Well of love, p.1
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Well of Love
Well of Love

  by John Beresford

  Copyright 2012 John Beresford

  War of Nutrition


  Author's Notes



  Well of Love

  True Friends

  The Rarest Bloom




  Safe Haven

  What Life?

  Casing the Show


  Eggs, Chips and Peas

  The Techie

  Mordent Notes

  A Day In The Life

  About the Author

  Author’s Notes

  Most of these poems, written between 2000 and 2006, were originally posted on my website. Now I’m offering them in this free package, which includes one previously unpublished verse and some other small changes, for e-readers.

  The explanatory notes which previously accompanied the poems do not appear in this version. Your own interpretations are thereby liberated.

  If you like this introduction to my poetry then look out for my second volume — Valentine Wine — which follows shortly and includes a couple of examples of more… adult… content.

  John Beresford

  June 2012


  Cold crystal light shines faint above

  While I sleep on and dream of love

  That once would sit about my feet

  Share whispered words and single beat

  On mouldering leaves an old wolf prowls

  Tormented by the light he howls

  And leaves me to the biting cold

  With woody stories never told

  Of silver face that takes the mind,

  Or grips the soul and shakes the kind

  Of heart that may be set to break,

  Or moves the very Earth to quake

  Wood thoughts are mine of damp and moss

  My branches, wind-blown, bend and toss

  But I will stretch to touch the moon

  For daylight will be here too soon


  Spring in your step, the way to school

  Is filled with conjured danger

  You never see the hidden fool

  You always trust the stranger

  Learn and grow is what you do

  Playing by the book

  Decide which friend's to go to

  By what their mothers cook

  Summer days fly past so quick

  You bask in golden glory

  Job, wife, kids come fast and thick

  The while you write your story

  No time to sit, or think, or plan

  Doors open if one closes

  Rush to impress, to be a man

  Forget to smell the roses

  The Fall can come in just one night

  You may not hear it coming

  But wake in sweat a dreadful fright

  Your world no longer humming

  For quietly drop the leaves of life

  And soon the tree is bare

  The kids leave home, and then your wife

  Remembered in your prayer

  Winter comes to end the year

  With snow upon the rooftop

  Your pace, though slow, is without fear

  Your ticker’s in the pawnshop

  Now spring, and youth, are both long past

  And rest your sole desire

  Those schoolday friends are joined at last

  Your place saved by the fire.

  Well of Love

  In a cool glade stands a well, its brickwork time and fortune rimed

  The aged structure steadfast waits in silence undisturbed

  Couples passing through the dell remark the pitch with droppings grimed

  Pass on with saddened smiles and happy voices quickly curbed

  The winch is rusted all to hell, the bucket's handle broken

  The days long past when succour sought within its clammy shaft

  What livid tales the fount could tell, though not a word is spoken,

  Of love ignored, of hopes that died and unrewarded graft

  Though oft abused the well has been when giving of its waters

  Drawn not for thirst yet other tasks command its precious prize

  For fighting fires and keeping clean; a drop saved for his daughters

  Whilst all about the withering grass from heat of anger dries

  Yet still down deep the pool is clear, its welling source untainted

  The water fresh as e'er it was despite being long untried

  Stepped onto stage a maiden fair, her short-cropped hair bright painted

  Gold in the sun and in that ray the damaged well she spied

  While walking slow cross blighted sward the lady's face is saddened

  With that first glance alone she understands the poor well's plight

  Then gently smiles, her love outpoured, and all around are gladdened

  Beneath her steps the grass springs new; shrugs off soul winter's blight

  Soft summer rain falls in the glade like tears of love awakened

  And piercing shafts of sunlight pure illuminate the green

  Under her charm the well remade and all was bent is straightened

  The maiden's hand removes all trace of distress there has been

  My well is deep and filled anew with ’freshing waters running

  The rusty winch now smoothly runs, the bucket's handle whole

  The water drawn refreshes you at end of long day's sunning

  Its flavour pure, tasting yet more becomes your lifelong goal

  Like any well, when water's drawn, seems not a drop diminished

  The well of love cannot be plumbed by buckets large or small

  My love for you from its first dawn I knew would ne'er be finished

  Though limitless in its supply, still you will have it all.

  True Friends

  True friendship - a rare art

  No teaching can impart

  Elusive to most though not others

  Some folk think they've many

  Whilst some don't have any

  There are those believe all men are brothers

  What makes a true friend?

