STEVE COOKE AATA
A COLLECTION OF POEMS BY EILEEN EARNSHAW
Wonderful, multitalented freelance writer and performance poet Eileen Earnshaw has shared a collection of her previously unpublished poems.
The moon rises,
Winds blow, we collide
skittering into gutters,
piled into corners under hedges
Cleansed by rain, the elements
can’t destroy us
our colours do not fade.
We are the containers of Lilt.
Of Yoo Hoo, and of Fanta.
Non- degradable, a life span of eons.
Our being’s reason is convenience.
For this, humans despoil oceans,
Pollute the air
donate their earth for our
everlasting resting place.
Your paintings are still on the wall.
Fairy tale paintings of sky and sea.
White houses on a verdant hill and
on the sill, geraniums crouching,
bolshie red and scentless. They slash the
gentle blue of evening sky to ribbons.
Each spring in belief of immortality.
I take the cuttings from the shed.
Plant them, resurrect the days
we lived in the house on the beautiful hill.
Where geraniums, bolshie red and scentless.
Crouch still, uncaring on the windowsill.
It’s the movement.
The gliding limbs, the lower back,
the sexed-up slide of gluteal glory
ankles, smooth as angel wings
the round of mounded satin knees.
The eyes, the lips, the pretty nose
the symmetry, the perfection.
No holding the adjectival prose
she’s Helen, Diana, the English rose.
It’s the curve of breasts
the shape of waist,
the outward slip of hip.
The backward glance
the tiny tip of tongue
that slips between her lips.
If I Could
hold you, keep you
heart soft, pliable,
fragile as new-born.
weave your spirit through my fingers.
Intricate strands of love, loyalty.
How sweet these weapons.
place them with
such delicate precision.
These silken ties
these silvered hooks.
make the world
an image blurred,
I would keep you
Physicality was never
a very strong issue.
To kiss, touch, on leaving, greeting
was. A sentimental habit and
much to much, so he settled for
a vaguely sketchy wave on leaving
his home in the mornings. -
His offspring sprang, he often thought
full formed, a female product
and perhaps it really wasn’t
his place, to interfere when it
was plain, their mother served them better.
The years and decades slipped away.
He thought he glimpsed personality traits,
that somehow connected him to them, but
then he thought, he couldn’t be sure
never having had a conversation.
Oh, to wake one morning,
lie, half sensed in shielded light.
Dreaming, stretching, gently chafing
legs against the linen.
Who, would not sigh, softly say.
Let us, for once, not start this day.
Bid life drag on its weary way,
Linger here with me.
We need not help the world go by,
hear sad truths, painful lies.
Politicians praising strife.
Stay here my love, with me.
Rain is waging wintry war,
freezing wind abetting.
Children screaming, playing the fool
reluctant, lurching, off to school.
Bin-men banging, engines coughing.
Speeding cars, stamping feet.
Pay no heed, my only love, stay,
and lay with me.
It didn’t rain.
No diamond drops cut oily fetid air,
no breeze, ease for drooping leaves,
floral heads hung in pain,
roots cleaved to dusty soil.
It didn’t rain.
Two buses came, went, empty, spent,
engine groaning, exhaust contaminating
clouds of midges announcing night,
flies buzzed hypnotised by light.
It didn’t rain.
Perhaps, if I stand by the bedroom door.
Face the wall, eyes half closed, counting
pictures hung on rose patterned walls
with ivy inter-twining.
Maybe it will rain.
I’ll fill my day. Busy away
this hour strewn day. Washing maybe.
Maybe baking, cakes with sugared icing on.
Maybe, I’ll hear from you today.
Maybe, it will rain.
I am plasma, light, heat,
A glowing rotating binary,
stellar behemoth, suffused with appetite,
illuminating night with violent explosion.
I am the beginning of your imaginings.
Hopes talisman, keeper of dreams,
repository of stories told,
indicator of seasons.
I bear the burden of your religions,
have shown you the way,
been your guide, mentor.
I am a part of you, and you of me.
We are magic, we are star.
The Rabbit of St Mary’s in’t Baum.
Just over a hunnert year ago,
a site were sought fer a church.
T one as they ad weren’t up ter scratch,
they wanted one as they could match
Agen t cathedral i Manchester,
or at least agen St Chads.
So, they chose a site i Rochda town,
twixt river ant Lordburn stream,
on a spare bit o green by ‘t’ graveyard
and ‘t’other owd church in between.
They thowt as this were a gradely idea,
an set to wi’t diggers and shovels,
till they cum ter southern side’o’ t church
and boss said ‘lads, we’re in trouble.
Auld reverend Shone, he’s bin round ere,
and e sez, we’re disturbin th graves.
E sez we.re disturbin t childer
who’ve slept here for mony a year.
E sez we’ve to stop. Put an end ter’t job,
Or, for our souls we will fear.
So they put down their shovels, they put down the spades,
an went off ter’t pub for a pint,
And the reverend rubbed his ot little ands
and did a quick dance of delight.
Cos he knew a secret, that no one else knew
of a mysterious, wonderful herb.
That grew on’t graves of the childer there
That cured all th’ ills that man had to bear
And whats more, it cleaned up yer soul.
An he thought, if they budge church up a bit,
as they must, if threatened with hell.
I’ll get the new church, and I’ll keep the balm,
serve God and mammon as well.
But no-body ever knows everything
Some- times we may think that we might.
He didn’t know of the rabbit
That wandered the green in the night
He’d belonged to one of t childer
And when ‘t’ child had been laid to his rest,
He swore he would alers protect ‘im
And the green where his playmates slept.
With the aid of the magic mysterious balm
He had served them for mony a year
but when he heard of the reverend’s plans,
he was filled wi a terrible fear.
An his fur went white, his teeth grew strong,
he was filled with resolution,
and as the moon rose cold and clear,
sed taa raa ter’t sun till ‘t morning.
He started to eat the mysterious herb
and carried on till dawning.
Though his belly ached, and his teeth wore down,
he chewed and chewed right through to the ground
and the balm was all gone in the morning.
Well, the Reverend Shone he swore and he cursed.
He shook his fists and ranted,
his heart was filled with unholy rage till
it burst with a terrible mighty pain
and his life on this earth it was ended.
So, church wer built and ‘t’ graves were saved,
it goes under name of St Mary’s
and if you’re about on a moonlight night,
you might see a rabbit that pauses in flight,
behind him a man in a long black cloak
oo’ sounds just like he’s choking.
They run through the wall and the market stalls
passed where they used to sell fish,
left to the place, where the theatre stood
then right again back to St Mary’s.