Poemathon

Poetry for Peace

Please scroll down to find most recent poems

The first fifty poems of this poemathon (Days 1-51) are now available in ebook or paperback. "A Hymn to Flux", from Amazon. Or for a limited time. you can view it here

The second fifty poems (days 51-100) are now published in the book, "The Machine's in Overdrive". Or, for a limited time, you can see it here

Poems 101 to 150 are now in the book "Sitting in the Hell of Poetry Heaven" which you can read here for free for a limited time.

Poems 151 to 207 are hosted on the DoubleDareArt website here

And here are poems 208 to the present

Day 306. Sunday 17th February 2019

Today I also feature guest poet, Jane Rakestraw from the USA, whose lovely poem was written from the heart to celebrate the engagement of her beautiful daughter, Fallon, to my beloved son, Liam. see the poem below.

CIRQE DU SOLEIL

Thank you for your reminder

That man can still create fun

And wonders that soar over

Strictures of trite can't-be-dones.

For you defy gravity

With enviable aplomb

That lifts the planetary

Coffin lid nailed down upon

All our moribund desires.

Pirouettes and arabesques

By transcendant dreams inspired,

Flesh like fluid statuettes

Weaves magic from inner fires,

Marionettes freed from strings

Of limitation dance higher.

Scant held by the circus ring,

Your power drawn from the sun,

From the heart of the Earth,

Re-born, the humdrum re-spun

Into magical rebirth

That dances to th'acoustic

Deep underneath the heartbeat

Of the tiring universe,

As your feet ride the drumbeat

Of some new-incanted verse.

Thank you for the joy you bring

To a world trapped in belief

Of the rule of mundane things

And the key to Man's release.


SOON, A WEDDING

by guest poet, Jane Rakestraw

There once was a girl named Fallon

Who loved a travel challenge.

Went across the Pond did she

And met Liam while overseas.

One afternoon over tea

The "he" and "she" became a "we".

'Twas time for her to return,

Sadly their two hearts would yearn.

Unwilling to set her free,

He bought a ring and bent a knee.

This winter's eve, propose did he.

She agreed!

Soon a wedding there will be.


Day 305. Saturday 16th February 1019

HAIKU

God help humanity

When hysterical voices

Drown us in their noise


Day 304. Friday 15th February 2019

DESPISED BY FEW

I reckon I'm richer than a Rockefeller or Clinton

Because these birds are despised by millions

And very few despise yours truly.

Mind you, only a few people

Have ever heard of me . . .


Day 303. Thursday 14th February 2019

SONNET FOR VALENTINE'S

(For my Wife)

Throughout our years my love hath grown more fine,

The more I find of thee the more to love,

‘Til ev’ry day becometh Valentine’s

As the heart’s red rose burgeons from its bulb,

Or like the fruit that groweth on the vine

Blessed by kindly climes and a gentle sun,

Matures until it maketh sweetest wine

And sipped by lips benign leaves thirst undone.

When all around decays and dies with time

And even mortal flesh at length succumbs,

E’en yet do we defy that base design

For love dies not but groweth yet more strong.

And mine is stronger now than e’er it was

And thou its inspiration and its cause.


Day 302. Wednesday 13th February

FOR WHOM WOULD YOU TAKE A BULLET?

Seems to me a man's life has no riches

If there is no-one in it

He would truly take a bullet for

And if the bullet killed him

Consider he had won on the deal.

I think therefore I am wealthy

Because when I asked myself honestly

For whom would I stand in the way

Of a bullet,

I counted eight.


Day 301. Tuesday 12th February

HAIKU

If you're sick and tired

Of poem after poem,

Imagine how I feel!


Day 300. Monday 11th February 2019

Day 300

Blimey! I've reached Day 300!

No idea how I've kept going,

Nor why I chose today of all days,

To be completely stuck for a poem.


