The Cliche Storm

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Say not the struggle naught availeth;
But is it worth the flaming candle?
Can I pull those hearty Strings,
Or will my pretty baubles jangle?

Where on earth do things grow down,
And how can spoken jokes be dumb?
Perhaps it’s to do with nonsense verse
Veiled by rule of my thick thumb.


When I escape this dragging net,
When I have pulled my other leg,
When I have plighted all my troths,
It’s then I will sit up and beg.

Till then I’ll fly by my pants’ seat;
I’ll kiss my nascent hopes goodbye.
They’ll rescue me from life itself
And sing my praises to the sky.


For I’m a versifier pure
I’d rather play with words than girls
Forever searching non sequiturs
Words have more twists and turns than curls.

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Things that go Bumpf in the Night

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Things that go Bumpf in the Night

 

I do love words
For words help me fly;
They take me to places
I else might pass by.

Take bumpf and  harrumph,
Or guff and baloney,
Phooey and piffle,
Hokum and phoney.

There’s hocus and pocus,
Blather and prattle,
Mumbo and jumbo,
Hooey and twaddle.

Pablum, tommyrot,
Such words I delight in;
Just as gobbledygook,
They my spirits enlighten.

There’s beauty in balderdash,
Malarkey and crap;
Jibber and jabber,
Trash and claptrap.

Bollocks and hokum,
Hogwash and tripe,
Codswallop and bosh
May smack of being hype.

Poppycock and piffle
May be mere tittle-tattle,
Just as so many others
Are gush and fiddle-faddle.

Blabber and drivel,
Humbug and canoodle,
All smack of blarney,
Of palaver and flapdoodle.

Flummery and slapdash,
Blather and gibberish,
They enhance my world,
Such words I will cherish.

They don’t mean a lot,
Some might see them as ludicrous,
But they lighten my life,
They’re fun and they’re humorous.

 

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No Nonsense Now

If you were defeated in trying to make sense of my last published ‘poem’
(‘GO WITH THE FLOW’ on Monday 18th November), my meaning, if it had any, is hopefully disclosed in my poem, ‘No Nonsense Now’,  below . . .

‘A Poem should not mean

But be’     .  .  .  .  .  .  .   From ‘Ars Poetica’ by Archibald Macleish

 
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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

No Nonsense Now

 

What a load of nonsense
what a stream of tosh
I hope you weren’t too stretched
devouring all the text
wondering what was coming next
searching for meanings that were not there
twiddling thumbs
tearing hair

Just stream of consciousness unleashed
roaming the mind
making free with the world of words
fishing from a goldfish bowl of ideas
draining the well till empty
and all invention ceased

Perhaps I did a service
reminding my poetic muse
that words alone
do not atone
for laxity of thought
or those too easily wrought

And sense is only sensible
when verse is finely honed
bolstered with truth
taut of structure
worthy of my judgement
and of your time

 

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Go With The Flow

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 Photo:  WHB – 2019   ©

Go With The Flow

 

catspaw on the naked river
run the gauntlet
let it flow
now the murk amidst the mountains
gives the world a humid grace
try to press for more excitement
midst the banality that runs apace

trigger guests and bring them weeping
to that latent humble home
there to quench the embers burning
letting life remember lust
and so distinguish hope from wanting
bringing resolution to purpose
an end to speculation
no last favours granting

the instant instance
the shimmering shade
the glorious glory
of the everglades
burnt out shell of that softer softness
forget the unforgetting minute
press the button that says refresh.

 


{ By way of clarification, a follow-up to the above poem will be published in 2 days time – on Wednesday 20th November }


 

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Rigmarole

RIGMAROLE . . .

1.  A set of confused and meaningless statements
2. A long, complicated and confusing procedure

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Rigmarole

 

Rigmarole came

Messed with my head

I lost my thread 

Couldn’t understand

How such a knotted twisted man

A lifelong fan

A mixed up aimless being

Given to mirage seeing

Could laugh and mess my every thought 

Confuse the path ahead

And leave me thinking here and now

Why, where, who, how?

