Category Archives: poem

Youthful nights

YOUTHFUL NIGHTS 2021

I sit and watch the man

Crossing the square – where

No one else is to be found

It’s that time of day

When all have departed

All office workers gone

The silence before

The nightlife begins

Rudderless youth stepping out

Putting on the style

All primed with emotional hope

Ordinarily – boy meets girl

Exchanging glances

Like brand-newness personified

In their latest clothes

Bought in the afternoon

Before it all begins and

The traffic lessens

As that other time is reached

When the clubs are frequented

Clubs of differing kinds

But there my knowledge ends

As I have only my era to reflect upon

And much as youth is equipped

With the same senses

The in-thing is often out

No telling the latest craze

Or slang exchanges

Slang words in new forms

Messages exchanged and understood

Laughs aghast and tittering

Some boisterous horsing around

And girls staring at the foolishness

And underneath the longings lie

And their ‘wondering’ still wonders

And the questions randomly picked

From the question-box of life

Are mostly ignored

Answerless

Observance

OBSERVANCE

I hear the words of the widow’s heart

I hear the words of the wordsmith’s interview

I rewind on both

My choice from one to the other

Creating a strange contrast in full view

Such different spirits I perceive

One with humility to breath

The other still wrangling and living the part

                             …

I perceive her loss and saddened heart

I see his tenacity ready to dispute

I see this world of all different types

I see this world still spinning – confused

                              …

Things – here today gone tomorrow

The heat of the moment suggesting pseudo-profundity

While the morrow doth bring a different score

                             …

I hear the wind outside my window

I see sleep approaching all gentle and peaceful

Because of my link with The Divine

                             …

I see the outlaw – perceived to be so

But not so – still they wouldn’t let Him go

                             …

I hear the crackle of the flames

Burning the crackly substance

As the sparks fly upwards – a reminder in tow

That troubled man will ever be so

Until the new dawn breaks in spiritual exposé

                             …

Many will rise and abide

Others into the soil will go until the angels work

                             …

I smell the sweet smell of the popcorn

As the cinema foyer is crossed over

I see the children with boxes of popular corn

They spill out – whilst looking guilty for doing so

With parents paying little attention

                           …

I hear the bells now all electronic

Playing their chiming song to half listening ears

I see the diminished congregation

Glad with relief just to be safe

                           …

I see all change – but no change at all

Outward conformity by hearts still the same

                           …

I see drifting in that wind

Might as well be drifting indefinitely

Until the wind ceases as breath leaves the body

And all embrace the common denominator

Common to man – common to all

‘Common as muck’ we used to say

Meaning something entirely different

Than mud to dust returning

                           …

I see the longing for hope buried and forgotten

By everyday endeavours

As the commonplace

Takes it’s place in uncommon parlance

Elevated to a pseudo-sacred place

                           …

I’m leaving now – ‘farewell…’

Still in this life

To watch and wait

And see the interesting progression

Of our fate

I sat down…

I sat down…

I sat down to stillness

Stillness before the fingers tap the keys

Let the natural brain find it’s course

To run a race of hurdling words

Or gathering a bunch to make the statements

                          …

The last will and testament of mankind

Written all over the world

On hearts of flesh – in chaos and confusion

The creator undermined incessantly

While man holds his ears and cries out

In pleasure or confusion

Not knowing whether to run and hide

Or run for the hills

Out all night on the hillside

                          …

I see – on a stroll through the town

The vagrant’s-assembly of smoke

And alcohol taken

To numb the mind and

Charter a course of no return

                         …

‘Futility!’ cried the preacher and all still cry

Some with a suppressed-cry all muffled

Below their belly and gut

See a man – head in hands like Vincent’s drawing

Sorrow encroaches on each brow

Whether – well-heeled sorrow –

Or homeless vagabond in dismay

                         …

What vision will lift their life?

What hammer will break the chain?

And launch all to the sea of bliss?

What voices still speak and rage and agonise?

What hope does the mere politician-man offer?

As he tries his best while others know better

What speech will he make now

In his short-lived season?

Is there no word back from the front?

Is there an armistice day to lift the gloom?

“What shall we do?” – some did even ask

Is there a better tomorrow for a stare-mad world?

                        …

Questions have formed from the tapping fingers

As stillness returns

A half formed poetry – of snippets

A fully formed stillness comes

At the gentle touch of the Divine

I find no other hope on this side

You too may look and

Make the mistake of trusting in feet of clay

Erecting your idol Dagon and watching it fall to pieces

While you expect the real God to conform

To your limited outlook and appraisal

Abandon now all your cogitations

And fall upon The Rock

And call upon the same…

Time of Night

Nighttime delivery by Ken Riddles

TIME OF NIGHT

It’s that time of night again

The time when one retires

It’s that part of the day again

When the body speaks and seeks

Sleep – the non-productive vibe

Fight it – you will

If the mind is active still

But common sense must prevail

Care for yourself in being sensible

No more mind-working-’til-you’re-ill

So take your rest all flaked-out

Horizontal repose – I suppose

The watchman many moons ago

Sat in his little wooden hut

While the coke [a kind of coal]

Did send it’s distinctive smell

Across the nostrils of ‘out-too-late’ boys

Who joined him

Enamoured with the red glow

Against the houses in a row

What was the conversation then?

