Awarded poems that form part of this collection ...Pebbles In The Pond
Collected Poems by David Drew-Smythe
Click medal for awards/publishing -

This collection represents a sample of work created and edited over several years. Original poems from 'Candlesong' and 'Heartbeats' are included here. Some of the poems have been published - others are new - but all of them are fragments of a moment - the ripples created when a pebble drops into a pond; although the ripples fade, the time remains.

The words are set free to find their own mark - collective strings connecting hearts and minds. Some connect, several fall short of the mark; but if just a few echoes remain then these pages are justified.

All poems © David Drew-Smythe 2002. It is illegal to copy this work. No poem - whether in part or in whole - may be reproduced in any public forum in any medium without permission or by contract. Contact may be made via e-mail address > idds at bigfoot.com

Carpe Diem
Don’t let time play the thief with the precious moments of our lives by sitting still and wishing for the moon, when, all along, the moon belongs to us. We have a string, like a child’s balloon, to keep it on.
 
Shall we build boxes round our lives and dance a dirge as we let our shadows lead the lives we want to lead?
Shall we lie bleeding, burned and battered after the bomb has fallen and regret we didn’t taste the cake we meant to bake had butchery not interceded and fried the recipe we saved?
 
Let’s need because we love and not love because we need.
Share wisdom, wine and folly, an hour, a year, a lifetime; who’s to say?  But let us love. We need only to believe.
Footprints In The Sand
 
Where the salt sea air caught your spun-gold hair, there was fire.
Bushes flamed on the hillside inside the sunset where you passed
and the wild sea winds snatched up your words then cast them to eternity.
You stood against the dipping sun, against the darkening sky,
as seagulls gathered at your shoulder like snowflakes, distilled,
teased by the wind above the ocean.
Quartz cracks cried like milk and glistened off the island
to the slate black crags and the sea-shocked rocks beyond Llangranog.
So time was held for us as the turning tide returned its memory
to wipe away our footprints in the sand.
Excuses
 
Don't get angry at my fallibility.
Shall we sit down?
 
Stand then: I shall sit and refusing one of yours
will smoke a crumpled one of mine.
Your virgin pack should have no truck with me.
 
Why was I late?
Time ran out.
 
I was behind and, so intent on remembering ,
forgot the present for your birthday.
 
I may give you this instead.
Hold The Ether
 
To know me, ask my name: it will tell you little.
To love me, stand back: when I am ready, I will love.
Love every day,deeply, differently, heart and soul.
Change horses for each fence.
 
To touch me reach out: I am waiting
but forgive me if I mistrust.
A butterfly is the same.
My beating wings are for the sun
and not the net which threatens to descend.
 
I will not die in some ether jar
to be pinned out, admired and dead.
That is no epitaph.
But, rather, seek to sip the nectar
from the flowers on the way.
That is my intent.
Yours too,
I trust.

Will You Share?

Will you be life’s silken sandpaper; enigmatic? Will you share the noise of daytime or - in silence - nightimes, saying nothing, content to be? To be as two yet one the same, each unique, uniquely formed but spilling over to each other, splashing life with life, harvesting? Will you plant like for like, love for love, given freely, unreserved and unconditional?  Given, not beholden nor behoven?

Will you share the faintest touch of clothing as we pass or sit knee to knee at a table, toe on toe, sharing coffee spoons, skin on skin, the rough with the smooth? Will you share the day after the night before when acid dregs lie in the bucket, telling tales of weakness played out in bravado?  Will you share the headache, the heartache of being contradicted or contradicting when we’re driven to distraction by a stubborn will which clamours, right is right?

Will you share the fragments of a broken dream, the rage, the failure among the pieces?  Will you share late night languishing over lost art that will not come or ride the priest of passion that explodes in anger; the bloody rose, the trampled daffodil?  Will you soothe the fast frustration that lingers in the soul, festering doubt, needing to bleed the poison from the wound?  Will you suck the wound and share the poison, spit out bitterness: spit on gold?

