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Wednesday 31 March 2010

Haiku #98

Fucking, "Down Under",
loses so many road signs,
stolen by tourists!

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Haiku #97

Sleepy, not asleep.
Grimace, smile to order, please -
the new style face lift.

Monday 29 March 2010

I am the man who corralled the wolf (& Haiku #96)

Back in early February I posted a poem entitled I am the man who swallowed the boy. In fact it was one of a pair. At the time I did not feel ready to loose its companion on an unsuspecting world, but here it now is:-

I am the man who corralled the wolf,
hunted it down and baulked at the kill.
I am the man who thought that to name it,
thought that to shame it, would weaken its will.

I am the man who nurtures the wolf,
nurtures the wolf, supposing he must,
must either nurture or slaughter the wolf,
but cannot hate it enough.

I am the man with a knife on his belt,
the knife that was meant for its heart,
the knife that remained in its leathery sheath
when I chose the less difficult part.

I am the man who placated the wolf
(having hunted it down and baulked at the kill),
who corralled it safely away from the crowd -
since when it has eaten its fill.

I am the man with a wolf for a friend
who has lived with its lusts and disdain,
who with horror discovered it part of him,
whose fear of it kept it enchained.

I am the man who baulked at the kill,
who baulked at the death of the beast,
who thought he could handle both it and the thrill -
was invited to some of its feasts.

I am the man in the anti-wolf guise,
despising the thing that it is,
steeling myself to its wayward charms
as it proffers its Judas kiss.

I am the man with a thorn in his side,
a devil that pricks at his pride,
a wolf that's knocking all night at his gate -
at an ego he cannot deflate.

I am the man with the wolf in the fold,
aware of the damage it's caused,
how innocence bleeds from the teeth of the wolf
and the love that was there is grown cold.

Haiku #96

From big business come:-
debt, dysfunction and dissent.
(Football's present state.)

Sunday 28 March 2010

Haiku #95

Virgin Galactic
completes its maiden voyage -
anyone for space?

Saturday 27 March 2010

Haiku #94

Regrettably, I will be out of cyber-circulation this weekend, but expect the haiku to keep coming. See you Monday.

Posthumous attempt -
Muriel Spark shortlisted
for the Booker Prize

Friday 26 March 2010

Tanka #2 & Haiku #93

To whose advantage?
Our long lost Russian forebear
spills her D.N.A.
leaves it as our legacy
in some Siberian cave.

Geoffrey Hill, poet,
difficult, divisive - up
for the Oxford job.

Thursday 25 March 2010

Please don't drink and doodle!

Last Sunday we celebrated our daughter's 44th birthday with a family meal at The Anchor, Witley. It is a favourite spot with canal boats, canoes, a lock gate and much activity on a fine sunny Sunday - which it was. The Anchor had a fine menu to go with the day - and more to the point, some equally fine wines and beers. I took the photographs after the meal, which was a mistake.

(My budget statement is below)

Haiku #92

The Budget Statement :
the convincing bit for me
came after he said

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Haiku #91

For twelve hundred years
they've been eating more and more -
the twelve disciples.

Tuesday 23 March 2010

Haiku #89 and #90

The uncut Google
available in China -
 look on the top shelf.

Establishment Hughes -
now he's made Poets' Corner.
Still changing landscapes?

Monday 22 March 2010

Haiku #88

Blackbirds are in song.
   Life span three years maximum -
 yet they keep singing.

Sunday 21 March 2010

Haiku #87

A boy's new windpipe -
they're growing it in situ
from his own stem cells

Saturday 20 March 2010

Babes in Arms

One time this would have been a holiday:
hardly a soul about; few staff, no kids;
an empty playground, drive and car park,
myself, a telephone and piles of paperwork.

This is no holy day, the children are at war,
their papers came and off they went.
Only the men and women left to hold the fort.
(An ageing population, all too old to fight.)

An hour has gone, no sign of movement,
even the sun on hunger strike, black
as a black cloud, in lieu of clouds
precipitating rain - a dirty rain,
to catch the feel of altered memory.

It might be nothing more than memory -
a single, half-forgotten recollection
half-wiped from some computer,
which in the wiping found itself
beyond salvation, buggered, bound for hell,
somehow diverting to the here and now.

Dan, obsessive dresser-up, born
actor-out of childhood's fantasies,
never plays himself. Today
A turban for his head has slipped across
his eyes - seen closer though,
it is a bandage flecked with blood.

Dan and Peggy
(never before so aptly named),
an amputee, are led by Steve,
face hidden by a plastic mask -
the surgical variety, concealing burns
and missing skin.

The end of the procession
and an ancient tractor
wheezing through its tall exhaust
hauls in its wake two trailers
piled high with bodies. (Whether
wounded, dead or dying
is difficult to tell.) Trailed behind
the trailer on a long rope
to his ankle, bumps a half-
familiar figure (fallen from a pile?)
from whom a blood-stained puttee,
gravel-torn, unravels in the rain.

The brain consults its image store
and holds the closest match
up to the boy: a pair of images,
which even as we look, converge,
fuse to a single shot: a Tudor criminal
hung, drawn but not yet quartered,
then gutted for his crime.

Haiku #86

Vernal equinox.
Early migrant birds get worms -
and prime building sites.

Friday 19 March 2010

Haiku #85

Too few blog hits, friend?
Start an agony column -
you will not look back.

Thursday 18 March 2010

Haiku #84

Of planet Corot-9b
we wonder... temperate climate...
Know what I'm thinking?

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Haiku #83

A world of Misery-lit:
child abuse, rape and mourning -
Orange Award judge.

