Posts tagged with “poetry”

December 10

Christmas

How to offset the cycling obsession?

Icy weather is likely to make a natural intervention sooner or later at this time of year. It is a time to look towards making things special for the ones I love.

For the first time I can remember I seem to have actually bought all the presents for Christmas before my birthday! Read More »

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October 30

I'll be the death of him!

DO DOGS HAVE SOULS

Be careful son, my father would say I tell a lie

If I died he would not cry

When his dog dies I watch him cry

When his dog dies I hate myself for crying

--------

But the dog, what of him?

He just sees two lost souls

and, for pities sake, when the dog dies

I see three.

What about you?

--------

PAW ALL SOUL's EVE 2011

--------

Poetry, doggerel, or therapy, you decide.... All comments welcome and, if I know you, I'll take it up with you in the appropriate manner.

Yes, father I am perfectly serious - you are old enough to die of shock now.

Over and out

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November 09

Isabel's poem

This was written by my daughter at the weekend, I shall photograph the original text and post it, but this is my version typed as faithfully as I can:-

Look! a leaf
Scrunkling my life away.

Look! a rabbit hole
Like a bowl
Eating my life away.

Look!...a nest
Like a bed
Sleeping my life away

Look at the green grass
Like  a bean
I roll my life away

Isabel Eleanor Amelia Wrighton, November 2009.

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October 28

Three Score plus More

At the weekend I visited my father, aged seventy five, and made sure his computer was online.  Although I am quite sure he shall not manage to read this I thought I would put the poem he gave me at the time online:-

Three Score years and ten
So what does one do then?
The Bible says - that's your lot;
"Can't I do what I forgot?"
Now I am seventy two,
My latter years have just begun
Cruising, boozing, having fun
Seventy Two, don't feel so well
My prostate begins to tell
Oh no!  I'm seventy three
My doctor has his hands in me.
He looked inside and said "It's bad!"
My love, she pretended she was sad
Seventy four, my pension pot is growing,
I remember the wild oats I've been sowing
Seventy five, life goes quicker
And my blood is getting thicker
Oh dear lord six and seventy,
Does that make me feel more Heavenly
Seventy Eight, the reaper's late
Seventy Nine, or is it Ten?
Hari Krishna - not again!
Jesus, Allah - I've got the score
I can't do it anymore.

J.C.W. October 2009

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October 17

Fading

The older I get the more I see

People

The less they see me

 

Year by year I am fading

like well worn jeans

At least that is how it seems

 

One day the invisible man

might see all that he can

of all of the people

doing all of their things

 

But I can never see

What they are looking at

when they do not see

me!

 

 

                       Paul Wrighton October 2009

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August 19

Ridership versus authorship

There seem to be word police inside my head sometimes, with a latent Mr Angry lurking to listen to them too!  This morning on Radio Four the head honcho of some coach company was spouting on about the launch of the Greyhound bus brand here in the UK.  I know what he intended to say.  I know what he meant. I listened to the Stephen Fry program on Radio Four which explained that saying "Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo" makes perfect sense, though somewhat puzzling and missing a possible conjunctive.

Yet it annoyed me intensely that he had used this word.

But anyone using authorship (v.) does not bother me at all and, more worryingly, I am prepared to accept the collective of a readership (n.) without the slightest qualm.... 

The Mr Angry seems to have gone away now, and I remember my earlier mention of the poetry book group, which turned out to only have TWO of us and the librarian.  I cannot remember if I was brave enough to read it out, probably not because it is so well known as an example of type. In any case I had read no Gerald Manley-Hopkins (more's the pity; my library was woefully inadequate in the poetry department and could supply me none of his work, not even anthologised).

Now the Mr Angry is coming back! Can you guess why?  Yes, it is that use of "anthologised"!

Funny business this language stuff!

To His Coy Mistress  
by Andrew Marvell

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast;
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart;
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
   But at my back I always hear
Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
   Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

For goodness knows what reason I had the idea Marvell was an American poet!

But I did know he was metaphysical, as we clearly see in this oft-quoted example. There's a link to a John Cooper Clark work here, sort of; see if you like it.

