Good Evening, and welcome to this week’s Friday Poem.

This week’s offering is again in the new style I have been experimenting with. The flow and rhythm are more structured that most of my regular poems, but I am trying to develop my style and find out what I like the best, and also what works well. You can’t develop without trying new things, so it’s all good.

As always, the thoughts of the people who read my poems is valued by myself, so if you have an opinion on what I write, please do let me know – either by commenting, or by contacting me via email at wisforduck@outlook.com.

 

 

PURSUIT

He falls: as one, all of his limbs are splayed.

A snap like bones, as twigs beneath him crush.

If fate allowed him, here he might have stayed

The consequence of capture makes him rush.

 

He dares not look – but they are closer now;

The sound of men and dogs tears through the dark.

He knows he must escape them – but not how:

A wounded fish, he must evade the sharks.

 

With every step, fatigue commands him stop;

It is sheer will that now must drive him on.

He knows he will not rise if he should drop,

So onward he must go ’til night is gone.

 

His mental dialogue now has slowed his speed.

Shouting; and then a bullet whistles past.

No more these thoughts: His freedom they impede,

His next mistake – could well become his last.

 

His hopes are slim; the woods themselves his foe

As roots and leaves reach out to snare his feet.

Slim hopes or not, onwards he must still go

To give up now, would be to call defeat.

 

The black of night is slowly changing hue;

A sign the dawn is not too far away.

The sky above will all too soon be blue:

No hiding place for him by light of day.

 

More shouts and shots – he is now clearly seen.

With hunters closing in, is it too late?

The forest ends: Before him, the ravine.

From threads of stark choice now, he hangs his fate.

 

He must decide; to hesitate means death

But death he risks if he decides to jump.

In desperate rasps, he struggles for his breath

His heartbeat now becomes a roaring thump.

 

He rues the paths that led him to this plight,

As from the woods burst dogs and guns and men.

What should he do? It must be fight or flight

The shots ring out;

 

He’s never seen again.

 

 

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Hello, and welcome to my blog.

Last night I was fortunate enough to go once again the Earthouse – a re-creation of an Iron-age roundhouse, built based on floor plans of an actual Iron-age round house found at an archaeological site. The Earthhouse is – apparently – England’s only purpose-built structure for the telling of stories. And it was for that reason, that I and my fiancée were there  – to hear the last in this year’s season of “Stories for Grown Ups”.

The story we listened to, was ‘Frankenstein’, which was originally written by Mary Shelley, two hundred years ago – when she was just eighteen years old. Last night, as at every time these stories are told, the story tellers are from a company called “The Crick-Crack Club”,  a charitable company who have been telling stories in places around the country since 1987. They have told over two thousand stories in these thirty years, and if the size of the audiences they play too have been consistent with the three hundred and fifty people who listened last night, that means that around seven hundred thousand people have been captivated  by the stories told to them.

And captivated is exactly the right word; last night’s tale was told by one man, supported by a woman who played music to add emphasis or atmosphere. These two performers plied their craft around the centrepiece of the Earthouse, it roaring open fire. With only lanterns on the pillars of the Earthouse, as the man told Shelley’s masterpiece, the light of the fire danced across his face as he spoke. At times, the light reflected from his eyes, and at others, as he moved around he was just a silhouette. All of this, combined with the story itself had the listener transfixed.

Although I really enjoyed the story – and indeed, am now keen to read the original book – there was one moment in the tale that caused my brow to furrow. What caused the furrowing was nothing to do with the tale itself, but more a couple of words, the way they were said, and the audience reaction to them.

In the tale, the scientist was travelling to a city with his brother – the artist, who was a fan of all arts (music, theatre etc.). The scientist had arranged lodgings for his brother in the city for a month, while he (the scientist) had to go on to take care of some business. The scientist told his brother that there was lots of things he would like that he could go to entertain himself with in the city – Art galleries, concerts, theatre, Opera, and……poetry readings.

As the story-teller said the words “poetry readings”, he rolled his eyes – and the audience half laughed, half groaned in agreement. This caused my brow to furrow because it bothered me to think that poetry still has a stigma attached to it – that it is dull and boring, and doesn’t have a place in modern society. I admit that my reaction was a personal one because I write poetry, and the reaction I witnessed made me wonder if I might be wasting my time in writing my poems on this blog, if there really isn’t the interest out there.