With what creature was I dealing

whose uncertainties was I feeling

Intent on healing

For when I tried to sort him out

He turned my thinking right about

And so, unable to untangle

his knotted meaning

My mind still reeling

So convoluted were his words 

So matted and blurred his feelings

So tortuous his explanations

So disjointed his suggestions

so twisted his knickers

That I gave up on his

Mumbo-jumbo

His gobbledygook 

What a malarkey 

What a farce

Claptrap twaddle

Fuss and faff

Guff and drivel

 

Well . . . Rig – My – Role . . .

If it isn’t all just nonsense.

 

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MIND GAMES

Mind Games -WHB-Feb2018

MIND GAMES

Enigmatic
Covert
Whimsical and wild
Such are the games I play
Whilst mentally beguiled

Hidden within poetry
In discursive verse
My clandestine love affairs
Short
intense
And terse

Give to me a reason
Why thus I can’t express
My mind’s adventurous spirit
My need to seek excess

To open up
Revealing all
Whilst midst the subterfuge
My ego seeks adrenaline
A haven
A refuge

Its all a nonsense
Words at play
Fending off my fears
Seeking to screen my inner hurt
Reality kept at bay

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spooky

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Adrian Henri – ‘Tonight at Noon’

(No.67 of my favourite short poems)

Photograph – WHB   ©

 

Tonight at Noon  . . .  A Poem by Adrian Henri

Tonight at noon
Supermarkets will advertise 3p extra on everything
Tonight at noon
Children from happy families will be sent to live in a home
Elephants will tell each other human jokes
America will declare peace on Russia
World War I generals will sell poppies on the street on November 11th
The first daffodils of autumn will appear
When the leaves fall upwards to the trees 

Tonight at noon
Pigeons will hunt cats through city backyards
Hitler will tell us to fight on the beaches and on the landing fields
A tunnel full of water will be built under Liverpool
Pigs will be sighted flying in formation over Woolton
And Nelson will not only get his eye back but his arm as well
White Americans will demonstrate for equal rights
In front of the Black house
And the monster has just created Dr. Frankenstein 

Girls in bikinis are moonbathing
Folksongs are being sung by real folk
Art galleries are closed to people over 21
Poets get their poems in the Top 20
There’s jobs for everybody and nobody wants them
In back alleys everywhere teenage lovers are kissing in broad daylight
In forgotten graveyards everywhere the dead will quietly bury the living
            and
You will tell me you love me
Tonight at noon

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Merseybeats

Adrian Henri was born in Birkenhead, near the port of Liverpool, England, in 1932. He described his early philosophy as “If you think you can do it and you want to do it—then do it.”  Along with Brian Patten and Roger McGough, Adrian Henri was the third member of the group who came to prominence in 1967 on the publication of ‘Mersey Sound’, the Penguin anthology of the Merseybeat or Liverpool Poets. 

As an artist of often surreal paintings, this was also at times apparent in his poetry, as in ‘Tonight at Noon’ which I feature above.  There is humour here along with the pathos of the ending where it is realised, but only at the very end of the poem, that the poet is considering all the impossible happenings which would need to take place before his love was likely to be returned.  Henri died in 2000 and is buried in  Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris, France.

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MIND GAMES

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‘Mind Games’ … WHB – 1956

MIND  GAMES

 

Enigmatic
Covert
Whimsical and wild
Such are the games I play
Whilst mentally beguiled

Hidden within poetry
In discursive verse
My clandestine love affair
Short
intense
And terse

Give to me a reason
Why thus I can’t express
My willingness to capture
My need to seek excess

To open up
Revealing all
Whilst midst the subterfuge
My ego seeks adrenaline
A haven
A refuge

It’s all a nonsense
Words at play
Fending off my fears
Seeking to screen my inner hurt
reality kept at bay

 

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WILLY-NILLY Reduplication

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Definition of reduplication in English …

Reduplication in linguistics is a morphological process in which the root or stem of a word (or part of it) or even the whole word is repeated exactly or with a slight change.  (From: Wikipedia)

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My word-play attempt (I’ve called it, quite arbitrarily, ‘Willy-Nilly’) at composing  a few Nonsense Verses to link together – however tenuously – a number of the very many examples of reduplication in the English language.

