Sunday 29 May 2011

Another sexual health poem.

“I just want you to tell me how it works,
A woman’s tuppy. You know what I mean
What’s in there, and how does she keep it clean?
What hidden danger in the hoo-hah lurks?

I’ve always wondered, and I’ll never know
Because I’m pretty certain that I’m gay.
And you’re a married lesbian, so hey!
You’ll know about a lady’s down-below

How can it stretch to let a baby out?
Why is it only some of them are hairy?
And are they all the same, or do they vary?
I don’t want to be left in any doubt.”

From this young scholar all of us should take
Our cue: Seek knowledge for its own sweet sake.

Tuesday 17 May 2011

A Sonnet

Just a change of pace from all the sestinas...
Based on an anecdote I heard from a sexual health outreach worker.

The lad comes in. He’s got a worried frown.
“This girl: I’ve not been with her all that long
I know what breasts should look like, hers are wrong.
They go all floppy when she’s lying down!

She says I’m being daft. And now she’s got
The face on. Thinks she dun’t give me the horn.
She’s fitter than the girls I watch in porn
But if their boobs are normal, hers are not.”

I’m trying not to laugh. I reassure
Him that his girlfriend’s absolutely fine
And that perhaps this panic is a sign
That he needs to get out a little more.

And though those porno girls are really foxy
They shouldn’t cause low self esteem by proxy!

Tuesday 10 May 2011

My (least) Favourite Words

Old one, this. I'm sure I've put this out there before, but I can't find it. So in response to a twitter question about favourite words from Oliver (@inkwrite), voila!

3: Verbal Abuse
I’m what is often called a Linguaphile
Delicious words - like that one - make me smile
Their schwas and plosives music to my ears
Their haunting diphthongs moving me to tears
Festoon, Contagion, Trenchant, Stalagmite
The meaning’s meaningless. They just sound… right
But there are also words that I abhor
Incentivise, Hydrangea, Slate, Galore.

My hatred is irrational, unjust
So overcome my bigotry I must!
It’s never pleasant to discriminate
I’ll try to curb and overcome my hate.

But there’s no help for such a hopeless case
If only it were gender, age, or race
Oh, find a self-help group for me to join
And help me learn to love Abode and Groin!

Alas, it’s far too late for me to change
I can’t accept Indebted, Awkward, Mange,
So now I say it, loud and with impunity:
My poetry’s not equal opportunity.

Friday 8 April 2011

Strange DreamPoem

I dreamt this, some of it word for word. I'm quite odd.

A trip to the zoo?
What a treat!
How 'bout you?
You can come too – stay all day.
The sun's shining,
We walk on the grey
Gravelled paths and we Keep Off The Grass
Where, last time, we heard mallards laughing.
But today there's a pall,
A bad taste in my mouth.
Bitter air going into my lungs
And the animals' eyes
Are all following me,
Open wide and alarmed
As I pass by their cages.
It's changed.
There are fear and betrayal
That weren't here before
In those eyes.
And there's fewer here now than there were:
Many cages are empty.
The zookeepers, why are they smiling?
Greasy faces, complacent, replete,
They are grinning and licking their lips
As the animals cringe.

The keepers are eating the beasts.
Every day they take more,
Cook them up
And then feast.
Rare creatures are going extinct
Served up rare with fine wine.
The marmosets have been reduced, clarified to their essence
and drizzled on fried polar bear.
But it takes such a lot of the things
To make so little juice, such a waste.
But the flavour's incomparable,
say the zookeepers, licking their lips.

Wednesday 30 March 2011

New Home

My sestinas have a home of their own!

Please visit them at my new blog
to see my latest efforts.



Tuesday 29 March 2011

Sestina Day Sixteen: Flying

A whimsical one, inspired by the title of Adele Geraghty's collection of poems 'Skywriting in the Minor Key: Words, Women, Wings.'
Sheffielders: Adele will be our featured poet at Speak Easy, the spoken word open mic night at A-Pod, The Hubs, Sheffield. It's tonight! (29/03/11) Free entry, starts 7:30. Come on down!
Plug over.

A little girl looks at the Sky
Through the high classroom window. She's writing
An essay. Except all these minor
Distractions are blocking the words.
She is dreaming of glamourous women
Who fly down and fit her with wings

And she floats on her butterfly wings
Through the window and into the sky
And she's one of the magical women
Who thrill the whole world with their writing
And suddenly all of the words
Tumble out of her mouth in a minor

Key. Now she is singing, B minor
A dirge for a beetle whose wings
Were pulled off, and her heartrending words
Buzz and flutter up into the sky
She is laughing and singing and writing
Her dad always told her that women

Were just, after all, bloody women
And could only be trusted with minor
Tasks: cooking, and cleaning. Not writing.
Never mind spreading her wings:
If she kept gawping up at the sky
Then no man would want her, mark his words.

As she soars, she remembers his words
And she falters, descends, but the women
All hoist her up into the sky
And she smiles, disregards him. a minor
Impediment. Glides on her wings
She is laughing and singing and writing

She's back, and she cannot stop writing
Her paper is crowded with words
About cruelty and beetles and wings
And beautiful, bright, flying women.
The essay was 'being a miner'
But she wants to aim for the sky

The girl found her wings, and kept writing.
Joined the women who reach for the sky
Saw her words become major, not minor.

Sunday 27 March 2011

Sestina Day 15: Dear Japanese Power Companies

I feel awful about Japan. So sad, so worried for all those people. But also I feel unadulterated rage at those who thought nuclear power plants with dodgy safety records were a good idea at all, let alone on fault lines.

The sestina thing seems to have me swinging between goth and ranty zealot. Guess which today's is...

I have some basic groundrules for survival:
Don't wrap yourself in tinfoil on a mountain
During a thunderstorm. Do not drop acid
While you have access to a 10th floor window
Avoid spoiled food, but really, most important
Don't build nuclear power plants on faultlines

Don't build nuclear power plants on faultlines
If you care anything about survival.
I cannot stress enough just how important
This rule is. I will shout it from the mountain
Tops. I'll scream it from the window
It's burned into my brain as if with acid.

And radiation burns you worse than acid.
Don't build nuclear power plants on faultlines
You wouldn't throw a bomb through your own window.
Why would you sabotage your own survival?
It's like throwing your body from a mountain
Except considerably more important.

Because while you are not all that important
By which I am not trying to be acid:
It's really true! It's not you up that mountain
(Don't build nuclear power plants on faultlines.)
It's everyone. It's everyone's survival.
That you're proposing throwing out the window.

I realise I've kind of missed my window.
For warning you, but really, it's important.
I hope it's not too late for our survival.
But really are you idiots on acid?
Don't build nuclear power plants on faultlines!
I'm going to be a hermit on a mountain

I won't be too much safer up a mountain
As I look fearfully out of the window
“Don't build nuclear power plants on faultlines”
I'll shout, please listen. This is so important.
“I know I look like I took too much acid.
But listen, or you've no hope of survival.”

I see the faultlines clear as any mountain.
I guess survival isn't that important.
Open that window. Let me take this acid.