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1.7k · Sep 2016
Varanasi
Mary Pear Sep 2016
Two strangers in a rickshaw in Varanasi:
Two strangers who never felt like strangers.
Two people lost and alive in the moment,
The same moment
With every sense standing, antennae bristling..

Two in a bubble
Together, held apart.

Caught up in a parade and surrounded by shy , smiling faces
Waving modestly at the fair haired strangers,
Laughing
At their surprise and joy.
Knowing that moment's awe
Delighted to share the festival.

Rickety trucks gaudily decorated blare out the tinny music and
High pitched voices distorted by the tannoy add an urgency
To the motion.

Shimmering saris glisten,
So in tune with the  music that trembles with joy.
That joy spills out from the
Scents, the colours, the gleaming grins and the shy waving that marks our welcome,
Till every sense tingles
With life.


And then the sand storm
Swirling and circling the speeding rickshaw
Arrived mysteriously, magically,
Like dry ice in a theatre.

The air now tangible;
Surrounding us like the skin of a bubble
Lifting us out
Of ourselves as the scene comes and goes.

The sand screen clears to reveal
An elephant
A beautiful, smiling elephant
Dressed in splendour
Accompanying us on our magic carpet ride.
Close enough for us to touch his hide.

Bejewelled and glorious
Smiling too
And all is one in that moment
And each looks at the other and feels enchanted and wants the parade to go on forever
Just like this;
With motion
And music
And colour
And smiles
And laughter
And
An elephant.
1.1k · Aug 2016
Easter Sunday
Mary Pear Aug 2016
Deserted streets at dusk,
Grey skies and lowering cloud,
Trees and hedges shrunk like a model train landscape
And pylons that could snap their wires, tuck them under their arms
And walk away.

Lego houses with lids to lift
Releasing smells of Sunday lunch chicken
And tea time bath salts.

I could pluck the towers from the power station and roll
Them down the dual carriageway.
An Alice or a Gulliver.
A non- participant;
A reluctant participant;
A can't participant.

Roads and trees and factories and pubs
Retreat
And shrink.

God- like in stature only-
Clumsily stepping,
Not wanting
To crack the road
Or gouge out windows
With a misplaced elbow.
992 · Jul 2016
Zoom
Mary Pear Jul 2016
Zoom
In to my face.
Closer.
See the colours on my skin
The mingled hues so diverse that form the tone of my complexion
From a distance.
My complexities are neutralised by the distance from which they are viewed.
Zoom in
Closer.
See the fine pores and pale hairs
That lie on the surface of the ***** that is
Skin.
Just so today
And tomorrow
Metamorphosised by new cells that multiply and those that die.
Zoom in
Closer yet
And that surface now
Is unrecognisable
That picture now
A poster
One hundred feet in height and paper thin.
A surface with no depth.
Walk through it
To the night beyond
With all its stars
The ones you see and strain to see and those beyond
And know who
And what
We are.
Mary Pear Sep 2016
September morning and the blush pink of a child's eyelid
layers
With soft Wedgewood blue
And a silvery white.
Feathery treetops shiver in the light breeze
And there is a delicious chill in the air.
Contrails break apart in slow motion
Resting on the daybreak's skyline.

A blackbird hops across the dewy grass
To take his morning slice of stale bread.
Rose petals crimped and heavy wait
Patiently to be dried in the pastel sun.

There is no sadness as the summer slips by;
Just memories of freshly mown grass
On parish fields, of light, of warmth,
Of sea and country walks
Sweetening, like apples
In a sand box.
876 · Aug 2016
Oh Little Bud
Mary Pear Aug 2016
Oh little bud upon the bush
Give one more push!
And poke your salmon coloured nose
Through the green cap that grows
To keep you warm and dry.
It holds you tight
And lets you see the light
You need to help you grow.

Don't touch this bud!
Just let it be and let it grow just so
No peeling back the sheath
To see its colours. No forcing heat, no elongated day
Or shortened night.
Just let the thing unfold.
It is itself.
It is not yours or mine.
It is its own.

If it is red we must not wish it pink
Or think that it is ours
To **** or pinch.

We can and must protect from harm
And shoo the greenfly.
We must keep it warm
In winter
Feed and water it.
But it
Is of itself.

And as it peeps
And shows its colour
We can 'Ooh!' and 'Aah!'
And love the thing it is.
And as it grows
And spreads its petals
We can look
But never touch its velvet softness
Less we leave a mark.

Left alone it reaches to the heavens
Opens
Drinks the sun and rain
And thrives.

Then in  its own time
When  the petals have reached out
To let the pollen dusted butterfly and bee take of their fill.
One by one, full ripe and satisfied the petals fall
And for awhile their beauty and their scent
Leaves soft remembrance.
859 · Jul 2016
A Small Boat
Mary Pear Jul 2016
A small boat bobbing
In a calm sea;
Light breeze,
Gentle sun
Oars at rest.
At one, the body bobs
Adjusting itself and adapting to the sea's motion.
The sun warms and the breeze fans.