But then I had another thought: (I know! two thoughts in quick succession!) I’m not wasting my time writing my poems, because my poems are nothing like what most people think of when they think about Poetry. Even in the circle of poets that I have I come to meet through the writing groups and the spoken word events I attend, I would say that no-one writes poetry like I do. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people who write funny poems – but they more subtly funny than mine. I go for more blatant comedy.

I think poetry is seen as stuffy and difficult to connect with, which is why people ‘switch off’ when poetry is mentioned. Some of the people who write poetry and perform at the spoken word event I go to are so skilful in the use of words and the imagery they create,  but I find it hard to connect with their poem. I choose to write about life, and real events, and the style in which I write is the style of poetry that I myself would like to read. I share my poetry on my blog, because A) I like to make people smile, and I think (some) people do like what I write, and B) I would like to develop my identity as a poet and hopefully have work published – in magazines first of all, and then one day a book of my poems.

I fully understand how traditional poetry could be seen as not relevant, but there is a beauty, and enjoyment in all poetry if you just give it a try. The responses I have received from people who have asked me to write poems for relatives of theirs has told me that people can get great enjoyment out of it. I have enjoyed listening to my fellow poets read their work at the spoken word events.

That being said, I appreciate that Poetry is not for everyone.

But it is also not the abomination that many assume it is.

 

 

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Friday Poem.

In many ways, this week’s poem is very similar to last week’s poem, “Shadow of the Bat”. If you haven’t yet read that poem, fear not – you will find it on the Poems page of this blog site, and it will be directly beneath this week’s.

How are these two poems similar? well, apart from both being written by me they both involve an old lady, and a degree of evil. This week’s poem came into being as a direct result of an episode that took place up in Edinburgh, at the railway station. The events that are depicted in this poem really happened as I waited with other weary travellers for the lift down to the ground level and exit. I have the witnesses to prove it – along with the deep emotional scars. I can honestly say that certain perceptions of mine have be changed forever as a result of what took place.

So, without further ado, here is this week’s Friday poem:

I HAVE PRIORITY

At Waverley Station I waited, in a queue by the lift.

I was aching and exhausted, and on to each foot I did shift.

When into view, an old woman did drift,

And said, “I have priority”.

 

She was scrawny and bony like a frail vulture chick,

Almost bent over double like a snapped lolly-stick.

But the look she gave me, chilled me to my wick

When she hissed, “I have priority!”

 

But before I could answer, she took off like a flash,

Speeding towards the lift in an octogenarian dash.

Not caring who she injured, or if she might crash

Because she had priority.

 

As the lift doors opened, she flew in like a shot

Settling in one corner – her pre-selected spot.

With a look on her face that said “the rest of you can rot”

“Because I have priority”.

 

The other travellers piled in, and we all fitted just so.

Then the old woman added, “I am disabled, you know.”

I thought, ‘disabled? – Man, you should watch yourself go’

‘When you have priority!’

 

I lost my respect for this nasty, old faker.

This scheming, elderly over-taker.

I wonder if, when death comes to take her,

She’ll still say, “I have priority.” ?

 

 

 

 

 

Good evening, and welcome to my blog.

Ironically, this isn’t the blog I was going to present tonight. I say Ironically, because the blog I was thinking of posting had a very similar title – in that it was made up of individual, and not necessarily connected words.

However, it was not to be – so this blog post came to be.

Will we ever know what the other blog post might have said? who knows? You’re probably hoping me I guess, but in honesty the moment has passed. The blog that was created by the writhing combination of blank space, my keyboard, and the random thoughts that float through my brain, never made it to full term. It was, at best a title – destined never to reach its potential.

So here is the post I selected.

I hope you like it.

 

Rejected, Inspiration, Spontaneity, Resignation

Don’t you just hate it, when you big yourself up, and then don’t achieve what you boasted about?

I had an appointment to give blood today. I am very proud of the fact that I give blood, and make no bones about telling everyone when I am doing it. I had crowed loudly this morning on Facebook, and due to the fact that all my friends are amazing, I got lots of nice comments.

