Tag Archives: poetry

Poem 112: The Storm

This poem should really be Poem Number One because it was written on 14 May 1962 – 60 years ago today! I was at primary school and we had to write a contribution for the class’s Literary Journal. There are two things I marvel at! One is that I wrote “Grand-pi-pa” and not simply “Grandpa” in order to get it to scan properly. (Incidentally my grandparents were long dead). The second thing I marvel at is the daringness of having three of the eight lines end with the word “sea”! It’s like it was difficult to find many things to rhyme with “sea”!

The ship was heaved and tossed like a cork
For there was a storm at sea.
And oh what a terrible storm it was
For my grand-pi-pa and me.

The lightning flashed, the thunder roared,
And the ship on the pitilous sea
Seemed so small to the two of us aboard
Against the enormous sea.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 111: Fettered

(The form of this poem is a diamante. I thought I would try to compose one and and possibly will never try again, although a diamante does have fairly strict rules – which is something I like!)

Pigs
muddy, mucky,
rooting, snorting, grunting,
pigged-out, unfettered, stylish, carefree,
galloping, cantering, trotting,
saddled, haltered, fettered,
horses

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 109: Dawn chorus

(This is the third poem for the year – and the last in the Kyrielle form at least for the time being.)

I wake to hear the morning call
Of songbirds waking on the wing.
Cacophony of birdsongs brawl!
Such songs the many songbirds sing!

Developers have cut down trees;
Bird orchestra has lost some strings.
Yet still the birdsong fills the breeze!
Such song the lonely songbird sings!

This year the songs are quiet and few.
There’s little hope the songbirds bring.
The birds have flown like morning dew!
No songs the scattered songbirds sing!

The teacher says: Now hear the “Cheep!”
Recorded that these creatures sprang
Each morning while we tried to sleep.
This here’s the noise a songbird sang!

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 108: Yet still the mighty rivers

This is the second poem for the year. The form of this poem and tomorrow’s as well is from France and called a Kyrielle.)

These carriers of teeming life,
How quiet the ribboned waters go
Then tumble rocks in jagged strife.
Yet still the mighty rivers flow.

Farmers milk their herds of cows;
They moo, and eat, and fart, and low;
And all the shit escapes somehow,
Yet still the mighty rivers flow.

Factories on the river side
Exude their waste, no fuss or show.
Dead fish no longer need to hide,
Yet still the mighty rivers flow.

The farmers’ farms have said goodbye.
Factories closed: financial woe.
All is dead and withered dry
Yet still the mighty rivers flow.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 107: Hear the knelling

(Happy New Year one and all! I’m going to try and write more poetry this year, so the first three days (at least) of 2022 will be poems. The form of these three poems is from France and called a Kyrielle.)

Dear friends, please stop and breathe the flowers;
Enjoy their many shades of smell.
Don’t waste, but while away, the hours;
Yet hear the knelling of the bell.

Forget the busy city scene;
Its cluttered mess, its noise, its yell.
Dream instead of landscapes clean;
Yet hear the knelling of the bell.

The hope of birds to build their nests,
Another brood to sing and tell
Of how our planet’s truly blessed.
Yet hear the knelling of the bell.

Far quicker than you think can be
The world will worsen into hell.
By all means dance your footfalls free
Yet hear the knelling of the bell.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 106: Beach walk

Hello everyone. I thought as a final posting for the year I would post a poem! It has nothing to do with the New or Old Year!

The form of the poem is a Sestina. It is a form used in some French poetry, and I find it quite hard to write. Anyway, I thought I would give it a go!

I battle long and empty beach.
I fight against the wind.
White manes of horses crash
to shore in wild spray.
My thoughts are tangled all adrift
and drown in angry waves.

I cannot hear for noise of waves
the calls of birds on beach.
They fight to fly, are cast adrift
as victims of the wind.
Their wings are torn like salted spray
as on the dunes they crash.

