Category Archives: Republished
LIGHTLY FELT TIPS
When you learn to distinguish
between what is truly good in poetry
(especially your own)
and what is – shall we say – not so good
then you are almost there.
The rest is just practice, daring,
risk taking and self confidence.
Satisfying yourself is the foundation.
Rules are there to follow or break;
pleasing others a welcome bonus.
So leave the back door wide open
and invite the Musey Lady in for a brew.
She loves to take a load off.
If she’s silent, it’s only ‘cos she’s thinking.
She’s just observing, sipping her tea.
MASKS OF THE CRUSTACEAN
I would say the secrets of my soul
Yet trust no one to their hearing
Some keep silence, some keep talking
When they find they have nothing to say
And the fulfilled don’t write
Lame excuses and sprung steel alibis
Meshed fast in the complexities of pain
(Only my pleasures are simple)
Masks of the crustacean
Designed to reveal what they disguise
Playing at love like a game of chess
Not well, not badly, just lazily
Without due regard to the consequences of my moves
Reading too many fairy tales
And kissing far too many frogs
The generous truth is a beggar to find
Buried deep among the unsuspected cruelties of the small print
(When God finished the world
He saw that it was perfect
… And then of course He began wondering what to do next … )
Security in a pound note, safety in a pin
The tired old trumpeting of Church and State
Magic is afoot but the world’s gone metric
(Electric) and Securicor scares
The light fades, the air is flat and stale
The rain beats against the glass
Nights and days an endless tapeloop
Of supermarket muzak
Brush its teeth and put it to bed
The well-oiled programs run
Asleep within the fractured eye of my attention
Life, well-travelled, opens and closes around me
Here and there embroidered with a flower
The footsteps I follow through the blizzard of my memories
Are my own
IN THE LAST MOMENTS OF MY CHRISTMAS CANDLE
In the nest of a speckled thrush
Which contained some good ideas
I swear I saw a lamb
Who are you, heart of the flame
Who stand in grace above a dying light?
Sad endings across the hollow lake
Ducks at evening
A glacier of wax
The glass mountain of Nativity
Urbane as a bustling sufferer
The whole world in a flame
If it grew as a sheet of steel
For the hammer of hard fortune
Embrace the light
Do not flee before fears of your own face
Or a tree
Though dressed like an artist
I have nowhere to go
There is no flame
No flower without bud
No budding without death
Ah love, to know is to be true
Unsure as a bursting sunflower
On a slender stalk
Living to find the sun
I fear the sharp eyes of the wind
Of a spring and a summer gone by
All my life in a locket round my neck
Containing a few friends
I see you pretend to die proudly
Neck as a swan’s
But you will bend your back
Cough like an old man
Spitting in the street his lungs
I am the heart of the flame
The lord of life
Love is all, love is me
I do not need to tell you
Quite uselessly beautiful
You are the cloudless stars
You are the speckled sky
All passages of thought
So if you ever get bored
Your mind …
If you stop
You don’t have to start again …
Acres of space
Bumper to bumper
THE KILGORE TROUT MANOEUVRE
Would sometimes be found
Shaking his head at the clock and scowling
Said: “Logic is a tool
Not a home address”
Called himself a psychologist
Said he was conducting experiments
Said: “Luther said every person is their own priest
And by God if they aren’t their own psychologist too!”
Read Burroughs and Dick; said they really spoke to him
Lucky he didn’t end up on a Section
Said: “The wise use their power gently
And strive in secret to improve their character”
Kilgore Trout is a fictional author who appears in several Kurt Vonnegut novels, where a number of his plots are briefly described. (Check the internet for more details.) This device allows Vonnegut to (a) write things while disclaiming authorship of them (though the disclaimer is clearly flimsy) and (b) communicate some big ideas in a few sentences rather then having to write a…
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MADLY IN LOVE
Her life redrawn as a comic strip … sans comedy.
No longer that dynamic duo. Batteries flat.
Bats in the belfry, robbin’ bewildered senses blind.
And … adrift might best describe it. Hooked, blind and snookered.
…..(He is the one?)
Even lying beside her, not truly here, he lies
oceans away, behind cold fronts, lines of icy bars,
biting winds, squalls of temper, hurricanes of contempt.
Comforts herself with poetry and sweet memories
…..(He is the one!)
that turn to nightmares where he’s drowning, calling her name.
Then she is there, reviving him (mouth to mouth, of course).
Waking to find him gone she recaulks her leaky fancies,
sets her sails for yet another day tacking upwind.
…..(He is the one!)
Eschewing havens, but never her hope, she soldiers on,
soiled sails reduced to tatters, she rows from pole to pole,
trawls the seven seas. Her treasure? Nowhere to be seen.
He has unfurled his true colours: the skull and crossbones.
…..(He is the gone.)
Reposted from long ago.
Unacknowledged this hawk-eyed underlife;
unseen, hovering soundlessly above,
observes our attempts to communicate.
Bars and then spaces, spaces and then bars;
words and then spaces, spaces and then words.
Music, conversation in the early dawn.
My words cut glass, a trigonometry.
Yours a slice of reality TV.
Cutting edge music this, fraught with discord.
Words enfold mirrored worlds; space echoes space.
Uncharted, the space within the worlds;
chimeric, the worlds within the spaces.
You twitter from inside, captive songbird.
I twitter from outside, locked out, exiled,
feeding this bonfire of words to keep warm,
maybe finding among these words refuge,
sanctuary, a hiding place. And then
some note peeps deep within that melody,
tingles in my ear, tiptoes warily
into the light: the song of the phoenix;
lightning bolt sending a shiver up the spine.
The unwatched cauldron at last boils over
revealing us to be understudies,
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Decided to repost this ancient poem. It seems sadly as relevant as ever. 😦
Could be someone
Designated a “world leader”
Or a “captain of industry”
Or just some unwitting contributor
To one in a million on line forums
But on a sudden
That within me throbs and swells
And lifts its eyes to heaven
And bursts its banks
And flows down untrammelled
To see how they draw pleasure
From the chance to cause another pain
With their stiff necks
Their red eyes
And the rightness alcohol lends
And again I am drawn to reflect
Where boundaries can ever be meaningfully drawn
To notions like “nature”