Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Last Day of December 2013 as seen from the Bathroom Window.

The tree that once was lightning struck
Looks itself like a fork of light
Reaching and branching to make a connection
A dead and jagged imperfection,
Right on the line of sight,
Stretching up to the crowd of crows
Who circle it during the day
And seem to portend something;  nobody knows
What it is, or wants to say.
And the water runs brown and dull
And the backdrop of sky is grey
And before high tide the river's full,
And the old year runs away.
The tree that once was lightning struck
Reaches up to the dull grey slate,
And the air is wet and cold,
And the sky seems dark though it's not yet late,
As the last day ages and seems to grow old,
Like the year, before its time.
And the crowd of rooks who circle the sky
Act a ragged black ballet or pantomime
A traditional end to the year as they fly
Over the water both brown and dull
Before a backcloth of sky, which is grey,
And before high tide the river is full,
As the old year runs away.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Silent Worship 2013

Written 2013
Did you not see my lady?
I've been stalking her on Facebook,
surely you've seen her picture
you really ought to have a look,

I've fancied her for her an age,
she's in my class at school,
she makes my hormones rage,
she thinks I'm a spotty fool.
Though I would never look at her,
and though she would never look at me,
I've found a way of observing her,
that's exciting, but not guilt free.

There’s some spyware on her iPhone,

Which means she is never quite alone,

Allows me to see her close up

And wow, is she well grown!

Oh surely you've seen my lady,
upon her bedroom chair?
Rivaling all the porn stars,
with her absence of pubic hair.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

High Tide

The tide is lapping brownly round the trees,
the water smelling salty and exciting
and in the dark, the gentle swilling seas
as they rise up, are quietly inviting.
The still, cold night, does not seem charged with fear,
the street lights burning greenly white and clear
accentuate the old domestic scene,
in contrast to the wildness in its midst
the tension now, just as it's always been.

The footpath by the grey-brown brine is kissed;
the licking, sucking, gentle, splashing sound,
is just the moon, taking its loving parting,
absenting, for a while, but not forsaking,
this piece of muddy, saturated ground.

An Enunciation at Bursea Chapel.

Two miles south west of 'Land of Nod,'
a little chapel sits,
of even orange, rustic brick;
to the tasteful glory of God,
designed by William Butterfield,
I think that's why it fits.

It glows in cheerful morning light
and welcomes its old friends,
to take communion in the warm
and strongly recommends itself
simplicity feels right.

The hymns, Ancient and Modern,
are quietly intoned
and o' er the prayer book's paths well trodden
the congregation bends,
and mumbles its responses,
with feeling, most well honed.

And you should hear the minister
who oversees proceedings
in Yorkshire-Oxford accent clear,
which voice repels the sinister,
and confirms joy and drives out fear,
what blessings are his readings!

And all upon this Sunday morn
within this chapel place
upon this warp land fertile fen,
because of God, His grace,
we heard the words of Betjeman,
spoken lugubriously,
each one sounding alone, forlorn,
like Alan Bennet being Eeyore,
so the congregation, me,
or anyone without the door,
might know what all this fuss is for,
might hear good news in accent clear
as we do this time of year,
and as we will continue to;
Alan Bennet being Eeyore:
"And is it true, And is it true?"

(I don' know where the centre of 'Land of Nod' is, it is sign posted from Tollingham and there is a bridal path to it off Skiff Lane)

Saturday, 28 December 2013

An Inside Frost (rondeau) or In Praise of Storm Windows

An inside frost, a common sight;
until this year, in bed at night,
I 'd feel the rime coating like mould
the sashes in the freezing cold,
and wake to find, in morning light,
interior glass with ferns bedight,
Despite the heating and despite
the wooden shutters, sagging, old,
an inside frost.
But this year cold has taken fright
and even when the moon shines bright,
the air behind the shutters' fold
upon the glass does not make bold
and curious imprints which delight -
an inside frost.

Friday, 27 December 2013

The Elements of Eloquence (The Pantomime Version)

Computers, tablets, mobile apparatuses,
news, lies and facebook statuses,
wit, punch lines and feeble ends,
friends, acquaintances and facebook friends,
address them with a TRICOLON,
and they'll all wonder what you're on,
that gives your news such strength and clarity,
at least they might if they're not lacking charity.

The ISOCOLON'S much more subtle,
not like to lead to a rebuttal,
join two statements both together;
"Share a status, boost an ego."
your friends might wonder whether
you've borrowed it from some amigo
"He takes a selfie on waking, a selfie when walking."
"And in the mirror, a selfie of taking a selfie of talking."

My favourite sort of sentence
 is the great SYLLEPSIS,
not likely to cause grammatical sepsis
make the first verb do for everything,
and then show no repentance;
"I put on the computer, a status on facebook, and a smile on your face."
And then, without a trace of irony;
"I took a hat, a coat, the dog for a walk, and an awesome selfie."
OK so it's not exactly Byron-y!

The POLYPTOTON gives rise to humour,
be careful not to start a rumour,
use a word with different parts of speech,
to touch those depths of silliness other sentences can't reach.
"Present me no presents,
for the only treat I ask is that you should treat me well,
and please use the swell
and please me when I hear you at the organ,
although I'll hear your pleas,
I'll never let you please me, here,
with  your organ's swell!"

The SYNECDOCHE requires one to become a body part,
if you can't it shows how dull thou art.
" What hand did this dreadful typo make?"
"Which finger touched the screen, which then auto-corwronged,
and lead my eyes to read this sad mistake?"

