Robert Maddox-Harle: Poetry (Western Voices 2021)

Bio: Robert Maddox-Harle (aka Rob Harle) is a poet, artist and reviewer. His work is published in journals, anthologies, online, and in books. He is on the editorial board of a number of international art and literary journals including Leonardo. His current work is concerned with restoring the “mysterium tremendum fascinans” which postmodernism has all but destroyed.


Allegro Vivace


adventures come and go

days fly by in a mesmerising hurtle,

nail it down

slow it down

the race to death is too hectic.


seems like yesterday

fixing dad’s vintage Victor mower,

sixty five years have slipped by

days crossed off the calendar

a calendar of unknown finitude,

a pile of days dissolved like morning mist,

constant battles against unnecessary angst

have etched their marks too deep.


family ties both East and West

the tyranny of distance hard

but still we made the effort,

now all but two are gone

one East and one out distant West,

different oceans different shores apart.


Dvorak dissolves my largo introspection

throwing me to the floor in rapture,

Adagio - Allegro Molto


Molto vivace


“New World’ in E Minor roars,

roaring, dipping, diving

a cascading avalanche of orchestral bliss

testing the glass of old windows,


Tempo Di Valse



“Finale” - Allegro Vivace,

and now I am young again.




Red Queen


The Red Queen stands aloof

commanding her subjects with shouts,

mysterious in her gaze

compelling in her countenance.


Agitated she invites the Mad Hatter to lunch,

“Bring the red tea and a menu now!”

“What are the ingredients of Rabbit Pie?”

she screeches sourly.


Sugar, water, salt

Salted plums, thickener, tomato paste

Food acids (330, 260), garlic, ginger

Rabbit on the bone

Dripping, flour, flavour enhancer (621)

Caramel (150a)


The tension rises, looks are exchanged.


Exclaiming rudely the Mad Hatter shouts

“I do not eat Rabbit Pie!”

“Then”, off with your hat!

and then, off with your head!”


Remember what the Dormouse said?

“Feed    your    head”.



Cut Short


it started at five in the morning

falling out of bed,

a strange reaching-out dream

over balanced, flat on my back

the floor was hard and unforgiving.


consult the oracle

Astro-girl in the local tabloid,

You’ll have a hard day!

Be careful meeting strangers!

Perhaps a trip down memory lane!


filtering through a box of old cards,

 a get well card from Bhakto

now he’s dead

i miss his Zen sayings.

a Christmas card from Derek

now he’s dead

i miss his smile and sculptures.

a cartoon card from KAF

now he’s dead

i miss Kevin’s clay and artistic way.


Another card another one dead

more cards more dead

too many friends, too many family

All dead!


forlorn i threw the cards

one by one into the fire,

the funeral pyre with saddened flames

smoked and roared

as i reflected on these truncated lives.


like young shrubs, tender saplings

mercilessly pulled from the ground

purged before their peak,

All dead!

Dead! Dead! Dead!

the cast became too long to continue,

the sadness too great to swallow!

1 comment :

  1. Rage and grief are close companions as the poet muses on a life lived. I especially feel the last poem-- its strength of expression and power of movement.


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