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Friday, 30 March 2012

LOCAL FACTORY BELLS

Hear them,
morning bells
calling labourers.


A river of workers
winds along the street,
rush hour force,
human beings
to make things
until the end-of-day
bell rings.


But now,
no human rush,
no factory bells,
..... hush.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

MUD

Another of my occasional "Hamish Sheaney" poems that pokes fun at a poet with a very similar name!
I am seduced by muck.
The dirty, humid, moist, marshy,
miry, thick, sludgy mud of Ireland
cloys as I wash with it,
dance in it,
slide on it,
uncover leathery corpses buried in it,
discuss Greek mythology with it,
hear legends in the squelches
and cram it into jars for the windowsill,
my earthy collection,
to display in our cottage kitchen.

My love appears, radiant and glowing,
ready-brekked in a red mist,
and produces a screech of mouth-noises
using Anglo-Saxon wordplay:

“You can move that feckin’ lot outside.”

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

VEXED

For answers to nearly everything,
the universe and the planet,
life on earth,
the human body,
the history of mankind,
people and nations,
culture and entertainment,
the global economy,
science and invention,
I just have to look
in my ready reference book,
or search it out on the Internet,
all the information is there,
to remember or forget,
facts at my fingertips -
no question has stumped me yet.......


......except the one that has me vexed:
What happens next?

Saturday, 24 March 2012

SAID AND DONE

A song sung
cannot be unsung.
A bell rung
cannot be unrung.

Once it is said and done,
it is said and done
and cannot be unsaid,
cannot be undone.

Friday, 23 March 2012

SPADE


I take my spade
to dig the ground,
to graft the roots,
to ladle the soil,
to shovel the dung
to slice the turf
to tool God’s earth
to break up the clods
to cultivate the land
to poke
to prod
to turn over the clay
to earn my pittance
each working day.

But one other use it has
when I want to skive a bit,
as soon as the boss goes away,
I’ll lean on it.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

NO ORDINARY POEM (Thanks to M&S)


Marks and Spencer's advertising campaign prior to the current one was ripe for parody. Here's my attempt.

This is no ordinary poem,
this is a word-filled, playfully written piece,
with delicious mouth-feel and tongue-tingle,
rich with hyphens and a splash-dash of onomatopoeia,
lavished with this poet’s delicate brain-juice,
the creative offal of my heart,
topped with the sour-cream of emotions,
pan-fried in the heat of my passion
grilled for mysteries and meaning
before being stir-fried in the jabber-wok .

No, this is no ordinary poem,
this is a "Dropped The Moon" poem.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

ABANDON THE KEYBOARD

Sometimes, I abandon the keyboard,
pick up a newly-sharpened pencil,
turn to a blank page in my notebook
and rediscover the joy of handwriting.


The occasional scratching sound apart,
the absence of the noise of tapping keys,
offers near-silence, no need for a machine
to help get my thoughts down on paper.


Are we typers or are we writers?
We move with the times, no resistance, no quibble
but it is useful to rekindle the fun and freedom
of the days we learned to draw and scribble.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

BACKFIRED

It was a joke,
a one-liner,
a joke he had told
many times before
to audiences
shouting for more.


"A cat will always blink
when you hit it's head
with a hammer."


On this night,
no laughs, no applause,
only gasps, tuts and then
a rising tide of boos
for a much-loved comedian
who thought he could never lose.


From that one show,
came animal lovers' hatred,
negative stories, online abuse,
and a long career slowly expired.
He couldn't get a gig as a bingo caller
from the night his joke backfired.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

SONS

DJC
SJC
I'm going a little Barry White,
but you're the first,
the last, my everything,
you're the only thing.

Friday, 16 March 2012

BUDGET BLUES

Sometimes we piss into the wind and fart against thunder,
become the budgie on the ladder, the rat on the treadmill,
steering ourselves and our kin through the rapids,
avoiding the craters and potholes on life’s highways,
diverting left and right, dodging slips, trips and falls,
despising the bulls and bears and the boom-bust-boom-bust bankers,
carrying the depression of the recession, our shoulders forced to sink,
falling exhausted into the armchair, feeling like the weakest link,
preferring to stash any cash in a bucket under the sink.

Then flickering on the screen in the big box in the lounge,
not Zippy, Bungle but George looking shifty, on the scrounge,
he tells us times are harder and the best of friends are few,
reminding us the whole world order is “out of order” too,
and we try not to think of any Chancellor as a curse
until we check for our share and find there’s nothing in our purse.

Compared to how Dick Turpin went about his chosen task,
maybe George works in a different way…. but wearing the same mask.”




THIS WEEK'S MOST VIEWED POEMS

Here are this week's most viewed poems on this blog. So click and, hopefully, enjoy!


MINOR INCIDENT BETWEEN MY MOTHER AND THE REVEREND ...
DEATH OF A POLICEMAN
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPH
CHRISTMAS CHAOS
LIBRARIES
BROWSER
LEAVING WORK (BELFAST, 1911)
POEMS OF SPIRIT AND ACTION
CHRISTMAS CRIB OUTSIDE ST TERESA'S CHURCH

Thursday, 15 March 2012

CAW

I listen -
calm,
hush,
lull,
peace,
quiet,
stillness,
nothing,
pure silence,
man and nature's volumes
on the lowest of low......


.....and then
the caw of a crow.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

POEMS OF SPIRIT AND ACTION

"Poems of Spirit and Action"
was the poetry book that lit
the passion in my heart and soul
for this kind of English Lit.

The teacher chose the poems
that we'd learn line by line,
we'd recite them in the classroom
and feel the joy of rhyme.

But rhyme is under threat
as many "poets" prefer
to scribble words at random
that sometimes make me grrrr.

I am not always a rhymer
but that's the way I lean,
I say what I want to say,
then leave the ending clean.

Poetry comes in many shapes,
in many forms and sizes,
poets too are varied folks
with horrors and surprises.


"Poems of Spirit and Action"
is my reference point in Lit,
the rhythm, rhyme and energy,
I can't get enough of it.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

POP MUSIC HAIKU BUFFET

TOM JONES
big voice and tight pants,
nothing unusual there,
knickers in the air


JANIS JOPLIN
busted flat hippie
soul screaming voice, kozmic blues,
heart, guts, blew a fuse


JOHNNY CASH
Deep, dark voice, prisons,
man in black, highwayman too
and a boy named Sue


TINA TURNER
Annie Mae Bullock,
gyrating rock/soul goddess,
not a lot of dress


DEEP PURPLE
heard on a dark night,
there once was a strange woman,
alright, it's alright


PAUL SIMON
boy in a bubble,
rhyming, hearts, bones, Graceland, saints
and water trouble


LONNIE DONEGAN
my old man's a hit,
king of skiffle tops the chart
hitched on a dust cart


EVERLEY BROTHERS
sweet harmony team,
all we have to do is dream
before Suzie wakes


PRINCE
funny symbol guy,
the haiku formerly known
as purple geezer


FLEETWOOD MAC
blues roots to rock stars,
the albatross of success -
just rumours I guess

Monday, 12 March 2012

REVENGE

The passion for revenge
outweighs
the compassion of forgiveness,
the eye for an eye,
the urge to punish,
to condemn, to get even,
to gain an upper hand
above and beyond reason
and the desire to understand.

Revenge, it appears, is sweet,
any excuse to raise gun or fist,
in this uncertain age of fear,
is impossible, it seems, to resist.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

LIBRARIES

The babble-gabble
of the noisy rabble
and the burble-gurble
of the verbal rebels,
ruin the joy of silence
that once dominated
libraries.


Now the silence has gone
in this bleep/cheep gadget age,
progress, austerity are reasons given,
by transient politicians, careless, self-driven,
but there is is always the power of the people's rage
to stop libraries heading for the obituary page.









