poetry diary

I rhyme to see myself, to set the darkness echoing. (Seamus Heaney, from Personal Helicon)

Dunnottar Castle (Fortress IV)

The men who lived here turned to rock,
and fell into the sea.

It seemed a good idea at first,
to build above the surf;

A fortress hewn apart from land,
a playground for the gulls.

Security and peace for all,
he promised and they came.

The waves and cliffs kept out the foe,
and held apart the race.

But soon the greyness of the days,
the rhythm of the foam,

Ate into minds and into hearts,
and memories fell too.

Then women left, and no more came,
and coldly fell the rain.

The men who lived here turned to rock,
and fell into the sea.

© Matthew Rhodes 2011



Yellow roses on your shelf,
half-open, dreaming in their vase.
A book, laid as if half read,
and pictures on the wall.

Little things that make me smile.
Fire, warming silence, holding space.
Glass and jug for someone else,
and pebbles on the floor.

Familiar face, familiar place;
your open mind, opening space;
A table bare to fill with tears,
and banishment of fear.

Frames and moments you’ve passed through,
Stacked and wrapped against the wall;
suggesting of a life outside,
and time will come to go.

© Matthew Rhodes 2011