Friday, 20 October 2017

At Place Schuman

What would dear Robert Schuman think?
Intrepid forger of the link
In a Europe ravished by the war
Of a Common Market – Open Door!

First six, then nine make up the Team
Squabbles break out on the scene
Compromises, tariffs, trade
Border checks, a new decade ...

On tiptoe, Britain comes on stream
But Thatcher's meddling is soon seen
As a thorn in Europe's doughty flesh
A referendum does the rest.

Now summit talks on BREXIT rage
How will history turn this page?
The Union shakes but is not stirred
A proviso cocktail is inferred...

From his vantage point against the sky
Schuman, stony-faced, stands by
Reduced to a statue in the Park
And metro stop in Brussels heart...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The Slow Train to Ostend

Line up for tickets (senior's rate)
Mid-week, where tourists keenly wait
On Platform 4 for trains to Bruges
Though out of season, there are queues!

Past rush-hour, youth in jeans are clad
The elderly, well wrapped-up, sad
No place to sit, wield cane, smart hat
And lean on pillars, idly chat ...

Suitcases sometimes trundle past
Dragged down the steps, a daunting task
I observe, bemused, this travelling crowd
Disturbed by intercom – too loud!

In French and Dutch, announcements stun
But foreigners, non-plused, are glum
Weak language skills put to the test;
Their tickets, dog-eared, look distressed ...

A couple get on the wrong train
No guard on standby to explain
The sun smiles on their luckless start
Delays upset their applecart!

The countryside is sleek and green
Dinky, whitewashed houses gleam
The Flemish flatlands meet my gaze;
Warmth has cleared the morning haze.

Train travel – scenes flash past my eyes
Steeples, factories, farms, high-rise
A quaint meander to North Sea
In an empty carriage – just for me!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 16 October 2017

Thomas Takes the Floor!

The lure to move when music plays
Is my wee nephew's latest craze.
Thomas takes the floor by storm
A foot tapping star is born!

His Dad and Mum met on dance floor
Across a crowded room they saw
Each other, and their dance began;
Fond memories the years now span!

Thomas's keen eye leaves no doubt
He's not content to step it out
He's carefully crafted the best moves
Inhibitions? He has none to lose!

This new sport keeps him on his toes
Great rhythm helps – it comes and goes
No flies on him - it's fun to share
See - his first girlfriend joins him there!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Sunday, 15 October 2017

A Success Story - in Boitsfort!

Indian summer – dappled, shady leaves
A slight incline among the trees
A neighbour's family stakes their claim
To a woodland dell – in all but name.

Small table, chairs and coffee pot
Round which their children climb and trot
In a quiet lane, well tucked away
Where only walkers tend to stray...

Boitsfort's like that – calm, discreet
Artisan houses, small and neat
Define the Green Belt we all love
From builders who would push and shove

With hotel plans and parking lot;
But «people power» put a stop
To this encroachment on our fief
Much to the «Bezemhoek»'s relief!

(c) Poet in the Woods 2017

Coin de Balai/Bezemhoek is a picturesque area in S.E. Brussels

Successful protest - spring 2016

18 Degrees!

Mid-October – Wow, 18 degrees!
Golden sun through copper leaves
Short-sleeved shoppers in the streets
Strolling tourists eating frites.

Topsy-turvy weather hereabout
It's an Indian summer – I've no doubt.
So warm, my jacket stays undone
Not a breath of wind just warming sun!

It's weird and wonderful today
No wafting of rain clouds my way
It cannot last but while it does
It gives dear Belgium such a buzz!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Friday, 13 October 2017

California Burning!

California – holocaust of flame!
Winds fan these verdant hills again
In Napa valley's Northern reaches
Far away from surfing beaches

Crackles soundtrack smoke-filled sky;
Outlying district firemen try
To beat the flames which still persist
To burn late vineyards to a crisp.

Many grapes are garnered in
For those who waited – deep chagrin
Fire leaps down vine-filled slopes
Devastating vintners' hopes.

Well-drained and neatly planted rows
No match for a wind that blows
Bringing havoc in its wake
Death stalks abroad – and no mistake...

'It's an ill-wind' goes the phrase;
Nature has such violent ways
Is this global warming, or a blip?
To ponder on, when next we sip!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Pace of Life

Think positive! That's what «they» say
(A facile comment when life's grey)
Some friends have issues that are fraught
While others, stressed, are overwrought.

Jobs for life? Don't make me laugh
Recession cuts our hopes in half
Damp air leads to aches and pains
And Depression when it rains...

Poor diet choice – we pile on weight
Traffic chaos, we come late
Impossible to make up time
So much work to do – online!

What makes it worse is non-stop news
Who can a Smart phone buzz refuse?
We bite off more than we can chew
At day's end we are quite worn through.

Where's «peace» and «calm» and «letting go»?
24/7 we're on show
Like coiled-up springs we do our best
But sometimes it is good – to rest!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017