His Coy Mistress to Mr. Marvell
Since you have world enough and time
Sir, to admonish me in rhyme,
Pray Mr Marvell, can it be
You think to have persuaded me?
Then let me say: you want the art
To woo, much less to win my heart.
The verse was splendid, all admit,
And, sir, you have a pretty wit.
All that indeed your poem lacked
Was logic, modesty, and tact,
Slight faults and ones to which I own,
Your sex is generally prone;
But though you lose your labour, I
Shall not refuse you a reply:

First, for the language you employ:
A term I deprecate is "coy";
The ill-bred miss, the bird-brained Jill,
May simper and be coy at will;
A lady, sir, as you will find,
Keeps counsel, or she speaks her mind,
Means what she says and scorns to fence
And palter with feigned innocence.

The ambiguous "mistress" next you set
Beside this graceless epithet.
"Coy mistress", sir? Who gave you leave
To wear my heart upon your sleeve?
Or to imply, as sure you do,
I had no other choice than you
And must remain upon the shelf
Unless I should bestir myself?
Shall I be moved to love you, pray,
By hints that I must soon decay?
No woman's won by being told
How quickly she is growing old;
Nor will such ploys, when all is said,
Serve to stampede us into bed.

When from pure blackmail, next you move
To bribe or lure me into love,
No less inept, my rhyming friend,
Snared by the means, you miss your end.
"Times winged chariot", and the rest
As poetry may pass the test;
Readers will quote those lines, I trust,
Till you and I and they are dust;
But I, your destined prey, must look
Less at the bait than at the hook,
Nor, when I do, can fail to see
Just what it is you offer me:
Love on the run, a rough embrace
Snatched in the fury of the chase,
The grave before us and the wheels
Of Time's grim chariot at our heels,
While we, like "am'rous birds of prey",
Tear at each other by the way.

To say the least, the scene you paint
Is, what you call my honour, quaint!
And on this point what prompted you
So crudely, and in public too,
To canvass and , indeed, make free
With my entire anatomy?
Poets have licence, I confess,
To speak of ladies in undress;
Thighs, hearts, brows, breasts are well enough,
In verses this is common stuff;
But -- well I ask: to draw attention
To worms in -- what I blush to mention,
And prate of dust upon it too!
Sir, was this any way to woo?

Now therefore, while male self-regard
Sits on your cheek, my hopeful bard,
May I suggest, before we part,
The best way to a woman's heart
Is to be modest, candid, true;
Tell her you love and show you do;
Neither cajole nor condescend
And base the lover on the friend;
Don't bustle her or fuss or snatch:
A suitor looking at his watch
Is not a posture that persuades
Willing, much less reluctant maids.

Remember that she will be stirred
More by the spirit than the word;
For truth and tenderness do more
Than coruscating metaphor.
Had you addressed me in such terms
And prattled less of graves and worms,
I might, who knows, have warmed to you;
But, as things stand, must bid adieu
(Though I am grateful for the rhyme)
And wish you better luck next time.

       -- A. D. Hope

An effective rejoinder to a great poem requires a poet, ideally one who appreciates and respects the poet under attack. How surprising that an Australian poet was "up for it"!  And Mr Hope is a new discovery to me also, along with the "Wondering Minstrels" poem by email service, which could inspire future blogs whereby I tag them also; watch this space!

P.S. Oh dear!  Listening to the radio again after I posted and up popps a portmanteau! There is a media debate concerning chuggers and possible legislation.  Yet again, how strange that this term, newly minted, does not bother me in the least.  I shall have to think on this and make a spiritual psting, perhaps, someday.  Something to do with caritas and Greek no doubt.

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April 19

Evil Haiku

The Quaker meeting which I attend has been doing a series of workshops along the lines of "Twelve Quakers and ...." where the ellipsis might be various things including God, Jesus, Equality, Simplicity, and, this month, Evil.

During the closing session on "evil" we were invited to write Haiku and although many felt the form could only be used in the traditional Japanese way to describe natural beauty, but I had no issues with taking the verse form and mocking the traditional Haiku stereotype with these efforts to capture something of the subject of evil.

There are four, each standing alone, and alternating the traditional with the free format form of Haiku.

 

Bloody splash

Taking life

Maliciously

No love

Just hurt


Abandon hope you

Held in the thrall of

All that is not love


Child eyes

Behold

Obscenity

Innocence lost

Forever


Mass graves were filled

Without thought or care until

Evil stared back

 

Addendum

I was concerned with the etymology for clues; which I now realise is really a red herring since the exploration of the spiritual meaning to a Quaker only concerns the modern udeage really.  However I did find what I turned up interesting, and I learned that any ideas of derivation involving "devil" or "Eve" are mistaken.

