Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

First haiku

I must confess this:

No haiku have I written 

 Till I wrote this one

May 11, 2009 Posted by | literature, poetry, Viv's Poetry | , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Tree Gods


Tree Gods


They wait, these trees.

Slender children of older gods,

Mighty as towers but long gone,

Fallen to ruin and leaf mould.

They wait, these trees.

Winters pass like melting snow;

The glades grow dense, with brambles

Hiding their burrowing feet.

Moss-furred stumps,

The bones of their ancestors

Remind them of past glories.

They wait, these trees.

Summers pass like blooming flowers.

The dells ring with song

And deer run in hidden paths

Of dappled sun and shade.

They wait, these trees.

The tiny child grows up,

Grows old and passes on,

Houses rise and houses fall

Towns boom, towns bust,

Kings and queens come and go.

The trees alone remain.

March 5, 2009 Posted by | Cafe Literati, nature, photo, Viv's Art, Viv's Poetry | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dark waters

Dark Waters


My own darkness rises to meet me:

As close as my own shadow and as dark.

No charm, no talisman, no prayer,

No kind words, no good intent,

No strong will, no firm purpose,

No amount of intellect or wit

Can even begin to save me.

Like a wall of water it rolls onward

Vast and unstoppable as the tides

That wash the shores each day.

The water fills my ears near to bursting

And I hold my breath as long as I can.

As I breathe out one final time,

Beyond the rushing waves that cover me

I’d swear I can hear whalesong.

by Viv

February 18, 2009 Posted by | Cafe Literati, death, life, personal, poetry, psychology, Viv's Poetry, writing | , , , , , , , | 10 Comments




The colours spell danger-

Yellow and black in bold stripes,

And the drone like a chainsaw,

Cartoon-ish, exaggerated madly.

An unmistakeable intruder,

Buzzing wildly and bumbling

From window to wall,

Every footfall audible

Like a prehistoric bug

Blundering into our modern room.

And yet, I feel no fear.

This insect, as big as my thumb,

Does not terrify me.

I feel simply wonder and love.

by Viv

February 10, 2009 Posted by | animals, Cafe Literati, life, love, nature, personal, poetry, Viv's Poetry, writing | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Test to Destruction

Test to destruction


My mascara has not run,

But it seems to have gone.

I like to put things

Through their paces:

Test to destruction.

My heart has not broken

But it seems to have cracked.

I like to put things

Through their paces:

Test to destruction.

My faith is not destroyed,

But it’s certainly frayed.

I like to put things

Through their paces:

Test to destruction.

My God is not tarnished,

But he seems to have vanished.

I like to put things

Through their paces:

Test to destruction.

February 6, 2009 Posted by | Cafe Literati, God in our life, life, literature, love, personal, poetry, psychology, religion, Viv's Poetry, women, writing | , , , | 8 Comments



The picture is a watercolour pencil version of the remains of a burial mound called Sweyne’s How, which is located somewhere in the middle of Rhossili Down on the Gower Peninsula in Wales. Sweyne was the warlord after whom the town of Swansea was named.  There’s not a lot left but a few big rocks but boy, did it take us some wandering to find it. Ordnance survey maps can be very unhelpful.

I really enjoy visting prehsitoric sites around Britain but always find dear old Stonehenge rather a hard place to cope with. There are a few barrows a short walk away which are very neglected. You can see the Henge from them; this was where I began the following poem. It came second in a national competition.  I hope you enjoy both the picture and the poem as they illustrate a similar point. I maybe ought to add that I have Welsh ancestry; my great grandmother’s cottage is in the National Welsh  folk museum just outside of Cardiff. I went to see it some years ago and it was a very odd experience. I also have Irish ancestry.  I had an ancestress whose profession was down as “manglewoman” on the census of 18 something. I don’t do the whole genealogy thing but who my people were as a general thing fascinates me.


