The Guardian of Hell

Hell-Norway

In Norway for a holiday
I chose to take a train.
I found a railway manager
Standing in the rain.

I asked him how I’d get a train
From here to Tromso town.
He looked at me askantly,
Then put his flag and whistle down.

Pausing a while, he sighed a sigh,
“Just go to Hell ” he muttered.
I thought how rude, how quite uncouth,
Such harsh words to have uttered.

I didn’t like his acid tone
I felt so hurt, and, sadly,
Wondered what I’d done to him
That made him treat me badly.

But then he started telling me
About a town called ‘Hell’,
Sitting on the Tromso line
A place where many dwell.

How the long-suffering railway chief
Had laboured to dispel
The reputation he’d acquired –
‘the Stationmaster from Hell.’

So at last I understood
I repented feeling badly.
Now I’d love to go to Hell,
Pay respects quite gladly.

Then standing by the station sign
I’d take a snap as well,
To show how I admired him,
This Guardian of Hell.

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OF UNCONSIDERED TRIFLES

 

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OF UNCONSIDERED TRIFLES

Autolycus came to me and said:
You are a fellow Trifler
Collecting titbits as you go
A code, a pun, a cipher.

A slice of verse,
A photograph,
Graffiti on a wall.
A derelict old building,
A motto I recall.

A snippet here,
A smidgen there,
Nonsensical or sane;
Collecting trifles will pay off,
Nothing is in vain.

An old dead doll,
A fireplace,
A waste bin on a beach,
Have all at times inspired my verse
My writer’s block to breach.

For my creative muse,
Despite its times of dearth,
Enjoys the trigger of the odd
‘Tis inspiration’s birth.

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NOTE:  Shakespeare’s Autolycus (in A ‘Winter’s Tale’, claims that he is ‘a snapperup of unconsidered trifles‘.

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Forms Of Address

We never have just one name.  I have spent a while considering the number of different ways in which I had recently been addressed.  The realisation also came, that being older appears to give more licence for those we meet to be free and easy with the various forms of address which are available to them . . .



I am addressed in different ways,

If the cap fits, then I wear it.
I do not mind, I’ve learnt to accept,
So I just grin and bear it.



“Well, there you are,  my lovely”, the waitress warmly said.

I shrivelled in my seat  .  .  .  not feeling in the least bit lovely.

“Take your change, old fella”,  as the shopkeeper mouthed goodbye.
Honest, I suppose, but unkind  .  .  .  I let it pass with a sigh.

“Don’t forget your hat, young man”,
Came the cheeky reminder from a bumptious innkeeper –
Sarcastic enough to hurt my seniority.

“Cheerio ducks, enjoy your day”,
Such jollity from the buxom barmaid,
As if it wasn’t already past my sleep-time,
“Goodbye” was all it needed.

“On your way now , darling”,  the cheery matron muttered,
As if I was lingering languidly
And delaying her siesta.

Brusquely bustled aside with an
“Out o’ the way, mate, don’t hold up the British working man.”

My presence effectively disregarded.

“Hiya, Mister, got a quid for a fag?”
Mister, being generic,
My catch-all name … Bought for a pound.

“Can I help you, Sir?”
Kindly meant but formulaic,
Curt but kind
I think you’ll find.

“Come in, Honey … You’re very welcome.”
Warm reception from the receptionist,
No deception.


And so, my dear,
To make it clear,
How I address you
Fits how I assess you.

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Nature’s Cavalcade

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Samuel Palmer -The valley Thick With Corn

Nature’s  Cavalcade

When Hopkins gloried in dappled things
He must have thought of angels’ wings
Of gossamer and cuckoo spit
Of candles flicker-lit

As Palmer did
In silent chapels
In Kentish fields

 

Of darkening woods
where sunlight hides
In sheepland pastures
On downy hills
In buttercup meadows
Where linnet trills
The silent raptures
Of sunset light
On autumn trees
Where swoops the kite
And evening captures
The thickening shadows
The cooling breeze
Midst fields of golden rippling corn
That now adorn the rustic scene
Such glory in apple blossom seen
As they, with Blake,
Held in their hand
Those grains of sand
To wonder more
How Nature’s glory
Explains itself
In storm
And stillness
In calm and frenzy
Light and shade
In setting sun
And mounting moon
The evening’s glaze
In bounteous harvest
Nature’s cavalcade
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Late Love

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LATE  LOVE

Eagerly he jumped into bed
His vows to now fulfil
His lady fair sat on the bed, 
Took a little pill. 

Seductively she stripped and then
Slipped on her pink silk gown;
Opened the drawers beside the bed
She twirled and then sat down. 

