Tag Archives: #graemesandford

The Last Day of April

The Last Day of April

Like the first,

the last day of April

is a curious one.

They both bookend all the other days,

yet one is welcoming them,

whilst the other bids them a find ‘adieu!’

You, may not realise

that April held such a surprise

as it did –

it may have been carefully hid.

Or it might have been a month

of no newsworthy events at all –

maybe.

Call it what you will (still ‘April’ methinks)

April has been one that we will remember

long after…

thingummy…

has gone.

“You can call my poetry ‘rubbish’ and I won’t mind, because…” Linda G Hill’s SoCS Challenge – ‘Call’.

Linda’s rules and regs here

My poetry is rubbish.

There’s no floetry in my poetry;

there’s this and that

and any old tat

thrown in for good measure.

I have an appointment with the dentist,

he does fancy work,

he’s an ornamentalist,

I should be there at two thirty –

just because –

and my name is Bertie.

Perhaps I’ll give him a call,

explain it all

and call off unexpectedly

in the midst of the conversation,

rudely, against my inclination.

Call out the neigh-sayers,

the ne’er payers

and the night and dayers,

sound the alarums

check out the forums

and the farms

make no bones about it

nor mess,

guess what the next word might be…

no, it was ‘no’

and call me silly –

which is nicer than my saying,

call me, silly.

Hoorah for punctuation

I cry with elation;

though I don’t really cry.

So, call me a clumberous one

if you wish –

I know not what that means.

… and the dish random away with the Spoonerism.*

* NB Within a vaguely 10-minute timespan I penned the above.

Penny For Your Thoughts

one-penny-picture

If I had a penny… (well, for a start I wouldn’t be ‘penniless,’ but, that’s a story in itself – and for another time)… If I had a penny… I would be able to ask you for your thoughts – and be able to pay you for the pleasure of your innermost meanderings; and knowing you, as I do, I know that ‘you’ would ask for that payment upfront – and test the coin with a slick ‘bite’ and, maybe you would have a set of scientific scales about your person with which to check that the coin was within an acceptable degree of weight perfection – maybe.

But, I don’t have a penny; and, nothing is for free in your world.

So, we sit here in silence; while I try to look as if my mind has something interesting upon it, that you may be inquisitive about. I know that you have a whole pocketful of pennies; just one, transferred to my possession, would allow me to ask you ‘that’ question.

A penny for your thoughts?” I would say – casual, unaffected, just a caring friend wishing to share their concern for your silence and its cause.

That’s what I would say.

Another thing – as your name is ‘Penny,’ you might think that I was being flippant; that I was taking the proverbial out of you (which I do, far too often of late).

So, we sit here in silence.

And the silence drags.

And I have to say something – some thing.

But, don’t.

You start to pull at that wristband again; twisting its emotive words into a distorted message of concern.

I watch the detailed moments of an inconsequential action.

I consider them too deeply; associating the twisting with your tortured soul and the distortion with your mental anguish.

I was always one to over-analyse.

You always told me that.

You do realise that I have always loved you. Would do anything for you. Have taken breath from the air to keep alive – just for you.

You don’t even know that I am here – you have no eyes for me; no thoughts upon me; no pounding heart to me.

You are not someone who can love another; as they would love you; as they do love you; as I love you.

We keep the silence between us and just exist. Just.

If I died now – would you notice? Would you utter a brief requiem upon my passing? Would you break this vow of nothingness?

I won’t test this out to see the reality of it; unless you ask me to – as I said ‘anything!’

Time passes. You remain unchanged; whilst I age perceptibly. My youth leaves faint traces; my status as an elder forms lines upon my face.

-/-

I think that I must have slept; for upon opening my eyes, I understand the feeling that you had gone… to be a truth.

A Revised History of the Sixteenth Century

sixteenth century

v/o Let us enter the TARDIS and return to a page in history

GRAMS: Dr Who music

Let us go back to the very start of the fifteen hundreds – fifteen-oh-nine if you want to be precise.

Part The First (or, He Was Henry the Eighth, He Was)

The miserly king, Henry the Seventh, was dead and his young and handsome son, Henry the Eighth ascended to the throne (as you can see we were going through another succession of Henry kings – similar to the French with their long line of Louis kings – if it hadn’t have been for the French revolution they’d have been up to King Louis the Soixante-Neuf by now).

