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Charlotte Peters Rock

Cultured?

Well yes, she's very cultured, in her own way,
engaging each piano key off tune.
Enlivening the party, into boredom.
Encased, in hooded venom, in the room.
Enforcing her bright presence into culture.
A winning combination - for a vulture.

26Jan1991 CPR

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Coronation on the tele

In 1953 the television came
A big brown wooden box
which coddled a tiny screen
behind the glass

On either side a knob to twizzle
but my dad said If you touch
the screen will all explode
So we didn't

We watched the tiny Queen
waving from her big glass coach
-except it wasn't really glass
except the windows - not the wheels

The neighbours crowded in
to borrow sugar - or to see the prize -
sitting on our mam's armchair arms
refusing to go home

[...] Read more

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Fanny's China Garden

Shards of pottery and china
remembered patterns
decorated the small garden
within her garden
underneath the apple tree

Tucking them in
beside her little flowers
she kept her memories
not quite intact

Saving careful pennies in a tin
Putting-by the six place tea-set
Paying it off Bringing it home

His comments on her silliness
Wet's tha want wi that?
Pleasure as she set the table
Polished them admiringly

[...] Read more

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Care For The Elderly - A Conference

They gather in the Greeting Place
A smaller flock than once expected
Still elated - out from work and office

All around - the empty space
Is pressing on the keen - collected
Taking pointers - out from work and office

Inside the hall there is small trace
Of anyone to ‘stand corrected'
They're all working - inside work and office

Still curtains drift - in finest lace
The certain eyes not disaffected
Hide behind the lace of work and office

And speakers high in group embrace
Speak on and clap in unelected
Fluffy tones of every Higher Office

[...] Read more

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Chicken Soup

White haired and gay in London
with that determination born
of fleeing from Vienna
A Jew breaking up her life

Her echoing flat crammed
Zed-beds put-u-ups and bedding
in every room and corner Waiting
Visitors always Welcome Welcome
-
The gas and charnel-house
taking her family future
Remaining bones white-lining paths
Crunching underfoot like sea shells
-
A sister an extended cousin to put up
They stayed a while On breezes floated
one sailed to America
one - hollow-centred - to New Zealand
-

[...] Read more

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Californian Poppy

My mother wore Woolworth's perfume
Californian Poppy sweet and heavy
Soir de Paris heady in the afternoons

Her evening spent with my baby brother
in the nursing chair
its low legs concealing the runt puppy
our fingers itched for

Ce soir mon frere ne mange pas
Born after a fall on the beach
after the Irish Ginger Women put her fist
right through our front door glass
he wasn't sure about life

Delivered into my drawer in summer
he had a winter skin For years
when the week-long vest was changed
he wore his clean one on top

[...] Read more

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Demented - failing lives

Thousands sit awake at night
On watch for movements of the day
To hear the creaky-groany boards
The closing door - the moving chair

They estimate what actions keep
The one demented soul awake
And settle only on the loss
Of sound of movement through the wall

Or yet - exhausted - sleep in spite
Of night long wailing out of dreams
A Sisterhood - a Brotherhood
For years their ears attune the need

Which patched and pricked into their soul
Will still advance while there is life
Their life - or life of one they love
In retrospective empathy

[...] Read more

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Lugh

Lugh

Raven and spear and the longhanded Lugh
like Odin equipped into fear
A fightin of Balor in search of the truth
Magician of sling and of spear

A little stone ball entered Balor's droop eye
defeatin Formorii tribes
My Kingdom of Tuatha de Danaan close by
recorded by legend and scribes

In cattleraid country I rescued my son
Cuchullan of Dechtire of Dreams
Whose fifty great women were birds when I'd done
And Dechtire the Bird of my Schemes

My son was accepted in Ulster's best house
The whelp of a Chieftain - the hound
In Cullan's main cattleraid - tired as the cows -

[...] Read more

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Three yards up the road

When your great-great-Grandmother
sold across the brush of cotton
was singing songs of Africa
and working under lash and lock
and yoke the white man slaver set
the child in England shivered

Silently as Dada died or Mama died
she moved to separation from her own
became a Parish burden picking oakum
was sold to northern mills in groups of slaves
locked inside forbidding winter temples
stocking dross the Parish sent away

When your great-great-Grandmother
sold by stronger tribes in Africa
to make them rich and build their acres
to feed the rich man's people hunger
passing cramped across the ocean
watching daily deaths - or hourly

[...] Read more

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