Through a Dark Glassly

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Through a Dark Glassly

I sit here so poised, just a-waiting to write,
Waiting for fresh inspiration;
And I sit and I wait for the flash and the light,
And the spark of the birth of creation.
But thoughts and ideas and visions I lack,
Just feeble attempts from a half-hearted hack,
I haven’t a notion that’s worthy a crack:
An impotent writer’s castration.

I sit here so poised, just a-waiting to write,
Waiting to fill up the hollow;
And I sit and I wait, but though try as I might,
I guess that I’ve nothing to follow.
My ev’ry polemic is written and done,
My anger is shouted, my wit had its fun,
My dreaming is dreamt and my grief seen the sun –

But ask me again come tomorrow.




Once Upon a Midnight Dreary by Gustave Doré



Whenever I’m stumped for an effortless rhyme,
Whenever the words won’t fall easy,
When wheezing about on the gravely climb –
So that’s when the words come to tease me;
Late-night linguistical lethargies seize me,
Whenever the trumps are the harder to find.
And oozing from creases all over my mind
Come scuttle the lazy, the sham and resigned:
“Who needs a poem to rhyme ?” so they whisper,
“Nobody else is much bothered these days.
You labour at making all endings the crisper
But is it all worth it, the pittance it pays ?
ry poet, from preacher to lisper
Has long since rejected this overgilt craze.
Why must it be you who won’t flinch at their goosing ?
Still clinging to structures when others are loosing.
Oh, haven’t you seen all the standards reducing ?
And haven’t you seen all their rhythmless fame ?
All of the while, so your petty obtusing,
Is leaving you sleepless and out of the game.”
And so on, and so on.  I hear them, I hear them;
At three in the morning, it’s hopeless to clear them.
For all of their carping and mocking and chiming,
And trying, so trying to foul and coerce.
But still my resistance I’m loading and priming
To shoot down their posy and prosy-like verse.
If only, if only I unearth some rhyming,
Some trove of concordance to echo my timing,
Some anything, anything with the right sounding –
Some something to stifle my wheedle’ing head.
Something to root for, to bring their confounding,
Something of proof that will shutter their hounding,
Anything splendid and outright astounding –
Anything quick, or the voices will spread !
I must end the poem, I must end the pounding,
To let this poor poet at last go to bed !

Deep & Meaningless



Deep & Meaningless

We cling to the words to remember the tune,
But they can be anything;
Who cares what words we sing ?
As long as it’s catchy, then no-one’s immune !
It’s tunes that are catchy –
The words can be patchy.
It doesn’t take poets to make songs a hit;
They’re nobody’s onus,
They’re there as a bonus.
As long as they rhyme and their rhythm will fit,
Well, that’s good enough –
Make them any old guff.
We all love some songs that make no sense at all:
Naive and inane,
But we’ll sing them again.
For music is music – it has us in thrall
From concert to single,
From opus to jingle.
We’re all of us guilty, we’ve all sung along –
We’ve all shown disloyalties,
Boosting their royalties,
Meanwhile ignoring some meaningful song
That wants to be soaring,
But just sounds so boring.

The cat’s meow
Is in the melody –
So, altogether now,
One, two, three:


Day-o, day-o,
Me gotta go.

Index of First Lines



Index of First Lines

I just can’t think who wrote it,
And I never learned its name.
But I know it begins
With a line about sins;
Or maybe a line about shame.

I know I used to quote it,
But it’s long since slipped away.
But I know at its head
Is a line about Fred,
Or maybe a line about Ray.

I always meant to note it,
But I let the words grow faint.
But I know at its start
Is a line about art,
Or maybe a line about paint.

My mem’ry just can’t float it,
For I’ve racked yet can’t recall
But I know at its lead
Is a line that I need –
Just that line, just that first line is all.

Some Things are Beyond Rhyming

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Some Things are Beyond Rhyming

If I read one more bloody poem which
Rhymes move with love,
Or prove with love,
Or cove with love,
Or some such non-concording glitch –
I swear I’ll tear it from the page,
My critique serving to assuage
My poet’s rage.
Each lazy half- and quarter-rhyme,
With stubbly chin and flaccid lust,
Just can’t be arsed, it’s marking time;
It’s only there because it must –
On speaking terms, but only just.
And then they have the rough-faced gall
To drag in love among their ranks,
To mangle with their petty pranks
And gen’ral lack of wherewithal –
For love, as ev’ry poet knows,
Has few bedfellows of a pair;
It won’t be shunted into rows
Or sold-off cheap in shabby fare.
Don’t leave your love where rhymes rehearse,
But let it flow throughout your verse –
For love is never trite or neat,
And rare those words that sound as sweet.



Part-Time Poet

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Part-Time Poet

I’m only a poet on Tuesdays –
For most the week, it’s ignored.
When all of the rest
Of my life is distressed,
That’s all I can really afford.

I’m only a poet on Tuesdays,
I’m only an artist in brief.
By Wednesday, it’s gone
As the week presses on,
And my words are all buried beneath.





The Shape of the Pear


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The Shape of the Pear

Oh, why did you have to choose that one ?
Of all I submitted, my only enthral.
But that one is nothing, ’tis makeweight and fluff
A ditty so petty, so bluffing and rough
I sent my perfected, my searing-most stuff
And all were rejected, excepting this one
Which you rank above all,
Which you published and all,
Which you say betters all, ev’ry poem I’ve done.

Oh, why did you have to choose that one ?
Of all I submitted, they only appal,
Bar this merest jotting of thoughts best forgotten
With metaphors fraught and with sentiments rotten.
Yet all were rejected, excepting this guff
Which you rank above all,
Which you published and all,
Which you say betters all; this one poem’s enough.

Oh, why did you have to choose that one ?
Of all I submitted, you favoured the small.
No really, no really, if only you’d hear me,
I hate that one dearly, if only you knew.
I’ve others a-plenty, oh let me send twenty,
For that one torments me, it’s not what I do.
Yet still they’re rejected as less than this trite,
Which you rank above all,
Which you published and all,
Which you say betters all, ev’ry poem I’ll write

Oh, why did you have to choose that one ?
Oh, why did I ever submit it at all ?