Category Archives: Poetry

The Exhaling Poet

THE EXHALING POET 2020

“A short poem just before you go

You are not going anywhere I know

But just the same if you have the time

And buddy if you could spare a dime?”

                           ….

He sold his poems in limited editions

For an extra dollar he gave renditions

But people ran and hid their head

From the unmasked man

Who created the dread

                           ….

It takes breath in the form of words

To exhale my sonatas in poetic muse

But people said: No! No!”

His lyrical poems they did refuse

                           ….

Until one day he no longer stood

On that street corner unfurling his hood

Gone to ground – isolated off

The man with no mask

Had been taken to task

By a local priest

Who told him to cease

Pontificating his poems and rhyme

With the unappreciative public – it didn’t chime

                           ….

So he stayed away and wrote some more

Pasting them to his chimney breast

A grand wallpaper they made

                           ….

Until one day hundreds dispensing accolades

Stormed his house

Banging on window and door

Crying through masks: “More more more!”

“We will pay any price more than before”

“Too late” he cried back “they are all stuck down”

“My genius is gone to the wall” he said with a frown

                            ….

The moral of this tale is:

When wearing your mask

Don’t take breathing poets to task

Rather, If you want another poem

Just simply ask

Shut Down

SHUT DOWN

Shut down separation

– contemplation

Easing into your chair

You’ve been there 

 – before

Social distance – misprint

Everyone tries to connect

You’ve been making do

– this time

Are you sure or unsure of

What is expected of you?

Venturing forth

Scurrying back

A fine imposed

Your space hi-jacked

Elbow to elbow

Dust to dust

In awful contemplation

Duty and necessity must.

Making sense of it all

Many struggle to find

A shred of hope 

Emotion and reason entwine

Unless the eternal is your home

You make your way back

To the pleasure dome

Getting away

Stunned paralysis of the vocal

You stand aghast and don’t know what to say

The audacity of the swaying mob

Trying to steal kill destroy or take away

Get away from it all 

and we

Transport you – 

To a far-off shore

Now things are different there

But you freeze in loneliness

You quench all intrusion

Turn-off phones and even throw away…

You live to isolate another day

Who wants this?

All wanting where imaginary other’s are at

Anyway…

Where do we pick up the story of your stay?

Yes you slept a little longer this morning

It would appear…

And a little longer and a little longer…

Until you disappear

Lost in the blankets of oblivion

Until the inner call of your heart

Causes you to climb aboard that ship

Sailing back to your everyday – yesterday

But you learnt a few lessons from the silence

The silence from which you turned away

Back to the pseudo rat-race and

out the other door

clambering down the fire escape

Onto another familiar shore

Into routine daily grind

You try to unwind

But you are on your way

To becoming

One of those stowaways

who stay away

Forever and a day

You save up your cash

Get rid of your trash

Get the next flight out

Back to the land of your birth

Repetition of habits of travel

As you unravel your complexity

And try to reach simplicity

Finding at last that it doesn’t matter

Where you dwell

It’s truth you’re after – forever and a day

PROTEST

PROTEST

The galloping obstinates heading for the fray

Make a placard – to display what they say

Roughly written words hoisted on high

Conglomeration of puns most of them cliche

Cliche or not they reason

This is the season to make our voice heard

A deeply embedded cause

Wrapped in philosophical thought

They hope will hold sway

Marching – marching on – to the square

See you there – is it Tiananmen or Trafalgar?

With one voice all agree

Until the opposition arrive gleefully

Someone shouts ‘I predict a riot’

Somebody shouts ‘let’s all clash together’

One old man is back to mods and rockers

One young woman can’t see the connection

But they stay on the outskirts of the crowd

They talk together as he reminisces

Their strongly held views suddenly

Disappear as they don’t like violence anyway

So they go for a coffee and she marvels

At his stories

While he is glad of the company

“Can I be your Granpa?”

“Yes” she says –

So they live to fight another day

Some other time maybe?

Double minded man

DOUBLE MINDED MAN

Fifty jobs later he thought to settle down

He tried to dive

Belly-flopped instead

He tried to strive

But strove in vain

Did his best

That was plain

He climbed the ship’s ramp

Said ‘Farewell’ but didn’t explain

Then walked back down again

He got a job – enthused in full – ’til noon

But ran out of steam like a deflated balloon

Left the premises and went to a bar

Let the alcohol sozzle his brain

Left the car there – didn’t take it home again

He liked a band – wore the vinyl thin

But hasn’t listened to them since and never will

He loved a girl it was ‘forever’ he said

He walked out on the engagement never to wed

Fifty jobs later he thought to settle down

So he settled for unemployment in a one-horse town

Poetry or football?

Poetry or football?

