Category Archives: Poetry

My Flash Poetry entry for this week

Had to be about a journey and had to have a reference to an animal!!!

 

Road Trip

So, we climbed aboard the greyhound
No, not a dog a bus.
There was me and Sid and Erik
And mother made a fuss
We were off to tour America
The adventure of our lives
Before we settled down to jobs
And mortgages, and wives.

We settled in the dusty seats
and Erik rolled a joint.
I would have called for caution
But I didn’t see the point.
The driver caught the whiff of weed
And started in to cough
And after just a hundred yards
He made us all get off.

We trudged along the asphalt
Carrying our bags.
We looked just like some gypsies
Or a trio of old lags.
We heard a car approaching
And I stuck out my thumb,
But driving up behind us
Was Sid and Erik’s mum.

She’d seen on Skype and Facebook
And Instagram as well,
The trip being aborted,
And God she gave us hell.
It wasn’t just the smoking
That caused conniption fits
It was more that it went viral
With a hundred thousand hits.

So, Erik’s waiting tables,
And Sid’s just washing cars,
And me I’m stacking shelving
With cartons, tins and jars.
We have to work all summer
Without a weekend off
And all because a driver
Had a bloody cough.

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A Melancholy Moment

Just a melancholy moment, from a drowning, saddened eye

When my gaze was pulling seaward and my heart gave me a sigh

On a dim and misty evening, just before the close of day

A memory of my loving with a man who couldn’t stay.

And I saw him in the sea mist, on the strand below the dune

His being just a memory here and gone too soon

I remembered how he held me, how his body fit to mine

How we loved beneath the sea grass, our passion, true and fine.

Before old Neptune took him, took him to his breast

Deep into the greenness to find his endless rest.

I saw him in the magic of the soft descending night

But I knew it for a spectre and I turned away in fright

I have come again at sunset, at the rising of the moon

But my love is lost forever for I turned away too soon.

(c) D M Dickson 2017

 

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The Huddle

A silly poem about Penguins. I wrote this for a little competition that we have each week. I thought I’d share it.

huddle

We’re standing in a huddle, we’re circling toe to toe

We make a ring of cuddle, until it’s time to go.

With backs against the wind chill, heads lowered ‘gainst the storm

It’s how we share the burden and keep the egglets warm.

These springtime nights are endless, the stars are frosted ice

But still we hold our vigil, because it’s worth the price.

And when our shift is ended and the eggs give up their prize

That’s when we turn to seaward, that’s where salvation lies

The trek back to the ocean is sealed within our hearts

For we know of nature’s magic, it’s where the circle starts.

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Flash Poetry – Last week.

The challenge was to write a poem with the rhyming pattern abba

it had to include any of the following lines

From ‘The Collected Poems of R. S. Thomas –

“Scarcely a street, too few houses.”

and

“I am the farmer, stripped of love.”

then from poet Don Patterson’s ‘Nil Nil.’ –

‘She was two months late.’

and

‘the stars would be squandered on us.’

 

So – this was my entry and the lovely people found it be the winner. Thank you Flash Poetry people.

She was two months late

She was two months late when she came to the castle
Down at the end of the oak bound lane
She told him she was a girl in trouble
And he was the cause of her fear and pain

She begged that he take her and make her honest
A ring on her finger, a home of her own
He said I’m not free to talk of marriage
I’ve a wife right here and a family grown

He gave her a shilling, twas all he would offer
And turned her away with tears of dread
There’s no future here with me my lover
The stars would be squandered on us he said.

She walked all alone to the homeless shelter
Down near the river where no grass grows
Where there’s scarcely a street, too few houses
In dark hidden alleys where no-one goes.

And she knocked on the door and called through the window
Will no-one find me a meal and a bed
All I need is a bowl of gruel
And a safe warm place to lay my head

But the night was cold and charity colder
There in the street in the driving rain
And she thought of the man and the ill he brought her
And vowed it would never be so again

So she raised herself up and she bore a daughter
She taught her to read, to cook and to sew
And then she taught her to fight and to conquer
And other things a warrior should know

And they fought and strove and claimed their fortune
Won their lives and the victor’s crown
And then at last they came to the valley
To the illborn man that had let her down

And he was old and bent and withered
His sight was dim he had aged too soon
And she turned from his gate with a cry of derision
On a wild white stallion, pale as the moon

And now as the clouds scud over the mountains
The cry of the owl freezes blood in men’s veins
And the girl on the stallion and her daughter
Ride the world breaking women’s chains.

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Shakespeare and me

We were having a bit of fun recently writing poetry about Shakespeare’s characters. He would probably have bitten his thumb at us but not to worry – me and Will’s – bessies.

 

From The Scottish Play 

I’m peering at me Satnav

Glaring at me maps

I’ve asked the owls’ opinion

But they just scratched their caps

Last time I came up this way

Brinam wood was there

Just beyond the cow shed

Near the foxes lair

Now it’s gone down yonder

It’s driving me insane

The bloody trees and bushes

Have gone to Dunsinane

###

The Merchant of ?Venice???

Would you prefer some liver

Perhaps a bit of tripe

Could I press you to a sausage

The lovely spicy type

I’ll pop down to the chippy

Buy a bit of fish

Some pies, a quiche, a pasty

Anything but “this”

You don’t want lumps of human

Sitting on your plate

It’s tough and bland and stringy

With a flavour that you’d hate.

Or hang on just a minute

Look at what I’ve found

Down here in my pocket

A coupla thousand pound.

So, I’ll pay off all my owings

Clear my debt to you

Then let’s go and get bladdered

Can you do that as a Jew.