Will you share the devils, demons, fears and phantoms who lie in wait among the cobwebs of memory - all those ghost-regrets, mumbo-jumbo things which brick up the conscience - the pangs, the pricks, the tricks of circumstance that never forgive? Will you share the cerebral skeleton dance, the closet tarantella, claustrophobic and madly, wildly mad; frenzied in so little space, cracking cranium, soft skulled, splitting hairs between what is madness and what is just mildly mad?

Will you share belief, brush lips to kindle fire, let fire surge through blazing veins to a body burning to be kissed, caressed, touched to the quick - all breast-surging, urgent breathing - beasts who babble harmonic grunts, who pigsqueal passion to please the man in man and the woman in woman; the female he and the man in she? Will you hold when holding’s needed but let loose when fancy flies free?  Be full of trust and in the understanding of love, enough to stay unthreatened?

Will you believe when others doubt or mock or try to shock you out of your belief? Will you take equal shares in the universal truth, the leveller, who plainly states that, as we lie in the aftermath of love, we'll still look ridiculous with just our socks on?

Ego/Id
 
I have a cupboard in my mind
Where I lock away my desire
To shoot a mouse with a shotgun
Or electrocute the cat,
Stuff the dog
Or put the goldfish in bleach
To see if it turns whiter than white.
But I have a special shelf,
Fireproof and waterproof,
Where I keep a gun to shoot myself
If I should open the cupboard.
Nightstallion
 
Uncertainty
In the half-light
Bred a sterile stallion
To cover nightmare's ready loin.
Sire
Of mirror images,
In the dawning light,
Half reflected
Roller-cutting rowels
On spurs jog-jangling
Down
Another Rotten Row.
Savage unsatisfied bellowing;
Hind-quarter hooves, alternate,
Battering
Broke the bridleways of thought,
Smashed the glass of being
And bled out sensibility
In troubled wakening.
The highwayman of dreams
Uncoupled from a seedless mate
And melted
Into the fertile mind
To take his place in the arid waste
Of another morning's stabling.
Child's Power
 
If
I tear the wing
from a fly
it dies
in circles spinning
without hope.
 
I did it once.
 
One wing
sang its spin
in swansong to the floor.
 
Ego
Iago, crushed it out of life
and my conscience beneath my boot.
Better To Travel
 
In life we live
on the verge of technicolour,
reaching out
for the unreachable,
knowing if the wish came true
we'd unfurl a fuller-bellied sail,
because we travel
in fear of unfulfilled arrival.
 
In death we almost made it;
but in the making was the point.

Jeg kan godt live ...

Jeg kan godt live uden dig men jeg vil helst ikke - for the light that shines was a light loved and a light loved was a light lost. The light lost was the kiss of Spring and the kiss of Spring was the Summer sun. The sun of Summer was a love missed and a love missed was the final cost.

Dear, gentle, friend and lover, you were my mirror in confusion. We can never uncry what was cried nor untie what was tied. Our reflection was truth, not lies. Because of other lovers our tomorrows died. No regrets now, save unfinished conversations and a question mark - save years to make some sense of sorrows which touched us both - save four lives collided - two lands divided - hearts spun apart to find rescue in other spheres.

If we peel away the years and say it is forgotten - if we let it simply fade without a word - then we have lived a life in so short a space for so much nothing. I need to thank you for our time. You need to know I loved you. I loved you then, I have loved you since and love you still. Though you may share it with another - my love will linger with you long after the life in me is gone.

Echoes

Mute land and solitude.
Moonlight flight of Mallard
flash beyond the pond
and tell-tale ripples
ebb.
Soft footfall
on Autumn leaves.
A Thrush sings
in December.
A Blackbird bakes
at dusk.
Cattle pulling grass in the darkness.
The sound of sea on shingle
and voices.
Always voices.
Ding Dong Bell
 
In their play, I have my part:
Ding dong bell ...
Teacher go to Hell.
A wrecker on the set.
Simply Scrooge to spoil the fun.
 