Day 299. Sunday 10th February 2019

UNTITLED

Ultimately "We The People" are to blame

For this egregiously managed planet

For the government we inherit

Is the one we are willing to tolerate.


Day 298. Saturday 9th February 2019

HAIKU

My thought for today:

What if the whole universe

Was just God's haiku?


Day 297. Friday 8th February 2019

GOVERMENT TO CURE MISERY

The cure for human misery

Is really very simple,

The government should merely ban it

And make unhappiness illegal.


Day 296. Thursday 7th February 2019

SMOKE AND MIRRORS

I've decided that the universe

Isn't big and it isn't clever.

It's great big bubble of nothing

That's perpetually inflating

Or a game of smoke and mirrors

That fooled us into thinking

It goes on and on forever.


Day 295. Wednesday 6th February 2019

SITCOM

Watching government is like

Watching some tired sitcom

That isnt very funny

But what can we expect

When the economy

Is run on debt

As its means of exchange

Instead of proper money?


Day 294 Tuesday 5th February 2019

UNTITLED

The formula for government

Is really very simple:

With PR spin and blandishments

Bamboozle lots of people.

And if you can con enough of them

You'll get yourself elected,

Then work really hard

To enrich your chums

Before everyone discovers

Your management, economics,

Diplomacy and motives

Are all seriously defective.

Then withdraw in luxury

To pave the way inevitably

For some new band of spivs

Similarly connected.


Day 293 Monday 4th February 2019

Rap of Liberation Part Six

(For the decriers and defamers of Man)

I am tired of your squabbles,

Fake news and drivel,

Your querulous shrieking

Over hubble-bubble cauldrons

Of toil and troubles,

Conjured by the hocus pocus

Of lies and distortions

And the hysterical wagging

Of self-righteous fingers.

I revile and detest your

Distemperate voices

Of feigned indignation,

Your lies and false promises

And snivelling quarrels.

I despise your misplaced blame

And your shameless games

Of mass manipulation,

Whispered rumours and false accusations,

Your divide-and-rule capers

And their choking poison

Of generalised fears

That infect the atmosphere

Of human relations,

Its fetid stench manufactured

Year after year

By your smoke-and-mirror

Denigation of people

And races and nations.

I scorn and abhor your

Cruel defamation

Of millions of humans

Trying to stay sane in

Your planetary bedlam,

Your character assassination

Of God in his heaven,

Your twisting, corruption

And sly contamination

Of good men’s aspirations

And the way you’ve sold out

To the joyless, degraded minions

Of Satan in the futile hope

Of favours when the lights go out

Throughout your global asylum.

Repent now while you can

Your egregious betrayals,

For all we will give you

Is the right to fair trial

For your crimes against Man

And your efforts to supplant

The kinship of brothers

With mistrust, travail

And an ocean of troubles.

Enjoy your cesspit,

You probably deserve it,

But ask for no favours

In this dawning

Age of liberation,

For mercy’s bestowed only

On those who have earned it.

In the meantime please consider

This poem not so much a protest

As a raised middle finger.

And when all said and done

What my message boils down to

Is two simple words

More pithy than poetical

But nevertheless true:

Fuck you!


Day 292 Sunday 3rd February 2019

PERVERSE UNIVERSE

You cannot turn back time

And undo what is done.

The bullet cannot be returned

To the breach of the smoking gun.

Alas there is no backward gear

That puts time in reverse.

Methinks there lies right there

The design fault of the universe;

If I could I’d shoot the engineer

For building something so perverse


Day 291 Saturday 2nd February 2019

SCRIPT

If life is a play all I can say

It isn’t well scripted

For I’ve a sense that the plot

Has gone and kind of drifted

And I’ve gotten my lines all

Muddled and twisted

Or even forgotten

If I’m hero or victim

Or both or neither

And lost sight of the fact

I started out as the writer.


