About Roland's Ragbag

Long retired; Expatriate Tyke; Eclectic; Not-So-Grumpy Old Man.



POSEIDON & ATHENA:  WHB … Pen & Ink, 2019



Born of male
Warrior Goddess
Meant not to fail

Faced fear
Lord of the Sea
Her major prize
Attica’s key

Poseidon’s trident
Challenged by
Athena’s spear
The stakes so high

But olive tree
Of course
Beat salt spring
And horse

The prize
The city
The winner
No pity

Athens the realm 
Athena’s gain
Poseidon’s loss
To him the pain


Athena and Poseidon vied for control of Athens and its surrounding territory, Attica. … Poseidon struck the rock with his trident and produced a salt spring or a horse.  

Athena brought forth an olive tree from the ground by the touch of her spear and she was proclaimed the victor.


In Fading Light

silhouette of woman standing on seashore

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In fading light I see you,
Your touch no longer there.
Your heart still throbs beside me,
But no more your silken hair.,

Your morning’s breath is frozen,
No longer soothes the air,
But there you are beside me 
And I know that still you care.

Forever in the sunrise
I’ll clutch the cross you bear,
Awaiting  till the sun dies
That death we soon will share.



This poem was written and published by me in response to the Writing Prompt Challenge, on April 17, 2019 by Midwest Fantasy on the Go Dog Go Cafe website  https://godoggocafe.com/2019/04/17/wednesday-oopswriting-prompt-challenge-april-17-2019/?c=20520#comment-20520

“Use the phrase “fading light” in a poem or piece of prose.”



Photo: WHB – 2019



Barred from a life
Tossed aside

In the fervour of a game
Black-leaded dungeon
Grey grave
Sad sepulchre

Once loved
Now soon to be
The ashes
From whence I came

Tell them

Not only humans
Are hurt
By rejection
Not only flesh
Is melted by fire



Photo: WHB – 2019



‘Tell Me’ – A Crown Cinquain

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Crown Cinquain


Tell me
Pretty maiden
Where have you been hiding
Lost to me all these many years
Now found

Now found
And full of hope
I am able again
To live in bright expectation
Of joy

Of joy
Of coupled love
Rekindling lost passion
Rebirth for my expiring soul
Time heals

Time heals
The wounds of hurt
Complete again with you
Able again to face my world
In peace

In peace
We start again
The slate now wiped clean
The past dissolved in history
Hope lives



This poem has been composed in response to Abigail Gronway’s (‘Dark Side Of The Moon’) CPC Challenge published 12/4/19.  I quote: . . .

The Crown Cinquain

Like the Cinq-Cinquain that we studied last week, the Crown Cinquain, or Cinquain Chain, is also made up of a series of exactly five Crapsey Cinquains. So what’s the difference? I’m glad you asked. The distinguishing feature of the Crown Cinquain appears in the two-syllable lines at the beginning and end of each stanza, as they are used to link one stanza to another. This process is called a forming link, a chain, or a corona (hence crown).
To be more specific, the last line of each cinquain is repeated as the first line of the next cinquain.
There is one other slight difference. In the Cinq-Cinquain, the stanza breaks are optional; but in the Crown Cinquain, they are required.

So here in summary, is the Crown Cinquain:

a series of 5 [entire] Crapsey Cinquains, 25 lines total
syllabic count: 2-8-6-4-2 in each stanza
written with breaks between stanzas
rhyme is optional
last line of the previous cinquain repeated as first line of the next cinquain



A Literal Death

brown wooden cubes

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A Reverie – on linguistic bugbears, slang, cliché, and the vernacular

Have a good day
You guys

You know what I mean
For back in the day
That bad hair day
I have to say
To be honest
At this moment in time
I’m not gonna lie
I found out the hard way
I’d lost the plot

So they told me
Keep it real
It’s the only way
And anytime soon
Do you know what?

Well, like I said
At the end of the day
We’re in uncharted territory
We are where we are
So as they say
just let’s do it

So I ran with it and
To coin a phrase
Let’s be absolutely clear about this
I literally died


The Thralldom of Words

close up of eyeglasses on book

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The Thralldom of Words

How unreal
Would this life be
Without words
Without the sounds to sing my feelings
The joy of Tongue
Touched by language
Threaded through thought
In silken sound
Tempered by the vernacular
Enriched by our true poets

Sounds of the lover’s
Throbbing pleasure
Silken sounds
Of the singer of songs
That’s what it’s all about, Alfie. 

Living life
Loses meaning 
Is unreal 
The thrall of words
In trusted tomes
Found fables and
The lust for legend
Joy discovered
In mildewed texts
Throbbing with
And feeling

abstract black and white blur book

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Cuddy Wifter

person s left hand

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Cuddy wifter

 I’m a southpaw,
But that’s alright;
Well not quite.

Yes, cack-handed,
But I’m cautious;
Sinister, Gauche,

Left or right,
Up or down.
Does it worry,
Cause a frown?

I don’t worry
‘Cos I know
With my left hand
How far I throw

Yet some will tip
Their nose and sniff,
Just because
I’m cuddy wiff



Cuddy wifter. A dialect or Old English term, most frequently used in the North East of England to refer to a left-handed person. 


adult anger art black background

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The Least Exotic Cocktail Party

cold summer alcohol cocktail

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I was misled
The invitation said
Please come
Don’t be dumb
Lots of drinks
Maybe high jinx. But bring your own
Drinks that is 
And don’t forget
No regrets

But as for nibbles
No quibbles
Crisps and nuts
No ifs and buts
You won’t be denied – 
If self-supplied

Exotic fare
Incessant chat
Fancy that
With both our guests
Yes, hadn’t you guessed?

Just two

– and you

That, of course,
I endorse
Is the reason
In this silly season
For the ‘Exotic’ name
For which I claim
The epithet ‘Least’
May my tribe be increased.

An unusual party
For the arty-farty
But a memory I treasure
Measure for Measure




Photo: Jurassic Coast – 2019 … WHB


The hiss of the serpent
Of the boiling kettle
Of the onlooker’s disdain

All is sibilance

Yet nothing
compares in joy
With the hiss of the incoming tide

Its cadence encroaching
High on the pebble-dashed shore
Murmuring over the beach’s shingle
Pleasuring as it strokes
Ignoring resistance
Recoiling to gather strength
Each renewed thrust
Each swish-pause-hush cycle
Striving for optimum reach

The flow and ebb of its breath
Committed to that eternal
Sibilant echo
Which brings peace
To the pulse of my heart