Richard Baron

Poems


These poems are all by Richard Baron.

You are free to make copies, so long as you always attribute the poems to him.

The poems are arranged under the following headings.


Philosophy

Writing

Mathematics and the Natural Sciences

Technology

Work

Poetic Forms

The Visual Arts

Music

Food

Embodied Life

Time

The Heavens

Planet Earth

Places


Richard Baron's home page


Philosophy

Pierian Spring

Pierian spring, may I here drink
You teach the facts, you teach to think
And though all quaff once and again
None can your waters ever drain
For each new thought of mortal mind
Goes underground into your source
That some new drinker may it find
We are but vehicles, you the force.

Ex scientia vera

From knowledge, truth, according to
Philosophers, who say that you
Do not know unless you are right
In which case truth is there alright
But some would say they misconstrue
The saying, which refers not to
The thing you know, but what you might
Learn from it, or see in its light.

El sueño de la razón

The sleep of reason tempts away from thought
It opens up the doors to let perceive
Such spectres new, in net of fancy caught
That we, in sensing, take of senses leave.
The reason for this sleep we thus behold
It lifts us up from bed to heaven's light
If we knew only that which reason told
Our vision would be empty as the night.

Existence

O what dost thou, existence, mean?
Philosophers would answer glean.
To be or not to be, we ask,
To answer is a mighty task.
For life cannot in words be caught,
A lesson not by thinkers taught.
In existential words they spin
A web that catches naught within.
Seek not life's sense in printed book
But step outside, at nature look.

Determinism

The poet feels quite free to write each word
He has not of determined neurons heard
But if he held a mirror to his eyes
And saw the great machine that 'hind them lies
Would he still feel that each word was his choice
Or would he say that his was not the voice?

The Computer

Is this computer conscious, does it think?
It eats up data; programs are so smart.
But I have never seen it eat nor drink
I wonder if its mind is joined to heart.
'Tis not the same to think as 'tis to feel
And then the third component is to know
Who one is, why it matters that this wheel
Turns in the world's machine, now quick, now slow.

To regulate our pace as we see right
Is given us and not this little box.
It turns on-off as we say, day or night
Insensible to all our natural clocks.
To conscious be is conscious of a world
And our own path, in space and time unfurled.

On Wet Pavements

Today I saw the shining Sun
Reflected in a wat'ry sheen.
Or did I see the sheen alone?
'Tis light we see by, light unseen.

I and Thou

I am not I, the I of yesterday
For he was left behind upon my way
Thou art not he or she, nor ever could
For persons are not fixed, not made of wood
They are not they, for they themselves behold
As I and thou, in mirrors all do hold.

(This poem is based on Evelyn Waugh's note at the start of Brideshead Revisited: I am not I; thou art not he or she; they are not they.)

Cogito

Descartes would have said
When I go to bed
I cannot yet know
If this here pillow
Is only a dream
Not what it might seem
Until I have thought
As he said I ought
Of what thinking shows
And of God who knows
'Tis wrong to deceive
Or humans to peeve
But what if God asked
Why he should be tasked
With helping us out
For he has the clout
To do as he please
To fox us and tease
With logic to show
That we really know
While if truth be told
We errors unfold.

Numbers

The number of the numbers stays the same
An infinite that's countable, or not
The number of things numbered's not so tame
Being finite, it goes up and down a lot
Unless the things that numbered are include
The numbers, which themselves count as they go,
Run on and on without an interlude
Until we have no finger spare, nor toe.

The Seminar

We gather round the table, smile and greet
And as the paper's read, we shuffle feet
Is this the living word that Plato froze
In Greek, or has this always been dead prose?
When Socrates told Phaedrus that a text
Should only serve a speaker to remind
Perhaps he saw that else this would come next
Our thoughts held back by monotonic bind.
But fear not, in the bar there comes relief
We raise our glasses to philosophy
And know that not all papers come to grief
For some are cited far too frequently.

