Category Archives: A Poem a Month

Poem 28: Mary Ann – Harry

– an eclogue

Having settled on creating an Eclogue, as my chosen poetic form for this month, I perused Virgil’s famous “Eclogues” (translated of course) to get some inspiration. I had great difficulty in comprehending them, even after reading the footnotes numerous times. This Eclogue is a response to, and an admission of, my own inadequacy.

Mary Ann (a town girl):
Harry, you must go and milk all the cows that are lowing o’er there.

Harry (a shepherd):
No, my dear Mary Ann, I really cannot be bothered today.
It is idyllic so, lying here with you this late afternoon,
cool in the shade of a sycamore tree in the field.

Mary Ann:
Oh, but the cows have udders near bursting with cream.
Calves have been taken away from them so that they need to be milked;
I mean the cows not the calves. I hear them bleat.

Harry:
Moo.

Mary Ann:
Moo?

Harry:
It’s like the cow and the bull, and the ram and the ewe, and the white
duck and the drake, and the hind and the stag, and the pigs;
let us make love in this bucolic place with the sky all above.

Mary Ann:
Oh, but I have soon to catch the last train back to town where I live,
leaving behind all this wonderful pastoral countryside bliss
in exchange for exhaust fumes and tooting of horns at the traffic lights.
This is no time for such hanky-panky and for you to toot
toot your horn as well. Toot toot.

Harry:
Toot toot.

Mary Ann:
Too-da-loo. I go!

Harry:
See how the smoke from the cottage afar curls in the sky.
Evening begins to set; husbands and wives light their fires for warmth,
Cosy in domestic love. See how the shadows stretch long in the meadows.

Mary Ann:
Quick! I must leave for the train that will take me away from the farm.

Harry:
Oh well, I’d better go milk all the cows that need milking then.
Farewell, my lovely dear Mary Ann. May you enjoy the long trip
back to the town where you dwell.
But will you marry me?

Mary Ann:
NO! But my heart will be left behind in this most rustic of settings,
here with the lowing of herds winding slowly in line o’er the lea.

Harry:
You already said that.

Mary Ann:
And there are olive groves and vineyards.

Harry:
Where?

Mary Ann:
There are also peaches

Harry:
and cream.

They kiss. Mary Ann misses her train.

Poems 27: Five bits of doggerel

(Over the years we’ve had five dogs. I know all pets are special, and the pets of others can become a little tedious. But since this month’s poetic form (for myself) is doggerel, I thought a tribute was in order!)

Doggie

I found my masters on my own –
A battered dog, I found a home.
I simply ran to where they lived.
For me to stay I’d give give give.
It worked!

Sedona

They got me as a tiny puppy
to keep old Doggie alert and huppy.
Doggie taught me all I know
like how to find my way in snow;
how to chase squirrels; climb a tree!
even taught me where to pee.
But most of all how to eat all the wild raspberries
(that grew in the woods)
and leave not a damn thing for anyone else.

Rusty

I was in a pound.
They were going to put me down.
I went to my new home and put on weight.
I was the only dog about that became bilingual,
understanding French and English.
And then a deer hunter came uninvited to my place
and shot me dead.
For fun.
C’est la vie.

Delia

I was allergic to everything – even food,
which is why I had such expensive tastes.
For eleven years I looked after everyone,
all day, every day,
especially the cow, the cat, and the goat.
Every now and then, all on my own,
I would bring home a wild turkey for all to have a feast.
One day we all went for a walk
(the cow didn’t come but everyone else did).
I came home, had a drink of water,
and died.

Bubble

I know men talk about my ears
And say they sprout a lot of hairs.
I really shouldn’t proudly boast:
For dogs, that’s cute; for men, that’s gross.

Poem 26: From the cat

(Although this section of my blog is called “A Poem a Month” it should really be called “A Poetic Form a Month”. The poetic form for the rest of this month of May, should any more poems appear, will simply be Ditties or Doggerels accompanied by a photograph. You’re welcome to make up your own tunes! Click on the top photo for a larger view.)

Sometimes I think it quite unfair
for the dog to sit upon my chair.
He seems to be at quite a loss
to understand that I’m the boss.