An island!
A distraction,

A new direction,
A possibility.
The mind rises and floats and lands
On the island.
Searches for wood to burn,
For trees to hack and fences to build,
For chickens to pluck, for fish to net
and boar to chase.
Shall I be chief?

If I leave my boat, my feet will be wet,
If I stay I might lose my boat.
I might never bob along again!

Sand and shells between my toes,
Clear water lapping at my ankles.
Keep moving or your feet will sink.
Smell the air, taste the air and keep the boat in sight.

The white sand is hard to walk on
And leaves and imprint of every move.
The boat beckons
Back on board, away to sea.

No land in sight - a storm gathers;
Thunder and lightening and driving rain.
Crouching in the boat now, lurching through the waves, drenched and frozen,

Waiting for the lull
Which always follows.
840 · Jul 2016
Dad
Mary Pear Jul 2016
Dad
Those hands
Speak more than does the face.
They clasp or lace,
They grip or poke
Hold firm.

They open in enquiry
Or close to form a fist
Or furl and unfurl to try and give the gist
Of some internal land.

Those hands I love
Are square and brown
With rough and bitten nails.
The finger ends are blunt,
The skin is coarse
With work.
Those hands are always warm and strong
And mine in his makes me a child again.
Mary Pear Aug 2016
The finger pointing at the moon,the steeple reaching to the skies;
Logic ,love and wisdom tries to pierce the gloom, to open eyes.
'Look up!' They say, 'Look over there!'
No! Look within now if you dare
To find the truth that's lying there.
The dons, the poets, the dance and the myths clear some of the way, but sadly miss
The heart of the thing
- just get the gist..........

First the moon, then the man full of awe, then the priest and the sage and the artist to draw
Out the meaning and help us to know what a small speck we are
In this infinite show.

Sing to the moon and dance through the night
Then look to yourself to see if you're right.

The myths are the map, the Dons hold the light, but the moon's ever there , perpetual and bright.
Unpick the poems, dissect the finger, deconstruct the song and analyse the singer,
Love the garden and crown the *****, praise the soil for the flowers he's made.
It's a great 'Whodunnit' a wonderful game, with the usual suspects guessing the name
Of the power behind it; the fame or the blame.

Sing to the moon and dance through the night.
Look to the heavens to see if you're right.
The myths are the maps, the dons hold the light
But the moon will be there
Perpetual and bright.
785 · Dec 2016
September Evening
Mary Pear Dec 2016
It is the September of the day; a slow closing.
A sudden rush of air and rustle of leaves accompanies the lazy birds' meander.
Traffic thins and cooking smells drift.
A pigeon flies past the open window, close enough for me to hear the flap of his wings.
This is his home too.
My roof, where he met his mate; my fence , where they courted.
The damp soil in my garden is home to the toad and his brood.
Magpies make their nests from the straw in my hanging baskets
And geese use the sky above for their flight path.
Distant voices call the children in for tea
And the village settles down to enjoy a September evening.
768 · Feb 2017
Sometimes my Sky
Mary Pear Feb 2017
Sometimes my sky's  the ceiling of a planetarium dome
Enveloping my tiny world'
The moon hangs low-
A lantern for the streets
In our snow globe world.
Contained
Compact
And wrapped in local clouds by day.

Both eyes in play - the vision slips
and now I know the nearest star is countless  miles away
And Alice- like I shrink.
A camera, carried high sees me, my home, my town
Resume their truthful place upon the globe;
A dot, if that, a fleeting speck in time no more.
Look up and up and endless up, beyond the plastic dome
To endless possibilities and none.
758 · Jul 2016
Sunset Harbour
Mary Pear Jul 2016
Sunset Harbour
Built to mock an Andalucian village
Hewn from rock
And filled with sand from Saudi Arabia.
We sit between reception and the pool
Stars shine,but not as brightly as the streetlights on the distant hills.

Our host is singing,'Penny Arcade' and up she's got;
The penny's In the slot.
Let the magic begin!
Our marionette awakes.

Short curled hair
Sponge bob body in a purple dress with flat triangles at the *******.
Little chicken feet lift in time to the music as she covers the space
Between reception and the pool.
Arms akimbo, hands waving and excited at the release.

Laughing, he takes his place,with portly belly thrusting forward
Arms bent and elbows jutting, chin thrusting forward to the music;
A cockerel to her chick.

Corner to opposite corner they dance,
Grinning at each other as they pass
Sometimes chasing
Sometimes. Backing off;
An Oldham Tarrantella
A Salford tango
A well - trod mating ritual
And still a joy to watch.
747 · Aug 2016
A fairy tale
Mary Pear Aug 2016
Once upon a time, a long , long time to come
A man invented 'vacuum drain'. Yes, that's it's name.
It pumped out fat. Human fat. Fancy that!
He hoped to make a fortune slimming us
It oozed out ****
That poured in vats, all sorts of fats;
Brown and viscous, white and lardy,
He worked so hard he
Didn't think things through.
The vats just grew.
And then he knew what he could do!
He'd sell it on! He'd make a bomb!
It worked a treat
The excess meat
Could feed a nation
A neat equation!

