Tag Archive | Poem

National Poetry Month – a new poem

At last it is finished, my latest poem. It is a bit of an epic by my standards but then it is National Poetry Month. I tried something a little different with this poem, dispensing with rhyme to try to get a more old world feeling. I tried to get a rhythm going but that did not work, lines just seemed to shoot into my head so I put them down. When I came to editing I realised I quiet like that it focuses more on story than literary devices so left it how it was.

You can read The Tale of the Vitae Plant on wattpad in my collection entitled ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read‘ or take a gander below….

 

The Tale of the Vitae Plant

The King layeth upon his death bed
Skin pale as a ghost and pocked with marks of yellow and red
Though the last rites had been read, hope there still was
For in a far off land grew a plant
A plant so powerful it was told it could grant life to all
A crew were to be assembled, not of the nicest
But of the best, for a sinner may be more courageous
Than the most holiest of men
More builders than ever before were assigned
To build the most magnificent ship
A temple of oak stained to look like mahogany
Upon its prow sat the most beautiful mermaid
A sign of hope that was to bring luck on the seas
They would search the corners of the earth
To find the illustrious root
A tincture would be made and fed to the King
So his illness would, at last, be past
On the sunniest day of all they year
In the season of high summer
The rag tag crew, drilled till they were one
Set off on the fateful mission
The blue stretched to horizons unknown
A journey laid before, distance fixed
But timeframe chosen only by the waves
The creak and groan of wood knotted and gnarled
Weathered and beaten but standing true
Night become day and day become night
As not a soul didst enter their aura
But still they proceeded under rain and sun
One day the storm picked up worse than before
The sea a swell of dragons flapping violent wings
It threw the ship left then right, rocking more than a child’s horse
They went under deck or grabbed on to rigging
Anything that would save their mortal bodies
Like a bird set to flight one crew was tossed asunder
Landing in the water but making no dent on the waves
They shouted, they search but alas they could not see
Thankful they were, when the wind and waves died down
That only one was sunk like many a ship
But there was no time to think of this
Off course they had been driven
The maps and charts checked once more
A new direction set as sun descended and star appeared
A score and three they had been at sea
When yet new weather at once appeared
Through mists dense that none could see
Swirling and howling like horrible ghosts
Day and night one and the same
They journey through the impenetrable shield
Upon their exit, some four days hence
A cruel banner did descend upon them
Black as night with bones of X
Underneath a dead man’s face
Thus battle ensued of the fiercest nature
Smoke from cannon mimicked from whence they had come
And billowed high from treacherous fire
Though the ocean was full it could not get to the blaze
So bucket and basket transported their saviour
Poured, thrown and chucked a chain of buckets
Combated fire and saved the deck
Though the wood stood firm their assailants entered
Swinging from rope of twine and walking on plank of wood
Rapiers glinting showed off a deadly arsenal
But many more were hidden in the fog and smoke
With slash and thrust the swords tried to find purchase
Tried to rid our heroes of life given so freely
To plunder and steal what secrets this ship held
As the enemy deemed a life of villainy more rewarding than hard labour
But our lads and ladies didst not falter
They too had weapons a plenty
That of steel and wood and gunpowder
Blood did stain the well oiled deck
And many were taken to the kingdom in the sky
But alas, those deadly pirates could roam the seas no more
Cut down as they were in the vigour of their lives
Many of ours too did fall, never to stand again
But time for pity and to pay respect was not upon them now
The mission too important so such frivolities would have to wait
They continued henceforth till the sun position
Justified to them the location upon their maps
Their destination nearby must be
As black and white gulls swept the air
Diving, screeching, they follow the ship
In expectation of a feast, free loaders, unthankful
But alas their plans were foiled, no scrap tossed or morsel given
With renewed vigour our crew didst sail forth
The land glinted, found at last, a shining jewel
Moored in the bay they took to smaller vessel
Rowing ashore, toward the picturesque scene before them
Stepping foot first on pure white sand as the Sun’s rays beat down
They knew they should venture forth
But a moment in the sun is good for the soul
And thus they stopped there to rest weary heads and aching limbs
When sleep threatened to overtake them it was time to move
Up the bay and toward the lush foliage they marched
Into a small wood, large leaves and winding barks
That felt rough to the touch and had a strange tickle
One looked down to see a mini beast
Eight legs, large mandibles and a million eyes
