Tag Archive | poetry

A new poem for National Poetry Day 2018

Today is National Poetry Day, and as usual I have created a bad poem. If you want to avoid it and skip straight to the National Poetry Day website then click here. Still with me? OK, good. The topic for this year is change. Often I find it hard to think of a poem based on the topic given, but this year it was quite easy. I will not give you a long, convoluted, explanation of how I came up with the idea, I will let you work out what the poem is about yourself. Oh OK, have a hint in the form of a picture! Right, you can read ‘Change’ below or go to my poetry collection on wattpad, suitably entitled Bad Poetry You probably never want to read

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Change

You see this hard shell

So small in your hand

Nothing but a fleeting

Speck from the corner

Of your eye

Place me deep

Within the earth

Wait and watch

Feed me

Quench my thirst

For the love you give

Will imbue me with energy

Imbue me with life

Now I appear

Peeking over the parapet

A fragile child

Knocked by wind and rain

Beaks pecking away

Claws tunneling around

But I will grow

Little by little

Year by year

I shall be stronger

I shall tower over you

Be seen from miles around

And when you are gone

I will still stand here

I shall be your monument

Shall be your memory

Until I drop, for tiny hands

Another hard shell

Another packet of life

That they may place

Deep within the earth

And let the cycle begin anew

 

Photo: Giani (Pixabay)

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New Poem: An Ode to the Greatest Toy

Being a teacher has its benefits, although I don’t get to see my children much during term time I am with them lots in the holidays. On many a rain or lazy day my five year old son and myself like to play with Lego. This used to be a great experience of creating things and building  new sets together. We now have so many that I have had to organise our bricks by colour in a set of different coloured draws. What has now started happening is that my son wants to rebuild some of the older models we have, most recently a helicopter. In the past we would rifle through pieces and then build together. These days my son is quite the proficient builder and follower of instructions. I, therefore, have been relegated to ‘finder of pieces.’ Now this is not too hard a job and I can build a little whilst doing it. That is until he needs a grey piece, there are SO.MANY.GREY.BRICKS! I just sift and sift through them for hours, slowly loosing my mind!

As you may know I like to write poetry, and am often after inspiration. I’ve been so busy with other projects that I have not been thinking about poems. However, after this Lego experience, one jumped into my brain. For some reason I felt like writing it from the point of view of an Elizabethan dandy. Don’t ask me why, it just felt right. So you can read my frustrations about the toy I love so much in my poem ‘An Ode to the Greatest Toy.’ It is below, or, if you want a few extra clicks (and access to more of my terrible poetry), you can look at it on wattpad in my collection ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read.’

 

An Ode to the Greatest Toy

Oh woe is me

I cannot find the last brick

To make my beloved helicopter

Despite sorting into different colours

All I observe is a sea of grey

A myriad of pieces

Each engineered to perfection

But I don’t want the classic four by two

That I hath screamed in pain

When standing upon

Nor do I want clips or tubes or thin rows of dots

Oh how I used to love that sound

Plastic crashing against each other

As I rifle through my treasure

Now it is only an irritant

When I turned the page

I hoped for any colour

Except this dastardly grey

Blue, yellow, green or red

I seem to possess less of those

Making for a simpler search

Yet I hath stared for many an hour

Removed bits and placed them back

But alas, no joy

Maybe I shall make my own model

It will not be as good

Not such an aerodynamic design

But the system allows me such freedom

To veer from the intended direction

To create anything from deep within

Sometimes you need to fling the book aloft

Sometimes you just need to Lego

New Poem – A Great British Holiday

What’s that? A blog post that is not about ‘Islands of Hope?’ You better believe it! Yes, somehow in my busy schedule I have managed to write a new poem. Actually the only reason I got it down is because I had an idea in my head and was waiting for my son to finish at school. It is in those dead times with nothing else to distract me I can let myself get creative. I have said before that I get to points where I think I want to write a new poem then spend weeks deciding what I want to write about. This poem is one such occasion. I had a few other ideas that were a bit rubbish, then I went away for a week with my family. Just within the UK, nothing as exciting as going abroad. I’m not foolish enough to do that with two children under five!

