This is a very special page on my website. The aim, and therefore the challenge, is to write new work that reflects the diverse majesty of writers across the ages. The reason – my beautiful daughter Claire, who tragically died last year age 36, was (and still is) a major influence on me as a writer. She introduced me over the years to writers as diverse as Shakespeare (who I found a chore in my teens), Wilde, Woolf, Lorca, Franca Rame, Heaney, George the Poet and many more…
The title ‘YellowFlower’ is self explanatory to those who new her. This new work will hopefully reflect the influence of the writers she loved and encouraged me to connect with.
Poems on this page will be advertised on the usual social media formats and you are encouraged to leave posts and comments on Twitter at dy_dave #yellowflower or on Facebook at Dave Young – Good Poetry Licks
—— ♥♥♥ ——
‘falling at your feet in sheer joy that you were able
to receive me like a favourite chair...
you are the yellow flower of my youth,
the scent of nothing wasted with little left to prove…
could I be a boat for you a while,
could I stay afloat for you and sail in your smile, could I be a boat for you a while’
From Yellow Flower by K.T. Tunstall
“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his/her life, is written large in their works”
“language is wine upon the lips”…Virginia Woolf
FREE to read on the YellowFlower page:
1. Tapestry or Blue, 2. Sonnet (lost in St. Catherine’s wood), 3. Cross to bear, 4. Duende, 5. Love in the margin, 6. Return of the Carlton Terrace Bard, 7. Quatrain (3), 8. Look at me (by Nahida Izzett),
“Look at me” is the title of a poem by a child of Gaza called Nahida Izzett. She is one of many who have written about their plight and the appalling inhumanity heaped upon the innocent in that city. Approximately half of Gaza’s population is children, a statistic reflected in the number of dead and injured inflicted by the last 28 days of Israeli bombardment. This is an extract from Nahida’s poem.
8. Look at me
by Nahida Izzatt
I would love to write poetry about love,
paint rainbows and butterflies,
smell the scent of pink rose buds.
I would love to close my eyes and see children smiling,
no guns pointed at their heads,
no bullets shrieking, no missiles exploding.
Humanity, where are you?,
Why do you turn your face away?
Why do you keep looking the other way?
I am here,
languishing in Gaza’s alleyways.
Humanity, look at me,
There is a dagger in my heart,
I am hurting, hurting
——— ♥♥♥ ———
7. Quatrain (3)
As witness to this brief, wondrous apparition,
like arrowed sunlight bathed in pure reflection,
your accidental angel suckling at your breast,
I marvel how beauty outside mirrors beauty within.
Life in all it’s indecent haste,
renders chaos and brute confusion,
tearing at the veil of silence, unaware,
the unexpected thud of something falling.
The moon vanished, swallowed by clouds,
a thin rain drummed on upturned slate.
Through keyholes and secret openings
a downpouring of uneasy darkness crept
—— ♥♥♥ ——
6. Return of the Carlton Terrace Bard
All afternoon the heat wavered on the runway of paved squares,
up to the steadfast, well braced gate,
clean, solid iron hung in the shadows of the whitewashed arch,
the heave and sweep of cobbles beyond,
a farewell to sure-footedness.
Poetry lifts it’s eyes and clears it’s throat,
tainted with a scent of nicotine.
And here I sit, masquerading as a man of property,
a table wrought full of words for pleasure.
Words that once scared me, thrill me now.
Words hoping to gain approval,
hoping to inhabit the page,
double parked the length of the terrace walls,
like the bounteous potted flora and the eager evergreen climbers,
waiting patiently for the lash of a summer downpour.
Time was passing, with all it’s faults,
for fifteen months or more,
each word, each impulse,
had been sunk like a bolt,
secure, without trace.
the flood gate opens.
Words, like the terrace swifts,
sweep and flirt with terrace eaves
acting out their airborne feud,
curse the thrill of their daring,
curse when they unaccountably migrate.
—— ♥♥♥ ——
The following poem plays homage to the French playwright Marguerite Duras (Eden Cinema was studied and commissioned by my daughter Claire when she was at university) and has as it’s themes the incendiary mix of love, religious and racial divide and broken promises. Included in this poem you will notice some words in italics. They are extracted from notes, comments and instructions by Claire prior to staging the production.
5. Love in the margin
She was the land, he was the sea,
and when the sea walls broke,
he infested her land with salt.
In her room
She was naked,
with fresh make up, naked,
looking at herself in the full length mirror.
Her lips move, some words are uncertain, inaudible.
He didn’t realise to begin with it was him she was talking about,
secreted as he was behind a curtain of his own desperation.
At first he thought she had been drinking, or gone mad.
She spoke his name.
