Third Ellipse Out

Photo by Sandy Torchon on

Third Ellipse Out

Happy birthday, Earth !
Our favourite solar satellite !
Barely gained an inch of girth,
Despite the pounding meteorites.

The Moon has slowed your spin a tad,
Two microseconds, more-or-less –
So all-in-all, that’s not too bad –
You’re feeling middle aged, I guess

But not you’re year – you’re orbiting
As quickly as you ever did –
Forget the spin you’re forfeiting,
You’re still at heart a racer, kid !

I know, I know, old Neptune here
Is not so old compared to you,
At least, when counting local years –
And yet he plodded while you flew !

And Mercury, now there’s a geriatric !
Burning through his score
Just living life on automatic
Getting dizzy, cracked, and sore.

You’re one year older, one year wiser –
Deep in your fifth billenium –
The inner-solar-system Kaiser,
Star of the planetarium.

1 AD

Photo by Barnabas Davoti on

1 AD

Hush, my little Yeshua,
So newly born, you are.
Hush, and I shall tell you
What is happening afar.

The Romans, under General Tiberius,
Strike North,
Campaigning through Germania,
In endless back-and-forth.

The Cartigena theatre has opened,
Hosting plays –
Full of tragedy and farce,
To while away the days.

They sculpt the finest statues,
And they write down history,
And measure circles and the Earth
To learn philosophy.

And out beyond their furthest outposts,
Other kingdoms rise,
From India to Polynesia,
Far beyond our eyes –

In China, a new emperor is crowned,
Just eight years old.
The Mayans build their pyramids,
The Incans mine their gold.

A thousand gods are worshipped,
From the Arctic to the Cape,
Where coelacanth and kangaroo
Rub shoulders with the ape.

I tell you this, sweet Yeshua,
Incase you cannot go.
There’s so much human life out there
Of which you’ll never know.

A more accurate but less pithy title would be 10001 HE..

The First of Logos

Photo by Barry Plott on

The First of Logos

My folks were full of the fear of God,
And full of His holy gravity.
Music, and dancing, were frivolous wastes
And bywords for depravity.
And birthdays passed with nary a mention
So’s not to lead our thoughts astray –
But I was still the lucky one,
For I was born on Christmas Day.

I was born in the dark of Winter,
In the midst of an Almighty freeze
Too far North for much of sunlight,
Too bleak for that many trees.
But ev’ry year, the town would string up lights
As if to lead my way,
And hope that it might snow for me –
For I was born on Christmas Day.

Ev’rybody wore a smile,
And nobody wore grey –
Ev’rything was done with style,
Right through to Hogmanay !
And my fav’rite animal, the deer,
Were ev’rywhere, with a sleigh !
How much I loved this time of year,
To be born on Christmas Day !

I was born in ignorance,
And thought all this must be for me –
The whole of the town would celebrate
That time I changed from two to three,
They cheered some more when I turned four,
At five and six, they cried hooray –
My parents couldn’t stop it all,
For I was born on Christmas Day.

They may not have given me presents,
But they gave me the greatest gift on Earth –
I used to think how lucky Jesus was
To coincide with my birth.
And piously, I’d thank the Lord
For far more joy than words can say.
And so I grew up loving life –
For I was born on Christmas Day

The choirs would sing,
The bands would play,
The bells would ring,
The shops display,
And all the world felt good and near,
In one long cabaret –
How much I love this time of year,
To be born on Christmas Day !

Socks Again

Photo by Ron Lach on

Socks Again

My feet were frozen, but for you,
Who sheathed them safe in cotton.
My toes would wriggle, all day through,
My nails were chipped and rotten.
My shins lacked spots beneath my trews,
I couldn’t slide on wooden floors,
My feet were too-small for my shoes,
And empty was my chest of drawers,
But you have given me a lift,
I’m walking taller, free of holes –
All thanks to your so-thoughtful gift,
That sweetly saves my soles.

Football Widows

Abandoned Things: Deflated Football 02 by longzijun

Football Widows
Keep your head down,
Nod along,
To the chatter at work and down the pub.
See out the season –
Silent and strong
Whenever the ask you “what’s your club ?”
Just shrug and smile
And change the topic,
Even sheepishly confess
“It’s not my thing”,
And quietly drop it,
Shuffling back to the wilderness.
Don’t get smug
How partisan
Their view of the pitch is – they already know !
The offside outrage
Of the av’rage fan
Is part of the fun, and all for show.
So make no fuss,
Keep your comments mum,
And join the sweepstake for the whatever-cup.
The topic will change
And your chance will come –
Keep your eye on the ball, and don’t give up !

