cahen thrips

cahen thrips Poems

Every autumn you took a photograph
of the last leaf remaining
on the Japanese cherry outside our window.

The weather forecast promised sun
but it rained on Birdsong instead;
so I stayed here and felt guilty.

you are chalk & I am cheese;
somehow you became my smorgasbord
while I write poetry on your blackboard

What does she see in him?
He reminds her of old books; that's what attracted her,
not his looks but
fragrance of his parchment skin,

today I framed two of your pictures
startled owl and lugubrious hare
displayed them on shelves in the living room
where previously walls were bare


I'm never alone for Fancy is always with me.
She's sometimes coy and teasing; other times
she loops her arm through mine and holds me
against her. Often she emerges with tilted head,

My dog can smell cancers, detect
drugs in lead-lined trunks,
is pretty good at finding truffles;
he'll track a murderer over wet moorland,

don't write it in a letter
or send it as a text:
whisper it.

This dog with mange shadows me everywhere;
I try to shake him off but he's determined
to stray into my life.

Your hair's bedecked with snowdrops;
at your feet the first greening of crocus
and in between a solitary golden aconite
pushes through the lignite soil's fuse.

High on a clifftop on the Isle of Arran we came across a bench with a wind-swept dome-blue view across broad Kilbrannan Sound and on to Kintyre beyond. Screwed to the backrest was a brass plaque engraved with memorial poetry to a (named) man who died far too young in 2001 at age 29:

Zo aards
Voeten in de aarde

There is a vacancy at my supper table,
seven of us instead of eight:
we are one short at the head.

north winds breathe far scents
of arctic homelands -
brent geese are restless

Your half-moon glasses still sit on my bedside table;
a wardrobe is full of your clothes and faint floral scents;
your sewing machine I've now donated to a good user -
I'd be only too pleased to buy a new one if you could object.

we have walked this path, you and I,
along the ribbons of old sea walls
and threads of muddy tracks.

Colman's Mint Sauce, grown in Norfolk,
how ambiguous you are,
with your apposite art nouveau label,
your square and traditional glass jar.

after opening your book at the right page
I first read all the good words and they
make me feel good.

I wish you could see with me
this slow greening of the fields;
the push upwards of daffodils
through thawing crackled gravel.

the old wooden chair on the terrace
hasn't moved since you left it at the
end of last summer; not even north
winds could blow it over nor shift it

Remember our record player?
That anthology of melodies?
Tijuana Moods and Ravel's Bolero,
Carmina Burana and Gerry Mulligan,

cahen thrips Biography

Grey hair; grey beard; ageing not too well; eyes dimming; knees creaking; recently bereaved after almost half-a-century together; finding solace in poetry, my own poor efforts and the good stuff written by others. never published except a few posted on-line on the wrong website for me.)

The Best Poem Of cahen thrips

Waiting For The Fall

Every autumn you took a photograph
of the last leaf remaining
on the Japanese cherry outside our window.

Then when it finally fell in a gale
you knew that was an end
or a new beginning of winter.

This season is later than usual:
a leaf refusing to drop
more stubborn than even you.

Today you told me you'll die tomorrow,
likely falling with the final leaf
though the forecast talks of no black winds.

We know the time will soon arrive
when we must all let go
in our different ways.

And I can no longer cling to you
for you must leave me
as the falling of the last leaf.

November 2022

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