I forget – and can’t visit it again

For I am what is referred to as ‘grown-up’

An adult is my title given

Once told I had ‘made it’ now

But old enough to have more sense

Back when night watchmen were innocent too

And no suspicion accompanied their friendly talk

Now all is black as night except for the stars

Of good hearts who have not bowed the knee to Baal

Let’s sit with the watchman and share his sandwich

No turkey dinner – so late at night

But leave him now we will – for even he needs his sleep

Dreams in the noggin

DREAMS IN THE NOGGIN

It was called The Saga Of Noggin The Nog

Nothing to do with a frog

                        …

All stretched out on the deck chair

A passing remark made to a passer-by

His headgear on his noggin

A reminder of said Noggin of old

                        …

Now the eyes of me on the chair

Fell heavily closed

Echoing my folded arms in rhyme

I drifted-off into space

The inner space of cranium control

And as usual all images mix to give

An extended view of the world we live in

But too cool to ignore

Some great imaginations running wild

Books should be written

If only the dream can be prolonged

Or even remembered

That would be an achievement

                          …

But topsy turvy – upside down

Cognitive conferences in the sky of the head

Some dreams reminiscent

Some dreams once in a while

But repeating themselves without invitation

Some dreams worth recalling – some dismissing

Dreams of mixed up fantasy-land

Almost nursery rhymes

With disparate fragments making a whole

Another script or dream-novel or poem

To extol the alternative world of sleep

                           …

Once in a while a divine dream

Sent from above like Joseph received

Or Joseph II – to flee to Egypt

A different trance as Peter did advance

To visit the gentiles and share his message

                          …

Dreams it was written are made of sweet ‘this’

Not this or that

For your dreams will not be mine

‘Cause you tell me you have dreams

Of a different kind

The Expert Instructor

THE EXPERT INSTRUCTOR

The blustery weather set the scene

Raincoats adorned plain to be seen

Collars up for determined advance

Through the grasslands – taking a chance

That all would be well

When destination reached

Fruits of apple, plum, pear and peach

In the hidden garden through the secret path

Only ‘special ones’ stayed for the aftermath

A long session of instruction from the man

Who held the manual in his hand

Only the expert-gardeners dare be here today

Specially chosen to learn with partial dismay

Dismay at the expertise of the master-gardener

Once an architect, artist, bricklayer and carpenter

Now more advanced in knowledge of the soil

Than all the others put together (wrapped in tinfoil)

He gave his final grunt and left them be

To remember his instructions

And pull-up vegetables for tea

Our Life

OUR LIFE

Intense feelings as we began our intertwining

Following the book we read of other things

Of virtue and wholeness and worship

Pure emotion with mutual respect

Got us to our decision of covenant love

                 …

We looked to the hills

The hills of our future life

The horizon lost at times for the present

But all in all and in it all

We kept our bond and journeyed on

With children – three in tow

                 …

We spent our times in family gladness

Everyday thing-ness and small crises overcome

Happiness shone even in discontent

For who can be fully with time when eternity beckons

                 …

On through the years

Decades here – decades there – in this – in that

Gathering with the throng around the throne

                 …

Accepting the next with each decade’s demise

Looking together for the prize

Of the high calling – the anchor of the soul

The strength that permeates our weakness

                 …

The vanity of vanities will not overcome

Because of the undefiled harmless and Holy One

And so it will be as we plan – and so it will be

We are led to understand

That all will meet together to see His Return

We shall be like Him – His beauty to affirm

Posting/composing

POSTING/COMPOSING

Roll up! Roll up! There’s plenty to like

If you don’t like anything then – ‘on yer bike’

Who can force you to embrace all blogs?

Some kind of dictator who has gone to the dogs?

                              …

Free speech is fine and good

Trouble is – it’s a licence for many to be rude

That aside – freedom of speech wins

Even though society democratically sins

Good points – bad points in a democratic system

Don’t go for dictator(ship)

Be glad you’ve dismissed him

                               …

You tap your keys and gleefully post

Hoping for likes and comments and a toast

To your efforts anyway – you’ve given your time

To try to make something that will rhyme/chime

With those who check-in i.e. a common thread

All bloggers enjoy – post the one – you misled

Give us a look at that post of yours

The one you found again on your desktop tours

The one you weren’t sure about

But now – you have no doubt

Where am I going as I compose the next line?