So I’m in Blandford (look it up on Google Maps) waiting to be called. I had to fill in the health questionnaire, and for the first time in ages had to answer “yes” to a couple of questions. Not questions about sexual relations – that car still has no engine. I basically said I had been to the hospital for an examination, and that I was waiting to see a doctor. Both of these related to the ongoing investigations into my suspiciously high pressured eyes, but couldn’t affect me giving blood.

Well, that’s what I thought. However, when the nurse called my name to run through the questionnaire and then test my blood, it transpired that because I didn’t know for definite that I didn’t have Glaucoma, they couldn’t risk taking my blood.

So I couldn’t donate. I was really disappointed.

As I walked back to my car I checked my phone. A reminder had popped up titled “Russell Birthday” for tomorrow. Russell is my Brother in Law, and I had forgotten it was his Birthday tomorrow.
I drove round to Tesco’s and perused their selection of cards. I couldn’t find one suitable so – knowing that I had to find a card, write it, address it, put a stamp on it AND get it in the post box before the 4pm last collection – I made an alternative choice.
I cannot say more than that, but I have apologised to my Sister in advance. I will explain all tomorrow.

I was late getting out of work tonight, as yet again I had to wait for a lorry. When I eventually made my way home, I popped into my local Co-op in search of something for tea. Technically I still had the vegetables and gravy/stock from my casserole – but I was a bit tired of that.
Luckily, my luck was in tonight as I found two pork chops reduced to £1.09. They had to be eaten today, and that suited me cos I had them for tea with the veg from my casserole. The purchase of the chops was a spur of the moment thing – as might be my trips to the loo tonight if they are actually past their best.

I’m not looking forward to the rest of this week. I’ve got a container tomorrow and Friday, and a big delivery Thursday. That means early starts (I’m in at 6am tomorrow) and long days. The thing is, it needs to be done, so although I’m not relishing the idea, I won’t shy away from it.

But that is tomorrow – tonight I’m watching Arsenal on Telly.

COME ON YOU ARSENAL!

 

 

Hello and welcome to this week’s Friday Poem.

This week’s offering is one I submitted to an online writing group I recently joined. Each week we are given a topic to write a poem about, and each member can interpret that topic in his or her own way.

The topic of this poem is crazy……..

I hope you like it.

 

CRAZY

It’s so easy to be considered crazy;

Just talk to yourself out loud in the street.

OR go shopping without doing your hair or make-up

And take a bus ride in December with bare feet.

 

If you go up and say hello to a stranger

And just start to pass the time of day,

Do it with a fixed smile on your face

And then watch them edge slowly away.

 

You could pretend that you are hearing voices

Whilst sat in the dentist’s chair.

Or look at people eating in restaurants –

Stand outside the window and stare.

 

People are too ready to believe that you’re loopy;

You’ll convince them with the slightest of grins.

But the craziest thing about the world today

Is people’s desperation to fit in.

 

Good evening, and welcome to my blog.

As the great J.R. Tolkien wrote, to close his world-famous trilogy “The Lord of the Rings” – ‘Well, I’m back.’

Back from where? You may well ask – but fear not, if you don’t ask I shall tell you anyway. I’m back from Edinburgh, arguably the greatest city in the united kingdom.

Now, before you enquire as to whether this blog has a complaints procedure (it does: Bite me.), I am well aware that all of the other great cities that pepper our landscape like the droppings from the good lord’s own glorious seagull, will say that they are the greatest city – and that is all well and good. This blog, and the sentiments contained within it, are all my opinion. You do not have to agree with what I write; just as long as you subscribe to my blog and like it and share it with all of your friends, you can disagree to your heart’s content.

I have been to Edinburgh before, but only briefly; I passed through it once on a journey to the Highlands of Scotland, and another time I travelled to Edinburgh and back in a day to take a birthday present to a friend. I went by train on that occasion, and whenever people hear that, they ask my why I didn’t take a plane to my friend? The answer is simple: I don’t know that she likes planes, and I didn’t have enough wrapping paper.

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Panoramic view from Edinburgh Castle

 

This time I stayed in Edinburgh for 8 days, and I took my Fiancée and two children along with me. They had not been to Scotland before and I was sure they would love it as much as I did.