The Tree in the Court

There was a young man who asked Ought
This tree to remain in the court?
When it is unseen
It might once have been
But would not still be, Berkeley thought.

But Sir, you heed not what I taught
Eternal's the eye on the court
And all that has been
Is evermore seen
Thus letting nowt e'er come to naught.

(This is a version of Ronald Knox's "There was a young man who said God ... ", adjusted to use the Cantabrigian "court" rather than the Oxonian "quad".)

The Halloween Zombie

On Halloween did a bat see
A lady who was quale-free
To nail her he chose
This question to pose
What is it like, zombie to be?

How charmed am I by your interest
Such questions give each day its zest
This red rose you see
The same 'tis for me
As zimboes we may end this quest.

Modal Halloween

Perhaps a world is possible
In which a witch can soar and dive
But is that world accessible?
It must be if we choose S5.

Now which witch in the world that's here
Shall be the one who there can fly?
What sorcery could make it clear
How to 'cross worlds identify?

Black Swan

Philosophers may think upon
The colour of a single swan
And from its oddness generalize
To say induction tells us lies.

But such exceptions prove the rule
Habitual thought's a useful tool
For humans here in England and
Perhaps in some far southern land.

Valentine's Day

Roses are red, or at least so they seem
But what if the quale's the same in a dream?
Disjunctive or secondary, neither sounds right
Let physicalism lead us through the night.

Kant in Love

O noumenon, phenomenal
The heavens in your eyes I see
My love is more than nominal
I'd miss my daily walk, and tea.
But what is this, the moral law?
It bids us passion to restrain.
Ha! Empty thought that nevermore
Blind intuition wild can tame.

The Star-Spangled Philosopher

O! say can you see by the dawn's early light
What looks re-ed to me, though white it should be gleaming.
Gettier has not been here, in the midst of the night,
It's a sheep not a rock, nor am I René dreaming.
And the meanings out there, Hilary's heartfelt prayer,
Give proof that the vat's just a castle in air.
Yes we can the world with all qualities save
It is real, I'm naive, bye-bye tenure I'll wave.

A Philosophical Flower of Scotland

O flower of Mary
When will she see your like again
She's had a quale
Red as the ink in pen
Deleting the old
Views physicalist
Now Mary back home
Must think again.

Ein philosophisches Deutschlandlied

Einigkeit ist Spinoza dank
Gott und Natur, Herz und Hand.
Aber Leibniz sah Monaden
Jed' allein und all' verwandt.
Dank ein' Kreis in Wien gezeichnet
Ist Metaphysik verbannt.
Blüh' im Glanze dieser Logik
Blühe, Kaffee-Kuchen-Land.

Writing

Quills

How deadly is the quill, my dear?
It scratches out in lines so clear
What has been compassed, thus to show
What we would not have others know
So take not ink upon the pen
Without a care for who may when
Read what and how they will soon glean
A cast of mind best left unseen.

The Carriage

Today the carriage shall roll into town
It brings the post to make us smile or frown
And strangers too, who will not stay the week
And friends who warm embrace and home do seek.
One day we will not have so long to wait
We'll get mail soon as written and reply
Within the hour, our answer never late
But will reflective writing slowly die?
Perhaps we should continue ancient ways
With shouts and snorting horses and delays
The time until the post is time to think
And forge between two pens a stronger link.

Typing

When quick the fingers click upon the keys
Forget we that the adverb should end -ly
Check slowly, for fine accidence can please
But syntax jumble may we, as you see.

Definitions

By definitions writers live
They make words solid tools to use
But as they do not freedom give
To say words mean whate'er we choose
We sometimes borrow le mot juste
From far-off land, and bring it here.
Thus we give our own tongue a boost
Exotic savour, meaning clear.

The Library

Please enter by the electronic gate
To be admitted to the sacred hall.
It scans your card, and if not out of date
Will let you answer learning's siren call.
For here the ramparts of the volumes bound
Show what we have done, what is still to do
And stoutly stand 'gainst ignorance their ground
Pass down their wisdom to the students new.

