Wednesday, 28 March 2018

NET CURTAINS

NET CURTAINS

I am pulling down the net curtains
in haste, the ones you hate.

I am clearing the space for
you to fill with washing
and tales of how things
are with you.

The nets are in my arms,
and your car is on
Daffodil Lane,

The smell of peat smoke,
roasted meat, wild flowers,
baked bread and now –
your perfume in my arms
In the bundle of nets I hold


(A poem from a few years ago when we nearly moved to a house with net curtains and our daughter was mortified, and I imagined living there and her coming home from college for the weekend)


Tuesday, 20 March 2018

MOURNING

MOURNING

I think, it was the winding lane that did it – the one
Lined with daffodils: Wordsworth would have approved.
I had my own poem set out – open like the cupped

Yellow offerings; perhaps I’d have added in: Sun-trapped
Stone steps - coming down from the white-washed loft;

And what the house held:
The bed-rails, the heavy wardrobe and ancient drawers,
The lace of the curtains, and the old dresser,
A range to help a kettle sing, and streams,

Of light across the lanolin floor – peeping
From wide window-sills, with hills outside.

Now, I have to content myself with the fact that - we have
A bigger vegetable patch here, than the little fenced one
At the back of the cottage we nearly had –
I knew the man who lived there once.



https://sites.google.com/a/lapwingpublications.com/lapwing-store/helen-harrison


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Sunday, 11 March 2018

MUM AND SPUDS


Mother's Day poem about my own mum....

 MUM AND SPUDS

How are you managing for heating oil?
Do you know that Mrs Mullen died?
I hope you like onions with your stuffing?
You said in your text that you’re on nights next.

Heaped on offerings of food,
Hot pans make mood for flavour.
Television. Loud repeated soaps,
Water hissing on stove. Potato
Peelings blocking sink - no time to think;

Can I help? I question her red face,
No it’s alright - clean the windows instead -
but listen; wait until after you’re fed.


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

POTATOES

POTATOES

I can smell the sweet potato peel
Upon my skin – and I visualise walking
Amongst the summer rows.

I pick over the box of earthy potatoes.
When I pull one that is perfect
I turn it in my hand like a gold nugget –
Buried in my memory – a charm.

I peel back happiness from the soil,
Memories drop into a watery bowl;
The day we planted them – sowing
Love which had lain on the edges.

Uncertain, I nearly threw love out
With un-seeded tubers; to decay in hedges.
Instead I wrapped them and stored them
In a cold shed – for spring planting;

I can already see your face shining pride
At flowering drills; you stand with a wide-stance;
The posture of the accomplished soul – your eyes,
Stare lovingly at each planted offering.


Published in my poetry collection ‘The Last Fire’ (Lapwing Publications).


Saturday, 20 January 2018

Wafer

Wafer

The wafer-thin leaves
Are now stuck in icy ground
Like frozen ideas

(haiku)


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Rhythm of Wood

The Rhythm of Wood

‘Hazel burns well; made for fire.
Ash splits and cuts easily. The thorn
is the best. Elders are useless’, he gestures
through gaps. His hands are veined
like leaves; he touches his cap in thought.

A character from this town land,
born of the substance of soil;
his pride in wood-piles.

A shy bachelor smile, and dragging a branch,
comments on the cold season. His furrowed brow
like his fields are full with life, but worn
with the tread of time. Fertilized with the rapture of repetition,
feeding his ragged trouser philanthropy?

Forty acres with a rose-scented doorway to the past,
at last reconciled to being a bachelor and a good neighbour.
I smile gratitude for his earthy routine –
the rhythm of wood freely given.

Recently published here....
http://www.orbisjournal.com/

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

THE LAST FIRE

THE LAST FIRE

You gathered sticks
To bathe the night with fire,
You, in your element
Smiling watery eyes;
Happy sighs as you bent.
The next day your soul gathered
Over your cold body
To be buried under sticks and clay….