"Evil" has gotten distinctly worse over the millenia. Originally it seems to have signified nothing more sinister than "uppity," and in the Old and Middle English period it meant simply "bad"; it is only in modern English that its connotations of "extreme moral wickedness" came to the fore. It probably comes ultimately from "upelo-", a derivative of the Indo-European base "upo-, under (source of Greek hupo, under, Sanskrit "upa", at, to, and English "up" and "over"), and so its underlying connotation is of "exceeding due limits, extremism. Its Germanic descendant was "ubilaz", source of German übel, evil as well as English evil."

It seems this finding by John Ayto lines up perfectly with Scriptures. An example of this is found in Ezekiel Chapter 16 verse 49. When most Christians think of the sin or evil of Sodom, they usually think of the immoral sexual sins of Sodom of which homosexuality would be considered the height of their depravity. Yet this is how the Creator describes Sodom's condition:

Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abominations before Me; therefore, I took them away as I saw fit.

This passage seems to line up very nicely with the original meaning of the word "evil." The modern church generally teaches that the "evil" of Sodom is the height of wickedness and that its fate of destruction by fire is an example of the destruction of the world which has not become a part of the church. However, the Creator says there is a worse condition of "evil" than that of Sodom's. Jerusalem is a type and picture of His own people, the "apple of His eye." Here is how He describes the condition of His own people, those who certainly would not consider "Sodom" as their own sister. Speaking to His own "chosen" people He says:

Samaria did not commit half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they, and have justified your sisters by all the abominations which you have done. You who judged your sisters bear your own shame also, because the sins which you committed were more abominable than theirs; they are more righteous than you. Yes, be disgraced also, and bear your own shame because you justified your sisters. When I bring back their captives, the captives of Sodom and her daughters, and the captives of Samaria and her daughters, then I will also bring back the captives of your captivity among them, that you may bear your own shame and be disgraced by all that you did when you comforted them. When your sister Sodom and her daughters return to their former state, then you and your daughters will return to your former state.

It seems the word "uppity" seems like a good definition for the word "evil." It also seems like the "chosen" people are more "uppity" than Sodom and Samaria. It seems almost blasphemous to think that the wickedness of the Creator's own people will justify the likes of Sodom and Samaria and that they will be restored to their former state. That Sodom, in the eyes of God, is a sister to the "chosen" people. It certainly is not a sermon I have ever heard preached in the 200+ churches I have attended. But then I never heard that Sodom's primary sin was "uppityness," fullness of food, and abundance of idleness, and not strengthening the hand of the poor and needy. I have been in many churches that are exhibiting the very sins that are ascribed to Sodom. I have never heard a preacher describe their congregation as "sisters to Sodom." Can you imagine what would happen to all the hot air evangelists spew out if we actually believed the plain Word of God that the "uppityness" of God's own people have "justified" the worst sinners in the world? Why, it would completely stop all the hot foul wind coming from these "last days revival" messages preached by thousands of "ministries" trying to raise millions of dollars to save a few more before God finally destroys this "uppity" world. We just might repent of our own "uppityness" and let God restore this whole fallen mankind to its former state. We might then find the time to "strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy."

 

Credit to Gary Amirault for the above

 

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April 02

Harmonium

I have read many more books since my last post, but this is far more worthy I think for a long overdue post.  From my earlier blogging you may know I sing with a Choral Society.

For our next concert on July the Fourth we shall be adopting an American theme, and this has led us to the piece "Harmonium" by John Adams. The poetry he adopted to go with this "choral symphony" will mean a good deal to me, as you can read below.

Apparently he had much of the opening of the piece already in mind and then the poem slotted into place.  I do think the result is striking - these poems are powerful enough in themselves but set to music can add another dimension, perhaps? (I have mixed feelings on that score, but then again the music stands by it's own merit also).

 

Negative Love or The Nothing

 

I never stoop'd so low, as they

Which on an eye, cheek, lip, can prey.

Seldom to them, which soar no higher

Than virtue or the mind to admire.

For sense, and understanding may

Know what gives fuel to their fire:

My love, though silly, is more brave,

For may I miss, whene'er I crave,

If I know yet, what I would have.


If that be simply perfectest,

Which can by no way be express'd

But Negatives, my love is so.

To All, which all love, I say no.

If any who deciphers best,

What we know not, our selves, can know,

Let him teach me that nothing; this

As yet my ease and comfort is,

Though I speed not, I cannot miss.

- John Donne


Because I could not stop for Death,

He kindly stopped for me;

The carriage held but just ourselves

And Immortality.


