Category: Poetry

Here Comes The Flood – Robert Fripp and Peter Gabriel

I’m not so sure about Robert Fripp’s instrumentals here, but Peter Gabriel’s vocals are superb…

“Here Comes The Flood”

When the night shows
the signals grow on radios
All the strange things
they come and go, as early warnings
Stranded starfish have no place to hide
still waiting for the swollen Easter tide
There’s no point in direction we cannot
even choose a side.

I took the old track
the hollow shoulder, across the waters
On the tall cliffs
they were getting older, sons and daughters
The jaded underworld was riding high
Waves of steel hurled metal at the sky
and as the nail sunk in the cloud, the rain
was warm and soaked the crowd.

Lord, here comes the flood
We’ll say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent
in any still alive
It’ll be those who gave their island to survive
Drink up, dreamers, you’re running dry.

When the flood calls
You have no home, you have no walls
In the thunder crash
You’re a thousand minds, within a flash
Don’t be afraid to cry at what you see
The actors gone, there’s only you and me
And if we break before the dawn, they’ll
use up what we used to be.

Lord, here comes the flood
We’ll say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent
in any still alive
It’ll be those who gave their island to survive
Drink up, dreamers, you’re running dry.

The Dead Drummer

The Dead Drummer, Thomas Hardy (1899)

I

They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
Uncoffined—just as found:
His landmark is a kopje-crest
That breaks the veldt around;
And foreign constellations west
Each night above his mound.

II

Young Hodge the Drummer never knew –
Fresh from his Wessex home –
The meaning of the broad Karoo,
The Bush, the dusty loam,
And why uprose to nightly view
Strange stars amid the gloam.

III

Yet portion of that unknown plain
Will Hodge for ever be;
His homely Northern breast and brain
Grow up a Southern tree.
And strange-eyed constellations reign
His stars eternally.

TURN, a poem by Theodora Jonas

While in hospital for a few days recently I met a nurse called Theodora Jonas. We got talking and it turned out that she was a poet, following in her mother’s footsteps, and had a self-published work back home. She writes, mainly for herself, for the joy of being creative. I suggested that she might try blogging to which she replied she would consider it but much preferred the medium of paper, being able to hold and feel, smell and treasure it. But the advantage of a blog is the connection with the audience through feedback. I suggested that she might dip her toes by guest blogging and she proposed the poem which follows. Unfortunately I don’t know anyone I feel I could ask, but maybe posting it here and promoting it on Twitter might work.

Please read, and encourage Theodora by leaving a comment.

TURN

Turn me up, ridicule me while I point
I dribble all day and night
At times slowly and cautiously
While you my beloved keep growing
Creating a concert in me

An overwhelming fear envelops me
And fills my every being like dark ink
I was hooked up, washed out
Besieged by moments of regrettable pain
As you my trusted friend began to disappear

Long moments, silent torments
Powerless as they entered one by one
As I was hooked up, turned inside and resectioned
Reduced and radicalised, silencing the concert in me
As Dark River flows clear
While I continue to point

– ◊ –

From a possible future collection called “Notes From My Solitude” by Theodora Jonas.

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost

Robert Frost (1874–1963). From the Mountain Interval collection. 1916.
(see http://www.bartleby.com/119/index1.html – 1920 edition)

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I love the imagery this conjures up. My interpretation: A personal choice must be made but really both options seem pretty much equal. In time the subject may sigh, regretfully or boastfully, that he took the bolder choice: the less-travelled road. Of course he wouldn’t really know if it had made any difference since he hadn’t travelled the other road. Sometimes rationalisations for choices are arbitrary and justifications self-deceiving. Frost isn’t actually saying that there’s some virtue in individualism – a popular interpretation when the last two lines are taken out of context.

I wonder about my life’s choices: my less-travelled roads. Roads taken and not.

Some paths run parallel, some at right angles, some tangential, like ships in the night. Some double back, some traverse precipitous ravines, others meander broad flat plains. One might be straight and short, another tortuous and long, and everything in between. One thing’s for sure – we all end up in the same place. It doesn’t matter which we take, it’s what we do along the way that’s important.