Only Words – finding a Voice

Words have been my medium, pun intended, since as long as I can recall. Over the years I have composed thousands and apart from the first seven you see here  these are all that remain. A few years before my brother Mick passed he quoted me a poem about spring, which I had written back in 1966- I just stood there open mouthed as he recited it perfectly- I should have asked him to re write it down for me but the lines which I do recall are- Do not worry do not fret, spring will return soon I bet. Ha ha I was only 11. I dedicate these words to all those people who have touched my spirit- and may my voice grow in confidence and allow me to get back to my writing. Namaste

Media Lies
I’d closed my eyes to the loss and pain
And focused on the blueness of the stains on the wall
That defied the medias’s claims that One Coat Covers All!
I chose to forget the fun, the laughter, the adventures we had,
Crowing over bargains which were more important than a dented car
Your Kid at Christmas glow as you rendered the same song
with finer lyrics
The tent, a sanctuary with candles flickering as its victims flitted too close
The stars, the meteorite storm and the planet that appeared at 3 am
Wishbone Ash and you made me complete,
Body Mind and Soul………

You enfolded me and nuzzled a soft kiss on my cheek and it all came flooding back
And I was drowning
And I wept for what we had had,
and what I wanted was a paint to extinguish the stain…….
But I know the media lies.

Early 1990s

The Kingfisher

At 30 I thought it quite unfair
To be expected to wait
10 more years for my life to start
Sod that!
I wanted the advantage
Easy, I thought

First came the list
A tangible one that could be measured
And duly ticked off or struck out
One by one and sometimes two by two
Like Noah in reverse

The kingfisher eluded me
and like the rest I had to wait..
That vivid flash of lightning blue
was an anti climax.
It paled into insignificance
When compared to the golden shimmer and quiver
Of a thousand strands of cobwebs
Darting and criss crossing the grass
A trap, set to trip.

It wasn’t the eye that enhanced that scene
It was the simple pleasure of sharing
With someone who could also marvel at the spectacle
With awe and respect
A mutuality.
I didn’t put them on my list..
The cobwebs in sunlight and the mutuality
But if I had, I would have had to wait like all the rest,
For 40…….

River Dearne Barnsley August 1995


I was sitting in the park yesterday
having chosen Joe’s bench
against the coffee and company at the Bothy
It was cool enough  to wear a jacket
And warm enough to feel the sun in my hair.
It’s an ideal vantage point.
The park falls gently down to the river
with my hill rising in the distance.

The trees are still full of leaves
but are replete for this year.
They have started to shed
small green acorns which were sprinkled at my feet.
I considered gathering a few
but decided to collect them another time
when the nuts are brown and lustrous,
their cups paled and detachable.

I felt at peace, alone yet not alone or lonely.
Two women in the distance were admiring a sculpture
and muffled voices of other explorers came from behind the hedges.
My feet didn’t quite touch the ground
and I wondered whether Joe was a large man.
The plaque claims “He loved it here”
And then I wondered about you
My spirit friend.

You were there with me,
Your arm around my shoulders
My hand at rest on your knee
Our bodies gently inclined to each other
Head to head, hip to hip, thigh to thigh
No words were required or offered
I knew it would be like this
I know it will be like this.

Bretton Sculpture Park November 1995

Cry Wolf

The snowdrops came out a week ago
But rather than thrill they simply mewled
like wolf cubs,
a mere hint of a lie, battered by the rain
and suppressed by the smothering clouds.
The first dawn chorus stirred the memories
and the sun picked out the shoots of daffodils
and wide mouthed crocuses amazed with their vivacity.
The evening sun searched every contour of the fells,
proudly flushed, glowing and replete.
Slowly, it faded away to tease some other soul
Who claims they’re happy with their celibate state.

Barnoldswick, February 1996


Reasons can be so unreasonable.
They start off quite simple,
a bit like Maths at school:
If a = 2 and b = 4 , what is a + b?
Easy, it’s six isn’t it?

My first reason for meeting you was elementary;
A chance to really talk with you.
Driving to meet you that day , the interlude
in my plans was an unknown quantity.
I had no formula, only a rough plan:
Meet, eat, talk and part,
Which we did ever so easily,
With laughter and smiles and a wave.

The second time the formula was clearer
and more predictable:
Meet, eat, talk , laugh, smile wave and part
In variable undetermined quantities.
Mood driven.
And we did, ever so easily,
Hand in hand in thought provoking silence,
Tentatively and shyly exploring fingers.
A brief  hug and a gentle kiss
Before the wave goodbye.

I lay here now attempting to determine the formula
The reasons why I need our next meeting
And I’m plunged into calculations beyond my own comprehension.
And it is no longer a matter of a + b = 6
Each meeting or contact adds to the formula exponentially.
Now my expectations are talk 3,laugh 4, smile 9
Hug x, hold hands y, kiss z
Are you any better at maths than I am?

June 1998

All our Mothers

She stands before me in her tartan dressing gown
The image of me at 19
She hands me the tiny bundle
The image of her when newborn
I look in awe at her perfection
And see within the scene the mirror behind us
And there they line up looking beyond
To the scene of their own creations
To an outsider it would seem like something was amiss
A time anomaly between the image and the reflection
But the reflection is as it should be
And her reflection goes back to her mother
And her mother’s mother
And her grandmother’s mother
And on and on and back and forth
Separate and separated
but never apart
united by love

Barnsley 2001, 6 years after the event

All poems © Chris Linacre