You Leave me Hanging On

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You leave me hanging on

Waiting for a word of commitment,

Not to be found, 

But encouraged by your smile

And flattering words I am still here. 

You leave me in a limbo 

Between emotional life and death

Feelings once blossoming

Subdued and dying back

With each Autumn day. 

Caught by the power of your scent 

And the addictive intimacy 

Of your touch, I was blinded by 

Your words of love: a sham. 

Now I am held here,

Dangling from your branch

As a dead leaf which turns from green

To brown, until it flutters lifeless

To the ground of your winter. 

 

Photo and words, copyright Englepip©

The Last Rhinos

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This poem is for the rhinos and in particular for the Northern White Rhino of which as of 19th March 2018 there are only two females remaining. In reality both are past breeding age, but I have tried to imagine that one is still small in this poem. The picture is of Southern White Rhino in captivity since so many are being poached out as you read.

Look at me Mum, look at me
Playing in the water with my pal, Jo
You said we were the last, just a moment ago
Females all in a world that’s so

Amazing that the Two Legs want it
All to themselves!

But look what they’ve given us
Water to drink and now a lovely friend, I think,
Who follows me around the waterhole
You know she is so very droll
She’s upside-down and topsy turvy
But don’t you think she’s rather curvy and so

Amazing
Maybe too amazing and the Two Legs will want her
All to themselves.

Mum, mum you keep on munching
The grass they left you for our lunching
But  I really do want you to play
Daddy used to, but he’s gone away.
That night we heard the bangs and the groans,
Smelled the blood and the horrible diesel fumes,
Smelled the Two Legs’ sweaty, animal stench
Heard the babble and squeak of their horrid tones.

Dad was amazing – so amazing!
So smart and so handsome
You said that the Two Legs wanted him all for themselves.

You seem so sad since he’s been gone
And since we were captured and brought to this place.
I know you tell me that we seem safe
We’ve food and we’ve water all provided
But being alone is oh so boring.

Ålone, the last two of our kind on earth today
But we’ll be safe won’t we from the ones with guns?
Fed and watered in captivity
But unable to do normal activity.

Mum, tell me they won’t take you as well,
You’re precious to me and life would be hell
With just me – just me and me alone
And the Two Legs out there
Pretending to help when all they’ve done
Is kill and massacre ’til we’re alone
And they have won and taken the earth
And all it’s animals all for themselves,
With no thought for the future
Just war and destruction against….
All creatures that on earth do dwell
They’ll extinguish all, both great and small
Everyone, themselves as well.

Words and photo copyright to  Englepip©

 

A magical world in a fairy glen

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Along the lane where we children play

Are runnels in and out the hedge

Where hidy holes and secret dens

Are hid in shadows all the day.   

There birds pick crumbs from under foot 

And feast on berries we have shook

To ground amongst our homes away from home.

We’ve  plucked up grass for a comfy floor

Where we can sit and share our store

And stories tell of dragon times 

And knights and gnomes in times of yore. 

But come the night when we are gone

The foxes creep from out their holes 

And scavenge scraps left from our feasts,

Licking up our daytime treats. 

Then the owl hoots loud and silent swoops 

Across the ditch and o’er our stoop

To our hidden, magic, elfin den

That’s deep within the glen. 

They watch enchantments all night long

Join in the dancing  and sing along

And as morning approaches they leave the feast

And the sprites fly off away from the East.

And as we are slumbering in our beds

Great tales are happening in our heads

Of creatures small and ballads sung

Of animals speaking in fairy tongue.

And tomorrow when we visit there

We’ll sense a presence in the air

And we’ll know more than any adult (wo)men

That there’s a magical world in a children’s den.

 

Idea, poem and photo copyright to Englepip©

 

The death that greets at Butser

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Haggard  skeleton;
Sockets deep;
Horns of plenty,
Decaying bone.
An Iron Age greeting?
Welcome talisman
Or deadly curse?
Dare I enter……?

I was privileged enough last weekend to visit the Iron Age replica settlement at Butser in Hampshire UK. The original farm was an archaeological experiment from the 1970s. It has now moved to a different site nearby where there are houses from Pre-Neolithic to Roman times some recreated from actual archaeological finds in Wessex, giving a living museum. They run various course throughout the year in skills used by our ancestors. I got to make felt for clothing and a friend learned to knapp stone tools. There are skulls above the doors of the neolithic houses. Probably the houses were built by a group and an animal killed for a feast on completion. The skull representing the animal spirit was put over the door maybe to ward off evil spirits.

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Words and photo copyright Englepip©

On Chesil Beach

_1610782All a long the shore they lie,
Staring at a cloudless sky
Helpless and broken
On a bed of stones.

No gull swoops to devour them
No dog to crunch their  bones
Motionless, unwanted
None can hear their moans.

Unburied and discarded,
Helpless, rigid souls,
Staring up at heaven
Near where the huge sea rolls.

And always the sea batters
Upon this beach so cold
Pounding and back-gurgling
Stones millennia old.

For aeons past this beach has rolled
These stones so round and smooth;
What chance have fragile life-forms,
Against the force of time untold?

Words and photo copyright Englepip©

Chesil beach is a vey impressive “elemental” place. It is very hard to walk on and is vast and challenging. If you are interested, please follow this link to find out more here.

 

 

Shelley, this is England

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When I wake early to a summer’s morn

My spirits, leap.

Turning,  I watch your chest gently rising and falling

And I am glad, so glad that you will be here

To share this day.

The dawn has broken and the birds flit from bush to tree

Finding a perch high up from which

To announce their presence and welcome

The fact that they are alive.

My territory they announce; my family; my food.

I cannot blame them, for them,

Not to fight for the right

To survive; means certain death.

I watched last year how the  blue-tit parents failed to provide

And all nine chicks lost their lives.

But I am human and English and comfortable

And on Saturday mornings the whole world is mine

For an hour or maybe two.

Quietly I slip from the bed and into a gown,

Creeping downstairs to boil the kettle

And look out at the garden which has grown while I was not looking.

Sitting at the table next to the patio door

I luxuriate in the pale dawn light; 

the bird song and the peace

And the fact that there is not yet traffic.

A woody scent emanates from the earth

As the dew evaporates with the growing warmth.

I hear a plop as a frog returns to the tiny  pond next to the pear tree.

And I think of England – as did Shelley- except I am here already.

I have another forty-five minutes, surely.

The sun rises and the bird song diminishes on my little patch of paradise

And still I think of England, my early morning England.

But as the noise of planes and traffic increases,

So does the dust in the air which becomes city dry

Taking on that acrid brightness that is brittle;

And though the heat is increasing,  I pull my gown closer and shiver

At the prospect of  a Saturday in England, in the twenty-first century.

My tea is cool now in the mug.

One neighbour has decided to spray insecticide early,

While it is cool and he thinks no one will notice.

 At the back, the children have woken and wail in an argument over an iPad.

And then the DIYers…….and the traffic!

The cacophony of what is England now, today.

England – fair England – eaten up by diesel fumes and thoughtlessness,

I hear you stir.

And I am so glad that you will be here with me,

To calm and shield me in the chaos that is life;

My constant in a changing and polluting world that

I would hold dear,  but fear cannot survive this way.

I will take you up a cup of tea.

Photo and words copyright Englepip©

In the shadows

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Languid in the shelter of the dark shadows;
Exhausted from the burning heat of the day,
I lie back on the coolish grass and contemplate
The beauty of a leafy canopy against a cloudless sky.