Tag Archives: humour

Franz Kafka Knew

Franz Kafka Knew

Franz Kafka knew,
he knew it was bad.
He could see through,
so clear it seemed mad,
until he grew
too stern to be sad.

They made it grim,
the machine men in charge,
they who had power
to wield loud and large.
They hit the table with a hammer,
to silence the regular folk
with their petitions and appeals,
to make them fail, quail and stammer.

So he wrote his tales,
one of a man
who woke as a spider,
another of a man
roughly arrested and put on trial,
never knowing for what crime
or who was the decider.

Let us for a laugh,
imagine him sat in a café.
He orders his meal,
his stomach is cold,
his hunger feels real.
He tells the waiter,
his onions are over fried,
and his peas are burned.
The manager listens,
but does not recognise him as a customer,
so his pleas are spurned.

He walked the streets like everyone else.
His coat got soaked when it rained.
His feet cold in his shoes,
he grew pale when he complained.

Franz Kafka knew,
he knew it was bad.
What he thought true
was what made him sad.
He was too sane to say
who he thought was mad.
Franz Kafka knew,
but what could he do,
except write his tales,
concoct his own brew?
Franz Kafka knew,
he knew what he knew.
Franz Kafka knew,
he knew what went into the stew.
Franz Kafka knew.



Second Album Blues

Second Album Blues

First album took him by surprise
when it became a hit,
even the critics liked it
for its fresh feel and wit.

Now he knew the second album
had to be as good,
if not better than the first,
otherwise you were a one hit wonder,
left in the desert with no oasis
to quench your thirst.

In cellar clubs and coffee bars
they all knew him as Clyde.
Said he always had his tunes
on his solitary ride.

Still talks like a Beatnik
though they were before his time.
He had to hit the road
in the hope to write a rhyme,
and though he’s not American,
he says he’s down to his last dime.

He often wears dark glasses,
calls musicians cats.
Says things like, the air in here is eerie,
like a belfry with no bats.

He told his producer,
keep the shirt but loose the shoes,
laughing in the luxury
of second album blues.

Time for the horns,
a fancy fret work solo on guitar,
then to be a walking cliché,
and head out to the bar.

He felt detached from history,
it’s what happened on the news.
He was happy to be that cat in the corner,
dealing with his second album blues.

Once he dragged his dusty boots
along a dusty road,
now he was on an ocean cruise,
leaning back in his creaky chair,
strumming out on his guitar
his second album blues.


The Fall and Eventual Decline of Fungal

The Fall and Eventual Decline of Fungal

Fungal Maximillian O’ Flurtigan was half Roman and half Irish, but the twain never met, not even socially. The Roman side of him liked straight roads and the ruins of military encampments, the Irish side of him liked Guinness and people who could talk faster than a whistle tune. It was Julius Caesar who convinced him that he was half Roman, not face to face, but when he had to study him at school. One of his soldiers must have been his great grandfather, he thought.
“Best keep it to yourself. Better to be completely Irish,” his fellow drink downers in his local pub, The Thirsty Thistle, told him when he brought up his hybrid nature and his dual nationality. Part of him fancied living in a villa on a hill under a perpetual summer sky, the other part longed to master the fiddle and live in a white cottage by the sea shore. Sometimes he felt like an accident that did not wait to happen, other times like a corked barrel of vintage beer. That was the only interesting thing about him, really, as regards holding the attention of strangers. He stood at the bar, his hand grasped round his almost empty glass, late one evening, and became aware of his fall and eventual decline, like that of the Roman empire. His life would end, as all must, he knew. He hoped his fall would be slow, painless. A sudden thud on the kitchen window would disturb him one afternoon, maybe. A rough wind would blow him away.

Haiku Is Hard To Hack

Haiku Is Hard To Hack

Haiku is hard to hack,
Oriental skill most poets lack.
May come easy if you have the knack,
enough of them to make a stack.
Records of moments on the track,
Zen stabs you cannot get back.
The paper is white, the ink is black,
capture light that lit the crack.
Be a pilgrim with stick and pack,
scribble in your hermit shack.
Seek why haiku is hard to hack.
If whittling down to haiku is too hard a time,
you can return to the old root of rhyme.

