In–Sects

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In–Sects

 I started my hobby when 60 years old
I’d left it a bit late I know 
An interest in ladies I soon found out 
Well it gave me somewhere to go

Nothing afraid
I cashed life’s cheques
Every second a buzz
Nothing complex
At simple sex
Never afraid
I plied my trade

Until one day
A well-heeled lady
Enticed me with her laugh
Her chequebook too
Rang loud and true
I fell for her autograph

But then one day
I chanced to say
I was interested in sex
A hobby I wished to follow

But suddenly
Her demeanour changed
She said she was disgusted
And I was maladjusted
Of all the things that she objects 
She said the worst was insects

I tried to make her understand 
A spider with eight hairy legs
Was not my idea of fun
Too late, too late,
She’d upped and left
I was perplexed
I should have guessed
Insects ARE worse than sex

 

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I Remember

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I REMEMBER

 

 So well I remember, 
Can I forget 
Those long summer days 
When you and I met? 

The moors were in heather 
And I was in haste; 
My heart it was yearning
Your lips to taste.

But you were indifferent,
Your eyes were elsewhere,
Oblivious to me
And life wasn’t fair.

So I buried my pride,
Gave in to sorrow. 
I’d learnt a hard lesson,
There was always tomorrow. 

Now that day it has come 
And we’ve met up again. 
You express your regret 
For the ache, for the pain. 

But I can’t now rekindle 
Those feelings I had. 
Time has taken its toll,
Our story is sad. 

 

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‘This Is Just To Say’ – William Carlos Williams

[  # 87 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

Q. When is a mundane note not just a mundane note?
Q. When is a mundane note a poem?
Q. When is a scribbled note stuck on the fridge door to your wife a poem?

A. When William Carlos Williams writes it – as he did here, as long ago as 1934, when it suddenly  became, in 21st century jargon, ‘viral’.

The more times I read the poem below, the more I am able to see the depth in it.
Contentment in a relationship, acceptance, ease, familiarity, intimacy and even love are all here.

Note how pointedly the title becomes the first line . . .

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sliced fruits on pink ceramic plate

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This Is Just To Say

I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox

and which

you were probably

saving

for breakfast

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold

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The effect of this poem may be enhanced by watching and listening to this YouTube video in which Matthew Macfadyen reads the poem ‘This Is Just To Say’

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William Carlos Williams ( 1883 – 1963 ) had an English father and a Puerto Rican mother.  He grew up in Rutherford, New Jersey.   He was an American poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright. He was also a physician practising both paediatrics and general medicine.  With Ezra Pound and H.D.Williams he was a leading poet of the Imagist movement and often wrote of American subjects and themes. He became an inspiration to the Beat generation in the 1950s and 60s.  As in the poem above, his poetry was often domestic in focus and was described as “remarkable for its empathy, sympathy, its muscular and emotional identification with its subjects.”

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Kurt Vonnegut – ‘Two Little Good Girls’

[  # 86 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

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Known primarily as a novelist, Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – 2007) was an American writer. He published 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, best-selling novel ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’, published in(1969.

I do like this short poem of his which I came across only recently.  Apparently it was never given a title by Vonnegut and was discovered in a letter of 1961 sent by him to a friend.  It has a delightfully simple and artless warmth which engenders such good feeling and optimism.

 

Two little good girls
Watchful and wise —
Clever little hands
And big kind eyes —
Look for signs that the world is good,
Comport themselves as good folk should.
They wonder at a father
Who is sad and funny strong,
And they wonder at a mother
Like a childhood song.
And what, and what
Do the two think of?
Of the sun
And the moon
And the earth
And love.

 

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A Dream Enriched

Burne-Jones-The Love Song

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones: ‘The Love Song’

A DREAM ENRICHED

 She came to me
A dream enriched
When I was most in need.
Long summers passed
And she was there
She held my hand
Until with time
My troubles did recede

 And then
When age had bitten back
She gave her love to me
Without a qualm
She took my arm
For she was Spring
As Autumn came
And I was home at last.

 

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A Glimpse in Time

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A Glimpse in Time

 

A video plays in my head

as my body drags itself 

from the long night’s dream. 

 

The images continue 

holding me

their plangent grip

hurting but healing 

as the dream itself 

fades from memory.

 

Because it was of you

I let the screen run on

seeking to retain

its fast fading force 

Visions of a possible future 

wherein I wake each day

to your warmth

Live in the  shade 

of your love 

Gaining strength from your fortitude

Resolution from our nearness. 

 

As the images disappear 

I attempt to grasp their dying light  

urging their resurrection 

to heal my fading hopes.

 

But all now is lost

and I am left 

Defeated by a glimpse 

of what might have been. 

 

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The Lark Ascending

The Lark Ascending

THE LARK ASCENDING

 

As the morning lark ascends 

So my spirits fly,

Replaying my life. 

The memories spill

Across the cloudless sky,

And I consider time well spent 

Because it was spent with you.

And what the future has in store 

Holds no fears for me. 

The past was rich; 

We caught the wind,

Soared with each new gust,

Through dips and dives

We stayed alive.

Fruition came anew.

With each new swoop,

Each twist and turn,

A new path was revealed.

We that were two

Are now as one,

Our destinies are sealed.

 

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A poem written to keep in my memory the thoughts engendered by the music played at my wife’s funeral eight weeks ago today.  Composed by Vaughan Williams, ‘The Lark Ascending’ was very much her favourite piece of classical music.  The version used was played on the violin by the Scottish violinist, Nicola Benedetti, and can be heard on YouTube at: ‘The Lark Ascending’

 

 

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‘Another Unfortunate Choice’ by Wendy Cope

[  # 82 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

 

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‘Another Unfortunate Choice’

 

I think I am in love with A. E Housman,

Which puts me in a worse-than-usual-fix.

No woman ever stood a chance with Housman

And he’s been dead since 1936.

 


 

A tale of unrequited love – By Wendy Cope

Reproduced from ‘The Big Book of Little Poems’ (Pub: Andrew Deutsch Classics)

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‘Night Marriage’

[  # 81 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

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Night Marriage   . . .  by   Carol Ann Duffy

When I turn off the light
and the dark mile between us
crumples and falls,
you slip from your self to wait for me in my sleep,
the face of the moon sinking Into a cloud;

or I wake bereaved
from the long hours
I spend in your dreams,
an owl in the forest crying its soft vowels,
dark fish swimming under the river’s skin.

Night marriage. The small hours join us,
face to face as we sleep and dream;
the whole of the huge night is our room.

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Re-printed from ‘The Times’,  Saturday September 3rd, 2005

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Hope In The Sea

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‘Ebb Tide’ … WHB  2017 ©

 

HOPE IN THE SEA

The promise of the sea
As it thrusts towards the shore
Is of resurgent love
And with it
the swell in my heart soars
Its tide in turn repeating
What once I had before
When life was young
And in its flow

Now as it ebbs
It is not easy
To renew that glow
Which once provided
all the hope
Of future bliss I ever needed
When sun kissed seas
Spoke loud their passion
Their cresting waves
Breaking one on one
In repeating fashion
Mirroring my wishes
Releasing desires
Bringing the froth and foam
Of hope
To these cool shores

Ribbed sand now reminds
Of what is yet to come
The ripples of my heartbeat
Become the breakers
bolstering my breath 
The thrill of expectation
Arriving with the tide

On what distant shores
have those same waves
Broken their strength
And torn in two
My harried heart

 

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