Must not lie back on the poems I’ve written, Those sonnets and couplets are all in the past – Thoughts from a week ago, month ago, years, Thoughts of their moment, but never my last. Haven’t I changed since, even a little bit ? Diff’rently conscious, evolving, hard-won. Got to keep writing, keep feeling, keep living, For what good’s a poet who thinks their work done ?
The race is not to the swift, Nor the fight to the strong – Though underdogs lose nine in ten, And the weak last half as long. The race is won by the winner, And the winner is usually fast – The Hare can snooze for the afternoon, But the Tortoise still comes last.
The point is not to the smug, Nor the sting to the sharp – And morals will lose us nine in ten Whenever the pious harp. The ears are won by the joker, Who flatters more than he smarts – The North Wind can bluster all he likes, But the Sun will warm our hearts.
I sit upon this rock to warn the sailors all to keep away, I even sing to them a warning sound – But guaranteed, there’s always some who cannot help but stray, Just to get a better gawp at what they’ve found. They could have sailed on by, as many do, onto a safer bay – Not got distracted till they ran aground. Yet once back in the tavern, you should hear the traps I lay ! It was never fault of theirs they nearly drowned !
Loving and laughing are nothing but tricks – Just social conventions we do for the kicks. We desp’rately want to be one of the crowd, And if we suspect, then we do them too loud. We’re unsure and frightened, we’re playing our parts – We want to believe, but we know in our hearts… But sod it, who cares if it’s all in the head ?, We’re gullible fools who are easily led. If love is elusive, it don’t mean it’s broke – For even the cynical like a good joke.
‘Yesterday’ is spoken ev’ry day, It’s just another word we say, It’s not pretentious, trite or queer. So it’s a yes to ‘yesterday’ – But very much a no-damn-way To ear-and-bile-molesting ‘yesteryear’ !
Thanks, Dick Turpin – what a guy ! Killed a few, but by-the-by. Thank you Ripper, Jack the Flash – Take the tour and rake the cash. Thank you Crippen, bask in fame; – Morse was made through your good name. Thank you Shipman, take my breath – Waxworks beckon, Doctor Death.
Did the Romans ever make it over Antoninus ? Did their legions hike the Highlands, past the cirsium and pinus ? Did they meet his high-king highness, In his fiery hair and golden torc ? And did they think this seaside caesar woaded-rogue or brutish-ork ? So did the Agricolan Fleet heave-to in Scapa Flow ? The orcas and the auks go by, but they don’t know.
Poison and venom – the diff’rence between them Is pedantry. Biologists may take exception, But only they should. Most of the rest of us navigate life Quite pleasantly With a definition that’s still close-enough To be good.
Office chairs with starfish bases, Wobbly levers, sofa wheels – They never fit quite right, most cases – Either leaving swinging heels, Or bunched-up knees and hunched-down shoulders, Wimpy pistons full of slack. But still, a useful perch for folders Till the backside needs it back.