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Works 03

Apples and Oranges


Twins we are ...almost

among the breaths of life

glad to call each other friend

in this fruit bowl of convenience.

On this platter

where we all must dwell

we're paired as cheese and bread...

peas and carrots

and some days when the glue wears thin

... custard and salt herring.

Bird in the Snow

(no poem for this painting)

Goldie by the Mighty Bowker

22" x 30"

acrylic / canvas


Not far from where I live

a jungle huge

and dark with mischief lies.

Where my cat , sharp toothed

when he is tired of us

goes to remember

and returns with triumph

to his savage land

. . . down by the willow.


Alert to any danger

eyes hungry for mouse

or dragonfly

in this poson dart world

of carrion crow

and wildebeest herd

he glides on killer feet

while the 28 bus

goes unwittingly by.

The Recital

18" x 24"

acrylic / canvas


Stepping into the lights

heart pounding


doing it for moms and dads

and anxious dance instructors.

Remembering every step...

but mostly overcoming.

And everyone thinking,

"Oh" and "Ah",

and "Isn't she just..."

but she's just thinking,

"Keep the sky from falling !"

And dads with hearts like

prize marrows.....

for their girl is overcoming.

Mistress Music

acrylic / canvas


She took me to her side when

I was yet small.

From parents she lured me

with her lusty breath

and placed me on her shoulders

that I might see the colours

which I never then could leave.


As she moved

she played a million notes

which jingled in my savage head

and when she spoke,

the jigsaw pictures

came unjumbling from her mouth.


For she has loved us fiercely

since stone hit stone

and stick hit stick

and to everyone who ever falls

into her arms

so soft and strong.....

she is mistress , she is maid.

Tea Roses

acrylic / canvas

The Beautiful Game

acrylic / canvas


There was no life outside that

patch of green.

No homework.

No French verbs.

No summons for stealing apples

off that tree in Snobsville.


Just us the lads

and cousin Betty

before her time,

sweating and swearing

leaping over ankle cracking kicks

skidding past an outstretched hand.


To blast the ball past Billy Johnstone

whose father didn't even drink

would make the day fill up like Christmas

sweeter than a first in English,

than a kiss from Harry's older sister.


Legends 'neath a Scottish sky

heroes by the factory wall

a timeless crucible of safety.

No cares inside that patch of green

. . . a bloodied field of joy.

To Sit With Old Men

18" x 24"

acrylic / canvas


I sit down with old men

and read the ancient text

my fingers probe the incised stone...

meaning unfolds like prayer.


I feel the wiry thread

which ties me to a yestertime

my face so young , so old I see

upon the stonecutter's head.


I sit down with old men

and the pain of present sighs

while I pilgrim beside

their aged form

to a home I've never seen.


There's a well worn and familiar trail

innocent of time

and it brings me to an old man

with a chisel in his hand.

Urban Man



Dreams invaded by the siren's moan

I wake and the clock rhythms on

tick tock wail

tick tock wail

and the heart of urban man

beats ever faster.


Breakfast and engines that howl at the grass

and rage at poor leaves for falling haphazard

and trucks that impatiently

eighteen wheel their way

to someplace important

and mindlessly rattle my cereal bowl.


While the red winged blackbird opens his mute mouth

for his song is lost

to the coffee bean grinder

and the morning is lost to the din.


Jack hammer me a love song

car alarm me a poem

power tool me a story

while horns for fogs and cars and all clear

sound byte me a picture with no place for Gabriel

his sweet notes redundant.


And out by the airport a tinkling church bell

is bullied by brute behemoth

who runs screaming to mock the innocent air

. . . and leaps

While the heart of urban man beats even faster.

We Are But Remnants

18" x 24"

acrylic / canvas


From a large grey bolt of cloth we flew

barely knowing how

we worked the tailor's scissors.

In pale yellowed locked door room,

unwittingly we found

courage to pick the lock

as unkissed lips

whispered their farewells

to us who waved our

frayed and severed tendrils

to the cold , source of commonplace .


There were many panic ridden hands

who tore

with compromising fingers

at our glorious remnants

to give us sober second thoughts,

they thought and sadly did believe.

But we had crossed too many frontiers

and thresholds

beveled quite against us

to wear the gray cap of the vanquished,

the tailor's trite, plebeian garments

. . . we were already free.

The Wheels on the Bus

18" x 24"

acrylic / canvas


Dwindling numbers at the bus stop

by the small roadside zoo

keep a broken smile as the dust settles slowly upon us.

Feet waiting and shuffling and kicking at stones

shared feelings of joy and last minute fears,


We're waiting for people who don't really like us,

a much better prospect than sitting alone

for we've all left our small rooms as brittle as candy

the sheet metal windows the walls of dark slate.


We will sing our pale anthem to the air thin and fragile

once aboard with new friends connected and whole

and we'll grin somewhat careless in the escalating silence

to the terminal... while the wheels on the bus go around.

When I Was Young and Sang in Trees



When I was young and sang in trees

on summer nights by the moon's warm breeze


Italian songs of love and death

'neath the night's soft canopy and starry



My voice was fearless, sweet and glad

confidence in life I had


that one day on the stage I'd sing,

these unaffected notes I'd bring.


They'd sit enraptured , neck hair raised

and know that at a new star gazed......


But time like a thief, a thief in the night

removed that voice and hope took flight.


Was I ever that good? Was there ever a chance?

Was I seduced by a midsummer trance?


by the moon's warm breath, the night's starry breeze?

when I was young and sang in trees.

Within the Garden

18" x 24"

acrylic / canvas


He may have just stepped over the wall

leeward of the windswept trees,

down the path that has always been there,

past the white house

with the sad woman window

and the stone dyke where I hid a coin.


Perhaps he took up with the fishers

and hauls in nets with shimmering catch,

heartily laughs with the voice of a crewman,

casting a backwards glance towards me

over indifferent eyes of fish

which reflect the scudding clouds.


I hope he is a lighthouse keeper

his steady light might pierce the darkness

safe within a sacred duty

a wild place where the land and ocean

contend below the spray blown howl

down the coast where the accent changes.


Or beside the sheep who tell no secrets

he may have walked one summer morn

a last and lonely walk to bird song

the lark's small busy high sky lilt

making all his thoughts remember

the time he spent within the garden.

The Young Philosophers

18" x 24"

acrylic / canvas


"It is as if . . . yet wait . . . but how

if only . . . and now surely

. . . The architecture of the mind

is built by . . . now I disagree

. . . The soul is it . . . I think !"


And so they drone in front of stars

just older than themselves.

Young hearts confronting wisdom's brood

the whys . . . the wheres . . . the hows.


And on their knees no grass stains found

as they stand around

in big men's clothes

and forsake the kite on cloudy wind

while nestling up to theories.


"Downwind of love lies reason . . . !

. . . Now I must protest . . .

. . . It is our only means . . .

But random chance . . . Explain to me . . . !"


And on they drone in big men's clothes

with no grass stains on their knees.

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