Tag: poem

The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd

Day 3 of my week responding to the WordPress Daily Prompt, which today is Circus

A moment came to mind from my visit to a Moscow circus several years ago. I present it below exactly as it happened. The form is an acrostic, not an anagram as my two previous posts described it. For pointing this out, my thanks to stoneyfish whose excellent site is well worth a visit.

Here’s my poem. Cue feeble drumroll …

Climb! - and on command they mount a rusty motorbike,
Its engine spitting flame, those three bedraggled bears in 
Russian national costume: sidecar-rider, pillion, driver.
Circling at speed a ring of baying faces, they yelp and whine 
Until the crash. Hurt and scared, they rage at one another as
Sticks and harsh words beat them back to solitary cells.


Screen Test

Another anagram in response to the latest Daily Prompt from WordPress: Blank

Before turning on your television, remember to turn on your mind.
Leaving it in neutral could result in many hours lost to
Airy nothings: bread of food shows, circuses of celebrities, bubbles of soap.
Nothing you watch will
Kick-start real questions, only ones with easy answers.

But some are more equal than others

Here is an anagram in response to Orderly which is today’s Daily Prompt.

One at a time, please, the system cannot cope if you all
Rush at once! It would be helpful if the most
Desperate come forward first,
Easy to
Recognise because they will be waving
Large wads of money to show the rest of
You the way to the front of the queue.

Not sure I understand this pingback business, so will be curious to see if this appears on the WordPress page … ha, must have done something right, it just did!

terpsichore in time

                       “It is necessary to be absolutely modern” – Arthur Rimbaud


what’s gone?

the past is not dead
it is not even past
for you are now
and always now
and what is gone
from light
remains insight

what then?

no then
for you are now
and only now
what comes will come
when it is now
and not before

and me?

a spotlight moving
through the dark
for you are now
and always now
a steady point of life
where dark is not

and death?

no part of life
your dead live yet
where you are now
and only now
as those who follow
carry you
forever now

what now?

o you are now
and always only ever now
so dance




A Shrine to Lazy Bones

The inspiration – if you can call it that – for this poem came from two news items. One concerned the fact that the life expectancy of UK men shows a bigger range between rich and poor than at any time in 150 years. That’s 150 years of social legislation gone down the tube. The other concerned state primary schools, where 6 year olds have gone on strike to protest against the introduction of yet more new tests. The background here is that British children are amongst the unhappiest in Europe.

So the rich are living longer and their children are exempt from stressful early testing. Liberty is become licence, it seems, cut loose from equality and humanity. The changes began with the mania for deregulation back in the early 80s when our handbag-wielding leader proclaimed there was no such thing as society, only individual men and women. My question would be, was she just stating a fact of life or making a prophesy of a nasty future where survival of the fittest is the only creed and a notional afterlife is the only consolation for the losers?

The historian EP Thompson believed the 19th Century working classes desperately oscillated between politics and religion, depending on which of them offered more hope. If it is to be religion’s turn again, let’s at least make it one we can all agree on. My religion would involve a common belief in the sacredness of life itself, a fusion of freedom and equality and humanity that would stop the crazy see-saw.

A Shrine to Lazy Bones

Two spectres haunt this house of humankind
And stalk the hall to keep us in our room.
At dead of night we wake with troubled mind
To fears of open lock and closing tomb.
Two spectres: one the ever-hungry ghost
That shrieks for more and more, the more we give -
A cuckoo in the nest, our children lost
To parents much too busy just to live.
The other spook's a mirage: heaven, hell -
And life a dress rehearsal for their sake.
When kids - all work, no play - are saved by the bell 
Then wonder not, but sleep till death awake.
To exorcise these household demons both,
Let's re-enchant the world and worship sloth.


Image: http://www.kennethdepoorter.be


Editor’s Comment        This blogger has failed to submit a new post in time for publication. According to his sick note he has retired to bed with a chronic attack of indecision in the face of too many possibilities. He claims to have begun several drafts but none of them are anywhere near completion. I have allowed him to publish the following poem on the strict understanding that his next post will be all his own work. Thank you.


The Old Sailor  by  AA Milne

There was once an old sailor my grandfather knew
Who had so many things which he wanted to do
That, whenever he thought it was time to begin,
He couldn’t because of the state he was in.

He was shipwrecked, and lived on an island for weeks,
And he wanted a hat, and he wanted some breeks;
And he wanted some nets, or a line and some hooks
For the turtles and things which you read of in books.

And, thinking of this, he remembered a thing
Which he wanted (for water) and that was a spring;
And he thought that to talk to he’d look for, and keep
(If he found it) a goat, or some chickens and sheep.

Then, because of the weather, he wanted a hut
With a door (to come in by) which opened and shut
(With a jerk, which was useful if snakes were about),
And a very strong lock to keep savages out.

So he thought of his hut … and he thought of his boat,
And his hat and his breeks, and his chickens and goat,
And the hooks (for his food) and the spring (for his thirst) …
But he never could think which he ought to do first.

And so in the end he did nothing at all,
But basked on the shingle wrapped up in a shawl.
And I think it was dreadful the way he behaved –
He did nothing but basking until he was saved.




Here is the completed poem. Many thanks to my fellow contributors who each provided five lines. Click on the names to view their excellent sites. The first three and last five lines are mine, as is the title. I decided to dispense with sentence punctuation, apart from a single question mark. I like questions and feel this one is important to the poem.


siren song

walk at the tide’s edge
here where ceaseless ocean surf
whispers to the land

prehistoric sharks teeth gleam
pools appear and disappear

wave shush absorbs sound
I float in the vast cold sea
from whence we all came                                                Fans of Johnny Dowd

my blood merges echoing
memories of ancestors

who will keep this song
from the silence of neglect?
ripples collect thoughts                                                     memadtwo

the great oceans sing their thoughts
reverberating whale songs

frothy tidal surge
playing wet snare drum brushes
sea lions bark cadence                                                          daveply

as stars illuminate life
to imbue the foam with awe

a planet’s dreams wish
to encapsulate a wave
on which to escape                                                                   opher

the water’s depths invite me
into their coolness within

and in the coolness
life renews
and I am ready to live again                                                 Steve Higgins

waves that sail the seven seas
will carry me back to land

wide-eyed castaway
washed up on another shore
with fresh tales to tell







Image: pinterest.com