The dead lie quiet and watchful here, I think,
Beneath the waving wildflowers
And tall grasses bleached blonde
By intermittent summer sun.
A lady lies here, or a kind man maybe;
War-like in weapons only
But quiet in heart and mind.
The other dead, dust alone remaining,
Resent the relentless tread
Of dull and careless feet
That wear the crown of the barrow bald
And lay bare the chalky soil
In an uncertain stony path.
The great stones, a glance away,
Command the attention of the dull throng
Caught up in automatic wonder
Walking the stony circus round and round
While here, unheeded, the real ancestors lie.

by Viv

February 4, 2009 Posted by | Cafe L'Arte, Cafe Literati, death, family, illustrations, life, literature, painting, personal, poetry, Viv's Art, Viv's Poetry, women, writing | , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Mud and tears

Mud and tears


After the snow: the rain.

After the rain: the flood.

After the flood: the mud.

Snow imprisons me

And I dread the thaw:

Tears, anger and the mud.

What a mess!

But the black Nile silt

Laid thick across the plain

Made Egypt once

An Empire’s breadbasket.

Let then the ice melt:

Welcome the dancing torrents

And await the healing mud.

by Viv

February 2, 2009 Posted by | Cafe Literati, death, God in our life, health, life, literature, nature, personal, poetry, psychology, religion, Viv's Poetry, women, writing | , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Accident of Birth

I was born a blonde
But beneath layers of fairness
There lurks a redhead,
Fiery, impulsive and hot.
I was born a Pisces,
On the cusp of Aries, Scorpio rising.
But I’m no bland cod-fish though:
I’m Jambalaya, in Cajun sauce.
I was born in the South;
Accident of fate, Northern stock.
Lose a leg? Hop, girl, hop!
They breed ’em tough up there.
I was born a woman.
But my inner man sits firm,
Fists balled primevally
Nursing a proper pint.
I was born complicated:
Don’t try to understand me,
It’ll just make your brain spin.
Best just let me be.

by Viv

January 30, 2009 Posted by | Cafe Literati, food, fun, humor, life, literature, love, personal, poetry, psychology, Viv's Poetry, women, writing | , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Just words

Just words
No one listens to me.
But then I have nothing to say
I have not said a thousand times before.
I'm dying for someone to hear
My silent screams
And offer help.
I'm searching for the words:
The right words
The magic words.
They're just words;
They hold no power
To save or damn me.
Just words: no more.
by Viv


January 29, 2009 Posted by | Cafe Literati, health, life, literature, personal, poetry, psychology, Viv's Poetry, women, writing | , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments


Last weekend I saw the very first snowdrops peeping through the cold earth. Not open yet by any means, but the tightly furled waxy white flowers are up above ground now and that, for me, is the very start of Spring. It’s Imbolc at the weekend, the original Celtic festival of Brigit, and this heralds the start of spring. Imbolc means Ewe’s milk and basically means the start of the agricultural year with the onset of lambing. I’ve helped out at lambing once or twice and even though I’ve only done stuff like pass things to the shepherd (before you ask, I’ve never(yet) had my hand up a sheep’s bottom) I have found it a powerful experience. Where we used to live Nigel used to do a special service for the first lambs, followed by a slap-up supper at the farm of Shepherd’s Pie! The focus here is marine, not pastoral and I rather miss the bawling of new lambs.

The following poem is part of a cycle of poems written about the whole of the year; this is the very first of the spring cycle.



The fields of endless white

Spread further than the eye can see,

Grim mountains of jagged grey,

Still clad in silken swathes of snow,

The air so crisp is tastes of glass

And fills my mouth with blood.

A scent of stones fills the air,

Old and cold as passing time.

The crunch of paws though ice,

Breath like steaming clouds,

A stench of passing death,

The brush of icy whiskers

As Winter’s bear retreats.

I stand alone on the snowfield.

 The trickle of the starting thaw

A quiet chuckle at the passing

Of the season’s snow bear

And the merriment of the new.

by Viv


January 27, 2009 Posted by | animals, Cafe Literati, life, literature, personal, poetry, Viv's Poetry, women, writing | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments