Wednesday, 19 July 2017

94 Years Young!

Once again we turn the page
Not many reach this august age
No shop-bought cards have Ninety-Four
You're a rare pearl – that's for sure!

I can't help wondering how you feel
High numbers make my senses reel
So many lives rolled into one;
Dawn of life in Kenyan sun

Pink country on colonial map
Independence swept away all that
A changing world, wars come and go
A way of life I could not know...

A true survivor flying high
Hands-on, active, smart and spry
A volunteer in mature years
Mum, you've earned your golden spurs!

So many never reach this date
You've got good genes – not for debate
I marvel at you, birthday Mum
Your stamina is next to none!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Baudelaire's Brussels

In the 1860s Baudelaire
The poet with a rhyming flair
Sojourned in hôtel Miroir
And considered Brussels rather dour.

Its twisty streets, its river dank
Its women, heavy set, who stank
Its Faro beer, its smoky dives
Its, in a word, provincial lives...

Strapped for cash, the poet spoke
In glowing terms of men of note
In the King's House upper hall
But public interest was small...

He took a trip to Waterloo
And dined on Hugo's famed menu
Observed the landscape, drenched with rain
And contemplated the "morne plaine".

Admired the city's Baroque past
Was there when Leopold breathed his last
Saw flight of Nadar's air balloon
Wrote poems in his hôtel room...

A Namur excursion proved too much
A malaise at Saint Loup was such
His health, once robust, now declined
He left 'La pauvre Belgique' behind.

But his verse encapsulates a time
When early photos showed the grime
Of working lives by river bed
Where cholera reared its ugly head.

On the cusp of visions new
Vast enterprise of Leopold II
A modern Brussels, tree-lined, free
This, Baudelaire did not live to see...

Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) in Brussels 1864-66.


Saturday, 15 July 2017

100,000 Hits!

I am unknown – I write for fun
No effort – ideas seem to come
In waves and send new thoughts to shore
They well up from life's ocean floor.

In times gone by, my quirky muse
Would just fill notebooks, leave no clues
Except to those who know me well ...
But on-line posts cause giant swell!

I am amazed since I am told
That poetry cannot be sold
Old-fashioned, of another age;
And yet, as far as I can gauge

My 'rhyming journal' day by day
Attracts new readers who may stray
By chance upon my humble blog:
A clever keyword? On they log!

Just friends at first, four years ago
Then friends-of-friends, the rise was slow
But now the hits come thick and fast
A hundred thousand votes are cast!

So may I say, to YOU out there
I'm grateful you have time to spare
This «Poet in the Woods» is glad
To learn she's not a passing fad!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Thursday, 13 July 2017

Resilience

There are two ways to see each day
Sunshine-filled or dark and grey
Two ways to act when life is fraught:
Accept the status quo or walk!

Life's a case of ebb and flow
Storm or breeze – you never know
But the constant movement gives us choice
In challenges we find our voice.

Steep learning curves hove into view ...
A chance for a perspective new?
We gain experience as we age
What shall we write on each blank page?

Life's not easy – that's a fact
Forget regrets – we can't turn back
In time we learn by our mistakes
Because - we have got What It Takes!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Think Before You Post!

Facebook Readers – have a care
A wrong move and you start a scare!
Check before you share a post
Its truth may be an idle boast!

All reporting on the Net
Devoid of ethics, is a threat
Mascarading facts reach out
Disturbing audiences-with-clout!

Fake news permeates our screens
Purveying scandal, crushing dreams
Bright reputations torn to shreds;
Enraging countless thinking heads...

Misunderstandings rise and flow
Raw emotions come and go
Politicians and world leaders quake:
Sift wheat from chaff, for goodness sake!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017


Approaching the Big Event!

A deafening silence; buses few
Rain clouds threaten – what's to do?
My Facebook friends are all away
In foreign places – making hay...

But Brussels in July is great!
Culture overfills our plate
A summer festival is held
There's theatre at Parc Karreveld!

So stroll and cycle, see the sights
Lots of stands and tasty bites
Parades before the King come soon
And a fly-past in the afternoon.

Independence day, the twenty-first
We congregate to slake our thirst
Wave flags and banners, get excited
And are for one day, all united!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

The Belgian motto: "L'union fait la Force" = Strength in Unity...

Saturday, 8 July 2017

What Price Retail Therapy?

You must have noticed – parking spaces!
The silly season – smiling faces
Brash carrier bags with garments new
Filled with «bargains» - what think you?

There's crowd control at PRIMARK store!
Cheap clothes; low wages for the poor
Shoddy goods for shoddy minds
But who reads deep between the lines?

Over-consumption boldly stares
Consider the brocantes and street fairs
Excess and wastage fill our lives
So retail therapy survives...

But possessions stay here when we die
So do we need to stock-pile high
Our homes with clothes and ornaments?
Perhaps I'm being too intense ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

PRIMARK in Rue Neuve, Brussels