We slowly drove, he knew no haste,

And I had put away

My labor and my leisure too,

For his civility.


We passed the school where children played

At wrestling in a ring;

We passed the fields of gazing grain,

We passed the setting sun.


We paused before a house that seemed

A swelling of the ground:

The roof was scarcely visible,

The cornice but a mound.


Since then 'tis centuries; but each

Feels shorter than the day

I first surmised the horses' heads

Were toward eternity.

- Emily Dickinson


Wild Nights--- Wild Nights!

Were I with thee

Wild nights should be

Our Luxury!


Futile---the winds---

To a Heart in port---

Done with the Compass---

Done with the Chart!


Rowing in Eden---

Ah, the sea!

Might I but moor--- Tonight---

In thee!

- Emily Dickinson

 

This concert will have tremendous personal resonance for me.  A couple of years ago when I started singing I had just been jilted by a wonderful Canadian woman, who had given me many things.  Not least among these were a renewed passion for poetry (John Donne among our favourites), a brief awakening of youthful passion before I seem to have settled into middle age proper, and in her parting the idea to sing.  So now to be singing of love and these poems almost feels a dedication to her.

The first evokes our relationship so very much for me, since my parting words to her were that she had "given me the greatest gift, myself".  The middle one has more to do with how I feel now, with the brevity of life weighing on me.  The last brings back fond memories of just how passionate our relationship was whilst it lasted.

Singing has been quite a challenge to me, but a rewarding one.  On an amusing side note it felt quite peculiar when I joined the society because one of the Alto singers was strikingly familiar to the lady who I had just been rejected by!  To this day I find myself awkward if I have to talk with her!

If you get a chance to listen to the Harmonium you'll realise it is not the easiest piece to do justice to... I hope I can.  I think you can see from this that it would mean a lot to me.  I am still feeling very much in love with this woman and if there is an opportunity for me to lay this ghost to rest then perhaps this is it... Or perhaps I have to carry my love for her to the grave.  I can think of worse crosses to bear!

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January 23

Paul's Prayer to a Bear

This is a poem I wrote many years ago.  It appears in a published work of my father's called "lie Lines".


Jean's got the sneezles and weazles,
They sent for a doctor!
Then they decided to decorate a wall
So they telephoned a draper.
The draper was an elephant,
Jumbo came with lots of wallpaper.
Some was plain, some red and white,
Some was decorated with flowers,
Some repeated , some had towers,
Said me to he, "I think he is dead".
We rushed me and my downstairs and said
"Help!!!"
Only to see a bunch of hungry bears.
They all said at once "Let's eat them up!"
So they popped me and my inside
And drank from a cup.

 

Paul Wrighton (when young enough)

 

The post was inspired by the recent discovery by my sister of a listing on Amazon for the book, which appears to have appreciated since publication in 1996, when the cover price was "One pint or six mars bars"!

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October 15

Blaming Poverty on the Poor

 

Give us your deprived, your malleable muddled masses 
hoping for a gentler taskmaster 
Welcome to the multi-trillion dollar industry, Poverty 
A.K.A, cheapest labor force 

Poverty works, never ever unemployed 
A much needed commodity to justify 
White-collar crime classes 
Teaching dastardly deeds—to procure monetary needs- 
fostering avarice greed 

Give us your deprived, your malleable muddled masses 
hoping for a gentler taskmaster 
Welcome to the multi-trillion dollar industry, Poverty 
A.K.A., cheapest labor force 

Poverty creates jobs for those financing the societal 
Institution of ya godda pay more taxes 
Blaming Poverty on the poor 
Look! what Enron did to those less fortunate 
Blaming Poverty on the poor 

Did not corporations want a billion dollar welfare check 
Blaming Poverty on the poor 
Blaming Poverty on the poor 

Give us your deprived, your malleable muddled masses 
hoping for a gentler taskmaster 
Welcome to the multi-trillion dollar industry, Poverty 
A.K.A., cheapest labor force 

No penance just punishment augmenting the pillar of economic pillaging 
Poor people put in the pillory from the political pulpit 

Poverty is prime property 
Poverty pimps portrayed as political preachers purely punitive but polite 
The pluralization of Poverty provides prestige of the patricians 

Poverty, the promissory note from the bureaucratic infidel 
The Truth will tell—the truth will tell 
Poverty the patriotic prisoner on trial for treason 

Copyright 2001 
 
Josephine DixonBanks 

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October 04

Posting from a Library...