Fat westerners just couldn't wait
To line up and donate.
They even paid its fare
To take it anywhere
But on their bones
So..... Lean and svelte and handsome
They gave it all....and some
To feed the poor and dig into their land.
The idea was so grand
That it caught on
And all around the world the fat was shifting.
So many westerners were gifting
That share prices took a drop.
First slimming world went bust
And all the diet companies shut up shop.
Cheap labour went back home to families big and hearty
Who probably had a party
To celebrate their luck.

But.. Oh dear me!
The poor economy!
A tax was levied on the draining oil
To try and spoil
The benefits of losing weight
The media filled its screens with chubby faces
Fat people now appeared in all important places
But still the people shrank
To be quite frank
They had to sell the fat
to pay the vat.

Fat cats ( now thin) jumped in to run the racket
They hoped to make a packet,
But now the tide began to turn
The fat was used to burn
As fuel. The oil wells closed, the mines shut down
And people learned to burn their own fat too
No middle men, no ads campaigns, no V.A.T.
Just drainage after tea.
So little waste (waist)
(Spell it as you like, it's all the same)

.......now play the game
And carry on this fantasy
Where could it end?
If you have more, just add it on, my friend.....
718 · Jul 2016
7 foot transvestite
Mary Pear Jul 2016
Tackle thonged
Condensed in shimmering lurex.
Flamboyance bursts from flaming wig,
From feathered lashes and from fuscia lips.

Eyes flash and teeth sparkle
In the huge face.

With Cherokee cheekbones and a Roman nose
A pantomime dame becomes a slinky Cher,
A strutting Turner and a slick Minnelli,
Before settling
Into the loose and comfortable robes of a Boy George
We hope has found peace.
We clap and sing,
'Kama, Kama, Kama, Kama , Kama chameleon,'
As this chameleon
Plays out his life story for our entertainment.
And old ladies cheer
And wish him well.
707 · Oct 2016
Trauma
Mary Pear Oct 2016
Bubbling molten gurgles in the belly
Ready to surge and burst through convention,
Burning its way
Through convenient lies like a blow torch;
Scorching pure flesh on the way
To bring awful clarity.

Salt tears wash the grit from reddened eyes
And hearts rise as searing lava obliterates the ego.
Purpose may crystallise as the magma cools
But for most of us; shaken
We limp back to the habits of our
regular lives.
695 · Feb 2017
Step Sideways
Mary Pear Feb 2017
Step sideways into the void
Let that route be clear
And well-trodden.
When thoughts crowd and tumble, rattle and repeat
Take mind elsewhere.

Retreat.

Regroup the troops on higher ground
And from that plateau, survey mind's meandering,
Mayhem and futile floundering;
Rooting in dark corners for minor flaws, distracting itself with minutiae,
Retracing dead ends
Spiralling inwards
And all the while, shielding the eyes
From revealing light.

Retreat.

Pictures flicker and fade with no watchful eye to power the motion.
Let mind rest
And make a space.
Clear out the old, stale programme
And wait.
Be watchful.
Wait.
See what arises.
Wait.

Mind makes mischief and mind mends.
635 · Aug 2016
The bus to Nowhere
Mary Pear Aug 2016
I had  a dream of travelling;  just that - travelling, not  leaving, not staying ; travelling.
At the station
Faces look out from the bus, familiar faces, continuing on their journey.
Their journey. Not my journey.

No going back, or even looking back, I can't see the road behind, only glimpses
Of what it may have been.

I'll stay here a while in no- man's land. Or stay forever
Sit in the shelter at the roadside and pretend.
Tell all the people in the queue, ' No. Not my bus. I have a while to wait, a while to wile.' I say.
Scan timetables and adverts  idly,
Then sit and sit , then sit some more
And wait until a bus comes rolling down the hill with cheery driver and with all the windows lit.
Jump on and go with it.
626 · Oct 2016
poetry
Mary Pear Oct 2016
Poetry effervesces from the soul
Sparkling to the surface effortlessly in tiny
Disconnected bubbles.
No champagne can capture the
Joy of rising bubbles from within.

Sometimes it
pops up
Sweet and salty like popcorn;
Exciting, fresh and crisp.

Or it rumbles up from a deep well of fire
And spits
Out
Red and hot, searing and purging
From a swirling mass of magma.

Fireworks don't come easily and fizz and pop and die-
Champagne has to wait in cold and dark-
Popcorn cannot nourish and bubbles simply pop!
But diamonds deftly cut can  clarify.
625 · Aug 2016
Swimming
Mary Pear Aug 2016
Swimming with only the eyes showing
Like a predatory crocodile
Stealthily circling the pool
With the sound track from'Jaws' gathering pace in my mind.
Moving in for the ****.

In charge, in control, peeping out just above the surface,
Ready to strike at will.

And then a glorious stillness envelops me
No gaudy happiness
But a silver - blue peace;
An outcrop of sorrow.

The buoyancy holds me benignly
Expecting nothing.
The water covering my face cools the heat in my eyes.

With force I push my arms down towards my hips
And feel the corresponding ****** forward.
All my doing - my propulsion.

