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.
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DEATH Visits The Pound Shop

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DEATH VISITS THE POUND SHOP

 

I heard it in the Pound Shop,
A cheapish place to be.
At first I wasn’t listening,
It seemed like Greek to me.

On her mobile phone,
Talking to who knows who.
Oblivious to all else
When in the checkout queue.

I’ll give you the milder version,
Don’t wish to spoil your day.
“ ‘Snot goin to’ appen” she shouted,
“Tell ‘im to eff off out of the way.”

Then raising her voice in crescendo,
Turning the air quite blue,
“It reely ‘urts” she said,
“’Urry up ‘cos I want the loo.”

Ignored by her fellow shoppers
This lasted quite a while
And no one tried to stem the flow
Of rhetoric and bile.

Yes, several brows were furrowed,
But no one else said a word.
‘Twas as though it hadn’t happened,
Nothing untoward had occurred.

Until a gaunt and aged chap
Facing her directly,
Said, “It’s H-urts, not ‘urts, you know,
Please do speak correctly.”

“And H-urry, H-appen, not just ‘appen”,
He then went on to say,
“H-ell’s bells and H-old your H-orses too,
Just get it right I pray.”

The woman was stunned for just a moment,
I thought she hadn’t heard.
She looked with disdain on him,
And said, “Don’t be H-absurd!”

And then that old and dark-caped chap
Taking a deep breath,
Wielding a scythe and timer said,
“Lady, you are approaching Death.”

“‘Ow rude”,  she shouted sullenly
And headed for the door,
What cheek to tell me ‘ow to speak
”I ain’t stayin ‘ere no more”.

With this the miffed and coarse-grained lady
Swiftly bagged her phone
Left the shop with deadly speed,
 “I’m effing off back ‘ome”.

CODA . . .

 What happened to the aspirate
Has it become redundant?
Careless speech is everywhere
And coarseness now abundant.

 

The Torch I Carry

depths-of-the-sea

‘The Depths Of The Sea’ (The Lure Of The Sirens’) … Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1881)

THE TORCH I CARRY

I carry a torch for the ocean,
In her relentless swell I am held;
My light will see me to the foreshore
Where vast wave and mild ripple meld.

For though my love’s unrequited,
As I walk on the shore by the sea,
The sight and the sound of her motion
Bring solace and hope back to me.

For when I watch her crescendo
Its beauty and force I admire;
The sigh and the roar of her surges
Are those of a celestial choir.

My heart is in thrall to her passion,
Her awesome breakers I ride;
White horses call me ever forward
To meet the turn of the tide.

And when she is still as a millpond
My senses respond in repose;
My life consummates in devotion,
All yearning brought to a close.

Yes, the lure of the Siren defeats me;
I am snared by her destructive song.

I have given my all to her beauty;
Now only to her I belong.

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Revelations

Roland’s response to the latest Daily Prompt at: ‘The Daily Post’

Revelation

Revelations

I’m reluctant to reveal
The way that I feel
It’s not a big deal
Less said, soonest heal.

NO …

Revelations are not for me,
I’m a secretive person, you see.
And I of course know
That you reap what you sow.

So for now I’m a sceptic,
More than a little dyspeptic.
It may be divisive to say so,
But I just don’t like hubris or ego.

You can say that I’m bitter
‘Cos I’m not a transmitter.
Not allowing myself to be smart
I bury my sins in my heart.

That’s the best place for litter,
Not on Facebook or Twitter!

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TO THE UNDECIDED

TODAY – 8th June 2017 – is GENERAL ELECTION DAY in the U.K.

 ballot paper

 TO THE UNDECIDED

The choice is mine today,
What choice is left to me?
To sink or swim, to live or die?
I’ve sight, but cannot see.

I can hear, but I am deaf,
Can speak, but I am dumb.
Enfranchised, but my cross
Will bring pain or joy to some.

Will I vote on who I like?
Or will policy tell me how?
Where to put my valued cross?
My mind’s a blank right now!

 

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Just For A Joke

POOLE  is a large coastal town and seaport in the county of Dorset, on the south coast of England. The town is approximately 21 miles east of Dorchester, and adjoins Bournemouth to the east.  The town borders Sandbanks, a gorgeous beach backed by some of the world’s most expensive areas of real estate.  I came across this defaced Borough Council notice board when I visited Poole some years ago.  The Limericks followed . . .

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Photograph … WHB – Poole Harbour – 2009 

Some Smart Alec just for a joke
At the burghers of Poole took a poke.
He committed a crime
By altering a sign,
Causing mayhem with these gentle folk.

When they took their dogs for a stroll
Their pets lost all sense of control
And without more ado
They started to poo
Not thinking to bring toilet rolls

When the Poole cops arrested the joker
He said, “I lost all playing poker.
I thought he wins who dares;
I had toilet roll shares.”
He turned out to be a stockbroker.

dogline


If you click on this link to the mentalfloss.com website you will find an interesting explanation of how the term Smart Alec was derived.


