Metaphysical

It was Mrs Howard who Love taught me

In the temporary classroom

Sat on the rugby field

Her love of Love and its expression

From the page in gently found words

Spoken In bright metaphors

And subtle allusions

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She spoke to me of hidden themes

And how a phrase could mean so much

How a rhyme can unlock the heart

Or harden up that vital muscle

To misunderstanding

And ill-focused yearning

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She hooked me in

Close by the Itchen River’s bank

A young rainbow trout lifted up

From its soggy bed

On a fly fisher’s sharp whip

I was spotted, baited

Hungry to be caught and taught

To engage with finer forms

Than all those scawny spratts

With whom I’d been engaged before

Directed to gods, war, injustice

We were un-schooled

In more urgent places

Behind softly closed doors

Beneath blankets of meaning

Where bodies of learning could be openly studied

At length; in depth

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It was not a coy mistress

Who opened Love to me

Her joy of Love

Without ambiguity

Writ large in her notes

Like billets doux that pointed me

Towards insights and Passion’s feelings

Mrs Howard my teacher

So pure and simple.

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n.b. Paul Gordon and I formed “The Mrs Howard Appreciation Society” of which we two were, (dare I write it), the only members. She was a great teacher and we never thought of her lustfully. She was just a lovely person with a gift for sharing her love of poetry. Thank you, Mrs Howard, where ever you are.

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n.n.b. NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 28 prompt: Write a poem about writing poems 🙄. Like writing songs about writing songs, this is navel gazing of sorts, which in the right company is a pleasant enough pastime I suppose.

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CLP 28/04/2019

Shangri La

Fictional land of peace and perpetual happiness
Bones, cuts, burns
Shattered ring of steel and splintered lives
Gated, armed guards rendered, armless
Brochure of fictional happiness shredded

City of dreaming spires that prick at clouds
Oxen driven through the swollen Isis
Knee-deep, matted coats drag over the chalk bed
Reeds cling to hooves as maudlin maidens’ hungry hands
Reaching out to imagined lovers’ loins

Names put down for gated schools
Grandfathers’ rights and legacies
Life traced from expectant birth
Privileged few offer life-limiting choices; too many
Raised voices echo back from the gilded ceilings

Sand grains turn to liquid become glass
Shards rip through silk and cotton
Tattered shirts form nooses
Ripped banknotes flutter heavenward
Multiplication, subtraction and ultimately division.

www.napowrimo.net Day 21 prompt: Surrealistic poem or Realism or actuality

CLP  21/04/2019

Natural Consequences

Anarchronistic Britain

Cannot decide European future

Government has ignored

Knife mayhem

& numerous other pointed questions

Requiring serious thought.

Unburied victims wait

Xenoliths

Yield to zymogenes

n.b.

“&” was the 27th letter of the English alphabet

Xenoliths are small particles of elements found within larger deposits of mineral, rare elements amongst dross.

Zymogenes are the bacteria that help break-down and lead to the fermantation of organic matter, although xenoliths are not organic… so I claim poetic immunity.

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 19 prompt: Use the English alphabet to shape a poem. Artificial and challenging. I cheated to make the final line sensible as best possible.

CLP 20/04/2019

Emotional Blackmail

“I just want my kids to be happy”

So commonly heard

So unthinking said

And missing the point

Of parenthood

And childhood

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“I don’t care what he does, as long as he’s happy”

What the children know of their parents

Who want them just to be happy

Is that they hold the keys

To all the doors

Well before they’re eighteen

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“I’ll do anything for my babies”

Who soon learn that to sulk

Is to take control

Mumnipulate

Dadominate

Power without responsibility

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“I don’t know where we went wrong”

So commonly heard

So unthinking said.

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n.b. Happiness is a derived emotional state that seems to come from a sense of being at ease amongst those you respect and share purpose. Hence the attraction of online gaming and gangs. Happy families it appears to me, do things together, rather than just being an altar for feeding the children’s egotistical pleasures.

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 20 prompt: Use speech commonly heard.

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CLP  20/04/2019

Train of Thought

At last I have a moment

As I wait on the platform

My chance to make a few points

About my direction of travel

On a journey that seems to still have some miles to go

I pray

But I cannot be too confident of that

Bearing in mind that there has been disruption to schedules

Delays, diversions and cancellations

Signal failures

Even trespassers on the line

Where am I?

I am on a one-way ticket

Although this has been described by some

As an open return that will inevitably bring me back

To where I begun

If this is the case

Despite travelling light

I may seem destined for the buffers

But I am never alone

The company of fellow passengers

Not all good company

Some first class

We travel together

Most have their own itineraries

Their own baggage

Places to go, people to see

And our passing is a wave and a cheer

I can save time by taking an instant dislike to others

Who one must take care to avoid

When signals are set at danger

Although for a rare few

I discover a destination shared

Who, when a conversation begins

Continue it on the line

And it seems we have always known each other

Although just recently crossed paths

This journey continues

Without undue haste, but not undue speed

Onward travel in hope

Side by side.

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n.b. NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 15 prompt: Write a dramatic monologue.

CLP  15th April, 2019

The Witch

A pronounced bow wave

Presages her imminent arrival

Her keel knifes the dark waters

Peels twin curls off the surface

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She draws down the light of stars

Calls the wind to her direction

Tides pause on her command

Squalls and storms follow

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Treading water as she passes

We can only witness this spirit

That lifts like incoming waves

Leaves us awash in her wake

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n.b. NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 13 prompt, witch

I was asked, “Is this poem about a boat, or a person?” You decide.

CLP 13/04/2019