Monthly Archives: March 2015

When I Am Old

When I Am Old

This poem, which shares it’s name with today’s other post, explores another, more positive, view of getting old.

When I Am Old

When I am old, I will walk with a stick
As I walk to the garden, my slippers will flick
And I’ll throw them both off with a spirited kick
And I’ll dance in the sweltering sun

I’ll dance in the sweltering, sweltering sun
As the pools in the garden still, weltering, run
And for all the tree’s leaves, they’ll be sheltering none
I’ll sing loudly and badly, such beltering fun

When I am old, I’ll be jolly and sweet
I’ll be quick in my mind, though I’m slow on my feet
I will read til I’m blind, only death will defeat
As I sit by a crackling fire

I’ll sit by the crackling, crackling fire
A wizened old joker, a cackling liar
Stamping out miserable, tackling dire
Until I’m set free from this shackling attire

When I am old, I'll have an old, greying dog

When I am old, I’ll have an old, greying dog

When I Am Old

When I Am Old

People have different perspectives on getting old. Some see it as an inevitable evil at the end of life. A time of misery and suffering. One friend even told me once that they wanted to be euthanised at 50 as it wasn’t worth living any longer! Others see growing old as just another enjoyable chapter in life. A time not to be feared, but welcomed.

Today’s two poems compare the two views of ageing. This first one is a very negative view.

When I Am Old

When I am old, I will wear a flat cap
As I walk to the bathroom, my jowls will flap
And my ankles will break with a sickening snap
Then I’ll fall to the quickening ground

I’ll fall to the quickening, quickening ground
As my ankles break with a sickening sound
And my head will throb with a thickening pound
I will lie on the floor until, stricken, I’m found

When I am old, I’ll be fragile and frail
I will wither and waste, til I’m sallow and pale
And my head will explode with a shattering wail
And my brain will be splattering red

The walls, my brain will be splattering red
As a wail rings out from my shattering head
And the ground rises up as a battering bed
And the neighbours will cry, “What’s that clattering, Ed?”

When I am old, these will seem just as much of a novelty...

When I am old, these will seem just as much of a novelty…

...as these

…as these

The Sea Slug Riders

The Sea Slug Riders

I’ve recently been rereading some of my favourite David Eddings books and have been quite inspired by them. Eddings was a fantastic fantasy writer and his books are full of great characters and frightening creatures. I wanted to write a poem about monstrous beasts in a fantasy setting. I chose to take the humble sea slug (are they humble? I don’t know. They might be incredibly vain dressed like they are.) and turn it into a ferocious steed for a race of warriors. This poem finds the sea slug riders returning from their crusades abroad.

The Sea Slug Riders

The bells were heard for many a mile
An answer to the townsfolk’s yearning
Rang out from the campanile
The sea slug riders were returning

The women turned their gaze to the horizon
Could not believe what they there laid their eyes on

The rippling tips of sea slug frilling
Glistened in the dying light
Their undulating dance was thrilling
Dimpling like cellulite

The men removed their hats and genuflected
In honour of the heroes long expected

Slow and steady, on they wriggled
Strapped in place for ease of seat
But at at our minds, a worry niggled
Was it all a cruel deceit?

The mayor shuffled his feet in nervous tension
Entertaining thoughts he dared not mention

The crowd rushed forward, hoped to see more
In the breaking waves we found
That sea slugs ride along the sea floor
So the sea slug riders drowned

The slugs, armed with a fearsome reputation
Had thus begun their quest for domination

Biding his slime until his marine brothers rise up and liberate the Earth

Biding his slime until his marine brothers rise up and liberate the Earth

My Blunder

My Blunder

Science is a wonderful, wonderful thing, but sometimes it can go too far. People start doing things because they can rather than because they should. This short poem explores the internal monologue of a scientist who finally realises that he has crossed a line and is horrified by the results.

My Blunder

I sat  in wide-eyed wonder
My experiment had worked
Then I realised my blunder
When the fruit bowl shook and jerked

I stood and stared unblinking
At the small banana’s strife
Wondering what I’d been thinking
When I chose to give it life

The face of dispear

The face of dispear

And I Shall Have A Chai Latte

And I Shall Have A Chai Latte

I’ve been reading quite a bit of Dylan Thomas‘s poetry recently. One in particular, And Death Shall Have No Dominion (sorry for the poor formatting on that site,but it’s hard to find the poem online), which tackles the themes of death and immortality, has instantly become one of my all time favourite poems. I wanted to find a way to pay tribute to this incredibly powerful poem.

