Sunday, 27 January 2013

Poetry Through My Years

As a small child I insisted,
I could learn the poetry pieces,
My brother and sister had been given that week,
Little more than a toddler sitting meek.
Before announcing I too could recite,
The lines I'd heard from their learning each night -
As the Teacher encouraged me to do it,
I relished the chance to take a walk through it.
Before I had learnt to read words off a page,
And long before the designated age,
I stood and recited the words I had heard,
That had appealed and somewhere in me stirred,
While Rory and Clara had read aloud,
I learnt word for word and spoke along proud.

And after this asked to join a drama group -

And this urge continued on quite a loop.
And so at the tender age of three,
Walked into that room suddenly timidly.
And sat in the circle on a big orange chair,
Looking down to see my legs dangling there,
We were asked our name and our favourite song,
It seemed an eternity for my turn to come along.
As the group went around and each said their name,
And followed it with a degree of shame,
With the previous child's answer and the child before that,
'The Wheels On The Bus' their song; that was that.
When it came to my turn I made no hesitation
To announce with perhaps some indignation -
'Kirstin Marianne Maguire',
Then my tone a little higher -
'Bye Bye Love' and the circle blank faces,
'Everly Brothers' I added, to validate it.
For this was before shy cheeks radiated,
I think back on that moment, find it's not that outdated,
For though through life we change immeasurably,
The tapestry of self continues to be
The fabric woven and stretched and sowed,
But something remains as the years unfold.

So, when we look back on those memories of youth,

We can find our former selves reveal a truth,
Of the person we are now, our interests and ideals,
No matter what cards the game of life deals,
So one thought I hold that may well be true -
Don't spend a lifetime fighting urges to be you,
And those memories faded from so long ago,
Are the first sparks of light where horizons will glow. 

Ode To Nick Drake

So many stars had slipped,
Maybe you were looking for the silence.
Did your skin feel thin or ideals seem wild?
Did phases slip longer and longer between each drift?
Perhaps things were fading away,
Or coming to an almighty blow.
But so many stars had slipped,
Maybe you retreated to silence.
Returning or escaping,
The love hadn't grown cold.
But so many stars had slipped
Maybe silence appeared gold.

As The Clocks Chimed

She was born as the clocks chimed twelve to faces of love and warmth.

In her childhood, the heartbeat tick of the old clock on the mantelpiece fascinated her,
And how she resisted the hour it reached bedtime.

In her youth, the hours played tricks, contracting and expanding at will -
In some classes, the tick tick slowed and hesitated to meet the hour,
But those spent in the fields running, playing, creating mythical lands in mystical places knew no such chime.

In adulthood, the hours flicked by all too quickly.
Fading into weeks, months, even years she felt sometimes were wasted; though of course each has left it's mark.

In old age, the chime became sacred, something to be held on to, relished, revered and cherished.
And in all the while, it was all too quickly passing.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Working Title – Love

The first fluttering and feeling uneasy,
Liking it, avoiding it simultaneously.

Growing comfortable in time like fixed puzzle pieces,
Knowing idiosyncrasies, and feeling life easing.

A look in the mirror where you like your own face,
Feel the whole world enrapture in a kind embrace.

Experiencing exuberance, a freedom in soul,
An intoxicating, flourishing, generous glow.

Feeling their burden, wanting to put it right,
Placing them above you, for as long as they're alright,
The rest will be joyful, and beauty, and home,
No matter where the body should roam.

Their hand in yours, warmer than any glove,
What should we call it? Working title – Love.


Tonight friends, I'd like to talk about nonsense.
Well not about it, just 'it' so to speak,
Nonsense that is, for we work all the week.
So tonight friends, let's fill our cups,
Talking nonsense, laughing, opening hearts.
Let's take time away from our foes and our woes,
Or lamenting and grieving our past hopes that froze.
Let's sit a while, and each throw in to the pot,
Our own pearls of nonsense, for this life is not
All serious and straight-laced, with no sign of joy
Let's take this night and let's make it our toy.
Yes tonight friends, I'd like to speak nothing of sense,
Let's laugh, and play, and talk nonsense.
Music to ears, and mouth, and heart,
Friendships like this are rare to part.

