Elephants

I don’t want to watch the elephants being killed

nor stare at Jason Statham’s bloodied bare knuckles on the side of the passing bus

nor listen to the bickering of the lampposts at night

the snarling of stars as their lights flash on/off like strobes

and my brain’s flickering: I’m woozy as a drink after last drunks

I’ve had it up to here, said the ventriloquist in my pocket

and why did the dish run away with the spoon, anyway?

I’m at a loss for words, says the eviscerated dictionary

and I’m at a loss for what to say next

except after the meltdowns on Mother’s Day

I don’t want to watch the elephants being killed

or see the promo of ‘The Wrath of Man’ with Jason Statham’s bloodied bare knuckles on the side of the bus

Where Celebrities Grew Up

Reading an article by David Remnick,

editor of ‘The New Yorker’

since 1998

I discovered

he was born in Paterson, New Jersey

the same place as Philip Roth,

the novelist whose biography Remnick was profiling,

as was Ginsberg,

the man who wrote “Howl’

that poem that still echoes down the decades.

the same place too

as William Carlos Williams,

the man who wrote ‘the red wheelbarrow’

and wait for it,

Lou Costello,

the comedic partner of Bud Abbot

whose films split our sides

in the fun house of the fifties;

what do they have in the water of Paterson, New Jersey,

that so many famous people

grew up there;

it must be quite a place

Uncle Bert

I remember Uncle Bert.

He had had a stroke.

His mouth was always open

Though he never spoke.





He sat on his armchair

Alongside Aunty Pat

Who did the speaking for him.

She was good at that.





He once looked a film star

A Gable or a Flynn.

He was a dashing rake,

Tall, handsome, thin.





But now he is all empty.

He follows Aunty Pat

Obedient as a dog

Or a Welcome mat.

Forget Eric and Ernie

Forget Eric and Ernie

Disregard Bing and Bob

There’s a new comedy duo

and they’re doing a great job





They’re funnier than Stan & Ollie

and even Bud & Lou

They’re Hobbo and his dog, Dauphy

wisdom with laughter too





Hobbo’s a retired bus driver

Dauphy a French lab

together they write droll poetry

and have a good chin wag





So do yourself a favour

as Adam Ant would say

and drop by their website

to see what they’re up to today

google 'Hobbo's poems'

Your Face, My Friend, is a Poem

Jojo Al-waealy

Your face, my friend, is a poem.

An ode to youth,

masculinity,

not the toxic kind

but the Howard Keel kind

of Seven Brides & Seven Brothers

cocky, confident, wholesome.

I bet you have a brawny baritone too,

can hold a song

in any amateur musical;

I bet there’s a bit of the buffoon about you

as well

that swaggery moustache

that raucous smile;

it’s not a bad dial

to go through life with

  • the poetry is pretty good too. Visit JOJO by googling JOJO AL-WAEALY and his blog comes up

Looking for Silver Linings

220px-Capa_do_livro_Pollyanna_Grows_Up

Ever since the Corona virus took hold,

I’ve been trying to write this poem about silver linings,

about looking for them in the darkest of days,

and I know there’s a name for this condition,

for someone who’s insistently optimistic: Pollyanna —

& I think of Haley Mills who played the part

in her film debut for Disney, only she was thirteen,

female and wore pigtails, while I’m a senior,

white male and insistently balding; but Optimism,

like Corona, does not recognize age, ethnicity or gender;

we’re all in this together and can find silver linings

in the darkest of storm clouds

 

  • what silver linings have you found during the past few weeks?
  • is there cause for optimism?

A Move towards Empathy

big ballet

 

 

“You’re like Lee Chandler,” she said.

“Who?”

“Lee Chandler, the guy Casey Affleck plays in ‘Manchester by the Sea.’”

 

Jackson liked that film but he did not like Lee Chandler, the way he closed himself off from people.

 

“That saddens me.”

“That you’re like Lee Chandler or that I mentioned it?”

“Both.”

“The reason I brought it up is that I asked you if you’d like to see Anne perform and you said you’d give it a miss though I made it clear I’d like you to go.”

“I know. I’ve thought it over and would like to go see her perform.”

“Because you want to or because you’re afraid of being compared to Lee Chandler?”

“Both.”

 

It was a little late, Jackson admitted. It would have been better if he’d said so straight off but at least it was a move towards empathy. She would have to give him that.