Category Archives: A Poem a Month

Poem 36: Grandfather Clock

(The poetic form selected for this month is the Burns stanza. However, even though I liked what I’d written it was a bit “hard-hitting” and I decided that some readers would get offended – so I wrote something modelled on the ghazal instead!!)

Once wound I am ignored, the old clock chimes.
Once loved and once adored, the old clock chimes.

Too weak and frail to spring from bed at dawn,
Men wait in old age ward. The old clock chimes.

Three! Three! Three at last! Thank God Almighty!
School is out! Praise the Lord! the old clock chimes!

Four times she runs late for work, just this week;
It’s what she can’t afford, the old clock chimes.

Five-green-bottles-hanging-on-the-wall song:
In which one is time stored? the old clock chimes.

Six steps on toes the ballerina goes,
Major lift, minor chord, the old clock chimes.

Severn is the river through Shrewsbury.
So? Just for the record, the old clock chimes.

Ate eight big eggs for breakfast, fried in fat,
And greasy bacon gnawed. The old clock chimes.

Nein, the Germans say. No! Trains leave on time!
Delay is much abhorred! The old clock chimes!

Tender are most maternal hearts, and kind;
Kids leave to go abroad, the old clock chimes.

Eleven days make way for dozens more.
In none is bliss forestalled. The old clock chimes.

Twelve heralds in the darkest midnight hour.
I’m timeworn… slow… and bored… The old clock chimes.

Poem 35: Dead flowers

(The poetic form selected for this month is the Standard Habbie aka Burns Stanza).

The flowers you left when I was ill
Lie dead upon my window sill.
The flowers are dead, not me, you dill!
I’m still alive!
I’ll throw them out, I think I will.
They won’t revive.

You left these flowers when you left me,
You said our love was dead, you see,
And you had wanted to be free
And not enchained.
I know that what will be will be
But little’s gained.

I hope you love the life you choose.
I cook a meal and watch the News.
I clean the house; don’t touch the booze.
If you were here
The things we hold I’d never lose.
Dead flowers don’t care.

Poem 34: A frightfully PC love song

(The poetic form selected for this month is the Standard Habbie aka Burns Stanza).

Seasonal comparison
Seems to be the thing that’s in:
You’re like a summer’s drink of gin –
At first all pop
But once the alcohol sets in
You’re really hot.

I’ll pour myself another one
And when that’s drunked I think I’m done
And hope we could be in for fun.
You leave? Aw super.
Why go before the night has run?
Party pooper.

Poem 33: Take flight

(The poetic form selected for this month is the ghazal, and this is the last one for the time being!)

Godwits wade, and in late summer light, take flight.
Gulls on beaches, crowds in black and white, take flight.

Old owls wake at dusk and opening wide each eye
(Stealthy phantom hunters of the night) take flight.

Nectar-feeding bellbirds in white blossom trees,
Hearing gravel footsteps near, take fright, take flight.

Raptors rip apart a captured careless hare;
Falcon, eagle, vulture, hawk and kite, take flight.

Ducks waddle in a hapless clumsy manner,
But unmindful of their shuffling plight, take flight.

Dodos without wings were stuck upon the ground;
Bruce’s blogging friends, with visions bright, take flight.

Poem 32: In love with the wind

(The poetic form selected for this month is the ghazal.)

Let us dance at the top of a hill, in love with the wind;
Twirl, outstretched arms, in fields, like a mill, in love with the wind.

Kettle drums pound out the rhythm, the trumpets play fanfares;
Clarinets, flutes, and piccolos trill, in love with the wind.

On sleds on a slope, hair all atumble, mouths all agape –
Faster! Faster! They scream loud and shrill, in love with the wind.

The students kick footballs; they tussle and sweat as they brawl.
The ball soars up higher and hangs… still… in love with the wind.

Fires in forests, prairies, and farms show little mercy,
They stampede through landscapes all at will, in love with the wind.

Leaves in the autumn skate circles, waltz waltzes, turn cartwheels,
These joy clowns of leaves, they know the drill – in love with the wind.

Arthritic and shaky, slightly deaf, unable to dance,
Bruce sits quiet and watches. No, not ill – in love with the wind.

Poem 31: Rain

(The poetic form selected for this month is the ghazal.
The refrain is taken from Edith Sitwell’s profound poem, “Still falls the rain”. This ghazal is NOT intended as a reflection on her poem; it’s simply a phrase that’s stayed with me for fifty years or so.)

Night has turned to day yet still falls the rain.
Accept what floods you get. Still falls the rain.

Lovers steal the hearts of one another
And leave the lost to fret. Still falls the rain.

Mollycoddling keep us warm and dry but
Socks, shoes, and feet get wet. Still falls the rain.

Frozen clouds gather on far mountain hills.
It’s cold this night? You bet! Still falls the rain.

Sun brings its joys to those who ever hope,
Yet sleet shall caste its net. Still falls the rain.

Our days are predetermined, are they not?
So Bruce’s steps are set. Still falls the rain.

Poem 30: Restlessness takes hold

(The poetic form selected for this month is the ghazal.)

Restlessness takes hold because I know not the heart.
I steal a look, a glance, a sigh. No! Not the heart!

Birds take flight from swampy fens up to angry clouds.
They circle in a gyre and cry: Know not the heart!

Mrs Housewife takes off the outer cabbage leaves
And puts aside the rest for pie. No! Not the heart!

The cornfield shakes light of gold in the setting sun.
Hills shudder silver rays and die. Know not the heart!

Trees deeper in the forest grow strong together.
Spindly plants on outer edge vie. No! Not the heart!

The secrets of all life stun us into wonder;
But Bruce, who ever asks the why, knows not his heart.