Whoop

Sometimes when I’m driving along

the window down, wind winnowing my hair,

the sun giving me the thumbs up,

I break out in spontaneous whoops of joy.

No, I don’t have Tourette’s.

I haven’t won the Lottery.

I’m just laughing zebra happy,

turning cartwheels happy,

walking on my hands happy.

It’s infectious. I whoop some more.

You wouldn’t want to be a passenger.

Neanderthal

Neanderthal.

You know how you get scrambled eggs, right ?

Well I had scrambled dreams.

I forgot my meds. That was the trouble.

All my dreams were Neanderthal.

Batty, belly up, R Rated.

My Id running amuck.

Skeletons spilling out of the closet.

Onto the sidewalk.

Under the lamp-post

where passersby could gawk.

It was one of those nights.

Overgrown

Overgrown

Sometimes my poems are cluttered with adverbs and adjectives,

subjunctive clauses, desultory detours like this front yard is overgrown

with weeds. When my poems gets like this. when you can’t see the structure,

it is time to bring out the whipper snipper. Time for a trim.

Peek

Peek

The last thing I do at night

before hitting the sack

is taking a peek,

and the first thing I do in the morning

after getting up

is to sneak another peek.;

the laptop is left on

so I can see at a glance

how many comments I’ve collected

since I last looked;

sometimes I go away with a full tummy,

other times I leave anxious,

afraid I failed to hit the mark,

the old lead balloon syndrome.

I know it’s unhealthy,

it’s not all about numbers

but it’s the performer in me—

you like to hear the applause,

& read the critics in the morning

  • pic courtesy of pinterest

Albatross

Albatross

You could have knocked me over with an albatross

when I heard that four off-kilter waltzes I was listening to

were by Samuel Coleridge Taylor. Hang on, I thought,

my favourite Romantic poet [ sorry Wordsworth] whom

I studied at Uni, who wrote one of the great lyric narratives

of all time, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ was also

a classical composer? How did this just become known?

Did he moonlight as a musician, did he snuggle up

to the great composers of his time? But then the announcer,

as if reading my mind, clarified that the composer was

Samual Coleridge Taylor whom his mother named after

the great poet. After I calmed my farm, I settled back

and listened to more of Samuel C.

Death on the Double Decker

We were coming home from the pictures, dad and I —

we had seen one of the great ones: Gary Cooper in ‘High Noon’,

when an announcement came over the bus radio,

that the King had died. Everyone fell silent then as the announcer

proceeded with the details. I never knew the king — I was only a kid —

but later he meant much to me. I wear a silver ring now with his image

on the head for he was a stutterer too. But he overcame it.

Whenever I spoke in public and felt nerves coming on I looked at the face

Of King George VI

Shell

Shell

Listen to the sea , my granddad said

as we stood on the soft white sand .

And he clamped the shell to my ear

like a mobile phone . Listen , he said ,

listen . And we grew silent . It was

at first like listening to a garbled

conversation or the radio between

stations but then it settled — and I could

hear inside this shell which wound back

inside itself like a spiral staircase

the whoosh and wash of a distant sea —

for this one was silent —- and for a moment

it was as if I were an astronomer

listening in through his radio telescope

to the hum of the universe