Author Archives: sdtp33

Talking Senses (a Rubaiyat)

Leaf

Talking Senses (a Rubaiyat)

Wet whiff of sour milk
the rustle of silk
the kerang of a guitar
– the Who, or their ilk

the whirl of a dervish
the bloat of a blow-fish
the wince of a lemon
that chocolate fetish

I doubt my ability
to convey tactility
but, hey, here’s an eggshell
go on, feel the fragility.

Jilly’s challenge over at dVerse is to write a rubaiyat, using imagery that evokes all 6 senses – 1.) Visual, 2.) Tactile/Touch, 3.) Olfactory/Smell, 4.) Taste, 5.) Auditory, and 6.) Kinesthetic.

I gave it a go….I didn’t pay too much attention to syllables per line, I just went with what sounded right, but I did stick to the rhyme scheme!

Indignatron B (as seen on TV)

looking at me

 

Indignatron B (as seen on TV)

Are you feeling indignant?
Do you feel the urge to rant?
Are you sick of the city, the government
sycophants, dilettantes, the cant;
are you bitter about the glitterati
the literati, the witeratti, the getfiteratti
that tosser on your street
with the Maserati or is it a Bugatti
always wittering on about his colonoscopy
his digestive tract?
Relax, help is on the way,
take one Indignatron B tablet daily
and you won’t give a shit about all that.

Warning:
Some users of Indignatron B have become so unbearably pleasant, that their friends can’t stand them anymore.
Do not mix Indignatron B with alcohol, some users, who have, experienced such a feeling of intense happiness that all they could think about was doing it again.

Why I have difficulty writing haiku

 

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Why I have difficulty writing haiku

problem with haiku
definite article is
first casualty

next casualty
indefinite article
makes me sound little

like Japanese guard
in prison camp in movie
world war two movie

who for some reason
is speaking English (how? why?)
with staccato voice

or perhaps I am
po-faced guru on mountain
dispensing bromides:

crow flies at midnight
in front of luminous moon
affair ends badly

all because I am
in service to, at mercy
of, syllable count.

Driving Home with Leonard Cohen (4)…Poem

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Driving Home with Leonard Cohen

Despite what he says
not everybody knows,
not everybody knows
like Leonard knows.
Not everybody knows
that the best songs
are about loss,
endings,
so long,
ways to say goodbye,
closing time,
and that age
can be laughed about
but not at,
if I had a hat
I would raise it to Mr.Cohen
perched up there alone
in his tower of song.

 

I have posted this a few times before, but since this week is turning into music week at stopdraggingthepanda, I thought I would give it another outing

A note on the genius of Leonard Cohen:

Below is the first verse of “Suzanne”. Notice how he doesn’t hit a conventional rhyme until the chorus where he rhymes ‘blind’ and ‘mind’ and creates a tension and release which runs through the whole song (he repeats that pattern in the next 2 verses). 

“Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by, you can spend the night forever
And you know that she’s half-crazy but that’s why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her that you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer that you’ve always been her lover
And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind”

Participating in OpenLink Night over at dVerse.

 

Free Jazz 2 (of ruba’i and rubaiyats)

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Free Jazz 2

The saxophonist taps his foot
the trumpet player palms his mute
they sound like elephants mating
when they play free, when they play loose.

The drummer puts on his jazz face
eyes closed in ecstasy, lips pursed,
they dance on the edge of chaos
when they blow free, when they play loose.

 

So this another entry in response to the dVerse challenge to write a ruba’i or rubaiyat. For a description of the form , check out Frank Hubeny’s post here.

The two quatrains (which makes it a rubaiyat) have an AABA CCDC rhyming scheme, although I have avoided straight rhymes and relied on some sonic connection between the end words.

After a month of sonnets and now this, I’m getting a bit rhymed out. I’ve also been working on shoehorning another song lyric into sonnet form on the basis that sonnet means “little song”. It’s not working. I think it’s time to return to the relative chaos of free verse.

 

 

Listening to U2 in Kitsilano Gym (Poem)

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The Edge

the Edge is a painter
he’s all about the brush strokes
a splash of metal here
a splash of funk there
an acoustic wash
a chopped abstract rhythm
on top of bass and drums
yes he can make it
cry or sing
but that’s not his thing
that’s not his thing
and if a one note solo is enough
a one note solo is enough.

Free Jazz (ruba’i)

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Free Jazz

in the park off Railspur Alley
lion house hogo, dogs and trees
like a drunk around a lamp post
the bass player leans.

This is my first attempt at a ruba’i (dVerse prompt). I have used, as per the form structure, a AABA rhyme scheme, I have used half rhymes because they fit! The first three lines are iambic tetrameter, the last line is shorter because it sounded good to my ear that way.

