In–Sects

shallow focus photography of couple ants holding book figurine

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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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A Bag For Life

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A Bag For Life

Standing in the queue
at the checkout just last week
I chanced to hear the cashier
to a dear old lady speak,

“Well, my dear, I wonder
if you’d welcome one of these.
It’s called a ‘Bag For Life’,
and will take your goods with ease.”

To which that lady brightly,
with her tongue stuck in her cheek,
Says, “No thank you dear, you see
I’m only here one week.”

 

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‘I wish I loved the Human Race’

[  # 85 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

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Image from Wikipedia

Not to be confused with his more famous namesake who played such an important role in the early colonisation of North America, (1582 – 1618), Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh (1861 – 1922) was an English scholar, poet, and author.  He was born in London, the fifth child and only son of a local Congregation minister.   Raleigh is buried in the churchyard of the parish church of St. Lawrence at North Hinksey, near Oxford.  His son Hilary edited his light prose, verse, and plays in ‘Laughter from a Cloud (1923).  He is probably best known for the poem “Wishes of an Elderly Man, Wished at a Garden Party, June 1914”.

It is this poem, bitter-sweet and with its pessimistic view of mankind, but not without its wry humour, which I have chosen to remind my readers of today . . .

 

I wish I loved the Human Race

I wish I loved the Human Race;
I wish I loved its silly face;
I wish I liked the way it walks;
I wish I liked the way it talks;
And when I’m introduced to one,
I wish I thought ‘What Jolly Fun’.

 

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‘On Ageing Gloriously’ – REPRISE

[ Wednesday Replay # 4 ]
 
To counterbalance my poem ‘On Ageing Disgracefully’, re-published last Wednesday, I now re-present my upbeat version of old age, previously posted by me on  
OldAge&Youth

‘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 lumbar 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 all the splendid sites to see
Suits me to be busy now at the age of eighty three.

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.

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On Being Repetitious

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On Being Repetitious

 I know you’re suspicious,
My thoughts are capricious
And highly fictitious
Completely nutritious
Yet hardly seditious.

Life is so delicious;
But, of course I’m ambitious,
The time is propitious.
The signs are auspicious,
Highly adventitious.

And you know I’m judicious,
Not one to be officious,
Superstitious or vicious,
Malicious, pernicious,
Not ever lubricious,

Nor in the least avaricious.

OK, I’ll be surreptitious,
So you can remain suppositious

… Although , I am REPETITIOUS.

 

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Pastiche Poetry

[  # 77of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

Prisma-Dreams-Aberaeron

A pastiche, created in PRISMA, of a painting of my own of Aberaeron,  Ceredigion, West Wales.

pastiche is a creation of visual art, poetry, literature, theatre, or music that imitates the style or character of the original work.  A pastiche poem  imitates the form, style, and often the subject matter, of an original poem.  A parody also does this, but, unlike a parody, a pastiche is not written to mock or satirize the original poem, but it is written in a spirit of respect for the original.

I have used such a poem before when I included, in one of my blogs, Brian Patten’s poem ‘Mary had a bit of Lamb’.  It is a pastiche version of the nursery rhyme composed by the American writer, Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (1788 – 1879), which Patten first published in his book, ‘Thawing Frozen Frogs’.  See my earlier blog:  Mary’s Lamb

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Perhaps my favourite poem in this style is Spike Milligan’s:

I must go down to the sea again, 
to the lonely sea and the sky;
I left my shoes and socks there – 
I wonder if they’re dry? 

Yes, that is just what a pastiche poem is.  Often short and commencing with the traditional opening of the original, usually well-known verses, which it is intended to imitate, but with altered context, frequently with humorous intention.  Of course, there is a fine line to be drawn between pastiche, which can border on parody, or even bowdlerisation (See definition).

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I recently came across, on my surfing travels, the following brief (two-line) examples which are the work of a Harvard academic, Francis DiMenno  (1979).   Here is a selection from  his longer poem he calls: ‘MY FUZZY VALENTINE’ . . .

‘The Passionate Shepherd to His Love’, By Christopher Marlowe


Come live with me and be my love, 

I’ll even come and help you move. 


‘Upon Julia’s Clothes’, by Robert Herrick

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
I hope she owns some less expensive clothes


‘On the Tombs in Westminster Abbey’, by Francis Beaumont

Mortality behold, and fear,
We’re almost out of bottled beer. 


