Poemathon 2

poems 208 to 318

The earlier poetry in this Poemathon is here. Poems 319 onwards are here

Day 318. Friday 1st March 2018

HAIKU

Some men are asleep

Some are awake and some are

Dreaming they’re awake

Day 317. Thursday 28th February 2019

PRECEDENT

I wonder what it would be like,

A government of truly honest men,

Sincerely driven by service to their fellows

And not to their own aggrandisement

Nor enrichment of their friends,

A government free of criminals,

Conmen, spivs and sharks

Devoted to our enfranchisement

Not keeping us in the dark,

Who look upon the people

As worthy of their best,

Neither secretive nor cynical

With no honest man oppressed.

I think it would be wonderful,

But it’s a guess with little evidence,

For looking for an example

I could find no precedent.

Sometimes it seems the future

Of a man or of a nation

Must perforce be created newly

From pure imagination.

Day 316. Wednesday 27th February

GROWING PAINS

The human race is growing up

And that growth has many stages

And its tantrums are but showing up

It’s entered its teen ages.

Day 315. Tuesday 26th February 2019

TICKS

Human civilisation,

I think could well be like

A giant brought low and stricken

By a lethal infestation

Of ticks and parasites.

Day 314 Monday 25th February 2019

FOR IGNAZ SEMMELWEIS, Austrian-Hungarian women's physician (1818-1865)

Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian physician,

Cleverly discovered in 1847

That maternal mortality surrendered

To the use of disinfectants.

He is remembered by posterity

As the saviour of mothers

For the lives saved by the million

By the hygiene he discovered.

But in his day this contradicted

The “science” of the time

And the rule of fools and charlatans

Made new ideas a crime

And men of low intelligence

So busy being right

Would rather mothers perished

For their fixed ideas held tight.

So Semmelwiss was vilified

By men not fit to lick his boots

And yesterday’s equivalent

Of criminals in suits.

Dubbed a fool and ridiculed

He endured a living hell,

He lost his job and eventually

His sanity as well.

He ended his days with psychiatrists

Who finished the poor guy off

With drugs, restraints and violence

And beat him in the end to death.

But he’s the one who’s remembered

As a hero of his years

And forgotten now forever

The fools and knaves who sneered.

Now we’re bright enough to recognise

That new ideas don’t bite

And only the howls of idiots

Can keep us from the light.

Day 313. Sunday 24th February 2019

FOR GIORDANO BRUNO, Italian philosopher and astronomer (1548-1600)

Giordano Bruno declared

The Earth goes round the sun,

In voicing his idea he dared

To annoy the Vatican.

In a spirit of Christian mercy

He was sentenced to the stake

And burned in screaming agony

For his heretical mistake.

The Pope of course contended

Bruno was at fault and liable

For expressing things not mentioned

Anywhere in the Bible.

If I’d been Mr Bruno

I’d have kept my trap well shut,

Contacted Galileo

And quietly written it all up.

These days of course we never

Burn heretics at the stake,

We just slag them off on Twitter

Or call them libtards, fools or fakes.

So I guess some things are milder

And we live in a world less cruel

And people perhaps are kinder

And less vicious as a rule.

Be glad that reign of terror

Long ago was ended

And all we get is slander

From thickoes easily offended.

Day 312. Saturday 23rd February 2019

AND ON A LIGHTER NOTE . . .

After deep deliberation

For more than seven minutes

I have conclusively decided

That when I'm dead I want to be

Not buried but cremated.

All I ask - and please take note

For here I am in earnest -

Make very sure I'm really dead

Before you light the furnace.

Surprised to hear me voice such fears

Over prematue immolation?

Well, in my defence I ask you this:

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

Day 311. Friday 22nd |February 2019

HAIKU

Top of the food chain

We are hoping that someone

Invents a new game

Day 310. Thursday 21st February 2019

MONEY

Money, in case you had not noticed

Is primarily and well nigh exclusively

Comprised of numbers entered digitally

Into computer memories.

As such therefore it is undoubtedly

The cheapest and easiest thing on the ruddy

Planet to produce.

To make it perpetually slightly scarce

Whilst convincing the multitudes

The scarcity's unavoidable

Requires extraordinary feigned ineptitude

Backed up by malevolent genius.

Day 309. Wednesday 20th February 2019

SCARCE

Capitalism: create scarcity

Keynsian economics: create want.

Communism: distribute the above evenly.

In a civilisation capable

Of creating vast abundance

This takes quite some doing

But luckily for the capitalists

Economicts, socialists and allied

Certifiable dunces

The banksters have this covered

By creating money based on debt

And thus rendering our spending power

- the means by which demand's expressed -

Artificially scarce.

Day 308. Tuesday 19th February 2019

TOUGH CHOICES

Brexit or Union?

Democrat or Republican?

Socialism or Capitalism?

Tory or Labour?

Smoke or Mirror?

Frying pan or Fire?

Day 307. Monday 18th February 2019

MOCK-UP

When we look at one another

What do we really see,

Who the person really is

Or a mock-up of who we think,

Or assume or hope that they be?

And when we take a friend or lover.

In great or small degree

Time adds depth and colour,

Nuance, detail and history

And by increments amended

The mock-up grows closer

In approximation

To their true reality.

And we know we are on a winner

When we discover we're beholding

A mock-up, much-amended,

That is even better

Than the original we created.

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,

Think of 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

WE, THE PEOPLE

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

UNUSED

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