Screams echoed, bouncing from bark to bark as more emerged
Crawling, scuttling, seeking flesh
The spiders bit deep, injecting venom
Swelling, puss filled sacks grew forth on arm and leg
Till man and woman alike did fall
And were consumed by a sea of legs
The rest did charge, dodging trunks, looking for any opening
They twisted, they turned in hope to find some secret exit
Through the dark maze finally found their way
They ran back into the sunshine and on to a glade
Hearts jumped at the welcome sight
A field of flowers aplenty, red and blue, purple and yellow
A kaleidoscope of fresh scent, a painter’s dream
But all too quickly the nightmare had taken over
Some incredulous beast didst taunt them with gross roars
Bounding into the peaceful meadow it cut them from their path
Its hulking mass, its thick brown fur, its piercing eyes
Did not waylay their vision from the yellowed fangs
Its breath was hot and tasted unpleasant such was its proximity
One of ours made a dash, fast of feet they flew
But alas their speed did fail them
And impaled they were on sharpened teeth
As flesh did rip and the beast did gorge
The others saw an open path
Best to save oneself than risk the entire mission
Take flight they did as the Bear distracted on his feast
And thus through all danger and treachery
All but two had been felled
Was this a price worth paying for one man’s life?
Though he be a King among men, a leader to all
From glade of beauty a wall of weeds
Thick and dense so no man should pass
They wondered east and they wondered west
Alas there was no way round
It was through the obstacle or turn back
They had lost too many to give in now
So, without knives, swords were drawn
Hack and slash, vegetation didst flow
No care given to homes of bird or rodent
Luck was with them this time as nothing worse
Than parrot or mouse hid away in the foliage
Whence at last they did find a way through
On golden path they did set foot
A dusky road to travel to such wonder
The path was steep and made calves burn
But ever onward they did trek
Pebble and stone tumbled down the slope
Collecting under the growth they had come from
Rejoice at last as small stone steps
Crudely fixed together with mud
Rose slightly to an opening, cut direct into the rock
There in nothing but darkness showed
As if a portal to yonder nightmare
But beyond the root they desired, grew steadily out of the sun
How such a plant without base needs
Could survive neither didst know
Unsure of what would appear inside
Their feet did falter and minds did create
A plethora of scenarios, each more horrific than before
Realising this was their destiny they could not let hearts rule heads
The chamber set deep in rock was to be
Their salvation or their tomb
But only way to know for sure was to cross that dreaded line
To step forth into the unknown
Once inside their fears allayed
As if they were players stepping onto a stage
For sunlight streamed in on well carved steps
Guiding the way with natural light
As dim a house appears when viewed through a window
But brightens by the presence of man
Their nostrils assaulted by the stench of decay
As they descended the crypt they didst see
The treasure they coveted that which they did adore
Around which sat bodies bereft of flesh and bereft of life
A contrasting juxtaposition against which the seed sprouted
A glow from whence they did not know
Bathed the plant in the most glorious light
And thus it shone like a beacon in the dark
Asking them to pluck it from this prison
So that once more it could see the day
One was cautious, stepping back, assessing what must be done
The other head strong, rushing in, ready to grab and run
He reached forth with grime cover hands
Eyes only on that which they sought
But as his fingers broke the light
And showed every crevice covered in dirt
Yet before he could touch their elusive prize
A terrible rumbling came from the earth below
Shaking the remains of those whom had stepped here before
As if they were byproducts when panning for gold
Appearing before them like some kind of apparition
Stood tall four fighters, thin and gaunt
Risen again, the bones of soldiers felled long ago
From the dust and cobwebs appeared
In each of their hands a rusty blade
Our heroes blocked and parried, sliced and thrust
Had these been normal enemies their dancing blades
Would have meet with skin, biting deep into flesh
But these were some sort of demons from the pits of hell
Where sword did hit bone and limbs were lost
The skeletons hit the floor, only to reform
They had lost their power and skill in death
But their endurance didst stretch on
And, alas, our heroes faltered
Strength and focus giving way to nought but wayward swings
They could have fled at any point
But loyalty stayed their feet and kept their hearts strong
Only so much stamina does a man have
And on thy enemies pitiful weapons they did surrender
Giving up on life’s true wonder
And more was their pain that no hand still touched the elusive root
Ere to this day they still do dwell
Though no flesh they have to speak of
But if one as bold didst want the plant
Then it be their folly that will rouse them
And of the King they still do speak
But not in tones of glory
History tells of his incurable illness
And an adventure to find a mythical root