The money that his father had scrimped and saved allowed the young Henry the Eighth to dabble in the old English pastime of warring with the French… or the Scottish… or both simultaneously. France at this time was being ruled by the even younger and even more handsome than Henry the Eighth, Francois le Une (that’s Francis the First, in English – his elder brother Louis having succumbed to the royal disease of dying before getting a number).

One-upmanship was rife.

Henry the Eighth, a little miffed at not being the youngest, most handsomest, most youngest monarch in Europe decided to be a patron to the arts. Music and literature had recently arrived hot foot from the Florentine Renaissance of years before and Henry decided to write music..

GRAMS: Greensleeves

Greensleeves, serious literature (that one that the pope liked and gave him Fidei Defensor – Defender of the faith – Catholicism!), inventing a new English Religion (Protestantism – that the Pope didn‘t like quite so much) and even invent sporting games, such as tennis (that’s real tennis, not the imaginary game that is played today. There was an English singles winner at Wimbledon for 38 years running (1509-47) as long as Henry reigned, in fact (now there is just English rain at Wimbledon), but Henry the Eighth didn’t do so well in the doubles, as he had many problems with his partners.

And so in January Fifteen-Hundred and Forty-Seven, Henry the Eighth died, a mere two months before his rival and arch enemy Francis the First of France (but Henry the Eighth did beat Francis The First six wives to two (nowadays known as a ‘kingly win‘ in tennis. Henry was followed to the throne of England by his son Edward the Sixth (Henry’s son Henry had died beforehand, as had his other sons, Henry, Henry, Henry and Henry). Edward the Sixth managed to live just long enough to allow his half-sister, half-monster, Mary the First (who gave her name to the drink “I’ll have a Bloody Mary“) succeed him. Mary the First’s reign is remembered for her inviting a few Protestants round for supper and then burning the steaks (and the Protestants upon them), marrying a Spaniard (there are some things worse, but I’m not sure what) and then losing back to the French, Calais (our last remaining English outpost in France, if you don‘t include the Channel Islands, and who does?). Mary the First died after having ‘Calais’ tattooed on her heart (not a wise move in those far off days of leeches and the letting of blood.

Then came Gloriana to the throne, Our first Queen called Elizabeth, our ‘Virgin’ queen (allegedly), and just at the right time for the Golden Age, too. War with France and Scotland was stopped immediately, and war with Spain was assumed for a change. Single-handedly, Queen Elizabeth the First destroyed the Spanish Armada and sent Philip the Second of Spain back to Cadiz with a singing beard.

Thus began a time of peace and happiness in the land. Frivolities such as the theatre became popular and from out of the soldiery came one of the greatest playwrights that the world will ever know.

Part the Second (or Where There’s A Will There’s A Play)

His story is somewhat sketchy, but here is my version of events.

Born in Warwickshire in 1564 of humble origins, William Shakespeare was a youth of many talents. He could read and write fluently by the age of five, loved to listen to the old songs (mainly Greensleeves, if truth be known) and recite old and curiously spelt poetry at the drop of a hat (albeit an Elizabethan hat). So William was destined to be a great… soldier. One day, during the threat of the Spanish Armada) whilst camped at Beachy Head, William was there on lookout duty, spear at the ready, when a conversation with a colleague was struck. Here is that imagined conversation in part.

Will: Doust thou thinkest that the Warre Shalt be done by Christmas, my colleague?

Coll: That’s wot they are saying back at the barracks.

Will: Oh woest me that I shalt not see my family (and my second best bed) again, if we do not defeat the hosts of Spain.

Coll: Yes, right!

Will: I shallst shake my spear at the evil foe, and be gone the Spaniard from our shores.

Coll: If you must.

Will: There ‘tis done.

(silence)

Will: my colleague?

Coll: (warily) Yes?

Will: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s Day?

Coll: I’d rather you didn’t

Will: Well I am a writer, not a fighter!

(Exeunt)

And so, with William Shakespeare, single-handedly defeating the Spanish Armada, a career move was decided upon, and ten years later William Shakespeare became an overnight sensation.

William Shakespeare’s story continued beyond the Sixteenth Century, but that Will, will be spoken of at a later date.

