Tuesday, 7 March 2017

I Wandered, Lonely, as a Clown

The theme for the March Pub Poets' open mic event was "Dandy Daffodils".

Thoughts of spring, rebirth, growth come to mind. Nope. Didn't fancy that for my poem.

When William Wordsworth's daffodil poem came to mind, that was a partial inspiration. But it had to be different. If I modify the first line slightly? Now how can I bring "Dandy" into it? I know...

I Wandered, Lonely, as a Clown

I wandered, lonely, as a clown
through darkened streets in Cardiff town,
where spears of rain came hurling down,
their icy points assailed my crown.
And as I shuffled, mind elsewhere
upon the brink of dark despair,
the rivulets flowed from my hair,
unchecked by greasepaint under there.

How long I walked I do not know,
nor When the weather turned to snow,
nor When my pace began to slow,
nor When my ankle laid me low.
I’d no desire - myself to lift
while cushioned in a winter drift
and wondered, “would the end be swift?”
reflecting how perceptions shift.

How did events lead me to here?
So diff'rent to this time last year,
when such a cheery atmosphere
made life ahead so bright and clear,
when fair Joanne and I were wed
two clowns sharing a life ahead,
vows Dandy and his Beano read,
words David and his Joanne said.

We met within the circus ring
We wanted to share ev’rything
deciding that a child would bring
completeness, that we’d leave next spring.
A Swansea swansong was our plan...
...But what could be more shocking than
the violent death of my Joanne -
run over by a white van man.

Now that I’d lost my love, my light,
I walked away into the night,
not caring if the Weather's Might
would lay me low; I would not fight.
My Beano would be with me still
had fate not had some time to kill;
some quota that it had to fill -
for wishing Dandy Dafyd ill.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Jack and the Giant Knickers

The February "Pub Poets"' open mic event had a theme of Giant Knickers - yes I know. What poem could I write about that?

For some reason, the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk came to mind. A little research, and I was reminded that many versions of the story feature the ogre's wife. She hides Jack from her husband - in the oven or wardrobe dependent on the version you read. So I wondered - where else might the ogre's wife hide Jack? And a poem is born.

Jack and the Giant Knickers

The story of Jack and the beanstalk
is known - by most of you here.
The cow that was swapped for a handful of beans
has been ingrained for many a year.
The growth overnight by the discarded beans
that extended up, high in the sky;
the loony idea to climb up to the top
when his mum was not there to ask why.

I know that it's only a fairy tale.
There's no type of beans can explain
how a beanstalk could have a large castle atop,
no genetic'ly modified strain.
So - with that in mind it's quite reas'nable
that an ogre should live there as well.
An ogre who likes to eat Englishmen
And one with a good sense of smell.

Most people remember how Jack was a thief
Who stole gold despite risking his life
And then nicked a bird who could lay golden eggs,
But less folk remember the wife.
Yes, the ogre was married, and just like her husband
Jack found her size simply incredible
And as she thought British food tasted quite bland,
when she found Jack, she found him inedible.

In fact she was kindly, and treated Jack well
For she welcomed intelligent chat
For her husband was rude, thick as twenty short planks
Finding fee fie foe fault. All of that.
One day when Jack called, he thought he'd be caught
With the ogre approaching the room.
Would the wife help him hide, to avoid homicide,
and keep Jack from meeting his doom?

Where could Jack hide where he wouldn't be found
By the ogre's most sensitive snout?
When the giant arrived in a quarrelsome mood
Jack was shoved where he'd not be found out.
The ogres, they argued on trivial things.
Jack listened to all of their bickers
Jack made not a sound, he stayed still where he hid
Snugly there in the wife's giant knickers.

So it was with each visit, he ended up there
tucked into the lady giant's drawers
And she seemed quite happy with Jack in her nappy.
An unmentionable fairy tale clause.