But creep within this heaven at a pace
Electrons that we thought could wait at door.
Words digitized in one mad frantic race
And dusty shelves, misplaced books be no more.
Will it be joy to read on screen at home?
Can any scholar feel at ease alone?

Der Musensohn

Der Musensohn verlässt das Feld
Die Bücher rufen ihn zum Tisch
Die Wörter sind die Zauberwelt
Die Milch des Geistes, immer frisch.

The Butterfly

A butterfly may land upon a page
And in its wings we may all nature read.
A book may guard our thoughts, they shall not age
But flutter by the generations till
They answer to a younger thinker's need,
Upend her world, or her confusion still.

On the Birthday of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Today Antoine we celebrate
A prince of flights of fancy who
Showed us in tales the comic fate
Of lamplighters, and of kings too.

On a proposed tax on linguistic errors

A tax on language breaches
Would make us heed our teachers.
Our accidents, once written
And by this sin tax bitten
Would send us back to Fowler
Forfending our next howler.

Mathematics and the Natural Sciences

Schrödinger's Cat Walks Into a Bar

The cat walked in, and gave his name
As Erwin, here to play a game.
Let us make waves, he said, for they
May function to pass time this day.
At this the barmaid feared the worst
She knew this cat with collapse was cursed
He would perforce survive or die
If she did fix him with her eye.
With shaking hand she poured a drink
And did not even dare to think
Of Erwin's quite uncertain fate
She only feared, it was too late.

Technology

Satellites

So many satellites now weave
A web that lets no-one deceive
Our houses are all pictured and
Our e-mails sent 'cross space to land
Who knows what else electric eyes
Can see when hurtling through the skies
Did we hear this in Sputnik's beep
Or did it lull us all to sleep?

Sat-Nav

Shall I compare thee to a satellite
That sends its data to my little screen?
Thy wisdom steers me safely through the night.
Thy "left" and "right": I know what these words mean.
But there are times when thine all-seeing eye
Beyond horizon spies a reason to
Divert: a blockage, and 'tis not for I
To question why we take a route quite new.

For thy eternal knowledge shall not fade
Though night to day, and day to night do turn.
Updated is the bank of routes that's laid
In thy grey cells, that I may each night learn.
So long as power in cylinders doth dwell
Accelerate! All shall at dawn be well.

Browsers

The world today we through a window view
And use a browser to find vistas new
Our wanderings are by search engine steered
And each time that we shut down, all is cleared
We sit at home in soft warm firelight's glow
And visit bears that live in ice and snow
In flesh they would show us their mega bite
But we can safely click, and all is night.

E-cards

The e-card is a new-found way
To transmit love without delay
In e-mail folder filed away
It may not see the light of day
But years to come it shall remain
A future click shall sight obtain
Of warmth that age can never stain
So do not these fine bytes disdain.

Radio

The little box gives us the voice alone
A picture each must fashion in her head.
Is it perception that we thus do hone
Or merest fancy in true vision's stead?

Les téléphones portables

Est-on né libre dans un monde
Des fers realisés en ondes?
Les téléphones portables qui
Nous gardent à toute heure de la vie.
Dans un lieu on échappe leurs mains,
Chemins de fer en souterrain.

Work

Espresso

Clunk whoosh the espresso machine
And hurry to work, stay alive
Now grind out the next little bean

For this is what all our days mean
And we must set to in the hive
Clunk whoosh the espresso machine

But up there the air is still clean
And birds soar and circle and dive
Now grind out the next little bean

And I have a new heaven seen
Where laughter and idleness thrive
Clunk whoosh the espresso machine

O let me from wage packets wean
And dance a jig, tango and jive
Now grind out the next little bean

But if we all did we'd grow lean
The honey run dry in the hive
Clunk whoosh the espresso machine
Now grind out the next little bean.

