POEMS

All poems © Pam Pointer 2021

ERITHACUS RUBECULA: THE ROBIN

Erithacus Rubecula came one day
Respectably clad and wanting to stay
So handsome a chap, wearing olive and red,
What else could I do but offer a bed.

My melodious Rubecula sings all day
A cheery, harmonious vocal display
Rejecting a place on my leather settee
His preference, it’s clear, is the top of a tree.

A battered old tea-pot, designed just for one
Provides a fine home, and even some fun
For anyone extra who happens along
To join the ever-expandable throng.

Erithacus Rubecula left one day
Still handsomely clad but winging his way
Along with companions – his family of four –
New lives to lead and off to explore.

HIS TURN TO GET THE DINNER

Got a job at the hob
It’s down to me to make the tea
Got a date with a plate
Just done the toast (but mustn’t boast)
Got the beans, found the means
to open tin and tip them in
Got the pan, steady, man!
It’s heating up, time to sup
Got the meal, no big deal
It’s ready now; a taste – oh wow!
Got to say, mere child’s play
“It’s time to dine, oh wife of mine!”

BERNARD’S BEARD

When brother Bernard grew a beard,
his sisters firstly stood and peered,
then leered and jeered
but never cheered,
they feared, alas, he’d gone quite weird.

SHARK

A shocking shark
devised a lark
to make his mark
around the ark,
so in the dark
he tried to bark;
his coarse remark
was heard on Sark.

THE JOY OF DAFFODILS

Heads of dancing daffodils
bob to the gentle music
of a lightening, brightening day
where shadows paint the grass
in dappled deeper shades.

Trees that drooped and dripped
cold tears of condensation early on
now lift bare branches and yearn
to burst into the song of new growth.

In the warming air of a now golden afternoon
bees burrow deep
into the recesses of yellow trumpets,
emerge to buzz and bustle here and there
with all the fizzy joy of Spring.

MARCH MERRIMENT

Leggy lambs leap for joy,
gambol in an innocent dance
that belies the gamble of
all-too-brief lives.

Dancing daffs drift in lawns,
swagger and toss elegant heads
to trumpet the coming of
another Spring.

Tangled twigs spurt star-gold forsythia
in bursts of mirth
that brighten winter-weary hearts
and tired minds.

Blackthorn’s blooms bud,
blossom round spiky thorns,
while snowy clusters herald
a wakening cherry tree.

WINTER GALE

With a song of sigh and sobs
skeletal trees sway to the rhythm of the wind
which, fitful and capricious,
flings brittle arms and twisted twiglet fingers
down to muddied earth.
Strewn haphazardly,
by Nature’s deadly acts,
they lie, severed from life,
waiting for burial or burning,
while high above
their stricken sisters, with soughing songs of sorrow
dance on, to the music of the wind.

TO SUCH A WORLD AS THIS

Rhythmic swaying oceans, dawn’s bird symphony,
lively leaping lambs, butterfly ballet;
nature pulsates and proclaims Paradise
in dances of harmonious joy.
To such a world as this
a Saviour came.

From star-studded space,
over snow-iced mountains,
through bronzed beech woodland,
past rain-sprinkled rose buds,
to a wooden crib, in such a world as this,
he came.

But look closer, as he did,
at uncivil wars, at soul-destroying slavery,
and down into the drowning depths of depression;
see injustice, inequality, injury, illness, indignity,
and fast money fuelling fat cats,
while many, unable to choose, fast by fate.
To such a world as this
a Saviour came.

Control-compulsion masks a world that spins
beyond human control,
where man’s best efforts to impress, reach out, relieve,
are flawed and finite;
where children cry, mothers mourn and fathers falter
for lost livelihoods, lost homes, lost limbs, lost lives.
To such a world as this
a Saviour came.

Still comes,
from Crib to Cross, to crowned Kingship,
to rescue and re-clothe his world
with beauty, joy and peace;
to bring light, liberty, laughter, life,
to restore Paradise.
To such a world as this
the Saviour comes.