For a long time now, I’ve also wanted to pay tribute to my favourite hot drink; the Chai Latte. It’s just so sweet and delicious that I can’t order anything else when I go to a coffee shop. Thus was born ‘And I Shall Have A Chai Latte’. I have tried to maintain the serious and dour atmosphere of the original poem, while introducing a much less serious topic. This is the second of my drink related parodies of famous poems, the first being The Lady Grey of Shallott. The third will be posted in due time.

And I Shall Have A Chai Latte

And I shall have a Chai Latte
A still and sweet ocean I take in hand
The milk froth’d massimo, creamiest friend
Bubbles on lips shall leave their trace
As the bleary eyed drinker wipes his face
Cinnamon sprinkles dust the head
Melting into their soft cloudy bed
Though creamers be lost cream shall not
And I shall have a Chai Latte

And I shall have a Chai Latte
Coffee shop tables are sticky with spills
As bursaried students loose the spoils
Sat in the corner I nurse my Chai
Alone to consider the joys of the day
The first intimations of hunger they sate
Syrups with weight in stomachs sit
Fill all ends up I shan’t snack
And I shall have a Chai Latte

And I shall have a Chai Latte
Memories flow as thick as foam
Of moments spent with hand to mug
If drinks had ears for words of grief
Of fumbling infatuates or prayers to relieve
The things they’d hear of the things I’ve said
Warm and welcoming here by my side
Shut in my heart til my heart shuts down
And I shall have a Chai Latte

Chai-me flies when you're having fun

Chai-me flies when you’re having fun

If you wanted a sip, I'm afraid you're too latte

If you wanted a sip, I’m afraid you’re too latte

Open, Eyes of Mine

Open, Eyes Of Mine

I’ve had a lot of early mornings recently. I’m on placement so I have to get up at non-studenty times like 6:00 sometimes! I’m 8 weeks in so I’m definitely getting into the swing of it, but there are some mornings where I really would rather eat my own legs than get out of bed. My alarm starts to blare, I look up at the chink of sunlight seeping through the window, and my eyes melt as tears of exhaustion run down my weary, weary face.

Open, Eyes of Mine

Open, eyes of mine
And face the glorious morning
Do not turn away
Another world is dawning

Open, eyes of mine
You’ve snoozed for half an hour
And now I have to choose
Breakfast or a shower?

It burns us, precious

It burns us, precious

100th Post: The Rats Shall Rise Up In Glory

The Rats Shall Rise Up In Glory

It was announced in the news recently that scientists no longer believe that black rats were the evil villains behind the spreading of the Black Death in Europe. It has always been assumed that they spread it with their fleas and that the blood of untold numbers of people was on their paws. In the twist of the millennium, it seems that the culprits were actually gerbils! No seriously! Read all about it here! 

This poem is about the absolution of the black rat. No longer hated, no longer downtrodden, no longer shackled with the enormity and horror of a genocide they did not commit. While the theology of ‘The Rats Shall Rise Up in Glory’ is appalling, the point still stands, we owe them a serious apology. This is one of my newest poems and has immediately become one of my favourites, if I may say so myself.

Incidentally, this is the 100th poem on this blog! Woohoo!

The Rats Shall Rise Up In Glory

For many a year, in our fear, villainised
The black city rat, it was spat on, despised
But new evidence rose, so out goes the old story
And the rats shall rise up in glory

Black rats and black death, in one breath often said
We have slandered their name with the blame for the dead
This brand new point of view is so revelatory
And the rats shall rise up in glory

On the heights of St Paul’s, shadow falls on the steeple
A gerbil with fleas, to their knees brought the people
Their knowledge was flat, so the rat took the blame
And the gerbil shall perish in flame

For now we’ve unveiled what we failed then to see
T’was the gerbillic horde! Put to sword they must be!
Now rats sing as a throng, a song celebratory
And the rats shall rise up in glory

But for many years yet, we’ll forget what we’ve learnt
In our shame we’ll ignore what these poor rats have earnt
They’ll be dragged through the mud, labelled bloody and gory
But the rats shall rise up in glory

Rats from East and from West, all the best rats from Devon
And London and Brum, will all come up to Heaven
They’ll swarm through the gate, the great end of history
And the rats shall rise up in glory

Filthy Gerbil propoganda

Filthy Gerbil propoganda