 

‘Life’s Journey’ – OTTAVA RIMA

Today I am tackling a poem using the ‘Ottava rima’ poetic form.

Originally an Italian stanza of eight 11-syllable lines, with a rhyme scheme of ABABABCC.  Sir Thomas Wyatt first introduced the form in English, and Lord Byron adapted it to a 10-syllable line for his mock-epic ‘Don Juan’.   W.B.Yeats notably used it for his poems “Among School Children’ and Sailing to Byzantium.’  

[ Adapted from http://www.poetryfoundation.org ]

Millais-Boyhood Of Raleigh

Sir John Everett Millais … ‘The Boyhood of Raleigh’ (1870)

OTTAVA RIMA

LIFE’S JOURNEY

I long to travel through my life again,

To have the same beginning but to change

The choices that have given me such pain

And turn them into something rich and strange;

Transform those scenes to sunshine from the rain,

The order of their happening rearrange.

My hope would be to bring new meaning to

My life-long search for love and joy with you.

 

© WHB (aka Roland Keld)… 21/5/17

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THE BLACK HOUSE

The Black House By The Beck

‘The Black House’ … This house still stands in a North Yorkshire country town – tarred in black still, as it has been for at least the past 100 years. Photo – WHB 2016

THE BLACK HOUSE

The house stood alone
beside the beck
its walls pitched in black
ebony
against the skyline
tarred
against the weather
cold and dark
somehow so sinister
but housing
a family of seven

Fortunes told
fortunes lost
life’s foragers
five kids
one my age
runny nosed urchins
unwashed
unabashed
‘Throwers of words
As they did stones’

Banned from playing with
such snot- noses
yet,
from time to time
I did
their home a dark place
a cluttered life
midst the family debris
best left undisturbed

Mused
amused
and yet afraid
in such alien space
I shrivelled
and fretted

Only outdoors
in the wood-burn
tarred
air of their yard
there was a happiness
I could recognise
participate in
hiding in the woodpile
humping logs
to build a den
sticks
goading the dog
encouraging
the excitement of his barks
teasing the tangled
knotted
sheepdog blackness
of  his coat
loving the illicit thrills
on offer at
The Black House

Before running
the beck-side wall
to return to
my own good fortune
warm and bright
fire
forge
and furnace –
Red
Not Black.

Beck-side

The Beck

 

ETHEREE

ETHEREE

Today I am ‘having a go’ at the Etheree poetic form.  It is somewhat similar to the Cinquain and the Rictameter, both of which I have tackled previously.   The Etheree is a ten line form ascending in syllable count for ten unrhymed lines, and it should focus on a single idea or subject.    Thus the syllable count is in the form:  1.2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 
This can be altered to give a Reverse Etheree:  10.9.8.7.6.5.4.3.2.1.

The form is attributed to an American poet, Etheree Taylor Armstrong of Arkansas (1918 – 1994).  Little seems to be known of her life except the poetic form she devised.

Notes adapted from ‘The Poets’ Garret’ et al.  

I have attempted both forms below – on the subjects of ‘Idleness’  and  ‘Life’ …

 Idleness1

IDLENESS – A Reverse Etheree

Today I vow to spend in idleness,
to do no more than listen keenly,
allow the world to speak to me,
while I, in turn, consider
which way my life now  leads,
trying to find peace
within my mind
that will see
my life
through.

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LIFE – A Regular Etheree

Life,
in truth,
defeats me.
Midst storm and stress
I struggle to keep
that equilibrium
which holds me in its stillness,
waiting with some trepidation
for that final push to reach the stars
where my disquietude will cease to be.

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Verses and sketch by:  Roland (WHB)

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A Sign Too Far . . . TAKE 2

I have previously (See my blog entry of  February 16th 2017, …   ‘A Sign Too Far’  ) dealt with the modern day scourge which the multitude of signs and advertisements are to the pedestrian and to side-walks and pavements.  At that time I used my own photograph which I use again below to illustrate this different take on the same subject . . .

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A SIGN TOO FAR   . . .  TAKE 2

So often have I been
attacked by signs
Throughout the day
Plethora
Of signals
Face me as I walk
Innocuous one by one
But fearsome in phalanx
Threatening my advance
Discouraging my progress
Terrorising travel
Note to myself –
Beware
Be wary

A sign
Is a sign
Is a sign
I need to tell you that
I need to let you know
To say it loud and clear
Please notice me
Notice my notice
If I say it often enough
You are bound to notice
Allow me to grab
Your attention
And your money
Let me
tell you about myself
I’m not shy
Passer by
I’ll tell you why
Just shout it out
And cry
To the sky
Saying by the by
Please notice me
Please don’t go
You need to know
I’ve much to say
In every way
All through the day

Too much
Too far
I say
Just clear the way
And let me pass
Your sinister intent
Not heaven sent
You need me more
Than I need you
So please take notice
I refuse
To take notice
Of your notice.

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Photographs … WHB – 2017