Tag Archives: poem

Poem 102: A Monologue on the Eternal Banquet

And here in heaven at the Eternal Banquet
there’s strawberries and cream.
I’m not fond of strawberries, I once said.
Everyone was shocked. They like strawberries.
Just eat the whipped cream, says one, rather than insult the Cook.
You’d think with all the resources up here and stuff like that
they could provide more variety.
But no! When Adam and Eve arrived they said everyone would want
strawberries and cream. Certainly nothing with apples.
Strawberries three times a day. Full stop. Period. Permanently.

Then Queen Elizabeth the First of England
(she’s got really fat – I mean really really fat)
says that if I want variety I should go to the other place.
Hell, I say, what do they eat down there?
Raw quince and crab apples.
All day and every day with no whipped cream.
They’re all skinny as rakes.
For a special occasion they get an uncooked cooking apple.
Well, I say, it sounds like that other place sucks.
So I get stuck into my strawberries and cream.
I’ve been here two hundred and eleven years now
and have never got used to the diet.

Once in a blue moon, for a special occasion,
we have a big feast;
like the other day when Abraham and Sarah celebrated
their four thousandth year since getting pregnant.
We all got a dry pink wafer cookie
stuck in the strawberry concoction.
Honestly, I crave a hotdog.
I wouldn’t mind if it came poked into the whipped cream.

The other day some visitors popped over from
the Conservative Sector for a social visit.
They took one look and said, Bloody hell!
Is that all you eat? You need to sack the Cook.
So we’re having a meeting about it, all fifteen billion of us.
The angel in charge said a decision has to have a 100% consensus
before any changes can be made around here.
That’s impossible, especially with some of the politicians in our Sector.
I’m not putting much hope on our chances of firing the Cook.
Besides, God loves to personally prepare the strawberries for us Liberals.
It’s the reward we get for being always right.
Bon appétit.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 101: We have fallen

What a thrill it’s been to have walked the Planet Earth
albeit for a while
I watched a murmuration of starlings twirl in evening light
Who could invent such wonder?

We have fallen down too fast

It used be said to not wear green with blue
they do not mix; and yet blue sky
green grass – stab of red cow, flash of white horse
Who could invent such wonder?

We have fallen down too

Glimpse of mountains, clouds,
streams, rivers, seas. Beehives!
Impassable forests! A tiny flower!
Who could invent such wonder?

We have fallen down

The chattering rumble of people,
billions, yet not one the same.
The fecundity of Mother Earth!
Who could invent such wonder?

We have fallen

To create a song, a poem, a story;
to skip and dance, to draw,
to knit a scarf, to spin in wind!
To weed a garden, row a boat,
whisk up eggnog, burn a piece of toast,
pick nectarines, fly a kite! Love!
Who could invent such wonder?

We have

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 100: Falls into silence

The lake, as waterfowl take flight, falls into silence.
Limitless stars appear; the night falls into silence.

Sports fields and schoolyards ring with songs of children’s laughter;
Summer lawn with no such delight falls into silence.

The burgeoning kowhai tree in spring weeps golden tears;
Winter shade shedding lustre bright falls into silence.

Parents watch each child leave to face uncertain futures;
The pathway, steps that fall from sight, falls into silence.

Lovers for the first time disagree on little things;
Each, baffled how to solve such plight, falls into silence.

Trains approach with clatter and clashing of steel on steel;
Tumult passes; the scene of might falls into silence.

And Bruce, his time perhaps nearing certain certain-end,
Defying fading of the light, falls into silence.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

2027. It was the Rainbow gave thee birth

This is a personal reflection which could be construed as a story. Outside my window, especially in the early mornings, there are usually two or three kingfishers sitting on the fence looking down into the long grass. Suddenly one of them will swoop down, gather something, and return to the fence. Presumably they are looking for insects or lizards or worms or whatever.

I like them. At primary school we were given a poem to learn off by heart by William Henry Davies called The Kingfisher:

 It was the Rainbow gave thee birth, 
 And left thee all her lovely hues; 
 And, as her mother’s name was Tears, 
 So runs it in thy blood to choose 
 For haunts the lonely pools, and keep 
 In company with trees that weep. 

In all my years I have always wanted to find a kingfisher’s nest and never have. They peck a tunnel/cave into a dirt bank and raise a family in there. The local farmer said that at the back of his farm there is a bank where the kingfishers have their nests. And then…

Just out my window, on a clay bank, a pair of kingfishers pecked a hole! They dug a cave and presumably laid some eggs. I didn’t like to go too near lest a disturbance drove them away. Things settled down. I rarely saw the pair but could hear them calling all the time with their repetitive call. Meanwhile the bank below the hole was collecting more and more poo.

That’s all there is to see. No sight of babies, but poo poo poo.

A hole in a bank, repetitive calls, and poo poo poo. I’ve always been a bit of a romantic.

Poem 99: At last! A poem for academics!

See the new moon up-slip
and flare its vicious whips of light
across the back of night.
The moon bears no delight, but brings
dull rays of hurts and stings
made yesterday. It sings cold songs
old songs that don’t belong
if we are to move on and make
a fresh and novel take
in the lake while baking a cake.

To hear this poem being read click HERE!

Apologies for poor audio – broken mic.

Poem 98: On a child leaving home

All shall know a time of knowing raindrops on the window.
Storm clouds break apart, bestowing raindrops on the window.

Woven branches of a boulder river’s plaited pattern
echo tangled paths of flowing raindrops on the window.

No sunshine in this early morning’s churlish rooster’s call.
Stay in bed! The cock’rel’s crowing “Raindrops on the window!”