  You know in the end

  "One in need" is youth's drumming that lingers

  The one thing that you

  Will be lucky to do

  Is to count them all on one hand's fingers

  You walk life never seeing

  The fact that you're being

  Yourself is all marked to your credit

  The deeds you have done

  Match the hearts you have won

  Though no-one explicitly said it

  Your joy when they've grown,

  Hospitality shown

  The day when you shared someone's grief

  The touch or the word

  With which you have stirred

  A beaten man's lost self-belief

  A shoulder to cry on,

  A lift to rely on

  When personal transport is lacking

  Someone moving house

  Hears not grumble or grouse

  As you help with the lifting and packing

  All this you have done

  In a spirit of fun

  Never once with a thought of repayment

  But just for the crack,

  For the slap of a back

  And the drinking of draughts drawn by draymen

  That you keep from their lives

  And the smiles of their wives

  For year upon year never sours

  Friendship - it's not weighed

  By the length of your stay

  Good times are not mea
sured in hours

  And then, being burned,

  To your friends you returned

  When you need them the most there they are

  To share with a smile,

  Let you stay for a while

  Or to help you to find your lost star

  Not judgemental nor critics,

  No deep metaphysics

  But accepting and caring and strong

  With a coffee or tea

  Or the offer of me

  You know, with True Friends, you belong!

  The Barbary chicken

  Was fine - finger lickin!

  Ten-pin bowling was quite up to scratch

  The beer that we drank,

  Sunday tea, pool balls sank

  Hushed words walking back from the Test Match

  So I'd like to toast you,

  For I've had to coast to

  This point to see how I am blessed

  With True Friends abounding,

  The corner I'm rounding

  No longer alone or depressed

  A truth is revealed,

  If ever concealed,

  At the last with all said and all done

  Though you might think it trite

  Yet this saw has it right

  To have a True Friend you must be one

  The Rarest Bloom

  Upon a sun-drenched urban street

  An old apartment stands

  Cool green protects the entrance to a dark forbidding hall

  Outside, the city people greet;

  Absorbed within their plans

  Unseen by them but close, with soundless whisper dry leaves fall

  For in the block, in unit five,

  Upon a lacquer table

  There sits a withered plant that once brought joy to all around

  Though close to death the bud survives,

  So far as she is able

  And strives to brighten lives of those who cannot hear her sound

  The master of the house ignores

  The prize to which he's blind

  The rarest bloom that shares his life he starves of love and care

  Untidiness and other flaws

  Distract his vapid mind

  Dull life so occupies him he just does not see, or dare

  This flower's drooping petal hides

  A soul that should be treasured

  True beauty sleeps beneath the leaf that now seems old and dry

  Unknown to all in secret bides;

  It never has been measured

  Would there be one knew how to look, full certain he'd espy

  A tale of unrelenting pain,

  Sustained for many years

  Of how this fount of glamour stays neglected and despised

  Like favoured book is read again;

  Remembering bitter tears

  The unique plant's potential still remains unrealised

  Until one day an Englishman

  Walks by the curtained casement

  And casts a furtive glance into the room wherein it lies

  He catches breath, for see he can

  And peers into the basement

  It seems to him the plant calls to be rescued ere she dies

  The threshold crossed, the passage walked,

  So faces he the door

  Which opens to his knock revealing cold disordered home

  His gaze falls on the tired stalk

  Which from the street he saw

  Ears dead to futile protests from the interfering gnome

  "Oh wondrous herb, oh beauteous gift

  That should not here be sleeping,"

  He cries, distraught to see the pain so close, before her kneels

  To fuddled sloth he gives short shrift

  In manner of her keeping

  And cups cool draught to quench the thirst for life within he feels

  Now deep within the flaccid leaves

  A touch of colour glows

  A hint of recognition from the heart whose trust he's won

  As if to saviour's breast she cleaves;

  A kindred spirit knows

  He stirs her soul, he offers life where life before was none

  Then snatches up the pot and strides

  Unheeding from the place

  Returning home cross storm tossed sea while withered bloom recovers

  Protected in his love she bides

  Yet feels a world of space

  And in that space she shoots anew; dares dream of friends and lovers

  Transplanted to his garden how

  The thriving twig surprises

  Where fresh clean air and gentle rain bring budding life anew

  Though indoor stem was planted now

  A perfect tree arises

  Her blossom, wind strewn, carpets all with soft yet striking hue

  Today the tree triumphant stands,

  Her boughs and leaves outspread

  Of past life's painful memories no outward scars remain

  A resting place for lovers' hands,

  A pillow for their heads

  Strong and free her spirit soars and heartwood bears his name


  Sat atop the sodium lamp

  Peering through the foggy damp

  Coolly watch the world go by

  Dream of distant sea dashed sky

  Screech defence at fever pitch

  Cold breeze brings familiar itch

  Stretch your wings before you go

  Pass remark on those below


  The glass is crystal, clear and bright

  Its stem a classy sweeping line

  The subtle cuts reflect blue light

  No fingerprints to mar its shine

  Six perfect clones upon the table

  Mahogany beneath them glows

  Best china settings, each with label

  And into perfect glass, wine flows

  With one brief taste the spell is broken

  The wine is corked, its flavour sour

  Though looks are shared no word is spoken

  Save statements of how late the hour

  At last, alone, the charges fly

  The look is all, does flavour matter?

  The glass misplaced - distracted eye

  And, falling to the floor, it shatters.
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