I remember the poem Beth wrote
about the 31 cents
from Hillman Bailey 111’s open desk
in primary school
and how she made up for it
over half a lifetime later
by leaving change —31c — at the checkout
for the next person to have who might have had a child
who wanted candy
and I thought , yes!!!
that is what I will do with the $250
a children’s literary magzine owes me
for the reprint of four poems
from the early 2000’s.
i can’t be bothered filling out all the forms
so I told them to donate it to a charity
so it goes back into the universe
where my poems came from anyway
My mind is a scold.
It calls me sloth,
a lassitudinous layabout.
Is that even a word, I say?
Get off the couch, it says. It’s early afternoon
Attend to your blog.
Your Yorkshire mate puts up three posts
to your one.
Write that poem about airing the sheets.
How they purr like cats as they are stroked
by the sun.
Re-read that article :
‘Should Leopards Be Paid For Their Spots’.
Phone your daughters.
Go see your sister.
Give people their worth.
Go to gym.
Release your inner Thor.
Okay, okay, I grumble
but, in truth, I’m happier
and have loads more energy
when I’m buzzing around
like a gingery bee.
How does that work?
It is the birthing time of morning
when the hocus-pocus starts:
the cackling of the kookaburras
over the latest joke,
the sardonic salut of the crows
from the peppercorn tree,
the slap of ‘The Sunday Mail’
on the driveway,
and that text from next door:
‘Hey! You awake? Like to come and visit?
Be my Sunday Male’ 🙂
That man looks like you, she says, as we pull up near a block of shops.
So he does, I say, having a good squiz.
Only he’s got more hair, she smiles, and less of a paunch.
Go easy, I say.
And look he’s going into the same shop you plan to go into.
Saves me going in, I chuckle. Hope he buys what I want to buy.
Only a minute passes and he comes out carrying a shopping bag.
Let’s see where he lives, she says. Could be fun.
So we follow his car down Pridham and Plymouth past the long Covid Testing queues.
Hello, I say, he’s pulled up outside your place. And he’s marching to the front door. Like he owns the place.
Saves you coming in, she says.
So I let her out and drive away in my little blue Subaru, scratching my cerebrals.
Do you recognize this picture? Do you know what book it;s from?
This guy loved this book as a kid and now loves it again as a dad reading it to his kids.
He loved it so much he decorated his van with illustrations from this classic.
A sign company at Aldinga did it for cost. His van is a mobile advert for the company.
If you had the money and desire what picture book would you illustrate your vehicle with?
This song comes on the radio.
It’s one I know but they’ve done something to it
it’s softer, whiter, drained of passion and angst, its southern origins.
It’s a cover of Lodi, the Creedence song.
They’re singing the lyrics but they’re not singing the song.
The chunky guitars are gone and it has a clarinet and acoustic guitar backing..
There are good covers.
Think Ry Cooder’s cover of Elvis’s ‘Little Sister’,
the Soup Dragons cover of the Stones’ ‘I’m Free’
Amy Winehouse’s cover of the Zutons ‘Valerie’
but this cover’s a travesty.
Look what they’ve done to my song, mama.
Why would anyone bother?
This guy’s stuck in Lodi. He’s desperate but he’s given up.
He’s drained. It’s like the Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’,
Billy Joel’s Piano Man but you wouldn’t know it
hearing this pallid, weasel kneed version.
I know I shouldn’t get worked up. Hey, it’s only a song
but I’ve loved songs all my life; it’s my passion, more than poetry
but Hey! a good song is poetry
so I’m playing Creedence’s ‘Lodi’ to get me out of this funk.
*what are some of your favourite covers?
pic courtesy of Pinterest
No wonder there are so many love songs.
There are so many ways of getting love wrong.
Most celebrate one or more of these.
There’s more mileage in them than in ecstasy,
a much rarer state to which we all aspire,
happy to burn in love’s all cancelling fire ,
shortcomings forgotten, emotions turbo-charged,
our lives in an instant totally enlarged.
These songs are the apex of creativity
even as they approach ineffability.
*what are some of your favourite love songs?
You & me, we bifurcate
you come early, I come late.
You like trains, I like buses.
I don’t know what the fuss is.
You my tunnel, I’m your train.
We have each other on the brain.
You like reds, I like whites
you my afternoon delight.
pic courtesy of Pinterest