My coffee cup is empty
But they are brimming with ideas.
So much is just beginning.
 
I prowl the corridors,
Blow up the budding Waynes
And raise the ersatz dead.
 
To a groan and with a groan,
I bring the curtain down
On a certain Oscar.
Drake
 
From bank to bank
The Long Pond glitters
Through a thin-veined veil,
Littered up with clumps of feathers,
Brooding,
Heads in wings.
But one old drake
Will not brook
This impertinence.
He struts, fretful as a colonel,
Across the frozen waste
And tests each crack and crevice
For a break.
Which found,
He quacks triumphant orders
To muster minions
Who march in line astern
Towards his victory.
Puffed up proud,
He waits for the first soft plop
Of reclamation.
 
I Know You
 
I know you.
You are the one with a thousand faces:
You are the moment and the past.
 
I knew you once.
You were the one with the bamboo mind:
Always bending and imagination.
 
I will always know you.
You are the one who touched me;
Just once.
Autumn
 
A leaf
In weeks will grow old;
A dead rat hanging from the tree.
As the juice of time passes by
It will wither and mould
Lying in the gutter.
On the lawn,
Scattered and tossed by each wind
Will jump and flutter
To its own destruction.
Lord Of The Dance
 
"Dance, dance, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance," said he.
We are both in the dance of Life.
We waltz, pirouette
And fall arse over tip.
You can keep your Two-step
And your Twist:
No matter who our partner is,
We'll both be lying on the floor,
Broken-backed emotionless.
Brief Encounter
 
Eye catches eye refracted:
Smile
To smile retracted.
Each picture fragmented
Changes
For the next meeting.
 
We rub shoulders in a crowd,
Jostle
In a queue
Or pass along the other side
Because we did not meet a mutual friend.
 
Shall we not touch each other
In some way
Before we part?
 
Let's embrace with our prefatory, hello.
To touch with hands,
Mingle fingers
Or meet lip on lip
Is as easy as to touch with words
When we may never meet again.
Dawn
 
Liquid on the hilltop
Drawn with morning mane flown out,
Its cantering sparks racing-plates from the dew.
Powdered breath proud nostrils push out
To part the mist and set the dawn on fire.
Here, this April dayrise, is one such mate for you.
With the dew-beat of your hooves
My morning,
Not yet moulded, meek mechanics,
Breathes
And for a while
Cheats the hum-drum day.
Shooting The Fox
 
As a child, I killed rabbits in the corn
Or broke the necks of Seatrout in the stream
And dreamed I was a hunter.
But here,
Now ...
Now, as the trees shift shadows,
I am haunted by my doubts.
Twigs crack to cock my trigger.
My slant-eyed goddess of the undergrowth
Creeps low, watched and waiting.
The moment:
Muzzle wavers.
Fingers tingle:
Now? Is it now?
Unnerved. Too sudden!
The night explodes.
Too late to suck back shot
Or stifle sound
As the thunder shocks
And pellets rock my fox
By the duck house door.
She stops and stares.
Who dares?
Then drops
Like a beggar's bundle.
Dead.
The fox was shot last night.
Oh, ducks, rejoice.
I shall clean my gun and dream again.

Mother's Trunk Discovered

In the half light of the attic
the leather trunk sits long forgotten
with its contents cobweb festooned;
the playground of mini-beasts
who feast on swollen pages
part damp and disarrayed.
 
Now, your memories, cocooned in dust
from the daily débris of so much life,
speak secrets in their innocence.
 
Father's love letters
once so carefully preserved
pop out with faded photographs
breaking bonds of sticky bands
quite decayed and in confusion
to mingle with the treasures of your youth.
 
This is your legacy come home
after forty years in limbo.
This is your essence distilled.
This is all the sum of us.

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