OLD MATTRESSES

OLD MATTRESSES

They have raised a highway

Across our valley

And landscaped it

With blocks of windowed concrete.

Beneath, the river strangles itself

With shopping trolleys

And bits of old bicycles

Worn-out mattresses

And smashed-up pallets are everywhere

While a bloated condom

Flutters by on a piece of driftwood.

Painted hoarding-women

With rotating eyes

Compete for attention

With pram-pushing young love,

Their stilettos tap-dancing the hard shoulder

On a clear day

Juggernauts gleam in the sun

And rolled-up tabloids

Tell tall tales about Royalty

Or football….and Sex

THE EMUS

THE EMUS

Fuck you
Said the Emu
Though of course
I couldn’t be sure
It was an Emu at all,
Never having seen a live one before;
Well, not crossing the road
Ahead of me anyway;
Part of a group
That resembled a hen party;
(or should that be Emu party?)
A troop of tarty Emus with cropped hair,
Johnny Rotten aficionados’, perhaps?
Teetering across the never-ending road
In the Australian outback;
Chaperoned by a wedge-tailed eagle…
Chaperoned?
Who looked just as likely
To sink its teeth
Into their browning flesh
As guide them safely to the other side.
Perhaps it was the eagle
Who said ‘fuck you’?
In the fading light
I couldn’t be certain
Of anything.

THE WORLD’S GREATEST POEMS

FUNERAL BLUES  by W H Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,

Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,

Silence the pianos and with muffled drum

Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead

Scribbling on the sky the message “He is Dead”.

Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,

Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,

My working week and my Sunday rest,

My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;

I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,

Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,

Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;

For nothing now can ever come to any good.

THE WORLD’S GREAT POEMS

WE’LL GO NO MORE A-ROVING  by Lord Byron

So, we’ll go no more a-roving

So late into the night,

Though the heart be still as loving,

And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,

And the soul wears out the breast,

And the heart must pause to breathe,

And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,

And the day returns too soon,

Yet we’ll go no more a-roving

By the light of the moon.

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

Nikolay Gumilev 1886 – 1921, was an influential Russian poet, literary critic, traveler, and military officer. He was arrested on allegation of participation in a monarchist conspiracy known as “Petrograd military organization”, and executed by firing squad in 1921. The case was officially declared as “completely fabricated” and all victims rehabilitated by Russian authorities only in 1992.

THE SIXTH SENSE by Nikolay Gumilev

Fine is the wine that is in love with us,
The goodly bread we wait for from the oven,
And woman whom we have possessed, at last,
After we've suffered under yoke her own.

But what to do if a red sunset freezes
Above a sky that's drowning in cold,
Where there is silence and unearthly peace,
What can one do with the immortal ode?

You can't eat it, or drink, or even kiss ...
The moment fled, and next one now hovers,
And we wring hands, but yet once more miss -
We are condemned to miss and miss it over.

Just as a boy, forgetting games and friends,
Sometimes beholds the girls bath in a river
And, knowing nothing of the loving trends,
Is yet tormented by a hidden fever;

As once in time on overgrowing banks
The moisten creature holed in despair
Of self impotence, feeling on its back
Wings - still unformed and very feeble pair, -


So century after century - when, O Christ?
Under the knife of liberal arts and nature
The flesh breaks down and the spirit cries
As they bear organs of the sixth sensation.

DID ROY ROGERS EVER READ THE ILIAD?

DID ROY ROGERS EVER READ THE ILIAD?

If I had a classical education

I could talk about the Greek Classics

Read the Iliad, and recognise dactylic hexameter:

I would know of the quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles

Understand  about  the Odyssey, Homer, Diomedes, Poseidon

And other such matters –

Like who the fuck Perseus was?

But I don’t;

Instead of Greek Mythology

I read about Roy Rogers, Buck Jones, Johnny Mack Brown

And how Billy The Kid was left-handed;

About the gunfight at the OK Corral,

And who shot Jesse James in the back;

About The Lone Ranger and Tonto

And other important stuff like that;

Kemo Sabe?

I wonder if Roy Rogers ever read The Iliad?