Sunday, November 8, 2009
I've had a great deal of fun in my life. I enjoyed my time in the Air Force, especially as I never fired a gun in anger, and as an astronomer I once told some very weighty scientists at a conference that all the fascinating work that they did and published gave me a lot of pleasure, ie, fun.
At an age I won't mention, I fell in love with a beautiful young actress, and though it has been a relatively chaste love, still it has given me more happiness than most people have in a lifetime.
Writing poetry is fun, and seeing it in print is even more fun. Theatre is great fun, and when one is able to act on the stage, that's the greatest fun one have have standing up –
well, almost. And my partner last acted in a wheelchair and didn't have to stand up.
So life has been good to me so far, and long may it continue the same!
Oh be my love and lie with me
Sunday, October 18, 2009
As George Bernard Shaw, playwright and critic, once said, "If a man has something to say, the problem is not to make him say it, but to stop him from saying it too often!"
I hope not to fall into that error. But having lived for more than eighty years, I have learned so much that some it it seems worth passing on, if only to help my juniors from the consequences of the same mistakes I've made. Not that making mistakes – and learning from them! – isn't a great way to a better life.
Some people thnk there are no original ideas, but I am not so pessimistic. To write poetry you have to be able to put old words into new combinations. I'm sure the same applies to novels, essays, and other writings.
I've never written a novel or a play, but I have written many varied articles, mainly as a science journalist. I've also been a theatre reviewer for years, as well as an actor. I've had a great life and done many things, from flying in military aircraft to using big telescopes as an astronomer, from being married and divorced twice, from being a grandfather and a great-grandfather, to owning and using a player piano.
I hope I can write something that interests you, the reader, and gives you 'food for thought.'
Sunday, October 11, 2009
better by far than tales of suburban angst
or aboriginal ghosts bemoaning cruelty of whites.
the sun shines, I have known love, they can’t take that
away from me. I have seen plays that filled
some part of me better than a Christmas dinner,
read poems that spoke or sang to me .
I have travelled , penned like a sheep it’s true,
but to destinations rich in history, art, beauty
and scenes and places only known from literature.
some I knew are gone, have died. I do not mourn;
my time will come, what’s wrong with that?
new worlds of discovery and invention
have opened for my delight, great telescopes
played their part, and questing minds that passed to me
their treasures of new knowledge.
I’ve flown in fragile planes, guiding them myself
my own hands opening the three dimensions,
used ingenious machines of precision and delicacy
to gather information and test the dimensions of the universe.
I’ve lived and been a human among people whom I love.
I can’t imagine any life that’s richer or worth more.
© MM 11.10.2009
since I am old and never was sought after, tall, or strong.
My part in any group was simply for the numbers, not to shine,
now most are gone but I survive and my life has been long.
Blessed – or maybe cursed, with beauty – how then to ensure
that it’s your servant, not a master , bent to shape your life,
youthful joy at first, then ageing sorrow to endure
when gone are days as lover, star, diva, or even wife?
I think the answer is to build yourself, ignore all taunts,
not to surrender to the idle flattery of men.
Hundreds of years ago a famous satirist again
described in verse this problem, which the last years haunts:
Pope’s words: “Fair to no purpose, artful to no end”
and “Young without Lovers, old without a Friend”.
© MM 6.10.2009
that all your beauty I can see
my hands so warm on each bare breast
as on your lips my own are pressed
and next my hands will loving roam
between your thighs, on Venus’ dome
my kisses mark a trail of love
from shapely feet to hair above
my arms embrace your naked form
delighting in your skin so warm
your curving hips I will caress
your back and belly no whit less
so lie with me and be my love
be under me or be above
and I will celebrate in rhyme
the love for which at last it’s time!
© MM 29.9.2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I don’t need to be loved, though it helps.
My certain feeling that I love, and that it’s not a futile thing
or wasted in the emptiness of her not knowing
means that I think of it with joy. My heart
is filled with love, and I feel good about it.
If she was not there, and real, and lovable,
then I would not have the feeling,
but I do, and it is good!
Love is a natural, healthy state, and one I know,
which brings me happiness and has no need
for more, that she may not have to give.
