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TJ Radcliffe Jun 2020
storm clouds rising            somewhere up ahead
blossoms tossing              shadowed on the wind
skies are changing                  blue is running red
searching for forgiveness                    for our sins
in the darkness                         under forest cover
eyes that hide from hunters                 passing by
we hold these truths
                               clutched to us like our mother
we tell these stories hoping                they're a lie
raindrops splashing             fat upon the flowers
shaking leaves and          dampening the ground
summer's waking thunder              tolls the hour
what never has been lost            cannot be found
young buds open          now their time has come
senescent giants falling                       free the sun
Inspired by a painting my wife did of blossoms under a sunny sky, after some reflection on current events. Ideally the formatting will come through.
TJ Radcliffe Apr 2020
For we are not yet there, you know,
although it seems like months have passed
we've got another mile to go
and then one more, one more... at last
upon some distant future day
we'll reach the place where we can say:
"We did it! Now we have arrived!
And most of us are still alive
after silent passages
through the tedium of time
alone." We'll dwell in warmer climes
after long March ravages.
But first slow April's patient flowers
must bloom and bend within their bowers.
Alludes to the "Long March" disaster that forms part of the mythology of the modern Chinese dictatorship. Also alludes to the opening of "The Waste Land" (and by implication, "Canterbury Tales") although obviously much more hopeful in theme than Eliot's great work.
TJ Radcliffe Mar 2020
Not everything that can be said needs to
be said. It's not like you will burst in to
a flaming cloud of words, you won't come to
an end because you do not say right to
the face of some far friend or stranger who
may well be wrong when you are right. For who
will benefit from that? When speaking who
will hear your words, your thoughts? No one, that's who,
if you do not engage their sympathy
if you don't stimulate their empathy
if you ignore their perspicacity
in your need for pure supremacy.
Sometimes silence and simplicity
are what need your wise complicity.
Thoughts on the internet
TJ Radcliffe Mar 2020
Brightness, darkness, falling both
softly from the spring-time air
teasing dormant life to growth
turning green the golden hair
of grasses dried and brittle now
to the Pleiades they bow
in thanks for rain, which brings new life
to pools and ditches, dark and rife
with strange concoctions, shadowed roots,
tendrils fine exploring through
the muddy depths to find a new
embankment where they push up shoots.
Brightness falls, the rains of spring
Closing now the season's ring.
My wife has been painting "wetscapes" recently: local scenes of ditches and swamps and streams, filled with spring rains (February is spring here). The line "Brightness falls from the air" is from a poem by Thomas Nashe, mis-remembered as "darkness falls from the air" by Stephen in James Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man".
TJ Radcliffe Feb 2020
A wooden door is built into the wall
of dry-stacked stone that bounds the little lane
between the elf-mounds. Curious, and small,
the door's ajar, a gate to other planes.
The wood is grey and weathered, like the stones
which grow with moss and lichen, ancient rime.
I put an eye up to the gap. Alone
I've wandered here, beyond my proper time.
A face shows by a hollow in the dusk,
someone familiar, yet so far away...
I turn and see the lane-way, feel I must
continue on my journey. I can't stay.
Above the stars are pentagons of light
while I walk on, across the fields of night.
Inspired by an abstract painting my wife did, which had a quasi-crystaline (approximate 5-fold symmetry) structure, but was better served by a far more eldritch poetic voice.
TJ Radcliffe Feb 2020
I swear a good deal more when in the city
my wife observes as we two wend our way
along the street. The towers are kind of pretty:
walls of glass, yet blocking out the day
so down here on the sidewalk dreary shadows
are damp reminders of how far we've come
from towering trees, from open mossy meadows,
from ravens swishing by. Look, here's a slum
a block or two from banking towers and glamour.
I should not fault the place. Variety
is the spice, they say. But such a clamor
of humans challenged by sobriety!
Life here was once quite good to me, but now
I'm just a rustic, pining for his plow.
I live in a small rural community but was an urbanite for many years and recently was back in the city to see a (remarkable, wonderful) show, and my wife said within a few minutes of getting there, "You swear a lot more here." There's a reason for that. I'm at home in the trees. Among the towers, I can flourish, but it's a lot more effort.
TJ Radcliffe Jan 2020
living rill feeds green
ripe grasses catching sunlight
ditch runs with spring rain
Spring comes early here
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