A personal announcement

An announcement to the multitudinous personages who follow my blog:

Greetings! ONE (and all)!

I’ve been in Neverland since finishing the 1001 stories, the 101 pieces of music, and assorted monthly poems in July 2016 – caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, caught between Scylla and Charybdis, caught between a rock and a hard place…

So I’ve decided I’m going to restart “A Story a Day”, with (at least for a time) the weekly bit of musical composition, and poems throughout each month using a set form.

Please just give me time to get things get started. I have to build up a “backlog” before beginning in order to prevent a breakdown! As some of you know, I’ve had chronic heart disease for the last 25 years – it takes me half an hour to put a shoe on! (Then there’s the other shoe!) So I don’t like stress!

Finally, so many of you have been an inspiration to me – with your writing and painting and photographing and blogging. But there’s three in particular I would like to thank for rekindling the desire to do something creative again: the late Cynthia Jobin (her WordPress site is now down, but how did she create such wonderful poetry and manage to involve herself with half of the bloggers in the world?); a former music student of mine, Jeremy Cullen, who earns a living (there are quite a few of them actually!) from being a professional music composer who recently sent me a CD of his piano music; and Uma from India who posts extraordinary reflections and stories and poetry emanating from some sort of sub-continental “dark night of the soul” – a world so unknown to me. These people should know that they strike a match and start creative fires…

OK – thanks for reading – I’ll get organised and begin soon!

Bruce

Poem 25: It would be awful

25poem

It would be awful to die on a Saturday.
There’s always sport on tele and
probably the mortician and her husband have gone to the races.

It would be awful to die on a Sunday.
Half the shops are shut and
probably the undertaker’s taken the day off and gone off.

It would be awful to die on a Monday.
The week’s just waking up and
probably the embalmer had to dash to town for more eye shadow.

It would be awful to die on a Tuesday.
It’s such a humdrum sort of day and
probably the sexton’s busy burying the crowd that croaked over the weekend.

It would be awful to die on a Wednesday.
It’s slap-bang midweek and
probably the hearse is out of action with a flat tire or a burned-out clutch.

It would be awful to die on a Thursday.
We always get take-a-ways then and
probably the morgue is chockablock with yesterday’s bodies.

It would be awful to die on a Friday.
It’s the day before the weekend and
probably the resident organist is having a few drinks to celebrate a profitable week.

As you can see, no day’s good for dying,
which is probably why I’m not that much looking forward to it.

Poem 24: A great vowel shift for a friend who is poorly

24vowel

It’s no fun being ill
And it can kill
Especially if you’re over the hill
But in this case I don’t think it will
Cos you’ll take your pill
Which is quite cool.

For where there’s a way there’s a wool
Especially if you take your pool
And keep relatively stool
And don’t drool
But have your fool
Of life and not charge around like a bill.

So get better soon, lill by lill,
Don’t be a dill
Remember – if you go through the mill
You come out as a flower.

Ind that’s pratty gud.

Poems 23: The four seasons

(These limericks are the last of my first-of-the-month poems. There have been 35 poems in all. The weekly music finishes this coming Wednesday the 6th. There will have been 101 music compositions. The daily stories reach the finish line on Thursday 7th with story 1001).

WINTER

25winter

Take note that the weather each winter
Is grey and in need of a tinter
If you slip on the ice
Which isn’t that nice
Your leg’ll get put in a splinter.

SPRING

25spring

Just look at the weather each Spring
It’s an utterly pleasurable thing
It seems to get lotta
Brighter and hotta
With blossom buds blooming their bling.

SUMMER

25summer

Observe that the weather each summer
Can be a bit of a bummer
They forecast a drought
But we hardly get out
It just gets crumbier and crumber.

FALL

25fall

It seems that the weather each fall
Is worse than the autumn before
The more the rain wetters
The colder it getters
I’d rather no weather at all.

(Finally, since some definitions of the limerick say it must be bawdy and involve a member of the higher clergy…)

25pig

Did you hear of the bishop of York
Who was heavily into his pork?
Bits of the gristle
Sliced up his pizzle
So now he pokes with a fork.