John Hurley

johnhurleyI was born in 1936. Left National School at 14 to do an apprenticeship. Worked all my life as heating engineer I have had two novels published and for the past few years, I have been attempting to write poetry. I am a great grandfather and I live in west London.

FIRE WATCHING

A bright log fire   heat induced euphoria

A man stares at the curling flames

Pictures once more   his native shore

Friends of his youth  and their childish games

Foam flecked waves from a restless ocean

Red sailed trawlers put to sea

From winter gales they then trim sails

Like the ancients in Galilee

He can hear the scream of the herring gull

The soft tune when a blackbird sings

And all around there’s a mellow sound

When a distant church bell rings

The pungent smell of new mown hay

He breathes ozone like port wine

He can almost feel his senses reel

When he sniffs the wild woodbine

He tastes soda bread when its still warm

Feasts on mackerel caught to day

From gleaming shoals cooked on glowing coals

This manna from our bay

He plaits rushes with their silky feel

Walks bare foot on warm sand

Holds seaweed fronds, Neptune’s fairy wands

To cast spells in his dreamlike land

 

ALL SOULS NIGHT

 

The days are much colder, and I’m getting older

Evening dark and the sky is like lead

I feel so uptight, and it is all souls night

I’ve neglected to pray for the dead

 

In the gathering gloom, a witch parks her broom

Things in her pot, she is hoping will gel

Her cat arches his back, as if under attack

Swishing tail, when she casts a spell

 

In a street down below, where police will not go

A man struggles up, from his seat

He can stand no more, of the noise at his door

From yobs, who shout trick or treat

 

Through the long night, I long for daylight

Teaming rain and the leaves tumbling down

There is no denying, that most things are dying

Most colours are now black or brown

 

As a general rule, most kids are off school

Sculpting pumpkins with unholy glee

They insert quills for teeth, an artistic feat

But it frightens old cowards like me

 

But much further down at the end of the town

Some fireworks then light up the night

It’s that time of the year, Diwali is here

Thank God for the coming of light

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