Down, down into the depths
With my eyes wide open now
Knowing that I will re- emerge,
That I can swim above and below
And that I need not fear the depths as
The deeper I go
The stronger I become.
625 · Sep 2016
I awake
Mary Pear Sep 2016
I awake to the sound of singing birds;
Little birds, singing their own tiny repertoire
And their singing
Lifts my soul.
It is a small joy
But so accessible
As long as there is spring and morning.

The sun's rays reach the blind and are
Diffused.
They touch me like a golden glow
Which oozes over me
Like warm honey.

An individual bird chatters his business,
Plump and important,
Feathers fluffed,
Oblivious of the Twitter of the rest
Intent on his purpose.

And this is what this chorus is:
No chorus,
No harmony;
Just each bird singing his own tune.
No blending, no merging, no smearing, no trimming
But sharp, clear differences.

A tree stands outside the window.
Its apple green leaves in their new- born state,
Each separate on the branch,
Not yet grown into the overlapping cover they will become.
Between
Each leaf
And the next
And surrounding the whole
Is the china blue sky.
Each colour
Young
And
Clear
And
Complementing the other.

Only today-
Only now
Will those leaves look
So
Against that sky.
Tomorrow a cloud may dull the sky'
The sun may be brighter,
The leaves will have grown,
The branch will stoop a little more.

The beauty is in the transience:
That tree
That sky
That sun
That bird
That song
Now.
608 · Jul 2016
Hustling
Mary Pear Jul 2016
Hi there!
Where're you from?
Been here long!
Lovely day!
Can't beat it hey!
Can you spare a minute of your time?

Blue sky
White paint on concrete
And purple bougainvillea.

Too stark a light
To hide
The hardness in the dilated eye.
The rapid speech born of panic, custom and chemical
Gives the game away.

Scrubbed up, slicked down
But all the signs are there.
The broken tooth,the bitten nails, the shaking hand,
The desperation
That make truth irrelevant.
607 · Aug 2016
Platform
Mary Pear Aug 2016
i am on the platform at the railway station.
Most days I board a train.
On the other days I just look at the brochures and the timetables.
At night I sleep in the waiting room.
My partner sleeps there too.
In the morning he goes down to the village
Where the folk have settled
Like sediment.
605 · Jul 2016
House
Mary Pear Jul 2016
Sometimes the walls and windows of my house
Have been just that.
Four surfaces to keep the cold at bay
a pod with gas and water, light and heat:
A small spacecraft
Permanently in dock.
And outside trees grow and flowers bloom.

Just walls, just painted walls
A shelter - just prettier than a hut
and more expensive.
Rushes,l ino or **** pile
A candle , gas or leckie
And giant windows cannot mask the confinement.

The changing tree is home, the birds that come and go,
Sun that oozes, wind and battering rain.
Passing chatter and the train's distant hoot
Paper my walls and paint my doors
Light my ceilings and carpet my floors.
597 · Oct 2016
star struck
Mary Pear Oct 2016
The windows of the world are opened wide
Upon the sun-soaked beaches and the tides
That lull the faintly optimistic souls
Who dream away their lives among the coals
Of winter evenings. Dreaming by the fire
Of popularity and wealth; their heart's desire-
to have a little fame in this, their world;
To see their lives before us all unfurled.

They dream their dreams, they  sing their songs.
They ache for things material and dwell upon the wrongs
That have befallen them through circumstance of birth.
They see themselves as queens, but minimize their worth
As helpers, hopers, lovers, dreamers. Choke
Themselves with their demands, but, if they poke
Their heads above the hype can clearly see
Fast tracks to fame are seldom trouble- free.
591 · Aug 2016
11 years 10 months
Mary Pear Aug 2016
industrial lights that glisten and gleam
Shine and shimmer, sparkle and preen
We're the footlights of her growing up.
The clang of the American swing; iron on iron
Formed the incidental music.

No aroma of roses or apple blossom
But industrial pong and fog scented the air.
No silken lingerie to kiss the skin
But grammar school knickers that left a green stain on the ***.
In pantomime the slipper gifts
In this story brown lace ups rub
And ankle socks slip under the heel or grey 'pull ups' slip down.

In the wet night black iron railings and soot blackened brick shine
As does the peeling paint in somber tones of maroon or green.
Oil stained cobble stones glow iridescent in the entries and rain smears the light from lamp posts.

A gabardine Mac and a good hood and the night is hers, walking home from the swimming baths with sweets and a good friend.
No style, no shape, no ' je ne sais quoi' ( no French yet)
No self- consciousness, no cynicism, no act , no role;
Caught between childhood and puberty.

Daft and funny and giggly
Laughing till it hurts, with tears streaming.
Making up stories and fascinated by 'what ifs?
Loving friends unreservedly and having no idea that 'now' would soon be 'then'.

A time when innocence and intellect met and each enjoyed the other,
A moment of balance
When two sturdy legs in brown lace ups stand slightly apart
And a scrubbed chubby face looks you in the eye
And dares you
To see the world from that standpoint.
580 · Jul 2016
The Blackbird
Mary Pear Jul 2016
Why does the sweet bird's trill
So lift my heart above the petty judgements that I make
So little based on truth, but rooted
In my own self- seeking?

