You are the gin
in gin ‘n’ tonic,
bundy and coke;
the abracadabra that transforms,
the fruity little pellets
zest and zing
that put the sing
in snap, crackle, ‘n’ pop,
feisty little metaphors
that needs to lift its lid
let out its Id
roll like a dog
the muck and merriment
Hosannas to sultanas.
*pic courtesy of pinterest
The Sitting Duck
Every time I sit out the back on my three chairs a bloody poem
comes into my head. The Muse is not silly. She sees me sitting there, happily
drifting off like a Labrador in the winter sun
and says, ‘Aha: there’s a sitting duck’. I don’t know if sitting on fewer
chairs or more would make a difference. I suppose I could experiment.
I could bluff my way into intensity by having a book of heft
say ‘Sabbath’s Theatre’ open in front of me and my glasses resting
professorially on the bridge of my nose, my chin resting on my hand
in faux concentration. Maybe that would work
but She’s not buying it; She nudges up to me, the swish of Her gown
over the carpet of bluebells, the murmur of bees, Gus, the Jack Russel
yelping at ghosts next door, and says, I’ve got one for you
and She whispers a line in my ear, and she sure has, and I leap out
of my three chairs and dash into my study, onto my laptop where I’m
pounding down this poem, the one you’re reading, right now
In Which the Dog Loses His Cool
I’ve got a bone to pick
says the dog to Mrs. Hubbard.
How come when I go
there’s no food in the cupboard?
No meat, no cans, no biscuits.
Why there’s not
even a single bone.
And you have the cheek,
to call this place a home!
It’s not as though you’re
the old woman
who lives downstreet in the shoe.
Look around. You haven’t
any kids to feed.
There’s just me and you!
Whatever can be the cause
outlandish state of affairs?
Why if I was goosey goosey gander
I’d kick you
right down these stairs!
More Lamb than Hedgehog
My mentor told me how to write a poem about slippers. Make it easy, he said. comfortable and cozy, warm, no prickly bits. More lamb than hedgehog.
I had a girlfriend once who forbade me to wear slippers: ‘Next thing I know”, she said, ‘You’ll be wearing a dressing gown, reading cozy murder mysteries and shuffling around the house like an old man.”
My dogs when they were puppies took a violent dislike to slippers, tearing them apart with a vitriolic zeal of which my girlfriend would have approved. For years I walked around the house in loafers until the puppies grew up and out of their habit.
Whenever I hear Bing Crosby sing White Christmas over the PA system in his hush puppy voice I think of slippers. Slippers are like bean bags for the feet.When you slump into them they have the feel of home.
Your poems are standoffish, he says.
You put fences around them to keep
‘Trespassers Prosecuted’ signs to keep
Your poems secure,
Guard dogs patrolling the perimeter
Snarly with menace.
Call off the dogs, he says
Open up your poems.
What are you afraid of?
People got to walk around.
Let the sunshine in.
You’re supposed to listen to your writing coach, right?
Okay, okay, I say
As I take down the tall palings
One by one.
Put up a Welcome sign.
It’s a little scary for me too.
Who’s in Charge Here, Anyway?
My body alarms me.
It rings two or three times a night.
Who’s in charge here anyway?
Poetry flowed from me
Like water from a garden hose.
Days were diamonds.
My feet horses’ hooves.
Nothing defeated me.
I was sharp as Sherlock.
Prolific as Zola.
I had two hounds.
The wheels turn.
Accept, my friend tells me, Embrace.
Loss is gain.
Now is the new normal.
A Dog’s Paw-pose
Each morning when
They set out for
The shih-tzu &
lady he has
on a short leash.
He knows the way
like the back
of his own paw.
The bus shelter at the end of our street grinds its teeth at night.
Sometimes I sit with it, hold its hand, listen to its tale
of drunks and suicides,
of lycanthropes baying at the full moon,
of lonesome Lotharios weeping in their fists
I talk to it too about my problems
Of the jig-saw days when pieces don’t fit
Of the times when your heart races
Like a wildebeest on the veldt
But latches onto nothing.
After a while we both settle
and I head off home
beneath a lopsided moon.