Poem 147 – November Walk

Four pm. November walk along
The Lea, the light is fading fast and all
Is dim. Like children’s plasticine the colours
Merge, the palate turns to shades of brown.
The sky blends with the gently lapping waters.
By naked trees who’ve shed, their colours bleed.
The air is mute, its voice is muffled, dull,
Only the Christmas lights dare interject.
From bankside windows, hope defiant flickers.

To end a period of Covid isolation, I took a walk along the River Lea this afternoon. I’ll never get bored of how the same stretch of water changes throughout the year. I didn’t think to take a photo, this one is from the same time last year, towards the river.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 146 – In Our Forefathers’ Steps

The first to step these steps stepped forward cautiously
Warily they trod not knowing what they might find
But those who followed drew faith from those who crossed before
Their hesitant tracks became a guide to confidence
And soon a path carved deep was etched into the land
Markers were placed identifying its location
Presently stones were laid to make the tread secure
And along the avenue buildings began to spring
The bustle grew, the noise of thoroughfare, as traffic
Started to flow along the freshly tarmacked road
Past houses, shops, and families at play and war
Suburban sprawl, sprawled out, the belt loosened as when
Our Sunday lunch digested we kick back replete
And sit silently wondering how we came to be
There in the first place, ignorant of those cautious pioneers

Over the last year I’ve discover the fantastic writing of Robert MacFarlane. His poetic prose musing on the nature of walking, the landscape and language has captivated me – if you’ve not discovered him yet go now and go find him! His book, ‘The Old Ways’, was the first I found, which led me to this verse.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 145- (This is) Our Christmas Song

It’s the season of Advent (in the church calendar, this starts four Sundays before Christmas, not on the 1st Dec.), and so to celebrate I’ve finally organised a proper domain name for this site (www.odefortheday.art) and written a Christmas carol:

Verse 1:
What did it mean for you our holy king
To put on human flesh and leave
Casting aside eternal dreams
To be born the son of Mary

Verse 2:
Experience our hopes and fears
Share in our sorrow, our sufferings
Embrace the passing of the years
To be born the son of Mary

And so we sing, our Christmas song
Our praises ring, all season long
For the Son of God has come to us
Immanuel, now one of us
Yes this is, our Christmas song!

Verse 3:
You came obedient to the end
To a manger bare in Bethlehem
The gift of God by Father sent
To be born the son of Mary

Verse 4:
An invitation in your hand
Offering the chance to begin again
Sing out the news across the land
About the son of Mary

And so we sing, our Christmas song
Our praises ring, all season long
For the Son of God has come to us
Immanuel, now one of us
Yes this is, our Christmas song!

This is a first draft, no doubt it will evolve, but it was fun trying something a little different to a straight poem. It came about as a result of a challenge to write a Christmas song that sticks to the original story without too many cliches.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 144 – Our Sweet Universe

Our Galaxy’s a Bounty to behold
The Milky Way like Magic in the Black
From Mars to where the Stars Burst bright all night
And Celebrations ring for Heroes bold
Who Flying Saucers into Orbit take
To find a Feast of planetary Gold

A quick poem for my Dad’s poetry group who wanted something fun about planets.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 143 – Dolphin Hunt

This broiling seascape rolls, its darkened peaks
Foam tipped, a sliding constant avalanche
Its slick ebony depths, deftly navigated
By fearless swifts that flit between the waves
Somewhere within these valleys swim our prize
These crests their home not human pools that bind
Not at our beck and call we have to wait
Upon their grace and wonder if they’ll grant
An audience. The tables turned they play
With us, suggestive shadows conceal until…
A joyful scream
A flicking tail
A dancing shoal
Around us prance
Albufeira’s dolphins have ensnared us

The highlight of a recent holiday in Portugal, seeing dolphins swimming free in their natural habitat. Astonishing.

© Ben Quant 2022