The Poetry Page

Poetry is a difficult genre for me. To have to communicate an emotion in it’s essence is something I would like to do, but consistently fail at. However, heart in mouth I’ve put together a few, and if they move you at all then perhaps that is not total failure. Dora Graham is a pseudonym only.

by Dora Graham
Sunday, February 16, 2003

This is not a poem, but a song. If anyone wishes to put music to it, and sing it anywhere I waive all copyright.. Bless you all!

The soldiers came to my door last night
They said I had to leave my home before daylight.
They needed my house and they needed my bed
For the weary fighting man to lay his head.
They said I had to leave but they couldn’t say where
And that curfew is at ten pm.. I shouldn’t be out there.

The soldiers said the bombs were dropping for our good
And those soldiers needed shelter and they needed our food.
They said that daddy died because he just got in the way
When he tried to fight the soldiers when they came that fateful day.
They said the bombs were dropping for democracy
And to make the world a better place where we could all be free.

Oh the soldiers came to my door last night
They said I had to leave my home before daylight
They needed my house and they needed my bed
For the weary fighting man to lay his head.
They said I had to leave but they couldn’t say where
And that curfew is at ten pm… I shouldn’t be out there.

The soldiers don’t rape women “We don’t do that anymore”
But they said that I would die soon if I told what I saw.
Mama did not cry and she did not fight
But what the soldiers did to her was just not right.
Mama did not lay with soldiers willingly
Mama did what she did so they would not hurt me.

Oh the soldiers came to my door last night
They said I had to leave my house before daylight.
They needed my house and they needed my bed
For the weary fighting man to lay his head.
They said I had to leave but they would not say where
And that curfew is at ten pm… I shouldn’t be out there.

The soldiers say that terrorists will be flushed out
Resistance will be crushed they say, there is no doubt
But now I have a gun and a loaf of bread
Without my friends and neighbors I know I would be dead
And if the soldiers come to our door tonight
We will not leave our houses without a fight.

Oh the soldiers came to my door last night
They said I had to leave my house before daylight.
They needed my house and they needed my bed
For the battle-weary fighting man to rest his head
They said I had to leave but they couldn’t say where
But wherever they go they will find me there.

I was just a little girl singing skipping songs
When the bombs fell on the town where I belong
And the soldiers came in droves for democracy
And to stop me being a slave… though I felt quite free.
So now the song I sing is a resistance song
And to make a terrorist these days does not take long.

Oh the soldiers came to my door last night
They came to save my country and establish right.
So they took away my food and they killed my kin
To explain the kind of country I was living in…………….

DG 2003

And The Dream Is Broken
by Dora Graham
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Rated “PG” by the Author.

My friend lived alone and built a huge stone house with his bare hands.. gathering rocks each day, and making gardens. An action of despair and creation… until he knew he had to leave. That she would never be returning no matter what Herculean task he ever attempted….

AND THE DREAM IS BROKEN.

I will knock down the cold stone walls of my house.
So that the rocks, and the mud, and the sand
And the clinging cement are returned to their order.
And the wood I will pyre
So that the breath of smoke and tongue of redflame
Will swallow the air
And the glass, and the tin I will bury. Until the earth
Is only littered rock and ash.

These gardens
of chilli, lemon balm, mint, heliotrope,foxglove
jasmine, anise and woodruff
I will cover with earth and ash.
So that bracken, curled and unfurled can fan the air for the cooling
Of lizards, and snakes.

Ra (0H MY GOD) will rise his head at dawn.
Sear the parched grasses
And head for the Western Hills.
And the wind, and the rain will smudge and smear.
Mud melt.
And Rocks sink.
Returning all to all.

This heart, beating and broken. These eyes, these hands, feet, liver, lights, lungs,
Held together by hope alone.

I go away
Down from my beloved mountain.
To… nowhere.

Hope held in a jewel box of despair.

My mirror reflects fish-eyes.
Cold.
Dead.
Seeing.
Not SEEING.

dg1994

ANDY AND ME
By Dora Graham

“Patrington Haven was “flatties” and Eels.
With rods on our crossbars and cards on our wheels.
Bottles of “Tizer” Passed hand to hand.
Speeding downhill in a “Victory Stand
With arms waving high to invisible crowds
All roaring and cheering; tumultuous. Loud.

We were Motorbike racers with balance and poise.
Warrior heroes; not bicycle boys.

Rain, hail or sleet, there was “Pat Haven Drain”
Twenty feet wide, just a dirty brown lane
Winding through field after field to the sea
To the mud banks and whelks on the dark estuary
Where the “flatties”, as round as our white dinner plates
Were tempted with earthworms; (the bessiest bait!)

Then, muddy and wet at the end of the day
We’d be back on our bikes, and pedal away.
Past the RAF base and the old Rectory,
The pub, and the shop, and the big apple tree.

We’d stop for a while and ‘scrump’ sweaters full
While keeping an eye out for Old Johnsons Bull
Who guarded his tree like he guarded his wives
He would sneak up behind us; we’d run for our lives!

In summer, the Damsons too got a good bagging
‘Til the weight on our handlebars had the boys sagging
With “Flatties” and apples, and damsons and eels
And wet, muddy cards slapping wet muddy wheels.

What a sad sorry sight then we both were to see.
Not Motorbike Racers…Just Andy and Me.

D.G

CNN at Breakfast
by Dora Graham
Saturday, April 26, 2003

This was a scene from CNN at breakfast one morning about famine in Somalia

CNN AND THE BREAKFAST TABLE.

Where is your conscience?
Has it turned its back
On the bitter pill of human
Misery?

I SAW you at breakfast
Killing that child.
Starving him to death.
I SAW you fixated
On the pathetic hordes
Huddled like sticks
With their hollow cheeks
And pitiful stares.

Marrrmalade on toast!
Scrape, scrape of hot butter
And then the sweet, thick
Chunks of orange peel
And that TANG!

CRUNCH!

Rifle butt cracks a starving
Skull, and you sat
Fixated.

Yes YOU! I’m talking
To YOU!

OH GO AND EAT YOUR TOAST!!

dg famine 1996

DAY RELEASE;
(A visit with their mother during day release from an institution.)

The bathroom is perfect.
Their soul-changing screams
Are re-absorbed
Into their own molecular structure.

Spirits expelled
And soaked up again.
Cleaned of soil
Like white linen in bleach.

They have painted their freedom
Invisible, on blue tile
And it has returned to them
Manners, and discipline
For one more day
Of coping with the terror
Of being children
‘In Care’.