(pause for effect)

… I will just stop there – yes – that will do fine

Giving a Painting

Giving a painting

(Drawing – Communion by Ken Riddles)

Wanted to write to you 

In my sincerity

Wanted to address you

with the respect you are due

                 ..

Wanted to encourage with a hug

Or a pat on the back

Wanted to assure you that

We are both on track

                 ..

Wanted to give you this

Just to say ‘Hi!”

It’s the last one I have

Hope it’s pleasing to the eye

                 ..

My scrawls on paper

Will go down in history

Famous for not being famous

It’s just between you and me

                ..

As I stack ‘em high

Wall to wall pieces of art

Of no significance to buy

But a token of love set apart

                ..

Yes a token of affection

Just a piece of me

To say you’re my friend

And forever you will be

Country Dwelling

Peaceful Day by Ken Riddles

COUNTRY DWELLING

Rising up to climb over

The habitual hill of childhood play

Leaving the wooden seat with a spring to feet

And a dash – still with shirt-tail hanging-out

A man of my age puffing profusely

Yet the brow is reached – I survive

To puff another day – puffing memory

                       …

And now leaning back on arms

thrust back in supporting structure

Made this way by God

Who gave man legs to run up hills

And childhood to roll down the other side

And now leaning back on same hill

I reflect – I check – I do sums of thought

And it was twenty years ago

That my short legs in short trousers

Became sullied from green grass

                      …

The same grass I now lean on

But with a little reflection I quickly come

To remember my first love

Now a fickle memory –

As a greater love I did embrace

But I muse and peruse these visiting memories

                      …

Shuffling through papers on a wooden desk

Kept too long – kept too much

With great pain clearing-up

And thrusting such papers into the bin

I touch two closed eyes with finger and thumb

And sit still –

Sitting on the childhood chair

Big enough for my present –

Almost pleasant bum

                      …

With a rumbling tum I proceed to make a sandwich

Cutting with the same knife I bled with

All those years ago

This my crescendo

I tell you I am

In Dad’s rented paradise – down the lane

Where weekends were lost in bliss

Father and mother gardening-on

While I lived twenty life-styles

As sailor – as pirate – as cowboy with a gun

and so on

You will not be returning

YOU WILL NOT BE RETURNING

When words are long gone

[The words of men

Can’t be prolonged]

Oh yes – up to the end of life

Or the end of time maybe

But swallowed up of life – you’ll see

The Life of the Creator

Who will one day appear

To take away this limited sphere

Knowing in part

As you all know

Isn’t enough for the deeper things

As eternity beckons all of us – to flee

This scene of time and temporality

                       …

I won’t say

“I told you so”

Because “I told you so”

Will be long gone

Into the sphere

Of the heavenly throng

                      …

So get taken-over by

The Saviour of men

You will not be returning

to this scene as

presently seen

– again

What’s going on in boxes?

What’s going on in boxes by Ken Riddles

What’s going on in boxes? 2021

All our earthly goods going into boxes

Boxes on boats going up the Amazon

The Amazon has broken it’s banks

There’s a flood of boxes to our doors

                         …

Gone are the High times in those stores

No more High streets to explore

All tied-down are those boxes in their queue

Dropping off and dropped off to us

As we look out our window and see another two

                         …

What’s going on in boxes?

Less plastic – means more boxes to view?

Amazing boxes tracked-right-through

Amazon driving by – Amazon in the sky

                         …

What’s going on in boxes? – smugglers try

All kinds of ways to fool the law

Gleeful receptions from Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Gaw

Boxes jumped into by cats – kids love the box

Forgetting the toy rabbit – whilst losing another sock

                         …

What’s going on in boxes?

Amazing boxes sturdy and secure

I think outside the box – and procure

Another delivery – Alexa already knew

I would be receiving it at half-past-two

                         …

What’s this thing about boxes?

YouTube and a grand unboxing

As though it was the opening of Parliament

We’re meant to be glued to the TV screen

Supposed to learn from the unboxing theme

I mean how hard is it to open a box?

Has our boredom taken over the planet?

A channel on unboxing –

Sponsored by those who run it

                        …

When entertainment is unboxing a game

We’ve lost the plot – it’s such a shame

Still – whatever floats your boat

Down the Amazon – boxes galore

What’s going on in boxes? – like I asked before

                        …

Are they all made out of ticky-tacky?

Hoarders houses cleared by boxes on the floor

All boxed-books disappear out the door

                        …

If you know what’s going on with boxes

Please let me know

Another box has arrived – with driver in tow

                        …

I try to sign the thing that is electronic

If I was a drinking man

I’d reach for another gin and tonic