Tag Archives: light verse

January Sonnet

January Sonnet

O but January thou art dreary,
thy days seem too long, more than thirty one.
Drunkard with your belly cold and beery,
the inn will find its cheer when thou art gone.
Like a titan with a blunted toe nail,
by the icy ocean bewail and moan.
Thou makes the fortunes of the farmer fail,
spread frost enough to make a giant groan.
The old knight stares at his frozen finger,
his chilly chest postpones his quest till spring.
No minstrel can be a merry singer,
not when thy snow stills the tongue, stiffs the wing.
O most wintry month, don thy cloak and go,
butt your way through the wind ye belch and blow.

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Scorpion

Scorpion

Gilbert watched a scorpion
sprout from the carpet,
scarper to the corner,
crawl up a wall.
First mistaken for a lobster or a crab,
come to disturb the drab,
it vanished, was not there at all.
A creature from the dream dimension,
hatched from an hallucination,
the result of a surreal meal,
whatever it was, he was glad it was not real.
Maybe if he lived in Cairo
and not in Britain,
he might have been afraid,
for he knew there were scorpions in Egypt,
and they could sting you,
leave you in a fever splayed.
He telephoned his doctor,
said he had seen a scorpion,
but it was not real.
The doctor said that will teach you
not to have a spicy meal.
He asked his doctor:
“How can you see something that is not there?”
The doctor said it was not his branch of study,
did not seem to care.
That night he woke in the desert,
he walked towards a hut,
made of wood and brick.
When challenged by a scorpion,
he chased it with a stick.
On the train next morning,
he gazed at his crossword,
hoped if he saw another creature,
it was something simple, like a fish or bird.

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.

 

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.

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.

After the Asteroid Accident

After the Asteroid Accident

After the asteroid accident,
the dinosaurs were no more.
It happened sixty five million years ago,
the scientists are sure.

Dinosaurs live on in Hollywood,
animated on the screen.
Museums display their skeletons,
picture how their age had been.

Schoolboys play with their dinosaur toys.
They know the names of each kind.
By freak fault and cataclysmic chance
evolved our finite human mind.

That was some accident,
sixty five million years ago,
when an asteroid hit planet Earth,
off the coast of Mexico.

To live on Earth is strange.
It really is quite queer.
Don’t lose your sense of wonder.
Be happy that you’re here.

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.