Further examples of Timothy Savage’s poetry can be found at All Poetry.com

 

A Tall Tale

The Eucalyptus at the end of garden,
when my daughter was young it was
only my height but now like a NASA
mission it reaches upon the moon.
Its high leaves tickle a lunar surface.

A squirrel busy, nibbles high branches,
surely he needs a space suit it is a long
way to go for him to bury his hoard where
the dust is so fine and easy on his claws.

He sways a while then descends so fast,
I fear he may get the bends in the pressure
of low Earth atmosphere. He lands sprite
upon the grass, runs into bushes, speed and
lunacy, a delightful sight for a plodding
human, who granted can get to reach orbit
but the costs are almost unbearable.

So that is the tail of my furry explorer,
moonshine enchants inquisitive eyes,
that sparkle into stars and still we believe
we are the only real life on planet Earth.

That’s why the moon often hides in my
Eucalyptus, he likes his tummy tickled.

 

A piece of fun with hints of importance threaded in.  © Jul 2022

 

An Uncivil Stain (English Civil War)

Early mist hangs on church yard Yews
shrouding roof and tower to new mourning.
A big iron key rattles its Norman oak door
my father’s chill fingers uncurl for the lights.

‘Must be a new priest visiting for prayer,
old style vestments, strange, oblivious to the
squeaky door’. A bleak figure quietly mutters,
whimpers from chancel to a short vestry trial.

‘With a welcoming heart for a visitors comfort,
where can he be and where had he gone?’
All is locked, Gods building an empty silence.
Windows lighten as twilight gives to daylight.

Mysterious patterns of resurrection project
familiar colors over the cold gravestone floor.
A creak of rope untwines the forgotten pages,
of a priest hung from the tower by Cromwell’s
men, high on sanctuaries totem, a rotten warning.

Could this be him the whimpering priest of
old church record left to dangle for years.
Gone now that chained bone rattle of wind
only his unresolved spirit still stirs holy aisles.

My father was Vicar at the Church of St Thomas in Exeter in the 1960’s. He entered the Church in the early hours to make things ready for an early service. He unlocked the Church door and locked it behind him and switched on the lights to see a priest in very out of date dress walking silently up the isle toward the vestry. He followed to welcome him to the Church and went into the vestry but no one was there. He then realized the place had been locked all the time so there was no way in or out and nothing had been stirred. Intrigued he went through old Church records an found a formerly Catholic Church Vicar had been hung from the Church tower by Cromwell’s men.    © Apr 2022

 

The Old Clock

The old clock in the hall ticks without end.
At night it echoes through hallways, leaks
through doors unsettles bedroom quiet.

Sometimes a comfort, sometimes a pain.

It was once my Grandfathers and he would
wind it every Sunday morning before going
to Church to take morning service.

Sometimes a comfort, sometimes a pain.

I remember seeing my father check his hair
before leaving the house in the morning in
a clear reflection from its glass.

Sometimes a comfort, sometimes a pain.

Now I start to see my father looking back
my hair and wrinkles a mimic of his drawn
in the walnut lines of my face.

Sometimes a comfort, sometimes a pain.

I still wind it on a Sunday morning hear
its mechanism enthuse, ticking unfaltering
so many moments of so many lives.

Sometimes a comfort, sometimes a pain.

Life measured in a clocks reflection where
every second holds our lives in its grasp
ticks a hymn to every life that’s lived.

Sometimes a comfort, sometimes a pain.

Grandfather’s time ticks a length of all being.
Sometimes a comfort, sometimes a pain.

 

I was interested in writing about a clock that gave the time and reflection of lives. © Mar 2022

 

Find your way

Raise your vision to the space beyond trees.

Look deep in a well see spirits’ reflection
in dark waters.

Plant a flower bulb to brighten our future.

Tread quietly in the woods listen to the play
and turmoil life can bring.

Set your mind free like dust in sunbeams.

