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Poems by Rachel

I am by nature, design and under the guidance and persistence of my muse, a poet.

Some of my poems are printed in books, others have won awards, but all come from my heart and personal experience. Although every now and then I open up for a poem to slip on in and I am greeted by an unannounced visitor who shares their story with me. I feel their presence, get the goosebumpies all over and tune in to listen intently. I am simply their scribe but honoured to tell their story. For example in the poem The Cry Of The Sea I knew not this woman, this bereft and lonesome elder, but I sure am glad she sailed on by to allow me to put pen to page to share her legacy.

The Cry Of The Sea

My sailor, my groom, passed with the moon

Blue in the cool month of May.

I willed him to live with my singing bird song

But I lost against storms of his prey.

Cancer drove in with terminal sin

It spread to the crest of his lung.

Dampened the flair and the flight of his sail

In ill-joy I held on, I sung.

 

But love’s not enough to stifle the rough

Of the Sea when She calls out your name.

No herb and no vile can hamper Her style

He surrendered his will when She came.

Lonesome, bereft, in sadness I’m left

Grief biting each desolate hour.

My crisp petals wane among silence filled rooms

Drooping the spine of this flower.

 

My daughter’s they know my pace is too slow

Each day presses down a dull song.

My spiritless lark and apathy shows

I’ll dismiss this life before long.

Each night I’m awake with a hollow bone ache

Lying tangled in sheets of dismay.

I strain with my ears to hear my called name

Before Christmas She’ll summon I pray.

A southerly reels on its warm woolly heels

On the twenty-fourth of the month last in line.

Wind ruffles the skirt and curls up the tongue

Of the Sea hissing the name that is mine.

I rise from my bed, bare-footed I tread

To the shore beneath scowling crest moon.

The Sea’s beating waves drum the song of the wild

She will squander this hapless old croon.

A crow lands nearby from the trembling sky

Shakes his ruffled, bedraggled wet wings.

He’s crouched on the pier in the pall of salt spray

My bugle, the craw that he sings.

“My sailor, my groom, I’ll be with you soon;

My pillar, my lovely night dream.

The angels will fly by the torch of this sky

By the light of this sullen moonbeam.”

 

I dig with my hand in the bleak glassy sand

Scribe his name on our true sacred site.

This note I shall leave as my little clue

That I’ve re-joined my captain tonight.

Memories dance with veiled romance

I pass procession of broken whelk shells.

Hungry Sea cries, “Step forth unto me”

As Her pressing curves blossom and swell.

I’m drenched to my waist in my sudden haste

Half swallowed brings sodden relief.

A white-washy wave kisses my brow

This baptism cleansing my grief.

Her belly I feed in all of its greed

She clothes me in black velvet gown.

My ankles She’s tied in gossamer weed

As Her waters lap over my crown.

 

I soak in her brine, Her watery shrine

In the arch of Her bossom She shows;

As the current of life never taught me to swim

She’ll silence forever my woes.

In one final breath, I welcome in death

Luminescence lights up the shore.

“The ocean, my friend, you answered my prayers”

I’m embracing my darling once more.

Intuition

When those of ill-intent shadow their thorns in a chapel of wit and charm; while stone-faced gargoyles with hungry eyes peer into your soul, salivating; she appears at the door, a silvery slip of a sight, to warn of their wicked ways.

Will you hear her or fall prey?

When liars lead you down a path or two or a whisper on the wind warns that death is near.

With the silence of the birds.

When bees swarm.

Would you notice or simply carry on?

Butterflies crash into one another in the dark in your belly.

Do you not feel them?

She floats on the wings of every one.

In every hair standing to attention on the back of your neck, coolth pressing upon your skin, she touches you.

Feel her!

While ever you surrender to the vice of the victim, play along, her sense will never rise to the occasion.

Blood-red stains on the windows you look through, but you do not see.

See!

The altar empty as you sacrifice the truth, time and time again. circling around in cycles, never going in.

Still, gently she knocks.

Almost inaudible in the stories you tell yourself.

A plague unto your mind; the sludge of discontent; a quagmire of resent. Ment.

Deaf to the harmony which waits within where she could speak volumes in whispers of warmings.

Yet patiently she persists, ‘til you open, surrender to her will, and…

truly listen.

Unrequited

Her enamoured heart floats

And having sailed, lingers upon an ocean of windswept dreams.

All thy sunsets nor regale can lure the drifting mind of swollen lust,

With silkened hues of blue;

Nor any sweets or soothing words from the shore can hail.

A New Birth

A baby was born, this baby was me, a girl with brown eyes, but how will she be?

Her mother unwell, filled with disdain, contempt, paranoia, the brink of insane.

The nurse told her outright that I won’t survive: “A few minutes of breast milk? She can’t possibly thrive!”

From my crying, which rang, fierce to the nurse, my mother took flight - the bottle the curse.

It drowned out the sound, the whispers of blame when her own mother wrapped her up tightly in shame.

Through the wake of my childhood, I tried to lie low, Mum’s outbursts of temper the regular show.

