30th. December, 2012
Stop Press! The New Year’s Honours List
is out. They’ve dubbed old Wiggo “Sir”.
Another reason to get pissed,
before he makes those wheels purr.
After a hard day in the saddle,
he’ll be a knight upon two wheels.
A Knight at Arms with legs, our Brad’ll
flash the pack a gartered pair of heels.
Farewell to Bradley Wiggins, esquire,
a modest, modern Apollo.
Arise, Sir B. Let fame inspire
our youth your cyclist’s wheels to follow.
Let white van drivers stay behind.
Let 4 x 4s, and even Porsches,
retain your image in their minds,
on all bikes see Olympian torches.
© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 19th./20th./25th./30th. December, 2012
They say “There’s one born every minute”
but for those whose minute’s now,
is it worthwhile that they begin it
as the world’s due to go “Pow!”?
If apocalypse materialises
and we dematerialise
and the sun no longer rises,
this would come as no surprise
were there anyone to observe it,
but of course there will be none
and I suppose that we deserve it.
Who can say? We’ll all be gone!
So have a Happy early Christmas.
Celebrate it very soon.
Look for an isolated isthmus
for this Friday afternoon.
2013 (Twenty thirteen) could be unlucky
or it may not be at all.
The resolution could be yuckie,
asteroid the New Year’s Ball.
© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 13th. December, 2012
Whilst the French have the can can and Follies Bergères,
a delight when one’s feeling skittish.
On this side the channel we avoid flesh that’s bare.
We’re known for “No Sex, Please, We’re British”.
But is this the British Isles’ real state of affairs?
Can this be the State of our Nation?
Is the fault Cameron-Clegg’s or just Brown and Blair’s?
Surely populace needs copulation.
Now the Irish divide into Catholics or Prods
and a good Catholic genuflects.
He won’t wear a condom. It’s abhorred by his gods.
Father Jack’s only comments were “fecks”.
And what of the Scotsman, our far northern cousin?
We wouldn’t be showing our respects
if we didn’t mention when he wants half a dozen,
Wee Willie will just growl, “Gi’ me sex”.
And of course when you’re staying north of the border
and in whisky stills up to the hilt,
a Scotsman will tell you all’s in working order
for nothing is worn under his kilt.
(Think about it)
And in “Under Milk Wood”, there are strange goings on:
it’s night time and everyone’s dreaming.
Often it’s sex the sleepers are dwelling upon.
It’s llewd, llustful, llurid and steaming.
So we’re left with the English and stiff upper lips,
though an aspect one sometimes neglects
is a stiffening somewhere near pelvis and hips.
Gosh, the English are normal at sex.
© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 11th. December, 2012
Yo, man! Eh, we ‘ad a right laugh on Sat’day night.
We was like right off our faces and out of it.
We was hangin’ out with Ryan. He’s alright,
but his mates are borin’. Mind, his Jade is real fit.
This crap car was like parked on the pavement,
so Liam he gives it a kick.
Trace, she’s gob-smacked and screams in amazement:
“What yer doin’, yer stupid dick?”
Now our Jason’s been doin’ Thai kickin’
And the mirrah’s right in his way.
While Courtney sees if there’s owt worth knickin’,
he Bruce Lee’s it like it’s a gay.
There’s a crack and the bits are all over.
The mirrah goes fuckin’ flyin’
and shatters like one of them supa nova.
This nosey old git he starts spyin’.
I can see him peerin’ and chunterrin’ away.
Then he’s on the ‘phone in a flash.
and he’s shoutin’, “You bloody vandals’ll pay!”,
all posh with a milit’ry ’tash’. (stash)
Leg it? No way. We’re ’ard and we don’t give a fuck
for any old bastard or t’cops.
So, we walks away cool and finger the schmuck.
Then out of this cop car there ’ops
a uniformed kid not that much older than you.
There are ten of us, one of him. Yo!
“Right, you lot, listen. I’ve got a question or two”.
He glances round at the bimbo
who looks a bit like either Cagney or Lacey
calling all cars on this phone thing.
Some of the lads are shitting their pants. So’s Tracey.
I says, “What’s up? We’ve done nuffing.”
He points at me and says like, “Shut it, you hothead.
When I want you to speak, you’ll know.
Who broke that mirror? We know that you were spotted.
Own up now and the rest can go.”
They must think that there’s like one born every minute.