Regale the Great Silent Spirit and
understand your path and reason for being.

 

A meditative spiritual poem for the journey of life. © Mar 2022

 

Future Vision Perhaps

She walks his premonition, blue
dress and a dainty sunshade hang,
their child a shining whiteness.
All that remains of them now in
long grasses of blood red flowers.

She wonders amongst the poppies,
so many, she yearns to find her beau.
Wind bends long stalks, whistling his
favorite tune, he must be close “hear
him child, he calls to us”.

They search, but there are so many
obliterated, never to be found.
Scattered beneath the Flanders soil.
The sun is shining, the air fresh.
Van Gogh paints more flowers.

Future hell captured by red blooms,
remembered on forever’s canvas. White
Clouds portray our insular countries
separate in ocean blue skies, capture
our long still haunting struggles.

 

A painting by Van Gogh captures a possible vision of a coming World War 1. © Feb 2022

 

A deadly night

October’s end brought a howling chill,
wind hurled relentless blizzard. Ground
in graveyards a deep covered shroud
of white, epitaphs lay concealed, a Yew
tree hung, in shaded dark poison regret.

Moon shone over crystal glistened cowl,
midnight came, covered all by blackest
cloud, white bone fingers protruded
like icicle spears, scattered snow dust into
tempests, whistled tunes into rising ribs.

The music of darkness had begun its
call for any lost feral souls reached into
frost. Grasp any of God’s intended, perhaps,
and be rewarded, by a new and evil life.
Icing snow now reeked of blackest spirit bile.
Then Luna struck, beamed in every disquiet.

A million dancing rattled skeletons now
caught suddenly visible dissolved, the
cold wind turned to a breeze. Shadows
shrank back into sad unnatural lairs
among Elm root tunnels to the hollows.

Sun rose bright morning through the trees.
Snow melted quickly, icy maleficent gone.
Slush turned in muddy grave disturbance.
Stigmata scars on holy ground as sunlight
smiled warmth into our every darkness.

Halloween again, as if the world needs more horrors. Tried to give the whole thing a slightly different spin.  © Oct 2021

 

Ancient amber glows with shadows
long swallowed life, in spits of fire
where lost tombs of history enchant.

Tears of pine tree give forever graves
to preserved unwary victims contorted
upon huge single elephant trunk trees.

These great gray giants lie riven
by greed triggered aimless fingers
hyena chew bone sun bleach epitaphs

of noble family creatures wasted. 100
million year paths no longer followed.
No amber sunset for posterity’s wonder.

© Sep 2021

 

Fishing for life

When young he was in awe of the Sea,
saw men, so confidently rule her crests,
the deep eye filled valleys of her guts.
He soon became such a man, to face
her spirited gales and becalming beauty
but knew she could be his tyrant wild,
whose tempers turned upon an instant.
Reading changes of weather or current
from horizons distant edge unwrapped
primal senses, lowered or raised sail,
gripped firm, determination’s rudder,
held fast through water board torments.

Rough thick barnacled lines cut deep his
tortured hands, reveal every lurid struggle.
Marlin, Tuna, last flap gasps of mortality,
accepted better the end than he ever could.
The creator and his thoughts of him lay
leaden in his mind, to know any surprise
may be the last, an acceptance of such
inevitable accountability made him smile,
enjoy the taunts of oceans saline stings
whip like sails his weathered hardened
face, eyes of blue diamond fire saw past
night veiled clouds, to follow his final star

 

This picture is by Turner, one of my favorite artists – a poem of life struggle in a picture. © Jun 2021

 

Belgian Winter, Ypres 1917

In Novembers dour bleach
winters freeze cuts deep the
flesh by bayonet wind howl.
Concrete mud of limb and
shatter so many moments
lost to forever’s misty recall.

Sitting for a chat and icy tea
ears rung in all night horrors
that would bury survivors in
forever. He picks a German
button from frozen silt, all
that’s left of vaporized life.