I long for calm as waters crash;
I’ll quiet the seething waves.
The sanded, salted, pitting spray
face-stings my walk on beach.
Christ calmed a storm, Christ calmed the wind;
Why set my mind adrift?

A fisher’s boat was tossed adrift
and pummelled in a crash.
Yet none about, no voice in wind,
no drownings in the waves.
Just one abandoned boat on beach
left to sand and spray.

The storm intensifies its spray,
the boat is freed adrift,
the sand blows mad along the beach,
the skies unleash its crash.
Waves no longer follow waves
but roil in the wind.

At last a blue patch in the wind;
less biting of the spray;
a quietening of deafening waves.
My mind unbound adrift.
My thoughts are stilled, though whitecaps crash,
and peace returns to beach.

My thoughts the wind released adrift.
Thoughts spray as ordered breakers crash.
Peace now waves goodbye to storm on empty beach.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

2229. A real man writes poetry

Only a real man writes poetry. At least that’s what Aunt Winifred told Nephew Hayes. Lesser men grovel around in prose, but a real man writes a poem.

Hayes had been dating Mabel for over a year now. He wasn’t an overly clever chap but he thought he might string together a line or two of poetry. Anything to impress Mabel. Anything to make her go weak at the knees.

Mabel’s such a pretty name
It makes the birdies sing,
But I can’t make it rhyme with anything.

Hayes screwed it up and dropped it on the floor.

You are my sunshine on a rainy day
You are a restful park bench on my way
You love me especially when I pay.

Again Hayes screwed it up and dropped it on the floor. There was getting to be quite a pile of paper there now. It was also getting to be late afternoon, and Hayes was getting depressed. He began to think he’d be better happily grovelling around in prose for the rest of his life.

A violet by any other name would smell as sweet
And you smell.

Hayes screwed it up and threw it on the floor. And then the doorbell rang. Hayes answered the door. There was an envelope. It was a message from Mabel:

It’s over.

Poem 104: Let no petal

Please recall when times were cloudless;
Then flowers of laughter strewed the way.
Let no petal fall in darkness.

Governments scream in rabid blindness:
This is how you’ll die today.
Please recall when times were cloudless.

Dying grandma faces vastness;
All alone she strives to pray.
Let no petal fall in darkness.

Parents, children, spouses - cheerless;
No held hands; no words to say.
Please recall when times were cloudless.

A little child knows no kindness;
Face the music come what may.
Let no petal fall in darkness.

Uncared for corpses, lifeless, worthless;
Governor’s greatness, no dismay.
Please recall when times were cloudless.
Let no petal fall in darkness.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Cynthia Jobin reads her poetry

Many of you are followers and admirers of the poetry of American Cynthia Jobin. Cynthia died over two years ago and there are recordings on her website of her reading many of the poems.

I was a little concerned that these recordings might eventually disappear, and so with the support of John Looker (who edited the second printed volume of her poetry) and Deborah Bennison of Bennison Books (who published the second volume) I have downloaded all of Cynthia’s readings and organized them on three webpages.

The first webpage follows the order of poems in Song of Paper.

The second webpage follows the order of poems in A Certain Age.

The third has her reading a number of poems that are not in either published volume. The written version of these unprinted poems can be found on her website.

There are links on each webpage to the other two pages, as well as to her website and to Bennison Books. The address to the first page is HERE.

Poem 103: ANZAC Day – Only the dead

(Today is ANZAC Day in New Zealand and Australia, when we remember those who fought in wars. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The date is set on the day of the greatest military loss of both countries in a single day: Gallipoli. The form of this poem is modelled on the Ghazal).

Foolish folk sometimes dream the end of war,
but peacetimes never mean the end of war.

No more dog eat dog; lion and lamb lie down;
is this a sign of being the end of war?

The cosmos consumes itself in chaos;
yet night sky seems serene, the end of war.

Let’s pray that earth will smack of peace, and know
in air, space, land, marine, the end of war.

Poor Bruce repeats old Plato on this day:
Only the dead have seen the end of war.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.