Words From The Grave

A poem with alternate lines having the same rhyme . . . 
as –  A – B – C – B – D – B – E- -B . . .  etc.

RIP

WORDS FROM THE GRAVE

 

Tread softly as you pass my grave

Do not disturb these tombstones 

If you should hear

My sighs and moans

Fret not and do not tarry

It will be just my aching bones

Clumsy now and out of practice

Having heard those ringing tones

Fumbling in my bloody shroud

To answer that damned ringing phone

Yet once again to take a call

From that old seadog, Davy Jones,

Who, speaking from his seabed Locker

Invites me to a Game Of Thrones

 

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Misdemeaners

An Acrostic Poem is one in which the first letter of each line spells out a complete word.  The poem’s title is often given as this, usually single, word.

crime


A short example would be . . . 

C ommitted a crime
R elied on his knife  
I  nterred doing time
M essed up a life
E verlasting paradigm

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MISDENEANOURS

 An Acrostic Verse

 

aybe I can be forgiven,

I n my innocence I was misled.

S uffering then from youthful hubris,

D efeated by my life, I bled.

E very new experience seemed

M y very strength to sap.

E ach and every test I faced

A waited me with some mishap.

N ow at last I shall be brave,

U ndo the spell which youth has cast.

O vercome my earlier errors,

R esist with vigour all my terrors,

S wap my lifestyle now forever.

 

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It’s Your Decision

To Be Or Not To Be

Pen & Ink Drawing … WHB – July 2017

TO BE OR NOT TO BE –
IT’S YOUR DECISION

give in
just let life happen
don’t resist
or make a move towards it
let it approach you
and when it does
just stand your ground
and wait
don’t even think
for when you react
then you will be committed
bound to some response
compelled to a decision
confirmed in participation

in life

and thus
inevitably
to becoming
a human being

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CRICKET

Cricket-Heathcoat-Tiverton

© ‘ The Cricket Match’ … Pen & Wash – WHB – March 2017

 

CRICKET

Roll up, Roll up
And buy your ticket
Rejoice and thrill
At the game of CRICKET

Bowlers bowl
Fielders field
Batsmen bat
Never yield

Keepers keep
And catchers catch
All this happens
In a cricket match

Strikers strike
And hitters hit
Sloggers slog
Lickety-split

Floaters float
Beamers beam
Chuckers chuck
While seamers seam

Umpires umpire
Scorers score
Strikers strike
Can’t ask for more

Spinners spin
Sledgers sledge
Captains captain
At the cutting edge

Drivers drive
And blockers block
Bouncers bounce
Eye on the clock

Grafters graft
And Hackers hack
Hookers hook
Better stand back

Openers open
Swingers swing
Sweepers sweep
‘Cos that’s their thing

Oft played upon
A sticky wicket
Best sport of all
The game of CRICKET


 

As in all sports, cricket has over its long history built up a long list of specialist vocabulary, or jargon.  I have attempted to incorporate some of this specialist language in my verses.

My pen and wash painting is of a scene at the Heathcoat Cricket Club in Mid-Devon.
The game of cricket has been played on this ground since the late 19th Century. 

The ground itself is one of the few to be found actually within the grounds of a National Trust property – that of Knightshayes Court , in the village of Bolham, near Tiverton.

 


 

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Gordon, Fanny, Nora and Jiminy

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Gordon, Fanny, Nora and Jiminy

(A light-hearted tale involving idiomatic language of a questionable kind)

Four one-time friends met up one day,
Their language was extreme;
Given to bombast, bluster, blather,
Just invective it would seem.

Expletives of the milder kind
Soon cut the air like glass,
From’ Fiddlesticks’ and ‘Jeepers Creepers’
To ‘What the Dickens, You silly ass?’

“Well, I must say, sweet Fanny Adams”,
Gordon Bennett said,
“Cor Blimey, you look cute just now,
Why don’t the two of us get wed?”

“Bloody Nora”, she replied,
“You can’t be serious.
Our dearest friend just next to you
She will be furious .”

“Don’t you ‘Bloody Nora’ me”,
Gordon Bennett replied,
“I’ll have your goddam guts for garters.”
Then Bloody Nora upped and cried,

“Oh, Streuth”, she loudly uttered then,
“Crikey and Gadzooks!
I thought ‘twas me you fancied most,
What about my famed good looks?”

But up spoke Jiminy Cricket then
The mildest of the four
Offended that he’d not heard right
“But it’s me, I thought, that you adore.”

“Crikey, you all get on my wick”,
Gordon began to moan,
“I don’t wish any of you ill,
But do cut out the whining tone.”

