Tag Archives: Photography

A Ghazal about Everlasting Love (and a rabbit)

Frog and cat

 

A Ghazal about Everlasting Love (and a rabbit)

like that rabbit on TV
our love will last

you know, the pink one with the drum
(our love will last)

and the dark sunglasses
(our love will last)

who sometimes hits a wall
(our love will last)

and sometimes stalls
(our love will last)

but he keeps banging that drum
(our love will last)

the rabbit keeps banging the drum
(our love will last)

but unlike our love
alkaline batteries are not everlasting

and eventually the rabbit falls
breathes his last

and we need another simile
one that lasts

like plastic in a landfill
our love will last

like craters on the moon
our love will last

like the power of the sun
our love will last

like the winds out on the ocean
our love will last.

 

In my previous ghazal , “Bucket List” I vowed to write a ghazal about everlasting love for the dVerse ghazal challenge. So there you have it, my first love poem, a big challenge – I’m the kind of person whose usual response to the words “I love you” is “right back at ya”.

Landline (for Dad)

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Landline (for Dad)

Sometimes, I think
I should text my dad
give him an update
tell him where I’m at.
Not that he would answer
he’s been gone a few years now
and even if he were alive
texting would hardly be his thing;
at the turn of the century
he was still approaching
what we now call a ‘landline’
with some trepidation.

Landline: a rope
uncoiling towards the shore.

He once told me
that when we have children
of our own
we begin to understand
our own parents better
so I think my text
would be an attempt
to let him know
that, yes, dad
I have found this
to be true.

 

Stock Market (a tanka)

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Stock Market

a bear is on the loose
the once priapic market
losing altitude

false hopes and false dreams for sale
nothing tangible.

 

This is response to the dVerse prompt to write about markets. It’s a haiku that I have upgraded (?) to a tanka, check out the poetry over at dVerse, some excellent market poems.

The photo is of an actual market in Sicily.

 

 

Walk (Dublin 2016)…poem

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Walk (Dublin 2016)

In Iveagh gardens an exhibition promises:
Contemporary sculpture based on
Non-monumental ideas of the uncanny.
This phrase sticks like chewing gum
To the bedpost of my mind
As I walk through Stephen’s Green,
Replacing: One then offers the cat up to the aperture
Which, according to my brother,
Is the ultimate step in programming
One’s automatic cat door to accept
One’s micro-chipped cat.
Outside the Shelbourne Hotel
Tourists wearing horned helmets
Board a Viking ship on wheels.
I am in search of a pub sandwich
Two slices of white bread, ham, cheese ,
Toasted in a cellophane pack
Small jar of mustard on the side
Served with Guinness
In a quiet pub where I can sit
And think non monumental thoughts
And where the barman asks me
As we watch Lionel Messi
float past three transfixed defenders
Is he the best ever?
And I am surprised not at the question
But at the deference.

The challenge from Anmol over at dverse, is to write a poem on the subject of walking and observing. This poem was written after a trip back to my home town of Dublin. Walking around one’s home town is not so much about looking for the new as it is about re-discovering the past; it’s more about the memories that the place holds rather than the physical aspect of the place. It’s also about trying to recover a feeling or an experience from the past.

The photo is of Dublin from Sandymount Strand, and of course, Joyce’s “snot-green, scrotum-tightening sea”.

(The poem appeared previously in the Galway Review)

 

 

 

Hal The Halibunist Looks Back On His Long Career

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Hal The Halibunist Looks Back On His Long Career

halibuns about Haliburton
halibuns about halitosis
halibuns about Halle Berry
halibuns about Halley’s Comet

halibuns about Spiritus Mundi
halibuns about Rosamund Pike
halibuns about Solomon Grundy
halibuns just for the fun of it

halibuns at Sun Dance
halibuns in Halifax
halibuns about halibut
halibundance
halibundance
halibundance.

The Tight Rope Walker (a quadrille)

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The Tight Rope Walker

After John’s hamster died
he could not tell up from down,
he became a tight rope walker
tottering grimly forward
without pole or safety net
modern medicine is just a sham
couldn’t save one damn hamster
he never acknowledged
the gravity of his situation.

The challenge over at dVerse is to write a quadrille (44 word poem), incorporating the word “up”.

Conveyor (Bean There)

Pigments (2)

Conveyor

I replaced a defective mechanical arm once
on the night shift at the Bird’s Eye factory
in Eastbourne, England.

The arm swept the green beans from the main chute into side conveyors
where ladies wearing hair nets
separated the good beans from the bad.

It was the top conveyor,
so I was in full view of the workers below
as I moved my arm back and forth
sweeping beans in a poor imitation of a mechanical arm.

My fellow student workers threw beans at me
and the ladies in hair nets shouted “get a move on, Paddy”;
my name isn’t ‘Paddy’
but that’s what English people called Irish people back then.

Time moved like molasses
time dragged its feet like a moody teenager
time passed like a wet Sunday in Belfast

On the way home in the early morning,
we stole milk bottles from doorsteps,
just because we could.

 

Taking part in Open Link Night over at dVerse, check them out here.

 

Of Hatches and Ports (poem)

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Of Hatches and Ports

batten down the hatches
any port in a storm;
I have to admit
storm or no storm
I have never liked port
it always seemed to me
to be a drink from a time
when men retired after dinner
to a separate room to warm their arses
at the fire, share a bottle,
and indulge in convivial chat –
the odour of old sweat rising from tweed
the ladies in the next room, discussing
what else: their husbands and their gout

 

Inspired by the prompt “batten down the hatches” over at Saturday Mix – Mad about Metaphor.

