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Aug 2020 · 166
Tony Luxton Aug 2020
A walk in the park
Where there is some talk
Of raising the Snark
Misguided remark.

There is no conclusion
That I could envision
To plunder delusion
And clear the confusion

While we may contest
That theories attest
His morbid diffusion
Just leave him to rest.
Aug 2020 · 308
Tony Luxton Aug 2020
The two meter square dance
Leaving nothing to chance
Everybody's doing it
The pavement prance.

By Government order
Single file avoidance style
Mask covered faces
Queuing spaces.
Corona Virus
Aug 2020 · 64
Clapping Days
Tony Luxton Aug 2020
Carpet wearing days
Widowscoping days
Garden tending phase
Lockdown crazes.

More pushing up daisies
Unknown contact traces
Some recovery cases
Thursdays clapping days.
Corona Virus
Aug 2020 · 79
The Plague Decade
Tony Luxton Aug 2020
The sun is shining, games not played
only the dog walkers parade
Morale declining children pining
This is the plague decade.

Key workers nervously
bravely give service
while others wait
to discover their fate.

Watching wretched news
numbers are rising
much televising
loves no one would choose.
Corona Virus days
May 2020 · 89
Clapping Days
Tony Luxton May 2020
Carpet wearing days.
Windowscaping ways.
Garden tending phase.
Lockdown crazes.

More pushing up daisies.
Unknown contact traces.
Some recovery cases.
Thursdays clapping days.
People stand outside clap NHS workers toiling through the corona virus epidemic.
May 2020 · 542
The Plague Decade
Tony Luxton May 2020
The sun is shining, games not played,
only the dog walkers parade,
morale declining, children pining,
this is the plague decade.

Key workers nervously,
bravely give service,
while others wait
to discover their fate.

Watching wretched news,
numbers are rising,
much elegising,
loves no one would choose.
Corona Virus
Apr 2020 · 93
Home Thoughts Endured
Tony Luxton Apr 2020
Competing for chores, staying indoors,
rationing fresh air, the lonely despair,
managing the food stocks, watching the clocks,
we're in it together, inhumane tether.

News depressiing, rigid rules,
people are dying, NHS trying,
carting them off, telltale dry cough,
too many dangerous, dissenting fools.
Good luck and best wishes to everyone.

Tont Luxton
Dec 2019 · 103
George and Max
Tony Luxton Dec 2019
Incomer and native,
crowned princes of Orkney arts,
the two communed together
with wind, wave and wilderness.

Their works kindled many hearts
conjured festivals of Island
arts, tragic St. Magnus Opera,
Fairwell to Stromness, poetry,
newsprint and novels.

George Mackay Brown's words,
Peter Maxwell Davies' music,
they left us their works,
left wind, wave and wilderness.
Dec 2019 · 87
Going through the Motions
Tony Luxton Dec 2019
He found it difficult to sustain
correct connected feelings. Not that
he didn't sympathize or feel sad,
remember better days, blame impatience.

Still he knew he had to behave well,
do the right things, say the right things.
A little quiet gentle humour
might break the tension, but the ones
left behind, those who were close
had to be spared. The dead never cared.

Would he have felt like them? Perhaps.
Normal life becomes unreal, closed
down empty, far from the glittering eye,
smothered, for some never to be recovered.
He was a stranger at the funeral feast.
Tony Luxton Jul 2019
Two brothers at arms length, both
earls of Orkney. Internecine
feud, inherited condition
or consequence of tradition.

Magnus sacrificed himself
to Haakon's axe man, saviour
of Orkney from civil war.

The memorial Cathedral of
St. Magnus, built by Earl Ragnvald,
tribute to his uncle's martyrdom
inspires the Bay of Kirkwall.

Within a pillar south of the ***** screen,
above head height and easily missed
was laid a block of lighter stone,
inscribed with a cross that guards the bones
of St. Magnus, focus of the pilgrim's dream.
Jul 2019 · 89
Pruning Roses
Tony Luxton Jul 2019
It's that time of year.
I know what's good for them,
but their thorns resist,
like children being trained.
Exuberance must be contained
for the good of next year's growth.

