Poetry - By John R Oliver (My Dad)

These poems were written over a number of years - That's him above, with me. For info - apis are bees - Dad loved bees and studied the history of beekeeping whilst being a keen beekeeper himself. The rest of the poems cover: love, life, loss and beautiful places. What more could you want - enjoy.



They call you primitive,

Tiny Florea, fashioning but one small comb to live out in the sun,

And cumbersome giant Dorsata, peeping from the scattered rocks, wherein he hides,

Relics of times unknown.


Fleet of wing and deft of tongue Mellifica, the honey gatherer,

Pans the broad earth in many differing hues,

Diverse races with legends of their own,

From the temples of the Pharaohs to the forests of the Czars.


Cerana from the snow tipped Himalayas rising,

With Indica from India’s quiet hilly tracts,

March across Asia as the hordes of Genghis Khan,

Even to the chilling wastes of dark Siberia.


Symbol of Tutankhamun, the noble, Godlike, Lamarkii,

Majestically sailed the nile to reap her harvest,

Whilst to the east the proud Syriac Warriors,

Swaggered with lances ever at the ready.


Survivor of the Ice Age in Mount Elburz,

Long tongued Caucasica hid in Mellisa’s sleeve,

Quietest of all the gentle Carnica, flew from the Alps,

Over ambling Bistrica River to the fertile Magyar Plains.


Radiant Linguista like burning gold,

Virgil extolled her praises through the corridors of time,

Whilst the wise Cyprian succouring the Gods of old,

Ranged o’er Mount Haemetus for the sacred juice of Thyme.


Beauteous Dark Mellifera, gentle ruler of the old world,

With parched Saharan Adonsonii conquered all the new,

Cultures strange from different lands they took,

Reaping the liquid harvest of the tender flowers.


To suck such sweet clear nectar, like lovers in a charmed embrace,

Entwined in timeless ecstasy, the Glossa penetrating deeper and deeper,

Flabellan reaches further still into the very soul of being,

The tenderest consummation, pollinates the Golden Heliathus.





I thought I felt the chill of evening,

And had lost the little I had known,

My heart slowed, numbly stilling,

Thoughts no longer stayed my own.


I wonder if ‘tis lost forever,

Such fleeting moments, such brief joys,

To feel the sun is clouding over,

Is like the ending of my days.





Crystal cool, rushing and turning over round stones,

Glinting with sunshine, effervescent Champagne,

Sparkling as diamonds on gentlest fingers,

Hope’s stream skipping onwards, almost kissing our feet.


Tail flicking cattle grasp shade under trees,

Where children played and lovers sighed,

How many children? How sweet the love?

The Oak tree knows but does not tell.


Stone upon stone, fitting snugly together,

Slate edging slate, keeping tight from the rain,

Strong from the winds, sweet haven of refuge,

But windowless now and doors are all gone.


Gorse clad moorland with sheep idly grazing,

Swallows sweeping and dipping beneath cushioning clouds,

Such yielding peace, such soothing tranquillity,

I took your hand and wished it would last.






She smiles, bobbing her sylvan hair,

Disarming with incandescent eye,

Joking and laughing each about,

She smiled again and turned her head.


I watched as she moved from each to one,

Laughing and joking ever about,

Smiling to each as she smiled at me,

Disarming all with candescent eye.


Will she not, but once, look back,

Yet I follow the laugh and smile each one,

Can she not feel the strength of my eye?

Does she not know the power of my will?


Never, but once, did she look back,

Yet my heart is ablaze and my soul as ice,

Does she not know that I know love?

Can she not tell that love found me?


Despair cries from the depth of infinity,

The marrow numbs as I leave at last,

Across the room I glance yet again,

She is looking straight at me but smiling no more.





Placed on your tender lips

The softest smile,

Endowed with such gentle eyes

So kindly understanding,

The fleeting touch of a tiny silken hand,

Rebuke me not, thou chaste

And liquid jewel,

For love can I not deny thee.





Oh! Smiling, bright eyed babe, who made thee?

       Conceived in love, and born in joy,

       A helpless all demanding treasured soul,

       Growing slowly by the hour.


