Somewhere Else Writers now have a slot in Cirencester Scene, a monthly magazine delivered to 12,000 homes in the Cirencester area.
Poetry by Frank McMahon
A LARK ASCENDS
To the memory of Ralph Vaughan Williams
I just don’t understand how it is done
the translation of sound to notes on a stave
not even for one voice or solo flute.
But I grasp the drive to capture bird-song,
wind -howl and the cries of the bereaved,
to work; no slackening before death took you
plans for weeks and months ahead, the only way
to face each day before the void. Melodies
drawn thread by gossamer thread:
I am there in the meadows when I hear
them played, in the woodlands and the salt-marsh,
music arcing back to a vanishing
world , to its ancient taproots, gifted free
to any willing listener. Our music teacher told us you had
died and all I knew then was Greensleeves .Now
your music threads my clothes and weaves
its way into my dreams. When it is my turn to leave,
Elihu’s Dance, larks and blackbirds will sing me home.
Cathar village, invested once with hope
and simple faith until professed belief
was burned out of their bodies
and ashes scattered on a ravaged land.
Deep rooted vines produced a richer wine
before the river, drop by drop
No record when it began to lose itself,
prayers for revival futile
while the wine turned sour
in the dwindling cellars.
Engraved stones beneath
a scorching sun.
ON THE HILL
Tell me again. Why did I come here?
Was I invited? And if I was
who by? And if they said they’d come
why am I here alone?
Every path is clear
no mist concealing beast
or man or their approach.
The hill falls away to a copse
of oaks and the sky rises
to a kestrel’s flight. Hover.
Watch as the sun’s glow catches
the steeple of the church.
Turn and turn in a slow
unsteady circle round
the compass of this hill.
Turn and turn again
as a sob echoes
in the hollow of the wind.
All three poems were first published in the poetry magazine, The Cannon’s Mouth. 2018 is the 60th anniversary of the death of Ralph Vaughan Williams and lectures and recitals of his works took place in August at Down Ampney where he was born to commemorate his life.
Frank McMahon has just been elected Chairman of the group and believes his involvement has inspired his writing. As well as writing poems, he is producing play scripts for radio,