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.