© MM 2.9.2009
and god how good it feels when it’s at the full
but then it retreats to the edges of the world
and all that can be seen is a barren plain
where dead fish and the wrecks of boats and
empty bottles and rusted bicycles lie abandoned
on a plain of grayish mud that stretches further
that the eye can see.
Then it turns and creeps back into view
to swirl with a rush of beery foam back around your feet
throwing small shells and shining pebbles
on to the gleaming sand, and best of all
a wonderful scent of love and salt and other things
that make you close your eyes and breathe
as deeply as you can of the freshness and joy
of the tide of life!
© MM 6.9.2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
as black clouds, white-edged, slide silently across her face.
Her mystery increased by this concealment,
she knows the cloud to be ephemeral, while her face lasts
and will in time shine full upon the naked Earth
as is her wont for at least four billion years.
She is the mistress of the tides, where ever sea meets shore
and though the puissant Sun rules all, she too plays her part
in shaping a world of blue and green and brown and white
so different from her dead surface with its scars and wounds,
that looms unchanging in our skies with its dreadful face
that warns us we must never let it happen here.
© MM 11.7.2009
and ride with me the tossing seas of love
and towering waves of lust
that we may find within each others’ arms?
my strength and your beauty
will take us on a journey to the stars
a rocket flight we’ll not forget
despite its short duration…
maybe we’ll not notice the burst of fireworks
lighting up the sky because we’ll be aware
of nothing but each other!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The poet A.D. Hope knew love
but love did not know him.
He played the Professors’ part with girls
shared their young bodies
but one by one they left him to despair.
He was invisible to them,
a phallic god , a shrine they briefly worshipped at
a rite of passage where their gift of sex
met their need to genuflect but left him
without the one thing they could not give,
before they moved on to real life –
the love that never came to still his beating heart.
Despair, despair, the loneliness and growing horror
of his predicament corroded his great ideals
and all his classic knowledge gave no hope.
Death came as a release, and all his verse
despite his skills, only underlined his plight
and in the end like all of us, descended into night.
© MM 10.7.2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
They say it shouldn’t be there, that I’m too old
and yet I feel its presence every day, and know its hunger
as it demands I feed it what it wants.
Demolition of its home began, a wrecking ball,
bulldozing chemicals, and radiation,
but still it raged from its safe haven in my brain
defying me to die to rid me of its lust.
It’s not a simple parasite, sometimes in exchange
it fires up creative powers that lead to writing verse
that people read and like, and thus it pays its way.
I circumvent its strength by insisting that my poems
have as their theme not lust but love, thus I hold the line
and use its mighty powers to contribute to mine!
© MM 22.6.2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
to hear a symphony,
background music to a movie,
an aria from Puccini,
Lizst playing Rachmanninoff
for my ears only,
for my own private delight!
More joy is in the sight
than is conveyed
by all the celebrated
contents of the Louvre!
Who cares if I’m
the only one who sees you
in this way? My riches
each time I do.
© MM 19.6.2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
but in the morning I’m aware of you,
warm and close beside me.
Hands begin a journey of affection
and lips give kisses as we wake
to our enjoyment of each other.
There’s no agenda for our cuddles.
We might just chat, or then again
we might begin a slow and tender
dance of love that ends, who knows?
perhaps in sweat and satisfaction.
Why else have a double bed,
And closeness to be shared,
in defiance of our ageing bodywork -–
maybe dented and rusty
but still able to take us on a delightful
journey of love!
© MM 4.3.2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Reading a book of verse, this thought flashed in my brain
as I compared the rich exchange of words and thoughts,
the easy intercourse of lovers who know each place to touch
and stroke and kiss with which our speech is filled.
Our hearts and minds entwine lasciviously, each familiar phrase
a sweet caress, each new idea an intimate thrust
that thrills our persons with both warmth and joy.
We bare ourselves to share a gentle ecstasy of verbal love
which we both long for and seek anew each day we live.
This intimacy that we share is private treasure
that together we can plunge in hands and lift
out heavy gleaming gold that’s hidden in our secret store.
Do you doubt that I so like this contact that I long for more?
spoke of a 'time of obedient ears'
when urgent messages of desire
no longer would be heard,
and there would be a time of peace
and quiet meditation.
I say, rats to that old sage!
