Building Work…

‘Having the builders in’ can be a stressful time – what else is there to do but write poetry?

Here’s a little something I wrote to while away the time…

 

Building Work

I’m not one to stay in the house
Bouncing from room to room
Trying to avoid each jumble of
Jobs to be done.

But today, I am a prisoner
Confronting my demons
Of over-stuffed wardrobes
And fur-lined windowsills

With eyes that now spot
Cobwebs from various seasons.
Echoes of ready salted crisps
And pepperoni skins

Lurk under teenager furniture
Like prisoners tossed into oubliettes
Found, years later
By desperate vacuum attachments.

The cat is bewildered by my company –
Staring like a traffic warden
Daring me to park
On her side of the sofa –

A simple matter of
Territorial rights.
Breaking the stand-off I withdraw
To the kitchen, to make coffee with no title

And without heart-shaped ‘sprinkles’
And a three quid price-tag.
Confinement, it seems,
Has financial rewards.

Caffeine awakens curiosity –
Perhaps I’ll check out the state of the universe –
If the builders don’t switch off the wi-fi.

A Foxwood 21.07.17

 

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Final Rehearsal

On Wednesday, June 28, people of Nottingham (including me) formed a huge 600-plus member ‘Drivetime’ choir, singing alongside the Halle Orchestra. It was a spectacular evening, and this poem was written during the final minutes before the concert began.

Final Rehearsal

‘We need to save three seats –
is this the right place?’
‘We don’t want to sit with the altos,
(you know they put me off).’

White A4 paper, folded
across the seats announces
where we should, and shouldn’t
sit. It’s a close thing,

no gap between second bases
and tenors. A new language,
along with ‘allegro maestro’
and ‘sharp diction.’

The woman in green pushes
past my knees, and I feel
guilty for sitting
on her most direct route.

Then she asks if I’m soprano
(she can’t see without her glasses)
and pulls out her score
highlighted in neon pink.

The volume is increasing –
apparently seats are spoken for,
claimed at prior rehearsal
and some need to share scores

as the photocopier ran out of paper.
Tonight the amateurs
must play second fiddle;
an auditorium

packed with voices awaiting their ‘Glory’
and Carmina’s dedication
to the movies.
Last minute coughs

and feet and bags and jackets dodged
to claim a seat, the orchestra
is waiting in the wings
and we have fifteen minutes to breathe.

 

Angela Foxwood 28.06.17

 

Queue

In the coffee queue

my triumph, at reaching its head

is short-lived –

my open mouth denied its request

by the tall red-head.

 

Her hand pats me

like a beloved pet –

she’s very sorry, she thought

I had been served.

 

Not a problem I say

and am rewarded by a repeat gesture.

Sometimes a pat on the back

is all it needs.

 

A Foxwood May 2017

 

Frieda

The article was lengthy –
You spoke of parents lost
Yet recently found
And used the word ‘sacrosanct’.

He loved animals and so do you,
A kind of legacy
Interrupted
By poetry.

Yet his poetry could not be interrupted –
His work was his life
And his death.
The death, too, off your mother

Whom you never really knew
Yet millions knew her
And now millions
Know you.

Forever trapped in his legacy
Yet proud – he said that you are so
Like her.
But you are you.

For you, love and hate
Took life in their intensity
And gave you a childhood
Known by a world.

A world that sees
You have your father’s smile.

 

 

A. Foxwood  June 2017

 

This half-lit Sunday

Half-lit

 

Nothing much is happening

on this half-lit afternoon.

I’ve re-arranged the Bronte sisters

and Mr Owell’s adventures

and even dusted the spaces

in between.

The plates are now clean

of my attempt at risotto

and most of the socks have been

sorted

into twos. And threes?

I have rounded up the empty cans

and scrunched crisp packets

from the adolescent floor

and put back the toothpaste

(with stripes)

into the cabinet, next to

the acne cream.

Not much left

to do. On a half-lit

Sunday afternoon.

 

My time

My time

 

This is my time;

The first load is doing its rounds

As a gentle snore drifts

From my son’s room.

 

The cat curls, oblivious

(After the night’s foray)

to my key-tapping,

yet stirs for a chirping sparrow

 

flying past my open window.

Emails queue patiently

in black and grey

But I choose

 

To ignore them;

This is my time –

The dust in the corner

Can wait its turn.

 

Carpet-muffled bass tones

From my downstairs neighbour

Creep through floorboards

But do not intrude –

 

Silence filters through

Like the Sunday light

Gently touching the first gold

In the sycamore tree.

 

This is my time;

The timetable is closed for business

And I may decide

To go back to bed.

 

 

A Foxwood 29.08.2015

 

 

 

 

 

The boy, the man

The boy, the man

 

 

Blonde hair turned white by sunlight;

Skin always smothered in factor 50.

I could hardly see you through the mesh

That covered your buggy and blocked out UVA.

It was a necessity, back then.

 

‘I don’t know how we ever survived to be adults’,

My mother said.

Then came the tooth fairy, kept in regular employment

For several years on minimum wage.

Apart from once, when she didn’t show up.

 

Such disappointment at a lost pound coin

(which cost her a job). Then teddy bears were cast out

Only to be resurrected by rejections.

Heavy metal crushed lullabies

And CDs elbowed vinyl to boxes in corners.

 

Acne invaded with no remorse

And filled the bathroom with chemicals

To deep cleanse and eradicate; showers

Increased in duration, accompanied

By broken voices and broken promises

 

And half a can of anti-perspirant.

Now dark locks clog the plughole

And blonde is just a type of beer, before a match.

My turn to use the mobile steps

To kiss your cheek goodbye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The internet is down

The internet is down

 

This morning as I sipped my bleary coffee

I switched off the swirly circle

And looked out through the window.

 

The collared dove in the silver birch

Was unimpressed by my interest,

Electing to turn its back

 

And exit, stage left,

To its star-billed dressing room.

Then the cobweb caught my eye.

 

Hanging from the curtain pole

Like last year’s tinsel,

It challenged me to a duel.

 

Gloves off, I chose the feather duster,

Rescued from the lost and found

That languished under the stairs.

 

I took ten paces back,

Aimed, and swept.

Caught in one stroke; victory.

 

 

But as my foe died in melodrama

I noticed it was not alone.

Fifty more had joined the ranks

 

And from behind the curtains,

Out-manouevered me.

Dust to dust, I was defeated.

 

Today the internet is down

And I surrender.

 

 

 

 

Photo Grandad

Photo Grandad

 

 

Grandad, we never met

But apparently, I have your eyes –

(Slightly slanted, a bit too close together).

 

You looked dapper in your wedding suit,

Complete with spats.

‘Like Fred Astaire’, said Nana,

 

‘With two left feet’.

It was a modest affair,

Two bridesmaids

 

And Aunt Mary. My Dad was there

Unofficially; you didn’t know

Before you left.

 

You went to Cromer –

A short honeymoon,

Nothing to write home about

 

(it was February, after all).

Too early for ice-cream

But they had good fires –

 

Even one in your room.

It was a bitter winter –

The coal had to last; no money

 

For extravagance.

They shipped you out

When you still held hands

 

But you wrote hasty notes

On smuggled paper

Starting ‘My darling Eve’.

 

I have them, wrapped in white felt

Inside a Coronation tin.

Dad has your smile, slightly lop-sided,

 

And your double crown.

Sometimes we look at you together.

In black and white.