THE TRANSFERRED EPITHET requires you to apply
an adjective to the wrong noun, or at least to try,
"She typed the freezing text message in the church,
then dumped him creaking at the lychgate, and left him in the lurch."

If pointless negatives are your thing,
then the LITOTES's sure to bring
some comfort to your verse and prose.
"It would not be untrue to say I'm not tremendously pleased with my new profile pic."
It wouldn't be wrong to say that I never forgive bad speling. {sic.}

A sentence that is wrong but somehow right,
such that it does not induce emesis,
is that rather strange thing, the CATACHRESIS.
"I will speak mincepies but bake none"
said Nigella, which might have had her undone,
had she uttered it, without at first, having buttered it.

A sentence form much less calamitous,
is the really great CHIASMUS
"Type no blame and blame no typo."
is an example of how one might go,
"Ask not whether your friends have liked your status,
but if you have liked the statuses of your friends."
What you're doing here is making pompous statements,
then taking them, reversing them, and gluing them at the ends.
to form a whole that sounds uplifting,
it isn't, but it sure pretends!

The MERISM breaks things into its parts,
if you wish to sound legalistic and ignore people's hearts,
the BLAZON lists a lover's features,
as distinct from those of other creatures.

SYNASTHESIA smells the sights
of melodies, rumbling and bright.

If you put words in an order that's odd,
you run the risk of offending God,
this oddness is called HYPERBATON,
and nobody wants that on
their conscience, so think,
write before you drink:
opinion, size, age, shape, colour, origin, material, purpose, noun.
A lovely, small, old, round, red, Bulgarian, polyester, toy clown.

ANADIPLOSIS repeats the last word of a sentence
as the first word of the next,
"Sinners must seek repentance.
repentance leads to forgiveness.
Forgiveness leads to love.
Love leads to ...
APOSIOPESIS is three dots
which lead the imagination
to lots and lots and lots
of wrong conclusions
and unhealthy, sad delusions,
"I like you..."
Does that mean the opposite is true?
HYPOTAXIS is just long windedness;
it has no place on Facebook,
but if you want to have a look
read a Classical English novel,
and then proceed to grovel
at the brilliance
of the great sub clause,
which has stood the test of time
with such resilience.

And that is the end of eloquence,
explained in rhyme,

My December 27th, silly pantomime.

Watching The Gradual Appearance of Dawn as Described by the Shadows.

The dark destructive forces of the night,
have fled before the pink and creamy dawn,
and only jagged, crumpled, torn
remnants, formed as shadows in morning light
are hanging on the painted plaster wall.
All that remains is this greyness
which marks the shapes of objects, all
dappled and marbled with paleness
in patches of brilliant strangeness
whose edges are quite undefined.

The end of the blackness is clear
but, like an obvious metaphor for a state of mind,
as the shades of light's absence disappear
they fade seamlessly in their gradations,
and merge without seeming to blend.
and the old hand blown glass undulations,
which cause this display as they bend
the light, through the south eastern window,
are unconscious of their effect,
as the sun gains in strength, though it's low
in the sky, but one still can't detect
the moment of change...
then it's past.

The gramophone' s trumpet' s repeated,
there' s a fold where a shadow is pleated
as it echoes the curtain, and last
in the shades parade is the clock
with its swan neck pediment doubled
and its endless, soothing, tick and tock,
its quiet noise, untroubled
by this ancient rite,
which marks, without delineation
the ending of the night.

Wharram Percy

The muddy path on which we slipped
Our December descent from the road,
To the place where the trees moped
Over the stream,
By the wooden gate,
Where they dripped;
Was one on which we slowed.
It took us away
From the positive warmth
And the brightness of the day,
Whose faint,
Buff flush,
Of dry, dead grass
Upon the sun kissed wold
Hockney could n't have hoped
To recapture in
Purple paint.
It took us into the hush,
Beyond a deeper shade,
And the sense of perpetual cold.
And although we made another ascent
On the hill, on the opposite side
Still we went drearily further away
From the laughing and optimistic day,
To the green, grass clearing lumpy and wide,
Where the long deserted village lay,
And nothing was there save a crow.
There were excavation mounds
And demarcations to show
The former dwelling places.
And in the grounds
Surrounding the church,
abandoned now,
Was a board telling what had been learnt,
From the place,
And why and how.


Those who can, drink,
those who can't, preach,
those who can, clean
those who can't bleach.
Those who can drink bleach
cannot thereafter think or preach
the virtues of cleanliness of thought,
nor can they confess
the drunkenness
which caused this mess.
The moral of this story isn't clear,
except you cannot clean your mind
with bleach, but have no fear,
though there is much that
is reduced by copious drinking,
including man's capacity for thinking,
his thoughts wouldn't often be so impaired such that
he might believe he was made of asbestos
and able to withstand a pint of Domestos.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Sunday Morning in December.

The plain below the church is green and grey,
The sun shines and the bells are eloquent,
'Holme on Spalding Moor, Come to church today;'
A scale descending from the dominant,
Appeals to, summons, the healthy and devout,
The farmers, and the wealthy, those who drive,
Attendance being limited here about
To those with cars; those without must thrive
As best they can or find communion
On level ground.
                               In black and holey tights
The organist ascends the stairs; in unison
The congregation sing.  Through leaded lights
December sunshine pours as Alex plays,
And twixt the hymns o'er iPhone bows and prays.