Poetry and Writing

A Poet Writes

Over the last year or so, I have begun to read and write more and more poetry. From classic poems hundreds of years old, to modern day contemporary poetry; that speaks in language familiar and often raw, about every facet of life. From the social fabric of our communities, to the difficulties and stresses we face; the burden of work and stress, the desire to travel and to escape, the yearning quest for love and the heartbreak of love unrequited or relationships that end. And every other aspect in between.

My own personal development as a writer of poetry has seen me channel my ideas into reflecting nature and the beauty of the environment; celebrating our diverse landscapes and weather, the changing seasons and the miracle of nature. From the tree that appears lifeless and dead in winter, stripped of leaf, that suddenly bursts forward with new life in buds and blossom every spring. The snowdrops and daffodils that remain tall and proud despite being buffeted by gales and caught in torrential downpours. I also explore the experiences of travel; from the position of being able to reflect upon travelling for many years to 45 countries on 4 continents. But also considering the impact of travel upon those visited; those people who through circumstances welcome the traveller, but will seldom if ever have the opportunity to travel themselves.

Indeed, this passion for travel has afforded me some of the most memorable experiences of my life. An example was eating in Urumqi in North West China – in a small shack for a restaurant, where no one spoke a word of English, everyone stared in amazement at myself and my friend Simon, incredulous we had patronised their small eatery. But we were served the most delicious meal – though had not a clue what was in it.  Or to have been been taken to the top of one of the minarets of the Jameh Mosque in Isfahan, Iran. A lofty position where the muezzin call the faithful to prayer. A privilege to stand there and survey one of the most beautiful cities in the Middle East.

But my poetry also reflects the sadder sides to life. The plight of the refugees, forced to leave war torn, corrupt or economically poverty stricken countries in search of peace, security, stability, a future. But endure many hardships and perilous journeys and for some, tragically lose their lives, drowned at sea crossing the Mediterranean in overcrowded dinghies.

But also many of my poems have been written in response to my own personal tragedy. My wife and I had twin daughters. Sadly, Milla passed away in December 2016 aged 10. We remain devastated by her loss. It is incomprehensible and painful – and will always be. Yet, poetry, the written verse, has provided comfort and solace. It has reached out to my heart and it has helped soothe and ease the pain. It has allowed me to express my emotions, my thoughts and my fears. Without bottling them up. It has been cathartic and I am grateful to have discovered a love for poetry and an ability to write poetically.

If you would like to read any of my poetry, please look at my website; http://www.frobipoetry.com or on Instagram @ajfrobisherpoetry Let me know if you enjoyed any of the poems and of course I am grateful for feedback.

Before I finish I will share a couple of poems with you.

The first is called The Orchard. It is a poem for a refugee, who lived a happy life until the war came and they were forced to flee; leaving everything they held precious behind.

The second is called The Traveller and is written following experiences I had travelling in the Middle East many years ago.

The third poem is called Winter Walks. It reflects this most interesting time of year; when the weather is fickle and fierce, cold and chilling…and spring seems a long way off.

The final poem is one written in memory of my daughter, Milla. It is called The View

Best wishes,

Tony

The Orchard

A face forlorn, resigned, but a flicker of hope
Refugee seeking refuge from winter’s cold
And searing summer heat
Set adrift on unknown streets
Cast into a future unseen unwanted
Far from those orchards of memory

Closed eyes to memories that stay
Torn from a land where childhood dreams played
In the warmth of a spring morning
Where the smell of orchards ripe mixed
With spice and laughter
Spilling from every kitchen…
And joy, love and happiness perfumed the air

Until
Torn from a land of beauty and trust
Thrust into violence that broke homes and bones
Discarded and thrown from their whole world
Destruction writ in every hate filled scream and face
That erased the grace and tranquillity
Of those sun kissed orchards of memory