Tuesday 16 March 2010

From the "Digital Doodle" Sketchbook

Tangled branches

The Promenade at Night


Haiku #82

Michael Foot's passing:
they just aint got what he had -
today's orators.

Monday 15 March 2010


For this Beautiful Blogger Award I am indebted to Gwei Mui at take away thoughts.
With my grateful thanks.

For my other awards please visit here

Haiku #81

Spring has won its fight
and triumphed over winter
says the weatherman

Sunday 14 March 2010

Haiku #80

Mothering Sunday
children picking wild flowers -
acts of love for mums.

(What a strange beast, progress is!)

Saturday 13 March 2010

Haiku #79

"Mother's Day prices..."
"because she's worth it" must be
why we're paying more.

Thursday 11 March 2010

The Displacements

Night drew in at platform one -
the only platform as it happened.
Tiny wayside station,
its sun competing brightly with the starry
windows gleaming warm and half-inviting,
frost-filigreed one side, misted on
the other. Passengers mere silhouettes.
Where had it been to gather such a fug?
Snow - a dusting only -on the carriage roofs.
Difficult to see the train for what it was.

Tiny wayside station,
the guard, red flag in hand,
was on the platform in a jiffy,
No one taking any notice. Crowds
were boarding, not a soul dismounting.
Only I was hesitating, who would
later follow on, though still unsure,
to find myself a quiet compartment,
warm enough for meditating, open
to the stars - a time of simple joys.

So night chugged on through blazing cornfields,
a moment always short of holocaust,
the sun a scorching winter overhead.
A half-light passed us in the cutting,
returning to the frosts we'd left behind.
Clack, clack and tickets please! the wheels
went in their rhythm on the track.
I, who had not meant to go with Night,
thus being without ticket, hid my eyes
and trusted to the stars to see me through.

Soon crossing the Displacements -
acres, hectares, landscapes, people,
couldrons, ice-wells on the move.
Between them: turbulence - and refugees
caught up in earth-quakes, floods and conflagrations.
Camel trains of old, we saw them searching out
the next oasis and the next. We passed some
frozen into hillsides, their eyes still
scanning the horizon for a land
somewhere or water capable of life.

Tanka #2

Weatherman relents
and forecasts warmer weather.
I claim the credit.
Though I'd thought he might just frown,
it seems my haiku shamed him!

(Bonus) Haiku #78

Some bathroom jollies?
What else are we to make of
a world plumbing day?

Haiku #77

sex at seventy-five:
4 in 10 men still active  -
2 in 10 women

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Haiku #76

Weather forecasters
warning of more cold to come -
but why do they smile?

Tuesday 9 March 2010

Haiku #75

On a world-wide scale
women trying for a boy -
are eating bacon?

Monday 8 March 2010

Doodles in the woods

A couple of friends were good enough to say of my March 2 doodles that they would like to see some examples that were not doodles. In fact, I fear they all are. I have neither the ability nor the equipment to be able to visualise the effect I want and then go get it. Doodling is what I do. Sometimes an effect will suggest something and I will try to follow it or enhance it or whatever to see where it leads, but it always begins with doodling. However, there are degrees of doodling, I suppose, so here, for what they are worth and without initial comment, three of my more focussed "doodles" - and one original photograph.

Enchanted Wood

Encounter in the Wood

Bare Trees

Autumn Trees

Haiku #73 and #74

Oscar time again:
with so much success there are
so many to thank.

successful actress
clasps like a babe to her breast -
a gold plated man?

Sunday 7 March 2010

Haiku #72

Venus and the moon
long time in each other's arms.
Still there. Wonder why?

Saturday 6 March 2010

Haiku #71

Not just feminists -
International women's day
venerates them all.

Friday 5 March 2010

Haiku #70

Preferred wake-up sounds -
bird song (cheeps, chirps and warbles),
church bells... balloon squeaks?

Thursday 4 March 2010

Painting the Mountain

One of Cezanne's 60 paintings of Mount-Sainte Victoire

Painting the Mountain

Today I paint
the mountain,

line and word approximate,
provisional. (First thoughts are
hesitant, of love -
and little understanding.)

Tomorrow I will climb the mountain
only then will I know how
to capture it in paint
or summon up the gist of it in words.

But after climbing it, what will I know?
Its flintiness
its broken-glassness
and the heft of it beneath my feet.

I will have felt
the steepness of it in my labouring,
the softness of it at my chosen resting spots,
its silence deeper than my thoughts,

its lightness and the way it takes the weight of things,
the way its nature sides with us
against the pettiness of life,
a carnal flood to drown anxiety.

You may be sure it will be full of words
and frantic marks for me to lay on paper.
Composed of them -
and they of every tongue.

As now I think too much
the mountain stays remote from me.
The climb will plant it firmly in my senses.
The unsensed mark is just so much pollution.

Expect in future versions, words
employed more miserly and I
more tight-arsed making marks.

Haiku #69

Nana Mouskouri
offers pension to ease debt -
the Greek Government's.

- so that's where it went! - see Haiku #67.

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Haiku #68

French Hot Line to God
To confess a sin, press 2
(premium rate, of course!)
It doesn't really lend itself to the Haiku moment, but I couldn't resist this one.

Tuesday 2 March 2010

Doodling Again!

Two shots of the crowds milling around Bournemouth pier - back in the summer, of course.

Haiku #67

Most nations have debts
hardly a one in credit -
Where has it all gone?

Monday 1 March 2010

Haiku #65

On St David's Day
remember his words: recall
the small things in life.

Don't quite know what happened to this one - it was for yesterday. Maybe St David held it up, thought it more appropriate today!

Haiku #66

I'll give you today's anyway - there you go, BOGOF!

Fruit juices toxic
pain killers causing deafness -
glad that I read am I!