The song he sings finds harmony in me
And let's me soar with him.

Rising with his simple air
I too can touch the sky.
Reminding me
That flesh and sinew
Hair and bone and teeth
Have underneath
A light and weightless thing
That soars
To hear a blackbird sing.
536 · Sep 2016
I landed here
Mary Pear Sep 2016
I landed here
Alone
Deposited.

Instinctively
I searched for friendly faces
Guides and teachers
To show me who I was
And where to go.

This body, face and family
Was not me.
My clothes, my voice, my knowledge
Was not me.

I needed help
I was a human and had human need:
Hope,heart and humour were a start.

I landed first on Mars and sought protection from a mighty arm
But arms that hug can hold too tightly and too long.

So up to Jupiter I looked
'Oh father Sky God, keep me safe!'
But, 'Oh by Jove!' The auspices that came as doves
Brought thunder too
And frightened me.

To Uranus  I fled, and fled again as he detested me
And meant me harm.

The weekend beckons; Saturn's next, the Golden Age of Man
Feast and plenty
Five and  twenty.

But no! Move on. The moon awaits
And love and lust and Soma from the gods-
But werewolves howl and madness lurks.

Neptune swims by and draws me in
To nuptials
And I float awhile upon the tide,
Losing myself in another.

Pluto gives me wealth
But rules the underworld
Where wealth can take you
If you bide its rules.

A young man next, so fare of face,an orator,
A man of letters: Mercury, quick silver
Changing with the wind.
A messenger, a vessel merely
He steals and is the God of thieves.
A thief who tends the dying.
Nothing is his or of him; he takes and smiles and moves then moves on.

And then to Mother Earth,
The Titan, Gaia.

And what is earth?
The dirt beneath my feet from which I look up
To the heavens.

My feet are black and bruised
My eyes are open
My toes can feel the grit
I feel the air upon my face.

This now is me.
517 · Jan 2017
Hmmm
Mary Pear Jan 2017
The sun winks cheekily from behind a thinning cloud
And, like a great golden grin, gilds my day.
White light pulsates on the inner wall of my eyelids -
Mood lifting; warmth spreading; glorious light.
A faint breeze, feather light, lulls;
Softening the edge of the sun's heat.
Time drifts and thoughts linger
On the sumptuous sensation
Of a perfect morning.

A seagull screech brings the scene to life
and, with eyes closed, I look at the moment
and see the sounds arising.
Distant voices in the morning's  chatter and the rhythmic whoosh of waves.
I feel the touch of sound as my heart beat strolls now;
As my mind idly paddles at the water's edge.
I breathe in the tepid air ; it glides softly, slowly through my nostrils
Reflecting the ebb and flow of the sea without.
Rising and falling with the tide's swell.  

Limp limbs lie abandoned on the
Cushioned bed as each breath shallowly lingers, patiently anticipating the next.
No thoughts now.
Just image and sound and the sweet sensation of the intermittent breeze
As I float on a velvet sea of my own making.
515 · Aug 2016
In Stillness
Mary Pear Aug 2016
In stillness find the oneness of the self,
The unity of self with all there is.
No trappings now of dignity or wealth
But just the centre point; the secret core of bliss.
Stand back, make distance, note the common thread,
Unhook the robes of status and of pride.
Without attachments there's no need to dread
The loss of power. Look at the great divide
Between what is and what purports to be:
A shadow play, an acting out of roles;
No truth no union just mimicry
That makes us all lose sight of treasured goals

As ego ebbs we finally start to see
We are the droplet and the mighty sea.
509 · Aug 2016
Stormy Weather
Mary Pear Aug 2016
Set your sail when the wind blows
And make good use of it.
Go for the contract when the cards are right.

To let the boat drift when the wind is right
Or duck the contract
When the cards are high
Is a loser's game
Or no game at all.

When the wind dies, mend your nets.
When the cards are low, take the longer view
And watch how others play.
Throw down the hand and join another game;
You do not have to stay.

When lightning strikes pull down the sail and,
As the thunder roars
Let the wind carry you.

Hold tight and rise and fall with each great swell.
The only way to go may be to other lands
A different place
And build another boat.
505 · Jul 2016
Venn Diagram
Mary Pear Jul 2016
Two large bubbles floating
Collide
And merge in the space they share;
A friendship.

Hands held
and eyes caught.

Holding together as the bubble bounces
Keeping the balance, knees bent, bodies arched
Changing shape to accommodate the movement
Moving together ; eye to eye.

Eyes drift,look away
Space shrinks
Bubbles separate
And drift away.
498 · Jul 2016
The Glass Box
Mary Pear Jul 2016
it operates like a glass ceiling
But is more often self- constricted.
It can come in a set;
One inside the other,
Inside another.

Some people are able to move
From the smaller to the larger.
There are no hinged sides
And any movement will cause shattering of glass
And sharp edges.

Sometimes after a breakthrough others follow.
They can see the shards of glass
And avoid them.

At first the glass sides are clean and clear
But they become clouded
By those breathing the stultifying air.

