Poem 130 – The Wood

Walking beneath the canopy above,
I stop and listen. Slowly I begin,
To hear it breathe, the branches rise and fall,
And in its breeze, translucent leaves make play.

A bee drones past ignoring my intrusion,
Whilst down below the moles dig on unseen
Their earthy mounds the only indication,
Of their lightless subterranean dreams.

A flap and avian caw as something falls,
And ricochets, until the undergrowth,
Receives it with its eager spiky arms,
Concealing it within a dense embrace.

The trees begin to stir, swaying in slow,
Rhythm to a beat that sounds unheard.
Even the elders join their patient dance,
Their ancient limbs cracking as they flex.

A cole tit reassures his youngsters whilst,
He flits around the local bounds, with loud,
Beeping that finds an answering call,
Cried proudly, deep within their concealed nest.

Somewhere a stream trickles its way across,
The wood, its flow, the artery that serves,
To nourish this green creature I stand within,
Alive and other, beyond our frame of reference.

Exploring woodland in Hertford the other day, I stopped alone for a moment, and realised I was anything but…

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 129 – The Door

This hidden paradox
Lies deep within the valley
Forgotten but persisting

How can a door remain
A door without its walls?
But here one stands before me

I wonder if I turned
Its rusty red handle
What vista it would reveal?

A road of yellow bricks?
A land of lingering snow?
An ancient path to follow?

I reach and take the handle
In trembling anticipation
And opening, I step through…

This door can be found in Lea Valley on the route of one of our many local walks. I’d love to know what it was for. The diet of fantasy I grew up on fills the gaps until someone provides a probably more mundane answer…

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 128 – A Daily Ritual

I intervene before the kettle boils
Just as the pitch begins to shift I lift
And pour its contents on the roasted beans
A bed, that’s waiting to be stirred to life
A dash of white completes the conjured spell
Awakening its swirling velvet darkness
Its rich fragrance assaults and tastebuds cheer
As finally… anticipation ends

A mid-morning coffee. Perfect.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 127 – Morning Dew

The unmown grass glistens. It’s chains of pearls,
Now celebrated by the avian choir,
Capture the morning’s fresh baptism of
Revitalising light and tender water.
Here briefly, under the sun’s hazy, gaze
Lost Paradise breaks through once more.
I drink deeply and drain my glass in prayer
And linger whilst I can before it fades.

It was a delight, this morning, to fling open the doors during my morning cup of tea.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 126 – Man of a Thousand Faces

I possess a thousand faces
That’s one for every relationship
One for each time and mood and place
The one you know me by is not
The one recognised by my wife
Or friends or even enemies
The one I wear today is not
The same as yesterday, not quite
Experience has shaped, eroded,
And flexed it, making something new
But which of these is really me?
Are they all? Or none at all?
Is there throughout an essential core
Coded within, like human rock?
Or am I simply jetsam, washed
About by random tides of life

The announcement of the new Doctor got me thinking about the different faces we all wear.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 125 – Before

A momentary pause
This quiet stillness
That waits, anticipating
The unborn day
A chance to gather up
My thoughts and being
Before the hands begin
To tick again

One of my favourite times of the day is the brief interlude between waking and work, when the house is mine and the clock has stopped. Once it starts, it doesn’t stop…

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 124 – Hallowed Stands

The game’s afoot, it’s all still on
A thousand possibilities
That might transpire before this season’s
Last match is played and whistle blown

From hallowed stands the crowd embolden
Their vantage point affords them sight
Of opportunities and threats
Yes, passionately they roar us on

So keep your eyes upon the goal
Follow your humble captain, brave
Who leads the way in giving all
Know this, you’ll never walk alone

On Tuesday Liverpool FC rescued the chance of an historical quadruple, turning a 2-0 deficit to a 2-3 victory. Songs from the stands cheer us on.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 123 – May Day Morning

Today’s alarm did not ring out,
Instead the morning sun caressed,
My face, teasing me awake.
Did I feel guilty? Pleasurably!
With tasks postponed, time to relax,
Until the taste of warmed croissant,
And ritual brewing of our tea,
Contrived to lure me out of bed…

Lazy mornings are currently few and far between, but today we managed one. Lovely.

© Ben Quant 2022