WILTSHIRE’S NOVEMBER

Oh, to be in Wiltshire
now that autumn’s there!
And whoever wakes in Wiltshire
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the canopy
Of the beech tree’s trunk are in golden leaf
While the owl hoots, hidden, on the highest bough
In Wiltshire now!

(With thanks to Robert Browning’s inspiring Home Thoughts from Abroad)

AUTUMN TAPESTRY

The woods are flaming
with red, yellow
and bronze leaves

tumbling, twirling
in the wind
swirling into drifts

to be scuffed through
and thrown high
to form new patterns

with which no carpet weaver
could compete
on his clanking loom;

Here is God’s
gleeful autumn spectacle
where rain-blackened bark

and sun-kissed golden leaves
sparkle, sing and show
the season’s glory.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
George Herbert, poet and priest

SQUATTERS RIGHTS

Two doors,
that’s the problem.
A first and second floor.
Who has squatters’ rights
in this idyllic bijou home?
A tiny log cabin,
nestling on the fence
by the apple tree,
too small for humans,
perfect for others.

Two pairs squabble
over squatters’ rights:
cocky and bold,
the bigger pair
use both doors to
stake their claim.
The more dainty interlopers,
clothed in blue and yellow,
sneak in and out
when the feisty first in line
go out for supplies.

I think I know who’ll win.
Robins may be the gardener’s friends
but when it comes to home,
they know their rights,
bigger, better, first-come, first-served,
no tolerance;
they’ll soon fight off
those pesky blue tits.

WHERE’S GOD AT CHRISTMAS?

Angels with wings
and tinsel in hair,
shepherds and kings,
but is God there?

As for the manger,
what do we care?
a doll in the straw
but no thought of God there.

Incense and candles,
perfume and glare,
holly and ivy,
a glimpse of God there?

What of the preacher,
dressed up; does he dare
to share truth’s good news
that God’s indeed here?

Light from darkness?
hope from despair?
peace in a world
that says God’s not there?

No peace is lasting,
no light can flare
unless we acknowledge
the God who came here.

He comes with love,
divinely aware,
all-giving, forever,
with love that’s so rare.

Human fragility,
uneasy to bear,
God came to the rescue;
have faith – if you dare.

OUT OF A LISTLESS SKY

Out of a listless sky
burdened with greyness
and the ominous threat of depression,
a thin strip of sunlight appears.
It is at the lowest point
on the eastern horizon ;
a golden gleam that backlights
shivering skeletal trees.
And then it’s gone,
blanked out by overbearing cloud
that silently sneers
and snuffs the glint that dared
for one brief moment
to blink.
And yet,
that little glimpse
is enough for now,
a hint of hope,
of better days to come,
for the light, though hidden,
is always there
and can never
be extinguished.

GOD’S IN HIS HEAVEN?

God’s in his heaven
and on earth all’s well with the world.
All’s well with the world?
It may be, here, on the surface,
but somewhere, near or far,
the brightness hides an underlying darkness
where fear, despair and sorrow
tremble,
plunge,
and weep.
Where lives are marred and scarred,
bodies hurt, hearts ache
and outraged cries rise to the God of heaven
who came to earth.

Came to earth to meet those
anguished howls and silent screams,
down, down to earth, to be humiliated,
to be bruised and battered, mocked and tortured,
to die in the ultimate empathetic act of love;
to share with us in our trials;
to bring life out of the destructive forces that
wreak decay and death on body, mind and spirit;
to show the sweeping canvas of
redemption, resurrection and renewal.

Be still.
Listen.
The skylark still sings,
a glimpse of God for us to hear and see,
light in darkness, joy in grief.
He who sees the sparrow fall,
who makes the skylark sing
and the roses bloom,
sees you,
now,
just as you are,
weeps with you, holds you,
and points you to the day of promise
when there will be no more death,
no more grief or crying or pain,
just the beauty of healing leaves
and the sparkling water of life.
Paradise perfection.
In the presence of the Life-Giver.
For you.
Forever.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DRAMA

The moon is full
and hangs heavy,
struggling to get up
and respond to fields
of wispy waving grass.