We just stared him right in the eyes.
We knew there was no way they could hope to pin it
on Jason or none of us guys.
Just then, three cars and police motorbikes various
drew up like they was cavalry.
It was getting too heavy, way far too serious.
They’d been watching too much TV.
We let them rant on and try to intimidate.
We looked at the floor not to grin.
They went on till my nerves were starting to grate.
I needed a handy sick bin.
“It were only like a fuckin’ mirrah, Sarge” I said.
“Aye, a mirror on society”,
he replied. What’s that bleedin’ well about? Dickhead.
I can’t stand their bleedin’-heart piety.
© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 12th. November, 2012
I have decided to post the first chapter of the postmodern novel I began last year, entitled, Scenes from a Basement Café. It might not be to some of your tastes and currently only stands at 3,000 words, but I thought if I am going to comment on other’s work they should have the opportunity to comment on mine, since, you know, it’s a bit … more thought than substance.
Scenes from a Basement Café follows the story of Iris, with the interweaving story of a man from her past, Job. There is magic realism, cartoons become reality, fairytales can kill and puppets are able to make people children again.
There might be a few formatting issues, but we’ll get there eventually.
Inhale tea leaves
– let them steep upon your tongue,
dull, flaccid, they shall be your lover
they will numb all feeling
you will no longer care about the fact he left you
he left you
he took your heart, and replaced it with a vacuum
you’re an automaton
11:42, September 27th
Scooby-Doo sits in the corner, eating I-Don’t-Know-What’s out of somebodies handbag. She doesn’t notice him, can’t hear the crunching, sloshing and slurping. I listen to each distinct crack of his jaw, each rolled ‘R’ of his voice, as he smacks his lips together. He belches and grins, showing the light yellow goo that fills every crack and crevice on his face. I half-expect him to lick it off, and disappear behind an orange and blue screen – this is the end of a Hanna-Barbera production.
But he hasn’t solved the mystery. We’ve barely started, the Mystery Machine has yet to break down, there’s no reason for Daphne to find herself in danger. Not yet. We must remember that the mystery is no longer important – there is no need for plot, Scooby may have developed a liking for lemon-scented soap instead of Scooby Snacks.
Since this isn’t the end, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I see mere snippets of people’s lives. I pour drinks, offer compliments alongside bacon sandwiches – this basement café is a brief interlude. Customers come here, eat, drink and discuss. I hear snatches of conversations and try to formulate their tale.
He’s clumsy as he approaches me, wagging his tail. It’s a jaunty sort of walk. Strange, how he doesn’t fall flat on his face, slip on the tiles, and bloody his lips.
Cartoons rarely hurt themselves; they can fall from cliff tops and survive. Oh, to be a cartoon character, to have my heart break, and have it fixed by the end of a ten minute segment!
A teenage boy leans across a table, knocks the sugar bowl to the ground. It turns over itself, sugar grains spill through Scooby-Doo’s body and he flickers, as though someone is turning the dial on a television. The bowl smashes: crystals and shards glitter together.
I push away from the counter, reach for the dustpan and brush beneath me and take them.
All eyes are on me as I scrape my feet along. The boy and his mother murmur half-hearted apologies. I wonder whether ‘sorry’ means anything in this world anymore. I find myself constantly apologising, it’s almost as though I should be sorry for this boy. He should be forgiven because he was blinded by his shaggy brown hair; he could not see the bowl.
I brush the remnants into the dustpan and return to my post behind the counter. I offer them another bowl of sugar, but the mother shakes her head. They’re out of the door, before I’ve had time to tell them it was ‘no problem’ for the umpteenth time.
Conversations resume …
‘our Harold says Sydney’s an homosexual.’
‘’ow would your Harold know?’
‘he were in RAF, they’re trained fer this type a’ thing.’
‘they’re renaming everything nowadays.’
‘it’s bus shelters – too many bus shelters not enough Chaucer.’
‘I love ‘im, Shirl, I love ‘im.’
‘does ‘e love you?’
‘it dunner matter, Shirl, because I -’
‘’e’s bin shagging Tracey from round th’corner.’
‘’ow could yer lie t’ me, yer two-faced cow.’
A handbag lies undisturbed beside a woman eating lemon drizzle cake. She eats with a fork to avoid sticky fingers. Once she’s finished, she licks the tip of her index finger and dabs the crumbs up, nibbling them from her skin. Her cheeks inflate like a hamster’s, and she meets my gaze.