Those who grow inside the box
Become distorted
By its restrictions
And find their faces flattened against its sides.

Sometimes the box is a lonely place to be.

For those who leave
There's no return.

The air outside the box is rarified
And keeps one
gasping.
474 · Sep 2016
Cynicism
Mary Pear Sep 2016
Sometimes the searing sharpness of cynicism is required;
The acid, eye -watering lemon zest of fact
Piercing
The soft underbelly
Of platitudes, niceties, clichés, pleasantries and delusions.
The sweet smile offset by the glint in the eye,
The raise of an eyebrow or the hint of a frown
Won't do it.

Slivers of sycophancy stick in the teeth
And globules of gratuitous grovelling make one gag.
Swimming in warm soapsuds makes the skin shrivel
And the body longs for the cold shock of sea and salt.

Slick smoothness sickens like melting ice cream
and pretty politeness can seem
Pretty pointless
In the icy blast of a down turn.
Whipped up enthusiasm is just that -
A lot of hot air.

Oil the wheels, grease the palm, slick back the hair,
Stick on the smile, fix the grin, paint the slap.
Nothing sounds too well held in place;
All ready to slide off, leaving  the raw expression of bewilderment
In the face of reality
469 · Dec 2016
The Viaduct
Mary Pear Dec 2016
A viaduct looms over my daily commute; trains rattle above.
I pass through its belly each day.
A canal ambles beneath one armpit,
Scrubland loiters under the other.

In the belly , glaring headlights inch forward towards their kin;
Metal, rubber and glass jostle for place,
Engines thrumming.
Shiny shoes pinch and stiff collars tighten;
Fingers start drumming.
Deadlock.
Gridlock.

On the indolent canal a barge floats serenely, fat fish meander and
Skinny - legged moor hens tiptoe through the reeds.
An old man in rough tweeds pokes his stick through the scrub land on the other side,
Searching for blackberries.

Lights change futilely; amber, green and red.
Engines rev and teeth grit.
The belly rumbles.

Ducks fly in and land on the still water of the canal.
They swim in formation under the bridge.
On the other side the old man sits to eat his fill
His fingers purple with juice.
Clouds scud, a breeze cools and the sun appears.

Collars stiffen, indicators tick, nails are bitten
As the cars inch forward.
The bloated belly heaves
As a few cars cross the border to meet another impasse.

Concentric circles appear on the surface of the water
And gnats flicker above it.
A family of coots sets out for a morning outing
And a kestrel hovers above.

Deep in the undergrowth field mice
Scurry away from the old man's boots.
Dry sticks snap under his heel
and the sun warms his thinning pate.

He takes the slow path through the undergrowth,
Meets an ancient lane
And strolls the familiar path home.
452 · Sep 2016
Come! Swim
Mary Pear Sep 2016
Come! Swim with me in the shallow waters
Feel froth and grit compete between your toes.
Come! Mess about and splash without a thought to
The 'shoulds' and 'oughts' , the tensions and the woes.
It's busy here and lively at the sea's rim;
Old folk dip and children come to play.
The foam is soapier at the sea's brim.
Come! Let us wash all traces of the grey.

Come ! Deeper now. Let's swim in calmer water;
Feel depth's support and lie along its back.
Beyond you is the deepest, darkest ocean:
We know it's there, we smell its salty breath.
It's awful in its dreadful, fatal power
That emulates the ebb of life - and death
451 · Jul 2016
The School inspection
Mary Pear Jul 2016
A fat pigeon
Sat on my chest; solid and smug.

It's feathers grey and stunted
No flights of fancy here
It's beak sharp,peck-pecking,peck- pecking on the same spot.
It's glassy little eyes, beady and peering, short sighted and looking only down.
It's scrawny little legs scratching, stiffly stepping forward, no veering
But in a predestined groove.

It constricted my breathing
And the air that fuelled me was dark and dank.
I stalled and stuttered
And all roads led uphill through rain soaked mill towns struggling on the edges of
Barren moorland.

And then the pigeon left-
Just lifted its fat, grey body
Like a spacecraft in vertical flight
And my chest expanded
And my lungs filled with sweet air and my trapped self left the confines of my rib cage
And levitated
Into a clean and white and airy space
With windows flung full wide
And blue sky and breeze and a seagull calling
And a new day beginning.
423 · Oct 2016
Raindrops
Mary Pear Oct 2016
Raindrops explode on the impacted soil;
Dryer, so much dryer, so much harder than I thought.
One drop here and there and scars appear on the floury surface.
No wind today and the arrows find their mark
Again
And again
Until a surface pooling forms:
But nothing more.

Relentless ramrod shafts pound the ground
And its substance shifts and softens to absorb the blows
And take what nourishment it can.
Hardened against extremes it struggles
To release the tension of the grains that cling
To one another.
The rain ceases. It leaves and
In private
The earth allows some of the moisture to soak through.
Like a hard heart softening at the sight of compassionate tears -
Like the gruff response that guards an open heart.
414 · Jul 2016
Blazing Saddles
Mary Pear Jul 2016
In the dying heat of a Spanish September
Wrought iron gates guard the bar's flagged patio.
Plastic flowers defy the night and sit up stiffly in their baskets on the concrete wall.
No horses tethered here among the motor scooters.