They ***** me bringing blood,
having their own red way,
making my hands bloom,
as if their summer's here to stay.
Mar 2019 · 133
Old Boots
Tony Luxton Mar 2019
He always stops to look at
school art displays, searching for
the old hiking boot paintings.
Examines them very closely,
not artfully, but comparing
wrinkles with his mirror image.

Their skin colour darker than his,
except for the newer, resented
interlopers. He doesn't trust them,
inexperienced, uncomfortable,
painfully rigid in their ways.
He favours those that have seen better days.
Mar 2019 · 107
Creeping Murmur
Tony Luxton Mar 2019
He stands above the bridged weir,
watching the sunlight striking
the waterfall, where stream joins river,
bright silver spray, subtle spectrum.

Ripples exhaust their energy
on the black glassy surface,
obscuring the waiting menace
pervading his dark imaginings.

He's beyond its reach, sheltered
by artifacts, though exposed
in stillness to ghostly thoughts,
cloaked in ancient folklores' clothes,
savage rites, evil onslaughts.
Mar 2019 · 122
Day Train
Tony Luxton Mar 2019
Documentary on fast forward,
lacking commentary, towns flash by
Coronation Street domestic dramas,
ordered rank and file urban pedantries.

Perhaps like one of those old westerns,
where they wound the scenery past
a mock-up stagecoach interrior,
so that's where all the porters went.

Rolling landscapes, seascapes, mile on mile,
stiles and paths and telegraph poles,
rain fraying skies and foaming sea,
criss-cross links and creaking carriages.

Slowing down, a shuddering stop,
stiffened limbs begin to flop,
stiffened brains still travel dizzy,
busy station, platform tizzy.
Dec 2018 · 172
Tony Luxton Dec 2018
The Earth is bleeding red and slow,
shuddering in a hot sweat,
cracking it's stretched skin, projectile
vomiting its rumbling guts.

My people run. Too late! Too late!
The Earth God's anger seals their fate.
Stone encased we shall remain, until
the curious unveil our pain.
Aug 2018 · 617
Words Worth
Tony Luxton Aug 2018
Words that flame, words that shame.
Words! Words! Words!
Words we shouldn't use.
Words politicians choose.

Words that blame, always the same.
Belligerent words, ignorant words.
Words of beauty and of song.
Words the Saxons spoke,
or some Anglian bloke.
Welsh words, Celtic words.
Words from round the world.

Words recently known to few.
Words that Wordsworth knew.
All in Oxford's Dictionary,
even meanings lost in history.
The Oxford Dictionary
Aug 2018 · 314
On Lowry's 'Going To Work'
Tony Luxton Aug 2018
Buses are emptied unlike
many minds at this time
in the trudge to work
beneath the canopy of
buoyant barrage ballons.

Another factory day ***** in
the dark figures downcast with bad
war news and routine ritual.
But there is comfort to be had
in the chorus of familiar talk.
Lowry's painting 'Going to Work'
Aug 2018 · 176
Bay Watch Norway
Tony Luxton Aug 2018
All winter waiting,
glowing warm inside,
with welcoming windows,
defying tide, wind and snow.

Trolls maintained a loathing
malicious watch from icy
mountain galleries above
for mishaps - so called accidents.

Then house fronts sprang to life
in rainbow colours
strung like bracelet charms
around the bay, beckoning
ships whose rigging pierced the spray.
Jul 2018 · 933
Unfinished Land
Tony Luxton Jul 2018
We drove the kids North East to
our adopted hinterland
of moreish moorland, the Brontes
heath and heather hiding-place,
near peacock splendid Castle Howard.

Town kids need more stimulation,
animal animation.
A newly opened zoo park
offered flamingos in the pink,
fapping, fluttering, squarking
round a stinking muddy pool.

We splashed about, rain soaked,
licking mud spiced ice creams,
shivering, slipping, thinking
it's what you try to do for kids.
Jul 2018 · 454
The Emperor's New Clothes
Tony Luxton Jul 2018
He sees through it, like
the young tend to do,
a modern stone sculpture
with holes you can see through.

Having recently read
'The Emperir's New Clothes',
he thinks they're at it again,
expensively baffling brains.

He looks through the spy holes
at their puzzled attention,
amused at the bemused,
using their words of pretension.
May 2018 · 322
The York Patrol
Tony Luxton May 2018
They're patrolling the walls again,
but not in the rain, a ragbag
army of volunteers. Traffic rattles
through, but not the charioteers.

