Looking for my daughter

LOOKING FOR MY DAUGHTER

You are not dead
Yet gone almost as surely
You used to like Wimbledon
Went once – almost in the front row!
And so I scan the crowds
Uselessly on screen every year.
When I go up to London
I watch the down escalators
As I ascend;
But you are not there.

I wonder what you are doing
Now you have taken yourself away
And not spoken for many years.
I still keep on looking;
Even though you are not there.

Over Wenlock Edge

OVER WENLOCK EDGE

The wind whispers along Wenlock Edge
Then growing in force
Whips through tall trees
In a giant green wave.

The old escarpment curls and breaks
Tumbling its woods down below
Into a green sea flecked
With sunlight
Instead of foam.

How fortunate that Nature chooses
To wear green;
So soft on the eye,
So full of infinite shade:
The new green of spring
Ripening too soon to lush summer,
Mint and sage, lime fern and emerald moss.
The leaves of blackthorn, bramble,
Alder, rowan and slender new ash.
Leaves weave their wattled archway
Over my walker’s path.

The forest parts at Major’s Leap
Where Mary Webb’s heroine
Was hounded to her death
Still clutching the fox in her arms.

A patchwork of fields
Now “Gone to earth”
Stretches far over the plain
To Haddon Hill on Long Mynd.

But at this time of year
Green fields become corn,
Green leaves take on a touch of autumn
Turning brown and crinkly …

Then soon fall.

Beginnings

In the beginning was darkness,
Or so we are told.
But then came the Big Bang:
Fire, gas, maybe even brimstone
Rolling together under tension
Forming a thunderclap in the void.
From something?
Somewhere,
Sometime.

I know my beginning was seed
Meeting an egg,
In someone.
And now I am strangely here,
But not for long.
Must I too then go to nothingness
When my time is done?
Or shall I become
Part of another Big Bang,
Somewhere?
Somehow,
Some other tim

The Dog

THE DOG

The dog outlasts you,
He has been subdued
But tries to give me comfort.
He needs brushing
Which is a weekly chore,
Heaving him onto the grooming table,
I do my best.
He submits reluctantly
And forgets about it afterwards.
He gets me out every day
Rain or shine,
Which no doubt is good for me
Despite bad knees.
He follows me around constantly,
Upstairs, downstairs and in the loo
With his wet black nose.
He at least is glad
I am still here.

Widowhood

WIDOWHOOD

I am still getting used to it
Which means not.
In this house of yours
Which is too big for me now,
Redolent of memories.

There is no-one to say
How nice you look
Or change a light bulb
Though I am perfectly capable
If I try…..
(The garden hose remains a problem).

There is no-one to share the day with
Such as it is,
Bringing celebrations or trials.
It is six months now
But still seems
Only yesterday.

Detritus

DETRITUS

The remains of a life
Are stacked up ready to go –
A jumble of papers and files,
Large -fitting shoes and clothes,
Knick-knacks and furniture
No-one wants anymore.

Yet we still cling to
Old books and fading photographs,
A baby shoe and yellowing shawl,
Dried flowers from the wedding cake
And locks of hair,
All consigned to dusty drawers
And forgotten about,
With worthless jewellery
And pictures in ghastly taste
Which once meant something.

The seagulls circle over the tip
Squawking like vultures
Over the detritus of the world,
Whilst the crematorium
Makes a better bonfire.

Walkways

WALKWAYS

Those aerial walkways
You talked about on your sick bed,
Creating new memories, you said,
Are hidden now in thick greenery.
The squirrels who entertained you
Are not gone but hidden-
Just as you are.