So Long, Halong (Poem)

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So Long, Halong

As we ride out of Cat Ba

through a valley circled

by limestone crags,

a compilation of pop ballads

 

from the seventies and eighties

oozes from the speakers

and the affable English backpackers

at the back of the bus

 

groan in faux horror

as Aerosmith follows Bryan Adams

follows George Michaels

follows Michael Jackson

 

but when the Bee Gees launch

“How Deep Is Your Love”

the backpackers quieten down

and the driver stops honking his horn

 

at the dogs, children, women

in cone hats and cyclists

with finely balanced cargos

who drift carelessly

 

in front of the bus

as if it was an invisible

visitor from the future,

and we all strain against

 

the tug of the song’s chorus

far too cool to sing along

except for one backpacker

let’s call him Nigel

 

or Christian, or Jason, or Justin

who, in a high piping voice

declares his oneness

with the song’s embattled lovers.

 

This poem was first published in Oddball Magazine, and is a re-post from 2016. Participating in Open Link Night over at dVerse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why National Poetry Month Makes Me Anxious

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Why National Poetry Month Makes Me Anxious

It’s National Poetry  Month
and all across the internet
poets are dutifully posting a poem a day,
the blogosphere is loud with words
like babble, ripple, burble, unfurl
glow, glitter, shine, glisten
winds are blowing
suns are setting
dawns are breaking
waves are crashing
on every available shore
and birds, yes, birds
are chirping, trilling, twittering, even singing
nature is under siege
but I have to admit
I’m not up to it
I don’t have the diligence, the discipline
the creative bandwidth
all I want
is to produce
just one clear image
and nail it to the page
like a proclamation.

That Poetic Hum (poem)

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That Poetic Hum

that poetic hum
that poetic drone
your ear always on the alert
for that cadence in the every day
that unconscious internal rhyme
there’s a barber shop on Dunbar Street
or that line that requires a non sequitur
she was a woman before her time
and you say
in a town lost to time
to everyone’s irritation
then when you find that seed
that germ of a poem
you are lost to all around
family, colleagues, friends
your head in the clouds
and when you poke your head through
the accumulated cumulus
you come face to face
with another poet who says
that last line’s a bugger, eh?
and you say
it most certainly is
it most certainly is.

 

Over at dVerse, Gina’s challenge is to write a poem around the notion that the poetic mind never turns off, that it’s always there in the background as we engage with the every day. Check out her excellent post here.

Brexit at Tiffany’s (Redux)

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This a post from February last year, I thought it would be worth another read. Ever since the UK slipped on that Brexit banana skin, it has been suspended in mid air bracing for a collision with the ground. It won’t be long now.

Brexit at Tiffany’s

I ask Slim for his response to a recent report that Nigel Farage thinks it would be a good idea to re-do the Brexit referendum. We arrange to meet for a few pints in ‘The Post-Coital Beetle” to discuss his response and catch up. Slim is late, so I get a booth, and order a pitcher of Blue Buck. On the television screen suspended from the ceiling, two ex-soccer players – Matt Holland and Phil Neville – are discussing possession stats for the English premier league; apparently, the team that keeps possession of the ball usually wins. Not rocket science, but then Matt and Phil are not rocket scientists. They both look trim and fit in their English sportscaster casual wear. Phil is wearing a beige V-necked sweater, a white button down shirt, tight black pants and fashion sneakers. Matt is wearing a black crew neck, tight black pants and, yes, fashion sneakers. They look like their mothers dressed them.

I have never met Slim’s mother, but I doubt if she would have dressed him in the outfit he is wearing as he bursts through the pub door like an overweight, balding Kramer – faded baggy jeans, a MEC Gore-Tex anorak whose wicking days are long over and a white T shirt, one size too small, with the message “Fragile” on the front. He slaps a sheet of white paper on the table and says:
“Here you go!”

On the paper lies the following poem:

Disparaging Nigel

Nigel Farage
will be remembered forever
as the man who made
the word, ‘wanker’,
seem inadequate.

Very good, I say, “disparage”, “Farage”. What do you want to call the post?

‘Brexit at Tiffany’s’.

Ha! Or how about : ‘Guess who’s coming to Brexit’!

Slim looks like he has just swallowed a cup of Drano.

I think you’re missing the fucking point. It has to be a movie or book with ‘Breakfast’ in the title, like, say, ‘Brexit of Champions’ or ‘The Brexit Club’.

Well, anyway…… so it’s not a homonym, it’s not a synonym, it’s not really a pun, what is it?

It’s a malapropism.

Who took Sidney Poitier to dinner?

Katherine Houghton

How did you know, no one ever gets that right.

I know because every time you have a few drinks, you ask the same fucking question.

Poutine?

Why not? Life’s short.

It’ll be even fucking shorter if we keep eating Poutine.

We both lean back and laugh. On the screen above our heads, Manchester United score a goal and the colour commentator says:

“See, what just happened is that United have put the ball in the net and it’s been proven time and time again that if you want to score goals you have to put the ball in the net”

**********

looking at me (2)

A Brexit poem from Slim’s locker:

Come what? May?

Hard Breggsit?
Soft Breggsit?
Breggsit  over easy?
Not on the menu.

Pantoum of the Opera

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Pantoum of the Opera

A night at the opera
I have to admit, it’s not my cup of tea
the braying sound of a male tenor
the smell of moth balls in the cheap seats

I have to admit it’s not my cup of tea
the diva’s ululating grief
the smell of moth balls in the cheap seats
if only it was brief, if only it was brief

the diva’s ululating grief
the uncontrollable urge to sleep
if only it was brief, if only it was brief
there would be some relief

the uncontrollable urge to sleep
the braying sound of a male tenor
there is no relief
a night at the opera

The challenge over at dVerse is to write a pantoum. Click here to learn all about the form. I have stuck to the form for the first 3 stanza’s, I have improvised in the 4th, which I think is within the rules!

photo: Approaching Planet Cistern