They're searching lurching through the past,
not seeking to know what dreadful deeds
religion's deadly kisses, or excessive powers
have granted, but how life was, in short visits.

There are others, who could know how
man treatred man to misery,
through ****, rope, fire and blade,
even the big dipper thrills brigade.
historical York
May 2018 · 222
Ted Hughes
Tony Luxton May 2018
The Calder cut a channel
through the ancient stones of Elmet,
sculpting minds of millstone grit
in moorland weavers' kin.

Poetry coursed his veins.
Clotted domestric pain
flooded his synapse.
His shrouded fame collapsed.
Ted Hughes sometime poet laureate
May 2018 · 223
The Observer
Tony Luxton May 2018
It's eighteen twenty-six,
a deserted esplanade,
no hen nights, no fish 'n chips,
an onshore wind, a wave cascade.

An observer sits at waters' edge
on a rotting timber sledge.
He's looking seaward, not watching,
not waiting, deeply contemplating.

Then he paints a picture of this place,
a record in suble water colour,
of a man on a sledge at the waters' edge.
Apr 2018 · 279
Time Warp
Tony Luxton Apr 2018
They call it still life. All
as still as death. Perhaps
the painter's hand was also stilled
in contemplation, rapt, fulfilled.

Glum fish, lolling pheasants,
bread and cheese, garlic, cherries,
apples, oranges, lemons,
but it's the light that pleases.

Ravelling, revealing vision,
casting shadows, changing shapes,
glinting glasses, devilling detail,
the time warp of the stopped clock.
Apr 2018 · 321
The Final Essay
Tony Luxton Apr 2018
There's a myth that when you finish
a good book, the author dies for you.
At least, I often feel a sense of loss.
I was near the end of a fine book of essays.
I heard the author was dying, incurable.

Famous mass media man, favoured
by the more selective viewers, journalist,
interviewer, novellist, cultured critic,
humourist, philosopher, a thinker's man.

Ought I to have read that final essay,
defy the myth? Next day I scanned
the papers. His death was not reported.
I trust we both breathed normally again.
Best wishes to Clive James.
Mar 2018 · 255
What Happens
Tony Luxton Mar 2018
A radiant white goddess
limped onto our back lawn
reflecting bright moonbeams
the stuff of storybook dreams.

I gently picked her up
my two hands shielding her
like a communion cup.

The vets undertook her care
pronounced her a pure white dove
later phoned declared her dead
a broken leg.

What humans call a humane killing.
It eases our pain.
What happens when you **** a goddess?
Basically true.
Feb 2018 · 266
Speech Bubbles
Tony Luxton Feb 2018
Sitting waiting in the packed room,
trying not to adopt the mood,
watching bubbles rise 'What's 'er name'?
sensing movements, glancing eyes.
A few know each other,
smile hello, kids bellow.

This is not the place for show.
The bubbles silently burst.
No effort worth the candle
sadly burning, spluttering.
Sighs sour invisible clouds,
waiting for the 'Next , please' blow.
speech bubbles rising
Tony Luxton Feb 2018
Single storey, long brick building,
curtained stage and wooden floors,
overture beginners, teachers,
scouts and guides in Sunday chorus.

Sounds of pennies dropping,
scraping chairs, coughing, iching, scratching,
and fidgets tiny bladders filling.

Holy high days came in cycles,
Whit Walks, banners, carnivals.
Many living on in stories,
since their final church parade.
Sunday School
Jan 2018 · 369
Salford on Stour
Tony Luxton Jan 2018
Constables hay wain crossed
the Stour, wooden wheels creaking,
countryside colours clouded,
trees shrouded Flatford Mill.

Lowry's people were going to work,
guarded by furious chimneys,
darkness conductors, limbs aching.
Beneath the plumes short lives streamed,
inhabiting a rent collector's dreams.

Thin models for humanity
suffered Salford's acid rain
from satanic wage slave mills.
two paintings of workers
Jan 2018 · 308
Tony Luxton Jan 2018
Granite tiled floor,
more interesting than Internet,
jagged streaky veins,
dense masculine stones,
polished gunmetal bloom.