Right now I am in Castle Carey for the Childrens carnival later today. I shall try to get pictures onto my phone for later… it could be quite visually pleasing if the rain keeps off! This goes to show the blog addiction has hit hard, even though this offers a lovely quiet respite from the inevitable family drama as a bonus! I brought my laptop, but to hope for wireless access was expecting too much (it is pretty much a small rural town).

Anyway, with the country air I arose early. My father is quite the eccentric (you can see him and some of his poems from the "about me" link if you click on far enough and he has been moved to more traditional housing than his old beach hut on wheels!). So in his new abode he insists that visitors leave something in a Visitors Book provided for the purpose.

Arising early I found this book and the muse struck. Occasionally I may feature a poem in my Blog. BUT I am determined that it should not become exclusively a poetry nor exclusively a writing blog… So they will be tagged and archived in a manner of my choosing from time to time….

If there is no poem in this post it has obviously been done…. Likely gone on to a better place… But for the moment you will find it below:-

LOVE OF A POET
==============

Never love a poet
To love one is absurd
A poets love entirely
Being given to the word

Bad poets write of love
A moral for my daughter
Good poets love themselves
Like a fish loves water

The didactic part comes now
Not of love and not of poet
Of happiness and loving life
The poetry's in how you show it!

PAW 4/10/2008

Feeling bashful now - sigh.

As I say - you may have noticed a previous post that has now self-destucted, well think of that poem as being written in an ink that fades very fast, because it too will join collected and selected ephemera in the ether at a future time. Of course copies may have been taken, but I don't want to think about that… I'm weird and shy that way.

I am quite happy to blog and reveal my identity within the blog, but when it comes to publication in any traditional sense I would prefer a "nom de plume". If anyone cares to suggest suitable pen names in comments - that could be fun, perhaps. But please, no Tadalafil based etymology or themes! Oh I just thought, I really need to avoid mentioning the C word, V word or any other pharmacopoeia or else the spiders are going to mark me down down down!

I notice now that being in the library with a timer on my connection really focusses the mind! Perhaps I need to start introducing a fake similar system at home? No question of idling off away to tweaking little corners of the site or googling weird wikipedian linkage chains. Speaking of which I have turned on a Wiki markup (you'll find an example on the ABOUT DIDACTIC link for the word didactic). I've tried to make one on this post too (in the previous paragraph, for Tadalafil), but the internet and browser setup here may make this tricksome.

My next poem was intended to be titled "Ethereal Ephemera", but the muse does not respect my future titles and plans. So there we are. Or here we are.

I can certainly feel the chill of the new season with October, added to the chill of the countryside away from the city heat. The children taking part in the carnival should be fine however - the theme is "Teddy Bears Picnic" and they are all wearing furry outfits… This time the great family drama (there is ALWAYS one) was brewing about the "float" trolley upon which my great niece Jessica (13 months) is due to perch… Anyway, my father has become the grumpiest bear in town with the sorest head…. and now refuses to push the trolley or even lend them his drill to finish the work!!

Sigh - and now I have to proof read, correct, and return to the melée!

Thank goodness I can return to domestic blogging come Sunday night, only 30 hours of this to go!

 

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June 17

Just A Toothbrush... Ninja Haiku competition!

 | Jun 17
OK - this was pukeworthy the first time - but it seems to be resurfacing for further attention whoring. If you see in my comment I am inviting Haiku to take the ironic P**s out of this remorselessly - I shall edit some in here myself... soon....

You're a pink one
My toothbrush is greenish
I puked on it

Toothbrush stands there
remorselessly gouging eyes out
from sentmental skull


In response to Just A Toothbrush... by silkgoddess4u:
Just A Toothbrush...

This morning I ran into his toothbrush.
It was hiding behind the Med's.
Oh! I remember so well, watching him
brush his teeth from my bed.
Then he would kiss me good-bye and
rush out the door.

Oh! The toothbrush is still near.
though he is far away.
Just a toothbrush tugging at my heart.
Bringing back memories of happier days.

I remember throwing out this toothbrush
so many times, Or did I?
This time I will be strong.
This time I will take it to the dumpster.
I will not let this toothbrush make me cry.
I will not let it come my way again.

Good-bye toothbrush! The kisses he gave me
were only for fun.
Good-bye toothbrush! He said that he loved me
and he lied from the start.

Just a toothbrush, but with it went my heart.

Silkia
6/8/08

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