DG 1999

From The Bush
by Dora Graham
Saturday, April 26, 2003

Summer love. Holidays and vacations when sometimes things go beyond reason..

FROM THE BUSH.

Maidenhair in morning is white-silver
With the dew.
The mountain creek, in dappled sun
Speaks memories of you.
Passion vines that flower
In purple cruciform
Are witness to the crucifix
On which our love was torn.

The pathway to the house now
Bound by summer lilac hue
Also bears the traces
Of the memories of you.
Soon the charming violets
Will raise their jaunty heads
To witness one girl’s loneliness
And things she left unsaid.

Ahead, the short, sharp frosts
Will sweep their icy hands
High up to this mountain
And undress this lonely land
Then I shall leave, as you did
Though I, with winters reason.
And wait until the passion vines
Bloom again next season.

dg1996

Grabbing for the Oars
by Dora Graham
Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Sylvia Plath committed suicide while married to Poet Laureate Ted Hughes. Her best friend Anne Sexton became a very famous poet in the sixties, and a brilliant writer. She was miffed that Plath committed suicide first.
Sexton had her last book published posthumously. It was called THE AWFUL ROWING TOWARDS GOD.
They say that Anne left no suicide note. I believe that THE AWFUL ROWING TOWARDS GOD was that suicide note, though no academic has ever agreed.
The book started with a poem called ROWING>
This poem is a way to point out her books and her writing, and perhaps to bring her back to some kind of popularity.
Thanks

GRABBING FOR THE OARS

Do you think
That in her pain
Anne Sexton totted
Rime and meter?

With blood for ink
A souls refrain
Was totted
So it did not teeter?

“Live or die”
“Mercy Street”
“Words for Dr Y”
“To Bedlam and part way back”

Why? Why? Why?

“Love Poems” (1969)
O sweet, sweet one!
Your words of wine
Are done!.. are done!
“The Awful Rowing Towards God”
In 1974
‘ I am rowing. I am ROWING!”

And then she rowed no more

Now too, in middle age
(Nineteen in the head I’d say.)
I am rowing. I am rowing!

With her death-blackened body
At my feet
And her island somewhere
In this putrid ocean.
To her island
Where daisies grow for her
And the worms will listen
To her sigh

GRABBING FOR THE OARS

Do you think
That in her pain
Anne Sexton totted
Rime and meter?

With blood for ink
A souls refrain
Was totted
So it did not teeter?

“Live or die”
“Mercy Street”
“Words for Dr Y”
“To Bedlam and part way back”

Why? Why? Why?

“Love Poems” (1969)
O sweet, sweet one!
Your words of wine
Are done!.. are done!
“The Awful Rowing Towards God”
In 1974
‘ I am rowing. I am ROWING!”

And then she rowed no more

Now too, in middle age
(Nineteen in the head I’d say.)
I am rowing. I am rowing!

With her death-blackened body
At my feet
And her island somewhere
In this putrid ocean.
To her island
Where daisies grow for her
And the worms will listen
To her sigh
DG

by Dora Graham
Tuesday, April 01, 2003

In thirty years hate mail has not quieted me… it still will not.. Not In My Name!

HAND IN HAND (AS WE HELPED THEM TO FLEE)

Look at the vicars!
Look at you priests!
Look at you pious
Sloe-eyed self-serving
Pity-peddling, mercy moved
Vicars and Priests!

Merci! Mercy! Merci! Mercy!
Petit! Pity! Petit! Pity!

Blessed are the Meek
(Though their future be bleak.)
Pity, oh pity the Child of the Sand.
And cold blows the wind
On the merciful city
And fogged are our eyes
On this bountiful land.

On the road out of Home now
She shoulders her burden
Our video camera slows as it slips…
Captures her grief, and she captures her suitcase
And framed is the misery knit on her brow.

Oh pity me Warden, thou master of mercy!
For you cannot exist without me by your side
Mercy and Misery; Power of Pity
Vicars and Priests boarded all for the ride.

DG 1998

How Do We Find
by Dora Graham
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Rated “G” by the Author.

Sometimes, for some, God just makes an appearance.. and for some.. He doesn’t

How Do We Find?

He knelt, and spoke to Jesus Christ,
Who answered “Son, It’s very nice
That you and I have had this word
But what you say is quite absurd!

He questioned why what he had said
Had gone down like a lump of lead.

And Jesus spoke “I thought you knew
That you are Christian…I am Jew!

So what! Who cares? So what! So what?
Religion’s just a load of rot!

And came the voice..”That’s right my boy
Now leave your knees and go in joy.

Christian, Muslim, Jew or Jain
You stand upon this earth the same

And when you speak, no rituals please
Get up! Get off your bended knees!

I can see, and hear your pain
You Christian, Muslim, Jew and Jain.

Talk to me just one on one
Then go in peace, and bless you son.

(a poem for today. For all of us)

DG

I Gave You
by Dora Graham
Tuesday, November 05, 2002

I GAVE YOU.

And what did he give YOU?

I GAVE YOU.

When I was small I gave you
My chewing gum with pocket fluff
Still clinging
And you showed me your pants.

When I was bigger, I gave you
A daisy garland for your hair
Yellow and white.
And you pressed it into a book.

Later still, I gave you
A silver locket on a chain
With my photograph
And you laughed with delight.

In Love-Sick adolescence I gave you
A mail-order ring for your finger
And you pretended
It was a beautiful diamond.

Older still, I gave you
My word of honour
And a promise forever
And you opened your arms to me.

The chewing gum is gone
The flowers, faded and dry
The silver locket, thin and worn
The photograph aged and wrinkled
The ring, just brass and glass.

Only the promise remains intact.

dg2001

IN BED WITH FIONA

She’s only a voice on the radio.
Midnight till dawn.
The show does not have a name.
She’s just Fiona to the punters.
She is a masseuse.
All over voice massage.
I want to call her
(we all do)
She is a tea drinker by choice.
(you can tell)
Coffee is handy, and instant
But she likes tea bags.
She is a jiggler.
Fiona is a jiggler, you can tell.
It’s in her voice.
She has a kind, warm voice
Shot through with whiskey and honey.
MEN telephone her.
This is her voice-pheremones
At work.
She must be a clever girl
Because she makes us embrace
One another too.
And it doesn’t matter
That she only has a bit of a name.
It’s enough to fall in love with.
Old ladies call her
And call her “Fiona Dear”
And she says “Hello Darling
How are YOU tonight?”
The old ladies knit.
You can hear the knitting
In the clicking of their teeth.
They are scone makers
And their husbands are ill
Or dead
Or (mostly) somewhere in between.
Men dying of loneliness call her.
Divorced and dislodged men.
They can talk to Fiona.
She’s not like a WOMAN.
She’s… Human… You know??
Only a few YOUNG women
Call her.
They usually cry together
(That’s what’s nice about Fiona)
About how rotten some men
Can be.
And the lonely men cry too with them
BUT I’M HERE! I’M A KIND MAN!
All those people!
All those people!
Eleanor Rigbys all!
All filling Fiona’s ethereal space.
Alone in their own
Deserted studios.
Alone with Fiona.
In bed… With Fiona.
DG 2000

Sometimes I suppose your heart just breaks for those old people you spend time with, and who no one understands their real pain.