Sunset and Snowflakes

My lovely friend and colleague Peer, uploaded a video to Facebook recently, of a timelapsed sunset from the view of our office window, which is a pretty stunning view, 15 floors up on the banks of the Thames. The footage was so striking I grabbed my phone, notes section and jotted this down over the next couple of minutes.

The rumble of traffic over the bridge,
The boats speeding along below.
As fire sweeps the Heavenly skies,
And turbulent clouds streak and billow.
The snowdrops falling,
The sunset calling
The sky into a blaze.
Before nestling down on the city's skyline,
Mystifying all who gaze.
The skies grow still,
The horizon stretches,
In pure and radiant beauty.
The traffic rumbles over the bridge,
Inspired workers refreshed for their duties.

All The World's A Stage

'All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts'.('As You Like It', Act 2 Scene 7, 139 – 143)

In the course of a day,
There's many parts we play.
And the stage is constantly changing.
From the first sign of waking,
While the morning light's breaking,
Our day ahead is a series of scenes.
Let's make each scene gripping,
Not winding and slipping
To the new role, in a haze and a dream.
For in life's repetition,
Sometimes of our voiltion,
We blank out, drift over, daydream.
But each moment has nuance,
Each role that we play
Forms the picture of who we've become.
Let's love every moment, not glazing over,
And only hand-picking some.
When the curtain comes down at the end of each day,
Let's have made it one unique and well-performed Play.

She Had Loved Him So Long

She had loved him so long, she couldn't imagine not any more.
It had long been the time since she questioned 'What for?'
And as they'd fade in early dawns of sleep,
Drifting into their own worlds; theirs alone to keep.
She'd sometimes awake to wonder he was.
For it wasn't with her, in his dreams he was
Far away, slipping and winding.
Awaking, unrejoicing and dressing silently.
She had loved him so long, she couldn't imagine not now.
And yet, had he ever meant the words of his vow? 

Hard Work

Things that come easy aren't always the best, hard work can be a fine thing.
When the outcome is needed, with heart centring it,
When it reflects an inner stirring.

Things that come easy are swiftly forgotten, those we strive for display our belief,
Hard work tasks the mind, the body, and heart, through it's outcome we find our relief.

Things that come easy can be unrewarding, those we aim for are a process.
When an aim is set out, and work undertaken, all these are marks of progress.

Things that come easy might not bring a lesson, but one thing that I must say -
Is you make your connections, create new directions, but be kind to yourself each day.

If the world doesn't see what you've put in that day,
If you've given your all but feel things going astray.
They'll all come together at one point or another,
Don't let hope glide away.
For you bring something special and there is no other
Who could truly do it your way.

Yes, things that come easy aren't always the best,
Work challenges mind to a practical test.
And furthermore, now I could even suggest -
Hard work is good for the soul.

The Grand Piano

The grand piano stood proudly in a room of faded glory.
The tablecloths, plates, cutlery, candlesticks.
The chandeliers clouded in dust and choked by neglect.
The grand piano stood tall on fragile legs that creaked and shook under its weight.
It had been a long time since anyone had cared to press those keys.
A layer of fine dust frosted it's once stark contrasting monochrome.
The flowers above softly seeped and wilted, the water diminished and cloudy, the vase itself leaving an imprint on the top of the grand piano, as it stood proudly, but shakily, in the old room that once stood for grandeur.
As the first corners of wallpaper peeled slightly, and the room's vivid colours assumed a greyness, and the old grandfather clock ticked ticked ticked night and day.
It waited, and waited, for a player to drift in, and listeners to sway.
But if they did, it's notes, stilted from their silence, might be out of tune, echoing wearily in this wilderness.
It had been such a long time since anyone had cared to press those keys.
And yet, maybe it could be beautiful.
The old wood creaked on the engraved legs.
It would seem everything fades without investment of affection.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Contemplating Nothingness

The notion of nothingness,
Becomes everything in time.
When subject and object are removed.
When duality ceases.
Where there is no longer 
An instinct, need or predilection 
To grasp.
For all is one, of one and in.
And every moment a transition.

