Category Archives: A Poem a Month

Poem 55: I cannot love the sky

I cannot love the sky
until I know the scientific names for all the clouds.
Look! how dramatic is Cumulonimbus!

I cannot love the garden
until I know the scientific names for all the flowers.
Oh! such lovely Lobularia maritima!

I cannot love the song
until I know the scientific names for all the birds.
Hark! to the rapture of that Turdus philomelos!

I cannot love reflections in the water
until I’ve checked for giardia,
those anaerobic flagellated protozoan parasites of the phylum Sarcomastigophora.

I cannot love you
until I have dissected your opinions
tested your resolve
verified your good faith
and checked that you don’t have a Daucus carota stuffed up your Sphincter ani externus
like some overcharged know-all who

…cannot love the sky

 

Poem 54: On the death of that most excellent lady

cento

(The form chosen for this week is the cento. The lines “stolen” (and sometimes with a word or punctuation changed) are the poets: Nitin – a poet-blogger, Robbie Burns, Thomas Hardy, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, T.S. Eliot, William Shakespeare, and William Blake. The lines should have mouse-overs indicating the original author. The title itself is from the Mexican poet, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.)

She flips through the men
in her life, like the pages of a fashion magazine.

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in my breastie!

She loves not me,
And love alone can lend her loyalty;

My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird.

I do not think that she will sing to me
Come, come thou bleak December wind,
And blow the dry leaves from the tree!

When I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall

Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.

And in the morning glad I see
My love outstretched beneath the tree.

Poem 53: Yet still the sun rises

(The poetic form selected for this week is the aubade/ghazal).

The new born baby cried, yet still the sun rises.
The old man slowly died, yet still the sun rises.

First day at school with pencil, paper, books, and lunch;
In tears and petrified, yet still the sun rises.

They called it puppy love; perhaps that’s what it was.
She dreamed of being a bride, yet still the sun rises.

The marriage didn’t work; they drifted far apart.
Divorce was justified, yet still the sun rises.

The pattern of the days, forever monotone,
In dreary waves of tide, yet still the sun rises.

The leaders of our world dropped bombs on each other.
Nothing left………………………… yet still the sun rises.

 

Poem 52: Gobbler’s lament

(The form chosen for this week is the rondel).

‘Twas the eve of Thanksgiving Day.
I’m not at all grateful, he said.
There’s no fun in losing one’s head,
Then roasted and carved on a tray;

Sage stuffed up your bum all the way
With mushrooms and spice mixed with bread.
‘Twas the eve of Thanksgiving Day.
I’m not at all grateful, he said.

So how would you like, come what may,
To be basted when you are dead?
Thank God for this turkey well-fed,
Big drumsticks, plump breast, they all pray.
‘Twas the eve of Thanksgiving Day.
I’m not at all grateful, he said.

Poem 51: Unpacking after moving house

(The poetic form selected for this week is the List Poem)

Toilet paper!
Has anyone seen the toilet paper?
Does anyone know what box it’s in?

I need a drink.
Has anyone seen a glass?
Does anyone know what box it’s in?

Toilet paper! Hurry!

We need a wine!
Once found we’ll sip it from the bottle.
Does anyone know what box it’s in?

Toilet paper! Hurry! Hurry!

We’ll need a cork screw.
Where’s the cork screw?
Does anyone know what box it’s in?

Toilet paper! Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!

Found them! Thank goodness!
What a relief!
At least I’ve found the Christmas decorations!

WINE!
GLASSES!
CORK SCREW!
TOILET PAPER!

Does anyone know what box they’re in?

Poem 50: Sasha had chicken

(The form selected for this week is the ghazal).

Sasha had chicken for dinner and yet, nothing beats a good duck.
Jane chucked plates and cups at Bill; the whole set. Nothing beats a good duck.

Farmer Tom took Lizzie out to his barn to show her his wild life.
Lizzie was quite impressed and said, “I bet nothing beats a good duck.”

In the cricket match Harry was bowled out, not having even scored.
Then he overheard Arnie say “Don’t fret, nothing beats a good duck.” *

Minnie decided to fix a leak in a pipe under her sink.
Hardware man said when asked what tape to get, “Nothing beats a good duck.” **

Gary’s wife wanted to know why he hadn’t come home for the night.
He said his car broke down; don’t worry, pet. (Nothing beats a good duck?)

Sally and Bernie’s new swimming pool was great for relaxing in.
Bernie was pushed under and got all wet. Nothing beats a good duck.

Some folk may express amazement at the triteness of this ghazal.
Bruce reckons there is nothing to regret. Nothing beats a good duck.

*For those unfamiliar with cricket, not getting any points (runs) is called a duck.
**For those unfamiliar with fixing things, there’s duck tape (sometimes called duct tape).

Poem 49: Bike shed

(The poetic form selected for this week is the madrigal. There is some discussion as to whether Fa la la in a song has furtive insinuating overtones. Apparently the Christmas carol, “Deck the Halls”, had its words cleaned up early nineteenth century!)

Jack was all of seventeen
and Judy much the same.
They went behind the school’s bike shed.
Fa la la la la la la la la!

They kissed each other on the lips
and Judy said I love you.
They kissed again. Jack’s shirt was shed.
Fa la la la la la la la la!

Meanwhile Jane among the bikes
had Andy pledge his love;
that could be us behind the shed.
Fa la la la la la la la la!

A teacher chanced upon the pair,
Jane in Andy’s arms.
At once! At once! Forsake the shed!
Fa la la la la la la la la!

Jane and Andy got detention,
Jack went his merry way.
Judy stayed away from school

for months.
Fa la la la la la la la la!