Oh! Gurgling joy, with stubby fingers ever reaching,

       Doll like toes on legs so freely kicking,

       A dimpled cheek and down like hair,

       Blooming as graceful as a flower.


Oh! Perfect, joyful babe, who loves thee?

       Bringing life’s full purpose, and deep meaning,

       Bright happiness that fills the heart,

       Contentment’s sturdy bower.


Oh! Wherein such perfection, may imperfection lie?

       What cruel ride of fate can make thee suffer?

       Why needs such innocence a yoke to bear?

       Clouding the sunflower.


Oh! The dull ache that numbs my fingertips,

       The leaden heart and tears that freeze the soul,

        So cruel fate wherein thy purpose now?

       Tinting such joy sour.


Oh! Why, sweet loving babe, can I not lift thy burden?

        Or take upon myself the blight, I would.

        If all the tears I shed could make thee whole, then thy sore trial were lifted,

         But in love’s hope is power.



Prairie Sunset


Greying clouds first blushing tints,

As virginal cheeks at first caress,

Steal nimbly through the ever-changing vault,

As shadows lengthen on the gaunt divide.


Lower in it’s course the dying sun,

From chaste pink adorns a rosier hue,

Gliding across the yawning Heaven,

As the dark prairie settles to night.


The furthest cloud bends blushing cheek,

As virgin slips to smiling maid,

Her armour chinked, the fire at first revealed,

The cleft steals Wider, the silence stills.


The sky’s wide open, her maiden head is breached,

All passions flow as burning cheeks are raised,

The furnace deep within shows through her ardour now,

Searing the vault to crimson, ever deeper.


The Heaven’s ablaze, fire spreads through cloud to cloud,

Slashed with blood the firmament is rent,

No modesty, no caution now,

But carnal naked lust.



Secret Joy


Eyes meeting, knowing, but never saying,

Hands touching, sensing, but never holding,

Hearts so full and overflowing.


Thoughts and minds entwined forever,

Joy so deep and understanding,

Peace, contentment, ever flowing.





The sunflower smiles and all the world’s aglow,

Rolling the shadows to the farthest knot of space,

The lark proclaiming ever high to the sun,

As time stands still.


The blushing rose that steals the dawn,

Drops a soft tear of dew upon my cheek,

A pearl of life, so precious and so rare,

Held in eternity.



The Mist of Time


By oceans time I wandered,

Though waves rill by unceasing,

The stealthy years steal slyly by,

As in an hourglass turning.


Across the broadest highway,

Down the narrowest lane,

I’ve walked, I’ve strolled, I’ve stumbled,

I’ve paced them ever again.


To seek the river of moonlight,

Over tranquil Illyrian fields,

Where the sunflower blooms in profusion,

And the nightingale sings through the dawn.


The innocent joys of childhood,

Sweet happy laughter, brief frequent tears,

The gentle love of my Mother, lifting whenever I fell,

Her quiet smile of contentment as I mastered each small skill.


The searing bliss of first love, floating on cloudless skies,

Breath held at fingers touching, liquid trembling lips,

The tearing anguish, tear stained eyes,

As a dark shadow stops across my path.


The tender peace of full love, lives freely given and richly shared,

Hand in hand together over life’s turbulent seas,

Ascending unscaled mountains, descending uncharted depths,

But finding the distant shore with fingers still entwined.


To savour sweetly of success and revel in achievement,

To feel the chilling grip of failure and despair,

To ponder the imponderable elusive theme,

And ask the way a thousand times a day.



Vyrnwy Forest


Cold grey gloom under green vault,

Straight limbs straining upward for light,

Shattering the dome into a thousand jewels,

Long lost ‘er they reach the cavern floor.


Heavy pile springs under foot,

Matted and twisted, tangled and entwined,

Dying together layer upon layer,

Still and silent as year follows year.


Delicate lace in emerald hues,

Gossamer sheen, soft to the touch,

Hang from branches like veils,

Within a mossy labyrinth.


The snap of a twig and starlings rise,

Circling, turning, twisting about,

Their harsh, rough call as they turn again,

Circling, twisting, calling in vain.


Eerie world of quiet enchantment,

Chill, though Icarus nears to the sun,

I walk within the tomblike stillness,

And contemplate the endlessness of time.


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