A Magnificent Lockdown

I almost tread on this fuzzy little chap on the sidewalk, out for a stroll, soaking up the mid-winter sun.

How’s it hanging? he asks.

Oh , you know; not bad.

He looks up. You out of lockdown yet?

Almost, I say, one day to go but we’re allowed to walk. How about you?

I’m about to enter the biggest lockdown of all, he says in a tone half way between excitement and trepidation.

Wow! I say. Really?

Yes, he says, metamorphosis. You heard of it?

Why, yes. It sounds magical.

Up to 14 days, he says. No food. No visitations. Reckon you could handle it?

If I could turn into something light, winged and beautiful, like a butterfly, I’d give it a go.

You humans can’t have everything, you know.

I nod my head sagely.

True, I say, true. Well, anyway, have a good …. metamorphosis, and off he trundles on his way, giving me the thumbs up, a tricky thing for a caterpillar. Such a clever chap.

Spent

Now it is spent and lying limp

and placid at my feet —

a contentment of inky blue

but the other day if you

could have seen it bucking

with energy , flailing its

wild hair and arching its back

[ sea mountains surfers abseiled

down ] you would not have been

surprised to see it thrust

its loins again and again against

the soft white dunes nor after

to see the body of the foreshore

bruised and torn nor its rump

so foam wracked .

pic by Lachlan-Ross on Pexels

Thief: for Terveen

I am a thief

a thief of words.

Watch out for me.

I am never at rest.

My tools

are my ears, my eyes,

my prey

the streets of my city.

I scan for the unwary face,

the frown or smile

that betrays.

I listen into conversations,

arguments.

Priest-like

I elicit confessions.

I watch for

the unguarded sentence,

the revealing phrase.

I am the one with the notebook

opposite you on the bus;

the one with the slightly intent look

at your side.

Watch out for me.

I am the purloiner of language.

I snatch words

and use them as my own.

I am the poet, the novelist,

the thief of words

* from my second book, 1990. Longman Cheshire

Bring Out the Sultanas

Whenever the bowl

is boring, bland, stale , stodgy.

I bring out

the sultanas,

those frisky little pellets

of goodness,

that add

zest and zing

to cereal

that put the sing

in snap, crackle, ‘n’ pop

nifty little metaphors for writing

that needs an uplift

a whiff of lightness.

that needs to find its funny bone.

open up its Id,

roll like a dog

in

the muck and merriment

of language

Their Inner Cannibals

Like many writers I keep a journal, jottings of my jousts

with reality:

jests, jumbled thoughts,jaunty glimpses

of how things are

inside their skins,

a goulash of impressions

my larger poems feast upon

so they won’t be thin;

 not a morsel is left untouched, wasted;

you will find them inserted

 in my posts,

sneaky little apercus that say the most.

the Deckchair Poem

This poem was meant to be a glorious thing,

To really take off, even sprout wings

But somewhere, somehow it took a wrong turn,

The vision got lost, the fuel failed to burn

So I switched phrases furiously, here and there

Sentences too, to give it more zest, flair

But I saw it wasn’t working, I began to panic,

It was like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

A Hard Hat to Follow

You need a hard hat

a hard hat to go in

dismantling the enigma of existence

is a dangerous thing

the ceiling may collapse on you

the walls cave in

punishing your arrogance

the plumbing dislodge spewing

its putrescence over you.

You’ve messed with the masonry.

You need a hard hat

a hard hat to go in

to write poetry





*photo from Pinterest by Kristopher King

Snail *

He is a hobo;

his worldly goods humped

upon his back





He is an athlete;

in the race to be slowest

he excels





He is Hansel

leaving a silvery trail to mark

where he has been





He is a bear

hibernating in the cave

of his shell





He is a tank,

tough, tenacious, passing over

all obstacles





in the kingdom of the small

he looms large.

He is a king!





*after reading Beth’s post ‘Slowing Down’