If you want to learn all about the ruba’i and the rubaiyat Check out Frank Hubeny’s excellent post at dVerse.

This is a rewrite of a poem that was published in ” The Basil O’Flaherty” online magazine.

 

The Reverend George Weeble (Quadrille)

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The Reverend George Weeble 

The Reverend George Weeble
liked to spend his holidays
visiting churches in foreign lands,
his parishioners called him:
the steeplechaser.
When I’m old and feeble,
George Weeble said,
when I retire,
I want to be
where the spires conspire
to show me the way.

Mish’s challenge over at dVerse is to write a quadrille (44 word poem) incorporating the word “steep”.

Savannah (a sonnet)

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Savannah

Rotund tourists wander the street below
drinking lukewarm beer out of plastic cups
and watching the Savannah river flow,
and Chuck’s in a corner playing guitar
for the plaid shorts and polo shirts, standing
in all their pastel glory at the bar.
Karla is on her fourth mojito, and
trying hard to catch his eye, as he segues
from Kentucky Woman to Fire and Rain;
joining the chorus , she stands on her chair
chugs back the remains of her mojito
and drunkenly punches the empty air.
Time, time is a disappearing muse
in time, in time, you feel every wound.

 

I’m participating in the month long sonnet challenge over at dVerse. This is my second attempt, the first can be found here. This one has an ABACDCEFEGG rhyming scheme. I wrote it after reading Jilly’s excellent dVerse post on enjambment.

The poem revisits content from two poems that were published in Cyphers magazine and a song lyric I wrote. The song lyric had a different rhyme scheme, shorter lines, a chorus, and of course more room to play (there’s always room for an extra verse).

Not sure how well this works, but it was fun trying.

 

The Beautiful Game (The Lads’ Poetry Project 2 )

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It’s Open Link night over at dVerse, so I thought I would link this post from a few days ago, mainly because the subject matter of the poem – sport and the level of discourse associated with it – is somewhat neglected in the world of poetry. When you read the poem you may conclude that that is actually a good thing.

The Beautiful Game

Me and the lads are warming up
for our Sunday morning kickabout,
the weather’s not so good:
a black cloud loiters over head
spitting occasionally;
there’s a chill in the air.
Not that we care.
We are here for that moment of magic:
those three short passes
that raise life above the ordinary.
It’s all going well.
We’re stretching, squatting
sprinting, jogging, popping
Esther and Abi*
when up steps Paul
all sanctimonious-like
and starts to rattle on
about how this is a family park
and we should watch our language
and surely we can play a game of football
without accusing each other of onanism.
The lads are confused, gobsmacked even.
My face adopts an expression
which would later be described as quizzical
Onanism, I inquire,
what on earth is that wanker talking about?

 

*Esther and Abi (Ofarim): rhyming slang for ibuprofen, a popular anti-inflammatory. Esther and Abi Ofarim, an Israeli singing duo, had a hit with “Cinderella Rockefella” in 1968.

The Lads’ Poetry Project 1 (The Sistine Chapel Contract)

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To start, one has to go back to the beginning, to when the idea first crawled out of the primordial slime and wriggled across a landscape previously devoid of wriggling things. I want to use words like “protozoan”, “bosphoric”, “euphratic” but I can’t find a context and besides, two of them are not real words, so…..

I was talking to Slim about the paucity of themes or rather the sameness of subject matter in European religious art. You’ve got the crucifixion, the annunciation, the beheading of John the Baptist, the ubiquitous Madonna and Child , the endless emaciated martyrs staring skywards like Brazilian soccer players in a post goal celebration.
Slim, who had just spent the weekend watching back to back Guy Ritchie movies, shrugged, scratched the location on his head where there used to be hair and said: “Paucity? No one says that anymore. It sounds like a terminal disease. ‘He died of late onset paucity. It was the paucity that got him in the end’”. He then stomped out of the room, hitching up his sagging jeans as he exited. He can be an eloquent bugger at times.

Later that day, he came back with this

The Sistine Chapel Contract

Me and the lads are in the studio
working on our Madonna and Child
when in walks Mike
with a strange look in his eyes
and cool as you like
he says
They want me to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
We say: Wha’?
He says: The Sistine Chapel.
They want me
to paint the ceiling of
the Sistine bleedin’ Chapel.
Well,
you could have knocked us over with a feather.

 

and thus, The Lads’ Poetry Project was born.

 

 

Change (quadrille)

 

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Change (quadrille)

to leave no footprint
we must fly
and never land;
doom has a harbinger
death has an angel
change has an agent;
if the winds of change are blowing,
staying inside is always an option;
to embrace change
put your hand in your pocket.

