Poetry and prose - Poésie et prose

How soothing the silence is.  How comforting this sky of stars that sometimes twinkle directly at her.  The world is faltering under a barrage of fake news. Fake news I say. Outright lies.  It's so exhausting fighting lies everyday when it seems no one wants to know the truth.  Truth falters.  Life hesitates and the whole world feels under threat.

She could still remember being ten years old. She been given one hundred lines to write for lying about the whereabouts of her homework.

I must tell the truth at all times in class one hundred times. And so she had written those lines thinking not very much except that they were a nuisance and it had not been a very bad lie. After all who doesn't forget to do their homework once in a while and say they left it on the kitchen table.

But twenty years later a new world has begun and often she wonders where the old one has slinked off to.

Tonight she lies on the grass under a dark sky that has just turned from ink  blue to almost midnight black.

Bed time is when it's dark.  But the bedroom is no place for sweet dreams as she lies on the soft dewy grass where the pale white moon cleanses and calms. There's healing in moonlight she thinks as she bathes in the milky glow of this summer sky somewhere obscure but as always in France.


My lost Kingdom

I am a staunch remoaner
Remainer or remainiac
And though my cause can be exhausting
I am not turning back

The words Europe, Euro and Schengen
Are music to my ears
My heros are Frau Merkel and that impassioned Mr Verhofstadt

I drink a tisane with my croissant
Or a vino rosso with my pizza
 and might still enjoy my tea and scone if it didn't taste of Brexit

 I feel like I'm in exile
A Brit who's dispossessed
A citizen of nowhere
For me there is no rest

But I deny we Brits are quitters
We know how to get along
With every nation on this earth
(And possibly others from beyond)

So with a bit of common sense
Maybe Theresa May will realise
That Brexit will make us sad and blue
And we must stick together with the EU

2 January 2017

The Grand Old Ducks of York
(lighthearted thoughts on fun times in York)

Our campus may lack the medieval spires
to make you gaze around in wonder
We may not have those courtly cloisters
to shelter us from the rain and thunder

But the centre of this historic city somehow makes up for that.
There's the Minster and the Shambles, Jorvik and Cliffords Tower
So many hidden gems to explore at every hour

Londoners say were a provincial clique, but they traipse here even so.
Northerners say we're pretentious, a misplaced pocket of the south

But the Shambles is our Diagon Alley
The Minster our St Pauls
And where else can you live on Bad Bargain Lane 
And still walk out at dark unharmed?

But we have a secret police nearby
the finest army of them all
They swim all day and doze all night
and grace our lake with charm:
- the haughty mallards, noisy geese,
graceful coots, and herons too
And don't forget the rare black swan
A beauty to behold
Yes we have our unique wildlife 
to protect us when things get fraught
The friends we'll never forget
The grand old ducks of York
2016 J Taylor


A côté du ruisseau - Rochechouart
This carpet of green is too
 soft for my world
and this perfect blue sky too clear

This music of nature
 surrounding me
is alien to my city tuned ear

I don't how to love this place
with its trees and its birds and its flowers
So I lie back on the grass 
 and dose away the hours

You wonder why I am silent
if I'm bored or merely uncharmed
but these magic moments
have stolen my voice
and you have no reason to be alarmed
2014 J Taylor

The history girl
She wants to travel back in time
She loves a Tudor rose
She wants to joust with Henry VIII
or counsel Anne Boleyn
Debate with Thomas Cromwell
or dance at Hampton Court
The say to her
The past's a foreign place you know
It's dark and cold and cruel
They don't speak our language
They often fight a duel
But her history books are a time machine
They're all she needs for now
This candle flame's her magic torch
So don't try to break the spell

2015 J Taylor

Field of Spun Gold
A Sunday stroll through Cowling
can cheer you up no end
Before the week of stress and toil
does soon begin again

Wander alongside the ancient beck
as it ripples by serenely
Or watch the water thrash its banks
when the wind blows a bit too keenly

You can explore the natural treasures 
on the scenic paths in Ickornshaw
A delightful little gem of a place
that will have you coming back for more

The pathways just off the beaten track
are a fell runner's paradise
With miles of open  moorland
and slopes that steeply rise

The wildlife is stunning here
and you'll often chance to find
A scarlet and black cinnabar moth
or a painted peacock butterfly

2014 J Taylor

The sign
Give me a sign he says
Lines of worry etching
deeper into his forehead

She kisses away the frown
Utters syllables of reassurance
How do I know he asks...
How do I know that you love me?

She never asks him the same question
Aware of the limits of human love
Conscious that human love is not divine
She is wise enough and yet not wise at all

Too often leading his double life
When family duty calls
A treason that fuels her sadness
And so cast out she is lost

And feels like the history girl
Afraid to look forward
Always looking back to a vague era
Somewhere between Victoria and Diana

What he cannot comprehend
Should not be uttered
What he does not want to hear
Should not be spoken
Shall remain unsaid

He will not decipher a love
So mingled with melancholy
That it may appear dampened
And yet is not
But shall remain somewhere, real
Latent, swathed in the sands of time
2015 J Taylor


Treasures of the Hills
I found shelter in the open air
New life among deserted fells
New friends in docile flocks of sheep
And the nanny goat she nods to me;

I found new land in the oldest hills
New hope inside the ancient mills
New valleys and new pathways
New waterfalls and streamlets;

I discovered this new found land
As I walked out one day
To explore my local countryside
Where the richest splendours to preside;

I found a carpet underfoot
of softest lushest grass
And the rainbow arched above my head
was the greatest treasure in the chest;

I found a tiny islet
which was just a patch of rocky grass
This soon became my own true island
with a coastline edged in muddy sand;

I found new friends up in the trees
And playmates in the grass
I had never felt so rich
And never so in harmony;

I found music all around me
As the birds began their tunes
I had never been so calm
And never so relaxed
As that day upon the Pennine Moors
Basking in the treasures of nature's stores.

1993 J Hyde -  Arrival Press  Poems of the Northwest

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