Saturday, 10 March 2012

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPH

It was 16 September 1947,
wedding day,
bride sitting,
groom standing,
bride's full smile,
groom's half-smile,
mother,
father,
more than sixty years ago,
before the seven kids,
before he abandoned the family,
a black and white photograph
showing me this much is true -
my mother had a beautiful heart and soul
and she looked lovely at twenty-two.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

SIX SOLDIERS

19,
20,
20,
20,
21,
33,
R.I.P

INHUMAN RESOURCES

He came to me for advice,
thirty years a supermarket manager,
told he was past his sell-by date,
told he was a dinosaur,
told his face didn't fit,
told he wasn't good enough,
told to bog off
by a kid half his age.


He sat, hands trembling,
nervous timbre in his voice,
no HR procedure,
no sensitivity,
no clear reasons,
no guts from his boss,
in a closed room,
trapped in a corporate cage.


He said he had a choice,
the scrapheap or the final solution -
what comes after fifty,
what path to take at this crossroads,
what is there to live for,
what's the bloody point?
He left - which direction? - leaving me to guess............


...........his obituary was a fitting tribute, a sad waste nonetheless.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

DEATH OF A NATURIST (Contains Nudity)

All year the butt-naked brokeback farmer

toiled at one with Mother Earth

using bare hands, tools and tractor in the rank fields

in full view of his burly neighbour.



They exchanged erotic grunts across the air,

thick with the manure-whiff scent of work
,
recalling the Bisto-kid giddiness of youth

and igniting agri-passion in their glistening haunches



They imagined the slop-slap of the love-act

but resisted a daylight rendezvous behind the stacks,

contented to tease the senses with farm-play

until darkness gave them cover for their tryst.



Fate’s hairy hand awaited careless moments,
clandestine in the hay-heap, an impending farce

as one fell back intense in expectation.

a fatal pitch-fork stabbed him up the arse.

Monday, 5 March 2012

FULL STOP

Sometimes
I am an exclamation mark,
other times
a question mark,
I pause as a comma
or even a hyphen
but I keep going,
undeterred,
never an end in myself,
never daunted or scared to keep trying,
never, ever a full stop.

MONDAY LOOKING LIKE SUNDAY

Monday looking like Sunday,
soft blue sky, piercing winter sun
spotlighting the glory of nature's art,
chill in the air but a joy to behold,
a sense of awe.

Today is mostly colour and light
so, slow down the day and delay
the impending arrival of night.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

JETHRO TULL HAIKU

On reading that Ian Anderson is touring the UK in April playing Jethro Tull's "Thick As A Brick" album, I resurrect my "Jethro Tull" haiku:

man with magic flute
playing earthy melodies
standing on one boot

SUNDAY LOOKING LIKE MONDAY

Sunday looking like Monday,
rain bombing the pavement,
grey sky, cold as an assassin,
dulls any hope of other hues
getting a look in.

Today is mostly black and white,
so, roll on the day and bring on
the comfort colours of night.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

10 MOST VIEWED POEMS THIS WEEK

The 10 most viewed poems this week on this blog:


DEATH OF A POLICEMAN   - on the news of PC David Rathband's death
STEALING WORDS - a cheeky little 4-liner
RALPH McTELL - on a singer/songwriting giant
ONE SEVENTY - on our now sold family home
LEAVING WORK (BELFAST, 1911) - a Titanic reflection
FOR BARNEY GREEN - on an old man murdered by laughing assassins
IT'S ALL GREEK TO ME - fun with mythology
GOD'S GIFT - on taking things for granted
THE GAP BETWEEN OUTSTRETCHED HANDS - to help or not to help
QUIET ALEC - on a neighbour

Friday, 2 March 2012

SWEET THOUGHT

Professor Maxwell Cleverclogs
looked up to the stars
and wondered with his furrowed brow
if Martians eat Earth bars.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

DEATH OF A POLICEMAN

One moment,
one murderous moment,
and everything changed,
everything,
nothing would,
nothing could
ever be the same again.


The murderer was dead,
easy way out,
the victim lived on
in suffering and challenge,
with courage and defiance,
until that point that few of us know,
that point of no return,
that point when candles burn
to salute the hero, to mourn his fate,
- too late, people, too late.