The Borderlands of POETRY – 4

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

POETRY AS DREAM

 

Poetry is my life revealed,
For there, in depth of thought,
Lie all my hopes, my dreams expressed
In words intense and tightly wrought.

Exploring what I hardly know,
Seeking as though dreaming,
I struggle to define my life,
Grasping for more meaning.

The confines of experience
I venture to pursue,
Defining life and love and death,
Their meaning to construe.

And when I’ve sifted every thought,
Mined the deepest seams,
I feel I’ve drained my Muse’s well,
Finding only dreams.

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Chocolate Words

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CHOCOLATE WORDS

I love words
in the way
I love chocolate.
Their lingering taste
Their whispering style
They way they trip off
Slip off
the tongue
Words to bear in mind
Leaving such pleasures behind

And always
That thrill
That musical trill
That sensuous sound
Discarding meaning
But leaving
feeling
The desire for more
Encore
The poet’s drug-store
Treasure Island

I’d like a word with you
A word in your ear
Shakespeare
So I’ll be wordy-wise too
Will
take  some words
and run with them

I heard a word
One day in May
I heard it say
Come here and play
So undeterred
A word occurred
Third word
The word purred
Absurd word
‘Twas mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird
Mimus polyglottos
glottal stop
or “glo’al stop”

You see where it can take me
Tangential thought
Verbiage onslaught
Overwrought
Logorrhoea
Here, here!

Words abound
Words of wisdom
Words of truth
Their singing sound
stirred, blurred, slurred,
So play on words
Herds of words
Let their joy sing
and let them bring
Creation’s wellspring
and thus … let the welkin ring

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Books Do Not Die . . .

Books-DoNotDie

Books, do not die

{ A paean to Books }

 

Books, do not die,
You bring me such joy;
I’ve dwelt in your pages
Since I was a boy.

Books, do not die,
You are humble yet proud,
Bringing solace and hope,
The sun through the cloud.

Books, do not die.
Your warmth and your grace,
Your wisdom and charm,
I clutch and embrace.

Books, do not die,
You have smell, you have taste.
Your very presence
Will not go to waste.

Books, do not die,
Your existence delights
You see me through
Those long dark winter nights

Books do not die,
My dreams you renew;
You offer escape,
I can’t live without you.

Books, Do not die;
Do not burn, Or expire.
Life blood of words,
Procreate and inspire.

 

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Roger McGough – ‘Poem for a dead poet’

(No.63 of my favourite short poems)

I have published one of Roger McGough’s poem previously in this series.  You will find it by clicking on this link:   ‘Vinegar’ . . .   Below is another of his poems which I very much enjoy, this time a short elegy for an unnamed poet.  Written in a simplistic style, the poem nevertheless, with both wit and precision, goes straight to the heart of what a poet does and what s/he seeks to be.

Poets Corner

‘Poem for a dead poet’

He was a poet he was.

A proper poet.

He said things

that made you think

and said them nicely.

He saw things

that you or I

could never see

and saw them clearly.

He had a way

with language.

Images flocked around

him like birds.

St. Francis, he was,

of the words. Words?

Why he could almost make ‘em talk.

 

Roger McGough

 

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CRICKET

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© ‘ 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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A Pretty Ditty

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A  PRETTY DITTY


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Yes, dear, of course,
You’re the source
Of my discourse

And I really do fear
That if you were not near
Then I wouldn’t be here

But you said I can’t write
So to prove you weren’t right
I really just might

Have a go at a poem
‘Cos I”m no protozoan
Much more Leonard Cohen

So I say to you, darling,
I won’t be alarming

Instead I’ll be charming

I’ll write you a ditty
Both witty and gritty
Decidedly pithy.

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So, what is a ditty?
… Tell the committee
It’s got to be pretty!

Not any old dirge,
Or nonsensical splurge
Would most likely emerge.

And no sort of verse,
However terse
Or completely perverse
Could possibly be worse.

… SO, HERE GOES …

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It’s a pity
When a ditty
Isn’t witty

It’s a shame
When a dame
Gets the blame

It’s absurd
When a bird
Can’t be heard

And it’s sad
When a lad
Turns out bad

When a boy
Full of joy
Becomes coy

Tell me why
You don’t try
To comply

Why disguise
All those lies
I despise

I can tell
You’re not well
When you yell

It is said
Lose your head
You’ll be dead

Do not sigh
That is why
I will try

You will  find
When you’re kind
I won’t mind.

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So your disdain I pre-empt,

Can I now be exempt?

With this brave attempt

I’ll risk your contempt.

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EBB TIDE

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‘Ebb Tide’ … WHB – 2017

EBB TIDE

The tide turns

As for me it wanes
I feel your presence

There
Where
For you
It begins
Its encroachment
Knowing you will be there
To welcome its  return
To follow its path
Waiting
Watching
Until bite by bite
Ripple by ripple
It will wash your words
Across oceans
To my shore

Here
Where
My foot printed
Passage
Replicates your own
And signs itself
With love

But in turn
That will come
For you
Too
And my own shells
Of words
Will flow
And flood
Where your bare feet
Choose to follow

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There is a beautiful song, composed by the American songwriter, Carl Sigman, called ‘EBB TIDE’.  I came across this beautiful and moving rendering of it by my favourite male voice a capella choir, The Westminster Chorus.  I have brought these to your attention in a previous blog.   please do listen to their version of ‘Ebb Tide’ at this YouTube link …

Click here to watch and listen.