He was rooted to the spot, like a voyeur lurking in the shadows,
waiting for a cue that would never arrive.
She took tentative steps towards the mirror,
as if to address her audience.
She laughed abruptly, a nervous sudden outburst.
He wanted to touch her,
dare he make his presence felt?
The pause between words was agonizing,
for him, for her for the face in the mirror.
“It will be lovelier when I am older” she whispered,
in an urgent monotone voice.
“with age comes wisdom”.
She ran her hand over the soft brown flesh of her belly,
then slowly, with pleasure, up to cup her breast,
and finally to extend, almost touching her fragile reflection.
Her outstretched hand displayed a ring.
The ring he gave her.
She had beaten him with her fists
when he gave her the ring, then hid it
in a crevice in the wall. She often hid things.
Her fingers were slim and supple,
she had loved him, she did love him,
then he gave her the ring.
She had become a stranger in a foreign country, she whispered,
and the audience in the mirror acquiesced.
—— ♥♥♥ ——
Federico Garcia Lorca, Spain’s greatest modern poet talked of a mysterious power, a quality that makes us passionately admire one particular poem, piece of music, work of art, over hundreds of others we have read, heard or seen. This he called ‘Duende’. Duende literally means imp, goblin, demon. But what he is talking about is the quality which distinguishes great art from that which is merely competent. For Lorca this had nothing to do with intellect; it is in the blood, the passion and the ‘demon’ which drove him. The following poem attempts to understand what Lorca meant by Duende and includes text from a lecture he gave in Havana.
“these dark sounds are the true mystery,
the roots pushing into the soil,
which we all know, which we all ignore,
but from which comes what is real.
I speak of duende, a mysterious power,
which everyone feels, which no philosopher can explain”
Rising from the souls of your feet,
dark and quivering, a descendant of Socrates,
of marble and salt, prepared to climb each crumbling step
to the tower of his own imperfection.
Not an angel, not a muse,
the angel guides and offers gifts,
the muse dictates and sometimes inspires.
The angel will fly over the artists head, salivating grace,
waving his steely wings in the ambit of those predestined to create.
The muse will offer words and her lithe body,
an obsession that torments like a scorpion in your heart.
Yet there is no map or formula to seek out Duende,
for it rejects all sweet geometry and forces the artist to reconsider,
like Goya, the master of silver and pink,
to crawl into the bitumen darkness on his knees and fists.
Ah Duende, with eyes that looked at you and you gave to the shadow,
with lips that kissed you and you gave to the earth,
with arms that embraced you and you gave to the demons.
It loves the edge, the wound, the greater yearning,
an infusion of blood into vessels empty of expression
preparing the stairway for a flight from reality.
—— ♥♥♥ ——
3. Cross to bear
The silver crucifix that graced your neck,
kissed your flesh under work white cotton,
self indulgence to self denial,
the wilful contempt for my feelings,
God of the tempest,
Emblem of the Aryan.
It teased me in moments of unconfined sin,
dangling like a serpent that could not be denied.
You kissed it once, to remind you of who you are,
you kissed it twice, to confirm who you truly loved.
It wasn’t a good love,
but you can’t deny it wasn’t love
—— ♥♥♥ ——
(lost in St. Catherine’s Wood)
Let not Autumn’s watery hand surrender
to the majesty of the rain soaked hills,
your face in all it’s triumphant splendour,
flatters the silent meadow, still.
From your eyes much knowledge I derived,
like constant stars, fresh secrets to bestow.
And did you beckon the restless clouds to ride,
then part, to reveal the glory of a mountain soul.
No wonder then, an artery clogged with Autumn’s lusty leaves,
confused our escape from St Catherine’s Wood,
with perfumed bark still heady in my eaves,
I would right your dry stone heart if I could.
Oh YellowFlower, I look upon myself to curse my fate.
left alone in rhyme to weep, my constant state.
—— ♥♥♥ ——
1. Tapestry or Blue
It tugged at his hair, this fresh Northern wind,
white flakes melted on his face,
like little kisses of electricity.
The headlights of a stationery car
beamed and flirted with the falling snow,
that danced like an excitable child, urging others to perform.
He could feel his tiredness leave his skin,
driven by a mysterious benevolent force,
willing him to remember something beautiful.
Alone on the step, a grandstand view of the street,
another ordinary day winding down,
abbreviated names on badges,
rolled up inside their tabards,
the noon to 10pm shift done and dusted.
He remembered something beautiful,
trivial yet beautiful, Blue or Tapestry, Tapestry or Blue.
Both masterclasses of their craft, never to be discussed again.
He watched the arc of his cigarette fly beyond the kerb
onto the glistening black of the tarmac.
Severance, always a constant threat, tugged at his sleeve once more,
his head full of dark imaginings.