Tag Archives: poem

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 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 29: Split open wide

(As some of you know, I pick a specific poetic form each month, and any poem composed in that month uses – or tries to use – that form. It’s a way of giving myself a bit of discipline! This month it is the ghazal. I was inspired to attempt the ghazal by the late Cynthia Jobin and by my blogging friend Uma. I hope this attempt does them proud enough…)

Pierced by lightning, skies split open wide.
Thrashed with loss my cries split open wide.

Poppy bud bright red with fecund stamen
bursts out as soldiers die split open wide.

Gnarled log once lord of all the forest trees
on earthen floor now lies split open wide.

Full-term ripe womb about to shed its fruit,
breaks its waters, falls, sighs, split open wide.

We shake our words as dice in hand are played,
and Bruce has tossed his die split open wide.

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.

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.