English Poems From Doppelganger Poem by Sheena Blackhall

English Poems From Doppelganger

Ghost marriage
Der alte Jude, das ist der Mann (The old Jew, he is the man) .
Bismarck said of Disraeli

As a teenager
He was my ideal ghost husband

I could have soared on his black wings
From Hughenden Churchyard

With a bridal bouquet
Of thistles from Deeside

And primroses
From his tomb

I shall be true to his memory
In my fashion


Our Sustainable Development Journey
Responsible consumption is our watchword
From Arctic to Antarctic, we explore
We nurture climate action round the planet
We innovate, push wide tomorrow's door

Our centres study super food and hemp
Trial urban gardens, forest growth, clean land
We can recycle now, wind turbine blades
And try life in deep sea to understand

We're involving our colleagues round the campus
Working on magic bullets for leukemia
We've gifted bursaries for refugees
We've found genetic marks in schizophrenia

You'll find our teams involved across the globe
Brazil, to sub-Saharan Africa
Improving sanitation where we can
In projects, Bangladesh and India

We're in the race to further climate action
Clean energy clean water's our intent
Our goals towards sustainable development
Bring ocean, air and land to betterment

Responsible consumption is our watchword
From Arctic to Antarctic, we explore
We nurture climate action round the planet
We innovate, push wide tomorrow's door


Glimpsed in Meyers Castle
A wicker creel of sticks
A ticking antique clock
A leather writing desk
A glass with twisted legs
Musk sandalwood bath oil
A washing jug and ewer
Crisp white Egyptian linen
Paintings of men with hounds
Brass switches on the walls
Hot tub. Italian garden
A fountain gently trickling in a pool
Waterlilies bob, green coracles
A crystal chandelier
A brace of Persian rugs
The dead look down
From carefully posed frames
None of their opulence
Followed them to the grave
Bees huddle in the hive
First frosts nip sharply
Within secluded walls
A world within a world
A hidden badger grunts
Red squirrels leap
The leaves are now half fallen
A cafetiere brews up organic coffee
Porridge warms in the pan

Proud curling stones sit still
By a set of bowls
A tapestry, a flat iron, tall pikes
Three Lucas terriers barking boisterously
A billiard room. Some Chinese lacquer work
A chess board. Huge log fires in every grate
Statues of hippos frozen in a pond
A magazine of demoiselles in Paris
And clouds that flew like flags
O'er Mary Queen of Scots


Things I would Save
The darkness that nurtures stars on a winter's night
The bens of the north. The flames that warm our bones
Dragons and silkies, living their myths forever
The moon that sheds its light on fairies' thrones
Fillers of kettles and those who tend the bees
A perfumed garden for those lost in dementia
Fireflies, chocolate, Chopin's piano pieces
And all our dear ones, slipped away, absentia
Harebells, elderflowers, jade beads and wrens
Grandmother's velvet choker. Happy times
Falcons, rowans, mermaids, waterfalls
A ticking clock, the cheer of churchbell chimes
Those things and more I'd keep out of the grave
And ever in my memory, cherished, save


Blessed
Blessed be the breadmakers who help assuage our hunger
Blessed be the badger our grumpy woodland neighbour
Blessed be the trees for the gift of shade and dapple
Blessed be the burns, that sing in their watery chapel
Blessed be the air we breath, a gift from the sky
Blessed be the pollinators, the bees that fly
Blessed be the peace of dusk at the close of day
May such blessings pass on to posterity


Transcendence
I was the water's bitter taste
I was the sword within the ice
I was the grave mould of the earth
I was a muzzle and a vice
And everywhere I looked I saw
So much to loath that could destroy
Until the scales fell from my eyes
And then a tiny chink of joy
Shone from the heavens like a bolt
Of lightening on a gloomy day

And I was one-in-all at last
A speck within the ocean spray


Foreigners in a Castle
In the silence of gloaming
I see dark tighten its grip
Now the pheasant croaks
The badger snuffles
The lights in neighbouring homes blink on
Like windows in a coal black canopy
And I remember jet
The beads on my grandmother's
Velvet, stylish choker
A secret door swings open
Into a walled garden
Of yew trees clipped like sheep
Into the shape of chess men
And a tree, gnarled as a labyrinth
Its branches like the horror locks of Medusa
A winged red admiral
Blunders into the castle
Lingers over dishes of olives, feta cheese,
Balsamic vinegar, as foreign to my mouth
As the old castle is to this winged visitor


Rainbow
Slowly I climb the turning stair
Of memory. Long dried those tears of red
Those lonely nights you stayed out god knows where
Such burning tears of jealousy I shed

Tears of blue ran down when love ran out
Like a shot hare that hanging dripped and bled
Faith and respect gave way to crippling doubt
And all life's bright tomorrows rose and fled

Indigo, as purple as a bruise
The tears of alienation stained the bed
Was it too late to sunder, and re-choose?
The rose of love, now withered, drooped its head

Yellow and green, they were the poison tears
Along the path grown choked with grief and care
Too late to stem that tide, scythe back the years
The failure, and the blame when love shifts gears


Guilt
I had to have it. No, really. Nothing was going to stop me
Sneaking up surreptitiously, I actually robbed a five hundred year old tree.
It was easy as mugging a pensioner
It had that rabbit in the headlights look
When I chored the nearest twig
It stood there wearing its battle honour of scars
Scabs, tumors, holes and whorls
Wreaked on it by storms through centuries of stars
I had turned into one of those vandals
Who chip chunks off the pyramid of Giza
Did it bleed a little? I thought I detected sap
No emotion showed on the grizzled map of its face
Once, Mary Queen of Spain was its near neighbour
This tree had endured aeons of wars and afflictions
To be burgled by petty oiks like me
They should lock me up and throw away the key


Myres Castle, built in 1530
Out of the sky the leaves come flying
Hither and thither they're somersaulting
Flames lick logs in each castle fire
Rain turns lawn into quags of mire

A wren in a puddle is splish and sploshing
Crows drip like an undertaker's washing
A fountain plays its watery song
Clouds like war banners flutter along

The maze holds secrets dark and fast
Assignations of those long past
In hives, each queen bee lies at rest
A squirrel peeps from a beech tree's breast

In the kitchen bread is slowly rising
The castle's dogs in the grounds are racing
Wet grasses hang their heads like spooks
A long dead ghost from the turret looks

A statue of Buddha points to the ground
Pine needles floating in pools are found
In the fork of an oak safe from the weather
A broken eggshell, a single feather

A wild goose calls in heaven's eaves
A gean tree stands in a lake of leaves
Huge yew bushes, like chess board men
Stand in the rain by a badger's den
Over the tips of a well groomed hedge
Ducks fly by past nets of veg
Wellingtons sink in the grasping mud
The land's been drowned by a monsoon flood

Mary, our Queen of Scots, once flew
Her hawks where the seed of a tree first grew
Ancient and wise, this chestnut's seen
Tudor times drift by like a dream

Here's mushrooms! The Borgias in the wood
Smiling killers? Nutritious food?
Strains of Chopin float on the breeze
From the castle piano's mellow keys
Bring on the gondola! Sound the drum!
The age of Aquarius has come!


Guy Fawkes on the NHS
Witches during the Spanish inquisition
Were treated to the same cuts, more or less
As this grim torture, care of the NHS

The nails yanked out by pliers, with precision
A gush of blood. Three months of bandages
Shuffling around like Methuselah, feeling rotten
Me and Guy Fawkes, something we have in common

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