Inside
An imposing counter guards the rooms beyond.
As brightly lit as a dental surgery and amply served by whirling ceiling fans.
The chiselled features of Native American Braves look down from the faded paintings that line magnolia walls,
Their steely gaze perplexed.
No pale faces here among the white man,
Just white hair
Or burnished copper shimmering like the painted desert.
Here the white woman wears the war paint.
Piped music circa 1960 jingles just Out of earshot
And a queue for bingo forms as a quiz is finishing.
Everyone has cheated,
Mouthing answers with a mixture of pride and cameraderie
Not too much of either,
Tepid
Luke warm
Like the night outside.

'Two little Ducks'.
No answering claim
'Old Ireland;17'
'No 3. Gone for a ***.'
'House!'
Then silence.

The plain matron reading out the numbers enunciates carefully into her microphone,
'And the next house is for the jackpot.'
Silence.
The queue slowly forms again. Banal lyrics from the teenage tunes fill in the gaps in stilted conversation
Long dead warriors watch, bewildered
And the night wears on.
405 · Oct 2017
October
Mary Pear Oct 2017
Grey, looming sky so still.
So still.
No birds sing.
So still.
Leaves sit untouched, unfluttered, still; waiting for the autumn thrill.
No glowing colour yet, no crunch, no bite.
As yet no shivering chill.

Back stage; on hold,
No scenery yet, no music score, no clattering dance, no lights,
No fires, no muffs, no darkening nights.
Not yet.

A dull grey pause, a damp trudge home, a twilight time, a long slow dusk.
Drab leaves hang on as colours drain
Dour and dull in drizzling rain.

But every year the show goes on,
The grand finale takes the floor.
Impossibly, the dying leaves assert themselves and burst on stage
In glorious colours, bright and bold,
In ochre, yellow, red and gold.
402 · Jul 2016
Demolition
Mary Pear Jul 2016
how sad is the papered wall
Of a half demolished house.
Square patches of fade
Where beloved pictures were
And flapping ends
Flicking in the breeze.
Open for all to see
And cold now
In winter's winds.
Coloured paper
Stuck to crumbling brick
Like lipstick on a wrinkled mouth
Or rouge on creepy cheeks.
402 · Aug 2016
Unloose me
Mary Pear Aug 2016
Unloose me
Gently.
Untie the knots and make a bow
That with a touch I can release.
No flying high, no soaring,
No losing sight of earth, no roaring
In the ears.
No mighty wind
But stillness.

I cease and hover and hear.
My thoughts are still, my mind is clear
No ripple
Just awareness of without-
Inside out.

Unhooked, untethered, letting go.
Untangled, stepping back
And moving on.
390 · Jul 2016
Still
Mary Pear Jul 2016
i sit and watch
The rain
And love it
Silently falling,no storm,no stir, no chill;
The beautiful copper leaves
Still.
Holding their breath as they
drink
Standing still to be washed.

And the birds
Still;
Sheltering,watching from high nests
Huddled,
Waiting.

I, still
And silent
Following the flow of my breath,
Waiting for the stillness to engulf me
Empowered by the stillness
Strengthened by the silence.
389 · Sep 2016
I do have a boat
Mary Pear Sep 2016
I do have a boat.
A poor  leaky thing it is
With a wonky rudder
And a quivering sail.
In fair weather it takes me where I want to go,
But when the storm breaks
I cling to the mast, rising to the crest of each new wave
And plummeting to the depths
To arrive in a new place with the lull.

One morning I heard a glorious song;
A full throated trilling
With the sweetest falling note.
I searched the trees and found a robin
Engulfed by the song;
His whole body puffing and swelling with each note.
His tiny beak seemed inadequate
For such piercing purity.
He was abandoned to the sound that occupied his tiny frame
And seemed to come not of him, but through him.
Then it ceased.

Great ships pass by
With engines that cut through the waves leaving white-tipped furrows,
All barren ploughing; no wind in their sails, but engines powering
Relentlessly forward
And back across the waves
With souls oblivious to the mighty mountains and the
Dreadful depths.

Cut through, forge forward to more ocean
Or more of the same.
Over the top go the great ships
Like  grand dams brushing away
The hoi polloi.
A flurry of exquisite cut and sparkling ore
Sweeping through
But surface dusting only.
No highs and lows, no bobbing,
No clinging to the mast
No robin.
Mary Pear Jul 2016
There's something's not quite right
Isn't there!
Isn't there?
There's something gone awry.
A picture that's not perfect
Or too good.......
A picture that's been airbrushed.

The case notes? Where are they?
There's pages missing from the bundle.
Bungle?
Rumbled?
Not a chance!

Who knows the way?
Who has the say and makes the rules?
Are we the fools
Who want it nice?
Sugar and spice and meek as mice.

Don't look twice. Don't glance behind, beneath
The sheath that shields the blade
That sliced its way
To reach the mountain top
Where sit the gods-
So puny, pale and pouting.

