanes we’d watch the harvest sown,
now highways, commuters running late;
once a village, quickly became a town

Of daisies a tree nymph’s spring gown
within creak, squeak, of a trellis gate
where we lowered poor sparrow down

More peace and quiet than ever known,
though small politics its fishwives berate;
once a village, quickly became a town

Office blocks where kites once flown,
nature’s finest gone for cheapskate
where we lowered poor sparrow down

Long years past, we children grown,
memories like sunlight on wet roof slate;
once a village, quickly became a town
where we lowered poor sparrow down

[From: Accomplices To Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2010]


[Please Note: My collections are only on sale in the UK but anyone can order (signed) copies from me at a generous blogger discount. For details, contact rogertab@aol.com with ‘Blog reader’ or Poetry collection’ in the subject field.]

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Best Seats At The Opera OR S-P-R-I-N-G, Poems put to Music

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

Reader ‘Sahira’ has kindly been in touch to say how much she especially enjoys my nature poems. Many thanks for that, encouragement always gratefully received. Sahira has also asked for more information about the Cheddar Gorge after viewing the videos posted on my You Tube Channel + poems:


(Click on ‘browse videos’ and scroll to Cheddar Gorge clips 1, 2, and 3.)

I suggest reading up about it on the Cheddar Gorge Wikipedia:


Meanwhile…

Several readers have asked me to repeat today’s poem although none could remember the title; all suggest it is ‘a nature poem with the word, opera, in the title’ so here it is; it last appeared on the blog in March 2011. [Okay, so it isn’t spring here in the UK, but it is in some parts of the world. Besides, we can all dream, can’t we...?]

BEST SEATS AT THE OPERA or S-P-R-I-N-G, POEMS PUT TO MUSIC

Spring in the air, songs of life
we only ever hear
if we listen out for birds and bees
and others such as these
that form a golden chorus
in settings of silver, blue, green,
red and yellow

Though humankind try to copy,
modify or destroy,
it can but fail to silence songs
Earth Mother teaches
her children from seedlings
to a passing through rehearsals
for the Opera of Life

Lights down and only Pan’s pipes
heard, keeping us quiet
until the next act begins and puts us
through changes - to a curtain call
that, brief as it may be, brings
history in line with humanity’s
performance poetry

Though we be deaf, blind or dumb
the Poetry of Spring
can be seen heard and passed on
by everyone, though the moon
by night or the sun by day - lifting
songs from footprints left in dead clay
by poets of the day

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


[Please Note: My collections are only on sale in the UK but anyone can order (signed) copies from me at a generous blogger discount. For details, contact rogertab@aol.com with ‘Blog reader’ or Poetry collection’ in the subject field.]

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Poems By Passing Clouds

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

I posted a ‘Cloudscape’ video on You Tube yesterday and read one of my ‘cloud’ poems (The Challenge) over it; the poem is in the description that accompanies the video:

http://www.youtube.com/rogerNtaber

Feedback suggests some of you cannot access You Tube direct and/or have  no time to browse the blog archives so I am posting it again here (see second poem below) along with the video.

As I only posted The Challenge here in February, I am repeating another ‘cloud’ poem that has not appeared on the blog since 2010.

Today is National Poetry Day here in the UK. Here’s hoping that if you love clouds even half as much as I do, you will enjoy these poems…

POEMS BY PASSING CLOUDS

Some songs in the wind
only the trees ever hear
and even beasts and birds
never learn the words,
can but live by the descant
of hungry young in spring,
butterfly wings in summer,
falling leaves in autumn,
bin bag puppies in winter

Some songs in the wind
only the trees ever hear,
no matter that humankind
imposes its own lyrics
(poor carbon copies passing
for popular reflections in
some subway busker’s eye)
sure to become classics
since they make people cry

Some songs in the wind
only the trees ever hear,
will never let on they know
or beast and bird give up
on a world that humankind
likes to make out it knows
but dare not face the wind
with its pathetic untruths,
lyrics sure to blow the mind

There’s a song in the wind
only the trees ever hear
about nature’s secret ways;
life, death, misadventure,
why it’s the good die young
more often than not, while
the old pressure the rest of us
not to forget better days
but take a leaf from the trees

There’s a song in every tree
running rings around history

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


 THE CHALLENGE

There is a bridge between clouds
where we pause
who ponder on the purpose
on living just to die,
where the spirit unfulfilled,
the heart strayed
across certain boundaries society
has imposed (conventions)
so much the better to disguise
its worst intentions

There is a bridge between clouds
where we pause
who ask why the world below
has let us down…or did we
let ourselves and each other down
in the end
for never ceasing to demand more
than our fair share
of whatever peace and love
to be found there?

There is a bridge between clouds
where we’ll wait
our turn to cross…or be left
wishing deeds undone,
words unsaid, lies left creeping
under the tongue,
never to see the cold light of a day
when we must answer
to all its invidious shadows
may have heard us say

We can but cross, we children of Earth,
rise to the challenge of life over death

Copyright R. N. Taber 1984; 2010