Slowly she took her dentures out, 
Popped them into a box. 
Beside this she placed her spectacles, 
Her things, her rings, her rocks. 

Off came her hair, a huge blonde wig, 
Into the drawer it followed. 
A few more pills went in her mouth, 
Then these she swiftly swallowed.

Next a glass eye was taken out, 
Put in a velvet box, 
Then placed sedately in the drawer
Beside those golden locks.

She then unscrewed a wooden leg, 
Wrapped it in a napkin. 
That also went into the drawer
“What else to come?” I’m asking.

Until, she said, “At last my dear, 
Now I am all yours.”
But I was undecided, p’raps
I’d be better in those drawers.

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Not Nice

not nice

Scoundrel, ruffian, thug
Villain, rogue, and gangster 
Slimeball, badass, scum,
Miscreant, knave and monster. 

He wears the habit badly
Unkempt and badly shod
His words are dark and dreadful
No asset to man or god.

Given to coarse bad mouthing, 
Selfish to the core;
No thought but for self pity;
A monumental bore. 

His paucity of language
Discourteous, full of spite, 
Repeating without caution, 
Each word is made to bite.

Disdainful, unforgiving, 
Unpleasant and uncouth. 
A nasty slice of manhood, 
A product of his youth. 

And now he’s reached adulthood
His world is black and grey. 
Unheeding those around him
He intends to have his say. 

He’ll always be remembered
As a nasty piece of work;
A blot on the horizon, 
A slob, an oaf, a birk.

A throwback Neanderthal;
I thank my lucky stars
I never really knew him, 
No page in my memoirs. 

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A Father’s Idiomatic Advice

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Advice from Father to Son
consisting of a collection of popular idiomatic phrases

 

Just gird your loins 
And grit your teeth, 
Above, below, 
Beside, beneath. 

Staunch the flow, 
Don’t quit the race. 
Don’t pinch your nose 
To spite your face. 

Scratch your back
And hold your tongue;
Never old, 
Forever young. 

Take my hand
Don’t hang your head;
Fly your kite, 
Don’t swing the lead. 

Grab that chance
To play the game;
Seize the day
And end your shame. 

Stap not your vitals, 
Sling not your hook, 
Dish not the dirt, 
Don’t spoil your looks.

Yes, kill the time, 
Then make my day. 
Play the fool, 
But make it pay. 

Crash the car,
If you must, 
But count the cost. 
All ends in dust. 

Don’t pull my leg, 
Don’t make me sick. 
Don’t twist my arm, 
No ‘Kiss Me Quick’.

Don’t dig your grave
Or cook the books. 
Just take your time 
And fill your boots. 

Life is short, 
Not what it seems,
So split those hairs
And spill those beans. 

Here today, 
Gone tomorrow. 
Good grief, goodbye, 
Beg, buy or borrow. 

Prick your conscience, 
Burst the bubble. 
Pop the question – 
Don’t ask for trouble. 

Don’t tie me up 
Don’t tie me down;
Just hold your tongue, 
Don’t act the clown. 

I hope these help, 
Tropes you should heed. 
Take them to heart, 
Wise words indeed. 

For after all
Is said and done 
You are my
One and only son.

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The Arrangement

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Yes?… No! 

Why not? … Headache!

Later? …  Maybe! 

Tomorrow? … Unlikely! 

When? … Sometime! 

 Soon?  … Perhaps!

Here?  … Somewhere! 

Where? … Dunno! 

Any ifs? … Plenty!

Affair?  … Don’t you dare!

Separation? … Impractical! 

Divorce? … Costly!

Forget it? … Better! 

For now? … For ever! 

As we were? … As we are! 

OK? … OK! 

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Reverie #4 … Still Waters

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STILL  WATERS

 

No. Not Muddy Waters,
Nor even Crystal Waters.
It was Still Waters.
Yes, that’s what we called him.

He called himself Walter.
Walter Waters from Watford
And places South of the Gap.
My one-time boss
Head man
Big chief of the Trendy Tribe
Leader of the Pliant Pack.

I could never fathom him.
Not him
Nor his fawning hangers-on.
Still waters run deep they say.
I’d say that still waters are stagnant,
Not much running there
Algae-filled, dark green and smelly
– Rancid in fact,
And deliriously avoidable.

Yes, that’s him without doubt.
Going nowhere – fast or any other speed.
Him to a ‘t’ ;
a Capital ‘T’.
I’d say that fits his bill.

Yet he thinks he’s life and soul of the party.
God’s Gift to the Agency.

Some party!
Some life?!
Worth a dream,
But never a second meeting.

 

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