Am Not Your Toy Boy  

‘Toy Boy’ – Pen & Wash WHB . . . 2017

I AM NOT YOUR TOY BOY

Had enough of being your toy boy

I am not a toy

I am marked

‘Not to be toyed with’

It’s happened to me before

I’m much wiser now

Won’t let it happen again

To have my affections trifled with

Is no trifle

Hurts and damages any toy.

So think again dear lady

Find some other mug

One with a wealthier handle

Or one with a see-through wallet

Besides I don’t do the clubs

Not cougar-fodder

I don’t need to re-live my youth

In someone else’s image

We’re not on Route 66

And, for me, selfies are verboten

You catching me in a spin

Texting those wild come-on

WhatsApps

For your later production in court.

Ought to be ashamed – and at your age!

Me – pushing eighty

And you …

I don’t care how you get your kicks

You must be all of ninety six.

ETHEREE

Today I am ‘having a go’ at the Etheree poetic form.  It is somewhat similar to the Cinquain and the Rictameter, both of which I have tackled previously.   The Etheree is a ten line form ascending in syllable count for ten unrhymed lines, and it should focus on a single idea or subject.    Thus the syllable count is in the form:  1.2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 
This can be altered to give a Reverse Etheree:  10.9.8.7.6.5.4.3.2.1.

The form is attributed to an American poet, Etheree Taylor Armstrong of Arkansas (1918 – 1994).  Little seems to be known of her life except the poetic form she devised.

Notes adapted from ‘The Poets’ Garret’ et al.  

I have attempted both forms below – on the subjects of ‘Idleness’  and  ‘Life’ …

‘Love In Idleness’ . . . Pen & Wash – WHB

IDLENESS – A REVERSE ETHEREE

Today I vow to spend in idleness,
to do no more than listen keenly,
allow the world to speak to me,
while I, in turn, consider
which way my life now  leads,
trying to find peace
within my mind
that will see
my life
through.

LIFE – A REGULAR ETHEREE

Life,
in truth,
defeats me.
Midst storm and stress
I struggle to keep
that equilibrium
which holds me in its stillness,
waiting with some trepidation
for that final push to reach the stars
where my disquietude will cease to be.

The Patchwork Pachyderm

‘The Patchwork Pachyderm’ … Photoshopped Collage:  WHB – 2017

The PATCHWORK PACHYDERM

 Six blind old men went to a zoo
Which blind men do not often do.

They wished to find out more about
Their unknown world I have no doubt.

It was not easy so to do,
Especially at our London zoo.

They heard a creature give a bellow,
The trumpet call was hardly mellow.

They followed the sound until they came
To where were housed all the big game.

Determined to go where blind men go
They encountered a creature they did not know.

They ventured into the elephants lair,
Sensing this to be just where

They could discover just what it is
Makes this creature a walking quiz.

  *   *   *

 Tim fell against its side so tall,
Crying “This is a mighty wall”.

Jim touched its Tusk and gave a cry,
“It is a Spear I’ll not deny”.

Lim felt its trunk and began to quake,
“I’m pretty sure it is a snake”.

Dim touched a leg saying with glee,
“Well, this can only be a tree”.

Kim then reached up and touched an ear,
“This is a fan it is quite clear”.

Yim lifted the tail saying in hope,
“I’m almost sure this is a rope”.

  *   *   *

They thought, each one, that they’d found out
Just what Jumbo was all about.

So I ask you please, whate’er you see,
You don’t need a first-class degree.

Just never get your logic mangled,
Make sure your view is multi-angled.

The story of the SIX BLIND MEN has its possible origins in India, but the same basic story has appeared with variations in many different cultures.  I first came across it in the Chinese version.  The story in essence tells of blind men who, never having been able to see an elephant, decided to use their sense of touch to discover what sort of a creature it was.  On doing so, each one pronounced on the basis of their own, very limited,view.  Because each man touched only one part of the elephant, and based their judgement on what they had found, each came up with a different version of what they considered the creature to be like. 

So,  In turn, each blind man created his own version of reality from that limited experience and perspective. In philosophy departments throughout the world, the Blind Men and the Elephant has become the exemplar of moral relativism and religious tolerance.

So this ancient parable is used today as a warning for people that promote absolute truth or exclusive religious claims. It demonstrates that our sensory perceptions and life experiences can, if we are not careful, lead to a very limited understanding and interpretation of the nature of something or someone else.  With only a limited understanding of truth we can only receive a constrained version of reality.

There are several versions in poetic form of this story, to which I have added my own above, with the title ‘The Patchwork Pachyderm’ !

TERENCE – The Teachers’ Torment

TERENCE – THE TEACHERS’ TORMENT

Terence was so sensitive,
He was averse to life.
He was a pain to have in school,
A constant source of strife.

He wouldn’t play in any team,
He just stood there and cried;
Wouldn’t join in any sport
However much we tried.

He hated maths, he couldn’t add,
His spelling was appalling.
His writing was a dreadful scribble,
His language was quite galling.

And what he knew of history
Could be written on two stamps
And science and geography
To him were complete blanks.

And when it came to making friends
He wasn’t interested;
His eating habits were quite crude,
His food left half-digested.