Before you could say “My giddy aunt”,
“Bob’s your Uncle”, said Fanny,
“Stone the crows you bunch of twits,
Your oafish language is uncanny.”

“You speak in riddles and in slang,
Codswallop is your tongue;
Holy Mackerel and Hell’s Bells,
You all are very highly strung.”

And so this odd exchange went on
In voices loud and shrill.
They hardly stopped to take a breath
‘Twas dubious language overkill.

But then, at last they quietened down,
Ran out of steam I suppose.
Their parting shots were more than rude,
But those I daren’t to you disclose.

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‘Inversnaid’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins

(Poem No.41 of my favourite short poems)

Inversnaid-TheWaterfall

‘The Mountain Stream’ … WHB – Pen & Wash – 2000

While in his twenties, Hopkins’s trained as a Jesuit priest, gave up writing poetry at one stage, but returned to it later in his life.  His poems are highly rhythmical and often ‘difficult’ on first reading .   In his poem ‘INVERSNAID’ he looks in wonder at a stream in the Highlands of Scotland near the small Scottish village of that name on the ‘bonnie’ banks of Loch Lomond, where a waterfall plunges down the hillside into a dark pool.

In his poetry, Hopkins developed a number of ground-breaking techniques, including ‘sprung rhythm’, where stresses are counted rather than syllables in a line. His use of language is robust, energetic and, at often experimental.  Like most of his poems, ‘Inversnaid’ is composed using a variety of poetic constructions – alliteration, assonance, repetition, personification, compound words, dialect and archaic words, effects that bring considerable force and energy to his poetry.  Dylan Thomas had a similar feel for language and for the construction of compound words.


Inversnaid

This darksome burn, horseback brown,
His rollrock highroad roaring down,
In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
Flutes and low to the lake falls home.

A windpuff-bonnet of fáwn-fróth
Turns and twindles over the broth
Of a pool so pitchblack, féll-frówning,
It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.

Degged with dew, dappled with dew
Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

Gerard Manley Hopkins …  (1881)

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JUMP FOR IT

More versified Idiomatic Expressions – all based on the word ‘JUMP’ 

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‘Jump For Joy’ … Pen & Wash – WHB 2017

Be Happy
Girl or boy
JUMP for Joy

Be Alert
To avoid detention
JUMP to Attention

Be Quick
Have some fun
JUMP the Gun

Be Glad
Act like a clown
JUMP Up and Down

Be One of the Boys
Don’t slacken
JUMP on the Bandwagon

Be Busy
Till energy droops
JUMP through Hoops

Be Afraid
Give them the slip
JUMP Ship

Be Wary
Let the fear show
JUMP at your own Shadow

Be Smart
Grab your cue
JUMP the Queue

Be Forceful
Don’t be remote
JUMP down his Throat

Be Free
Let them quail
JUMP Bail.

Be Bold
It’s time for romance
JUMP at the Chance

Be Careful
Lest you expire
JUMP out of the Frying Pan into the Fire

Be Prepared
It may be illusion
JUMP to a Conclusion

Be Brave
Fractures can mend
JUMP off the Deep End

Be Savvy
Hit the Escape Key
JUMP for I.T.

 

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I Am Not Your Toy Boy

Toy Boy

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 won’t catch 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.

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Stevie Smith – This Englishwoman

(Poem No.38 of my favourite short poems)

STEVIE SMITH was born Florence Margaret Smith in Kingston-upon-Hull in 1902.   At the age of three she moved with her parents to Palmers Green in North London where she lived until she died in 1971.

She apparently acquired the name “Stevie” as a young woman when she was riding in the park with a friend who said that she reminded him of the jockey Steve Donoghue.

Perhaps her best known poem is ‘Not Waving But Drowning’.   She often accompanied her verses with her own drawings.  One such poem which I particularly like is very short but with an amusingly descriptive illustration  . . .

Stevie Smith-Englishwoman

THIS  ENGLISHWOMAN

This Englishwoman is so refined

She has no bosom and no behind.

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TO THE UNDECIDED

TODAY – 8th June 2017 – is GENERAL ELECTION DAY in the U.K.

 ballot paper

 TO THE UNDECIDED

The choice is mine today,
What choice is left to me?
To sink or swim, to live or die?
I’ve sight, but cannot see.

I can hear, but I am deaf,
Can speak, but I am dumb.
Enfranchised, but my cross
Will bring pain or joy to some.

Will I vote on who I like?
Or will policy tell me how?
Where to put my valued cross?
My mind’s a blank right now!

 

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