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.

On Ageing Gloriously 

‘Old Age & Youth’ …  Pen and ink – WHB.  2017

ON AGEING GLORIOUSLY

Yes, I am getting older now; my prime has slipped away;
But I’m beating off the Harpies who want to bring doomsday.
But the benefits now brought about through all the new advances
Have brought about a change in me, at least they’ve upped my chances.

For, mine eyes have seen the glory never found since I was nine;
I ‘ve cast aside my spectacles reversing my decline.
I’ve got new eyes now, darling, and the cataracts have gone,
So despite my aged torso I will still keep staggering on.

And my new knees tell the story of my better prospects now;
I’m going to try the Great North Run if only they allow,
‘Cos I feel as though I’m twenty four and kicking down the door.
At least I’ll get a few years now before I need some more.

My metal hip has been replaced; I now have one in plastic;
It’s been a great success, although the experience was quite drastic.
I can hobble with the best of them and the stairs I cope with ease;
Yes, walking is a doddle now and life is just a breeze.

My hearing aid’s a bonus, I know what’s being said on telly.
My confidence I have regained, I’d rival Machiavelli;
The end still justifies the means; these life aids serve their purpose,
But instead of “Turn the volume up”, I’m wishing they were wordless.

My carpal tunnel surgery stopped my fingers feeling numb.
I’m twice the man I used to be, an artist I’ve become;
So now you see me in my prime reflecting on new marvels;
My hands are fully functional now; I have not lost my marbles.

My lumber corset gives me an efficient spinal brace.
My posture’s as it should be now, no longer a disgrace.
I stand upright and hold my place wherever I may be,
Just the occasional little blip, one you’ll hardly ever see.

The wig I found provided me with a new lease of life;
No longer bald and reticent – I’ve got a new-found wife.
I’m wond’ring how surprised she’ll be when we get into bed,
Perhaps she’ll want a payback when she finds she’s been misled?

They gave me my libido back with just a small blue pill;
Revived my passion and my lust – be that for good or ill.
I must say I’m enjoying those long lost thrills again,
No longer from the Tantric Arts, do I have to abstain.

They now give me a freebie both for Christmas and tv
Free bus and tube rides I can get, I’ve become a devotee
Of touring round my city in a bus as if in state
Suits me to be busy now at the age of eighty eight.

A pension I am grateful for, although it’s not enough,
I paid my dues for forty years, I did think that was tough;
Yes, the National Health helps me a lot, I get my medicine free,
And if I want a pick-me-up, my nurse is good to me.

My mouth has been replenished with a set of new white teeth;
I thought it best to have that done before they bought my wreath.
I look forward to my time in Heaven, but perhaps it’s just as well,
That I can still enjoy life now – in case I go to Hell.

Memory’s Half-Truths

‘Half-truths’ . . . Pen & Wash – WHB : 2017

Memory’s Half-Truths

Half-truths abound in memory
Reflections from my maculate mind
Those part-remembered escapades
Seem partly sighted, partly blind.

Did I when young once ever dare
When roaming in the hills
Explore that damp disused mine shaft
And risk entombment for the thrills?

Was it alone that I did climb
That thrusting rock, that mighty drop,
Without a thought for life and limb
To view the valley from the top?

And when we found that dark Blue Lake
Did I join others for a swim,
Or did I watch whilst others dived,
Afraid to join them? Memory’s dim.

That time, when rambling, I explored
Deep into that hillside cave.
Was I alone and did I dare,
How was it I could be so brave?

And did I once, my memory fades,
Spend a night upon Cass Rock
Light a fire, sleep on the stone,
Or was that all just poppycock?

My youthful escapades were many,
Risky games and daring pranks.
I’ve boasted that I once was brave,
Ever the one for breaking ranks.

I’ve told myself so many times
How bold I was, adventurous child.
And yet I know, if truth be told,
I always was but meek and mild.

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 Writing’s On The Wall

Pen & Ink Sketch … WHB – May 2017

The Writing’s On The Wall

(Verses using idiomatic expressions)

It’s all over bar the shouting,
Pride goes before a fall;
Another nail in the coffin,
The writing’s on the wall.

“You’ve not a hope in hell’, they said
You’re doomed to sink like a stone.
Abandon hope who enters here.”
But the devil looks after his own.

