Poem of the Week: Bees, So Many Bees – Anna Jackson

After twenty years of marriage, we walked out
of the bush and on to a rough dirt road
we followed till we saw a pond
we might be able to get to.
The ground was boggy and buzzing.
The pond was thick with weed
and slime. It was not
the sort of pond anyone would
swim in, but we did — picking and sliding
into the water over the bog and bees,
bees we suddenly noticed were
everywhere, were settling on our hair
as we swam, ducks turning surprised eyes
our way. After twenty years of marriage
what is surprising isn’t really so much
the person you are with but to find
yourselves so out of place in this scene, cold
but not able to get out without
stepping over bees, so many bees.



Awkward I may be but that not is the sum of me;
I’m made of many broken pieces and lots of falling aparts.
I speak to you with syntax I know you find to be jolting,
But I mean each word I say from the metaphorical heart.

There’s sonnets in my stutters and pentameter in my tone
To match the poetry in the lyrics of the music that you choose,
And whilst we’re worlds apart, in truth, we’re really not that different,
Scared of the same monsters in the dark and what we have to lose.

You are my anthology, both draft and published cover.
You speak to me with gestures, I don’t need to hear your tongue,
To know what it is you’re thinking, because I share what you’re feeling,
And one day we’ll talk it over with cold beer and setting sun.

Favourite Poets: Alfred, Lord Tennyson – Ulysses

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
         This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,—
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
         There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Under My Skin


FireShot Capture 064 - Free photo_ Body, Female, Hand, Naked_ - https___pixabay.com_en_body-female

If I let you in, you’ll burrow through sinew and skin
And rip me asunder.

If I let you under my skin, you’ll see I’m rotten through with sin,
For all I’ve broken. Sullied. Plundered.

If you win, succeed in penetrating my skin,
You’ll realise just how worthless I really am,

And my skin, recoiling from someone so pure, bright, and blinding,
Will boil, burst and bleed. And you will understand

That the skin of a worthless man
Does not deserve your eyes, your arms, your hands.

And finally, your skin will turn, and you’ll leave for good,
Because I am nothing. You cannot stay. Who could?

Poem of the Week: Words Are Birds – Francisco Xavier Alarcón

are birds
that arrive
with books
and spring
the wind
and trees
some words
are messengers
that come
from far away
from distant lands
for them
there are
no borders
only stars
moon and sun
some words
are familiar
like canaries
others are exotic
like the quetzal bird
some can stand
the cold
others migrate
with the sun
to the south
some words
they’re difficult
to translate
and others
build nests
have chicks
warm them
feed them
teach them
how to fly
and one day
they go away
in flocks
the letters
on this page
are the prints
they leave
by the sea

Bearer Of The Sun


He’s got blood on his hands and death on his soul,
And the only part he’s ever played is a role.

Impaled on his own portcullis. Shield, heavy and worn,
Deflects. Reflects back self-hatred and borrowed scorn.

When dawn comes calling, it is he who has averted perpetual night,
And, like Bearer Of The Sun, he is the spirit that moves the light,

But still. No peace can yet be granted to him,
He, who does not know what it is to have hope within.