Tag Archives: Poetry

Merriment, Too Good to Hurry

It’s Christmas  and coughing and spluttering on occasion, the occasion being Christmas, but I just said that. The Hare emerges, ironically snow-attired, long ears attuned to the howlings and laughter of the season, to greet, not you personally, but why not? but generally you, generally. Speaking. In an arguably insensitive but well-meaning comedy accent of your choosing. GOOD CHOICE! How dare you. You’ve just spoilt it for everyone now, there’s a tension in the air you could cut with the Brussel sprouts. And stop farting, if possible.

Merry it is here, supping wine, feasting, with family, and the Hare.

Merry chocolate selection box.

Merry Christmas.

Thanks for reading and clicking and showing appreciations in 2016, have an agreeable 2017. I asked you to stop trumping, if possible?

Peter’s been recording a selection of festive poems and spoken word covers and  they’re available to hear here –

It’s About Christmas – Christmas Palsy Spoken Word Album

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Poem of Contentment (New Re-Write)

For Gran

Hi, I updated this poem from 2013, this time adding new elements that would hopefully be of particular significance to my grandmother. The original spoke of a writer (haha, possibly me in this case 🙂 ) struggling with a draft, but I think I’ve come to understand that people might see in it a calming quality, and I like the idea of having a poem here that might soothe and provide at least a raindrop’s worth of tranquility, if we’re lucky. I’ve lightened the tone, here and there, for my Gran.

So, for now, we’ve got one of two ears on the lullaby. Us poets are fond of telling you when and how to breathe, via line-breaks and commas. Consider taking a big gulp of that big ol’ life-giving air  before reading this, because I’ve rambled on a bit as much as anything.

Yours kindly,

Pete

Poem of Contentment
Jan 5, 2013 (original version)/10 Sept 2015, Peter B.

Where the seagulls fly,
a clock-tower chimes
of “oranges and lemons”.
Where fruit trees line the path of limes,
rare fruits here,
but their greens known
to the eye

When I left small tears to leave
on an oak tree’s
windowsill of bright sky.

In it, it seems,
all the names of birds, flowers, and creatures
who, now as then, look over the hedge-maze
of the green garden of summertime.

I am blissful even now.
I’m as happy as I will be
in this peaceful city,
when I land on such an island,

to three chimes of a clock, somehow in the playground,
and some maroon petals,
vividly remembered,

and this is not a poem, I suppose,
just a float,
and float on
in blue chalk,
and in peace
and just as happy,
just to be.

In this quiet city,
peopled to sing
self-assembled melodies,
quick to summon and to spring;

complete, complete
and feeling like a full moon,
with a pot-bellied sumo wrestler,
on a dinner plate,
on a bed by the river.

I continue on my way beyond
the bend of the lilac water,
where trawler-men are fishing
for their own reasons,
and continue singing
in Edo-peroid Japan,

in the same reflections to which they whisper,
playing mah-jongg and other games
on a crane’s wings,

and this isn’t a poem that
needs to look for a reason,
and doesn’t expect to be any good,
but would like to raise a smile –
and, see, your smile is lovely ,
and never a lonely one!

The Park

The sun was going in,
and a ball missed my eye by an inch.

It was no match for the cup.
I was holding tepid water in the park;
“thanks a lot”,
I don’t forget to think.

I didn’t have enough
for a sandwich.
My legs and, kinda, soul
felt shorter than they are,
reclined on a flat, busy patch.

More of a stand in, and because of cuts,
rarer than fiction,
a new man they’ve got
pruning short an incoming plea.

The overflowing bins,
not his fault, not his job,
overflowing tin cans
or muffled walkie talkies
as his argument for the garden’s upkeep
scatters wildly.

I like him, he
didn’t serve, nor make me spill,
my beans.
I can tell he has other people’s priorities
to avoid.

Like rats leaving for a plague,
fur sleeked smooth by noble flood of
banana-flavoured milkshake.

They’re not even keeping score
and none apologised
for trembling my hand slightly,
being a family.

With a small ball
not even right for the game.

Too many jokes to downplay,
too much anger to come out funny.

Too much in the sun,
too much change, too little,
too short of soul –
that’s where they get it wrong
people should shut up,
not scream just because
they’ve found a patch
for a goal.

People need
green spaces.

New Year Notes

Remember,
something you haven’t done, that we’ll do,
get around to,
given the time and strength to
in the new
year to me.

In the new year,
it appears impossible,
already like your vintage blues,
but that’s why we should,
and why it might
become possible,
just because.

This new year might arrive after all.

Offer, if you could,
your sand-timer looks
at the rolling-around
putty egg of some love.

Other luck and things
we can accidentally muster,

so sleep in expansive fur of snoozing animals
after time’s levelled land.

But don’t out-wait the coming day,
it’s like paint thinking of colour.

Find a clue.

A Manga Artist in Rome

Drawing manga with a kid in Europe.

The child is a breathless
doodler of stories,
and they are speeding cars on a day that
an old man chooses for quiet.

Streams of explanation,
loose sense from Italian,
but his kawaii smiles translate to Japanese.