Toothpaste

From out the tube the morning toothpaste squeeze
Into the train the morning workers shove
Rings out the cry, Move down the carriage please
And grab we all the handles up above
Back-forth the brush, back-forth the e-mails fly
And idleness a sin we'd like to try.

The Office in Summer

Is there conditioned air today
Or shall the office melt away?
Would that we were on mountain height
Without a paperclip in sight.

Deadlines

'Tis always good to work to time
And meet the first, not last, deadline
For then you can with tea sit back
And let the muscles go all slack
You need not the slave-driver fear
Nor strident shouted orders hear
But may with Schadenfreude view
Those who are not as good as you.

Business Meetings

Between the ceiling and the floor
We meet, do business, and ignore
The opportunity to soar
Above the roof into the sky
Or step to earth and on grass lie
Forgetting commerce and the pie
It slices up by contract fair
Productive work that can't compare
With deepest draughts of country air.

Poetic Forms

The Anapaest Waltz

We type on, edit long, as each day follows night
Till the words on each page give a sense of delight
And their flow makes us glow at the pitch of the pace
That they set, without strain, as they waltz, full of grace.

Enjambment

Enjambment is a form we should
Use when we find the sense we would
Express is not quite tailored to
The limits of one line, or two.

Pararhyme

A poet line by line writes out his life
And year by year turns over a new leaf
Imagination daily he must raid
To find the words that others are to read
Until at last he does a volume fill
The ink runs dry, the flow of rhymes must fail.

The Visual Arts

The Model

How softly her back hollowed, how tenderly her breast
The artist's brushes followed, the artist's mind caressed
And though the varnish darkens, and form ne'er time defy
She still to hot breath hearkens, along her curv-ed thigh
Nor can the years refashion, nor keep from secret thought
The artist's hidden passion, the one that nature taught.

Still Life

The picture's frame doth demarcate its world
The shapes within reflect the space outwith
But at this frontier are the light-lines curled
By artist's vision to disclose the pith
Of nature beneath outward form concealed
And so reality is fresh revealed.

Caspar David and Georg Friedrich

While Friedrich did the wild world show
In wind and fog and rock and snow
Did Kersting take a quieter look
At lamp and desk, and thought and book.
Where is the human spirit free,
On mountain top, or taking tea?
In space to fly, or space to know,
To follow light, where it may go.

Toulouse-Lautrec

How can a poster catch a dancer's feet?
Can racing pen with that whirlwind compete?
The posters show what will be, what has been,
Upon the stage alone is the real seen.

Sculpture

The stone that under sculptor's chisel cracks
Has waited for these blows from age to age
Mis-shapen lump, identity it lacks
Until the mallet frees it from its cage.
Alone this brute destruction can create
In noise and dust and splinters on the floor
For that which never lived can't generate
No plan within, no rich genetic core.

But now computers can fresh shapes devise
With programs that within themselves they breed
And overwhelm with beauty human eyes
As robots tools with skill round rock do lead.
So is the dawn of life repeated here
And is art's brave new future all too clear?

The Reliquary

Without all gold and precious stones
Within the last remaining bones
Without a face in silent stare
Within a lonely wisp of hair.

Can any relic show the way
To new life at the break of day
Or should we rather look afresh
At lips, and eyes, and living flesh?

Music

The Concert

Ten billion neurons work as one, a symphony to write
A hundred people play as one, to sound its final chord
A thousand of us clap as one, all talent to applaud
At last we two make love as one, in stillness of the night.

Improvisation

A great improvisation is
Spontaneous like champagne's fizz
None can foretell what will be heard
Nor hold its life, free as a bird.
When fingers dance upon the keys
And jump and turn, yet with such ease
That in a waterfall of sound
We drown, then have we spirit found.

Rameau

Shall Rameau lull us with his harmony
Or shall we with his voltage jolted be?
The day he Jean-Jacques scorned we do not rue
Nor think his nephew false to him be true
For though the pen may be the keenest blade
Alone in music is true beauty made.