I had an amazing time, there is so much to do in England and I love living here. The problem is the rain, it rains a lot. In fact it rained almost the whole time we were on holiday. This got me thinking, Britain really is a great place to holiday, there is something for everyone. You just need to brave the weather sometimes and it will all be worth it. So here is my ode to holidaying in Britain. Sorry, no rhyming here, it worked better without. And yeah, I did need the last comic line! Anyhow, enjoy. You can read it in my poetry collection, Bad Poetry You probably never want to read, or take a look below…

 

A Great British Holiday

Rolling hills of lush green grass
Over paths trodden a million times
Throughout the years by many a race
From modern ramblers to Saxon folk
As you pass each stone that juts
From broken earth through creeping weeds
What stories these rocks do tell
What monuments there once was built
Through ancient cities and modern builds
To amusements of every kind
Parks full with exhilarating rides
And animals from every corner of the globe
Petting zoos with rabbit, goat and cow
To giraffe, elephant and exotic bird
Museums and art galleries on every corner
Teaching history, science and appreciation
A plethora of worldwide stars
Grace the stage and tread the boards
Music and drama from across the centuries
From The Beatles to Shakespeare
Mozart to Banksy’s political statements
Sport runs through the veins of the land
Great spectacles with balls and bats
Even the beaches are world-renowned
Not always golden sand but donkeys
Ice cream, sand castles, fish and chips
If your fancy a quieter life
The land is dotted with many a village
Quaint picture perfect postcards
And all the tea and scones you can manage
With parish churches and great cathedrals
Spires reaching like arms to the sky
Religious artifacts and stained glass depictions
There is something for the historian,
The scientist, the ramble
Something for the thrill seeker,
The child, the art lover
Something for the relaxers
The sporty, the religious
All of this on a small island
Shame it keeps hammering it down

New Poem: Polishing a sheep is a so hard job

With editing ‘A Close Shave with Destiny’ and writing my serial novel ‘Islands of Hope,’ I have had very little time to do other writing. I wrote a lot of poetry at the start of last year but have not for a while. Partly due to other projects and partly due to looking for a topic. I have actually wanted to write another for a few months. The other day the opportunity arose! The wife and I we were singing songs to our 1-year-old girl, when we stopped we noticed our 4-year-old, who was playing with some trains, was singing the songs but with different words. The last line of his song was, ‘polishing a sheep is a so hard job.’ We laughed and then an idea for a poem jumped into my head. It is about a farmer who does strange things to animals to get them ready for a show. I was going to write it as ‘ Polishing a sheep is a very hard job’ but felt what my son said, whilst grammatically incorrect, sounded better. I tried rhyming but it felt forced, when I went without I felt I could write it like a conversation, or rather one person talking at another. I think it is best to read in a stereotypical British West Country accent because that is how I wrote it, partly due to the grammar errors in the title. You can read it below or go to my poetry collection ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read’ on wattpad. Oh yeah, if it is not clear, don’t try any of this at home!

 

Polishing a sheep is a so hard job

Polishing a sheep is a so hard job

They runs away when they see you

And you just gets one then they hear

That psst psst spraying and they’re gone

When the polish is on you gots to rub it in

But it mats up all the fur real bad

You gets a comb and pull and pull

Then you can get that real good shine

And it’s all worth the work you puts in

If all gets too much then remember this

They’ve got to be ready for the show

 

Ironing a chicken is a so hard job

They don’t like the heat you see

So yous has to iron from a distance

And that don’t always make them feathers flat

But get in too close and push too hard

Then the feathers burn and go black

Now no-one ever wants that

Especially not the chicken herselves

So though yous got to hold tight

You need to caress her and keep her calm cause

She’s got to be ready for the show

 

Hoovering a cow is a so hard job

You sees they gets lots of crumbs on em’

Not like biscuit or cakes but more likes mud

Now these ones are easier to catch

And if yous skilled you get on their backs

But they has lots a crannies about

The worst bit by far is the udders you see

When yous got that little hose they pop in

Then you pull it off and another is in

When milk comes out the hoover don’t like that but

She’s got to be ready for the show

 

But the hardest job is mopping a duck

You might say, why mop a duck who live in pond?

Well, pond water is the wrong type o’ water

And you can’t put cleaner in them ponds

Or else it makes duck sick you see

So I have to stretch over with mop in hand

But it just slips off his downy feathers

And off he swims, quacking out laughter

Once I fell in and thought why do I bother

But you know why I keep going? Cause

He’s got to be ready for the show

 

And when the show comes

They won’t laugh at what I do

First in show, four times through

And the prize is just a bonus

For the pride I feel in my heart

I polished the sheep

I ironed the chicken

I hoovered the cow

And I mopped the duck

All so they were ready for the show

Now, where’s that goat? He ain’t gonna descale himself

National Poetry Day 2017

It’s here and this time I saw it coming! I often miss National Poetry Day as I am working and focusing on other projects. This year I have planned a poetry competition at the school I teach in so I thought I better actually write a poem myself as well. This year’s theme is freedom. I found it hard to come up with an idea that did not sound a little generic or follow the obvious tropes of freedom such as flying high or having the shackles taken off. One day the idea of doing an acrostic poem popped into my head but, again, using the word freedom felt a little too obvious. I settled on the idea of doing a poem on how having a smart phone makes us feel free but we are really a slave to technology. I hope it is as clever as I planned. So here it is, a poem entitled ‘Freedom.’ Oh yeah, you can also read it in my poetry collection, ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read,’ as well.

