Monday, 19 December 2016

Escaping December 2

Autumn’s assured tones fade
as age old fears
silver your hair and knot
your frozen fingers.
Winter takes you by the hand
and leads a weary path
into December.

You mix cocoa for your invalid
who has escaped
to re-fight the conquered enemy
in foreign lands.
Leaving you to stay and fight,
to guard his home front
entrenched in sand.

Long, unfulfilled nights stretch
toward the end
accompanied but alone
through wasteful years.
You check the carriage clock,
a golden wedding present
its chime insincere.

Sharing powdered pills between
two cocoa cups,
you extinguish the light
and sound a final retreat.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Escaping December I

Miss Honey spends her Christmases abroad,
Saga jet her off to winter sun.
Convalescing from her latest face-lift
and the varicose veins that she’s had done.

She engages handsome Spanish waiters
in verbal intercourse to pass the time,
drinking in sunshine and sangria
she sings out ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

She dances away the early evenings
and hardly wears her outfits more than twice.
Mornings by the pool she spends relaxing
penning postcards from her ‘paradise’.

At home the best her sister can hope for
is a milder spell to break the freezing cold
as she warms arthritic hands on one bar,
an extravagance she barely can afford.

She wears her wardrobe of old cardigans,
tangling with a stubborn envelope.
An invitation to another funeral
she eyes the postcard from her sister, Hope.

She remembers family holidays in Spain
longs for the endless days of summer.
She looks once more at the invitation
wishing she could escape December.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Guy Fawkes' Night

A night alive
with whistles and bangs,
shooting stars
and smoke that hangs
in the cold, crisp air.

The smell of cordite
and cinder toffee,
burning wood and sparks
that leap from the bonfire’s glare.

An effigy atop the pyre
comes alive as the flames
grow higher and hot timbers
crack as we celebrate
a son of York, who got caught
and lost the plot.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The end of the pier

Salt-tarnished, red-rust metal pillars
stagger beneath the weight of years
carrying century old timbers into the sea
never to return.  I walk the lonely mile
the gaps between the boards
growing ever wider.

I become liquid, seeping through
between those gaps, sliding away
from their grasp, plunging into the water
far below to mingle with the ocean swell,
to ride as Neptune's daughters
upon white horses.

Friday, 5 August 2016


Between silences
I can hear the storm
closing in, a low rumble
at distance
following a brightening of the sky.

Another silence.

Another flash
and I’m
c   o   u   n   t   i   n   g       s   e   c   o   n   d   s
to a louder crash
signifying its presence.

I can feel the tension
in our next silence.

Waiting for you to explode,
the storm upon us now,
and I am the lightning rod
to your anger filled rant,
a thunderhead of emotion
pouring out.

I may get drenched in the storm
but the silences


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Depression Lifting

                                                                                                                                          copyright Paul E. Smith

A misty veil drowns the oars
that break the stillness
of morning.
The brightness
of guessed at sunlight
catches ripples
as shadows pass.
A heron silhouetted
against bright water,
cast in bronze,
is still.
As day alights
and I awake
parting the curtains of sleep
I step from dream
to dream.