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Category: Poem

The widow and the Sea

“You took my man,” the widow said.
“I did,” the Sea replied.
“He was my man, and now he’s dead.”
“He loved me, ere he died.”

“He loved us both,” the widow said.
“He did,” the Sea replied.
“I loved my man, by hearth, in bed,
I loved him by my side.”

“He kissed your lips,” the widow said,
“as if you were his bride.
So kiss me now, as if we’re wed.”
They kissed, and then Sea cried.

The woman left, with lonely pride.
The Sea, in love, then pled:
“I’ll come again, with every tide!
With all the tears you’ve shed!”

The woman moved inland instead.

I lik the form

My naym is pome / and lo my form is fix’d
Tho peepel say / that structure is a jail
I am my best / when formats are not mix’d
Wen poits play / subversions often fail

Stik out their toung / to rebel with no cause
At ruls and norms / In ignorance they call:
My words are free / Defying lit’rate laws
To lik the forms / brings ruin on us all

A sonnet I / the noblest lit’rate verse
And ruls me bind / to paths that Shakespeare paved
Iambic fot / allusions well dispersed
On my behind / I stately sit and wave

You think me tame /
  Fenced-in and penned / bespelled
I bide my time /
  I twist the end / like hell


* “lik” should be read as “lick”, not “like”. In general, the initial section on each line should be read sort of phonetically.

Written for World Poetry Day, March 21, 2018. When I had this idea earlier today, I thought it was the worst, most faux hip pretentious idea for a shallow demonstration of empty wordsmithing skill in poetry ever. So I had to try to write it. I mean, how often do you get to fuse the iambic dimeter of bredlik – one of the newest and most exciting verse forms – with the stately iambic pentameter of the classic sonnet?


Since I have been asked what I mean by “a shallow demonstration of empty wordsmithing skill” I guess I should clarify. What’s made this poem take off on Tumblr is not, I’m guessing, the sentiment expressed (a meta-discussion on poetry is supposed to be fun and free vs sonnets must follow strict rules but can still surprise) but the wordsmithing skill on display.

I personally find it much easier to be technically clever and fulfill artificial constrictions, than to express interesting and worthwhile ideas in a way that brings them alive. This kind of wordsmithing is a lot of fun to perform, and can be fun to read, but you remember the showmanship, not the story, or whether there was a story there at all.

So in this instance, I blew the budget on special effects, and had nothing left for a decent script, good actors, and tight direction. Which is fine, sometimes that’s what you want to make, or see. But I’m not pretending it’s anything but popcorn.

The magic beings three

In truth, this world is only home
To beings three of magic touch:
The cats, who all the realms may roam,
Yet know that little is too much.

The goats, whose eyes can see through time,
Who laugh at life and know they’re dead. 
And readers, tracing rhythm and rhyme,
Who build whole worlds inside their head.

The Raven

In Elseworld a scholar pored
Over tomes of ancient lore;
Seeking wisdom in their store,
Seeking ways to call and beck,
To call and beck a friend.

Gone without a trace or spoor,
Flew the friend to alien shore.
Called by some portent of yore,
Called to take that lonely trek,
A lonely trek he’d wend.

Untouched bowls of gut and gore,
Like a tidy field of war,
Stood forgotten on the floor;
Stood in wait for hungry peck,
A hungry peck to rend.

“What cruel fate so sudden tore,
You away, my Nevermore?”
Scholar cried, her soul a-sore.
The scholar cried, and bent her neck.
Her feathered neck she’d bend.


With apologies and thanks to E.A. Poe.

My cat torments mice

My cat will torment mice.
It isn’t very nice.
But mousy hate
Will not abate
So my cat torments mice.

When my cat kills a mouse
It squeaks and haunts my house.
Its ghost will stay,
Annoyed, afraid,
And skitter round my house.

Now shades of cats long dead
Are circling round my bed
To chase the mice
Whose cruel demise
Has bound them here instead.

The ghost cats have such fun,
They chase as ghost mice run.
I can’t decide
If mousicide
Was kind or cruelly done.

Power

When I found my superpower,
I couldn’t help but smile.

I smiled when I dug out the costume,
the one I made in case
I ever got a power,
and it still fit.

I smiled when I told my mum,
and she smiled and hugged me,
and told me to do good.

I smiled when I told my friend,
and she smiled with me,
and carried me to town,
using her flying and her superstrength.

Now I walk the tired streets,
and look at people, and smile.
And I tell them:

“You look good today.”
“I like your hat.”
“It will be all right.”
“You can do it.”

And they smile back,
or nod, and feel better.

That?

That is not my superpower.
Anyone can do that.
But they don’t.
They don’t.

My power is to know
who I can smile at,
who I can compliment,
talk to,
look at.

Without fear.

To my love

I do not care who else has had a taste
Of all the pleasures that you offer me;
It matters not. Just this, that you have placed
Your body in my hands, and mine will be.

My fingers softly touch your naked spine,
Caress the curve and feel your supple weight.
I breathe your scent, so fragrant and divine.
My appetite is vast but you will sate

My hunger. How you eagerly unfold,
Invite me to the secrets at your core.
You guide me, let me in, you firmly hold
My heart, my mind, and all I crave is more.

You gave me what I needed, and I took
Such joy in reading you, my favourite book.


This sonnet was written for World Poetry Day 2016.

Every time

Every time
You struggle
To find the words
I listen
Analyse, predict, and guess
I know
What you might say
But listen
Til you haven’t said it


Most single-tweet poems are, like a lot of the single-tweet stories, fire-and-forget. I have an idea, write, post, and that’s it. They don’t usually linger. This one did. [Tweet]