Papillon

Tu papillon, du Schmetterling
In Schumann's notes thou dost take wing
For music is a language all
May comprehend. Its siren call
Entrances us throughout the night
As do all day thy colours bright.

Food

Red Grape

Both sharp and sweet, this grape deep red
I pluck and eat, while still in bed
Its juices fizz, in Sun's first ray
Its promise is, a fruitful day.

Persimmon

Perspicuous the message of this fruit
Immaculate the skin, and yet the route
On into its rich depth doth overflow
With sweet temptation. Is it right to go
So far into that blessed, sacred lair?
It is! The prize is mine, if I but dare.

Fig

Sweep back the leaf, let us taste of the fruit
The velvet skin that leads up to a shoot,
A hard little stalk, for tongue-touch to tease
Before the moist depth draws taste in to please.
The lips that embrace this succulent gift
Pulsate back and forth, the juices to lift
Until at the last, all energy gone
A kiss is the sign, of bliss that has come.

La rue des figuiers

La rue des figuiers, rue des rêves
Où les beaux souvenirs se lèvent
Délices pulpeuses qu'on a goûté
Il faut retourner, chaque été.

Soufflé

O soufflé, risen fresh to be
A temple of aromas fine
To which a silver fork the key
And fit libation, lightest wine.
When cheese into a cloud is made
It lifts us up into the sky
When fork at last on plate is laid
We breathe the most contented sigh.

Embodied Life

Nude descending a stair

A nude descends with grace the stair
A foot, a thigh, the soft dark hair
Age never clouds this sight so fair
For nature is beyond compare
This gift to be without a care
Is given to all those who dare.

Voluptuous Beauty

Voluptuous beauty, take away all sense
Of morals, for we need them not tonight
When we are steered by pleasures so intense
Our bodies, minds will surely act aright.

Sunbeam

When sunbeam through the curtain morning slips
And falls upon the beauty of her hips
Then knows her lover that the night divine
Was spent with she who makes each new day shine.

The Spark

The words that poets set upon the page
Will they suffice to speak her face so fair?
The paint that shows the shimmer of her hair
Can it portray her prime, her magic age?
I strive by books and pictures to engage
With all the wonders found on land, in air,
But when I woman meet beyond compare
Life bursts beyond that paper, canvas, cage.

Away with words and pictures, feeble jest
Let contact be direct as the first spark
That Adam from the hand of God received.
In wordless cries of passion from the breast
We may to all our inmost passions hark
For real life must be felt to be believed.

Hand

Four fingers and a thumb make up a hand
They open, show the smoothness of the palm
And are in gentle welcome slowly fanned

A few quick gestures can strike up a band
More slowly one moves voices through a psalm
Four fingers and a thumb make up a hand

When guests have come across the burning sand
They seek their cool repose, that wondrous balm
And are in gentle welcome slowly fanned

What moving fingers write is quickly banned
By rulers who at free thought take alarm
Four fingers and a thumb make up a hand

The feathers of the birds in Eden's land
Do shimmer in the moist hot forest calm
And are in gentle welcome slowly fanned

Now we can point and touch and grasp hold and
So make use of the reach of human arm
Four fingers and a thumb make up a hand
And are in gentle welcome slowly fanned.

Bare Feet

Bare feet on sand do gather up the grains
That measure out our steps, but none remains
When we have washed our feet in flooding tide
From which our fading footprints cannot hide.

Bare feet on grass turn green with nature's wine
They ruffle up and mat the blades so fine
But take away naught from the solid ground
In which we shall one day have sleep so sound.

Shoes

Shiny new shoes
Reflect no use
First steps
The leather crinkles
First lines of age
While yet so young
Then the rain
Makes them shine again
But it dries
And leaves a stain
Mud adheres
Ugly but
It dries and falls away
The soles wear thin
A hole appears
It's time to get
Shiny new shoes.

Ode to Serotonin

O Serotonin, wondrous drink
And sweeter than the morning dew.
Neurotransmission cannot think
What life would be, if not for you.

