Our Walks Into Wombwell: Paul Brookes

Petals Open Wide At
 
and quickly shiver in thunders grand growl
between patches of blue sky and welcome
heavy spit drums for worms wend to bowel
of beaked mam's shopping for squawkful young.
 
A flit between sky spit to the calling 
nest to feed ever open gobs hunger.
What good am I who wants my crass bawling,
who wants to listen to my grand thunder?
 
No am not alright, no I don't want to 
be here. Folk don't want to hear my moans.
At least on my own I can lean into
gust, bury myself in my busy phone.
 
Nature interrupts myself with blown leaves,
loud birdsong, speaks of more than I believe.
***


Believe
 
Loud birdsong, speaks of more than I believe. 
Nature's struggle to survive gives me peace of mind.
Breathe in slaughter of those who must leave
hungry young to murder another kind.
 
Delight in tranquil forest where spiders
chew on trapped prey. Where they find energy
to keep going on I wish I'd their verve,
strength to up and out, answer mystery.
 
Where's the sense, where's the good in going on?
You struggle and then you die. Why bother?
The dead are dead despite the wild birdsong.
Folk say how I moan while others suffer?
 
Wish I wasn't so selfish, cared a little,
not enough for myself, but I will, I will.
***


Will Get Out
 
Not enough for myself, but I will, I will
get out. Force this skin against itself.
My head screams "No!", stay here, stay safe until
pain in your head is gone, in better health.
 
All you will find out there is death, disease
you don't want to infect kindly old folk.
I get out. Sat in cemetery's ease.
Jackdaws turn their beaks as if I've just woke.
 
Don't sit with me. Don't don't talk to me. Don't.
A ladybird appears on my coat sleeve.
A delicate thing. Blow it away. Won't.
It unlocks it's cage and flits and I breathe.
 
Unexpectedly wonder just happens.
You can't plan it. Get out. Breathe. It makes sense.
***


Happens
 
You can't plan it. Get out. Breathe. It makes sense.
I fetched in wild as postcard from nature
greetings and wish you were here. Some intense
rock from a Wombwell charity shop shares
 
space with unpainted pine furniture, grain
and knots need to be seen, to lose myself 
in swirls, still rivers whose eddies are tamed
in these marble bookends split whole length
 
reveals metamorphic designs pressured
heated limestone packed with coloured crystals 
formed from impurities. Beauty impured.
I am not pure. Who split me ogles.
 
When nature is a mirror I avoid,
I take a look, see myself in the void.
***


The Void
 
I take a look, see myself in the void.
So I resolve to walk in Wombwell Woods.
Ancient forest. Once called dark and devoid
of kindness. Home to killers, thieves, no goods.
 
I can handle ghosts. Real folk do my head.
I find a regular track. Don't want to be lost.
Uphill patched with cobbles leads to spread
of water, folk call the res where anglers boss
 
their lines, I wend the other way through bird talk,
twigs snap underfoot. I am elsewhere, home.
Things float in spring sunbeams as I slow walk
Intoxicated, bathing in trees dome.
 
This is not a void, this is substance, worth.
Something to care for, saved on this blessed earth.
***


I Create
 
Something to care for, saved on this blessed earth.
A poem's words walk into wilderness.
A painting is a deep focus, unearths
details, how trees frame, repairs brokenness.
 
Folk in my head seem quieter in woods,
and in the cemetery. I usually 
only hear the loud mouthy ones, the no goods.
Now, I listen to quiet ones slowly.
 
Some are no goods too, but most, not. Listen.
They tell me woodland air is sacredness.
Keen, I write and sketch, all senses sharpen.
I never knew here, in my inwardness.
 
Outside of myself there are outside selves.
Too many is a burden, all is wealth.
***


Protect
 
Too many is a burden, all is wealth.
How to care for this vital abundance.
Outside myself I tidy litters health.
Recycle the rubbish, with a new sense
 
that a small act has larger consequence.
I am not a fool I know some crap ends
up on third world shores despite good intent.
My louder voices would batter me, bend
 
me to give up fruitless endeavours, sink
inside myself. I tell them to shut up!
This is not for myself, but others. Think!
Each small act builds, removes the mounting muck.
 
Not there yet. Weather is not always foul,
and quickly shiver in thunders grand growl
***


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