Oh look. They're shouting now
There's prying going on and peering
Hark! They're swearing. Profanities or oaths?
'You plebs! You oafs! And ' How dare you!s'
Float down from thrones
And pleas and groans and moans.

And all goes quiet
Shh! Not a word
Don't rock the boat.
Sleepy dogs drop off to sleep again
And little men creep up the hill
In full view.
381 · Jul 2016
Disquiet
Mary Pear Jul 2016
Disquiet,

Not dismay. Just disquiet
Lingers like the bitter leaves in a sweetened cup.
No tea without its bitter leaves,
No coffee without its dregs.

Disquiet

Fed by a gloomy day,
Nourished by wind and rain and a drear sky
Banished by bird song
Or a streak of sunlight.

Disquiet

Lingering from a half- forgotten dream
An echo of anxiety
Or chemical reaction
In the body?

Another day
Another season
Another place
Can swamp disquiet

Or starve it

Can fertilise anger or panic

Or can
deconstruct it

Sending

It's.

     Atoms

                   Hurtling

Into
        
          Space.
379 · Aug 2016
at peace
Mary Pear Aug 2016
Standing still in space
With the dead I know.
Still as they
As they were
Around me now as then; by me, in me, of me
Still here.
Still
In this time ,now
And forever and forever were
Just there
Always in essence, in being
And time rolls by beneath
Irrelevant.
376 · Sep 2016
A Short Meditation
Mary Pear Sep 2016
My thoughts appear as on a
Conveyor belt in front of me.
I sit some distance from them
And watch them pass.
I am allowed to choose which ones to
Discard
And which to pick off the track to examine
At my leisure.
In my own time.

The same old thoughts go around and around
Like suitcases abandoned at the airport carousel.
I leave those battered, tattered old cases.
I am managing very well without their contents.
I like to travel light.
359 · Jul 2016
Are you putting on a show?
Mary Pear Jul 2016
Are you putting on a show?
Playing a part
Or
Standing in the wings?

'Life's not a rehearsal ', they say.

Are you hogging the limelight
Stealing the show
Or making an entrance?

'The play's the thing.' They say.

Did you learn your lines?
Can you live the role?
Have you the right props
To make an entrance?

'The show must go on.' They say.

Or are you in the chorus, strutting your stuff
In step with the rest?
Or in the audience
Clapping and stomping?
Or scribbling?

It's a short run.
359 · Oct 2016
a guest
Mary Pear Oct 2016
She bounded into the room brim full,
Buoyant and bubbling; bouncing
With bonhomie.
Like an ever expanding balloon, she filled the space and flattened other Guests
Against the wall.
Filling their mouths with her rubbery taste.

She swelled again
And they shrank.
Conversation shrivelled,
Guests snivelled.
'Was it something I said?'

She oozed herself between chatting pairs
And insinuated herself into private conversations
Offering unsolicited advice.
She broke the spell of lovers' eyes and blocked the path of their gaze.
Two glasses of wine and the volume soared.
Three and the tone soured.

Bored, she wandered into the night.
She sighed.
The house sighed.
The hostess sighed.
Her friends sighed
And all for different reasons.
355 · Aug 2016
In two minds
Mary Pear Aug 2016
She

'As above, so below' ? I don't think so.
'Above us only sky.' That' s why.
Upstairs privilege , downstairs rules still apply
As does ' the Little a Woman' and the tougher guy.

Some change,of course-
But just enough to make it look ok.
'No way!' Some say. Be cool. Don't play
The gender game.

No game this, sis. No fun to play with half the kit.
We need the court to play it right
Or else the fight
Is hardly worth the bruising-
Though some did float in cruising
On the waves that others made....
They made the grade
And others paved the way,
But most glared straight ahead and said,
My efforts got me here, let others fight as I did.'

A battle won for now
For them, but war still wages
And when the war gets tough
The girls go home
And poor boys till the fields again.

Her

''Whoa! Hold your horses!  What of other forces?
Of love that spans the ages and beyond
And battles won
And bloodied fighters
That would fight again to gain the ground!
And what of lives made glorious by the sacrifices made?

Past success that is success no more is still a gain...
Again a hill to climb, but by another route.
The root of all contentment is a task that's done.
Done to a turn.
A good turn's best.
Best keep on Keeping on.
Keep the peace
And piece together lives made up
Of bits and 'peaces', strewn along the way,
The way that sees the journey as the life.

'As above, so below'?
I don't know.
349 · Jul 2016
Sometimes
Mary Pear Jul 2016
Sometimes life flayed you
And no- one bound
The wounds.

You kept them clean by gouging out the
Soft soap.

Only deep cleansing
That searches out the grit from every sliver
Of raw flesh
Can keep the gangrenous pus at bay.

That open wound
Heals from the deepest level
And gets to know each layer as it heals.

Beneath the skin all humans are alike
Are blood and sinew.

Deep sorrow can fashion
An internal telescope
That peers into the inner core
That we all share
Or else it plasters over
The pulsing wound
With platitudes.

And pain avoidance
Derails empathy.
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