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Archive for the ‘PoetryAndLyrics’ Category

Cringe (1)

Monday, June 13th, 2016

There is a minor genre of entertainment (see e.g. the Cringe nights and associated book, and the Radio 4 programme My Teenage Diary), which consist of people reading out excerpts from teenage diaries, poems, etc. Here is my contribution, albeit from a slightly earlier age. These are two poems that I found whilst looking through some old folders whilst clearing out my parents’s house. They were clearly considered good enough, back in 1981 or whenever, for me to have been asked to copy them out of my schoolbook in my “best writing” (still pretty crap, though interesting to see traces of the “Marion Richardson” style of penmanship such as the lower-case k with a loop in it), and been displayed on the classroom wall.

The first is a nice poem about Spring. It rhymes well, but the scansion could be improved:


In spring the plants come shooting up.
Easter eggs don’t go in egg cups.

In spring we get and extra hour of day.
So now we can all shout “Hooray”.

In spring the baby lambs are born,
And we can begin to plant the corn.

Very bucolic. The next is more exotic, to the point of borderline racism. I particularly like the illuminated capitals.


On treasure island, with lots of palm trees.
There is a treasure chest that has no keys
The treasure was buried by pirates of old.
Pirates who were brave, strong and bold

On treasure island with tall mountains
There are lots of pleasant fountains
The island surrounded by water so cold.
The treasure is made up of diamonds and gold

On treasure island there are no animals;
But there are a lot of cannibals
The island defended by natives with spears
The treasure dates back by thousands of years

On treasure island in the sun
The treasure has not yet been won
There is a volcano with red hot lava
And a river we called the garva.

Good to see a decent attempt to use semicolons. I think “garva” in the last line is an attempt to write “Java”, though it might just about have been a sod-it attempt to find something to rhyme with “lava”. There is probably also some influence from the Griffin Pirate Stories (Roderick the Red, etc.), which I remember reading voraciously at around that time.

Poem (1)

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

You Fatalism

The anonymous artist
calling herself You Fatalism
wants you to be shocked and delighted
by her detailed descriptions of mallard corpses
and her feather-flecked model aeroplanes.

The unsigned stencils,
found in unfashionable areas of Beijing,
add to the enigmaticity;
as do the occasional rumors,
that You is a collective of art-workers
in a Shenzhen business park
whipped by some opportunistic plutocrat
who sees art as the Next Big Thing.

And yet, when I study
the needle-thin tower,
a product of a thousand sparrow-bones,
or the smear on an eighteenth-story window
where an overambitious robotic bird has smashed,
I can only believe,
that You is a single intelligence,
with one obsessive thought.