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My latest knick-knack
Is a handy-dandy
Criss-cross
Walkie-talkie,
With Wi-Fi;

Better than snail-mail,
It creates a real hubbub
And gives me the harum-scarum
Heebie-jeebies;
But here goes, willy-nilly.

I’m an arty-farty
Culture vulture
I’m not hoity toity
Nor am I a toy-boy;
I love the pell-mell
Hurly-burly
And I don’t shilly-shally;
But I’m really so easy-peasy.
Okey-dokey?

So, let’s hob-nob
And chit-chat;
While the tick-tock
Turns topsy-turvy
And goes ding-dong
And ding-a-ling

We can talk clap-trap.

Don’t be namby-pamby
Keep the bric-a-brac
Ship-shape
And we’ll have tip-top
Tittle-tattle;
No wishy-washy
Fiddle-faddle.

No ping-pong
No higgledy-piggledy
Ding-dongs,
No tom-toms
On the helter-skelter,
Just ship-shape
Pitter-patter
On the see-saw.

So Jeepers-creepers,
Let’s do the hokey-cokey,
The hip-hop
The hootchy-cootchy
and the boogie-woogie.

Let’s be goody-goody
And super-dooper;
Don’t dilly-dally
Let’s get lovey-dovey
And enjoy a little hanky-panky.

I’m not a nit-wit
Nor a bit ga-ga,
Well, maybe itsy-bitsy;
I do yada-yada
And  blah-blah,
But just a teeny-weeny bit.

Now cut the mumbo-jumbo
Get to the nitty-gritty.
When we pow-wow
With the fender-benders,
And have a happy-clappy
Sing-song
A razzmatazz

On the hurdy-gurdy
Wearing flip-flops;
What a mish-mash
And a hodge-podge,
But still mumbo-jumbo
And hocus-pocus.

I can Zig-zag
And razzle-dazzle
With the bee’s-knees
And in the hurly-burly
Cause double-trouble,
‘Cos I’m just an old fuddy-duddy.

So-so,
Night-night!
Bye-bye!
Ta-ta!
Must chop-chop!
I’m off to a chick-flick –
A romcom
Called La-La Land,

To listen to more flimflam.

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THE TROUBLE WITH GERANIUMS

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The ‘Gormenghast Trilogy’ by Mervyn Peake, is one of my all-time favourites.  For me, so much more  dramatic, gripping, atmospheric, mind-grabbing and enjoyable than the fantasies of Tolkien and J. K. Rowling, much as I have enjoyed those.  Perhaps I shall have more to say about Gormenghast in a future blog, but, for now, just a taste of Peake’s lighter side, from a published collection of his, with the title ‘A Book of Nonsense’.  It was said during Mervyn Peake’s lifetime that his serious work was often full of humour, while his nonsense verse was full of philosophy.

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Red Geraniums … Photo – WHB – 2017

THE TROUBLE WITH GERANIUMS

The trouble with geraniums
is that they’re much too red!
The trouble with my toast is that
it’s far too full of bread.

The trouble with a diamond
is that it’s much too bright.
The same applies to fish and stars
and the electric light.

The troubles with the stars I see
lies in the way they fly.
The trouble with myself is all
self-centred in the eye.

The trouble with my looking-glass
is that it shows me, me;
there’s trouble in all sorts of things
where it should never be.

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By Mervyn Peake.   This poem is from “A Book of Nonsense” by Mervyn Peake, first published by Peter Owen in 1972 and re-issued in 1999.

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