The years travelled slowly, dismay at the wheel, swerving for pot holes, keeping it real.

When adulthood found me, it laughed in my face, presented a future in poor form and taste.

The years crept by cruelly with angst at the wheel, I cursed and I blamed, I tried to not feel.

 

A baby was born, that baby my girl with brown eyes so open and one little curl.

This baby so helpless, but how will she be with a mother so broken? That mother was me.

As days turned to weeks, depression grew worse from the story repeating, resentment the curse.

By one year my baby was not faring well, her crying, her sadness, was trying to tell;

Eruptions of anger affected her too then one day I realised, knew just what to do.

I made a decision to conjure Amor - replenish, rejuvenate, heal and restore.

This baby she held the key to my heart so I flung it wide open, we made a fresh start.

I heard of the cycle, repeating the past so I learnt meditation, I learnt this skill fast.

I had nothing to lose – ‘cept fear, pain and grief. Within weeks it was working, I felt some relief.

 

I kept up the practise, and let myself hope that insight and wisdom would help me to cope.

As feelings of kindness came sat down by me, I welcomed them fully, for I could now see;

My mother meant no harm, lost in despair, caught in the web, stuck unaware.

Acceptance, she trespassed, drove into my soul, embracing my wounds thus making me whole.

A new birth arisen, I shed the last tear. My childhood forgotten; I shifted the gear.

Now the years go by so fast, I blink it’s a year. This happens in space-time devoid of the fear.

I’m travelling gently, I swerve now and then but I know where I’m headed, won’t repeat again.

Bellingen's Butcher Bird Curse

Verse I

It could be a myth or simply a lie that the Butcher bird curse is alive

Tempting the sweet Bello wives to fly South from their seemingly happy beehives.

It’s happened before, too many to count where women have strayed from their home,

As if mesmerised by a pied-piper tune which leads them to wander and roam.

 

The legend is told of a couple who marked their day to be happily wed.

On the eve of the altar, he skipped out of town with a pretty young lass it is said.

The scorned jilted bride went west for the hills beyond plateau to an aching cold shack.

In dreadlocks and hemp clothes she dithered her life, alone, save for a Butcher bird pack.

 

Now the Butcher bird’s blamed for this curse on our town singing high in a firewheel tree.

Its pretty sing-song like a gossamer spell leading women to frolic then flee.

Some men have left town to never return: mournful, hapless, bereft.

A butcher, a baker, a leather-belt maker, said farewell, downed tools, then left.

 

Verse II

Last market day morn, our riparian town burst forth with feverish life.

Youngsters abuzz beneath ripe golden sun; a busker cajoled with his fife.

The park swelled with the crowd, in droves they descend to barter, chit-chat and buy goods.

Hand-made and home-grown, fresh-baked and spray-free; organic brightens the mood.

 

 

The market stalls flanked with produce and treats ‘neath pines and flaming red trees.

A jolly man laughed behind veggies and herbs, his wife pondered a delicate breeze.

She breathed in the scents, a mingling cuisine, of rosti, honey and chai.

She watched as a flock of fine-feathered birds blew in on the luminous sky.

 

The band swung into life, a bearded man sang of four seasons to grace this one day.

Lovers they rose for a dance on the grass tempting sunshine and goodwill to stay.

The man sang up a storm, a subliminal code, caught the ear of our jolly man’s wife.

His tawny coat flared as he twittled a tale delivered on the wing of some strife.

 

Verse III

But another song struck the chords of the air from a scarlet tree down by the hill.

Where a black and white bird with its prey-hooking beak launched into familiar trill.

An elder, she pointed, to the feathery lark: “An omen!” she cried to the crowd.

But the bird carried on as if lost in a dream yet gloating as if it were proud.

 

The broody sky rolled into congents of cloud with a sorrowful shade of dismay.

Gossip hung low in the air above town, our jolly man shadowed in grey.

The locals they know the weather will show it’s moody, menopausal, on heat.

If it fancies a fling with a stormy affair, it sizzles a bolt at your feet.

 

Shawls of wool garments wrapped thespian girls when coolth pressed down on this day.

Men with suspicion lead wives to their homes; skipping girls quietened their play.

Men battened down hatches, locked ladies indoors distrusting the adulterous clime.

When the weather shape-shifts this bird’s larking song leads queen bees and drones to their crime.

 

Verse IV

Jolly’s wife dashed, departed the scene as thunder growled low by her side.

She sought out the ripe parts of bearded song man; on Tinder they planned where they’d hide.

Mr Jolly he prayed that the Butcher bird song would spare him his tenderly bride.

He slaved over stove, served up lashes of tongue; their bedroom his glory, his pride.

 

Our jolly man yelled with his fist to the sky: “You betrayed me, you ungrateful tart!”

He fell to his knees, the rain pelted his face: “I loved you. You’ve broken my heart.”

So bachelors, fiancés, and men married too, you can ignore, dismiss or pray:

That the Butcher bird song is a pie in the sky but note jolly man’s wife got away.

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