Early Verses / Poems

by richardhutton

Juvenilia from 2001-2002. These were written during the Autumn, Winter and Spring.
Gauche, but not as embarrassing as they once were. Too grim for my taste now though. I began writing three-line poems shortly after the last of these efforts, which I’ve continued to write until the present day).

These are in the public domain.

 

Waking (*)

Just one heart.
The sun’s warmth falls brightly,
Breaking light on your simple sleep.
Leaving its warmth in your fist clenched tightly;
Leaving it’s red on your cheek.

(* About a child waking up. Children are creatures of heaven, and belong to God. This was the last lyrical poem I wrote for seven years).

 

Let Me Sleep (*)

Little dreaming heart,
Fall asleep and never wake.

Soft she sings,
Softly scented summer words;
Soundless,
But gently heard:

“Bayu-bayushki-bayu,
I’ll sing a song for you”.
Pretty your mouth,
Tears of blue in your eyes –
Cold as the waters hiding the sunrise.

You’re tired and it’s late,
But try to stay awake;
Shield your eyes from the sun
Losing its light.
Rock the cradle, light the candle,
Close your eyes but hold your breath;
Catch the sound of the summer breeze.
The long rays of the evening sun
On everything and everyone.
But heaven speaks.

Dream yourself a wish;
Dream a warm and coloured kiss –
A secret summer smile for you;
But your bruised fingers and cut palms
Can’t catch the breeze
That takes your sighs
And cools your cheeks.

Awake.
Rock the cradle,
Burn the candle.
“Bayu-bayushki-bayu,
I’ll sing a song for you”.
Pretty your mouth,
Tears of blue in your eyes.
Cold now the heat
Of each morning’s sunrise.
Little dreaming heart,
Don’t fall asleep, but close your eyes.

Dream a wish to be.
Stars asleep and sleeping
Softly, soundless, in the lake.
They wait for you, they call –
‘All’s nothing; nothing’s all’.
The midnight waters rise and fall.
Soon –
Fleeting dreams beneath an autumn moon.

Dawn breaks the morning,
The morning breaks;
Its red sky aches,
The baby wakes.
“Bayu-bayushki-bayu,
I’ll sing a song for you”.
Pretty your mouth,
Tears of blue in your eyes.
Your tired heart fading
At the touch of each sunrise.

Heaven wants, heaven aches;
But the sun won’t leave
Until it burns itself cold and still.
So close your eyes.

Dark clouds chase each other across the sky.
Shadows flicker and sway,
Blown by the wind –
Night music,
With no beginning or end.

Awake.
Alone in your room,
But for a child that’s too loved
And the cold mid-winter sun.
It’s light falling down
On everything and everyone.

The sound of the wind
And a silent snowfall
Open into a small mouth crying.
It takes your warmth –
The stillness within –
Of summer smiles and angels’ wings.

The stars in the water –
Frozen, washed away;
Caught up and broken
By the waves.

A voice and a strain;
The candlelight cold.
The shadows breathing –
And the murmur of heartbeats
Wishing and dreaming.

The child unsleeping –
Its small breaths nets,
Trapping the moonlight
And the silences.

The winter wind
Blows light through the trees;
It quickens the child,
And stirs your dreams.
So close your eyes,
Let winter breathe.
Hush now, dream now,
Wish now and sleep.
The small mouth – no more to cry;
The sounds silenced
With a silk-blanket lullaby.

Bayu-bayushki-bayu,
I’ll sing a song for you.
Pretty your mouth,
Tears of blue in your eyes.
Fall asleep, never wake;
Join the silences.

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(* Based on a short story by Anton Chekov of the same title. The story concerns a young, teenage nurse looking after her masters’ baby. The strain of sleeplessness and care proves too much and she takes the baby’s life before following suit herself. ‘Bayu-bayushki-bayu’ is from a Russian lullaby. I was myself suffering a lengthy bout of insomnia at the time. My eyes are hazel, let it be noted).

 

Bumble Bee (*)

Tumbly bumbler,
Stumbly fumbler,
Tiger-striped black and yellow,
Blurred buzzing flying fellow.

The sunlight dancing on your wings
Slips into the air and sings
A brightly shining lullaby
That stays with me when you’ve flown by.

bumble-bee-flowers

(* Written for my sister when I was 19. Composed while walking around Lincoln Cathedral during a spring evening in 2001. I was at University there at the time. The poem is silly and childish; but so was University. I left at the end of the first year. The theme was supposed to be the virtue of imagination – which is helpful, given that the poem doesn‘t make any real sense).

 

Winter Stars (*)

Stars dim,
And split,
And coldly splinter.

Winter.
Its snows are silence
Falling,
Faintly falling,
Falling faintly,
Softly cold –
It covers.
Gentle crashes,
Like kisses smothered.

The wild earth’s peace.
All movement,
All moments,
Frozen,
Beneath;
Eased,
Released.

Snow falling

(* About dying. Death as peace, not a source of sorrow. Some of the imagery was drawn from the ending of James Joyce‘s short story The Dead, and is suitably pretentious. This was the first ‘poem’ I had ever written. It was composed during a winter night in Lincoln).

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