Elizabeth the First reigned for 43 years (reigning almost as much as you’d get on a long weekend in Birmingham) and William Shakespeare, the Swan of Avon, was Bard (from all the public houses in Stratford, and then from all the wine bars in affluent (and oftentimes effluent) London.

When Queen Elizabeth the First died in the year sixteen-hundred and three, her father’s, elder sister’s, son‘s, son‘s son, James the Sixth, King of Scotland, became King James the First of England as well.

But that story lies ahead in the Sixteen-hundreds – otherwise known as “The Seventeenth Century“.

I Must Feed the Inner Poet in Me

inner poet

I must feed the inner poet in me
Or he will fade and die
And I will lose him for all times
There will be no more whimsical rhymes

I must feed him the choicest words and phrases

That he can use to build his poems as he goes through phases

Of creating nonsense verse and haiku

Limerick and the mighty narrative poems that take an hour or two

To waffle through.

I must feed him; him in his horn-rimmed poet’s glasses and button-down clothing

Even though he is held up like this to the fear and loathing

As in Las Vegas; Staying in Las Vegas on a poet’s wages;

Which are said to be as thin As sin

I have to feed the poet inside of me

With the fuel for his rickety-finickity poetry vehicle

Or he will break down

And cry

He will cry out:

“Oh! Muse, thou hast forsaken me?”
(For he often speaks anachronistically)
“Thou hast left me in my hour of need,

Left me barren and parched

With just an orange to eat from.”

I have to feed said poet with the twists and turns of humanity’s foibles.
So, that like a cat he can cough them up at inopportune moments in PDA (public displays of affliction);

Where, with conviction, he will arrest the minds and the hearts of a willing audience.

I told you he was hungry
Now he’s having delusions
But, I am under no illusions
I know that I will continue to feed the poet that is within me

For I am not a poet without him.

A Virtuoso Performance

A4 2

A Virtuoso Performance

The violinist stood before the 50,00 strong audience and took a deep breath. Then, he started into the performance of a lifetime. His instrument a part of himself; its soaring melodies seemed to fly like magic from just four strings and one bow; and, even when one string broke with the passion of his performance, he managed to glide over the disability as if nothing had happened – the audience were unaware of this, but would be even more impressed when they learned of this after the show.

For an hour the maestro of the violin entertained and cajoled his audience with a selection of Vivaldi’s Five Seasons (he’d added one more, as he didn’t feel that the quartet had that sparkle without a fifth season (you can admire his reasoning).

Every single man, woman and child in the audience was transported with his playing; the sounds evoking so many different images to the audience that they flew in their dreams to all corners of the creative mindscapes that are possible. Some even achieved their own personal orgasmic moments – it was ‘that’ good.

Finally, the music of the night came to a sweet, yet bitter, end – and he stood straight to take a bow to the applause.

It was at that moment that his music stand failed and the device folded back on itself, revealing an A4 page of… it wasn’t musical notation… it was a little ‘note to self’.

It seemed that the maestro may have been a little nervous and had taken some pains to try to get over the issue by attaching a reassuring comfort note to his music stand – the words on the A4 paper read:

A4

He was even more popular after this.

“Haibunny, I’m Home!”

haibunbutton

‘What is a Haibun ?’

Or, ‘What is a Haibun, not?’

I haven’t a clue!

“Haibunny, I’m home!” I shouted, as I entered; “Get the kettle on!”

There was no sound from the house; the ubiquitous radio was mute; the various electrical items (vacuum cleaner, washing machine, tumble dryer and such) they all seemed as if under a vow of silence – and the kettle was definitely not chugging its way to boiling point. I hung up my coat – out of habit – before ploughing in to see what was wrong; for, surely, something was. I searched the house from top to bottom and then from bottom to top (this being one of those strange places where you enter at the second floor and all is below; which meant that we had great views across the valley, not so great views into the cliff face). Anyway, I digressed there; as, to be truthful, there was nothing (and no-one) to find or see. I stood on the veranda, a thousand foot or so drop just a few steps away. The mountain ranges where magnificent come the sunset; and I stood and watched the colours of the world etch themselves across the vast and unfathomable surfaces.

I brought myself out of this reverie and stepped back into my reality. I was alone in this vastness of a house; perching, as it did, on the side of a mountain. There was no cause for alarm… now. I went through this same ritual every night.

Ever since…