Whence comes the flow, what must I touch
To cut the level, that it may
Resurgent, flood the brain as much
As sunlight with the break of day.

Les hirondelles

Une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps
Mais deux ensemble font un grand été
On vole, on chante, on danse, Ô quel beau temps
On dort sous les cieux doux et bleu foncé.

Le bonheur

Le bonheur, pourquoi le chercher?
Il se cache comme une petite fée.
Une nuit, on s'allonge dans le pré
On goûte à l'heure bleue la rosée.

I Am All As Before

I am all as before
Yet in another place
My feet on foreign shore
New wind upon my face.

This brave new world I greet
It penetrates my core
When your lips mine do meet
I am not as before.

Café in the Sun

The sight of musicians, the touch of a sweet
Upon a tongue tasting the scent of the heat
And hearing the call of the lips that are soft,
When eye touches eye, and our Sun is aloft.

Heat

Today the air with heat doth steam
And of our flesh undressed I dream
The moisture glistens and the touch
Of fingers on soft hair is such
As to make us forget the world
As we are in a tempest furled.

Summer Showers

Drenched by the rain and sun, sticky and wet
Peel off all clothes and be cleansed by the jet
Of water enlivened at touch of a tap
Luxurious soap, then in fluffy towel wrap.

Time

Skias onar

When Pindar called man of a shadow, dream
Did he himself, immortal poet, mean?
None can foresee who will pass through the sieve
Of time, and in the mind of others live.

Foresight

Happy the hare at morning, for she cannot read
The headlines loudly calling, how the world doth bleed.
Not sad the little field mouse, even should he find
The plough's destroyed his leaf house. Now is all his mind.
But we who live by foresight, know that time will end
And flee before that good night, nothing can forfend.

(The first line is by Auden, from The Dog Beneath the Skin.)

On the First of a Month

The calendar that hangs upon the wall
Its picture for this month reveals today.
An antique visage can the past recall
But not our future. Where next? None can say.

Les temps à trouver

Madeleine petite, I shall thee eat
And so ingest a past year's zest
Our cells do hold the days yet told
But cannot show where we will go.

The Window Box

A window box of purple, pink and green
Adorns a house just up the road from here.
By tourists, locals and the postman seen
It brightens mornings, brings us all good cheer.
But in the winter evening's creeping gloom
Will we lament the passing of the bloom
Or will our recall be so blessed short
That promise of a new spring fill our thought?

The Heavens

Cosmos

The Cosmos shows its beauty to
Those who would not have come to be
Had it not order made anew
And so their ground of being they see.

Rondeau of the Stars

The stars above, what do they mean?
Is their round but a great machine?
They show how far away the sky,
A mighty dome in which to fly,
And mark out space for Halloween.

Star of the Sea, by sailors seen
A source of joy, so oft has been
A thousand ships are guided by
The stars above.

They tell us not what might have been
But give to us a hope so keen
That even though the witches cry
We shall not say, the light may die
Nor fear the dark that lies between
The stars above.

Constellations

The beasts that circle, lion and bear
We think they are not really there
Haphazard shapes, only to view
From Earth, and only for a few
Millennia, then stars move on
And this menagerie be gone
But what we see from here and now
If we truth not find there, then how?

The Star-Gazer

Star-gazer, look upon the light
That traces out the inky night
But while it is an awesome sight
Produced by gravitation's might
Think too that your own complex brain
Knows when each star will come again
While these great fusion fires insane
Cannot one thought have, or retain.

c

When we our e-mails to each other send
And down the optic fibre they do wend
We are constrained by finite speed of light
But that lets us see yesteryear tonight.
The birth of stars and remnants of the crack
Of time we can through telescopes behold
And though Einstein was finite, we not lack
Equations that the shape of all unfold.