I’m singing to myself, a high-pitched note, probably unheard beneath the sound of Nancy Sinatra’s Summer Wine. ‘Scooby-Dooby-Doo, Where are you? We need some help from you now.’
I take my tea white with two sugars.
I do not need a man. Do not need someone who tells me that beehives went out with jazz music. That my love for this café is covering up something else. I loved you – I wasn’t covering up my love for anyone. This wasn’t about father issues.
Take off your silver spurs and help me pass the time,
and I will give to you summer wine.
I think it’s time for tea, Mad Hatter,
would you care for tea?
My name it is Victoria. I’ve loads and loads of dosh.
I also have a hubby. We’re known as Becks and Posh.
Now I’m the one who’s famous, He was just a ManU. hero,
but I was once THE Spice Girl before I was size zero.
I’m bringing back this pair of jeans. It’s disgusting that they’ve shrunk.
How dare you! Me, put on weight? I eat like a Buddhist monk.
You’ll never sell another pair. I’ll make certain sure of that.
You’ll pay for insinuating I might have an ounce of fat.
What’s that I hear you mutter? I should go and see a shrink.
If my lashes weren’t so heavy, you’d see me pout and blink.
I’m off to an emporium where they know a girl with taste
and buy an outfit fits so tight, it helps keep David chaste.
© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 8th./9th. November, 2012
This was an exercise set by Sandi Milsom: No, I haven’t put on weight. My jean’s have shrunk.
It was a cotton-wooly day.
“It’s still bloody November,” said Jimmy out aloud, checking the calendar as he did so. “Who’s sending out cards so early?” He picked the envelope up off the mat. “Hmmm, quality. Expensive. Someone’s splashing out,” he thought.
He looked out the window. Cotton wool everywhere. And starting to come in through the windows. “Wow!” he said to himself.
Jimmy’s alright. Twenty six years old, decent job (insurance), good group of friends, blokes and the other, regular girlfriend Jenny; here’s Jimmy and Jenny they call out as the two of them wander into the boozer. Has his own two bedroomed flat in an up-and-coming area, well equipped kitchen from which he cooks up some great meals for friends or family and sometimes both. Medium sized car, economical but can give some voom if called for. Money in the bank, pension scheme and two holidays a year, one with Jenny and one with his mates. Takes care with his appearance without overdoing the deodorants.
Yeah, Jimmy Entwistle is sorted. Normal. No issues.
He picked up his letter opener, a prezzie from Jenny for their first “anniversary.” Silver, hallmarked, beautifully balanced. “The dame’s got taste”, he said to himself out the corner of his mouth.
Slit, slit, blade cutting through paper. Oh, not a Christmas card. An invitation to a funeral. Next Friday afternoon. Three o’clock. “Can do that. Who’s getting done?” Jimmy read the card. “Nah, that’s my name, I’m reading it wrong.” Confusion. You know the sort of thing. Lasts for a second or so and then you spot where you went wrong and give a little guffaw. But not this time! “Must be some other Jimmy E”. But RSVP to Mrs Elsie Entwistle, 14 Abercombe Drive. “What? Hold on. That’s me mum. What’s going on?”
A joke. A prank. In poor taste. Especially when me mum’s name is used. He pulled out his mobile and punched the shortcut to Dave. Dave Caruthers, best mate through school and then after they came back from their respective uni’s. Dave at Leeds, He at Birmingham. Best of mates. And Dave married his sister Lizzie. Shared confidences and helped each other through the occasional bad times. “Head screwed on proper, is Dave,” thought Jimmy. “This doesn’t feel like his hand.”
He spoke, “Dave, nice one. But not too sure where it goes.”
“Hey, Jimmy,” said the handset. “Wasn’t expecting to hear from you. Busy with the baba, but a quick chat, okay?”
“This funeral thingy. What’s the score?”
“Ah,” said the handset. “Speak to Lizzie. You really must. Now. She’ll be at your mum’s place. The family’s working on this together. Speak to her.”
Jimmy swiped at the air, trying to shift the cotton wool. “It’s a plot, they’re in it together. But I don’t see the fun side of it.”
He dialed Lizzie. “Hi Lizzie. This funeral thing. Nice one. I’ll be there. You want formal dress?”
