July 2018 IBPC entries


Congratulations to Gracy, JJ, & Laurie !!!  B-) ;;)  


by Gracy 


Wind whispering in the pines,
dandelions and a four-leaf clover;
silver summer evenings
when the heat is over;
a pair of swallows on their way to nest, 
I love them best.

And your hand in mine,
with the burnished wedding-ring,
us two alone
enjoying the breeze,
I cannot imagine anything more fine. 
My world is at ease.


by JJ 

I climbed to Rydal Cave on Hallows Eve,
passing herdwicks as they snorted on the fellside.
A rush of pipistrelles and the scrape of boots on gravel 
disturbed the silence. I narrowed my dawn eyes, 
smiled at my wariness and feigned composure.

Ghost fish schooled in the clear cave pool. I stared 
at the glide of cold life emerging to meet first light,
felt their loneliness and understood isolation.

“It’s cold this hour, my dear”,
said a voice from the back of the mine,
“but not so cold as this green slate. Come into my house,
my timid boy, and feel the wet rock, explore
the strata of my home, layered by ancient seas
when the moon was young. Touch my chilled bed, my love”.

I stood motionless, examined the blackness then dared
to walk, aware of a rising stream of anger. I slowly crossed 
seven stepping stones and cried out, 
“I’m coming to cool my hands on your slate, or warm
them on your breath, my friend”.

“Then come”, sighed the darkness.

The cave attached its gloom. 
Deeper into the murk I walked, skirting the walls
and black heights, moving carefully over the slick floor
to where the air was heavy and dank.

“Where are you” ? I called, and probed the rocks, 
flaying my arms through a fit of petulance when icy drops, 
dripping from the roof tapped my head and nose. Yet still her voice 
refused to answer, refused to answer as Rydal stirred.

How many times I pleaded with darkness
I can not say, and I don't know when her lure snagged me,
but I descended from Loughrigg Fell and Rydal Cave,
unanswered, abandoned to the nightmares
of childhood, a youth with all my fears.

Sixty winters have thawed since then, and still
I call to her, dream of her, and remember her invitation.
Every time I pass the cave entrance, a fire in me returns
to that lonely day with the fish, when the shadows
spoke. Perhaps this was the cavewight’s intent.

You can hear the locals speak of an old man 
with a wracked cast, who walks the path every day, 
a hermit type who whispers to the cave. They call him
the Waif of the Grotto, the fool who is fit for the grave.


by Laurie 

The day that man allows true love to appear, those things which are well made
will fall into confusion and will overturn everything we believe to be right and true. 
― Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

I never wander far from the smoky streets of home where fog drifts
and settles, smothers windows and clings to panes. Voyeur-mist, 
I can see through it to a luscious life. The women are not whores

as I suggested, just not interested in me. I write them as cerebral,
art and literature is their pursuit. I write myself as a character-poet,
a failed Don who lusts after these willowy untouchables, yet I 

would settle for a dishy-siren with a tail. A water nymph of courtly
fable does know how to finally shut up and seduce good men into
leaving home. I could marry a girl like that. She will adore me.

Bespectacled, respectable me. I am a little weird, I admit with
my penchant for Montecristoes and the taste for an expensive Roe.
It would be simpler if she is human with the proper appendages.

I shall run an advert. Yanks here know all about Craig’s List.
Social Media I think they call it, I am in a hurry to catch up.
Some group, the Beach Men or some such, a jingle on my

Faceblog page, I dare say I can do this thing. Do you like
peaches or mangoes, I shall ask. Getting soaked in the brine?
Do you adore salty nectar on the rim of a glass? Do you walk

the beach as I do? I have no fashion sense but I can learn. I shall
supply you with embroidery thread. You can make our commitment
to barefoot trysts a permanent endeavor. Dear Girl, I want nothing 

more than for you to share my love of Wagner. It matters not 
if you do not sew or darn. I am well versed in domestic pursuits
and can brew a mean Tequila Sunrise and spin lemon curd as well. 

I am a romantic but can be pragmatic, even earnest. I am a good catch.
You see, I am a crusty old thing, a bachelor after all. I do have pity
for crabs, lobsters, all crustaceans really. They, despite their hard exterior

have a beating heart, the love of a sea garden. All they want 
is companionship and possibly solitude. Have I mentioned I go for therapy? 
I have odd neurotic habits. I fear doorknobs and rejection. 

If you are a siren will this be the love that dare not speak its name?
I yearn for a normal life not just as a cup with a broken handle 
but as a couple. See how clever I can be? I should mention I have great

hair. The bald spot is being made redundant. Little Darling, will you comb
the beach of life with me? I have the desire for a rich, contented future.
I want a happy end for us both. One that doesn’t result in a bitter

stew, a late-life divorce, the black kettle singing merrily
on the stove and you and I, potted, circling round one another
warily, butter slightly chilled and waiting on the table.  



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