There’s a new trend for collecting plastic tokens
and cards
for a shouty game,
with a coloured bit to see through;
so the boy has, in a branded carrying pouch, five of these,
and is proud of them.

The artist can only hope it won’t be tasteless tea
that’s poured by young designers,
their worst work on these cards.

He’s happy and relieved that, at least,
the Italian kid
enjoys drawing.

If the artist remembers most art as forgetful,
there are always stories
in which clouds move,
and snow falls in the right shades,
and melts onto the projected screen
and page;

then turns to rain
for the right reasons,
at a recognisable life and pace.

Human violence
and work towards
the lasting good remains,

while there is a fire,
to cook
and speak with,
or to warm
against the embittered, clouded heart.

Good with a pencil
as long as the wind is in his grey hair
(difficult to work with),
Big eyes drawn for smiles,
that shine
on mechanical detail
behind,
giving life.

A cast of Earth’s protectors,
with wonders overturned
on their oversized eyes
to see a quest through,
make habitats into heartlands
and a heavy hunter’s steps light,
in a sky of surprise.

A rising sun asks
families of engineers
knit boisterously by know-how,
to continue human work
for all who try for sleep,
under politician’s and
polluter’s
hangar of night.

What a rising sun asks us –
a creature’s big work
with us,
for himself,
under a leaf
or a child’s umbrella,
balooning-when-he-breathes,
on the summoned travels of
both a cat and a bus.

The Spirit’s instinct,
in this kind of weather,
is to keep charmed loved ones close.

We are not our
heroes,
nor our enemies,
in cartoons.

Smiling, the green crayon disobeys the child’s orders
or listens when
something that isn’t a shape, becomes a face,
then missing,
as if he’s lost a friend,
when the Italian kid scribbles over it.

It is dismaying when a small hand lays that crayon down –
(mischievously labelled with a studio’s name)
it’s waxy eyes at rest
from the effort,
to watch
red, gold and silver robots march
over horizons,
and a pilot to man machine guns
of no consequence,
to black and grey
drone battle.

Instead of a given tree
under an air conditioner,
Saturday morning came for my generation to
watch TV,
it’s colours and cost-cutting backgrounds,
mostly all of them,
just because.

The animator offers a super-deformed smile,
the soft line a wobble
as if an unconvincing Centurion startled a Sister,
her angels guided into turquoise
inside a tattered sketchbook,
her tour on the way to confidence
that once hid
where the shadow of a steeple couldn’t reach.

It might not be too devastating to nod encouragingly
at his new friend
were it possible even in these times
for a young man to luck upon the path
that the determined old man did,
cantankerously,
and for hard work to make unbreakable sense
of story-like visions that, in turn, make
adventures of a career.

Knowing little of the language,
A passer-by or the waiter, asks for the tidy gentleman’s autograph
and, in return,
gets a small doodle of a pig,
spaghetti sauce at imagined corners.

A bicycle thief with a new camera strap,
put pennies in the Trevi Fountain,
throwing suspicion
right over his wrong shoulder;
knowing he must take
to give,

when the fountain forms a mouth for coins
and a body like sea-breeze
that you have lent your face to,
seeming to wink with eyes of hope
for every offering,
however small.

A street musician in the distance;
a child with an accordion,
knocks out a few crowd-pleasing tunes,
before being moved on by Polizia.

A misunderstanding in the air
disturbs the green, white, and red flags,
in Roma,
– high priests –

as two wizards disperse clouds,
dodge balloons and Zeppelins,
to spell out their small disagreements.

One of them is angry;
the other has welcomed his tea
timidly on a cat’s saucer.

The artist tests his famed motor skills
on the engine for a new kind of craft to fly home;
past artless security checks,
for children and their families,
looking for sky and land’s
escape
in the Terminal,
in the integrity of their entertainment.

A hesitant Spirit cameos his uncertain role in the frame.

The child returns to his mother, who smiles.

The tabletop is fixed to what looks like a column.

The distant libretto heard in police sirens
has stopped.

When the bill is settled,
under cents and euros,
despite the wind,

he imagines the Colosseum
as if he built it,
to newly-excavated blueprints, to look like something else.

He has shelves full of books about the world,
for his.

Now he’s here preparing noodles for his colleagues, throughout the night,
inbetweening,

the way
paint can turn
street light into
what father and son understand
of the day.

An Alabama Song


A fantasia on the song by Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht, which is performed above by David Johansen.
Wishing you all a happy Halloween!

When we mistook a fern tree for a turn,
inwards past the branches
into the headlamp dark,
here we taste either luxury or magic,
harking angels
with every snap of branch and bone.

For preservation,
we’re supposed to leave some witches swimming
to fill unglamorous roles
as rotting archivists.

But never in Alabama – the opposite,
just because it’s not a night for imagining places,
leaving us homeless with an unhinged black door.

As a train of jackdaws across a new frontier shriek ludicrously,
inside there’s cushioned opulence and
seats, if a little… clawed to bits.

There’s magic or luxury
but we’re not in Alabama,
the distance
capable of dislocating arms from bodies
forever.