 

Freedom

Searching through all the information at my fingertips

Like a human encyclopedia, nothing a surprise any more

Apps to connect, apps to play, apps to teach, I can do it all

Virtual worlds becoming my school and my playground

Enlightened by knowledge, I stare at this device, consuming all its power

Parenting (or I love you but please leave me alone for five minutes)

Two poems in one month! Well it is National Poetry Month. Whilst I planned to write ‘The Tale of the Vitae Plant‘ this one I did not, it sort of just popped into my head. As a teacher I have had a few weeks off with my Wife and kids. Whilst I love the time we spend together, having children can be draining. This poem came to me as a lot of different rhyming couplets and then I popped them all together. There was actually very little thought involved. It is kind of a snapshot of my life as a Dad. I hope it resonates with other parents and they do not feel so alone in their struggles. As usual you can read it below or go to wattpad and my collection ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read.‘ Enjoy….

Parenting (or I love you but please leave me alone for five minutes)

I know that you are my life
But sometimes you just cause me strife
Your questions really get me down
Why is the sky blue and the earth brown?
You are the apple of my eye
So why is it you must defy?
All the rules that I set
And no we are not there yet
The washing machine is going again
I think we’re on load number ten
I’m sure you’ve got more clothes than me
Your t-shirts number fifty-three
I thought I’d washed them all by now
But the laundry basket’s full somehow
How much TV do you want to view?
When I turn it off you look so blue
I have the theme tunes in my head
They go round and round when I’m in bed
Let’s go outside and play with sticks
Now put that down and stop those tricks
Just leave your sister alone
Hang on how did she get my phone?
Oh I see she started it
You both sap my energy bit by bit
I read this book the night before
It really is starting to bore
I read The Gruffalo a million times
Now I can remember all the lines
I keep reciting it in my head
If it’s not your music it’s that instead
To get you dressed takes a whole day
You just roll over and crawl away
We started getting ready at half past eight
It’s gone eleven and now we’re late
Why are you tantruming today?
Because in the cat litter I won’t let you play
Or eat that dirt off the floor
Or we have to leave we can’t play more
I remember when I had a book
In every cranny and in every nook
When I could read or watch TV
When I used to really be free
Now there is no space in this home
Because all your stuff is thrown
Across the floor and piled on the shelf
If I sold it all I’d have some wealth
Some you haven’t touched for a year
If I had my way it would be out on its ear
I was just going to throw that away
But with it you have started to play
How many toys do you really need?
You have horses in every colour and creed
Batman, Spider-Man, Thomas and Friends
This glut of stuff never ends
Then your relatives come around
And now there’s even more abound
Your Mum and me, we used to speak
Now we just nod when we greet
We look into each other’s eye
And wonder how we will survive
The romance really is quite dead
How do we get through so much bread?
Did you actually hear that rumbling?
It sounds as if your bottom’s grumbling
I am pretty sure we shouldn’t yet
Have farts louder than a jumbo jet
And when I try to have a wee
You suddenly appear just behind me
Can I have some space, however brief?
To do a poo or brush my teeth
I’ve got a cold I think I’ll drop
But you don’t care you just won’t stop
You just keep saying look at this
To jump a bit gives you so much bliss
I just want to have a rest
But my patience you must test
My shoulders are starting to ache
Just get off I need a break
I don’t really want to be a train
A boat, a horse or a climbing frame
How much snot can you produce?
We really must learn to reduce
The amount of tissues we are using
If only you would stop refusing
To let me wipe your button nose
It really just adds to my woes
I’m sure that fish cake was just mine
It really did look divine
Now it’s in your mouth of course
You’re eating it without remorse
You liked spaghetti the other day
We don’t eat shepherd’s pie that way
Oh look it’s now all down your top
This messiness has to stop
Can you sit on your chair properly?
You’ll hurt yourself and then it’s me
That has cuddle and comfort you
Oh you’re grumpy because you need a poo
Just get down, to the toilet run
Your tea will be here when you’re done
It took you ten minutes to get there
Now you’ve done it in your underwear!
I know when you don’t want more
Because you throw it on the floor
I’m just glad that we’ve got a pet
That’ll hoover up if I forget
And when I get five minutes free
I go and collect cold cups of tea
They seem to be dotted all around
In places they should not be found
In the bathroom, by the toaster
There’s even one behind the sofa
When you finally go to sleep
I tell myself I’ll have a treat
Because the days been a rollercoaster
I’ll just fall asleep on the sofa
It’s time to sleep not bounce on bed
But, “I love you,” you just said
Now I really want to cry
Your so sweet and you do really try
To be good and nice and wonderful
On my heartstrings you can pull
A cuddle, kiss and then goodnight
To lose you would give me a fright
I do this again every day
Because I love you more than I can say

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