‘Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part’, by Michael Drayton

Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part 
There’s never been an argument you wouldn’t start.


‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’, by Thomas Gray

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, 
And now it’s time to squander all my pay. 


‘Spring, the sweet spring’, by Thomas Nashe

Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year’s pleasant king, 
And Sammy, Frank, and Dean go Ring-a-Ding-Ding.


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Over this coming week I will present a selection of my own attempts at this style, hoping that in doing so I offend no one, including the artistic sensibilities of those poets, living or dead, whose memorable opening lines have suggested these alternatives to me.

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TREE-mendous FUN

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Photo : ‘… in Devon ‘ – WHB

TREE-mendous FUN

“I love you”, said ELM to HAZEL,

“Shall I comPEAR you to a summer’s day?
rough winds, they shake the darling buds of MAY,
and summer’s LEAVES have far too short a DATE;

but my FIR will keep YEW warm in winter;
then let us produce HAZE-ELM-lets,
or, if you preFIR,
maybe we’ll make ELM-HAZEL-ets together.”

“But I am PLANE”, HAZEL said,
“and you are SPRUCE,
and I PINE for a HOLLY-day,
For the BEECHES of my youth;
… so, before I become
just ASHes in a BOX
I will be, AS-PEN to paper,
and I WILL-OWe you this one poem.”

“OAK – HAY”, Elm said

So the PEAR of them
ROSE up
and BRANCHED off to WOODstock,
where they lived APPLE-y ever after.

 

[  with apologies to Mr. W. Shakespeare for bowdlerising his Sonnet # 18   ]

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Walking With Ducklings

In 2004, one of my daughters lived on a farm overlooking the Exe Valley in Devonshire, England. The ducklings which I write about below had imprinted themselves on her shortly after their incubated birth, and they would regularly follow her as she walked around the farm and on to the farm duckpond.

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WALKING WITH DUCKLINGS

Ducklings,
greet my world,

meet your world,
sometimes mild;
oft times wild –
do your best to love it.
Now let’s go for a walk
… while I talk

No, don’t duck out of my suggestion,
just follow me and I’ll show you life,
you’ll take to it
like a duck to the waters;
pretend you’re my daughters.

For you are Devon ducks,
yes, Drake Country, I know,
but every drake needs a duck,
as they say in these parts;
not your Cockney ducks
they’ve very hard hearts.

Don’t believe them when they say
“out for a duck”;
don’t take it personally;
it means Nothing –
just innocent banter,
small-scale sledging,
they know you’re a fledgling.

No, “out with the ducks”,
now that’s more like it.
So don’t be glum,
think of me as your mum,
and follow me to the pond
there’s a duck house down there,
painted duck-egg blue,
just the home for you.

You’ll like it there
even though
and I do know
when you grow up
you may lose a few eggs
shell shock they call it
all in good cause
because
we humans enjoy them
try not to condemn
it’s just
nous les adorons
ces sont si bon

and when at the pond
just watch out for Jethro
our farm dog you know
he’s a bit of a barker
a real nosey-parker
duck down when you see him
or go for a swim

and, talking of duck down,
better put your coats on
it’s going to get chilly
no, not chilli hot
chilly cold
so be good as gold.
now, will you be told!

Let’s pause for a selfie
no, don’t make that duck-face
pouting doesn’t suit you
the camera will shoot you

If you are good
then later
as your mater
i’ll let you loose
on the web
you’ll learn so much there
but please do beware
best avoid Mr Blumenthal
all duck and waffle
your feathers he’ll ruffle
he’d feed you too well
making you swell
for his ‘Fat Duck’ menu
I’d better not continue
… but remember …
it’s not yet December
I could get 250 pounds for you there.

that’s 500 for the both of you
so don’t annoy me
I’m not your employee

Just follow me
and remember
i’m your funny mummy
just imprint that on your
duck brains
just remember you’re mine
and we’ll get along fine.

DevonDklings04c

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Nearly A Limerick

(No.54 of my short poems)
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A bit of fun to start the week – a Near-Limerick by Gray Joliffe … reproduced from a recent issue of the Daily Mail.   Graham Jolliffe is an illustrator and cartoonist. His work includes ‘Chloe & Co’, and the Wicked Willie character that first appeared in the book, ‘Man’s Best Friend’ in 1984.
chloe&co-limerick
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