 

the challenge over at dVerse is to write a quadrille using the word “change”.

The Town of High Dudgeon

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The Town of High Dudgeon

In the town of High Dudgeon
at the corner of Grump Street and Curmudgeon
people talk about the old ways
about young people these days
with their smart phones, their social media
their Facebook, their Wikipedia
hell, in our day we had to know stuff.
Harrumph! They shout in unison.
Harrumph! They shout harrumphantly.

Outside the town limits
the future raises a middle finger
and data accumulates
about this moment
and the moment before
in cabinets that hum
a one note tune.

 

Participating in Open Link night over at dVerse, one of the best poetry blogs around!

Mr. Courtney ( a sonnet)

 

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Mr. Courtney

Sitting in Mr. Courtney’s English class
moving my feet to that iambic beat
while  greasy Joan doth keel the pot
and snot runneth down the back of my nose.

He tells us he is not a happy man
which makes us feel embarrassed, awkward, sad
(behold the dawn in russet mantle clad)
we pretend interest in (yes) Charles Lamb.

He struck me on the face once, hit me hard.
Have at you varlet! A palpable hit!
A snide remark I made, yes that was it,
about poor Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Still, would this poem be, if not for him,
Keats, beaded bubbles winking at the brim?

 

Taking part in Bjorn’s verse form challenge over at dVerse to write a sonnet. I’ve chosen  an ABBA, CDDC, EFFE, GG rhyme scheme. I’ve used half rhymes here and there to add interest and tried to keep to a ten syllable line even though I haven’t always stuck to that iambic beat. I’ve also woven in quotes from Shakespeare and Keats, these are lines that stuck in my head from those high school classes.

 

Todd and the Time Machine

 

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Todd and the Time Machine

I
Todd’s time machine
has three settings:
time was
time is
time will be.

II
Sometimes
the time travel sickness
hits him
like a five alarm flu.

III
Returning through the time hail,
through the accelerating centuries
he hears his wife yell
from the ever present
from the basement stairs:
I’m turning off that bloody time machine
your dinner’s getting cold!

 

The subject of the day over at dVerse is “Time and What if”

Poems that I had most fun writing in 2018,……4: Luminescence

via Daily Prompt: Luminescent 

Luminescence

The stars are out
luminescence rises
from the surface of the pond
I think of Tommy
Tommy Tumescent and the Hard-ons
yes you could say
they were big in the fifties
yes you could say
they rose to stardom in the fifties
all pompadour and pointy toe
and to counter this puerile nonsense
I also think of iridescence
finesse
obsolescence.

sunrise-4

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/luminescent/

Poems that I had most fun writing in 2018,……3: Don’t Play in the Traffic

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Over the next few days, I will be posting poems that I had the most fun writing in 2018. They may not have got the most views or likes, but they are (perhaps) the poems I found to be the most satisfying.

Don’t Play in the Traffic

they met on a zebra crossing
it was a pedestrian affair
she had an air of competence
he…just had an air
they went downhill from there
to her house
in the middle of a roundabout
near the station
one morning they looked out
and the cars had changed rotation
the clouds were tinged
with a tawdry shade of orange
the sky was diffident
the sun judgemental
things would not be the same
would not be the same again.

 

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Poems that I had most fun writing in 2018,……2:Dog in a Tartan Skirt (Edit)

 

Over the next few days, I will be posting poems that I had the most fun writing in 2018. They may not have got the most views or likes, but they are (perhaps) the poems I found to be the most satisfying.

Dog in a Tartan Skirt 

There’s a dog wearing a tartan skirt
outside the window of Starbuck’s;
a tartan skirt, a belt, and a knitted white sweater;
its little dog legs are moving frantically
on the wet pavement,
while across the slick road
and the sodden green park
the ocean sits
like a slab of lead,
no crashing on the shore today.
South of the border
America blunders around
trying to remember
where it parked
that big car
that everyone admired
and envied.
The people look to God
but God, once again,
is moving in mysterious ways;
I, for one, wish He would knock it off,
enough already with the mystery
could He not for once in His eternal life,
clarify something?
I mean, for fuck sake,
there’s a dog wearing a tartan skirt
outside the window of Starbuck’s.

Poems that I had most fun writing in 2018,……1: Earth (quadrille)

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Over the next few days, I will be posting poems that I had the most fun writing in 2018. They may not have got the most views or likes, but they are (perhaps) the poems I found to be the most satisfying.

This poem was written in response to the dVerse challenge to write a quadrille (44 word poem) about “earth”.