Day 290. Friday 1st February 2019

HAIKU

Dispersed by the wind

Our lives are like thin veneers

Painted on the void

Day 289. Thursday 31st January 2019

UNTITLED

She said, “I think I’m losing my mind.”

I said, “Minds, like brains, are overrated.

I haven’t used mine for years.”

Day 288. Wednesday 30th January 2019

HANGING ON IN THERE

I’m hanging on in there

It seems by a thread

Verses lie bare

Of rhyme or tune

In my head,

Faking a life

While pretending I’m dead,

The sensation of being

So near yet so far,

The door to the future

Only slightly ajar,

Trying to squeeze through

Before the infernal thing closes

Seeking renewal

In pretences and poses,

Familiar faces in dreams

Half remembered

Resignation written

But never quite tendered.

The years like sand

Slip through my fingers

Where hope’s but an echo

That dies where it lingers

And the road to nowhere

Is a spiral instead

And I’m hanging on in there,

It seems by a thread.

Day 287. Tuesday 29th January 2019

LOST

Lost my goals

In the rubble of my

Misapprehensions

Delusions and pretensions,

Trying to become something

To avoid being nothing

Forgetting for the moment

That I’m already everything,

Decisions misfiring

Like synapses

In the mind of existence

Collapsing without resistance

Like the ashes

Of reminiscence

Abandoned to a future

Stranded in the middle distance

Between surrender

And persistence.

Day 286. Monday 28th January 2019

A POEM, QUICK!

I’ve come this far and clawed my way

To poem two-eighty-six

But now the Muse has left me

And I’m really in a fix.

My couplets slack, my haikus crap

My pentameters quite sick,

I’m getting kind of desperate,

I need a poem, quick!


Day 285. Sunday 27th January 2019

Riddle of existence

I have a personal policy,

Says I somewhat loftily.

Hypocritically or even hypothetically,

That says to never do anything

If it isn't some kind of fun,

And I'm sure that fun was the principle

On which this universe was begun,

For I can't think of any other reason

We'd set up something so ludicrous

And, let's face it. execrably dumb.

It stopped being fun a while ago

And the fact that I kept on playing

Makes me, I guess, a bum.

Now if all this sounds philosophical,

Don't be fooled for a moment,

For the plain unembellished truth of it

Is I don't know anything you don't.

And if I ever do solve this riddle

Or unravel this confounded puzzle,

Or even, I guess, make sense,

Trust me, you'll be the first to know.


Day 284. Saturday 26th January 2019I

January 26th

Today I reached 67

And admit I am faintly surprised

To find that I am still thriving

Or indeed that I am even alive.

My life’s had some tribulations

Despite which I’ve somehow survived

But rewards in e’en greater measure

Like the milestones on Destiny Drive.

And so my journey continues

Though I travel in human disguise,

And I’m not quite sure where I’m going,

Yet I’m certain I’ll surely arrive.

But most of the fun’s in the journey

And, for sure, the sporadic surprise,

Not to mention those I nearly ran over

And all the “hello’s” and “goodbye’s”.

While most of my joy’s in the people

Who have travelled by my side

I cherish the chances they gave me

To learn from wiser helmsmen than I.


Day 283. Friday 25th January 2019

I could write a Poem

I could write a poem

That praises the glorious sunrise

Limning some far horizon with flame

Or the daffodils that toss their heads in dance

Or the romance in some girl's kiss

That quickens the deadest heart

And bids it live again.

I could find a trillion things to praise

In this universe of space and time.

But whose hand wields the brush

That paints this beauty 'pon the void

Of 'tis not thine?

Who then the rightful

Target of my praise and poetry?

I search for it and

When e'er I search

I find just thee.


Day 282. Thursday 24th January 2019

Haiku

Capitalism

Creating scarcities

To control mankind

Day 281. Wednesday 23nd January 2019

Haiku

All is illusion

Dreaming our reality

All in the matrix

Day 280. Tuesday 22nd January 2019

One

The big trick

The big lie

The big con foisted

On beings who are not merely gods

But the inventors of gods

Is the idea of the One.

