Friday, 31 August 2007

A car is a great convenience and I am very fond of my little silver grey Yaris but I shall always remember the opening lecture at a magistrates' training day when a police officer stood at the lectern as said 'Never forget that when you are at the wheel you are in charge of a lethal weapon.' I was forcibly reminded yet again last week when, on the way to the funeral of a very dear friend in Plymouth, I found myself in a long tail back. Later I discovered that a speeding car travelling east had crossed the central reservation causing a large lorry travelling west to over turn on the carriage way. Fortunately no one was killed.

The victim in my poem was very small and some might think the accident a trivial matter but the sounds of that accident are with me still -

The Lethal Weapon

Rabbit – I didn’t mean to kill you,
You leapt from the hedge across my path
I had no choice,
No time to brake.

Mine the hand of destiny
My car the lethal weapon.
Mine the aching heart
As, framed within the mirror
I had a fleeting vision
Of your small form

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

This week I have been challenged to write a poem about drink, but not necessarily alcohol. After a walk and a lot of thought these two poems are my response. Both are accomapnied by a pots from my previous existance. I sometimes wonder where they are today and almost wish that I hadn't sold them. But if I had kept all the pots I made goodness knows where I would put them today. For most of my potting life I would shift up to two tons of clay a year and the majority of the pots weighed between half a pound and four pounds - that's quite a lot of pots.


The mid-day sun is hot
The beer is cool
The colour of a Dartmoor stream
Splashing, swirling round boulders
Trout lying in the eddies
Waiting for a unsuspecting fly
Foam caught in whirl pools.
Froth upon the well poured pint
Clings to the upper lip
Of a blue eyed youth
White blond, deep tanned
And in his glass half full
Bubbles collapsing slowly unobserved.

‘Another of the same’
The pint pulled by a girl
With bosoms overflowing
An invitation to forbidden fruit
A come and get me smile
Defended by the bastion of the bar
The drinker heavy jowled
Eyes hungry in a florid face
His gut supported by a belt,
A belch, a hasty swallow
The glass half empty but who cares,
The money’s there, there’s plenty more to come.

‘Thanks mister – mines a pint’
The old man sits
And mumbles by the fire
No question here
Half full, half empty
There is nothing left
No swirling energetic stream
No foam, no froth
No summer light
So while there’s time
Landlord, another round.
Latin com – with: fortis – strong

Today has been appalling
I haven’t time to cry.
My fella’s on the booze again
And given me this eye.

Today has been appalling
My girl was on the phone
She says she’s in the club again
He’s gone and she’s alone.

Today has been appalling
My boy has broken bail.
Police came banging on the door
They’ve taken him to gaol.

Today has been appalling
The bills are piled high
I’ve stacked the pills beside them
It would be good to die.

But first I’ll put the kettle on
Quite soon it starts to sing
Now with a hot, sweet cup of tea
I’ll cope with anything.

The teapot is decorated using the mochaware technique which took me five years experimenting to master. When I retired last September there was only one other potter in the country able to produce it to a professional standard and yes, I confess I was rather proud of what I had achieved.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

For many Portland is nothing more than a name on the shipping forecast. Some will say ‘Oh Portland Bill, yes we’ve been there and climbed the Lighthouse’ and you will find that is all they have done, they have never walked the cliff paths, explored the quarries, visited St George’s church built by a pupil of Christopher Wren or drunk a pint of real ale in The George, a pub that goes back to the sixteenth century. They certainly won’t have explored the village of Easton and had a cup of coffee in Whitestones CafĂ© Gallery.
On Thursday evening I went to Whitestones for the private view of Sea Art, an exhibition of paintings and sculpture by ten West Country artists and was thrilled to discover the work of David Brook whose acrylic paintings I would describe as pure poetry. Two particularly caught my eye, ‘Fish Surfers’ is full of vibrant movement, the three surfers riding the waves with confidence imposed by the painters brush. The image of two walkers caught in a world of their own under an umbrella while the rain curls and crashes on the rest of the world is a sonnet in paint. This is an exhibition to be enjoyed at leisure over a cup of Davd Nicholl’s delicious coffee, the images will remain in the mind long after the visit to Portland is over.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

The Wave

Last night I couldn't sleep so finally at four o'clock I got up and made a cup of tea and reached for my lap top:-

Bringing kids up in a pub isn’t easy. You’re trying to be a mum and to keep the customers happy at the same time. Of course the kids get a bit neglected, but The Sailors Rest was right on top of the beach so there were compensations, fishing and swimming, that sort of thing. We got used to the gales and were always well prepared with sandbags and shutters before the wind started screeching in the chimneys and the waves began to pound the top of the beach, but the sea will always surprise you.
I had given up trying to get Mike out of bed in the mornings. ‘Teenagers are all like that’ said my mother ‘You were just the same. He’ll grow out of it and then one day you’ll go in and find another head on the pillow beside him and nothing will ever be the same again.’
It was a day none of us will ever forget; a warm sunny April morning, sea flat calm and not a breath of wind. I had opened all the windows to air the bedrooms, even the attic where Mike lay with his eyes screwed tight shut against the light. I was round the back in the kitchen so I didn’t see it coming. Seems there had been a big storm in the Atlantic. Three great rollers came up the channel, absolutely silent, getting higher and higher until they reached our beach when the first reared up, a huge wave so high it over topped the pub and flooded the house through the attic window. I raced upstairs, my feet squelching on every step, slipping and sliding on the seaweed that had come in with the wave, to find our Mike still in bed, just as my mother had said, with another head on the pillow beside him. She never said it would be a fish!
© Carenza Hayhoe August 2007

By the time I'd finished my room was full of sunlight.