Harvest the dreams of our
unemployed with strength waning
like a red cape
hanging around
her chequered logger’s shirt.

Mr Robert Pattinson
is seated on the ground,
outside a closed alehouse
typewritten with a mind’s fatigue.

His eyes of palely fired skin
under ray-bans,
those thick eyebrows
in the dust of the vampiric street.

It is like you, me too,
to look down the trainroute
for strangleholds to the moon.

“Who wants whisky?
What, as much as we?
As cold as a carrot nose?
Join the queue
and make meals of someone in front.”

All of which is because
it would be a goodnight,
goodnight to let go.

We want power anthems of singular clarity,
with words to sing at the bottom of a screen,
as if it’s not too much to ask for company
on not the full ticket.

This passing old blur that inflates like a puffer fish
will always be with you
don’t ask why.

Leave certain questions to the drink,
for our whiskey slips dryly.

If you still have your wits
and a distinct taste for blood,
you will end up caked, finally,
in kisses and make-up.

Old Octopus

Part of a Series of Poems about Films, and After the Film “Oldboy” (2003)

A mosaic of things to compose your halo,
an octopus on a plate
in parts,
under a sun
that is secretly Gaudí’s Greek cousin,
fashionably late to the celebration,
amid whispers of his maddening.

Bow-legged and troubled from recycling breath,
and television in the same box,
sleeping the entire room.

You wonder how the creator of this scheme
got away with it,
you wonder how it stays up,
about the lizards that the design can support.

In a frame of mind,
Gaudí, like Walt Disney, doesn’t belong,
and I can’t convince you of a different film;
I only have six arms and
two legs,
cut with a cared-for blade.

But the Sagrada Famílias are popping up like mushrooms
to dress the set,
the unfinished and sunny salad,
where tomatoes blaze alight.

The table,
first refracted by as much water
as wild hair that streams before your eyes
– that river is just the flow of days,
and you wake up in a different style,
sometimes enough for tears –
every morning

a fraction of that sea;
in your glass,
or glasses,

like the light,
that extends many running legs
on vivid grass,
and wide arms.

Old Boy,
of the movie,
I know
we can change the seas
in front of our world’s noses.

I know your angry
taste for octopus
is matched by your furious
memory of living,

and it’s not good to be an octopus sandwich
post-Moses,
a two parter.

I would like to
share a smile with a stranger,
more not knowing what to do when our overrated
paths cross
before this squid ink becomes
a leaking biro to stain a jean pocket.

And roll the squid
into contortions
of sushi,
in the House,
its heritage staircase,
when square topiaries are rooted outside by volunteer angels
and gardeners, behind us,
where we didn’t
miss each other.

All the inter-city passengers turned to comparisons with jelly,
watching things pass downwards
slowed inwards by fear.

The giant octopus,
could take the yellow bus for a petal,
wave it around a bit,
wonder what you are
as your body slides
from one traveller to another,
in the joy of being safe and alive,
passing through ghosts
collecting pocket change and
puzzle books
to the sound of my
trying-to-be-kind.

The problematical Enigma machine of sums
for the mathematician I’m not.
Adverse to cutting the wires of a bomb
though he must;
apparently the blue.

The machine
that in a spot of frustration,
the American Ensign says is “busted”,
under sea level,
with the last double bass player on a cruise ship
not to float.

Curl a cup around my suckers,
to drink the bitter saltwater,
and I just might be the spirit of an octopus,
and just as envious of a wash-cloth.

I can just imagine a chorus line of
us octopuses
high-kicking in a Studio System musical,
but useless in our hallway,
where we hang up our coats.

These are the notes, that the angels,
have me writing in margins
of a remake’s screenplay:

before I say something like “Rosebud”, or perhaps “donut”
there is never anything wrong with a donut,
as a reward
instead of an octopuses’ punishment for being alive,
instead of food that won’t go quietly.

Peter Reading The Poem, “Folk Song”

I have made a home recording of me reading the poem, “Folk Song”.

It should please fans of the resolutely lo-fi.

It is free to listen and download, or available to buy on a “pay-what-you-want” basis (!)

This is the first poetry reading I have recorded. On the bandcamp page, I have also provided an optional intro bit. Those with an eagle’s eye will note that I have also sneakily unveiled the working title of a new collection!

Please enjoy!

Submissions Wanted for a New Publication – AndThe Project Presents…”Peformance”

Draft Cover For New Magazine

AndThe Project are calling for submissions for a new Chapbook/’zine publication for artists of all kinds inspired by the word, “Performance”.

I’m also asking for comments, suggestions, feedback, and anything to gauge how this sounds to you, whether it’s something you’d like to read/take part in, and pointers for now and in the project’s future.

More information can be found here:

call performance pdf

As well as a cross-discipline art, poetry and prose magazine, it is also intended as way to share insight and advice across all different kinds of experience.

Email me submissions at the stated address, too.  Questions and Enquiries welcome too.

– Peter And The Hare

In case any one has trouble reading the document, click on “Continue Reading”, below:

Continue reading Submissions Wanted for a New Publication – AndThe Project Presents…”Peformance”