Mrs Silver

The Lost Portrait of Kitty by dangerliesbeforeyou

Mrs Silver

Back in the days he had two legs,
I imagine John was quite the catch –
A sailor seeking fortune
Who needed a wife who was his match.

Step forward our unnamed heroine,
A negress perfectly at home
As landlady of The Spyglass
While her hubby’s on the roaring foam.

He promises to heave-to by the hearth,
And tend to Captain Flint.
But is she happier to see
Adventure re-ignite his glint ?

I wonder what her story is,
To wash ashore in Bristol town ?
Then selling-up, and sailing who-knows-where
To rendezvous, or drown.

Red-Herring Gulls

Parking ticket winging its way to Mr C. Gull by Craig A Rodway

Red-Herring Gulls

The sudden shriek of a seagull
Takes me back to the ozone, back to the seaside –
To those Summers of sand and Ninety-Nines,
Where the fish is fresh and the Sun still shines.
From ever since I was knee-high,
Be it Bournemouth, Paignton or Ryde.
The seagulls were my holiday guide.

But these days, the seagulls are ev’rywhere,
Yes, even in Winter, even in the bleak –
When gloomy days in gloomy suburbs
See dozens pecking kebabs from the kerbs,
With ev’ry beak in a mocking shriek.
Well, go ahead, gulls – for a second there
I was back on the prom without a care.

Brackish Streams

detail from Fallen Angel by Alexandre Cabanel

Brackish Streams

I’ve always been a weeper in the wind –
It only takes the slightest breeze
To turn-on my capillaries,
As drip by drip, I am chagrined,
And have to whip my hankie out
To stem each overactive spout.

I don’t know why
The weather makes me cry,
Especially the cold.
An eye-jerk sense,
Or anti-drought defence
That will not be controlled.

I’ve always been too salty in the frost –
All the Winter, all those leaks,
To run and freeze upon my cheeks.
So tear by tear, my poise is lost,
Into a sobbing, briny wreck
Who cannot keep his ducts in check.

I don’t know why
My gaze is never dry,
Until my eyeballs rust.
They even seep
While closed and fast asleep,
Then desiccate to dust.

England without the English

Hackpen White Horse by Martyn Pattison is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

England without the English

A strange village, this.  But why ?
The pub is near the village hall,
The church is near the school.
The pear trees over-reach the wall,
Beside the milking stool.
So where precisely does the oddness lie ?

I think it’s in the accents heard –
But not of locals, rather Poles,
They say “howzat” and “’pon my word”
And land the choice Mikado roles.
No reason why they shouldn’t, true,
But still…they’re more than quite a few…

A strange village this, no doubt.
There’s thatch as far as one can see,
And rolling downs for views.
So why do folks from Italy
Fill Church-of-England pews,
While Argentines keep bees and run the scouts ?

Speaking English, fishing pike,
Or growing leeks and supping beers,
And naming local landmarks
Like they’d known them all their years.
No reason why they shouldn’t, though,
Yet change round here is often slow…

A strange village this, alright.
As mentioned in the Domesday Book
And in the Civil War
Where Indians have found a nook
Behind the stable door.
With a hint of local brogue, but only slight.

And Caribbean morris-men,
And Russian gardens with a gnome,
And Chinese shepherds down the fen –
And yet, so very much at home.
No reason why they shouldn’t, Ma’am –
They’ve asked me round for tea and jam.

You can tell this poem is out of date by its use of ‘Ma’am’.

Tartan Tarts

Tartan Tarts

I asked her what was the tartan she wore,
She smiled and told me Smith.
I’d never considered that Clan before,
But fair enough – the Smiths of yore,
The Sassenachs of Aviemore,
The flints in the monolith –
The common Clan for the ev’ryman,
The hammers and tongs of myth.

She asked me the tartan in which I deck,
Buchanan, perhaps, or Brodie, or Beck ?
I smiled, and told her Burberry Check.

It seems that the Gaelic word for smith is the origin of the Clan McGowan, but that even before surnames arose in the Highlands, some Scots had Anglisised their profession to ‘smith’.