He said that school was not for him,
He’d rather be at home.
His mum and dad, at their wits end,
Called it his Teddy Syndrome.

“OK, then let’s just try” I said,
“To see if this will work.
Let him bring his Ted to school
Might solve his little quirks”.

And so it did, I’m pleased to say.
There’s no more ridicule.
He carries Ted around with him,
Best teacher in the school.

‘Horace & His Teddy’ … Pen – PH & WHB

OPORTO

Oporto, Portugal … Pen & Watercolour – WHB – 2015

OPORTO  is a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is situated along the banks of the Douro river estuary in northern Portugal. The city’s actual name is Porto, but when preceded by a definite article, ‘O’ in Portuguese, meaning ‘the’ in English, it is written as ‘o Porto’ meaning ‘the port’ in English. As a result, in English the city is usually referred to now as ‘Oporto’.   The city is known for its stately bridges, its port wine production, and for its monuments and buildings by renowned architects.  The city was also the birthplace of one of world history’s legendary figures, Prince Henry the Navigator.  In some city guidebooks it is also given as  the birthplace of that world-famous fictional character, Harry Potter, as the author, J. K. Rowling, was living in Oporto as an English teacher when she started writing her first ‘Harry Potter’ book. 

According to its travel bureau
Oporto’s a town on the Douro;
Praise be to Jehovah
It’s famed the world over
For port wine to banish your sorrow,

It’s Portuguese wine at its best;
If you try it you’ll want to invest;
You’ll go back for more,
Buy out the wine store,
And lay all your bogeys to rest.

But then you must explore the city;
It’s stunning, impressive and pretty;
Renowned architects,
Artistic projects,
Far too much to view – what a pity!

IF I HAD MY WISH

I can find no trace of the poem / ditty printed below.   I am not the author, and I am unable to find out who is / was.   Many years ago, when I was probably around the age of 6 or 7  (i.e. in the 1940s – yes, that’s right, during WWII ),  I learnt this poem by heart and delivered it to an audience at a Yorkshire chapel concert – presumably to demonstrate  my skills in memorised recitation.  Well  …  it certainly wasn’t to showcase a budding poet!   Although I don’t recall being sensitive at the time about the cannibalistic sentiments expressed,  I do now see the poem as somewhat ‘non-PC’ and quite unsuitable for directing a child to commit such verses to heart and then expound them in public.  

. . .   and Yes,  I have never forgotten these verses, the dramatic emphases within the poems structure, or the subtle cadence of its rhythms (!!!).   So . . .  make of it what you will, but  I would certainly be interested if anyone can throw light on its origins and/or its creator!  . . .

. . .  I remember being instructed to “pause before delivering the last line … and then say it quickly and loudly – with emphasis!”  . . .  What artistry !!! 

If I had my wish
I would be a small fish
And swim where nobody could catch me.
I never would look
At a worm on a hook,
Or some naughty boy then might snatch me.

I’d frolic and play
With the fishes all day,
And not go to school at nine-thirty.
I’d not give a bean
If my neck wasn’t clean,
Or if BOTH my ears should get dirty.

And when I had died,
I should like to be fried,
With the bones taken out of my tummy,
And served, if you please,
With some lovely green peas,
… and then eaten up by my mummy!

TELL-TALE-TIT

‘TELL-TALE-TIT’
… or The Trials & Tribulations If A Schoolteacher

They did it, sir, I saw them,
They pestered and annoyed her,
They spread your desk with powder,
They turned the sound up louder,
Oh, please sir, say you’ll whack ’em.

She did it, miss! I saw her!
She spread the floor with water.
She splashed the paint on Susan Porter;
She cut the model dog in quarter.
I’m awfully glad you’ve caught ‘er.

You did it, sir, you caught ‘em.
You found them where they hid it,
You even found them with it,
So you must believe they did it.
Red-handed!  Now you’ve taught ‘em!

He did it, sir! I saw him!
He fed the goldfish sawdust;
He made the hamster raucous.
Yes, he giggled when you caught US.
Believe me, sir, it WAS him.

 Why don’t you, sir? Why don’t you?
Why not hit him with your ruler?
Why can’t you be a little cruel-er?
Why are you acting cooler?
You frightened that he’ll sue you?

 

Senor Bitzwobble

Senor Bitzwobble

A Spaniard called Senor Bitzwobble
Met the Pobble without any toes,
Who got him to keep very still
While he swatted a fly on his nose.

‘I’ve seen your bits wobble’, said Pobble,
‘I suggest what you need is a mate;
Someone steady and willing
Life would soon become thrilling –  
How about me being your date?’

Well, they soon hit it off and got married,
Well, that’s how this story then goes,
They had many children together –
Married life had its highs and its lows.

Till, one day while they sunbathed together,
As in the bright sun they both dozed,
They both started to cough,
All heir bits then fell off,
And so their sad story then closed.

THE  ITCH

THE  ITCH

There’s a joy in scratching an itch
Which increases the more that I do it
The more that I try
I ask myself why
Can’t I give my whole future to it.

And when I eventually try
To give up the scratching, then why
Does this damned itch’s curse
Get so Intensely worse
That I must scratch it again or I’ll die?