Category Archives: A Poem a Month

Poem 91: Thou wert my gate

I haven’t published a poem on this blog since last July, so here goes. Once again I have had the singular honour of winning the week’s “Terrible Poetry Contest”. My thanks to Chelsea, the instigator and judge. The theme for the week was “Engineering Failure”. I now know better how an astronaut feels when stepping on the surface of the moon – profoundly humbled by the experience. So here then, for your edification, is the terrible poem on “Engineering Failure”. Of course, it could double as a love poem if you want to use it for that.

Thou wert my gate
in the fence of life;
a doorway in the
corridor of existence;
a hole in the
wall of being

Now you have shut the
entrance to your heart
and I am shattered into a pile of quaking reinforced concrete.
No more will I hear your euphonious voice
wafting over the plastic barrier of time;
no more will my nostrils sense the scent
of your hair on the yellow brick road of vivacity.
Oh the audacity!

You have become an engineering failure,
a total engineering failure;
in fact you are the biggest engineering failure
I have ever encountered in my life.
And you are fat.
I wish you all the Botox you can lay your hands on.
You need it.

Strumpet! Strumpet!
You have no reason to blow your own trumpet
for thou art a total engineering failure!
Thou wert my gate
in the fence of life
but now you are just a pile of rocks –
to say nothing of your choice in tasteless frocks.

There you have it. Success has once again tempted me to blather on and on about myself – but, dear me, this is not Facebook. Mind you, I don’t belong to Facebook – or Twitter, or Instagram, or anything except this blog. I don’t even have Google Chrome. In fact, I don’t know if I’m utterly “Yesterday” or completely “Tomorrow”. I’m trying not to get spied on. I don’t even purchase anything on Amazon because of the astronomical cost of postage to New Zealand. Which accounts partly for why I am still reading stuff like Clarissa and Joseph Andrews with the odd contemporary thing thrown in that’s on hand such as John Millington Syne’s Riders to the Sea (my favourite play) and Mrs Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters.

So I hope you have a nice day – in fact a happy, happy day – and don’t feel bad if you haven’t got time to learn the above poem off by heart.

Poem 90: Blue

Kingfisher waited near fish-filled stream and flashed blue fire.
Distant thunder grumbled to a scream and flashed blue fire.

A welder melded into shape tough unbending steel;
this artist’s arc launched one steady beam and flashed blue fire.

The frantic horse’s metal shoes on stony gravel
broke the silence of the morning’s gleam and flashed blue fire.

Massed irises turned their heads towards the rising sun;
yellow, purple, peach, rose, white, and cream, and flashed blue fire.

And Bruce, patience at an end with this and that and things,
saw this growing mound of stifled dreams and flashed blue fire.

(This is my final poem on this blog – at least for the time being. I’ll still post the occasional poem hopefully, but a poem a week is a bit much! I shall be concentrating on putting out a story a day until the 1500th story is reached!)

Poem 88: The stream that flows near my house

The stream that flows near my house
comes from goodness knows where
and goes to goodness knows where.

I never visit it with dull skies,
but some days when sparkles shake the water
the dog takes a bath.

Has the stream perhaps scampered passed death;
a wild pig’s corpse
or maybe a tatty rotting bird?

Has it greeted fish of every sort;
eels and trout,
and cockerbullies* cowering in caverns?

Have the rough, rocky tumbles
bestowed both cheer and fear
on this joyful jolly journeyman jongleur?

Today I see it hubbubs happily on,
forgiving its past
and singing only of tomorrow’s adventures.

* Small New Zealand freshwater fish.

Poem 87: Gone but not forgotten

I saw my name on a war memorial
It wasn’t me of course
Same name but someone else who was
Gone but not forgotten

I fell between the cracks of wars
A rather rare occurrence
Else it would be me who was
Gone but not forgotten

They drafted names for Vietnam
Picked by random birthdays
Those born one day after me are
Gone but not forgotten

As each war comes and each war goes
And parents siblings fade
Dead soldiers are remembered in a generic sort of way
But as individuals no one would have a clue who the hell they were
They’re gone and long forgotten

Poem 86. A dire warning to lovers

Falling in love is sort of like
being diagnosed with sugar diabetes.
It’s kind of like a sugar overload
and the body can’t cope with all the syrup fast enough
so it results in a sticky mess
and you end up
chucking the baby out with the bathwater.

Falling in love is sort of like
weeding the garden;
there’s a great vision of magnificent blooms
further down the track
but there’s the inevitability of pulling flowers out
with the weeds
and chucking the baby out with the bathwater.

Falling in love is sort of like
you know
it gets more complicated than you think
and it completely stuffs up your life
because you should be finishing an assignment and
instead you end up spending all night trying to make
something to chuck out with the bathwater.

Anyway, despite my warning,
by the time you realize you’re in love
it’s too late. You’re completely caught in the net.
Every song on the radio is about you. The only way out
is not to get up in the morning
or to move towns and that’s tantamount to
chucking the baby out with the bathwater.

Be warned! Love’s sort of like a horse and carriage:
every wedding’s followed by a marriage.
It’s not that you can’t do it;
it’s just that so many for a thousand different reasons blew it.

Poem 83: Under the influence of Ezra Pound

Let’s face it:
most people don’t have a clue
what Ezra Pound is talking about.
Quotiescumque manducamus panem hunc…
That doesn’t mean to say he’s not a great poet;
many who like Pound (who loved Hitler)
understand Pound’s poems, aren’t dumb,
and find his poems accessible.
I don’t.
Itis apis potanda bigone.

He’s such an intellectual.
All those different languages
and so many references to mythologies and stuff!
Cryptus rushes onward,
‘tis zucchinis for Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort.
But look! Look! Listen!
He had a big influence on others, Eliot for example;
Eliot wrote about cats.
If I ended up in the same place I started
I’d know there was a wrong turn somewhere.
Quotiescumque manducamus panem hunc makes even a cat look academic.
Meow.

Methinks
the emperor has no clothes.
Itis apis potanda bigone.
…um …er …oh …
Itis apis potanda bigone.