If Zebras Ruled the World (Thunk Poem 1, for Ian Gilbert)

Would there be no racism,

if zebras ruled the world?

All black and white,

no wrong or right,

a flag of unity, unfurled?

Would we return to nature,

nourished by grass?

An Alice-like adventure,

encouraged to ditch class,

an absurd herd, no trace

of a bigot’s baton, twirled –

Would there be no racism,

if zebras ruled the world?

Knowing

Knowing

(For Brenda Read-Brown)

Note: The final two lines are from a poem called ‘Flagship’ from Brenda’s book; ‘Arbitrary Edges’. You can buy Brenda’s brilliant collection here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arbitrary-edges-Brenda-Read-Brown/dp/1291376909

 

 

I was only two poems in

before I had to stop

and write something,

moved by a line

that defined the truth,

so many pretend to ignore.

Smitten by something

you had written

in my youth, proof

that love cares not for age,

a page of your thoughts,

penned almost perfectly before

you could possibly know

they would echo

evermore.

And I knew you knew me,

and I burned, my heart,

tearing at the seems,

‘and I learned that aching feet

are the realities of dreams.’

I Owe Matthew Richards an Apology

A bale of turtles makes me smile,

for reasons only two of us know of,

one, a fool, whose folly

was to know too much, but failed

to trust in the indecency of instinct,

the other, a sustentacular friend,

spurned a life-time ago,

the pandemonium of parrots,

causing chaos in creativity,

the naivety, never overcome,

one learned to nibble the nails

in the cross, let rage recede,

as the page will bleed,

and let wisdom come

with an overwhelming of children.

 

Don’t Start at the Beginning

A discovery of Dickens

and Duffy, Hardy,

hardly enough, he

awoke in me, poetry,

spoke to me, awoke in me,

something wild.

The Animal wept

for ‘The Unborn Pauper Child’.

The lessons and legacy

of Tolkien, my fascination

with the Inklings

and Lewis’ dedication:

world changing,

life changing.

I sensed the rearranging

of destiny,

the message fate sent,

when ‘The Signalman’ began

with the end.