Sadly, their first impression of Scotland was not a good one. After and 9 1/2 hour train journey from Dorset, we arrived at Edinburgh Waverley Station tired, and hungry. All of us were laden with baggage – none more than me, who has been married before. Seriously though, I was carrying the two large hold-alls with most of our stuff, and my arms felt like I had just beaten a Wookie at space chess. There was a lift down to the way out and we, along with several other weary travellers plodded towards it. As we waited for the doors to open, I became aware of a small, frail and wizened old lady slowly shuffling up next to me. She was almost bent double, and had a walking stick with wobbled frighteningly as she took each aged step. As the doors of the lift opened however, this frail old lady fixed me with an evil glare and said in a nasty voice, ‘I have priority!’ before shooting forward into the lift faster than Usain Bolt shot out of a cannon! She was in that lift in the blink of an eye, and cared not who she knocked over in getting there. I can only assume that she was in a hurry to get back to her house of Sweets before Hansel and Gretal walked by.

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Stunning View of the Castle

 

I’m pleased to say that this old lady was very much the exception to the rule when it comes to the people of Edinburgh; from the shopkeepers (none of whom appeared to be Scottish, bizarrely) to the staff on hand at the various tourist attractions and sites, everyone was friendly and polite and really welcoming.

We saw lots of stuff in the short time we were there: Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Zoo, Dynamic Earth, Camera Obscura, Greyfriars Bobby, Arthur’s Seat, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Museum of Scotland and ate out a lovely restaurants. The weather was gorgeous too – blue skies, warm (well – not freezing cold), and it was really lovely to be there.

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Edinburgh Castle

 

I love Edinburgh. The reasons for this are many; its buildings and architecture, its history, the fact that it is (for me anyway) the gateway to Scotland and the many wonders within, the many happy memories I have associated with this place (my mum’s best friend lives here and has sent me £10 for my Birthday every years since I was about ten).

As if that wasn’t enough, during my time up here I managed to meet up with my best friend and his wife, who live about an hour away from Edinburgh, and whom I hadn’t seen in six years. I also managed a brief catch up with a former work colleague who moved here in 2004 who I get to see once every six to eight years, if time and life allows.

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If in doubt, have a MASSIVE pudding!!

 

Edinburgh is a very special place for me. I was so glad to be able to spend time here – and be able to bring my special people to see it.

What a fabulous time we had!

 

 

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Friday Poem.

Find your loved ones, and hold them tight. This week’s poem is a terrifying tale of supernatural malevolence, the battle between good and evil held in the balance, and most frightening of all……the unspeakable horror of scuff marks on the skirting board.

This poem is not for the faint-hearted, nor for the short-sighted, and definitely not for the over-hyphenated.

So sit down, strap in, and try not to sh………show your fear.

 

Just when you thought it was safe…………

 

 

THE SHADOW OF THE BAT

Make sure your doors are all locked tight,

Shut out this dark and stormy night.

Here is a tale as yet untold;

A tale that will make your blood run cold.

 

You may recall, a little while back

My mother-in-law had a bat attack.

This briefly caused her to behave quite oddly,

But left no lasting damage bodily.

 

At least that is what we had assumed

For over us a new shadow loomed.

From the previous horror it was begat

A malevolent shadow of the bat!

 

Originally my mother’s left hand was bit

And though she said she’d got over it,

The ‘badness’ to her right arm had jumped

Because it ached severely like she’d been thumped.

 

This aching steadily grew and spread.

“Oh it’s right miserable”, she often said.

I suggested a doctor if she was ill

But she just said, “I’ll take some pills”

 

Then on Halloween night we got a strange call

From my mother in law – not herself at all.

She said, “Help! It’s my arm, it’s got me – quick!”

Then silence, as the line went ‘click…..’

 

For a moment I felt really scared

But I knew I had to get round there.

In haste I grabbed my coat and keys

Ignoring the trembling in my knees.

 

I reached her house not feeling brave,

The whole place was as quiet as the grave.

I went round to the side door to let myself in

And on tenterhooks, walked into her kitchen.

 

A horrible sight there met my eyes;

On a plate, was some unfinished meat pie.

