Tag Archives: Poetry

Heart of a Snowman


Heart of a Snowman.

By David Milligan-Croft.

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Imagine yourself as a snowflake –

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One of billions

Of unique hexagonal prisms

Falling from the sky.

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Then we settle – 

Some on the highway

To be churned into slush.

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Maybe on a mountain top

As an accomplice

To an avalanche.

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Perhaps, I am the heart 

Of a snowman,

Or the dusting on a leaf of a tree.

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But when the sun awakens,

To warm the earth,

Don’t we all melt and disappear,

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As though we were never here?

But we haven’t gone,

We have merely transformed.

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Seeping into Mother Earth

To begin our journey

All over again.

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The 10th Muse.


The 10th Muse.

By David Milligan-Croft.

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A dusting of morning snow,

Covers my car.

I trace a love heart

In the passenger window,

And imagine you smiling

On the other side of the glass.

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Antio sas, 2022.


That’s Greek for goodbye, if you didn’t know.

At least, that’s what Google translate tells me. It could say ‘f*ck you’ for all I know. Which would work just as well.

Saying farewell to the year in a foreign tongue has become a bit of a custom for reasons I shan’t go into right now.

Greek mythology and the divine muses have been pretty prominent for me in 2022, so it seems quite appropriate.

This year, I’ve managed to paint lots of pictures, visit lots of the Peak District and write lots of poetry. So much so, I’m hoping to publish my second collection of poetry, “Go tell the bees” some time in 2023. (I’ve even been dabbling with a book cover design for it.)

To see out the year, I thought I’d leave you with a few samples of abstract doodling which I’ve been doing quite a bit of lately. It’s a very cathartic and mindful exercise if you want to give it a go. I’ve even tried it with patients on the ward and it went down really well. (Remember, it’s about the process of doing art rather than the end result.)

It just remains for me to say, thank you for visiting my blog, your support is very much appreciated. I hope you have a very happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2023.

Keep being creative and tell those closest to you that you love them.

In the words of the great poet, Philip Larkin:

“…we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind   

While there is still time.”

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I have built a place for you.


I have built a place for you.

By David Milligan-Croft.

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I have built a special place for you

in the corner of my mind.

Where I can simultaneously feel

happy and forlorn.

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I go there when I want to be alone

with you. We sit in the shade of a cherry blossom tree. 

Scintillating sun flickering through the branches. 

Monarch butterflies flit through the air,

as pink petals fall like snowdrops. 

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There is a shallow stream 

burbling over rocks, carving through a vale

of lush, verdant grass, abundant 

with iridescent wildflowers. 

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Your head is on my shoulder; 

I can smell honeysuckle in your russet hair,

feel your heart beating

against my rib cage. 

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Warmth radiates through your skin

into my fingertips. Stroking the soft down 

of your arm. Breathing you in. 

This is the closest I can get 

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without crawling inside of you. 

I close my eyes and feel the heat of our star 

on my face. Everything is ecstasy. 

And we stay in paradise forever. Or,

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until it’s time for me to go.

And I leave you there,

beneath our tree, shielding your eyes

from the sun, waving me goodbye.

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And I go back to reality,

where you are oblivious

to my existence.

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για τη δέκατη μούσα μου

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Gilberto sings to Cornelia – new poem.


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Gilberto sings to Cornelia.

By David Milligan-Croft.

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Cornelia is 96-years-old,

With skin like crepe paper.

Her chest rattles like a percolator.

Her lungs have more fluid than oxygen.

Her arms are purple

From where they have drawn blood.

She sings between coughs.

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Gilberto is a nurse

From Sierra Leone;

He loves to sing too.

He has sung in the church choir

Since he was 8-years-old.

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Gilberto pulls up a chair

Beside Cornelia’s bed

And takes her bruised hand in his.

Softly, he begins to sing

Edelweiss to her.

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Edelweiss, edelweiss,

Every morning you greet me.

Small and white

Clean and bright

You look happy to meet me.”

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His voice is how I imagine

An angel might sing.

Gilberto sings

Until Cornelia’s gurgling stops,

And her gnarled fingers

Go limp.

.

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*Edelweiss by Rodgers & Hammerstein from The Sound of Music.

.

για τη δέκατη μούσα μου

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Landmine – new poem


Landmine

By David Milligan-Croft

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There is a type of landmine

That only detonates

Once you have taken your foot 

Off of it.

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It spares you

Instant disintegration – 

Instead, it gives you

That split-second realisation

Of the impending horror that is about 

To ascend upon your hapless body.

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Of course, if you are fleet-of-mind,

You may realise the error of your way,

And keep your weight

Pressed firmly down on the detonator.

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In the hope that someone

Might come to your rescue.