The notion of emptiness,
Becomes very fulfilling in time.
A transient bubble.
A flash of lightning.
A crack of thunder.
A drifting cloud.
A vivid rainbow.
All beyond grasp.
All of emptiness, nothingness.
In non-duality,
In constant change,
In awakening.


In our wisdom and our kindness towards disability,
We appear to have distinguished to ideas of you and me.
Or should I say us and them? As is more often the case,
Where we all can participate but one clearly steals the race.
Where one group are charitable, liberal givers of kind,
And the others are the victims who we must ensure we mind.
And this categorising process can often lead to the feeling,
Disabled people solely seek aid and some sort of healing.
But when you are in pain
Do your dreams completely change?
For the human isn't taken from visibility
When we bestow on to them the name 'disability'.
So perhaps the kindness can unintentionally patronise,
And from such a process complex problems can arise.
For do we not all carry burden, our own kind of pain?
And at times our confidence can be little more than a feign.
For there is much to be learnt from those who overcome,
Rather than our kind approach perhaps we could all become
More humble and realise true equality
Unity from fragile ties of us and them, and you and me.


With soft silk draped across the neck,
Tired boots of leather sigh.
So as not to besmirch tracks of their path,
While the face in shadows hide.

With woven silk and glint of eye,
And cheeks of roses blushed.
The road travelled to become you,
The heart ripples and tones hushed.

By candlelight in a quiet bar,
The wax spilt through whiskey bottle.
And thoughts winding,
And fingers rolling the cigarette -
Smoke to drift.

With delicate silk draped and sheathed,
Over neck and shoulder and arm,
Enamouring all who wander by,
In soothing, inebriate calm.

Swifter Than A Sigh

Swifter than a sigh,
Drifting on the sea.
And freedom cries:
'Why leave me here?' -
Quoting Yeats and Innisfree.

Dreams of that small cabin,
And the fresh slow drops of peace.
Visions of sunset landscape,
As the heart finds sweet release.

Softer than a breath,
Floating from deep sleep.
For you've sowed many a wondrous seed,
Now is the time to reap.

Dream On Dreamer

Dream on dreamer, your time has not yet come.
Hold on to the love that defines where your heart is coming from.
And through the haze of memory,
Picture yourself as you see.
Not of faults and failings but the person you aimed to be.

Dream on dreamer, your time will come yet.
Let go of past anguish and any traces of regret.
But hold on to the loneliness, keep that sense of mind.
For trials and tribulations are the marks of ties that bind.

Dream on dreamer, your time has not come yet.
Hold on to the dream of tomorrow, for it's close don't you forget.

The Boat

The sail-boat left the harbour,
As the crowd shouted 3-2-1.
The fireworks, smiling faces,
The tides they were to run.
And out on open seas,
The ripples and the ropes.
Pride, affection and Godspeed,
The travels of dreams and hopes.
But I'll stop telling here,
Come join me, make it your tale,
For I'm interested to hear
Your ideas on these dreams that sail.
Abstract, momentary collisions
That define your story.
When envisaging this picture 
What do you imagine the boat to be?
And how do they look, the tides -
Glistening, sparkling, churning high?
Whose in the vessel sailing?
Who can your minds eye see?
And whose guiding the boat you're making?
These visions expose our psyche.
And our hearts and immediate connections.
For our momentary visions combine,
In elusive, transient fragments,
To make unique collections in time.

Saturday, 5 January 2013


'Tell 'em about themselves',
No doubt they already know.
I'm more acquainted with my faults than virtues,
As is likely the case for us all.

'Put them straight on that',
I doubt straightening out is needed.
For we each wind our crooked path,
Determined not deceiving.

'Tell 'em they were out of line'
By whose judgement? I expect it's mine.
But how do I know my beliefs to be right,
And not merely a reflection of my own insight?
Informed by a myriad of other times,
Written on, translated and transcribed
By my own prism of the world, not an absolute.
Perhaps what we deem others' failings is our own pursuit. 

I Take A Walk Along The River

I take a walk along the river, 
And watch the ebbs and flows,
Reach the tide of majesty,
Remnants of drifted souls.
And somehow near the river,
Life seems still and calm,
Where serenity, tranquillity,
Will keep me safe from harm.
From the ripple to the tide
I marvel at its side,
As the current sweet and mild,
Edges to freedom growing wild,
And some way from the river,
Each current will find the sea,
As some way the human phalanx
Turns it from 'I' to 'we'.