Its reluctance to rise
is unsurprising,
as the sun,
not far off from the midnight hour
still fires the western sky
with a blazing colour palette
of purple, red and orange.

Venus and Jupiter,
bright and beautiful,
sure and steady,
look from a distance,
unperturbed as they watch
sun and moon
– west versus east –
compete for best in show.

Oblivious to it all,
bats fling themselves through the dusk,
across the moon,
through the fields,
darting, diving,
catching supper;
while down below
a solitary hedgehog
peers up at me
from the pavement,
then shuffles
as hastily as a hedgehog can
into the safety of the hedge.

Few people are out
to see this midsummer drama,
choosing instead to watch TV
behind closed curtains,
while I,
I have seen
and breathed nature’s night
in all its splendid silence.
© Pam Pointer 2018

HORSE-CHESTNUT’S SPRING DRAMA

Taut sticky buds
in winter simplicity
give way to outrageously over-sized leaves
and colossal candelabra
that break out in a burst
of extrovert extravagance.

WELSH LAMB

Welsh lamb
blissful,
ignorant,
in mountain meadow,
lifts his head
and turns a sweet face
to spring’s sunshine.

All too fleeting
is this bleating bundle
of heart-beating life
as, oblivious to fate,
he leaps in joyous bliss.

An all-too-brief life
ends
on a plate;
ah, bitter-sweet taste
this Welsh lamb.

OUT OF A LISTLESS SKY

Out of a listless sky,
burdened with greyness
and the ominous threat of depression,
a thin strip of sunlight appears.
It is at the lowest point
on the eastern horizon;
a golden gleam that backlights
shivering skeletal trees.
And then it’s gone,
blanked out by overbearing cloud
that silently sneers
and snuffs the glint that dared
for one brief moment
to blink.
And yet,
that little glimpse
is enough for now,
a hint of hope,
of better days to come,
for the light, though hidden,
is always there
and can never
be extinguished.

© Pam Pointer 2018

THE COMING

You came,
naked, vulnerable,
left the glory of heaven,
came to ‘be’ on earth.

You came,
a baby in an occupied land,
a toddler refugee,
a child in a country village.

You came,
to be rejected in your home town,
to show compassion, love and care
to those who stopped to look and listen.

You came,
were bound and spat upon,
stripped naked and crucified,
but loved, without faltering, to the end.

You came,
rising to new life,
giving hope, joy and purpose
and everlasting life to those who follow you.

You come,
to light a muddled, weary world,
to offer life how it should be, could be, would be,
if only we’d open our arms to you as you opened yours for us.

You come,
Emmanuel: God with us,
in every moment of each new day.

© Pam Pointer 2017

AUTUMN HEDGEROW

Mildewing blackberries fester
behind spiders’ fairy fences
of strong, silken webs,
whose owner occupiers
patiently reconstruct
rudely ruined traps
set for unsuspecting prey,
and destroyed by purple-stained fingers.

© Pam Pointer 2017

AUTUMN TAPESTRY

The woods are flaming
with red, yellow
and bronze leaves
tumbling, twirling
in the wind
swirling into drifts,

to be scuffed through
and thrown high
to fall in new patterns
with which no carpet weaver
could compete
on his clanking loom;

Here is God’s
gleeful autumn spectacle
where rain-blackened bark
and sun-kissed golden leaves
sparkle, sing and show
the season’s glory.

©  Pam Pointer 2017

SUMMER NIGHT

The golden gleam of sunset
Has scarce slipped out of sight
Before the glow of sunrise
Defies the hours of night.

A hasty moon comes swiftly
And glows, ice-cool and calm,
Its paling face fades quickly
At birds’ wake-up alarm.