Earth (quadrille)

wind and fire
earthling, earthenware
is buried in
hearth, dearth, breath
can also be found in
don’t fear the reaper
clear the room
Neanderthal
the Lord’s Prayer;
David Bowie
was the man who fell to earth
Major Tom observed
that planet earth is blue.

I Should Never Have Started This Villanelle

 

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Thinking of it now, truth to tell
I should have said goodnight, turned out the light
I should never have started this villanelle

now I am stuck in verse form hell
everything I write seems totally trite
thinking of it now, truth to tell

I can check out but I can’t leave this hotel
(the Eagles, you get the reference, right?)
I should never have started this villanelle

mission bell, tinker bell, death knell
I’ve started to write total shite
thinking of it now, truth to tell

I have to get off this carousel
it’s been a struggle, it’s been a fight
I should never have started this villanelle

I need another word that rhymes with ‘elle’
final quatrain, the pain, the urge to yell;
thinking of it now, truth to tell
I should never have started this villanelle

 

Ha…so this all started about a week ago with a challenge on dVerse to write a poem using a verse form that incorporated repetition. I posted 3 poems that were essentially chants but I felt that this was a cop out so I decided to write a villanelle. That was a mistake, that’s all I worked on all week. I felt like I was in a creative straight jacket, that I was wearing one of those ankle bracelets that would alarm if I tried to escape the villanelle. It didn’t help that I got half way through one attempt before I realised that I had the wrong structure, the wrong rhyming scheme.

That poem was built around two lines:

a villain in a villanelle
a doomed lover in a sonnet

It will never see the light of day.

Of form and free verse……..

Free Verse

free verse, let
it roam, far
from all rhyme
and reason

The irony is that this short poem actually has a form – 4 lines, 3 syllables per line. It’s called slim verse. It was invented by my friend, Slim Volume, and I. Of course Slim Volume is not his real name; he used to play in a punk band, The Working Stiffs, and that was his stage name, not that they appeared on many stages. You may remember their seminal album, ‘ Anger and Acne’, but you probably don’t. My all time favorite stage name belongs to the bass player in the Boomtown Rats, Pete Briquette. You’d have to be Irish to get it…..peat briquettes were used as a substitute for coal in open fires. Where was I…oh yes..slim verse..this was meant to be a form designed for the attention span of internet users, problem is I got tired of its limitations. We were churning out aphorisms not poems. We don’t talk about it much anymore, too painful.

…taking part in Open Link night over at dVerse, check them out, well worth the visit!

 

 

 

And Sometimes I Wonder (poems)

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The challenge from Jilly over at dVerse is to write a poem using repetition, the snag is that the poem has to be written to a particular form; the forms being either villanelle, terzanelle, pantoum, triolet or chant. Check out Jilly’s fascinating post for examples and definitions of these forms. I have to admit, having never studied poetry beyond high school (and not much at that) I find these forms intriguing and a little daunting, so I decided to go for what I thought was the easy one – chant; this proved to be a bit more elusive than I had imagined. Here are 3 attempts, the first one is new, the other two are edits of previous posts.

And Sometimes I Wonder

and sometimes I wonder
why it’s easy to curry lamb
but hard to curry favour

and sometimes I wonder
would a defibrillator
stop Donald Trump lying

and sometimes I wonder
are all Donald’s lies
by definition, white

and sometimes I wonder
living comfortable lives
can we legitimately claim suffering credits
from our parents, the past.

Smart Phone (with apologies to Dickens and Darwin)

’twas the best invention
’twas the worst invention

’twas communication’s new dawn
’twas the end of communication

’twas a pain in the neck
’twas incipient myopia

’twas why we evolved
with opposable thumbs.

Auto

auto-didact
auto-deduct
auto-redact
auto- instruct
auto-emphatic
auto-erratic
auto-erotic
auto-neurotic
auto-symbiotic
auto-despotic
auto-dramatic
auto-Semitic
auto-semantic
auto-romantic
auto-demonic
auto-symphonic
auto-bubonic
auto-ironic
auto-motive
auto-emotive
auto-mobile
auto-labile
auto-manual
auto-mandate
Otamendi*
Otamendi
Otamendi.

 

*plays centre half for Manchester City.

 

 

Christmas Cheer (quadrille)

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Christmas Cheer

cell phone rings
you’re not listening
you left it in the Fox and Vixen
on top of the cistern
in the stall
beside the condom machine
it started with one beer,
some Christmas cheer,
now you can’t recollect
what it is that you regret.

 

response to dVerse prompt from whimsygizmo, to write a quadrille (44 word poem) incorporating the word “cheer”.