Poem: The Painter

beachlovers1 - Edited

Climbing the dune,
wind heavy in our faces.
We squint (or do we smile?),
our laughs and quips
diffuse in the air.

Young legs carry you
ahead to the summit,
where tufts of green cling
to an existence. Then you’re
a sudden lithe silhouette

against a racing sky.
I revel in your victory;
your gentle hand hauls me
up close to ocean eyes,
an elfin smile, teeth

pristine like breakers
on the distant, crashing
shore, that white noise
filling our ears.
To look into you

is to look as men
have done for centuries.
Unchanging heart,
you’re the pearl left
nestling in filth.

So take a look –
can anyone steal time?
An hour here or there,
we leave our footprints,
no foothold anywhere.

I am the painter of this shore –
you are the model.
Again and again,
we return to wrestle
in familiar hues;

deep alizarin crimson,
yellow ochre, phthalo blue,
making it real. Stay in this
moment, we bless and bless.
It has to be you.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019 and 2011

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Haiku Poem – Everyday Philosophy

Hanging in the sun
A breeze is my companion
Elemental friends

Leofwine  Tanner 2019

Poem ‘Bede’

Bede

It wasn’t at Jarrow where I sensed you
but on Bamburgh’s raging shore,
among the seaweed and razor shells
on gull peppered sands,
its castle brooding behind me
like a huge chiseled tomb.

North waves were scrambling,
spilling memories of guttural voices
disguised in flushing sound;
cries of songs, harps and old tales lost,
fragments I could almost hear
when I turned my head into the wind.

And who was the black figure
bent against the breeze,
absorbing sharp light
on that blinding beach?
I struggled through the dunes,
the little islands of sparse grass
and pygmy flowers —
but you were gone,
extant only in memory,
my boundless imagination,
and in your books
which carry me through centuries
on a primal wave,
each time I read your words

Poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘Sea Wall’

The Wash, as seen looking west from Heacham, i...

The Wash, as seen looking west from Heacham, in Norfolk, just south of Hunstanton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sea Wall

Stand and look from here,
you can see the earth’s curve,
a sea-levelled land
bereft of its mother.

Shells we have found
while the silt blew away,
powdered by droughts
and the pitiless wind.

Stand here with me
at the high spring tide—
you know the stark sea
will swell all over this again

poem © copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘Beachcombing’

Beachcombing

We set out one morning
after the rain had cleared.
Not a breath of wind,
loose clothes sticking to my skin.
Our intention was to search
the shallow beach,
stretching so far ahead of us
towards lights on low, murky cliffs—
baleful beacons through the mist.
“Stop there!” you said
and took that picture of me,
my trousers rolled up;
never the most fetching sight.
“Walking on water,” that’s
what you called it right away:
Maybe this was the closest
we ever got to heaven

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

Haiku ‘Trinity’

Trinity

Scent of sweet woodsmoke
Beauty in indignation
Fresh ascetic breeze

Haiku and image © copyright df barker

Poem ‘Mrs Wright’

Holland Cemetery: A rural cemetery in northeas...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mrs Wright

We approached her, standing stiffly
outside her cottage on the corner,
while she tended those remaining roses.

The sun was in his fall
with Michaelmas giving way to cooler winds.
She turned with some difficulty,

but still greeted us with a bespectacled smile.
She always had time, especially for me
and her roses, her world seeming slow

and certain, just like the green bus
we caught that hour on the bridge.
By the time we got back,

tired and ladened with groceries,
the sun was still out, sinking intensely
over the evergreen cemetery.

We saw no sign of the ambulance,
or the policeman’s bicycle.
Not even her son’s hastily parked car.

There was only a flutter
in the curtains across the road
as we struggled on by.

Such had been her last afternoon
upon which we had paused.
We hurried home having no idea,

doing up our light coats
in the stiffening breeze.

poem © copyright df barker 2012, first published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available digitally at amazon.co.uk and amazon.com (latter for the book itself).