It Seemed Like an Interment Camp
By Dora Graham

I know she can see, and hear
And speak.
I watch her watching
And she
Breaks my hear with those
Silent, glistening tears.
In age
And frailty, her love has
Become nothing more
Than powerless pity.

I saw them shock her once.
When her heart failed.
They bruised her sternum
And brought back colour
To that translucent skin.
They thought
Her tears were gratitude..

We know darling don’t we?
We know
You and I.
I will not let them
Do it again.

dg1997

Instant
by Dora Graham
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Rated “R” by the Author.

Moments in time are fleeting. Should we take it while we can.. or should we always be true to that thing that we are told we must believe?

After we are here
We are not here.
I may turn around and be gone.
And never have had you.

Here, in your bathroom.
From behind.
You’re right cheek.
Pressed flat, eyes wide.
Pink tongues raking wet lips.
Your breasts
Crushed, like your cheek
Against the bathroom mirror.

Your palms
Hot with sweat, slide
In small wet circles
Against the glass.

In deep space two particles collide
And willingly annihilate.

DG 2004

A variety of unworked poems. Held here only for safekeeping.

REBECCA

Rough and wild, the willful child

Easily entranced. Beguiled
By magic things, and faerie rings.
Echoing her youthful yells
Calls the churches tuneful bells
Calls the Bell birds, sweet and clear
All music to Rebecca’s ear.

In growing tall, she heeds the call
Of city nights, and neon lights.
Of drumbeats on the hollow streets
Of rain-splashed tyres and smiling liars
Of city bells, and acrid smells
And listens; listens to them all

Two tunes, two tunes, the child, the youth.
Two tunes, and she must choose her truth.
A rhythm to her heart to beat
A rhythm to her dancing feet
She’ll dance to both, then make her way
And dance; and dance her life away

DG 2002

IF YOU GAVE ME.
(A song written in 1970)

If you gave me all I asked for
And you gave it willingly
Sure to God I’d ask for more
Than you could ever give to me.

Because you love me
Like I thought no person could
And it hurts inside to know
That I don’t love you as I should
Because you love me
I can ask for so much more
Than the stars that light
The long night
Or the waves that wash the shore

If you listen to me telling you
The lies you want to hear
And you hold me in your arms
Until we squeeze away our fear
It wont matter that you died alone
Because the love you knew
Was a love that lit the sun at dawn
Reflecting back on you.

So just give me what I ask for
And don’t question me today
‘Cos sure to God I’ll leave you
If I can but get away.
And when I leave, you’ll wonder
If the sun will ever shine.
But sure to God it will my love
‘Cos I will give you mine.
DG 1970

SOMETIMES
BY Dora Graham

Sometimes the words I say
Come not as simply as they may.
I careless think; And seldom do
All I ought, to cherish you.

Commitment comes not easily
To such as I, who’s flights of fancy
Take proportions greater than
Those grounded in the common man.

Had you not been, I would not be.
So little do I care for me.
But care I do, and do not care
For any other laying there.

Nor rich, nor pretty, young, nor sage
May stand beside you on this page
And paltry though this written verse
You are my love
And I, your curse.

DG 1979

Driving to Armidale Uni on the scenic route.
By dora graham

49 Rabbits
8 Kangaroos
4 Foxes
71 Miscellaneous small furry things
A Galah
2 things round and shiny.
A fish.
Two white and black policemen
At every crime scene
Doing the Brolga rap
Until the Black Commissioner flaps
In, plucking for himself an eye.
“Carrion boys.”
Drops a crap
And hops it.
DG 1996

Johnny and The Teacher.
By dora graham
(written many years before Columbine or any of that!)

Dan said “Son! You bloody fool
You can’t be bringing guns to school!
Go get it! Bring it here. Now run!”

So Johhny went and got the gun.

“Now let me have it”. Teacher said.
So Johhny did….and Dan was dead.
Quite calm he then looked down the gun
And blew himself to Kingdom Come.

DG 1982

Living in Manchester 1970
by Dora Graham
Saturday, April 26, 2003

Sometimes when love strikes it is hard to leave or be left… even for a day, or an hour… or even a minute.

Living In Manchester

By Dora Graham

The last bus slid by in the wet.
Slick, dark water hissing in the gutter.
And the sound of it’s Kissssssing doors
Making us divided again.
The last bus.
Glaring it’s malevolent tail light.
And washing my heart down the drain.
Rain-stitched night. Sodium street light.
That bus, disappearing down the road.
Taking my expectations with it.
All the way to the depot.

dg1971

Lost In The Bush
by Dora Graham
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Not rated by the Author.

The loss of a partner either through death, separation, divorce, war… is awful. But think of the awfulness of having ones entire innocent family bombed to death. This poem is an indulgence!

IN THE BUSH.

Loneliness
Tiptoes in the dark, and stretches on the sheet beside me.
Places
Her sad longing deep inside, and makes love in the tomb
Of my soul.

Loneliness
Creeps in silence
And sits
With gentle violence
Upon my bed.
She strokes my head
And whispers in my hear
“She’s not here! She’s NOT here. She’s not here!”

I dare not whisper my need
For she touches centers of yearning yet too tender to suffer
I have no will.
Only need. Desire. Loss.
And there, in that massive dark
Loneliness.

1994

Lucky Us
by Dora Graham
Thursday, February 06, 2003

A few new poems

LUCKY US!
BY DORA GRAHAM

We are lucky, those of us
Who, too dumb and stupid
To gain an education
Live our lives without a fuss
Living up to no one’s expectation.

Oh the littleness of scholars!
With their manicured fingers
And tight white collars.
Oh the smallness of the educated mind
That makes judgment on the peasantry
…And therefore, Humankind.