Trying to establish patterns, symmetries.
Should I miss my appointment?
There's never time to persist.
Temptatioin of a timeless world.
Nov 2017 · 286
Cruel Sands
Tony Luxton Nov 2017
They come in their hundreds of thousands,
floating magic carpets over our seas,
drowning, crawling up cruel sands,
bringing raw life, fuelling unease.

Salt for our wounds.
Tonic for our lethargies,
exorcizing the liturgy of myths.
Earth's orary grinds on.
Nov 2017 · 256
Watching the Day
Tony Luxton Nov 2017
I watch a small lump of fat
fall to the lawn, surrounded
by birds. A plucky starling
takes it to a quiet spot.

Grandad grew frustated with ploitics
at work. He turned his back,
took his pension,
started working for himself.

Greedy persistent pigeons press
stealing starlings' earnings, pecking,
flapping, asset stripping.

The old man worked night and day to build
business. But the predators swooped,
their beaks and claws tearing at his skin.
They broke his heart. Today we bury him.
looking at the lawn on funeral day
Nov 2017 · 272
Polluted Sources
Tony Luxton Nov 2017
Polluted sources running through
the mind - others wastes. Ambitious,
power-seeking sources fill
tributaries trickling poison
throughout mankind. Confusion
at the confluence of influence.

Shadows of eternal night.
Seeping through the veins, a flow
of falsehood, rhetoric creating
unnatural pain - phantoms
dreamed up in others brains.
fake news
Nov 2017 · 197
Breaking Formation
Tony Luxton Nov 2017
Some birds can't keep formation,
stretching every sinew,
exhausted with the effort,
many blown off course.

Others defy the common purpose,
seeking their discoveries,
shedding feathers like words,
revising what we understand.
sometimes it pays to break formation
Oct 2017 · 304
Tony Luxton Oct 2017
Their backs to cold wet weather. Summer again.
Another pair of feet joins the queue.
The shelter won't house half a bus load.
Puffs of breath wind whisked away.

Secretly seeking sun in others' smiles,
that star has left their universe.
Stony stares keep their queue places.
Vital signs of stamping feet,
and fingers twitching keyboards.

One shy solitary smiles, a contact,
no contract needed. Granting her
his daily nod, his thoughts return to bed.
Oct 2017 · 392
The Table
Tony Luxton Oct 2017
I don't know when or
who bought it, old worn,
battered, richly patinated,
ill-fitting our modern room.

Addressed with reverence
dur to age and tradition,
setting for many meals,
seances and squeals.

I was the noble Arthur
for a time, with a kingdom
to protect, a faith to defend
and my comrades to command.
Oct 2017 · 194
Well Read
Tony Luxton Oct 2017
Words lie in wait. Ready
to spring, invade our minds,
ambush our thoughts. They fight
each other for the prize.

Born of grisly grief, lasting love,
excitements, incitements, enticements,
realities plurality of life,
imagined hope ungrasped,
surrendered souls downcast.

Treasuring pleasing phrases,
blessed by serendipity,
and so must shout their praises,
gorge ephemerality,
soon returning to the feast.
Oct 2017 · 205
Tony Luxton Oct 2017
All I could see was blue,
a barrier of confusion,
or some kind of illusion.
Unbelievable. Unreal. Untrue.

Was this my final scene?
An unfamiliar stage.
No one to help my dream.
No gentleness, just rage.
Oct 2017 · 265
Westminster Chimes
Tony Luxton Oct 2017
Fighting for the right
or the left, praising
heroes and heroines,
They scorn all villains.

Time for a breath of air,
weighing their own ways.
Are they being honest with
their harmonies of opposites.
'harmony of opposites' - Marcus Aurelius Meditation 48
Sep 2017 · 304
A Natural Man, Ted Hughes
Tony Luxton Sep 2017
His innovative drives
- passionate, natural man.
The knotted grains of his life,
bringing pleasure and distress,
making a disorderly mess.

Departed, is he forgiven?
Some refuse to judge. But what
of those whose lives were riven,
infatuation driven.

Lives passed by with many sighs.
Judged his life ignored his life, ignored his work,
leaving us unopened eyes
on mystic crow, tortured lines,
raw nerves, coded signs
Sep 2017 · 441
Caustic Lands
Tony Luxton Sep 2017
Guided by the stars,
a better life,
a safer life.
Their new world worth
the journey and its dangers
for their progeny.