My ears, and all my other senses
are tuned exquisitely to find faint signals,
swing their antennas to new coordinates,
eager to decode whatever comes
and respond with Love!
You are that woman for all time, in all circumstances.
I hear your voice, I see the beautiful woman I met
so many years ago.
I see you now and still I see that same woman I saw
the day I fell in love with you.
What does it mean, this emphasis on beauty?
A line of a song says all that's needed:–
"I'll go woo her for her beauty...she must answer yes or no".
That singer and I wooed because of perception,
of desire, of the need to merge with a woman
whose presence signals the need to seek a mate.
We call it love, and love there is, but something
deeper, molecular, genetic is its source
and the beauty that we see is only in our cells,
clothe it in poetry as we wish, it's not an abstract,
it's warm flesh and skin and itching in the heart
that draws our senses and speeds the pulse with joy.
I wonder, can you ever answer 'yes' or 'no'?
showing yourself as a woman
and always maddening me with impossible
Wanting what I can’t give, don’t have,
never letting up, knowing all
Being there so scantily dressed,
nipples so cheekily pointing
at my face!
And not only that, but standing there
with naked feet, beseeching eyes,
knowing my weakness.
So small, such power in your shape,
hips and waist sending flames of desire
across my hopeless brain!
When I embrace you I hold you
like a fragile flower, when in reality
what I want
is to join myself to you so intimately
no-one seeing us could tell where one ends
and the other begins,
I want to crush you into me with gentle hands
and me into you with love and lust
combined in sensual tenderness.
Merging, sharing, holding, kissing, stroking,
thrusting, entering, yielding
in one accord.
the chance to hold you close and love you
with my hands and mouth in sweet affection
to kiss your breasts and feet and thighs,
to rest my eager cock upon your belly’s warmth
ready for your parted thighs to invite again
to share your body’s femininity in
My lips would know your nipples,
my tongue explore your sweetest parts
while you would return love for love
as both of us enjoyed the confirmation
of our affection and our sex in sharing
our trust and our delight in this caress!
As friends we’d fuck for fun
and if t’was less than perfect then we’d laugh
because we know that love like ours
can last for ever. Love holds us both safe
in its embrace and we are free to worship it
with all our hearts, and while we are still able
with our bodies, to reach for heaven
in each other’s arms.
the magic that I learned so painfully
through many years.
Who would have thought that after eighty years
the game could still be played,
the old rules still effective…?
I am not, never was, tall, handsome, or attractive
and so I had to learn a subtle mastery of words
to woo a woman and gain her interest.
It was my only asset, and it’s worked again
To bring a sweetly positive response
from a woman I admire in many ways.
Well, this does my self-esteem and ego good.
My joy is not in conquest, but much more modest –
recognition, acknowledgment that I’m worth knowing,
a counter to the underlying doubt
so many of us have about ourselves.
with plenty of ‘The Elixir of Love’
since I still practise in this delightful field
while he has surrendered it to Time.
The religious once wanted us to ‘populate the Earth’
and often said we were too eager –
men who wanted women all to yield
were to be curbed, hemmed in with moral rules,
and women were told to submit and not to seek –
the reason’s obvious, since human love
leaves that for gods or creeds right up the creek,
and priests to call in vain for help above.
So if you have the Elixir in your genes
seek love and joy by every possible means!
comes from the blood, bones, and flesh
a man always wants women,
from childhood to the oldest years
and mixed with this, impossible to separate,
my love for you as a person, as a friend,
as a being with a beautiful body
my hands cry out to touch, caress, and stroke.
You are a song that’s always in my brain,
a symphony from an orchestra unseen.
Your speaking voice sings to me,
even through the tiny speaker in my phone
with thrilling resonances that shiver up my spine!
You fit in my embrace with perfect size,
all woman, whose height and shape and curves
delight my every sense and thrill my heart
with the gifts you give me – of yourself!
the sweetest ones I know, straight from my heart.
My hope (how much that word has passed between us!)
is that my message will be heard just as I send it,
a sort of prayer to gods of love that you will hear
and more important, know that I speak true.