A gasp from Lizzie, “Oh Jimmy, I’m so sorry. You shouldn’t have got that. Big mistake and when I asked the post office to retrieve it they said it was too late. I tried to stop it, honestly, Jimmy. You must believe me.”
“Lizzie, stop, I can’t keep up … .”
“Oh Jimmy. We all loved you so much. And then this happens. How can we live without you? You can guess what it’s been like for mum. And Jenny. And me. Poor Jenny, widowed before she’s even wed. It’s a tragedy.”
“Lizzie, Lizzie, whoa, a joke too far… .”
“Please don’t Jimmy, don’t do this to us. It’s bad enough as it is. Don’t play games with us, it’s not fair. You know how much we all loved you, me and mum and Jenny. And Dave, he’s gone all peculiar, he also loved you. Jimmy, I’ve never known grief like this before. It’s totally overwhelming. For mum too. Our lives are no longer the same without you and that’s also true for a lot of other people. Over 100 people are coming on Friday, proper church service it’s going to be. It’s a big thing. And we’ll be playing I Did it My Way, of course, and Roy Orbison’s It’s Over. The whole thing’s helping us, it’s therapeutic. We’re handling it well, we’ll be okay, it’s just mum and her dodgy heart, we need to avoid any more shocks, you understand that. Mum says she’s never been happier in her life. God she loved you. You were a good son and a great brother, we miss you so much. Don’t spoil this for us. Don’t be cruel. Leave it, Jimmy. Leave it.”
That night Jimmy didn’t sleep too well.
If you would like to hear more of Phil Poyser’s work, he will be performing at Write Out Loud on Tuesday 20th November 2012, 7:30 pm for the cost of £3.00.
He has also recently been published in the anthology, Strokes of Inspiration, by Rialto Press, for his poem “Childhood Photograph”.
To Marrow and To Marrow and To Marrow ….
(Apologies to “O Sole Mio”, Elvis’s “It’s Now or Never” and “Just One Cornetto”)
Just one courgetto. Give it to me.
It’s called “zucchini” in Italy.
To marrow, if we’re too late,
It’s now or never, so please don’t wait.
When I first saw it
With its flesh so tender,
My heart was captured,
My soul surrendered.
I’d spend a lifetime
Waiting for the right time.
Now that it’s near,
The time is here at last.
Just one courgetto. Give it to me.
It’s called “zucchini” in Italy.
To marrow, if we’re too late,
It’s now or never, our stove won’t wait.
©Phil Poyser, Plot 6A
Macclesfield, 28th. / 31st. August, 2010
Imagine a mangrove tree, uprooted and transplanted:
four stout trunks thrust upwards,
merging tongue and groove
into a platform, a flat form,
on which, in some strange symmetry,
and not unlike the acorns on an oak,
the egg cups, with their brown-shelled fruit, grow.
© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 12th. October, 2012
This was an exercise in John Lindlay’s Goosfest workshop in which we were asked to choose an object which we later imagined being buried and a tree grew from it!
I was in the supermarket.
It was starting to get dark. It
was just a paranormal kind of day.
There was late October folly,
skirting pumpkins with my trolley,
but to the bakery aisle I made my way.
So, just imagine my surprise
(as if I’d seen a pig that flies)
when across my path another trolley sped.
What will each and all astonish,
there was no one to admonish
and above it hovered several loaves of bread.
Now I believe in fairy cakes,
but loaves which gravity forsakes
are not within the scope of what is known.
It can’t be the yeast still rising.
It’s ectoplasm energising?
Now I’m ready to admit that pigs have flown.
Or could it be self-raising flour***
is the source of upthrust power,
this weird, but baffling, new phenomenon?
Perhaps it’s somehow being faked,
an advertising stunt, half-baked,
though there’s nothing there to put my finger on?
So what supports this upper crust?
I must confess myself nonplussed.
It’s poltergeist or just another con?
Prankster’s reins upon the tiller
or the ghost of cereal miller,
one moment glimpsed and then forever gone?
Now if like Shakespeare’s princely Dane,
such sightings go against the grain
and you’re haunted by a loaf, not dear old Dad,
bread’s long been the staff of Life.
The hovering kind is not yet rife
Candid Camera’s on the prowl and you’ve been had!