He was going

to make some poetry 

He stood staring

hand on chin/mouth

studiously thinking 

about

What he would say

Anyway

he went on his way

To his little room

and banged some keys

Producing

and reproducing

Letters words and phrases

on pages

Pacing himself

in semi-rush

with pauses

Contemplations

and elations

liking some – hating most

Stopped for Sunday roast

Climbed back into that chair

the one with the spare

neck brace

Was a bit of a disgrace

he couldn’t keep up the pace

And got lazy

And wrote no more

Out the door

onto the grass for

a kick-about

Rising Up

RISING UP

Rising up to climb the hill

Thinking he was going to a superior place

Where the wind would challenge him to fall

Hands in pockets as though that would help

He ascended with momentary pauses

The landscape increased it’s comprehensive vista

But his expectation diminished

As no rainbows appeared

No community of little people scurried about

To Gulliver-ise him with their ropes and stakes

No beanstalks about

No wooden horses of Troy

Not a different thing did appear

Just grass and shrubs and stones

And imagination

Back and Forth

BACK AND FORTH

Once long ago I stood in the street

And heard the coal-train-trucks clinking together

Coal transported – as I am transported

– Back

I looked long ago at the Gas Tower

Grey and brooding in it’s changing shades

I shake myself – all is gone – I’m back to the

– Present

In times gone past I ventured over the bridge

Homeward bound – with sideburns and hair

And an insulated world of music and fashion my

– Adornment 

I look at the children now

And know they must make their journey

To the land of memories-recalled and

– Contemplated

Like I do now

 

Normalising Sobs

NORMALISING SOBS

There’s the older guy to the younger woman wed

Helping each other through their daily tread

‘Treading the boards’ is the old-fashioned lingo

But Hollywood calls and to Hollywood they must go

Good at their craft it must be admitted

As they live many lives in character depiction

Times apart, – they agree – relieves any friction

Partners for good – one hopes it is so

The glamour and glitz won’t tell them this – though

Holding their family together – money is the prize

Finance has barricaded-them-in

Bringing life to a manageable size (?)

Trying for normality now

Fame and fortune a brigand who robs

But it’s compensation normalising their sobs

‘A long and healthy life’ they say

As they tread those boards in another Play

Setting all things off against each other

Weighing it all up – a lifestyle of ‘colour’

They decide they are in – for the long haul

Until they make a mistake and drop the ball

The paparazzi move-in for the kill

Choking the wounded with their bitter pill

CHING-CHANG-CLANG

CHING-CHANG CLANG

There’s a ching-chang-clang of heads

In this world of opposing trends

And everybody knows they’re right

While no one knows their plight

And in this – bang crash zoom – swirl

Of opposites that make up a world

You’ll find a world gone wrong

Bringing their mistakes together in a throng

Of mishmash misshapen ideologies

In a storm of verbal cacophonies

As taking sides is the trend

One wonders will it ever end?

All social media outlets

Invented to give display

To the countless tendencies in array

All longing for satisfaction and traction

And stumbling they fall into mismanagement

Of all their brain power devices and judgement

Many grope in the dark for an exit

Shooting-up to kill the pain

And failing to see

You must be born again

Free from the grip

FREE FROM THE GRIP

And all alone

The skeptic in his corner – dim

While I – in my small corner – am lit

 

Dumb before the shearers taking my sin

While I in my small corner look to Him

Despised and rejected – you forget

While I remember daily

 

I can’t hear you – I can’t see you

I don’t know you –

 

no really –

you won’t say hello

 

You heard I am religious

And you don’t want to know

While all the while

I remember The Lamb and

how He freed me…

From dead religion’s grip

The day it went away…

THE DAY IT WENT AWAY

The phantom aggressor with his Covid name-tag

Gains Purchase on the flesh of man

 

And all is lockdown

Lockdown – the new word

In newly found context

as we all go to ground

 

Never this before

Never known as is

Never catered for

No cure as yet

 

Twiddling thumbs don’t know what to do

Now indoor searchings – seeking to find

New pursuits or old revived

New noticeability of things always there

Appreciation increase everywhere

 

But time wears away resolve taken

As principles are embraced or forsaken

What wins the day – does patience reign?

Or has depression set-in – new ground to gain?

 

Stirrings as by others inspired

Walkers and keep-fitters

Show us the way

Crafters and artists give us their day

 

And on the front line

The brave and constant stay

To provide management and show us the way

Families stay at home

Locked-in or walks in the park

Dodging each other – this stepping aside lark

Others – into closets they run and hide

Television on – most of the time

 

Latest reports gossip and rhyme

News and contradictions and opinions sought

Fermenting anger as jobs are lost

Exasperation but what can we do?

All shut-down – shops, cinemas and zoos

 

Slowly but surely

Except for rule breakers

We emerge from submerge

And seek to embrace the day

The day Covid went away