Success

You know how I love to talk
About myself –
My ego is ulcer-ridden,
But I have organised my
Conversation to suit my moods –
I’ve worked for years to get
Where I am –
Many caught my kick on the way up!
I live now in the twilight of
Half-truth daring to tell no-one
Too much in-case I lose my mystery
And become like everyone else –
I am ruthless –
Well, you know that’s how one must be –
Nothing must stand in my way –
I have no compassion
For king or beggar –
I put puppies out in the coldest rain –
And watch tears fall down
Lovely cheeks without wiping
One away –
I am skin deep –
I last only for today –
If I stop for one, brief moment
And take a rest,
They will forget my quest
And my ego will become obsolete –
So I must rush, must haste,
Must pack my case and flee –
Towards the winds that beckon me –
But I see a threatening, impending doom –
Standing silent in my room –
And I struggle with my laces
To make my get-away –
Without looking back –
I hurry, hurry to any convenient station
To catch the eternal train
Back to where I started from –
There was the same doom –
And the train had gone!

Shanne Sands, extract from ‘Shadows and Realities’.

Fragments of Desire published by FootSteps Press

You Are My Oasis

You are my oasis
The fertile spot
In the desert of
My life –

From you and only you
Words will flow like water
From the underground-well –
The spiritual oath
Needed by poets
Will always be sacred –

You are my illustration –
More than my ideal –
My symbol of victory
Like the leaf of a palm-tree –
But you are also my pannier –
A kind of beast of burden
Carrying all the mistakes
I must never make –

And in the end as in the beginning
You are my love –
Where all poetry
Becomes leopards
Wild, untamed and free –

Where panic ends in sleep –
And muddy years have moved away –
No rust will settle on your panoply –
No brittle speech
Will rot your poems
Or mine –

You are my open respect
For bits of typewriters
And pieces of white paper –
Although the pain is
Terrible at times –
You are my altar
For a thousand dancing words –

 

Shänne Sands, Fragments of Desire

Love

Do I dare speak?
How shall I begin?
Soaring from some great height
An exalted fl ight –
Sweeping you off your feet
As I usually do.
Or shall I begin softly
With tenderness, on tiptoe
With my head covered in white silk –
Shall I come tall as an Alpine day
With huge mountains blocking
My way to your heart –
Or shall I be small
And perfectly untouchable
In my beauty –
Or shall I stumble,
Lurch into mistakes and fright –
Leaving you to weep
Such sad weepings –
Shall I be buoyant
And fl oat into you
Like an ocean would –
Filling your being with enough
Power to surmount every problem
Trying to force me out –
Or shall I not come at all –
And leave you free to cast yourselves
Into the seas of circumstance,
Where you will sink
And never know about me –
Would that be fair?
For although I do not offer fi delity
Only a promise of a kiss –
You should not miss my lottery tickets
Five for two-shillings on a hot day
For you might win.
I have always been a gamble –
But you might win!

Shänne Sands, Grass (extract) ‘Fragments of Desire’ – FootSteps Press

 

For My Poor Sick Brother Allan Edwin

I have not seen an angel
Or heard an holy voice –
Or witnessed a miracle –

Nor seen a saint –
But I have felt a peace –
A tenderness –

A token-wind of faith –
I have known a place –
Where a spirit played
Deep on my heart –
Played in my brain –

A touch of joy sped me along –
A path leading upward to His Cross –
And on my knees or standing
Near his church – I have felt
The nearness of a truth –
Confl ict is banished into ash –
And high above reason, time or year
His precious call repeats
The message of a world to come –
‘My people hear, oh! Hear’

Shänne Sands, Fragments of Desire published by FootSteps Press

Allen Edwin had a schizophrenic episode in his thirties and, when on his medication, became a devout missionary. He died in his early seventies, alone in Cheltenham, England.

Siste Viator

Stop Traveller –
Boredom evaporates desire
Even as fire burns itself to ash –
Your feet will touch and stay no longer –
Losing interest in maps and charts –
Peoples and their towns of historic value
Will nudge your boredom and at daybreak
You will take a look at castles plus churches
Then hurry to get some lunch with
Aching eyes from too much sun –
An irreparable damage to your heart
Makes you depart from all your longings –
Nothing holds the virtue that you’ve lost
And travelling become the countenance
Of lost truth –
Too many cities, too many days from Persia
To Peru, across to Samoa or Siam, through
Uruguay or Tunis, Romania and Venezuela,
Yugoslavia and all the lonely way back –
With postcards of Sarawak –
Words blow like a flag in your mind
Vestigia nulla retrorsum
You have left nothing behind –
Taken nothing away –
You will not return this or any day
For your footsteps left no traces
Backward or forward you remain
Only bored
A strange peace mocks the empty suitcase –
The day the traveller stops

 

Shänne Sands – from Fragments of Desire, FootSteps Press 2012.

On Reading Ben Johnson

I have loved faces silvered with gloom
Faces dipped into light stolen from the moon –
I have loved faces humoured by the sun
Flickered by sunbeams as the day has run.

I have loved backs like perfect trees
Straight and fi rmed to thighs and knees
And hands where fi ngers like fl owers
Sway away unpleasant hours –

I have loved eyes that shelter tears
Before they fall as fall the years
And merry eyes full of happy laughter
Eyes that sorrow cannot master –

I have loved voices that only echo right
I have loved voices heard in darkest night
Voices not deformed by angry lives
Voices free from vulgar thought or bribes.

I have loved lips that moulded rhyme –
Kissed the poets’ words from every time –
Even if furious demons invent my pain
I shall love all these again –

Shänne Sands,
from the selection of poems Fragments of Desire published by FootSteps Press

Success

You know how I love to talk
About myself –
My ego is ulcer-ridden,
But I have organised my
Conversation to suit my moods –
I’ve worked for years to get where I am –
Many caught my kick on the way up!
I live now in the twilight of
Half-truth daring to tell no one
Too much in case I lose my mystery
And become like everyone else –
I am ruthless –
Well, you know that’s how one must be –
19
Nothing must stand in my way –
I have no compassion
For king or beggar –
I put puppies out in the coldest rain
And watch tears fall down
Lovely cheeks without wiping one away –
I am skin deep –
I last only for today –
If I stop for one brief moment and take a rest,
They will forget my quest
And my ego will become obsolete –
So I must rush, must haste,
Must pack my case and flee –
Towards the winds that beckon me –
But I see a threatening, impending doom –
Standing silent in my room –
And I struggle with my laces
To make my getaway –
Without looking back –
I hurry, hurry to any convenient station
To catch the eternal train
Back to where I started from –
There was the same doom –
And the train had gone!

 

Shänne Sands, part of Shadows and Realities a Dramatic Poem, in Fragments of Desire published by FootSteps Press.

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