*** Audience suggestion at Bollington Folk Night, Dog and Partridge.
© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 11th./27th. October, 2012
This was an exercise in Jill Walsh’s workshop to set a ghost-related poem somewhere you would least expect.
I sometimes wonder what my husband does
Twixt all the hours from leaving and return
When he flags down the local bus
And climbs aboard, he simply seems to spurn
My waving hand, my superficial smile
As I prepare to rifle through his things
I guess there’s nothing in that big black file
The one with massive clunky silver rings
But, no, no, no – my instincts served me wrong
It’s full of sonnets to a girl called Sue
It seems to be an amatory song
‘I long, I long, I long to be with you’
I wipe my eyes with lacy handkerchief
Tomorrow I will go and see my brief
Life it’s all about possibilities, lots of people say it’s about choices, they may have a point but I’d just ignore them. Did you choose the job you ended up with? The person you’re sitting next to right now even the country you’re living in, no. Well most of the time it’s just down to random chance, the role of the dice or the cut of the deck if you will.
You see that’s where this story begins, in a quiet small scale airport, with a delayed flight to some supposedly unique and interesting forgotten backwater of civilisation you know the ones that your university friends are always going on about, but that’s not the point we are getting side tracked. The only thing to note is the plane was delayed and that he was bored trapped in a clone airport with row after row of shops that you’d find on any street, in any town across half the Western World.
He took to wandering the airport, people watching as he went by trying to guess peoples jobs, or perhaps their destination anything to pass the time.
Until he gave up walked into the nearest bar and ordered a pint, then sat off to one side near a window, the table was cluttered with barely enough room to set his drink down. A waitress was quickly over though to clear the mess “Are these yours Sir?” indicating a deck of cards encased in a well worn packet “No, no” “Well we’d just chuck them away anyhow, do you want them possibly to pass some time before your flight?” she smiled “Sure why not, I mean erm thanks” the waitress wondered off to clear up the rest of the bar. He opened the deck, thinking he’d just play a quick game of patience or something, as he fanned out the deck he noticed something peculiar for every card the picture on the back was different, the numbers and patterns on the front varied as well but every card was different. He leafed through the deck examining each of the cards from standard red diamond pattern, to Homer Simpson; to a Chinese Dragon every card was different. His first thought was that might make playing cards interesting if you knew all the patterns, not where did they all come from or how random it was that they were all different for the cards definitely didn’t look like they were designed to come together, they had come from 52 completely different decks.
He thought nothing more of it for a while, shuffling the deck and then dealing the cards out one after another to form a clock. Round the dial it read blue diamond mosaic, plain red, an old and well worn vintage design with bicycles in the four corners a leaf pattern round the edges a globe in the middle, a Chinese dragon, Homer Simpson, Some Character from an old 90s video game. Then round the other side of the dial an intricate Romanian design centred with a cross clearly religious, one that looked like those old magic eye posters, a fox, from first glance what looked to be an 80s punk band ripping of the classic Clash Album Cover, some foreign looking cartoon character he didn’t recognise, a semi naked girl lounging by a beach like you get on those naff wish you were here cards the world over and in the centre a yin and yang motif. An interesting sight you might think but he was barely paying attention at this point, busy selecting a new track on his phone, clicking refresh to see if there were any new updates the usual routine.
He proceeded to idly play the game of patience, not paying much attention to the variety of the deck half concentrating on the numbers showing him which to play next until he got down to the very last card or in fact what was to be the last card he could play. Later when telling the tale initially he would say with the flip of the very last card the address where it all began was revealed.
He turned over the fourth king, banging his hand against the table damn! Lost it spilling a little of his drink on the table in the process, it was about the coat the card in beer so he quickly snatched up the card before it got too damp sweeping the rest out of the way. That was when he noticed there was writing on the card, it was an address and a short phrase in Turkish sag olun he thought it meant thank you or at least something along those lines; languages were never quite that straightforward he had found. The address had faded slightly but was still legible Madi Hotel Bursa, Uluyol Kibris Sehitleri Caddesi No:87, Bursa, Turkey, it looked to be of some hotel or possibly hostel in Bursa.
Flicking through his Lonely Planet he came across the page for turkey from the looks of things it was directly South across the Sea of Mamara from Istanbul more or less and a little ways inland.
“The following services now have scheduled departure times Prague, Amsterdam, Berlin and Istanbul if you could make your way through security in the next half an hour and prepare for departure that would be greatly appreciated.”