We try to keep things as they are,
ruled by fallacies, and fears
of their strange languages,
faiths, mythologies.

Harsh voices shout with menaces,
'Send them home from whence they came
to their hollow caustic lands.
We should keep our own traditions,
Angles, Saxons, Celts and Jews.'
Aug 2017 · 242
Tony Luxton Aug 2017
I'm always losing things.
I specialize in keys,
but lost my leather gloves,
moaned, groaned, bought a new pair.
Wife says, she'll string them round my neck,
found the others below stairs.

Scarves and handkerchieves,
problematic, stocked up,
can't find them now.
She can't believe it.
Vexed, she says,
'You'll lose your marbles next'.
Aug 2017 · 239
Paper Cuttings
Tony Luxton Aug 2017
Many of our dead are paper cuttings,
memories of those surviving or
doing duty by our famous dead.
Guardian obituries
stored in books I've read.

Hughes, Eliot, Larkin, Heaney,
MacNiece and Thomas mourning their last drinks.
Uncomfortable shelfmates all,
eternal quarrels, truth debates.

Eliot polite and debonair,
while Hughes cares no for airs and graces
but puts the ladies through their paces.

Heaney digs his pen through family,
myth and culture's history, mining
human misery and mystery,
then Larkin's calendar of life
confronts our stark reality.

I cannot pass these shelves untouched,
demanding voices drench the air,
nor can I find a useful test
by which I can decide who's best.
Aug 2017 · 201
Taking The Wodwo
Tony Luxton Aug 2017
When you set out through the forest,
hunting, logging, picking fruit,
ask a wodwo to escort you,
with his hefty club at hand,
dragon slayer on demand.

Pay him for the service rendered.
Gold and silver are not tendered,
share the food that you have found
now dragon's meat is not around.
Wodwo - mythical wild, hairy man of the forest
Tony Luxton Aug 2017
We trusted him, that voice on the wireless,
cricketer by conviction after all.
There were no other views that could
compete, but now we've grown more
critical or so we claim.

And yet we still have affectations,
our urban myths, two-faced politics.

There's strong pressure to conform with
the latest craze wherever born
We share the Ooh's and Aah's across the world
and must hooray the loudest common cause.
Over many years Britistish listeners tuned in to Alistair Cook's Letter From America.
Jul 2017 · 299
Her Amber Pendant
Tony Luxton Jul 2017
It glows warm on her breast, polished
symbol of her life attachments,
subtly marking loving passion,
needing no flashing sparkling zest.

Once the scent of ancient pine,
gooey, enticing insect trap,
transluscent shroud for their remains,
since washed ashore between those
sheer, crumbling, shortbread cliffs.
Tony Luxton Jul 2017
Men seek to test their metal,
heading for the sea, exploring
experience's distant depths,
plunder from the sea.

Different dangers from onshore.
Diffferent challenges. Naked
and adaptable, learning
ruthless lessons, chancing the main.
'the main' - theopen sea
Tony Luxton Jun 2017
The interrior was dark and dusty,
a second-hand treasury for searchers.
Deeply breathing the particulate air,
I squeezed through to my secret back room.

Care of J.M. Dent and Everyman,
there for sixpence, at pocket money price,
an unexplored world could be had.
Dickens, Dumas and Stevenson.
'Everyman' q6th. century morality play. J.M. Dent & Everyman published many of the classics at low prices in the early 20th. century, serving a large population of culture hungry Brits.
Jun 2017 · 232
Conjured Images
Tony Luxton Jun 2017
He peered from the bushes, half afraid,
our first cautious explorer.
Dreaming of fatter animals,
having no thought of factory man.

The Green Man lost his spirit
in our carvings and engravings,
conjured images of everyman.
The Green Man image appears in many old church carvings - memory of early pagan times. 'Everyman' - 16th. century morality play:
Everyman I will go with thee and be thy guide,
in thy most need to be by thy side.'
May 2017 · 353
The Seekers
Tony Luxton May 2017
We may soon forget about them,
Perform our daily tasks.
Seek what pleasure may be found.
Regain contentment in whatever measure.

They will still claw at the razor wire,
discomforted by rain, wind and snow,
determined to resist their pains,
seeking to share our inherited treasure.
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