“To school!” They say. “To educate!”
To learn the rules, remember dates.
To bend ones back, to till the soil
Is for the peasantries toil.
So you and I, the lucky masses
Should bless our luck, and raise our glasses!

DG 1985

A BLANK PIECE OF PAPER.
By Dora Graham

All the words in all the languages
Of all the world
Can never near the truth
That is evident in a blank piece of paper.

I wanted to tell you a truth.
In doing so… sullied it.

The truth however
Does not become a lie.
Fruit is still fruit
Even when rotten.
DH 1985

COWARDS!
BY Dora Graham

Cowards!
If you want to know the truth
It’s that the aged are afraid of youth.

DG 1985

SHE
By Dora Graham

She sits
Under the clothesline
With her children
And birthday cakes.

Her bare feet
And perfect toes
White, on a thick
Carpet of Kikuyu.

Would she sit
At my knee
In just that way
While I brush her hair?

DG 1985

DAMN!
By Dora Graham

DAMN!
Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn!
THAT’S how I feel dammit!

Grooaaan!
Groan! Groan! Groan! Groan! Groan!
I WANT YOU DAMMIT!

Siggggh!
Siggh! Siggh! Siggh! Siggg! SiggH!
I want to cry…DAMMIT!

Your hand is too far away.
I can’t touch you.
Your mouth is too far away.
I can’t kiss you.

TUT!
Tut! Tut! Tut! Tut! Tut!
Look what you’ve done!… DAMMIT!

DG 1985

MANIC DEPRESSION
By Dora Graham

You try so hard to understand.
I try so hard to explain.
But while the shit is exposed with one hand.
The other covers it up again.

DG 1985

BUCKETS AND SPADES
By Dora Graham

Buckets and spades
Sand and sunshades.
Glorious days at the sea.
Blankets and oil.
Someone to spoil.
Isn’t it nice to be free?

Champagne on ice
Can taste very nice
With nothing much better to do
Than sit by the sea
With you on my knee.
Just Champagne, and ice, and you.

DG 1985

TOO HIGH!
By Dora Graham

The Pedestal on which she stands.
Too High!
I cannot touch her hands.

DG 1985

THE WRITER
By Dora Graham

She wrote to the writer for reasons
She thought were benign and appealing.
Whilst HE merely courted the seasons
Like the flyspecks that covered the ceiling.

And he reached for the pen and the paper
And his love-letters littered the floor
For she’d entered his room…shedding light on the gloom.
“I’m just FEELING” He said “Nothing more.”

DG
1985

Married with Television
by Dora Graham
Saturday, April 26, 2003

Don’t you just love power cuts… when you can take out the candles, and sit by the light of the fire, and just talk and sing, and be like it was!??

Married with Television.

We don’t tell stories
And we don’t sing anymore.
We are told stories
And we are sung to.

All electric microchip voice.
Keyboards and vision.
My voice sounds flat
Alongside the booming television.

Computalk. Screen language.
Contact on the internet.
S/he doesn’t understand
How I want to talk!

Talk! Talk! Make sounds in the air!
Feel throat and tongue
Waving and dancing
In sensuous, sinuous speech!

Sing! Sing! Decorate the ceiling
With the high notes!
Switch off the electronics
And simply SHOUT!

My mouth opens
And words form on my tongue
And splash to the floor like spilt milk
“OH HUSH!” s/he says. “OH DAMN! I MISSED A BIT!!”

dg1996

Modern Warfare
by Dora Graham
Tuesday, April 01, 2003

This was a Kosovo poem.. Not a current war poem.

MODERN WARFARE

Soldiers don’t fight soldiers anymore.
Not for them the hand to hand.

The children, and the women and the poor
and the lame
are the game.

Children are easy.
A practical size to handle
on the end of a bayonet.
Light to hold, and smash
against walls.

Women are easy.
Soft, and compliant, and afraid.
Blood drenched thighs
and punctured wombs
and blinded eyes that can
no longer accuse

and the poor
and the sick
and the crippled
and the mental retards.

Trusting in their politicians
they huddle together to wait
for the machine guns
and cluster bombs.

2001

My Father
by Dora Graham
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Rated “R” by the Author.

My best friend, my poets father.

MY FATHER.
My father was not a violent man.
It was just….he was a jealous
One.
He, and he, and she, and me
Now, are stamped by his abuse.

He, even now at sixty years
Has a facial tic…a flinch.
Fears
Of a flat-hand-slap
Still turns his head an inch.

And he?…Is Mr Businessman
Deals. That’s what he does, he deals.
Television
Marketing and sales
And four ex-wives. Performing seals.

She was born the last and only.
Her beatings came as words “YOU SLUT!”
Lonely
So she married young,
Divorced,
And now is celibate.

And then there is the other one
Third in line…The Younger
Son,
Who, in his introspective
Way, forgives his fathers hunger.

1992

Near The School
by Dora Graham
Tuesday, November 05, 2002

NEAR THE SCHOOL.

I have fallen into the earth
Cursed place!
Before I have touched the sky.

He was under-the-weather
Off his face.
Stoned rotten drunk your honor
Outside the school.

Nearest the crossing; by the park
In my new blue school blazer.
On my breast a yellow shield
And my proud school motto.
‘Mens sana in corpore sano’

But I am not.
Nor it seems, was he.

DG 1999

NB: Mens sana in corpore sano= sound in mind and body.

Nothing
by Dora Graham
Saturday, April 26, 2003

In a dying romance… in a political argument, in a clash of ideologies what can we say?

NOTHING.
I have nothing to say.
So I am saying it to you
Because nothing I say
Means anything to you.

If I say anything at all
To you, it means nothing.
And as I have nothing to say
I may as well say it to you.

Why, if I say something
Do you not listen?
Because it really means nothing to you?
Or because I am not really
Saying anything?

I have a heart, liver, lungs
And spleen.
Like my words, they mean nothing
To me. Nor perhaps, to you.
Would cutting them out help at all?

1992 DG

One For Dora
by Dora Graham
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Not rated by the Author.

He would wait by the post office to collect my letters everyday. He was my poet.. my muse. My best friend.

ONE FOR DORA.
Heinze the Evangelist is singing.
Out of key with his accordion.
But God is in his heart
And his voice is only damnation
To unbelievers.

Heinz believes. He alone is bringing
The Word (according to a Wesleyan)
To those of us who live apart
From God- and are so lonely
Or deceivers.

My P.O box is bulging.
But I know the color of you.
You are yellow, like daisies
Yellow like mustard. Like sunshine
On autumn leaves.