“Finally, thought I’d be here for hours” he said to no one in particular. He flipped over the fourth king and placed it on top of the pile slipping it back into the deck quickly noting though the picture on the back, odd he was sure he’d seen that image somewhere before but nothing came to mind. A P with a cross through it set in a circle looked vaguely medieval, the card appeared almost brand new, it had to be the one of the least worn cards he’d seen.
He tucked the cards into his front pocket along with his phone, double checked wallet and passport swung his bag onto his back and set off down to security.
The photo is in black and white.
It dates from the early fifties.
This might be its diamond jubilee year.
It shows a young boy
on the lawn in front of a semi.
He peers, squinting into the sun
and the camera lens.
And behind the camera?
His Mam? A friend? Not his Dad.
His Dad won’t be home from the pit yet.
By the boy’s feet, a dog relaxes,
tongue lolling in the heat.
The dog, a smooth-haired fox terrier,
is lean, alert, intelligent.
It’s the boy who is chubby with puppy fat.
He will cry for a week when his dog is run over.
He will cry less when his Dad dies
or even ten years after that, for his Mam.
He does not know that very soon
he will be me.
© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 27th. June, 2012
Of all crazy games that were ever in vogue,
I’d love to play “Twister” with Kylie Minogue,
though on reflection, it would still be for nought.
like basketball, Twister’s a non-contact sport.
With bodies contorted (I’d bend mine like Becks,
and stifle all thoughts of the opposite sex)
and mind concentrating on neutral gender,
I’d lean over backwards so as not to offend her.
“Stop there before it gets any sillier.
You’re too old for acute Kyliephilia.”
“Don’t be a drongo,” I mutter quite shyly,
“How else would I live my dreamtime with Kylie?”
For it’s not in, it’s uncool, it’s not à la mode.
A game of society alone is plain odd.
The question arises : Why’s Life so unfair
and I end up playing “Twister” solitaire ?
© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 17th. January, 2003
Joan Rivers, why d’you make me smile?
I’m chuckling at your style all day
Oh, joke maker, mickey taker,
Wherever you’re showing, I’m going to pay.
Face-lifted, all around the world.
You’ve such a lot of surgery.
Our laughter is your rainbow’s end –
Writing your own blend,
Jokes which will offend,
Joan Rivers. Tee hee!
Moon River, wider than a mile, I’m crossing you in style some day. Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker, wherever you’re going I’m going your way. Two drifters off to see the world. There’s such a lot of world to see. We’re after the same rainbow’s end– waiting ’round the bend, my huckleberry friend, Moon River and me.
©Phil Poyser Macclesfield, 7th.
The English Abroad: A R(h)ap-sod-you in Red, White and Blue
[This is somewhere between a rap and a rant and based on the typical Brit’s choice of beach footwear. What’s the difference between a rap and a rant? About 40 years!
Sometimes hoodies; often vandals;
Always black socks worn with sandals;
Some with moustache, bar with handles;
Always black socks with brown sandals;
Mobile phones and hacking scandals;
Always black socks worn with sandals.
We’re the English when abroad,
Up to here with being cole-slawed.
Keep your croissants, stick French sticks.
We’re your lager louts with chicks.
We are awkward. You’d say “gauche”.
Some of us can be quite “posh”.
Teeth stick out so we look horsey,
Laugh, guffaw, when jokes are saucy.
Barmy army; stiff-lipped Brits;
We show all our naughty bits;
Stiff-lipped Brits or barmy army;
Downright slag; demure schoolmarmy.
Osborne, Cam’ron, son of Mandel’s;
All with black socks worn with sandals;
Even one-legged, stump a-dangle;
One black sock and one brown sandal;
Foolish virgins without candles?
Monokini, socks and sandals.
For arrogance, we’re second to none,
Even though our Empire’s gone.
(The sun has set where once it shone,
Set on Devon tea with scone).
We’ve got ASBOs, ’cos we’re chavs.
We’re the have-nots. You’re the haves.
In the street we’re pushing prams,
Crisps and pop for t’ little lambs.
We don’t understand the lingo.
We’d prefer to be at bingo.
In your face and never deft.
Rule Britannia on the left.
On the left, it’s Rule Britannia.
We can’t stand us. You can’t, can yer?
©Phil Poyser Macclesfield, 28th. September, 2011
He was quiet and introverted. A nod would just suffice.