One life

One identity

One destiny

One solution

One universe.

Day 279. Monday 21st January 2019

Sonnet

The flowing river of my verse ran dry

And yesterday became a turgid stream,

As if the bard within me closed his eyes

And slept perchance forsaking all his dreams.

Poetic licence could, it seemed, expire

Or be by some prosaic gods revoked,

Who of my butchery of words grew tired

Or were yet to their vengeful ire provoked.

Crossing the arrid wastelands of despair,

Weighed by the corpse of poetry still-born

I smote my bardic brow and cursed the air

Whose Muse hath left him now bereft, forlorn.

When birds of rhyme have flown, beware ‘tis true!

To bring them back there’s naught a man can do.

Day 278. Sunday 20th January 2019

Poetry of Encryption

Sometimes I wonder what I do this for,

Staring at the blank page hour by hour,

Hoping to fill it with words and ideas

Or a formula perhaps for a panacea

Hidden in a rhyme like a mystical rune

Or the symbolic finger that points at the Moon.

But all I ever write are questions not answers

Unearthing more script but never the author

The vision mislaid in the maze of description

And each poem a layer of further encryption.

But the joke’s on me, there’s naught to decipher,

The game’s a pretence enjoined by the writer.

Day 277. Saturday 19th Jnauary 2019

Let's Pretend

The universe began as a game when the gods

Decided to play “let’s pretend”

And once begun, the game rolled on and on,

The beginning forgot, no sight of the end.

It seemed like a good idea at the time

And for a long while it was certainly fun

But now it has lost its reason and rhyme

Become an ordeal with no prize to be won.

The game is a game with no happy ending

‘Til we finally remember we’re only pretending.

Day 276. Friday 18th January 2019

HAIKU

Man who tells himself

“I don’t know who I am”

Knows indecision

Day 275. Thursday 17th Jnauary 2019

HAIKU

Time’s an idea,

Illusion of dimension

Dreamed up in no time

Day 274. Wednesday 16th January 2019

Welcome!

Welcome to a planet

Of artists and warriors

Explorers and builders

Consumers, destroyers,

Dreamers and schemers

Healers and slayers,

Slavers and saviours

And all the whole spectrum

Of the game and its players

And their joys and vexations

And marvel for a moment

The lengths men will go to

To get your attention.

Day 273 Tuesday 15th January 2019

Right out of Ideas

I thought I was right out of ideas

And then wondered at the

Capability of men

To see abundance as a scarcity.

Being out of ideas

Is like being short of space

In a universe that’s composed

In its vast entirety

Of almost nothing else.

Day 272 Monday 14th Jnauary 2019

Fear

He who said the people

Should not fear their government,

Spoke truth.

But when he said a government

Should fear its people,

He soiled his wisdom with falsehood.

You can’t build anything worthwhile

On fear’s trembling foundation.

Frightened men lie

And falsehoods undermine reason.

Better that each individual

Learns to be worthy of trust

For government and people comprise

Individuals in large numbers.

Day 271 Sunday 13th January 2019

Clean Hands 3

Clean hands make a happy life.

I’m glad I decided to try it.

It takes work but life gets better

The more that I honestly do it.

And you have to do it to see it’s true,

Though men with soiled hands may deny it.

So try it for a while and I promise

You’ll soon find you no longer doubt it.

Clean hands make a happy life . . .

We can’t live good lives without it.


Day 270. Saturday 12th January 2019

Products

© 2019 Steve Cook

A man who cannot say

With clarity what he's

Supposed to be producing

Will flounder in the workplace,

His efforts to be useful

Dispersed, misplaced, ill-spent.

A burden or a liability

Will he rapidly become

To the rest if us who are trying

To get something useful done.