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‘NICE’ is not NICE

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NICE is not NICE

‘NICE’ is not a nice word”
My teacher said to me,
“If you can choose another
The better it will be.”

To say that something’s ‘NICE’,
As to say that it’s ‘OKAY’,
Hardly sounds exciting
And savours of foul play.

Both words are ineffectual,
They flatter with faint praise.
Far better to be forceful
And use a fitter phrase.

#     #     #

‘PLEASING’ is a good one
It has that ring of truth;
What’s more it sounds appealing
Trips lightly off the tooth.

‘GOOD’ is even better
Positive and clean;
It fits unto the letter
And shows us what you mean.

‘JOYFUL’ sounds engaging
And improves all that you say;
Surely has more feeling
Than having a ‘nice’ day.

‘LUSTROUS’ sounds exotic
But still might fit the bill;
It lends a feel of brightness
Drops lightly from the quill.

‘BEAUTIFUL’s a mouthful
But serves your purpose well;
It speaks of cosy warmth
And has a tale to tell.

‘CHARMING’ is a good word
And speaks of utter joy;
It could launch a thousand ships
As once did Helen Of Troy.

‘GREAT’ would suit your purpose
There’s nothing wrong with that;
Shades of fame and grandeur
More than just chit-chat.

‘PLEASANT’, that is better
It sounds as though you mean it;
An honest word to proffer
And you’re not out to demean it.

Try ‘LOVELY’ if you like it
That strikes a fitting note;
Enhances your description,
Improves all that you wrote.

‘POSITIVE’ is good
Whole-hearted  and inclusive;
It shows you really mean it
Yet isn’t too intrusive.

‘DELIGHTFUL’ sounds exciting
Expressing joy and bliss;
But ‘Ducky’ is a No-no,
I should give that a miss.

#     #     #

Many possibilities
Line up to be used
Instead of NICE or OK,
But do not get confused.

The choice is yours dear poet
Don’t just throw the dice,
Use your ingenuity …
But remember to be NICE !!!

#     #     #

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A BIT OF NONSENSE

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“Do you think I’ve gone round the bend?“ 
“I’m afraid so. You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head.
But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” 
― ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ 1865  … Lewis Carroll

 

A BIT OF NONSENSE

NONSENSE VERSES  . . .  Just playing with words & triple rhymes

A very  long song is quite wrong 
But a terse little verse is worse 
So why try to cry, ‘cos
You know I’ll feel low when you go.

It would seem that I scream when I dream
So why can’t I try to be shy
It’s unkind when I find you don’t mind
You will know it is so when I go.

It is sad when a lad turns out bad
But a joy for a boy to annoy;
Why disguise all those lies I despise,
Tell me why you don’t try to comply?

Please desist and don’t twist my wrist
You can kill my goodwill with that pill
I can tell you’re not well when you yell
Lose your head, you’ll be dead, it is said.

Try to recall your fall in the hall,
I could tell you weren’t well when you fell.
Don’t sigh, that is why, by and by
If you’re kind you will find I won’t mind.

The cop had to pop to the shop
To get runny honey for money;
But today he’s away at a play,
So tomorrow, in sorrow, he’ll borrow.

The girl with the twirl and the curl
Denied she had tried not to hide,
But the boy full of joy with the toy
Asked to play, if he may,every day.

When the man with a can saw the fan
I know he gave a slow blow
He looked swell till he fell in a well;
He’s unwell I can tell by the smell.

It is fun to run in the sun,
If you try to fly you’ll see why.
But begin to sin, you won’t win;
No, you shouldn’t, you wouldn’t , you couldn’t ,

Bliss in a kiss will not go amiss
It serves and deserves, to comfort the nerves.
But let me repeat, you’ll meet with  defeat
When time and chime no longer rhyme. 

It’s absurd when a bird can’t be heard
It’s a sin when an inn won’t serve gin.
It’s a pity this ditty‘s not witty
I endeavour to be clever however.

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The Daggers in my Words

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I didn’t see her
crying on the evening beach.
I knew she was there
and why
but I didn’t see her crying there.

I wasn’t there and yet I knew
I felt her pain
because I was the cause
L’amour fait mal
the perpetrator of the hurt

As she stood over the still rock pool
pretending to be looking for the sand crabs
I heard her tears drop into the still sea water,
the ripple that I knew they were sending out
threatening to tell the world
of my reckless disregard

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Without touching
I felt her sobbing against my chest
sharing heartbeats almost
hers racing
as though to beat the tide to the foreshore
mine following after to steady her haste

Her perfume floated to me on the salty air
a reminder, a tell-tale allusion to her presence
a  fragrant sea-balm redolent of only her
an aroma meant to draw me to that distant beach

And yet I was not there
I had no sight of her distress
only the certain knowledge
my senses heightened by the evening’s stillness
by my guilt, and by the opprobrium I deserved

I sensed all that upheaval
the ending of a dream can bring
more hurtful
when that dream had seemed so attainable

Unseeingly I connected with her on that beach
sequestered from the torrent of words
which was to come
by the murmur of the waves
breaking upon the sand
striving for that mark
which would signal the tide turning
and come to that apotheosis
which we had once hoped would be our future
but which now seemed in doubt
if not surrendered
even stabbed in its infancy
  by the daggers in my words   

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Photographs by courtesy of Canadian artist Alma Kerr

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