He minded his own business, wouldn’t pry at any price.
He nurtured his allotment plot with tender loving care,
but sometimes you might catch him with a far off, wistful stare.
He’d sit down with his mug of tea, well-earned mid-morning break,
or pause from planting labours and lean hard upon his rake.
His head would fill with images that frankly he deplored.
He had no explanation as shrill noises howled and roared.
It seemed he manned a long boat oar with rough and calloused hands.
He’d crossed the sea at risk of life to reach these hostile lands.
He wore a Viking helmet, by his side his trusty axe,
which hung there at the ready till he reached their squalid shacks.
Blood-curdling oaths he’d utter as he lashed out left and right.
He never gave a second thought, just hacked with all his might
and speed was of the essence ere the men folk would return:
seize what they could, then back to sea and leave the huts to burn.
Were Eric’s ancestral voices an echo from his genes?
He mulled this concept over as he hoed his peas and beans.
These days he rakes and tillages. It’s spuds that he will sack
and only in odd moments DNA will draw him back.
The distant past lies buried and long gone those roving bands.
Nowadays, blood, fish and bone meal, it is on Eric’s hands.
So, pass the time of day with him, then leave him to his work.
For there’s the faintest, outside chance that Eric’ll go berserk.
©Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 15th./20th. May, 2012
Poetry should shock you.
Poetry shouldn’t lull.
Poetry is anything,
Anything but dull.
Poetry should stimulate,
Cause goose bumps of the mind.
Poetry should return you
To the child you’ve left behind.
Poetry should be funny,
Walk through fields of dappled light,
Wade deep through waters murky.
Poetry is deft brush strokes on
The canvas of the page.
Words may take on verdant hues
Or russets, brown and beige.
Poetry is the music
Where words compose the notes.
And bittersweet the phrase
Bringing lumps into our throats.
Poetry walks a high wire,
The safety net is trust..
One slip can see a fatal fall.
Another one bites the dust.
Poetry should titillate,
Seduce and gently tease.
Poetry should dance, cavort.
Poetry, yes please.
Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 19th. October. 1998
There once was a curious limerick,
Of several verse forms was a chimaeric.
At 14 lines long, it
Resembled a sonnet.
And it included lists
Of some Impressionists,
Ranging from Bremner to Monet,
It then went the whole hog,
Lending ear to van Gogh.
When its virtues were very few,
It turned into a clerihew,
Then extolled the Good Life
Praised the role of a wife.
Wasn’t that a uxorious limerick ?
© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 31st. July, 2002 and 25th. October, 2009
My sonnet began at line 1.
With line 2, it continued on.
By line 3, to be quick,
It transformed to lim’rick,
So the lines after 5 had all gone.
The lim’rick’s sixth line brought me back
With relief to sound sonnet track,
But it soon became clear,
There was something quite queer
And the couplets just weren’t going to stack.
Thus with mild trepidation
Mixed with joy and elation,
The penultimate line
Seemed to work out just fine.
© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 2nd/3rd. March, 2009 and 23rd. June, 2011
Villanelle (Amended version)
Today I wrote a villanelle.
Who would have thought a form could kill?
I racked my brains. I went through hell.
Yet somehow I just lacked the skill,
The words which help a poem to swell.
Today I wrote a villanelle.
But images which bind and gel,
Tug hearts and make emotions spill?
I racked my brains. I went through hell.
Until upon a theme I fell.
Excitement surged. I felt a thrill.
Today I wrote a villanelle.
It worked, though only time will tell.
Exhausted, I’d been through the mill.
I racked my brains. I went through hell.
I’d climbed the heights just like Jo Bell.
I’d reached the summit of the hill.
Today I wrote a villanelle.
I racked my brains. I went through hell.
© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 21st. July and 21st. August, 2012
* Version corrected after Joy Winkler pointed out that the repeat of line 1 should be at line 6, not at line 4. Doh!
Puts on the red dress, short, cut low.
Knock-‘em dead perfume: Dangerous to Know.
Lipstick to match, always drives ‘em wild
Black seamed stockings, voluptuously styled.
Red shoes six inch heels. Killer. Never fails.
Glued on false eyelashes, false finger nails.
One last look in the mirror – no five o’clock shadow.
Tall and slim and slinky, he’s every sailor’s hello.
© Patrick Prinsloo 2012