Category Archives: Magic & Fantasy

200th Post: The Men Who Smell To Earth

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So often in science fiction films, books, songs or whatever, the presence of alien life is announced with either a sound or, most commonly, something visual such as a light, an explosion, or the aliens themselves. However they declare their presence, it’s usually an appeal to either our sense of sight or our sense of hearing.

But what if, and please go with me on this, alien life was revealed, not by a noise or a vision, but by a smell?

The Men Who Smell To Earth

The evidence arrived
Before the news of what it evidenced
Took residence in any nation’s TV stations
It came with confusion

Not a sound, not a light
But frightful all the same
More so, in fact
A smell
No, far worse, a nasal Hell
That filled the air

But more than that, it got inside
Behind the eyes
Right through the sinuses
They couldn’t see
They couldn’t hear
And with that came the fear

Way out on Mars
A rover drove over a stone
Which rattled and revealed a hidden hollow
Turning round
It swept the stone from the ground
Uncovering a cavern
Out stepped three mangy Martian men
A dirty throng
And brought with them the pong

So potent, even emptiness
The void of space
Could not erase the taste
That burning tickle in the throat

The world looked to its leaders
To tell them what reeked to high Heaven
A chemical weapon?
A zombie apocalypse?
Toppling governments threw up their hands
Until they heard the reason for the scare
And with it came despair

Humanity waited so long for this moment
Our coming of age
We at last take our place
In the union of space

But this wasn’t what we planned
For the ascension of man
Now we know we’re not alone
But is it worth
The men who smell to Earth?

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A gift from Earth’s ambassadors

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How Are You Not A Sea Monster?

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It’s Valentine’s day! Different people have different thoughts and feelings about today. Personally, I tend not to pay it any attention at all as it’s all a bit nauseating, but I’m posting this poem as a small nod to the day’s significance.

I was reading The Call Of Cthulhu by H. P. Lovecraft and I couldn’t help but think that it would be horrible to have to spend time with a sea monster (especially one that is actually an ancient, evil, and angry god) and that the highest compliment you could pay someone is that they are completely unlike a sea monster!

How Are You Not A Sea Monster?

How are you not a sea monster?
Let me count the ways
You don’t have slimy tentacles
Just small, warm hands to raise

You don’t have eyes like frying pans
No, yours are deep and blue
You don’t scare sailors half to death
It’s nice to be with you

You don’t protect a dark abyss
You’re generous and sweet
You don’t have pincers, claws, or hooves
Just lovely, little feet

You don’t speak in strange languages
I love to hear your voice
I wouldn’t nuke your resting place
Were I given the choice

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The lesser known (and lesser feared) sink monster

 

Santactus

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In Tesco at the moment, you can buy a real cactus dressed as Father Christmas. A photo of my Santa Cactus (Santactus) featured at the end of a poem posted earlier this week.

I named it Santactus then realised that this sounded like the name of some old Roman god. When all the other fleeting, festive frivolities have passed away, this cactus will remain. Standing tall.

Santactus

Tinsel falls from trees once trim
Baubles shatter, lights grow dim
Candles lie in waxy heaps but

Santactus irrecusably remains

Green wreaths rot in glittering piles
The neon reindeer lose their smiles
Robins lie in bloodstained heaps but

Santactus irrefutably remains

Christmas jumpers now unravel
Sleighs decay, unfit for travel
Snowmen lie in melted heaps but

Santactus irreducibly remains

Wrapping paper patterns fade
Handcrafted Christmas cards degrade
Ribbons lie in tangled heaps but

Santactus irrepressibly remains

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Ironically, Santactus actually died shortly after the completion of this poem. But another will rise.

Fruit Seller

Fruit Seller

This poem grew out of a doodle I drew in a lecture during my first year of university and is one of my earlier efforts. The picture was of a many-armed being holding out various kinds of fruit. Unfortunately, I seem to have thrown the doodle away so the picture for this post is completely different.

Fruit Seller

Fruit seller, fruit seller
Day job for a fortune teller
Which fruit you get will depend
On how your sorry tale will end

Fruit seller, fruit seller
Quite a cryptic fortune teller
Hard to tell what he forsees
When everyone gets strawberries

What does it mean? I can't pear not knowing!

What does it mean? I can’t pear not knowing!

The Seasons Whispered

The Seasons Whispered

This very short poem explores what a conversation might sound like between anthropomorphic personifications of the four seasons. They’re all a bit melodramatic but you would be wouldn’t you, if you were a season. Seasonhood probably lends itself quite well to drama and arrogance.

The Seasons Whispered

The Springtime whispered All will grow
The Summer whispered All will burn
The Winter whispered All will go
The Autumn whispered Bog off Winter, wait your damn turn

Get a grip Summer

Get a grip Summer

Midnight Snacks

Midnight Snacks

Food just seems to taste so much better at midnight. In fact, the only thing better than a midnight feast is eating the leftovers of a midnight feast the next day! Don’t ask me why, that’s just the way it works.

Midnight Snacks

Pringles and chocolate, Coke and sweets
And chewy things from jars and packs
We gathered these, and other treats
And tucked into our midnight snacks

We ate more the next day at three
Then you cried Who turned out the light?
I laughed, confessing That was me
It’s just a little midsnack night

I don't want to milk this concept any more than I already have.

I don’t want to milk this concept any more than I already have.

Happy Ending

Happy Ending

Happy Ending was inspired by Witches Abroad, a book by Terry Pratchett. As well as being extremely funny, Witches Abroad explores fairy tales and what happens went they go wrong. My poem is a story about two fairy tale characters who should be enemies but are actually old friends, suggesting that the truth may have been exaggerated slightly in the original fable.

Happy Ending

The doorbell rings and Granny smiles
Hello there, Wolf, she almost sings
How did you know? a voice replies
My looking glass reflects all things

A knowing laugh, an open door
Come in, come in, and take a seat
What can I get you dear, old friend?
A cup of tea? A bite to eat?

The tales are old
They’re history
But things aren’t like
They’re said to be

The wolf is greying, moving slow
So Granny takes him by the hand
And leads him to a cushioned seat
To sit him down, You needn’t stand

My goodness, what big plates you have
The wolf says, looking at the spread
The better to feed hungry friends
Then Granny pats the wolf’s grey head

It’s true, the casts
Of myth existed
But through time, truth
Has been twisted

The door bursts inwards, voices scream
The fairy police, bold as brass
They mace poor Granny, drink the tea
Then smash the antique looking glass

They tie rope round the great wolf’s snout
But I’ve committed no offence!
They bind it’s paws, handcuff it’s feet
Then shoot it twice in self defence

It’s sad but there’s
No use pretending
There’s always
A happy ending

And that's the story of how my parents died

And that’s the story of how my parents died