I will not beat about the bush
Nor bark up that wrong tree.
Yes, it’s back to square one I go,
‘Twixt devil and deep blue sea.

Some time I’ll bite the bullet again,
But till the bitter end
Blood, sweat and tears it is for me
Till I am round the bend,

No, I’m not about to bite the dust,
Nor to push up the daisies,
For I am still alive and kicking,
Singing my own  life’s praises.

Yes, the cleft stick that I am in
Is just a cock-and-bull story,
For I will last till the cows come home
In my Land of Hope and Glory.

And when the hue and cry are over
Then I’m  off to the Land of Nod.
When those hell’s bells have sounded.
All’s still in the lap of the gods.

Yes, every dog will have its day
The writing is on the wall
Every cloud has a silver lining
I’m not heading for a fall.

Life Drawing Class

LIFE DRAWING CLASSES

Life drawing classes in Chelsea
The chance of a lifetime fulfilled
A chance to perfect my technique
I should’ve been delighted and thrilled.

But it wasn’t quite like that in practice;
Whilst I became more and more zealous
I found to my utter dismay
My fiancé grew terribly jealous.

So I gave up these classes to please her,
My art took a secondary place
To a contented future with landscapes.
Yes, I gave in to her whims – just in case.

So, I never will be a Paul Rubens,
And Lucien Freud’s not for me.
I timidly gave in to persuasion,
All governed by wifely decree.

.   Sketches by – WHB  ©

Bombs Away

Retro Advert seen in a charity shop in Devon, UK … Photo – WHB 2016

Bombs Away . . . Keeping our boys Regular

A provocative
narrative
Re a sanative
laxative.

As an ex-airman I can say

Advertising ‘Bombs Away’

Should not be a cause of laughter

I have heard of nothing dafter.

I consider it a waste,

Certainly leaves a nasty taste.

This advert I would call a fail,

In fact it is beyond the pale.

So airmen of the world unite,

Stop them talking utter tripe.

Dropping Bombs is not a joke,

Save it for that Hitler bloke.

He’s the one deserves derision,

Not our brave boys on a mission.

Nothing regular about a war,

Always ends with blood and gore.

So don’t make fun of our boys in blue,

Or the next one missing could be you.

CRICKET, Swinging the Willow

‘Cricket – Sweep Shot’ … Pen & Wash – WHB.  2017

 

CRICKET – STROKES & SHOTS

CRICKET is a game which lends itself to hyperbole, and attempts to describe the game on sound radio have enlivened and intrigued for many years.   To this end commentators have developed a highly descriptive language to convey the excitement and finesse which cricketers from all over the world apply to the game. For example, there are numerous ways in which the shots played by batsmen can be described.  These are, of course, governed by the prevailing conditions of weather and the playing surface as well as by the whiles of the bowler they are facing.

I can make an anthology
Of cricket terminology,

Particularly the strokes,
And I’m not kidding folks,

Because in this descriptive way
Commentators describe the play:

Will it be a slick flick
Or a fickle tickle?

Do remember that a chance leg glance
Is always better than a dull pull;

Although why not a deep sweep,
Try a hook and tempt a duck?

A slash in a flash
Is better than a trash bash;

But a loop of a scoop
May get you caught out for nought;

While a cut in a hurry
Will have you out in a flurry.

Try a snide glide,
Or a fine slide.

Even a rich switch
Must be better than a mere steer,

While a high five for a cover drive
Easily beats a mock block.

Did you know, a bit of a trick
Is a quickly executed slick snick?

But beware the rash slash,
Or that devastating poke stroke;

And how about  a big slog
… To end my blog?

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

The Stable Door

‘Stable Door,Wiltshire’ (National Trust) . . . WHB – Pen & Watercolour, c.1990

THE STABLE DOOR

Red bricked  arch
Red rose adorned
Frames the entrance
Bringing enchantment
To meet history
In this secluded pile

Once-stabled steeds
Whinny in wonder
From their equine tombs
And boast of
times when
Bridle bit and brace
Had cause to adorn
These ancient crumbling
 Cobwebbed stalls

Long left to nature
And to fate
But now in trust
To a Nation which remembers
And celebrates
Its history