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The Glasses Ninja

It is the first day of 2017 and my target of ‘just write something’ has been achieved already. If you have read my last post you will know that I wrote six poems in 2016 but there was a seventh to come. I left it as I was focusing on ‘The Fifth Coin’, my novel from Nanowrimo. Well I thought I would get 2017 off with a bang and left my novel for one day to write the poem I was going to last year. It came quite easily, which probably means it is terrible. It is an ode to my seven month old daughter, in a way, as it is about the fact she keeps taking my glasses of my head. You can read it on wattpad in my collection ‘Bad Poetry you probably never want to read’ or alternatively, if you can not be bothered to click another link (and who would really!), you can read it below. Enjoy…

 

The Glasses Ninja

She looks so sweet and innocent

A beaming light of virtuosity

But she is waiting, biding her time

One glance in the other direction

Then she strikes like lightning

The cutest assassin there has ever been

It is like being mugged by a teddy bear

She starts with the rims

Sticky fingers on polished glass

“No, no, no,” she hears

Ignorance is bliss

Although she understands

She uses this to her advantage

But I am wise to her attacks

As I stare through misty lenses

She tries again, for the face, for the eyes

But I move as if I am in the matrix

Bending my head away from every grapple

I read her thoughts, react to her actions

Yet she is wise, wise beyond her years

I feel the deftest touch behind my ear

Is it a fly or just a brush of the wind?

They are gone again, my vision blurred

I search for what has taken them

Despite knowing who the culprit is

It is her, the Glasses Ninja

As I try to free them from the vise like grip

My cries once more fall on deaf ears

I tell myself I will be quicker next time

I will foil her plans

But alas, they are returned for but a few seconds

She has them again

Grasping faster than a bullet

More rapid than a speeding car

And so the cycle continues

Release from her grip

Clean off the smudges

Place on my face

Gone again

National Poetry Day 2016

A friend told me yesterday that today, if you are reading this on the day it was posted, was National Poetry Day. I seem to miss these things. When I got home from work I quickly checked the theme and wrote a poem. The theme this year is ‘messages.’ I had no idea what to do so I wrote a poem about not being able to send a message with a little humour in there for added measure. It was written really quickly and I abandoned rhyming early on. I am actually quite happy with it. It is called ‘I tried to send you a message’ and, as per usual, can be read below or in my poetry collection on wattpad, ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read.’

 

I tried to send you a message

I tried to write a letter but I couldn’t find a pen

I tried to phone but you didn’t pick up

I tried it in an email but the computer took too long to load

I tried to send a text but I was out of phone signal

I tried to contact you on social media but the Internet was down

I tried to send a fax but realised it was an outdated communication method

I tried to shout it from the rooftop but did not have a big enough ladder

I tried to tell your other friends but they said they weren’t seeing you till next week

I tried to get some flowers and a card sent from a shop but I didn’t have enough change

Then I saw you, walking in the street, I tried to tell you but forgot what I needed to say

Probably wasn’t important

I’m not that good at poetry

Just a quick blog post. After watching Dr. John Cooper Clarke on a TV appearance recently and loving some of his minimalist poetry I decided to write a quick poem about how bad I am at poetry. It is, subtly, entitled ‘I’m not that good at poetry.’ You can read it below or on wattpad in the collection ‘Bad Poetry you probably never want to read.’

 

I’m not that good at poetry

I’m not that good at poetry

The rhythm seems to flow

But when it comes to rhyming

I can’t find the words that bananas

 

The other good news for poetry fans is that I am working on another poem all about how my baby daughter keeps stealing people’s glasses. It is going to be a classic!