Each poem that I write, inspired by you, your beauty
and the questing mind with whom I love to share
the thoughts, the clear originality, the jokes,
all join together to make me sure that you, yes you,
are the woman I want to spend heart’s time with
and hold in my embrace until the end of love and life.
filled with unreal hopes and dreams.
Women are more practical –
after all, who’s left with the baby?
Men never think of this.
They want the woman,
possession of her body to satisfy
the urge of unseen genes .
Women need a safer place
to complete the program
laid down in their flesh.
Thus we stumble confused, uncertain,
towards our destiny
and our descendants.
can diminish my love for you
and though I want to have you
and you show a thousand reasons
why now is not the time
and I have to cling to that one time
when at last I held you naked in my arms
once, one wonderful day,
you invited me to hold you there
just the same, on every day and every night
I feel the strong desire to lie with you
caress your body, your breasts, your thighs,
your back and legs and feet and belly,
and be for once your lover in the body
as men and women are made to be,
and millions do each day, kissing each other
with freedom and abandon in an ecstasy of love
this is what I want
but reality reigns, so on with life!
feeling betrayed by our bodies,
victims of bureaucrats and systems
that we cannot control or understand.
With love we can survive,
hold hands, kiss and hug, share what joys we have
from conversation, music, clouds, and learning
from questions that arise from many places
which we encounter with our desire to know,
our curiosity a pleasure that we share.
Love we can exchange and each be winners
since the more we give the more we have
but still we have to cope with those few people
who feel that we are doing wrong.
Luckily, their numbers are decreasing,
and the few remaining are just the rearguard
of a religious bigotry whose day is done.
while between our bodies’ atoms we, too
are mostly emptiness, so science tells us.
but lack of love is greater emptiness
since love’s absence leaves a space
more lonely than the void between the stars.
to know you love and know you’re loved
fills all of life and all the world we know with light.
ephemera abound; a kiss can only last a finite time
and deepest intimacy is limited in time and space
while love itself will last for ever, providing
enduring warmth and comfort in our lives.
Symbols are out, cross, crescent, whatever, none fits.
Brightness there is, and light, and an idea,
A God made in the shape of Man - how else?
Look closer. It’s a Woman.
She I worship
Knowing Her qualities, nurturing, healing, growth and birth,
Caring, fruitfulness and love, all womanly
Strength within softness,
Delighting all my senses.
Men may create and build,
Fly through air and space, assembling theories, towers, x
Bridges, weapons, rockets, all sterile
Pyramids of futility,
Without Her flesh that lasts!
You are so beautiful I just can’t understand
Why hordes of suitors and would-be lovers
Don’t make a fearsome barrier between us.
Surely you’re more than just a magic mirror
Reflecting what I want to see, me as a hero,
You as the grateful damsel in distress,
Me as a rescuing knight in shining armour,
You as the maiden being rescued from the dragon!
Oh yes, there’s more to it than that -
My need to be loved by women and to give love,
For instance, so strong at times that I’m
A hammer that hits my own thumb and hurts a lot.
Science is great, exploration and discovery, new worlds:
music gives most of us pleasure, lightens our spirits:
art and good books delight many, even cold marble can
inspire admiration, dreams, erotic fantasies,
while good food and friendly company warm our being.
But none of these compare with Love. Love warms the heart
smooths the difficult path, eases pain of all kinds
lights the way and thaws cold blood, helps us withstand
whatever shocks an unfeeling world may throw our way,
and at its best opens a whole new world of ecstasy and joy.
What’s best about love is, no matter how much you give
you don’t run out. The more you can give the more you have.
Forget the fools and idiots who say that you can love just one,
no more. What a dreary world we’d have if that was so! –
all locked in pairs, or else alone – what kind of life is that?
No! Give Love, receive Love, enjoy Love with one or many
and pity the poor loser who chooses not to have any!
© MM 28.3.08
Flowers, jewels and dresses to enhance your beauty:
these are what I want to give to you,
tokens of my affection, my desire to share
friendship, ideas, and warm embraces.
Instead I give you poems.
Each one is as beautiful as I can shape it
though my jeweler’s skill at shaping ,
polishing, cutting the most brilliant facets
is more a craftsman’s than an artist’s.
Each finished gem, crude as it may be,
reflects the light of love
from sky and stars to shine into our eyes.
© MM 13.4.2009