Gone Fishing!

When it’s over a week between posts
And ideas come and go just like ghosts,
There’s nowt wrong with tosh
Or a bit of old bosh –
Though it might not bring plaudits and toasts!

 

Image result for gone fishing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: Left Field Wander

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When You Find Yourself in a Hole, Stop Digging …

… although it can be surprising what comes to light when you look. Here (as the ‘Blue Peter’ presenters would say) is one I prepared earlier: 

When buying things it pays to read the labels
For sell-by dates and sugar overload,
But never trust those advertisers’ fables –
Their promises will sell you down the road.

No product yet invented makes you cheerful
When sad and lonesome feelings fill your head –
The more you buy, the more you will be fearful
That folk are out to rob you in your bed.

When future archaeologists dig landfill,
They’ll wonder why we needed so much stuff!
Then suddenly they’ll come across a handbill:
BUY GLUGGO – YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH!

They’ll see the advert model madly grinning –
Poor sod, they’ll say while safeguarding the proof,
To muddle mere consumption up with winning,
Mistaking greedy lies for grown-up truth!

 

Image result for snake oil

 

Image: The Creative Cottage

Clucked!

Here’s a further find from my furious foragings …

They ask if he would care to rule the roost -
Too chicken, me! he says and turns them down.
Responsibility's not quite his thing -
Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.

And then they come a-pecking on his door -
Carte blanche, they say, to come and do it his way!
See how they trust him - gullible buffoons! -
So keen are they to have their bright new day!

OK, he gives them that - but just the one -
To wave their little flags and scoff their cakes.
The morning after that, he cracks the whip -
The dream's asleep when real nightmare wakes.

The more it hurts, the deeper their devotion.
O punish us, great monarch, we are dirt!
And never do they seek his abdication,
While each endures the itch of rough hair-shirt.

By then he loves unquestioning obedience,
A pampered prince and lord of all he saw!
They never know their minds - this captive audience! -  
Once he's made 'thinking hard' against the law.

They teach his book (on etiquette) in schools.
It tells them what to do and what to say.
They have no need of any other rules.
He whistles as they learn to act his way.

To make them love him more, he stages death -
Pronouncements from the palace, funeral rites -
But lo! a miracle resuscitation,
A strong man never giving up such fights!

And back he comes, a phoenix from the ashes
That bears bold news of bliss beyond the grave -
How only those that do his will may gain it -
How those that disobey him won't be saved.

The royal scam - abandoning commitments
And making sure his subjects feel the blame.
He tears up their petitions, spends their money -  
Fast cars and faster persons on the game!



Image result for chicken politics


Image: Savage Chickens

Tree Story

After an enjoyable school-reunion lunch the other day, I was making my way back to the mainline station on a London Underground train. It suddenly struck me there was plenty of time before the mainline train was due to depart and, on a whim, I got off the tube-train near a large park where I used to play as a young child.

I hadn’t been back in 60 years and the wild, overgrown place I remembered was no more. Streams we used to dam were culverted or piped underground, rough meadows had become manicured sports pitches, sheep or cattle paths turned into tarmacked walkways and the wonderful trees we loved to climb – yes, you guessed it – all long gone!

Back home and continuing my rummage through old papers, I unearthed a draft poem that seems to fit my faint feeling of hollow disappointment. I present it here unedited. The form involves repeating end-of-line words in every verse and adding an envoi – perhaps someone reading will know if this has a name.

