If I find a gap in one of my poetry notebooks that is too small for one of my usual pieces, I like to write a haiku or limerick to fill the space. This is one of those filler poems.
A few weeks ago, I was woken at 01:30 by a loud knocking. This knocking went on for some time and seemed to be coming from my front door! I brushed it off as a lost drunkard but, the next night at 01:30 the knocking was back again, louder and more frantic than before. I thought I might be having a recurring dream, but my housemate heard it too! I have no idea who was knocking or why.
The Late Night Visit
Knocking on the door
What time is it? 01:30
I’m ready to die
Do I have time to update my status to something witty before I am killed?
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
The lesser known (and lesser feared) sink monster
One of the most exciting parts of Christmas Eve is hanging up the stockings! While it’s impossible to predict exactly what Father Christmas will place in them, there are certain things that appear each and every year.
One of these things, in my house at least, is a bag of chocolate sprouts. Yes, chocolate sprouts. Like chocolate coins, but sprouts. It’s not complicated.
In Chocolate Sprouts, the two breeds of sprouts (brussels and chocolate) are engaged in a violent war.
Chocolate sprouts are breaking free
Sneering as they look at me
Chocolate sprouts are breaking loose
Oh, what carnage they produce
Chocolate sprouts are breaking in
See the Brussels siege begin
Chocolate sprouts are breaking through
Howling as they come for you
Chocolate sprouts are breaking up
Lighting candles as they sup
Chocolate sprouts are breaking out
Snorting as they charge about
Chocolate sprouts are breaking off
Civil War! The Brussels scoff
Chocolate sprouts are breaking down
Melting into pools of brown
The Brussels Sprouts Boil With Anger
Phil Collins recently announced the exciting news that he is coming out of retirement! He’s promising a new album and even a tour! Needless to say, I was overwhelmed by this news, so I thought it was time to post another poem from the Phil Collins Saga. You can find some others under the ‘Longer Projects’ category. An assassin has been hired by the forces of light who have been forced to resort to cruel methods to end Collins’ reign of terror. However it may seem, this poem is not the end of the story.
His feet were silent
Light as air
The river running dark and brown
He crept along
The narrow bank
His task; to take Phil Collins down
So many ways
To do the deed
Shoot, smother, poison, stab, or drown
He slipped into
At dusk to take Phil Collins down
His blue robe trailing
This figure haunts the old Swiss town
Two velvet gloves
Upon the hands
He’ll use to take Phil Collins down
The house now breached
Phil Collins found
Resplendent in his dressing gown
A shadow looming
Rush of air
He’s here to take Phil Collins down
The job done swiftly
Scarce a scream
The blue assassin stops to frown
For life’s one purpose
All his days
Had been to take Phil Collins down
But now returning
His handiwork of some renown
With vigour now
A righteous goal
His task; take Eric Clapton down
He suspects nothing
This poem has a very melodramatic title but I think it’s appropriate because people have very melodramatic reactions to it’s subject. I’m not the biggest fan of spiders ever but I do think they’re actually pretty cool creatures. My favourite spider fact is that spiders don’t use muscles to move their legs. They have hydraulic legs! They move by moving fluid in and out of each leg in turn. How crazy is that? Pretty crazy. Of all the creepy crawly beasts that linger where death and decay are found, spiders are probably the best.
The Queen of Putrefaction
Below the tattered curtain lies a body on it’s back
Light glistens in the compound eyes that watched the world turn black
A single, shining silk thread ties it’s legs up from a height
Like many other wayward flies, it didn’t last the night
For in the dark a demon sits, it’s waiting in the gloom
Without a sound each eyeball flits and turns around the room
It moves in sudden violent fits, to chase, to hunt, to kill
It never fails, it never quits, the beast will have it’s fill
It’s legs move by hydraulic action, scuttling at speed
It rules the Lords of Putrefaction, lingers where they feed
Climbing with it’s unholy traction, webs mark where it’s been
Nothing is safe that draws attention from the eight eyed Queen
This particular Queen has unfortunately set up shop in my throne room
Following on in September’s sonnet series, we now come to the Petrarchan sonnet which is quite different from the two previous sonnets I have posted. Whilst it is still written in iambic pentameter, the structure has changed. Rather than three quatrains and a couplet, we have one octave (eight line verse) and a sestet (six line verse). The rhyming structure for the octave is usually a-b-b-a-a-b-b-a. Typically, the sestet follows either c-d-e-c-d-e or c-d-c-d-c-d. For this poem, I have chosen the former.
I have something of a phobia when it comes to swimming. Being in water is distinctly uncomfortable and upsetting for me and I find deep water utterly terrifying and disturbing. I can trace this phobia back to a particular day in the year of 2012. I was travelling around Europe with some friends and we stopped in Slovenia near a stunning lake named Lake Bled. It really was one of the most beautiful places we had ever seen so we went for a swim.
A few metres out, the bed of the lake suddenly plummeted to a great depth. I found myself almost paralysed with fear then, without knowing what happened in between, I was crawling up the bank breathless and shaking. That afternoon, I stupidly agreed to go swimming again and had another panic attack when a very large fish brushed passed my legs. Later, back in my room, I had a vivid flashback and fell over. How dramatic! These experiences have been condensed for the sake of concision (severely lacking in this introduction) in this sonnet.
We swaggered through the bright Slovenian heat
Some days into our European break
From Castle Hostel, out towards the lake
The water gently lapping at our feet
Lured into depths by cunning and deceit
And glancing down, a terrible mistake
A giant fish, more than my mind could take
It pushed my legs then vanished into peat
Still screaming as I staggered up the bank
And trembling for hours after that
Not caring that my friends thought me insane
I pondered just how deep I nearly sank
Collapsed into a heap and, laying flat
I swore that I would never swim again
‘Bring Me Phil Collins’ began life as a silly stand alone poem about nothing in particular. However, it is the seed from which the idea for the Phil Collins Saga grew. I explained it briefly in the introduction for another poem from the cycle that I posted here. ‘Bring Me Phil Collins’ is the introduction to the cycle of poems in which Death calls for Phil Collins to be brought to him.
Bring Me Phil Collins
Bring me Phil Collins he cried
Place him at my feet
With saucy tales his talent is belied
This is a man I would meet
Yes, bring me Phil Collins he cried
Throw him to the ground
Forgotten now by popular tide
When once he was renowned
So, bring me Phil Collins he cried
Bear him to my throne
Too long has my patience been tried
Too long have I sat here alone
Now, bring me Phil Collins he cried
Stand him in the court
For this is the place he’ll forever reside
As a bean of burden ought
It’s no good trying to hide, Phil. Everyone can see you.