That they collect rocks

And sticks and boulders – anything

They can lay their hands upon

To replace the downward pressure,

That is you.

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And that is how it feels

To be in love with you.

To have two choices:

To wait for you in vain,

Or to accept fate

And lift my foot off.

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για τη δέκατη μούσα μου

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Critique


Critique

By David Milligan-Croft

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Don’t give me

That look.

The one that says

How disappointed

You are

In me.

I see it

All the time.

It’s your default

Expression.

Maybe try

A little positive

Reinforcement

Every once

In a while.

You never know,

It might just work

On you too.

Rather than being 

So judgemental.

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Sometimes,

I wish

I’d never bought

That damned

Mirror.

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A Moment Like This


A Moment Like This.

By David Milligan-Croft.

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I picked an old poetry book off the shelf.

It was ‘The Art of Life’, by Paul Durcan.

Something about its spine caught my eye.

I hadn’t read it in years.

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I flicked through a few pages and a photograph fell out.

It was of my daughter and I when she was a baby.

I’m wearing a front-facing baby harness

And she is strapped to my chest,

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Wearing a white, winter bunny onesie.

I’m holding up her bunny ears 

and beaming a smile to the camera.

We’re in Dunham Massey, I think.

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* * *

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I go to my daughter’s bedroom – she’s 16 now –

And show her the photograph.

She laughs and we reminisce. Well, I do.

She was too young to remember, obviously.

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As I’m leaving, I say, ‘Do you want it,

Or shall I bin it?’

Without looking up from her phone,

She says, ‘That doesn’t work, Dad.

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‘I know you would never do that.’ 

Then, she looks at me and smiles.

I don’t know why I put the photo in the book

In the first place. Perhaps to use as a book mark.

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Or maybe, for a moment like this.

.

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Beatified


Ophelia in the water

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Beatified.

By David Milligan-Croft.

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I would wash your hair in a roll-top bath.

You, leaning forward,

Nose almost touching the fig bubbles.

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My fingers, massaging your scalp,

Your temples, your crown – 

You deserve a crown, my Queen.

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Combing through the conditioner.

The viscous liquid oozing through the teeth

Of the comb and your russet brown hair.

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Leaning back, I cradle your head,

Lowering you like the baptised.

Cupping the water to stroke away the lather.

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Your lustrous hair floating on the surface.

Eyes closed, your face framed

In a perfect oval of foam.

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για τη δέκατη μούσα μου

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Mix Tape


Hands up, who remembers mix tapes?

I found one the other day, while I was emptying boxes, that an old girlfriend had made for me in the 90s. I couldn’t play it, of course, as I don’t have a tape deck anymore. Or a record player. Or a CD player. In fact, I don’t ‘physically’ own any music. It’s all in the ether. Intangible. Owned by Apple, Spotify, Youtube or some other super corporation.

It got me thinking about how I would go about making one now, if I felt the urge to translate my love through the medium of music to my new-found paramour.

So I wrote a poem about it. As you do.

Then I had an epiphany!

Why not go ahead and actually make the mix tape as part of the poem.

For ‘mix tape’, I mean playlist, obviously. So, here you are. 

(The link to the playlist is at the end.)

Mix Tape.

By David Milligan-Croft

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Don’t talk to me about love;

I was making mix tapes before you were born.

Speaking of which, just how old are you?

I may look old, but inside, I feel 33 1/3.

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It was easier to record from vinyl.

That way you could avoid abrupt endings. 

Fade in, fade out, like a Grandmaster Flash.

If you were slick, you might include excerpts

Of dialogue from old movies,

Or from great speeches like- ‘I have a dream!’

…That one day you’ll kiss me!

(Not sure that’s what MLK had in mind.)

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Recording off the radio was an art form.

You’d need the dexterity of a nuclear fission scientist

And a Watergate wiretapper to operate 

Play, pause and record simultaneously,

Before some schmaltzy DJ chimed in with his drivel.

And if your tape got chewed up

From too much stopping and starting,

You’d have to pull it all out until you found the kinks,

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Straighten it, then stick a pencil in the spool 

And rewind it all back in again.

Praying it doesn’t happen while she’s listening to 

Je t’aime moi non plus.

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I hope you like it.

It took me a whole weekend to put together.

Quite good fun though. Reminiscing, and all that.

I imagine you listening to it in your bedroom.

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Lying on your bed, looking up at the ceiling.

Your long, velvet hair cascading over the pillow,

Thinking of me, thinking of you. 

Except we’re not Gainsbourg and Birkin.

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The lyrics say things I never could,

Would or should. And are more self-indulgent 

Than a box of Thorntons. But what can I do?

I’m just a 20th Century Boy in love with a 21st century girl.

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για τη δέκατη μούσα μου

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