And now
The orchards lay split splintered
The fruit of man’s toil rotten soiled
Replaced by the fruits of man’s hatred and greed
Power that replaced the seed
Seed that no longer grows orange, lemon or pomegranate
Seed that is blown and scattered with bomb and grenade
Far from those orchards that burst with life

And now…and now
Torn from a home wrapped in love
An unknown fate awaited
In unstable boat, wrapped against the cold
Wrapped up against the world
And all they have and all they have lost
Fatalistic accepting yet uncertain
If they should ever set foot to dry land again
And whether in those northern lands
The orchards grow too

A flicker of a smile
Sunken eyes and wearied lines of a face
That has seen too much
And wants nothing more
Than to be at home
But home has gone
Perhaps the chance those seeds blown
Will one day grow again
Far from those orchards of memory

The Traveller
(Of endless tea & timeless scenes)

Set adrift in a shock of culture
Of endless tea & timeless scenes
Immured in labyrinthine streets
Lost to a morass of sound and sights
And aromas that please and repulse
Drowning in a rising tide of tongues
That spill mellifluous and rhythmic
From corners of mouths
And corners of ancient courtyards
That absorb every word and guard jealous every secret

Where the sea of believers
Handshake and embrace as if meeting for the first time or last time
Aging wizened and wise, respected
A country’s history contained behind opaque eyes
These wisdomed few sit around smoke stained tables
Obscured by pungent clouds
Draining endless cups of lip scolding tea
Cafes more home than the places
They daily discard from morning til nightfall

And between each furtive sip
They berate and bemoan in toothless whispering angered tones
The loss of those pleasures of youth
And the politics and pain
Which constant intertwines and pervades life’s rhythm
An unwelcome interruption and inconvenience
As ubiquitous as the dust that rises and settles
From the clouds created by the crowds of wearied feet
That tread the worn streets of millenia

The crackle of static shatters the humid hum and sultry reverie
As the soporific mosque wakes and shakes
To the discordant cry of the ancient muezzin that decries and beseeches
Those who believe not to ignore
This call to prayer that is carried in pious air
Which secretes through cracked windows and splintered door frames
And swirls in time with creaking ceiling fans

And now the flies gleeful flit and dance from glass to glass
As the cafe deserts and the tea still steams undrunk
And the anger and ire cools
For now the faithful stream beckoned to the shadows of the minarets
That play in dusk’s gently fading light
To await the promise and purity of prayer
They shuffle with resolute purpose
Passing shadows that smile unseen
Behind veiled faces and sparkling eyes
Which gentle fade too in darkening passageways

The narrow pavements slowly empty
Leaving only the flies that gather
To sip the sweetened tea
That sits ignored by the lone traveller
Sat silent impassive in the narrowing night
Closing his eyes in fervent desire
To ensure those thousand images
Are forever recalled
And the muezzin’s call silent fades
Absorbed by those dutiful souls
And crumbling walls

 

Winter Walks 
I walked in light
That dazzled and dulled
Through a tunnel of boughs
All stripped of leaf
And stripped of thoughts
The only sounds
The gentle crack of fallen twig
And the exhalation of breath and branch
That disappeared as memories
Of summer gone and autumn chill
I walked on
Further into winter 
And the light changed to snow
Memories were once more
Covered and muffled and mute
Dormant until spring again to emerge
And tree buds to life
Where new thoughts breathe 
The air of future memories

 

The View

She didn’t move
Her memory present still
Where once we stared to hilltopped horizon
In shared space and time
To timeless hills coppice and cloud

She didn’t move
While I returned to views
Darkened in sadness
Dulled to pain and loss
Wanting to again gaze in togetherness

She didn’t move
I sensed her in the wind
And heard her in the bird song
I saw her vivid yet translucent
A memory that smiled with me
At such splendid view

She didn’t move 
And why would she?
This view of verdancy
Unchanged a constant calm
And peace and presence in memory forever held

She didn’t move…
The view remained
And so did she

 

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