Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Guest House on the Rim

This poem is written to a theme of Guest Houses. There's enough of them in Blackpool, but living here, I've never had reason to go to one. I didn't want to rely purely on stereotypes, so I needed a different approach. 

On last week's broadcast "Poetry Show" there was a light-hearted suggestion of a theme of nuclear fusion, which undoubtedly accounts for the direction my writing took. 

Upon reading the poem you may gather that I watch some science fiction on TV. Sorry there are no Firefly or Stargate references.

The Guest House on the Rim

Beyond our sight where stars grow dim,
where nine dimensions are in tune,
you’ll find, on the galactic rim,
a guest-house on a silver moon.
How long it’s been there, no one knows
as time stands still outside its gates
so whilst their lives outside are frozen,
guests inside postpone their fates.

Though built upon a rift in space
the d├ęcor would belie that fact
as Betty Reed (who owns the place) –
her fashion tastes are quite exact.
A nineteen-sixties style, bijou,
with Gingham oilcloth table-tops,
Welsh dressers with some plates on view,
some Escher; bowls of acid drops.

Irrelevant to all the guests:
It’s comfy, clean and boasts good food,
with top-notch service that attests
to Betty’s can-do attitude.
She finds out details large and small
of guests, their wants and every need.
The staff are trained to follow all
the guidelines set by Mrs Reed:

 “When Doctor Who books in again
with Peri, Leela, Captain Jack,
or Ace or Rose or Sarah-Jane
he’ll park his TARDIS round the back.
Don’t worry if his face has changed:
put jelly-babies on his bed,
make sure the seating is arranged
so he’s not near the Dalek bred.”

“Keep Cylons from Galacticans,
Centauri from the Narn Regime,
Peacekeepers from the Scarrans and
the Borg out of the SodaStream.
For Star Fleet guests, you’ll need to show
there’s en-suite bathrooms on each floor
as no-one else will boldly go
where Captain Kirk has gone before.”

“We want all guests to feel at ease
so weapons must be left behind:
the phasers and the PPGs,
put telepaths out of your mind,
disarm the Daleks, they’ll not care.
Yes, even they stop being grim
as they know what we bring to bear
within our guest house on the rim.”

Saturday, 16 August 2014

The Birthday Boy

This week's theme is "birthdays".

I started one poem but after two stanzas I couldn't decide how I wanted it to continue. What I had written was reasonable, but it had no real direction.

Eventually I decided to kick that one into touch and start another poem using a different approach: that of birthdays and how people are perceived at different ages.

The Birthday Boy

So here is the birthday boy. How old are you?
Don’t you know? Don’t be shy. What is that? Oh, you’re four.
And what has your mummy and daddy bought you?
Some crayons, an Etch-a-Sketch – oh, is there more?
I see you’ve got Lego. So what can you make?
Oh you’re off. Where’ve you gone? Oh I see. Birthday cake.

So there is the birthday boy. Fourteen you say?
How he’s grown since last year. Is he taller than you?
I bought him a token. I hope that’s okay.
No he didn’t say thanks, but at that age few do.
He’s turned off his music. Yes. Nice when it ends.
Oh he’s off. Where’s he gone? Oh I see. To his friends.

So here is the birthday boy. How do you feel?
Well they say life begins at the age you are now.
I must say the buffet and bar are ideal,
But how many jars will your missus allow?
Your eyes are already quite red ‘neath those lids.
Oh you’re off. Karaoke. Embarrass the kids.

So here is the birthday boy, and you’ve left work!
You will soon wonder how you found time to go there.
With jobs round the house you’ll have no time to shirk.
Your hobbies? Well sometimes – if there’s time to spare.
You don’t look too happy at those times ahead.
Oh you’re off. Where’ve you gone? Oh I see. To the shed.

So there is the birthday boy. How has he been?
Someone said that he’d needed an angiogram.
He looks better than last month; so pink and so clean.
Is he eating okay? Will he know who I am?
I’ve brought him a card ‘cause I’ll soon have to go.
Oh he’s off. Fast asleep. Never mind. He won’t know.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Maurice Nurple's Trousers

Last week's poetic theme of "Cages" was slightly unusual but this week's theme takes the biscuit.


That's right, Trousers. Lateral thinking wasn't much of a help, so it was simply a case of 'jump in and see where things go.

As such, "Maurice Nurple's Trousers" is one of those poems that just evolved from a few random phrases. The first line popped out of the blue, then the  name of "Nurple" suggested purple as an obvious rhyme. 

After that, a bit of alliteration in the first verse moved things on.

Maurice Nurple's Trousers

Maurice Nurple loved his trews:
A pair he’d bought ten years ago,
the shot silk showing different hues,
should he shashay to make them show.
He’d bought them in a little shop
He’d found by chance one day in May.
Yes, “Terry’s Trousers” made him stop
Whilst walking down an alleyway.

He stopped and then he went inside
amongst the jeans and pants and slacks.
At first he thought the choice too wide
but then he saw them on the racks.
The trousers captured his regard
with yellow/purple warp and weft,
so taking out his credit card,
young Maurice Nurple bought and left.

Initially the fit was snug
and could offend the multitudes
but wearing them was like a drug
so he cut down on fatty foods.
Once trim, he went out on the town
to socialise, to club, to dance,
to strut his stuff and boogie down,
thus showing off his silken pants.

As years went by the wear and tear
began, of course, to take its toll.
But Maurice had a certain flair
to darn and hide each little hole.
Where they had worn between the thighs
he’d patched them from the oddment bin
but soon he came to realise
that now the end was closing in.

Deciding, though he almost balked,
retracing steps from ten years past,
he felt a traitor as he walked
to find the shop, but was steadfast.
But “Terry’s Trousers” was not there,
Pulled down and there, where once it stood
a shop was selling fetish wear.
The clothes from there? As if he could.

Now Maurice still goes out at night;
His wardrobe’s still a thing to see.
His trousers now, not quite as tight,
are black and shiny PVC.
He does not miss his silken trews,
So soft against his derriere,
As they’re recycled; he’s still using 
yellow/purple underwear.