Mona Lisa Musing

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It’s all about perspective. For example,
the imaginery landscape behind
for Leonardo was the perfect contrast
to my reserved posture but, to me,
is theatrical and over-the-top.

He so desperately wanted my portrait
to depict ideal womanhood like
the Virgin Mary yet he painted
a frumpy plain Jane housewife.

Although I’m known as La Gioconda,
meaning jocund, I didn’t see the funny
side of that, nor the sitting for an eternity
on that rickety pozetto armchair.

There is a hint of a smile in the upturned
corners of my mouth and eyes but it’s no
laughing matter to be stared at constantly.
I never wanted to be famous.

You probably think I’m ungrateful and
should be called Moaner. You’d be right,
but I’m laughing on the other side of my
face now. As I said, it’s all about perspective.

A Long Walk

 

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the Irish Sea and Mersey meet with iron fists
winter still slices through March days that
make cloaked crows distrust black clouds

that blanket Liverpool towers in ghost-town
mist and haunt high above this grave where
New Brighton’s Eiffel stood, a ballroom

where the Beatles played, now lego-estate-
still-life, stamp-sized gardens in cul-de-sacs
standing atop timber steps down to the prom

past foraging grounds of sandpiper
and redshank, camouflaged by spring tide.
as silver arrows stab through storm clouds

to sharpen the lens on Liverpool’s waterfront
I embark the aged ferry, distant Cheshire hills
outlined above waves that stretch out like space.

 

First published by  The Open Mouse, July 2017

Massive thanks to Colin Will, editor at ‘The Open Mouse’, for publishing my poem ‘A Long Walk’ today.

A Long Walk the Irish Sea and Mersey meet with iron fists winter still slices through March days that make cloaked crows distrust black clouds that blanket Liverpool towers in ghost-town mist and haunt high above this grave where New Brighton’s Eiffel stood, a ballroom where the Beatles played, now lego-estate- still-life, stamp-sized gardens in […]

via Paul Waring — The Open Mouse

Inspired by Sonnet 129

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Erich Fromm’s ‘Art of Loving’ is the book
I never read in teenage years before
I fell madly in love with just one look
and so often after I’m not quite sure
why I placed trust in lust in the first place –
experiencing shame; and mistaken,
diving head first, landing flat on my face
far away from Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’ –
one less travelled; the path I didn’t see;
though pain taught me to be less short-sighted,
self-loathing, desperate, unhappily
driven by lust; my love unrequited –
and here Shakespeare has described my plight well;
heaven’s attraction had kept me in hell.

 

First published by Poets Online June 2017

the girl who knew the moon

 

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She felt the pull of full moons on distant
cliff tops drowned in marbled light

telescopic eyes waiting to know and bore
deeper each time. Her cocked ear heard

magnets align currents like stars beneath
a pained black sea. I think she knew.

In a dream I saw Venus at solstice
nursing spoonfuls of strawberry moon.

I thought it was her. That this time
she had wandered too close. But
in midnight mist I couldn’t be sure.

 

First published in Eunoia Review, June 2017

Clearing Grandma’s House

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The familiar parlour smell
Of dining table oak
Reads like a collection
Of days, crumbs of
Conversations, aromatic
Smoke and laughter,
Tears of life and death.

Grandfather clock chimes
Recall Sunday lunch at two.
Pops, pipe-to-lips one end
Dad the other. I spectate
Their centre court tennis
With gramaphone applause.

Kitchen chatter wafts closer.
Mum serves heaven-scented
lamb. Nan, ciggie-rich, kisses
My cheek and we begin.

Her passing called time
For this table, this rooom.
House clearance men outside.
No turning back now.

 

First published in Optimum Poetry Zine, June 2017