I sit, beside a cedar, now indulging.
Nails rake, rub, stroke, touch anew.
Finger slides into your slit. Raises,
Opens, unfolds, unwraps, unbinds
The spell you weave.
And I thank you.

1996

THE SOUND OF THE SEA

The sound of the sea.
All roar. Spume flying off the wind.
The sound of the sea
With the slow, rhythmic lap lap lap
That reminds me of your heartbeat.

Traces of salt.
In my hair. Tasting on my skin.
Traces of salt.
And the sound of the rushing sea.

The sound of my rushing sorrow,
And the salt from my eyes
Reminds me of the the sea.
And my heart, breaking now
On barren shores
Still beats sadly for you.

dg1996

No title on this one..

He was depressed.
Could never remember being happy.
Except on his wedding day.
Except on the day the child was born.
Except on the day of the gift
That said. “I love my dad”.

Except at the wedding
When she called him “dad”.
Yes, except on that day
When he gained a daughter.

and..except for that night
When he sat with her on the porch
And she took his hands
Placing them over the bulge
That was his grandchild.

And except for the hundred fleeting moments
And except for that moment
Of realisation. That happiness
Happens like miracles, unsustained
Unheralded…
Then he smiled.

(so be happy huh!)
dg1997

DANCE!
(commentary on a disappointed parent)

Dance you little bastard! Dance!
We gave you every fucking chance!
The FINEST fucking education
In this God Almighty fucking nation!
Now, with regard to circumstance
Dance you Little Bastard. Dance!

You OWE us that you little shit!
WE went and fucking paid for it!
So join the fucking gravy train
And give it fucking back again!

1993

FROM THE BUSH.

Maidenhair in morning is white-silver
With the dew.
The mountain creek, in dappled sun
Speaks memories of you.
Passion vines that flower
In purple cruciform
Are witness to the crucifix
On which our love was torn.

The pathway to the house now
Bound by summer lilac hue
Also bears the traces
Of the memories of you.
Soon the charming violets
Will raise their jaunty heads
To witness one mans loneliness
And things he left unsaid.

Ahead, the short, sharp frosts
Will sweep their icy hands
High up to this mountain
And undress this lonely land
Then I shall leave, as you did
Though I, with winters reason.
And wait until the passion vines
Bloom again next season.

dg1996

NO TITLE

It was Sunday
I went for the papers.
You said you loved me.
Your hair was copper threads.
And your needs golden swords.
I lied because you were the queen
Of my senses, and I a faithful servant.

Copper threads and swords
are my downfall.

dg1980

SHE LIVED IN MANCHESTER.

The last bus slid by in the wet.
Slick, dark water hissing in the gutter.
And the sound of it’s Kissssssing doors
Making us divided again.
The last bus.
Glaring it’s malevolent tail light.
And washing my heart down the drain.
Rain-stitched night. Sodium street light.
That bus, disappearing down the road.
Taking my expectations with it.
All the way to the depot.

dg1971.

WRITING FULL TIME.

I want a room without windows.
Or…at least with heavy drapes.
Neither light, nor sound
Sneaking in on leaden feet.
And every day,
Every, every day
You will come and scoop
Up my soul
Just as it fluttered to the floor.
Scoop up the mad manic
And the dire despair.
Scoop it up
In your loving warm arms
And take it away.
And tomorrow a little more.
And a little more.
Gathering in the sheaves.
TIP TAP. TIP TAP. TIP TAP.

SOMEWHERE in there is God.
He has to be there
In all his monstrosity..

Once a day you will feed me.
Broth.
And Bread. Bread
Of life. Broth of God.

TIP, TAP, TIP, TAP,
TIP
TIP
TIP.

dg1980

THE SPACES IN BETWEEN
(a poem about manic depression)

Where have you been? Where have you been?
I’VE BEEN TO THE SPACES IN-BETWEEN.
WHERE NOBODY LIVES, AND VISITORS FEW.
WHERE NIGHTSHADES BLOSSOMED, AND TOADSTOOLS GREW.

And what did you see where you have been?
The Spaces? The Spaces in-between?
THE THINGS THAT I SAW I CANNOT TELL YOU,
BUT NIGHTSHADES BLOSSOMED, AND TOADSTOOLS GREW.

And why did you go where you have been?
Why visit the spaces in-between?
I WANTED TO FIND FOR MYSELF WHAT WAS TRUE
AND THE TRUTH IS THAT NIGHTSHADES AND TOADSTOOLS GREW.

dg1992

AFTER THE FUNERAL

Loneliness creep in silence
And Sits
With gentle violence
Upon my bed.
She strokes my head
And whispers in my ear.
SHE’S NOT HERE! SHE’S NOT HERE
SHE’S NOT HERE!

dg1994

AND THE DREAM IS BROKEN.

I will knock down the cold stone walls of my house.
So that the rocks, and the mud, and the sand
And the clinging cement are returned to their order.
And the wood I will pyre
So that the breath of smoke and tongue of redflame
Will swallow the air
And the glass, and the tin I will bury. Until the earth
Is only littered rock and ash.

These gardens
of chilli, lemon balm, mint, heliotrope,foxglove
jasmine, anise and woodruff
I will cover with earth and ash.
So that bracken, curled and unfurled can fan the air for the cooling
Of lizards, and snakes.

Ra (0H MY GOD) will rise his head at dawn.
Sear the parched grasses
And head for the Western Hills.
And the wind, and the rain will smudge and smear.
Mud melt.
And Rocks sink.
Returning all to all.

This heart, beating and broken. These eyes, these hands, feet, liver, lights, lungs,
Held together by hope alone.

I go away
Down from my beloved mountain.
To… nowhere.

Hope held in a jewel box of despair.

My mirror reflects fish-eyes.
Cold.
Dead.
Seeing.
Not SEEING.

dg1994

YOUR DRESSING TABLE.
(mum)

Your dressing table
What a shower of baubles!
And perfume bottles.
And lipsticks lined in rows.
Sometimes
I would sit on your chair
(Like you it was straight backed and severe.)
Would feel you sitting there.
My face in your mirror.
Trying to see what you see.

Was it a mother?
Or my father’s wife?
Or that other….
The one who kissed
The man who built our garden wall?
The one we were not afraid of.

Now, If I have trouble
Conjuring you
Seeing your image in my had
I think of your dressing table
And remember.

dg1996

IN INTERNMENT CAMP.
(Just an old lady. Not mum)

I know she can see, and hear
And speak.
I watch her watching
And she
Breaks my hear with those
Silent, glistening tears.
In age
And frailty, her love has
Become nothing more
Than powerless pity.