It breaks my heart to see such waste,

So I tipped it in my coat pocket – just in case.

 

I crept through the house in search of the lady

My coat pocket steadily filling with gravy.

I suddenly became aware of a slow steady sound;

The repetition of something being dragged on the ground.

 

As I turned into the hall, I very nearly retched;

She was out cold on the floor – her right arm outstretched.

By its own power this limb was dragging her across the floor

Making slow steady progress towards her front door.

 

It was horrible to witness, I really must say;

Her clothing had ridden up in a most unflattering way.

Now older ladies’ underwear may look nice on a dummy,

But nothing can prepare you for seeing them on mummy.

 

But this was no time for principles – she needed assistance

So with an angry roar I soon covered the distance.

With both hands I grabbed the limb below the wrist

Then the hand twisted towards me – and turned into a fist!

 

As quick as a flash I got punched in the jaw.

By the time I reacted, I’d been punched twice more.

Like a possessed boa constrictor, the arm twisted and turned,

Growing hot in my grasp – with pure evil it burned.

 

This fight was exhausting, it was taking its toll,

My mother in law was thrown about like a doll.

There was only one way to save her, I knew what to do:

The arm and the shoulder – had to be severed in two.

 

In anguish and horror, with my jaw really hurting

I dragged her back around, scraping her shoes on the skirting.

I was sweating and panting, and my coat had a stain.

And I knew that I’d have to paint that skirting again.

 

I made it back to the kitchen as best I was able

Though I did clack mum’s head on her telephone table.

I knew I was fighting to save both of our lives,

As I opened a drawer in search of sharp knives.

 

I found one – a cleaver – then two more, and another.

(remind me, I must have a word with my mother)

With no time to be choosy I reached for one, but

Before I could take it, the drawer was slammed shut!

 

The arm knew what I was planning, so it started to fight;

It twisted and wriggled with all of its might.

In self-preservation it was mean and unruly,

Then, without provocation, punched me straight in the goolies.

 

Now a punch to that area, is a real big no-no;

Even for an evil limb, that was a low blow.

If it was dirty fighting it wanted, I’ve a badge that I’ve earned;

So with a quick change of grip, I gave it two Chinese burns.

 

I was in a real battle, and boy was it rough!

For an old lady’s arm, this limb was vicious and tough.

I tasted blood in my mouth – it was sickly and sweet

And I was spattered with pie crust, gravy and meat.

 

We pulled and we wrestled;  this fight was a saga

The arm shut my fingers in the door of mum’s Aga.

In one surging mass of movement, we writhed on the floor,

Until I slammed it repeatedly in the Fridge door.

 

The arm lay there limply, and I took a breather,

Before seizing my chance, and grabbing a cleaver.

Looking down at the chaos, I gave a small cough.

There was only one thing for it; that arm must come off.

 

I knelt on the limb, to hold it firmly in place

Then paused as I gazed at my poor mother’s face;

Despite her ordeal, she looked free from all pain

Though her appearance was marred by a large gravy stain.

 

She still was unconscious – which was a big plus,

As I readied myself to do what I must.

With the cleaver raised high, I hoped my aim would be true

Then I brought it down swiftly, cutting the limb clean through.

 

If I thought it was over, I was wrong – oh by heck!

As the arm suddenly shot upwards, grabbing me round the neck!

I just had time to say to myself “you’ve got to be joking”

Before frantically clawing at the hand that was choking.

 

Then a voice in my head told me “fight, Larry fight!”

So I pulled at the arm with all of my might.

It’s grip finally broke with a huge wrench I gave,

Then I stuffed it – still fighting – into the Microwave.

 

It hammered the glass as I turned the thing on

I didn’t want ‘de-frost’; that would take far too long.

In an act of defiance, as the microwaves flowed

The limb gave me the finger – then I saw it explode.

 

That was it, it was over; I’d finally won.

Exhausted, I returned to help my poor mum.

To hospital she was taken, where she started to mend

And both our ordeals had finally come to an end.

 

They gave her a new arm, to replace the one chopped;

It can carry seven bags when she goes to the shops.

It has artificial intelligence, and is frighteningly strong.

It became self-aware yesterday – what could possibly go wrong?