Men talked all night filling
precious time before morns
inevitable nightmare rattles
when they would again bite
the gristle of ‘over the top’
or face bullets of disgrace.

He thought of his new wife
at home and how he wailed
inside by dreams too sharp.
He cleaned his gun again for
distraction from his tortured
mind. First glimmers of dawn
light welcome the unwanted
mourning of shell pit shadow.

The following day still alive
he faced his greatest horror
and regret. One live round
between them, cowardice the
greatest sin. A blindfold teen,
barely weaned, uniform too big,
slumps on a wooden post, light
‘Cracks’ an unforgivable day.

 

My Grandfather survived this terrible war. From all the conflicts he suffered the one that upset him the most was the shooting of young men for cowardice  some only 12 or 13 yrs old who had lied about their age but never expected the carnage and horror that would greet them. Official figures show the youngest was 17 but my Grandfather said some were much younger who had lied about their ages to join, there was considerable pressure on young men to join the services at home, and he was there. © May 2021

 

The Chartwell Robin

I walked with Laura through the twist
turned apple trees, down the grassy
slope toward the Studio, escape with him,
the greatest tyrannies, flight untethered.

The owner planted this now deep rooted
orchard shade, cooling hot summers ardour.
Flitting from a solar beam the caretaker of
this grove, lands resolute on laden branch.

Rotund, agile, red chest proudly pumped
he stands, looks, winks an eye, chirps
attention. A guardian spitfire pilot perhaps,
pleased to find a friend, a tiny beak recalls.

Small brown eyes absorb every aspect
of my being, is it some genetic recall
recognized the father in his child who
sheltered here in rankled, deadlier times?

The beauty of season’s crisp fresh apple
crunched the ever drones of distant thunder.
Fear for parents left, absent from a snake-less
Eden of Newton, Turner, Bramley and plum.

I feel awareness in the brown bead sparkle
of a knowledge we struggle to grasp. As we
walk he stays close, tree to tree. I will
ever reflect this long, tortured era of loss.

A great man and leader who stood, firm
as oak when the best about were fallen, I see
him in the brave intuitive Robin, carer of a
fruitful orchard, to Churchill’s inspired view.

This poem won a UK National Trust poetry competition. The 4th and 5th stanzas refer to children from central London housed in country houses, including Chartwell to avoid the bombings that were dropped indiscriminately and relentlessly. The Robin was an experience I had walking through the Orchard and took this picture of him. The Studio is Churchill’s, separate from the house,  garden cottage where he went to paint and relieve his stresses. He loved to paint The Studio is now a gallery of his works. © May 2021

 

Endangered Species

The Panda often
viewed the musty garage
but never entered.
Like his owner
his door left wide, worldly open
he never made it in.
Jack Daniels safe,
She is safe, winks at driver,
long ago scarpered, now safe.
all have a different view in the endo.

Brevity 46 words. Entry in Papa’s brevity competition. © Apr 2021      

 

Base Camp

We have a long and mountainous journey,
steep stony tracks, bottomless escarpments.

Our smokes struggle in a thinning air.

Donkeys suffer under our unnecessary loads
hooves slide on grip hungry moraine paths.

Our smokes struggle in a thinning air.

Sun a death glow behind black granite teeth
we move above snow line into starlight realms.

Our smokes struggle in a thinning air.

I wonder on tiny pinpoint light curled in a life
given smoke, insular numb wonder, eternal gasps.

Our smokes cough in a thin freezing air.

Suddenly the lights of being, unload the mules,
raise the canvas, shiver into sleeping bags.

‘No smokes in tents’, we did in that frosted air.

From cold comforts thin, I dream under nights
star flicker mountain peak I will soon encounter.

I wake too early, busy shouts as first teams gather
under the infinite, I gasp the energy sublime.

Our early smoke thickens air in destitute lungs.

Donkeys huddled, legs a shiver, ‘only take what
you must’, we walk, absorbing constellations.