Out On London's Streets

Out on London's streets, 
The flower market and coffee shop.
The traffic lights, cafes, bars, 
Shop fronts with closed up doors.

The people losing careers, 
Riding trains to find jobs that replace their dreams.
But fill their pockets with money instead,
Or at least tease it for a little while,
And keep a roof over their head.

Out on London's streets, 
The homeless man under tattered quilt pines,
Before drifting into another day and wondering as it winds,
Around and around the merry-go of poverty.
Poets drifting along London's streets, 
Dreaming of a time when being free
Doesn't come with a fee.

Winter's Edge

At the edge of Winter I stood,
Allowed myself one last trembling look.
So memory's eye could picture the scene,
When the mind takes a wander needing something serene.
As the thawing frost rippled from the leaves,
And the birds raised their heads from the old oak trees,
And the air whipped a scent of a fresh Spring breeze,
That was on it's way continually.
Eternally, I stood there at Winter's edge,
Thought about dreams of youth and birds as they fledge.
At the edge of Winter ventured one last look,
So mind's eye could open it as a picture book.

The Suburbs And The City

Sleeping in the suburbs and working in the city,
On the tube ride to work I thought I'd write this ditty.

Sleeping in the suburbs and drinking in the city,
The lines you hear on a Friday night, lyrical and witty.

Sleeping in the suburbs and drifting in the city,
The crowded streets and paving stones, can all get fairly gritty.

Sleeping in the suburbs and dreaming in the city,
Idling and seeing how all things can be pretty.

Sleeping in the suburbs and swaying in the city,
And seeing all those lovely souls in the suburbs and the city.

The Great Cut On The Arts

When the funding cuts came in, this time and the last,
We connected to our history and made the same cuts as the past.
And so then, as has happened before, surely happened again -
One of the biggest on the hitlist was the arts my friend.
And if you who make the decisions could know what this really means -
Well I won't play armchair politics and claim solutions I haven't seen.
But suppose this were the case or something close to it at least -
Of the people you're cutting from, the things for them that have ceased.

The shy kid in the classroom who misrepresents them-self,
Until the Drama lesson where they lose all self-consciousness.
The prisoner who spends his nights with cell mate running through
Lines of the piece he wrote that day that tells his story true.
The old man in homeless shelter, told he has memory loss,
That nothing could be done, as the drinking came with a cost,
Suddenly relive his youth, his dreams, his memories, his boyhood.

These may seem far-fetched, idling dreams, just ideas in my head,
But the truth of these dreams is this instead -
I was that kid in the classroom,
Saw that prisoner flourish and bloom,
Spent sacred hours with that old guy,
As nostalgia and freedom glistened in his eye.

So make your cuts according to your view,
Only know one thing, what you're making them to.

Let's Go To The British Museum

Let's go to the British Museum and under its great roof sway.
Let's hide in the museum a while and pretend we were bound to stay.
We'll head into the Enlightenment Room where we could lose several hours,
And fleet around the artefacts and spiral the glistening towers
Of the mind that is and of human progress,
To learn from the world around us.
Let's go to the British Museum
A treasure trove of history abounds us. 

The Bell Tolls For The Souls Of Your Ministry

The bell tolls
For the souls
Of your ministry.

The people tired of this ongoing puppetry,
Where the puppeteer never quite shows his face,
But keeps at a distance and dictates the pace.

The bell tolls
For the souls
Of your ministry.

People waking at hours they wish not to,
For activities they'd rather not pursue
People staying with lovers because they need to,
Not for love, nor for care, but a nervous view

The bell tolls
For the souls
Of your ministry.

Disempowered, forgot who creates destiny,
Forgot that this isn't the way it has to be
That it's their hand that puts power to it.
Their soul, their will, that motivates it.
No, the familiar is safest and therefore the best,
The new could be great but the fear to digress
From the toil and confusion and from habit's doubt,
Well these are all things I'd rather do without.

The bell tolls
For the souls
Of your ministry.