Solstice

Three days from now the Sun shall reach its turn
And we shall stretch the day long all undress.
The dusk shall touch the dawn, stars scarce to burn
And so the passion of the night compress.
Then shall the blazing globe roll languid south
In three more days midsummer fires ignite
And in the heat of lips upon the mouth
Apollo's sunflower surge into new light.

The physicist may photons, fusion track
And gravity that holds the world in thrall.
And that is just, we are but stardust's wrack
But yet can touch the stars, o'erleaping all.
So seize the day, after so many years,
And hearken to the music of the spheres.

Autumnal Equinox

At equinox stand night and day as one
The stars as much dominion as the Sun
Now creeps on us the blanket of the night
And leaves and birds in brisker wind take flight
Soon it will be our time a fire to build
That we shall not in longer night be chilled
And in a three-month, greatest blaze of all
To Sol Invictus, turning back the pall.

Le soleil et la lune, die Sonne und der Mond.

In le and la, and das der die,
The sex of words doth come to light.
The Sun can masc and fem both be
The Moon brings wordless sex by night.

Planet Earth

The Sea

Where does this wave come from, where does it go?
It sinks away, its energy below
Which rises in a new wave, or the same
And so goes on, this movement with no name.
At last the wave or its far distant kin
Makes landfall, sprays the rocks, is sucked back in
For though the sea may bear us shining trove
It guards its own, in ocean and in cove.

Uncharted Waters

The clear, the dark, the wild, the tame,
Uncharted waters look the same
As those that lie upon the map
Or at the edge of dry land lap.
So why do we the map's edge fear
And nervously beyond it peer?
We can strike out, if ship be sound,
A new land reach, or this globe round.

Terra incognita

Of lands beyond our ken we dream
First footing there can scarce real seem.
We say the globe explored has been
But not the future, great unseen.
So when between the sheets you slip,
And dream of voyage far by ship,
Know that the taste of places new
May come across the sea to you.

Sudden Storm

A sudden storm on mountain height
With thunderclap cascades white snow
It surges through the cleft so tight
And floods the valley down below.
Then as the storm abates its force
And melt runs off the deep-soaked ground
We kiss, and smile, and know the course
Of nature will again come round.

The Wind

Where had I heard the wind before
Change like this to a deeper roar?
It was the final hour before
The storm tore through like lion's paw
Ripped house apart with savage claw
And left us crying, "Take no more"
As we looked out on wood-strewn shore
And greedy, swirling waters saw
Suck all into the Earth's dark core.

(The first two lines are the start of Bereft by Robert Frost.)

The Forest

O forest where the trees stand tall
The sunlight scarce can touch the ground
And softly rain and leaves do fall

Above there rings the birdsong call
Below the squirrel's rustling sound
O forest where the trees stand tall

Beneath the feet each crackle small
Will make the rabbits turn around
And softly rain and leaves do fall

One day they'll build an oaken hall
But why when it we here have found?
O forest where the trees stand tall

The dew has cast its shining pall
Embrace and roll upon this ground
And softly rain and leaves do fall

In such a place can we recall
A day the world did halt its round
O forest where the trees stand tall
And softly rain and leaves do fall.

Places

Paris

A town upon a mighty stream
To left the thinkers idly dream
To right the commerce and the art
In mid-flow beats the city's heart
And under all, the métro swift
Transports each lover, with a gift
Now that the pneumatique no more
Can rush sweet letters to the door.

Venise

Dans cette ville des beaux masques
On ne fait que des frasques.
La fausseté qui se cache
Elle s'enfuit sans une tache.
Vérité, est-elle où?
Est nulle part et partout.
Labyrinthe des ruelles
Et la mer éternelle.

Die Schweiz

There is a land by which to set your clock
A land where each tick's followed by a tock
The trains arrive at each stop in good time
And poetry is ne'er without a rhyme
They store the gold, and chocolate they sell
But how they do these great things, none can tell.

Fitzbillies in Cambridge

Fitzbillies make the Chelsea bun
To scoff one is such sticky fun
And this is culture on the Cam
I eat and think, therefore I am.