 

A journey to touch the stars. © Mar 2021

 

Dad

Long time gone, I hack a lost path
through trees dense over growth,
a haphazard wild tangle of those
once young, now tall entangled.

A fragile track of unkempt debris
of so many littered years, I walk,
snagged by briers clawing hands
of time to find you fishing, feet

Dangled in the black waters at the
end of the wooden jetty. I call to you,
as you turn toward me you disappear,
a time rotten pier to memory drowned.

 

My father suffered from Alzheimer’s badly in his latter years which robbed him from his family who loved him dearly. © Jan 2021      

 

A Quiet Prayer

Two minutes silence digs deep
muddy trenches in the mind
where I fall to darkest shadow.
Endless dying groans, screams
drowned in death churned mud.

Then the gas constricting choke
amidst a panic for fumbled lost
masks. Bullets, shrapnel, gully
young lives into mother’s tears, a
much loved photo of cherished
lover’s memory, buried in mud.

For the great silence no ceremony
or poppy distracts our vision, no
trumpet sounds for quiet vigil just
a huge space between long ticks
of clock drown us in a timeless mud.

This poem has recently been published in a book of WW1 poems and memories sold by Amazon called ‘Fragments of Remembrance, Finding lost boys’  A beautiful publication with three of my WW1 poems included plus some wonderful memories and illustrations.

I wrote this today about the First War as we sat in silent memory at home. No ceremony of poppies and military bands at London’s Cenotaph, no speeches’  because of the Covid lockdown.    © Nov 2020

 

A Harvest of Souls

Late autumn, cold black
churchyard trees enchant
the hymnal winds to song.
Bony twig fingers vibrate
electrify dark air’s fabric.

A Fox Moon sniffs horizons
hills. Grave yards tremor in
delight as grass peels from
fleshless soil. Battered bones
rise, skeletal shadows stretch.

Spirits past, dance redundant
frames, as haunting music
rattles a deathly trance, the
living become the hunted. A
shy fox withdraws to daylight.

68 words in 3,  5 line stanzas – for Dark Images contest by Andrew Lawson. © Oct 2020      

Sunrise

The sun’s color headdress
raises red, orange feathers
vivid colors on molten sea
melt into wet glow sand.
A small crab scurries the
shoreline perhaps running
from a massive shadow.

Gulls fly haphazard forms
squawking all to coming
day. Praising the magic
of the new to dwellers
of land and sea. Tiniest
worms pop air bubbles to
celebrate a miracle dawn.

Even people, not busy,
step from prom to beach,
to relish a special wonder.
Then the sun grows into
white inferno to bring us
a perfect day. All hearts skip
in eternal awe and wonder.

© Sep 2019    

 

 

Black Mamba

After warming under
the heat of Africa’s
intense morning sun
every muscle and
sinew ripples into
perfect irrepressible
form.

A line of lifting crisp
Baobab leaves barely
rise into whisper, he
slides quickly, out of
sight. His unseen
tongue flicks, senses
every life.

Fourteen feet long no
animal or sane man
should approach this
elapid of primeval
nightmare. He reaches
a clearing where rhino
chew dry grass.

Looking in panic at this
creature its black mouth
hissing and quickly run
in fear as the buffalo do.
His venom gives adult
men twenty minutes of
nerve capitulation.

He can catch a fit man
with ease and rear up
over six feet to strike.
The only snake known
to attack unprovoked, he
watches celluloid flicker,
snap to black.

This is a fearsome snake which kills a lot of people in Africa every year, it can be very aggressive, all animals even lions are scared of it. The only creature to confront it, not always successfully, is the mongoose which people used to keep in their gardens when I was a child growing up in East Africa. © Apr 2019

 

Pelican

What a regal bird a pelican,
where hangs a gin soak chin.
He stands where he pleases
within his superior air, easily
generated by massive wings.
Slippery glints of silver held
within his blue blood gullet.
He eyes my fish dinner from
his wooden veranda watch,
viewing me like a goldfish
through a restaurant window.
A master of air and water, but
he knows to up and flap away.
See him fly deep bellied over
waters reflection on slow most
confident foils then swoop up
to a distant whale boned tree.
Where head back he satisfies
his endless rumble and settles
to roost way above the riffraff.