 

Last Refuge

When you were younger every tree
Was yours to climb right to the top
Where all alone you’d view the world
As if she was a brand-new place –
Her secrets open to your sight
With nothing there for you to fear

But as you climbed so grew your fear
That you began to hate the tree
You really couldn’t bear the sight
That lay below so watched the top
As if there was no other place
You’d rather be in all the world

You told yourself the whole wide world
Was greater far than any fear
For up above there was a place
A gift to all who climbed the tree
And dared to reach the very top
Which opened up its secret sight

It made you gasp that sudden sight
So deep and far into the world
A bird’s-eye vision from the top
For now you’d flown beyond your fear
As if you had become the tree
And found you somehow owned the place

You never since have left that place
Nor lost one detail of the sight
If foresters have felled the tree
It still lives on within your world
And death for you is not a fear
While you are still there at the top

So still – still at the very top –
That time runs backwards to the place
Where there was not a gust of fear
So far and wide and deep your sight
For you had there become the world
And all because you climbed a tree

Envoi

Your new world more than just a place
Where each new sight gives rise to fear
When down you came from the tall tree top

 

Dave Kingsbury (2013)

 

Image result for phantom trees

 

Image: The Crichton Street Gallery

Alphabetti Spaghetti

Here’s one I did earlier – thought it deserved its moment in the sun before they shut the window of satirical opportunity and return us to our customary state of well-governed happiness and contentment.

On second thoughts, to misquote Captain Oates, we may be some time … 

Plan A is lost – Plan B will cost
Plan C‘s just schemes – Plan D is dreams
Plan E‘s no fun – Plan F won’t come
Plan G‘s G Plan – Plan H they’ll ban
Plan I is pants – Plan J no chance
Plan K needs facts and counteracts
Plan L – Plans M and N are wool
Plan O is cock – Plan P is bull
Plan Q‘s half-baked – Plans R, S, T
Are shelved – Plan U is for the birds
Plans V and W – mostly random words
Plan X is feared – Plan Y‘s just weird
We’d better get Plan Z prepared

 

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Image: BBC

Unfinished Business

Another find from my folders, this sonnet – thanks to young people around the world – isn’t yet history!

Once upon a time we wandered wild
And free to choose from nature’s mighty store –
But all too soon, alas, we were beguiled
By dreams of staying put and having more.
As seedbanks swelled, our heads began to fill
With visions of a life spent free of toil –
The clink of gold and silver in the till,
The clash of bronze and iron, the glug of oil.
We built ourselves a glass and concrete prison
And spread consumer culture round the world –
With economic growth our only mission,
The planet warmed and giant oceans boiled.
Our story ends where history began –
A choice to make, if make it still we can.

October 2012

 

Image result for climate change protests

 

Image: Financial Times

Coming from a Shopping Channel Near You …

Sorting through my paper mountain, I unearthed this attempt at cultural exorcism from 2012:

I can’t tell you, my friends, how thrilled I am to be bringing you this next item … There it is … I mean, you only need to look at it to appreciate the quality … Wow, absolutely stunning, with every beautiful detail lovingly crafted by genuine artists … That, for me, encrypts years and years and years of matchless experience … A pure work of art that will not only beautify your home … Not only a precious treasure that will be the envy of all your friends … But an objet d’art that will be a constant delight for you and your loved ones for years and years and years to come … Just look at the charming way it catches our studio lights … Simply gorgeous … No other word to describe this wonderful piece … Not only really unique … Not only a strictly limited edition … Not only are the phone lines on fire tonight but I can tell you here and now that the last time we offered this to our viewers it positively flew away … I kid you not, it sold out in minutes … And here we are again giving this remarkable creation away at silly prices … We must be round the bend, my friends … This exclusive offer you won’t find in the shops, search all you like … Ah yes, a superb investment for the future … A truly magical heirloom that will not only give your children and your children’s children something really special to remember you by … But a lasting testimony to your impeccable good taste … Congratulations to Margaret of Greenock … Colin of Lowestoft, well done … Not only will this exquisite purchase grace the stylish collection in your own personal display cabinet … Not only will you delight in taking it out from time to time and running your quivering fingers up and down its truly sensuous lines … Oh goodness, they tell me the lines are closed … Never mind … Coming up next, my friends, the absolute highlight not only of the night … Not only of the year … Not only of my lifetime … Not only of the whole history of humankind, but …

If this sounds like a spoof, you may be surprised to learn that it’s an almost word-for-word transcript of an actual shopping-channel pitch. OK, I might have taken a liberty or two in the final fourteen words … 

 

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