 

New Poem – The First Word

Now the summer holidays have come I am tasking myself with writing for at least ten minutes each day so I can get something out before the end of August. Sometimes I find, like most writers, that I just need to get the first word right to allow my writing to flow. I know what I want to put down but cannot always start. For some reason today I felt like writing a poem and thought this writing conundrum was a worthy topic. Unlike the ideas behind the poem the actual writing of the poem flowed and I was able to produce it quickly. I tried to get symbolism in there rather than focusing on rhyming like I have with most of my other poems, you can not only tell this by the metaphors but the fact it does not rhyme at all! For once I feel like I did a good job and am rather proud of myself, a little bit smug you could say! You can read the poem on wattpad or take a gander below…

 

The First Word

Shaking, trembling, the perspiration falls

I have so much to say

So much to give to the world

Like a torrid ocean my mind swirls

I know where this will go

I just need to find its hand

So I can lead it to its destination

But alas it blocks my path

My kryptonite

My achilles heel

My dark side

My temptation

My inner demon

A vast land stretches before me

But I am stuck behind a wall

Peering through the bars of a gate

If only I could get the key

Turn the lock and be allowed to run free

I look, I stare but all is bare

As I fumble in the undergrowth

I find what I am looking for

Cold metal on my sweaty palms

But there are more and more

Some copper

Some plastic

Some card shaped

But which is right for me?

The land changes as I move each one close to the gate

It turns to fire, then ice, then sand

All will work, but only one is right

Which I pick could shape my destiny

Keep me flowing through this land

Carving out a channel through the rolling hills

Until the next wall appears and I must choose again

I use the first key I saw

Poke a toe out, the grass feels rough

It is like thorns pressing into my foot

I pull back in pain

Maybe the plastic one will do

I try again but this time I feel water

It is cold, ice cold but does not feel bad

What is that? Swimming there?

Sharp teeth, dark eyes, wide jaws

I retreat again, to the safety of this place

Behind the wall, waiting for the inspiration to come

Waiting for the right choice to be made

I search some more, there are keys

Keys everywhere

Some hang from trees, pretty and ornate

Some are deep in the ground, covered in dirt

Some give an aura of hope

Some tell of despair

And so this will go on and on

Find a key, try the lock

Taste the air and feel the ground

I will keep going

For minutes

For hours

For days

I will find the right path

I will be able to run free

But I cannot think of that now

Now I need to hunt

Now I need to search

Now I need to find my first word

World Cup Dreams competition – no entries

Now the competition to win a print copy of World Cup Dreams: Extra time edition has closed I am sad to say that, whilst I had numerous likes and gained a few followers, I did not get any entries to the competition. I think this is down to one of three reasons, nobody wants the book, my email has blocked the responses or, most likely I think, people could not think of a poem or did not have enough time to write one. To test this theory, I am reopening the competition but with one change, you do not need to submit a poem. That said, if you do submit a poem you will be more likely to win. Same rules as last time, fill in the form below and I will email for an address if you win. If I do get poems I will display them on this blog and link to blogs/Twitter/Facebook (if you want me to that is – tell me if you do not). I will even sign the copies if you want (although that might actually devalue the book!). Good luck!

Nintendo Fan Boy (a new poem)

As an ICT and Computing teacher I come across a lot of students that are gamers. The vast majority are either X-Box or PlayStation lovers and have a bit of a chip on their should when it comes to Nintendo. This seems to stem from the thoughts that Nintendo make kids games and that the graphics are not very good. I try to explain it is about gameplay but they have none of it. This frustrates me, but what frustrates me even more is that if you mention games like Mario Bros., Zelda, Mario Kart and Smash Bros. they think they are great games. Also most used to own a Wii and enjoy playing on it. Now I know that I am not a first person shooter aficionado but I can see the merits of different gaming systems, why are youngsters so close minded? To release my frustrations I have written another bad poem entitled ‘Nintendo Fan Boy‘. You can read it in my collection ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read‘ on wattpad. I hope you enjoy the irony in it.