So if we want to see an end

To confusion and lament,

It's time that we decided

Agreed and clearly stated

What the hell's supposed to be

The purpose and the product

Of our ruddy governments.


Day 269. Friday 11th January 2019

Adrift

© 2019 Steve Cook


It seems that with this poetry,

As in life, I am perpetually

Two days or more behind,

Yet I'm better off than some I see

Who are weeks or months

Or years adrift from present time -

Or governments who are by centuries

Of tardiness defined.


Day 268. Thursday 10th January 2019

Peace

© 2019 Steve Cook

Peace will never be legislated into existence

Nor enforced by applied retribution.

It exists unless someone perversely hinders

Its naturally pre-existing condition.


Day 267. Wednesday 9th January 2019

A Letter to Nice People

© 2019 Steve Cook

I thought it timely to remind you

That being nice ain't being feeble,

There’s power in things well meant.

For kindness requires brave people

And gentleness some strength.

So be not ashamed, be bolder,

Pour coals on your good intent,

For our culture rests on your shoulders

And without your endeavour, it’s spent!


Day 266. Tuesday 8th January 2019

Stuck for an Idea

© 2019 Steve Cook

I was stuck for an idea for a poem today

So I went on Facebook for inspiration.

In my own defence all I can say

In the hope of some mitigation

Is that people will do the stupidest things

When driven by blind desperation.

And just so you know my efforts availed

Me naught but the start of depression

And that in turn inspired a thought

On the nature of karmic retribution.


Day 265. Monday 7th January 2019

Mission Possible

© 2019 Steve Cook

Attention all artists

Your mission,

Should you choose to accept it,

Is to kick-start a renaissance

Of global dimensions

And lift man to the stars

On the skyrocket

Of re-awoken dreams.

Piece of cake!

And when you’ve done that,

Your next assignment

Will be something

Really difficult.


Day 264. Sunday 6th January 2019

Haiku

© 2019 Steve Cook

The truth does not lie

In the thing beheld but in

He who beholds it.


Day 263. Saturday 5th January 2019

There is nothing mediocre

© 2019 Steve Cook

There is nothing mediocre

About this planet

Or, indeed, the people on it

And if you’ll permit me to utter

Some words in your defence,

The fancied mediocrity

All around us is,

Like so-called failure,

Merely a pretence.

And you’re a genius-in-hiding

For fear you’ll give some deity

Cause to take offence.

But here’s the thing that seems to me

To be considerably odd:

You had to be quite powerful

To dream up such powerful gods.


Day 262. Friday 4th January 2019

Sometimes it is hard

© 2019 Steve Cook

Sometimes it is hard

To find reasons to be kind

When all the invitations are

To be otherwise.

But if endeavours were abandoned

Simply because they’re tough

No mother would have children,

No man would take a wife.

And if we all stopped trying

Because living’s often rough,

We’d forget the joy of living

Is simply reward enough.

And if trying to be kindly

Often seems like it’s a curse

We’d do well to be reminded

Being mean’s a whole lot worse.


Day 261. Thursday 3rd January 2019

Haiku

© 2019 Steve Cook

The cold embraces

The chill land with promises

Of Spring’s kindling fire


Day 260 Wednesday 2nd January 2019

Sonnet

© 2019 Steve Cook

This cosmos by a poem was begun

In mystic misty ages born of verse

By joyful gods its magic staves were sung

Whose chorus brought to life a universe.

And even yet doth life our words transcend

The coded sounds that stumble from the tongue

And inky symbols scratched by humble pens

Are but a shadow where each thought’s the sun.

And the poet strives in vain to wring from words

Some echo of the magic that he sees

And the music of the gods still distant heard,

Once near is now a fading symphony.

The verse of gods you made is always thine

That you must now look up, not down, to find.


Day 259 Tuesday 1st January 2019

Happy (cough, cough) New Year!

© 2019 Steve Cook

I thought I''d start the new year

By contracting the flu,