© Mar 2019    wildlife   

 

image description

The Nile

Two roots meet in a great conjoining
like old friends of the market place.
One raised in Ethiopia the other from
deepest Africa the back slapping and
excitement reduces into chatter as a
new river runs slow and smooth to
Aswan’s rude obstruction, leeching a
great river’s power to light all Egypt.

Now it cuts a green and fertile valley,
that feeds an ancient people’s hunger.
Huge sandstone cliffs, honeycombed
in marrow-less tombs of fossil bone, its
feet dip the ever running staple of life.
Old castle ruins millennia old look down
on my tourist boat lulling me to Cairo.
Here I see the last surviving wonder of
old world still inspiring and mystical.

My belief that they are older, built by
advanced peoples of yesteryear is still
unwavering and I ask myself why we try
so hard to deny our greater past. When
covered in polished white limestone they
would have inspired true awe and majesty
visible from space. The stones massive,
rise so high, set to the exact position of
the stars in Orion’s belt 12, 000 years ago.

The river runs on to the delta and the sea
Leaving me to wonder in Cairo about our
past so very conspired and misunderstood.

© Oct 2018    history

There is no greater span

The Nile, Blue and White, longest river
in the world runs every span of our time
from Lake Victoria to Mediterranean sea
through equator’s jungles to Namibian
antiquity and on to the jugular of Egypt.

Look across these fire quench waters that
sustain the greatest reflections of our past,
all the waters of Earth have ventured these
silted banks a thousand times. Clap your
hands and hear the echoes of so many lives.

Deepmindedpoet001 Competition entry © Oct 2020

 

Poppy

Red sways in ochre and green
following sun’s unwitting smile.
To blush this land with guilt,
so many a far off, lonely heart.

Fed to soils churned from depth,
scars from field to splintered tree.
Here shrapnel flies a breach in time
to pierce grandchild’s lonely heart.

Old concrete bunkers crumble,
shocked moments etched in grass.
Listen hard as breezes remember
every stem murmurs a pain of heart.

People missing from families bring generations of regret and loss.

This poem has recently been published in a book of WW1 poems and memories sold by Amazon called ‘Fragments of Remembrance, Finding lost boys’  A beautiful publication with three of my WW1 poems included plus some wonderful memories and illustrations.

People missing from families bring generations of regret and loss. © Jul 2018

Eagle

Hatched from a root cleft
of incisor black,
mountain teeth, slicing
altitudes ice powder winds.

Stretched on the uplift
of oceans rising spirits
I saw all that curled upon
the marble of her wary eye.

And from there I saw an island
a jewel of the eternal sea.
Too close, I felt the clock hand,
arrow her downy breast.

In my arms she drew last air
From the chasms of my grief.
Rudely awoken upon
the visions of her dreaming.

Captured in a moment
between the dark and light.
The nucleic colour of ancients
blooms in a garden to the stars.

© Sep 2011

 

 

Feathers on Water

Gunshot cracks a misty morning air,
a mirror broken into an exploding chaff
as small birds, shriek into atmosphere.
Then geese and swan run upon the splash,
wings outstretched too wide to flap,
faster, faster into sprint as inch by inch
they rise in a terrified cacophony,
beaks wide sucking fuel into fired muscle,
beating air appeals to the returning Sun.

But there behind them, unseen
amongst shadows of glazing water,
lost feathers in a last dance regatta,
fleeing the approaching retriever,
spurred on a cold lick of early breeze.

I don’t agree with the use of guns on any animal for sport. © Aug 2011

 

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