Poetry

Senior Partners
Prey
Lessons

 

Senior Partners

Old books are like old people,
A treasury
beneath their covers.

A page missing, a tooth missing,
It’s no big deal.
Brushed by many hands,
Touched by many lives,
Years of experience
Heavy within them.

Throbbing with gathered observation
And participation
And usefulness
and consultation.

A good book will not lie closed
Upon a neglected shelf.
A good book springs into new life
With each new life
That touches it.
A good person is revitalised
By those
Who seek wisdom.

Runner-up in the Jacqui Bennett Writers
Bureau Spring 2001 Poetry Competition. Published on the JBWB web-site
.
Copyright © Irene Black 2001
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Prey (A Pantoum)

She rests beside a sea of lazuli.
Her book lies open, ready but unread.
She does not see the stranger leave the quay.
The sand is soft; no sound betrays his tread.

Her book lies open, ready but unread
because her heart is filled with dreams of love.
The sand is soft; no sound betrays his tread.
A silent vulture rides the air above.

Because her heart is filled with dreams of love,
she does not feel the darkening sky grow chill.
A silent vulture rides the air above,
unheeded, unattended, cold and still.


She does not feel the darkening sky grow chill.
She does not see the stranger leave the quay.
Unheeded, unattended, cold and still
she rests beside a sea of lazuli.

Second Prize in The David Thomas Charitable Trust Awards
Published in Writing Magazine April-May 2001

Copyright © Irene Black 2000
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Lessons

In My School
Most of us are white,
Though I would say
Pinky-ochre appears
More apposite.
And some of us are grey
Around the ears.

The made proclamations.
We have to be told
About Muslims and Jews,
Afro-Caribbeans
And Asians.

We tried to protest.
What have they to do
With us?
We asked.

Hear!
Came the haughty reply
From on high.
And listen!
Familiarity vanquishes fear,
And suspicion.

In this school,
You'll find no prejudice showing
We cried. Look around.
But they smiled, knowing
That we were ignorant fools.

So we sat
Through lectures by Buddhists and Sikhs,
And Videos of Shabbat.
We organised trips to the temple,
And multi-cultural weeks.

And we learnt
To celebrate gratefully
Britain's rich diversity.
And never to assume
That we are immune,
Because we cannot see.

First published in the Co-Op Caring Poetry Festival Anthology 1994 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Co-Operative Movement.

Copyright © Irene Black 1994
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