###

and the final insult to our dear dead friend

###

The Gravedigger from Hamlet

Diggin’ em up, when I’d planted em in

It’s a sin I can tells ya a blitherin sin

That Hamlet come traispin’, draggin a sigh

Rootin’ and ferklin, passin’ me by

Then as he sees it, grabbin’ it up

Bloodless old bone, nobbut but a brain cup

Then as I stands ‘ere, taking my ease

Restin’ my buttocks, easin’ my knees

‘E only starts rantin’, wailin’ with woe

How as ‘e knew ‘im, that Yorick you know

How as he loved ‘im, minded ‘im well

Laughed and guffawed at the jokes that he’d tell

How as he missed ‘im, missed ‘avin ‘im round

‘ow as it’s rotten, ‘im planted in ‘t’ ground

No sooner ‘e’s finished bemoaning that fate

Than ‘e starts on that new grave ower by ‘t’gate

The one I’ve been diggin’, in that hallowed ground

The one for that lass, the one they say drowned

They say it’s not right, that her death was a sin

I know nowt about that, I just slips em in

But princes and paupers and dead girls aside

It’s a rotten old world when there’s so much to ‘ide.

 

sorry Mr Shakespeare sir.

 

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Age

I feel the rain, it’s gentle on my skin,

I hear the world, I hear the din.

I feel the breeze it cools my brow

I know where I am going now.

Don’t pity me because I’m old

Don’t cry because I’m blind

Let’s walk together in the rain

And see what joy we find.

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The queen of heaven

Tidying up my computer and I came across this which was one of my favourite poems of the year.

It was a challenge to write a poem in a set format and in response to a featured image which was a sunken house overwhelmed with sea birds.  Anyway I re-read it and thought I’d like to share it again.

Continue reading

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The Glorious Dead

The Glorious Dead

The poppies bloomed in Flanders fields that day

As blood red mud besmirched the sullen ground.

Now all too late to hope or wish or pray

cacophony of death the only sound.

And so to find our friends and brothers each

We left the dreadful hole in which we slept

From trench to pit to wire and then to breach

To serve the solemn oath that must be kept.

Our hands made slick on gore and gut and spew

Our ears turned deaf to desperation’s cries

We fought to save the men that once we knew

Or at the last to close their dying eyes.

And when the silvered moon rose overhead

It didn’t seem so glorious to be dead.

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I liked this

I know I am risking over exposure of this piece because I have already put it on Facebook, but you know sometimes you struggle to write anything at all and then other times the stuff falls out of your fingers in a flurry.  Well this is one of those.  I started with a pencil and notebook and so it’s like a real poem with crossings out and corrections.  Anyway, I don’t like most of my stuff and then every now and again I read something I wrote and I smile.  This made me smile

The Queen of Heaven’s Child

Tis said the Queen of heaven’s child
Was taken by a tempest wild.
In grief her eyes cried endless tears
Which fell on earth for countless years.
And so the ocean deep and wide
Swept the globe from side to side.
And under water fathoms deep
The land of all the world did sleep,
‘cept on a mountain ten miles high
A house whose chimneys touched the sky.
And there below the moulding eaves,
Resting on a bed of leaves,
The missing babe did slumber on,
Till all the life on earth was gone.
All save the wandering Albatross,
Who flew where heaving waters toss.
And when they found the missing child,
And saved him from the waters riled,
They flew on wings of grey and white,
Up into the heavenly height,
And gave the weeping queen her son,
And told her what her tears had done.
And so she bade the Albatross
To fly the oceans right across,
And beat their wings to dry the seas
From tropic sand to polar freeze.
And they must take no time to rest,
Nor make a home, nor build a nest.
So on and on and on they fly
And not until the seas are dry
And all the land is found once more
Can they rest upon the shore.
But what, you ask is their reward
For taking babies heavenward
Well, they have no need for gold
And freedom can’t be bought or sold
And so the wind, the day and night
The moon upon their wings in flight
A curious beak and flappy feet
and all the fish that they can eat.

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Villanelle – Blimey that was hard.

so the Flash poetry thread I am currently enjoying gives us a challenge each week.  Hence the Sonnet a while ago.   This week the challenge was to write a Villanelle.  

I had never heard of one.  Sorry Stephen I know it’ll be in your book The Ode less Travelled but I haven’t got to it yet.  The form is very very specific.

 

 

This is the instruction we were given.

Five stanzas of three lines
One stanza of four lines.

The first stanza sets up the refrain – with a non rhyming line between.

This refrain is repeated – as the last line of stanza two 

And as the last line of stanza three so they skip to the bottom of the following stanzas in turn and then in the final stanza of four lines, they make up the last two lines.  The middle lines of each verse rhyme with each other. 

If you have read that you see my problem – in fairness to lovely Cariad who runs the thread she gave us an example. 

I love poetry.  I love my computer.  I almost ended up throwing the thing out of the window. I just couldn’t get it, it made no sense to me at all.  And yet, it had to be possible and the work that people were posting was lovely but I just couldn’t do it. 

Suddenly, it clicked into place.  It’s like everything else, once I had it I couldn’t see why I had been so dumb.  

Anyway.  This is the result.  I was quite proud of it to be honest. 

Flight

The geese are leaving in the evening light
I want to hold them and not have it so
Beat on beat on into the endless night

My life goes with them as they take to flight
Skeins and ribbons in the fading glow
The geese are leaving in the evening light

The stars are glimmering like diamonds bright
The moon will soon put on its magic show
Beat on beat on into the endless night

I watch them now until they’re out of sight
My eyes are streaming as I see them go
The geese are leaving in the evening light

I won’t be here to greet the new spring flight
I feel my heart now as it starts to slow
Beat on beat on into the endless night

I watched them soaring in the shadowed height
I feel the life force cease its vibrant flow
The geese are leaving in the evening light
Beat on beat on into the endless night

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