Glenn Hubbard

Glenn Hubbard lives in Madrid, where he teaches an English which is often rather ugly. Perhaps for this reason he started writing poetry.

He has had work published in a large number of online and paper journals. One of his poems was submitted for the Forward Prize

in 2019 and this year he won the Bangor Literary Journal’s FORTY WORDS competition with his poem Thirlage. He can occasionally

become a little obsessive about a poem but this is amply compensated for the marvelous experience of losing all sense of time while

he writes. His poetry owes a great deal to that of the late R.F. Langley.

The Beneficence of the Foxglove

See how contentedly the bee ascends each bell within the woody dell.
See how well it fits.
See the bright trumpets; the rambler’s delight.
See how the sickly babe revives, how the parent cries He lives!
No longer stalled in paralysing fear, her heart contracting
with joy, the mother hears her boy’s beat stronger.
What great mystery is this! That these leaves might save a life.
That country folk discovered this. That anyone should ever
have questioned the existence of some loving god or goddess.

The Ruined Castles of Toledo

The ruined castles of Toledo,
tumble down to stony
ground on the edges of
indifferent towns.
 
Colonies of white storks
sit on nests at the top of
weathered stacks, heads
back as their beaks clap.
 
Inside, graffiti adorns walls
where tapestries once hung
above well-mannered men
and women prancing in masks.
 
Men in armour rode out at dawn
through their gates while wives
watched from battlements and
balistraria, and wept.
 
Important things happened, it seems,
within and without these walls.
Genealogists point to conceptions
and fitting ends to prolonged declensions.
 
Now none know or care
what may or may not
have happened there.
Except historians. They despair.
 
Pay a visit. As you roll up a spliff,
trip it merrily around sheep shit
and condom to the rattle and hiss
of an emptying paint canister.

Glade and Fen

Why would I shun the sun-struck glade
where the nectar-glutted butterflies float and glide
from flower to flower to sip with ease, where
songbirds sing from bowers or gently swaying trees?
 
I have no wish to be lost in this perfection,
to feel the self open and empty out
into a space where all is granted and given,
nothing hard won or wrested from the world.
 
Where the wind bends the sedge,
where it blasts and blinds and masks the sounds
flung out in vain by the few birds that cling on
and sing on though their voices are stolen,
where the one horse, its mane flying like spindrift
in a gale, shudders by the cold bars of the rattling gate,
where the gnarled branches of the stunted elders,
yielding yet unbending, lend their own discordance
to the shrill soundscape as they scrape and chafe
against each other in an endless irritation,
where the bright yellow flowers of the unwelcome ragwort
are all nature’s gaiety and being so little almost none,
here is where I come, to stand and stare.
 
No comfort there. But no despair.
What is not got without can take shape within.
The Fen casts no spell, will not thrill,
will grant no gay distraction to the flinching self.
Yet its winds blow open the portals of giant inner
spaces where each can fully know and grow
to acknowledge whatever little they are,
and cast-off illusion and start again.

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