I saw them shock her once.
When her heart failed.
They bruised her sternum
And brought back color
To that translucent skin.
They thought
Her tears were gratitude..

We know darling don’t we?
We know
You and I.
I will not let them
Do it again.

dg1997

THE MEZUZA ON THE LINTEL
(mezuza–a Jewish prayer)

The rabbi and his family
You sheltered after the war.
Sheltered?
In the rubble of our house.
Where only the coal scuttle
And the yard wall
Seemed intact.

They came from horror
To intolerance
In merry-muddled-England
And lived in your pagan, poor home.

The neighbors bowed their heads
To shame you.
JEW! JEW! JEW! JEW!
And some would cross themselves
And the street
But not your path.

My father’s air-force greatcoat.
Topped by auburn waves.
Your cheeks frost-reddened.
A Hessian sack in pocket
To collect potatoes
On the mud-clay cliffs.

Heavy red clay
That sucked at your Land Girl boots.
And the sea waves, red as your hair
Licked and sucked away the bog.

The Mezuza on the Lintel
Over the front door
Still today remembers them.
And your poor, pagan family
Still, it seems, blessed by Deuteronomy.

(I have removed the final stanza because of wild threats from those who feel that bombing Palestine is OK. Save us from fundamentalists!)

dg2000

I GAVE YOU.

When I was small I gave you
My chewing gum with pocket fluff
Still clinging
And you showed me your pants.

When I was bigger, I gave you
A daisy garland for your hair
Yellow and white.
And you pressed it into a book.

Later still, I gave you
A silver locket on a chain
With my photograph
And you laughed with delight.

In Love-Sick adolescence I gave you
A mail-order ring for your finger
And you pretended
It was a beautiful diamond.

Older still, I gave you
My word of honor
And a promise forever
And you opened your arms to me.

The chewing gum is gone
The flowers, faded and dry
The silver locket, thin and worn
The photograph aged and wrinkled
The ring, just brass and glass.

Only the promise remains intact.

dg2001

DIVORCING THE JUDGE.

She lived (for a while) in a Besser Block Box
And at Christmas, made a tree
From an old blue milk crate
And fallen wood.

She daubed it with silver glitter
And plastic silver baubles
And tiny blocks of wood
Wrapped in Christmas paper
And decorated with ribbon.

On her wall, the words of Geronimo.
My nervous little warrior
With nothing to lose.

DG 1994

IN THE BUSH.

Loneliness
Tiptoes in the dark, and stretches on the sheet beside me.
Places
Her sad longing deep inside, and makes love in the tomb
Of my soul.

Loneliness
Creeps in silence
And sits
With gentle violence
Upon my bed.
She strokes my head
And whispers in my hear
“She’s not here! She’s NOT here. She’s not here!”

I dare not whisper my need
For she touches centers of yearning yet too tender to suffer
I have no will.
Only need. Desire. Loss.
And there, in that massive dark
Loneliness.

1994

(This started out like this, and then became another poem. But I kept this original.)

NO TITLE; DRAFT POEM.
To be struck blind, deaf, and dumb.
Such release! Such freedom!
To never again see the wasted children.
To never hear their cries of agony again.
To never tell them another lie!

To be in a car crash and brain damaged.
Bliss!
To never again have to think about the war!
In a coma. Free at last to never reach
And touch another hand in love and consolation.
To never again listen to George Bush. (see note)

Old, Old, Old.
She can see, and hear
And speak.
I watch her watching, and she
Breaks my heart with those silent glistening tears.
In age, and frailty, her love has become
Nothing more than powerless pity.

I saw them shock her once.
When her heart failed.
They bruised her sternum, and brought color
Back into that translucent skin. They thought
Her tears were gratitude.
But we know darling don’t we?
We know, you and I that you won’t let them
Do it again.

I was listening to “Candles in the Rain”
And Melanies plaintive voice.
“Goin’ to Carolina In My Mind”
You can’t know the thoughts of this old man
Nearly twenty years on
But I can feel the sunshine
Just aout feel the moonshine
And almost…. ah but almost bear the pain.

Who remembers Jimi now. The war heroes,
And Purple Haze?
And All Along The Watchtower
Was just the word of Witnesses
Still blown out on Woodstock
And psychedelic aftershock.

Lord! Were we EVER cheated!
Gurus all defeated.

Could we have changed the world?
Perhaps thats
What
We
Did!

1994

sorry mum
(a short poem)

Mother said that we should try
To touch the stars up in the sky
She said that if we stretch and strain
With all our might and all our main
We’d win…we’d surely win the day
And happiness would be our pay.

But mum, you never said the gain
Would bring such sadness, and such pain.
I tried, I know I’m trying still
With all my strength, with all my will
But mum, no matter how I try
I cannot find my reason why.

But hush! A tiny tiny voice
Beyond the snarling traffic noise..
Beyond the silence in the bush
Listen! Listen! Listen! HUSH!
You can! You can! The voice is plain.
Keep trying! Try, try, try again!.

Hmm! that’s it.

The Middle Aged Shopkeeper.

He waits, like some old Blue Dog
Waits at the roadside for his masters return.
It has been two weeks now, and everyone
Who walks like she does….looks just
A little familiar, lifts his tired heart.

They wander by, these similar familiars.
He lifts his head and smiles in expectation,
And they smile back, politely puzzled
But pleased at the unexpected attention.
He returns to his thoughts and his poetry.

He knows for (maybe) sure, she’ll come.
She’ll saunter in, her pretty face shining,
And head directly for the jug and coffee cups.
Probably, for sure, she’ll be there
And by God! He’ll wag that old tail!

He’s absolutely certain that she might arrive.
After all, what’s two weeks in a life?
Hope, and hopelessness switching seats.
A reflection in the shop front glass.
Another shadow of her smiles and waves.

DG1994

Sort of. (a sort of a poem)
Do you ever sigh at people who say “sort of.. and You know… with every sentence? Maybe they’re just trying to communicate. Like this.)

I sort of….thought I’d tell you that old Harry died today.
He sort of….closed his weary eyes and sort of…
went away.
I sort of…liked the geezer, he wasn’t sort of…bad
I sort of…feel..well..EMPTY. Sort of…sort of…Sad!
I’m not too sort of…good with words, I’m sort of…well you know.
It’s sort of…well, EMBARRASSING to let your feelings show.
You get so sort of…bothered when you think you’re going to sort of…cry
And I guess I sort of… did that when I saw old Harry die.

Well, anyway, I thought I’d sort of… drop a line or two
To sort of…let you know how Harry sort of…thought of you.
He always sort of… LOVED you. (Though he never sort of…said)
He sort of…talked a lot about when you and he were wed.

Well mum, I better go now, I’m sort of… busy see
It’s sort of …no good thinking of the way it used to be.
I’ll sort of… see you later. Yes of course I’ll call again.
Yes mum, I’ll come and visit but I sort of…don’t know when.

DG 1998

SARAH THE TENNIS COACH
by Dora Graham
Monday, April 04, 2005
Rated “PG13” by the Author.

This is just a bit of double-entendre. Written with tongue firmly planted in cheek

SARAH THE TENNIS COACH
BY DORA GRAHAM
Green-eyed and blond, in sparkling whites, she runs a tennis racket.
She charges by the half-an-hour, and makes herself a packet.
“Oh nicely done! Good shot!” She calls, (and shows us how to hold our balls.
And how to get up high and serve, while holding something in reserve.

Alan…only seventeen, holds his handle in a dream
And Sarah, bending low and steady, smiles, and shouts “Im ready! Ready!”
Up he goes, and with a TWACK, finds his balls come hurtling back.
He thrusts, and slides ‘midst groan and grunt, while Sarah turns both back and front.

Reg…(He drives a black saloon…and Reggie always comes too soon,
and has to wait and watch the rest give Sarah of their very best.

Sarah NEVER seems to tire…Reggie grunts, starts to perspire.
In twenty minutes Reggie’s flaccid. Sarah waits, serene and placid.

Every weekday, just the same, the men turn up to play the game.
Sarah drives a cream MG, wears tennis whites, drinks Earl Grey tea.
She owns a house in Surrey Hills, bought and paid for by her skills.
Her answer phone is full of “When is…
Sarah free to play some tennis.”

D.G 2005

Send Me No Flowers
by Dora Graham
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

NOT IN MY NAME!!

SEND ME NO FLOWERS
By Dora Graham

Give me no flowers that I go off to war
Already pinioned to the wheeled wreath
Of uncertain death.
Kiss me not, nor wave a teared farewell,
Nor sing the patriotic song, nor drink my health.
Believe me not as righteous, but machine,
Limbered, oiled, prepared and gleaming.
Navy-blue and battleship grey
Dressed with bunting streaming, steaming
Past the battered granite headland
Ridged, rolling treeless green, and grazing
Domesticity.
Our Queen’s marines striking up the band.

There’ll be no bitter battle hand to hand
With pike and gun; no clouds of arrows clattering at shields.
No gas. No drowning mists of green.
No craters rimmed with red where shells and men have been.

Our surgeons sit, precise, and cool in white
Smocks. In dust-free air conditioned rooms, serene
Below the earth, where ozone oozes from sighing
Ventilation shafts. No stench of death.
A curser blinks to indicate the dying
And the dead
And spokesmen lie, by leaving truths unsaid.

No meet of men now here
In foolish danse macabre.
These sniffing missiles
borne on sea and sky
Seek
You old man. You mother.
Sitting knitting.
You, sweet soft-skinned sister.
You schoolboy.
You adolescent girl with hormones free.
You businessman. You banker.
You civilian resting, trusting
In your city.

Give me no flowers that I go off to war.
For you send we not to defend you
But to desert you on your fragile shore.
Believe me not as righteous, but machine.
Ignobly
YOU
Send missiles to their door.
And so doing, your safety
And society ignore.

Humankind does not love war.
We love to fight.
Oh yes! You woman too!
Let us be politically correct.
There is no shocked flight
Into femininity on this page.

Mother used to say
“If only women ruled.”
A feminine solution.
If only women ruled.
Women with guns are beautiful things.
Wearing nine-millimeter jewellery.

The toll rises, once begun
And tolls the knell,
Subdued at first; dampened
By the song and beat of drum,
And infantry and industry
Welcome their respective whores.

Mothers who were kind
To family, pets, and wayward youth
And rescued mice from traps,
Now, sitting, knitting by the radio,
Offer white-thorn bush to their young
Who will not go.

And sing of glory, telling stories
Of the heroes who have died before
Before
Before
Before
In past and latterly
Forgotten, misbegotten war.
DG

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Sorry Mum
by Dora Graham
Tuesday, November 05, 2002

sorry mum
(a short poem).

sorry mum
(a short poem)

Mother said that we should try
To touch the stars up in the sky
She said that if we stretch and strain
With all our might and all our main
We’d win…we’d surely win the day
And happiness would be our pay.

But mum, you never said the gain
Would bring such sadness, and such pain.
I tried, I know I’m trying still
With all my strength, with all my will
But mum, no matter how I try
I cannot find my reason why.

But hush! A tiny tiny voice
Beyond the snarling traffic noise..
Beyond the silence in the bush
Listen! Listen! Listen! HUSH!
You can! You can! The voice is plain.
Keep trying! Try, try, try again!.

DG

THE ACCENT

She married a Yorkshireman.
Foolish yank
From one brash continent
To one brash county.

She stood no chance
Among the moors, and the mines
And the granite glance
Of the Yorkshire bully mind.

It’s in the accent you know.
It shoves. Loud; even in silence
Of thundered thinking, it booms.
Standing over you like Spurn Point.

She expected romantic love
Just for the fact of poetry.
Yorkshiremen love blood.
It is the colour of his nature.
Black. Mine black. Peat black.
North Sea black. Black as the wet
Cobblestones.
Black as the sun on a fine Yorkshire day.

With gulls wheeling, squeeling
Over black ploughed fields
And oil-slicked North Sea
Thumping its thick fist at clay cliffs.
Bullying the soft shore.

Nature is his poetry
His poetry is nature.
His nature is crude
And beautiful
And harsh.

She was no more than the fern
On the moors. The crow, limpid
And black.
She was the Thrush, and the Eagle
And the Trout, stolen from cold
Clear waters one May day.

DG 1999

The Affair
by Dora Graham
Tuesday, November 05, 2002

THE AFFAIR
dora graham 1994

Sometimes we just NEED
THE AFFAIR
dora graham 1994

He needed no space for his living.
A bed, and a pen, and a room.
And paper as white as an alien light.
In his bed, in his mind, in his room.

Her clothes were ‘St Vinnies’ and dated
And her tired hollow eyes shadowed blue.
And she loved her old man, and her kiddies
But she NEEDED, and he needed too.

“I’ll see you sometimes if you want to.”
She said…More a plea than a grant.
He just nodded and reached for the doorknob.
“I’d like to!” She said. “If you want!”

He smiled, and said “Yes, you can call me.
Perhaps we can talk about things”
They were both of a sort
In word, deed and thought,
And neither one needed the strings.

SOMETIME LATER:

A bottle of pseudo bubbly
Purified natural spring
Served with a slender unscented
Rose looking, blood-colored thing.

A slightly up-market motel room
(Around thirty dollars a night.)
A VCR tape and the TV
And a forty watt fluorescent light.

Together for Valentines evening
They met in the park by the lake
He was feeding the ducks
When she asked him to fuck
Her…The first of their mutual mistakes.

Their eyes showed both tragic and hopeful
“Please God!” Cried her mind to the sky
Freedom, too brief to be girdled with grief
“Just do it!… and then I can cry”!

DG 1994

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The Ballad of Rolly Rat
by Dora Graham
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Rated “G” by the Author.

Rolly Rat

Earl Sebastian Whittaker would never clean his room.
It had been a month of Sundays and looked just like a tomb.
Bits of food and dirty socks, and grime around the walls.
Playthings from a year ago and broken footy balls.
Rats a-scratching through the piles of rubbish all round.
And Earl Sebastian snoring… the only living sound.

Rolly Rat lived just beneath the dirty, greasy sheet.
A half an inch from Earl Sebastian’s sleeping smelly feet.
Now rodents never really mind just what they nibble at,
And Rolly was very, very hungry little rat.

All he’d had to eat today was half a rotten pear,
A mouldy chip, an apple core, some chewing gum…. with hair.
The sleeping toe looked warm and fresh although a little smelly,
And gee! Rolly was hungry … there was rumbling in his belly.

So Rolly took a little nibble …oh! That tasted good!
It had been so long since Rolly’s food had tasted as it should.
Earl Sebastian Whittaker still lay in repose.
While Rolly took another bite of Earl Sebastian’s toes.
First the big toe disappeared, and then the second toe,
And then the third, and then the fourth … only one to go.
But Earl Sebastian never even noticed through his doze.
That Rolly rat was getting fat on Earl Sebastian’s toes.

When Earl awoke he noticed that his foot had sort of … gone.
Instead of two bits on his legs, now there was just one.
He searched around the cluttered mess, but no foot could be found.
And Rolly Rat quietly sat … not making a sound.

“Mum!” Cried Earl. “Hey Mum! My foot has disappeared!
It must be around somewhere! It’s really rather weird.
It was here when I went to bed, but it’s nowhere to be seen.
And now instead of standing up … I sort of … well I LEAN!”

He searched his room from top to toe …
Oh dear! That was a pun!
But Earl thought it was dreadful … not one iota fun.
He checked in every corner and swept up all the dust.
“I’ve got to find my foot!” He wailed. “I really, really must!”
“I’ll clean and polish, dust and shine, and tidy up my gear.”
“It can’t be very far away, it must be very near!”
But Earl could never find his foot, polish as he would.
He even used a microscope … but that was just no good.

The moral of this story of sadness and of gloom,
Is … make sure that it’s tidy before you set foot in your room.
DG 1989

The Middle-Aged Shopkeeper
by Dora Graham
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Not rated by the Author.

He fell hopelessly in love with a young girl… and she, like young girls do just continued to live her life.

The Middle Aged Shopkeeper.

He waits, like some old Blue Dog
Waits at the roadside for his masters return.
It has been two weeks now, and everyone
Who walks like she does….looks just
A little familiar, lifts his tired heart.

They wander by, these similar familiars.
He lifts his head and smiles in expectation,
And they smile back, politely puzzled
But pleased at the unexpected attention.
He returns to his thoughts and his poetry.

He knows for (maybe) sure, she’ll come.
She’ll saunter in, her pretty face shining,
And head directly for the jug and coffee cups.
Probably, for sure, she’ll be there
And by God! He’ll wag that old tail!

He’s absolutely certain that she might arrive.
After all, what’s two weeks in a life?
Hope, and hopelessness switching seats.
A reflection in the shop front glass.
Another shadow of her smiles and waves.

DG1994

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WITHERNSEA
by Dora Graham
Monday, April 04, 2005
Rated “G” by the Author.

Withernsea is a small town on the East Coast of Yorkshire. Now knowns as Humberside. This is just a memory of more than 40 years ago. And the style is a deliberate tribute to my hero Sir John Betjamen

WITHERNSEA
by DORA GRAHAM

Mother always set the table; four o’clock as school let out.
Bells electric, blue-black blazers, school scarves streaming, joyous shouts.
Past the lighthouse, white and gleaming, bicycles and buses crowd.
Raggy, baggy leather satchels, inky fingers, voices loud.
Sun-shot seaside, bingo parlors, slot machines and dodgem cars.
Teenage walks with teenage wenches, on the prom beneath the stars.
“Stoney Island” on the out-tide, sand eels shiny in the sun.
Crabs and whelks and periwinkles, wild wood childhood…. days now gone.
Rambling brambles in the country; damsons, conkers, free-range eggs.
Work-won bounty, rural booty; scrapes and scratches to our legs.
Misty morning mushroom hunting; out at five and back by six.
Mother had the kettle boiling; bacon, eggs and mushroom mix.
Auntie Gwen and Auntie Winnie, Gran, and Granddad, Uncle Jack.
Cousins, Michael, Ian, Andrew; memories come flooding back.
Christmas carols, Mr Lunns house, up Hull Road, just out of town.
Hot Mince-pies and Stones Green Ginger; Home again with half-a-crown.
Friends and family, stoic safety; careless childhood wild and free.
Older now, the tired traveler misses “home” in Withernsea.
D.G 1995

Your Dressing Table
by Dora Graham
Saturday, April 26, 2003

Do little things ever spark your imagination about people you loved?

YOUR DRESSING TABLE.
(mum)

Your dressing table
What a shower of baubles!
And perfume bottles.
And lipsticks lined in rows.
Sometimes
I would sit on your chair
(Like you it was straight backed and severe.)
Would feel you sitting there.
My face in your mirror.
Trying to see what you see.

Was it a mother?
Or my father’s wife?
Or that other….
The one who kissed
The man who built our garden wall?
The one we were not afraid of.

Now, If I have trouble
Conjuring you
Seeing your image in my had
I think of your dressing table
And remember.

dg1996

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