Some folk imbibe a fear-filled brew, and full of sad dismay,
dread the storm, dislike the growing raindrops on the window.

The cellist plays a longing air of now-gone, buoyant years,
enthralled in thought, rapt in bowing raindrops on the window.

Bruce knows the time has come for you to step from where you grew.
Blurred sight hides your pathway going. Raindrops on the window.

Listen to this poem being read HERE!

Poem 97: Self-portrait on a blank canvas

(Today’s story will make an appearance at midday (New Zealand time). But first I wanted to post a poem. This is the third (and possibly final) self-portrait poem. The first was “Self-portrait in landscape“. The second was “Self-portrait in still life“. And here’s the third – “Self-portrait on a blank canvas”. Thanks for taking the time to read/listen!)

The blank canvas calls for colour;
a pale blue perhaps for endless sky,
a fresh-filled swimming pool,
Our Lady of Lourdes,
a blue cat.

Perhaps a vibrant green
for vernal growth,
jade parakeets,
new chestnut leaves,
bile spewed or envy all-consuming.
Not everything on a palate’s palatable.

Blotches of red;
too much splattered that
the portrait’s doomed and ruined.
Scarlet garnets show for miles.
There’s no grace in brazen crimson,
no joy in bloodshot blood.
I wish that red would fade.

Other tints ungrace and grace the picture:
a cowardly yellow,
fractured gold,
orange sunlight shattered, a purple patch,
brown (common brown), a slice of black, a splash of grey,
bits of missed transparent canvas.

Sometimes a person comes along
and scrawls unprompted in a space.
Most (but first let me stir another sweetened brew)…
most enter; and exit after scribbling… nothing much.
They mutter in their passing, “What a… what a mess.”

I’m sorry, but it’s all there is and it’s all I’ve got.

To hear the poem being read click HERE!

1902. Elegy

Gwyneth’s career was about to take off. For maybe a decade she had spent hours a day honing her writing skills, polishing her poetry, proof-reading her novel and proof-reading again and again. And now! A publisher had accepted a collection of her poetry for publication.

It was so rare to get a collection of poetry accepted by a publisher. Volumes of poetry simply do not sell well these days. Every publisher and his mother avoided publishing poetry anthologies like the plague. So to get it accepted was exciting!

Things don’t come automatically however. Things have to be revised and rewritten. Gwyneth was assigned an editor. She was determined to humbly follow every suggestion made; perhaps a change of word, perhaps a different title for this poem or that. The process lasted for two years. It was a tiresome task. Somehow Gwyneth made it through. And then at last! at last! the day arrived! She held her book of poetry in her hands.

Over the next three years two copies sold. The publishing company has now folded.

Poem 96: Self-portrait in still life

(Today there is no story, but Poem 96. This is the second “Self-portrait” poem – the first one was “Landscape” and this one is “Still Life”. This poem is probably not to everyone’s liking. I try to cover as much territory as I can and sometimes feel a bit strangled by the expectations of the occasional some. So if I don’t follow myself I end up in some quagmire of  uncreativity and consumed by self-doubt. Sorry if this didn’t make sense. For those who prefer to be warned, there is a swear word in the poem).

Today I pulled out weeds in the garden.
I don’t have a clue what the weeds are called.
I s’pose they have names.
I have a weed book (with illustrations) called
“Weeds”. All the names inside

are Latin, like Taraxacum officinal
which is just an antediluvian nomenclature for dandelion.
A friend of mine once made tea out of Taraxacum officinal and got the runs.
Yes, I have friends.

(Fa la la la la).

One of the weeds was all tanglely and sticky.
Another had roots so deep it snapped underground.
Yet another was prickly
and another slimy because of spit beetle spit.
Anyway, I couldn’t help but think –

I am a fern frond stuck in a vase in a still life painting
– not that a fern is a weed –
stuck in a vase with a couple of dowdy dead flowers,
and next to a banana.

(Fa la la la la).

I am a fern frond stuck in a vase.
I am a fern frond stuck in a vase next to a banana.
The frond reminds Mabel up the road of the most intricate lace.
But it’s the same all the way up.
It’s the same all the way down.

Everything’s the same.
It’s the same fa la la la la.

(Fa la la la fucking fa la).

Some days I feel the need to escape the picture.

To hear the poem being read click HERE!

Poem 95: Self-portrait in landscape

The landscape’s crumpled undulations
stand perhaps as some sort of metaphor.
It’s as if when god got to make me a muttering was heard:
stuff this, who cares about this one?
The blueprint was screwed up
and tossed to the ground.

You know, you know,
people snapshot it, they take pictures
of the blueprint as if it’s the beautiful thing,
and yet the scene proclaims…

(nothing really, it doesn’t matter).

The landscape’s crumpled undulations
are as green as anything; muddled as anything.
There is no old history.
There’s nothing to say the place is sacred,
this dude is home, this fellow’s holy,
this guy is worth half another look.

You know, you know,
people snapshot it, they take pictures
of the blueprint as if it’s the beautiful thing,
and yet the scene proclaims…

(nothing really, it doesn’t matter).

The landscape’s crumpled undulations
can be unravelled if anyone cares to loosen;
undo the screwed-up-ness, flatten the blueprint out.
But it’s munted, the twisted scene’s munted,
the blueprint’s screwed-up twice
and chucked to the ground.

You know, you know,
people snapshot it, they take pictures
of the blueprint as if it’s the beautiful thing,
and yet the scene proclaims…

(nothing really, it doesn’t matter).

Someday someone might pick up this bit of trash
and set it on fire.

To hear the poem read click HERE!