No agony at bedtime
The darkness brings no fear
Tranquillity, a glad time,
This short night of the year.

THE COW’S IN THE MEADOW

Daisy,
Chewing cud,
Stands and stares,
Knee-deep in buttercups.

SHADOW QUESTIONS

Why is my shadow black
when I’m wearing pink?

Why does my shadow make
my figure fat or thin?

Why does my shadow join
my feet with its feet?

Why does my shadow stick
with me so I can’t escape?

Why didn’t I listen
in science lessons?

LIGHT COMES

He named the light, “Day,”
and the darkness, “Night,”
this inventive God of the universe.

He called himself, “The Light,”
the one who shines in darkness,
this Saviour of the world.

Light that bursts through cloud,
pushes aside the grey gloom
of sadness, fear and death.

Light that comes to embrace,
warms the chill of sorrow,
and lightens life’s way.

HOPE

Blossom blushes,
tight-curled leaves unfurl,
and a chorus of praise
from robin, thrush and blackbird,
combine to celebrate new life
on this bright English spring day.
God’s in his heaven…

All’s well with the world?
No. For somewhere near or far
underlying darkness lurks,
where fear, despair and sorrow
tremble, plunge and weep,
where lives are marred and scarred,
bodies hurt, hearts ache,
and outraged cries rise
to the God of heaven
who came to earth.

He came to earth
to meet those anguished howls
and silent screams.
Down, down to earth,
to be humiliated, battered, tortured, murdered,
to die in the ultimate empathetic act of love;
to offer hope from destructive forces
that wreak decay and death on body, mind and spirit;
to demonstrate, in his raised life,
a new vast canvas
of redemption, resurrection, renewal.

He who makes the robin sing and blossom bloom,
sees you now, just as you are, glad or sad, joyful or fearful,
smiles on you, weeps with you, holds you,
and points you to the day of promise
when there will be no more death, grief, crying or pain,
just healing beauty in paradise perfection
in the presence of the Life-Giver.
For you. Forever.

© Pam Pointer 2017

THE BUZZARD

Silently he hovers
dips, swoops,
and rises to glide
in joyous abandon;
then breaks his silence
with a single mew
that makes me glance up
from muddied earth-bound gaze
to soar, momentarily,
with him.

BATTLE FOR THE SKIES

Crabby crow
in parsoned black
caws crossly,
flaps, frets and fights,
defending unfenced airspace,
while wide-winged and watchful,
his targeted buzzard,
in sun-kissed regal raiment
floats fearlessly,
unfazed, unhurried.
No crow commotion quells
fortune’s felicity.

FOGGY NIGHT

Fog descends
slowly at first
with still a hint of pale stars,

then, with swift stealth
and in smothering silence,
closes in cruel embrace.

Birds have long since
given up daytime chatter
and evening praise;

twigs hold pearl tears
in uneasy tension,
as yet unreleased.

In the isolating silence
a woman walks alone
with dampened hair and spirit.

On, on, in automatic mode,
with steady rhythmic beat,
not knowing where she goes.

Yet even within her shrouded soul,
bruised body, and numbed mind,
there is a thought

that she isn’t quite alone,
that beyond, behind, above the fog
somewhere, steady stars still shine.

Copyright: Pam Pointer 2017

WINTER SUNRISE

With what delight, joy, mirth,
God sweeps the sky with bold strokes
from his saturated palette;
he scales the heights, creates a fiery sight
as fun-filled fervour grips his brush with the sun.

The sky, now ablaze, holds the gaze
of wondering eyes,
as the Creator of light,
in an ever-changing painting
gives it his golden touch
and raises the orb itself,
elevates it till, exalted and complete,
it dominates and dazzles all it shines upon.

Such glorious art!
Such work of imagination, skill and pleasure!
Reflecting his glory, and beautiful to behold,
this awesome canvas
invigorates a waking world,
delights and inspires
its emergence from winter’s night
to the adventure of a new day.

Copyright: Pam Pointer 2017