Poet master smiled.
Unseen webbed feet glides the swan.
Haiku hard to hack.

Avant-Garde Busker

Avant-Garde Busker

This concert is not worth the ticket,
I can assure you all.
I can’t even play my instrument,
and my songs are poor beyond recall.

My music is not classed country western,
folk rock, blues, jazz or pop,
and if you want to hear my best song,
you might as well tell me now to stop.

I have no musical education,
certainly no music degree.
My songs have no real foundation,
and I rarely sing in key.

I’m really more like an avant-garde busker,
singing my spontaneous rap,
and as you walk by for the sake of high art and pity,
please put at least one penny in my cap.

I’m not interested in social comment
or proclaiming myself as the new poet prophet of the pen.
If you like the music you are hearing,
you can always walk by me again.

This song for me is quite revolutionary,
unaccompanied by my acoustic Yamaha guitar.
I’m playing on my tone bank computer organ,
worked by a battery to make me a star.

For my muse, I compose my rumpled rondelay,
I would like to sculpt her, spirit, skin and bone.
Her grace would occupy sacred space,
if I had the skills, the tools, the stone.

Donovan sang of Atlantis
and of the hurdy-gurdy man.
Some of us were moved by the message,
but few knew how to follow the plan.

Call me an avant-garde busker,
trying to be free of the trap,
and as you walk by for the sake of high art and pity
please put at least one penny in my cap.

At least one penny, at least one penny,
at least one penny in my cap.



Dint In The Flint

Dint In The Flint

O ye bins and badges, herons and badgers,
ye throstle throated thistle thorn tub tenders,
ye clapped cloud cymbal tinkle tappers,
hear ye of the knight in the green shadowed wood,
at rest from the quest of the quibbler,
his head on a mound asleep to trickling water sound,
sheltered by his first star of summer shield.
Ye blue sky wind blown wing flyers,
awaken and wash my youth eye in my wise age,
let me follow a leaf through legend’s rural page
to embark on a rowan stage.
And ye that walk but cannot be heard,
talk on a higher pitch than bird,
let me sense you are there in some far off dell,
let me sway secure inside your chrome city bell.
O ye wind jammers on the wet pyjama seas,
O ye pelican bills on the pecked pirate parrot trees,
let me fetch berry baskets back
from the last black berry picking outing
when there was pleasure in the smile,
joy in the shouting.
O ye sparrows and finches
that chirp in the backyard near
take me back to then to be clearly here.
O ye attic bards, basement bards,
O ye walrus whiskered wine merchant
watching Wagon Train on Wednesday
when the weather forecast is due.
Better wrap it up while the vintage
tastes fine as any antique brew.
Ye that are finished with perfection
detect a dint in the flint that no one knew.
The birds have gone from my garden
as if vacuumed from the air.
I pledge my heart will not harden,
still a child bare foot on the stair.

Twine With No Twist

Twine With No Twist

A masked ball in Venice.
No, I don’t want to go.
I don’t like bewilderment, deception,
the idea that life’s a carnival show.

A travelling circus.
No, not with lions and elephants
wheeled in cages from rough town to rough town.
It would make me sadder than a droop mouthed clown.

But why name the places I don’t want to be,
the sights I don’t want to see?
If you cannot resist you can make your own list.

I walked by a garden and saw a stout tree.
No storm wind could blow it down.
If I were an owl I’d hoot in its branches,
my feathers black speckled brown.

A natural stone bridge spans a gorge.
Far below it flows a river.
I could be brave and live up there in a cave,
but even in my white wool coat in winter
I fear I’d still shiver.

If I name the places where I want to be,
the sights that I’d like to see,
it would be a long list notched on twine with no twist.

Roy Rogers was a clean cowboy,
he made his silver six shooters shine
before he walked into the saloon
to stand at the bar
to the sound of a honky-tonk piano tune.
Every grubby cow poke
could see he was no joke
but the man who put the robbers in jail.
Behind his white tooth smile,
he had a brain that no one could figure,
but the sheriff was glad when he rode into town
with his guitar and his faithful horse Trigger.

That last verse may have surprised you,
don’t let us pretend.
It was summoned by a memory
I came to tag on the end.