Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Is it me, or is modern poetry shit?

As an avid reader of poetry, and a sometime scribbler of it as well, I'm on of the few people I know in this corner of the world who has an interest in poetry. I thought that maybe it's a modern thing, that other mediums of communication and entertainment had developed that simply left no space for poetry, sidelining it to a few dusty geriatrics in a corner of a already dusty library. But the startling thing is that poetry is alive, and not coveted by sextagenarians exclusively, but brandished around by people of all ages as a powerful force in literature, and now, all of a sudden, poetry seems to be kicking hard in all directions shouting like Frankensteins' monster about the nature of it's existence. It's alive alright, but it isn't well. Carol Anne Duffy as poet Laureate? Have you read any of her poetry? Read one sentence and try to remember it tomorrow. It's impossible for any normal person, and possible exclusively for people who enjoy watching Eggheads. Now give me a Larkin, Thomas or even a Watkins and I'll recite lines and lines. But until we stop thrusting the Duffy's and Motions of this world into the vapid eyes of the uninitiated, what poetry will be is a very dreary PR exercise in keeping shit alive.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

19th Aug 09

It’s becoming increasingly hard to live in a world, where I am asked with all the threatening seriousness of a superior asking a subordinate, ‘why was the shift report sent 15 minutes early?’ The ire that such an innocuous question raises is almost psychopathically dangerous; as though I had been asked to move the Rock of Gibraltar with a teaspoon, and once completed, denigrated for not having ‘done it nicely’. I think it’s more than enough that the tedium of work takes up 8 hours a day, without some small minded office bureaucrat berating me for the presumptuous sending of an email a whole quarter of an hour early.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Double Economics

"So Davidson, what have we learnt about the social effects of industrialisation?" asked Mr Granger.
"Well Sir, I think the main thing is that lots of people moved to the cities and got better jobs than the ones they had before because they all lived in fields and that and were unhappy so they upped and moved to -" The spotty youth drifted into silence as Mr Granger waved him to stop.
"Not so fast Davidson." The teacher sighed and sat on the edge of his desk. "Yes, they moved to the City, but were they any happier? Well?" He stared around the room at the multitude of apathetic, bored faces. "Boyle." A sleepy eyed boy at the back of the class jolted upright in his chair at the mention of his name. "What do you think?" Boyle stared around nervously at his classmates for a glimmer of help, but none was forthcoming.
"They were happier cos they had more money?"
"Is money happiness, Boyle?"
"Yes" said Boyle weakly.
"Excellent. Well, I can see this little philosophical discussion has left an indelible blank on your minds, and you Boyle especially have left me startled with your impressive insight into the human condition" Mr Granger got up and walked around his desk. "I do sometimes wonder why I come here for a good proportion of my day, to waste words on your fat, greasy, little ears" gratifyingly a stir was met by his slight at them. Mr Granger wanted to jump on his desk and shout like Dr Frankenstein "They are alive! Alive I tell you!"
Who to ask the next question to? Davidson had taxed his brain cell too much already, and was now dangerously liable to fall asleep at another onslaught of forced thinking. Boyle was still smiling at having seemingly answered a question correctly, Kishore was snoring into his book and that left Hermann, out of the interesting choices. The rest were non-entities who never rose to the occasion of causing trouble or exhibiting any actual detectable sign of character.
"Hermann, what is happiness?"
"Hanging out with mates Sir, family, buying people presents Sir -"
"Hermann, if I've taught you anything, forget it all now." Granger placed his hands on the desk. "The only real happiness is money gentlemen, money and lauding it over others. This weekend just gone for instance, I bought a lottery ticket, for one shiny pound" said Granger treasuring this moment, sapping up the vapid expressions on the shaven monkeys infront of him. "And this ticket, I distinctly remember I purchased after an attempt at teaching you neanderthals the mystery of strip farming in the eighteenth century. Do you know what happened with that ticket Boyle?"
"No Sir."
"Indeed Boyle, you don't, but I do." Most of them were showing signs of life. His triumphal moment was here. "That splendiferous ticket with it's six little numbers, won me a seven digit number that equates to a rather larger sum of cash." His voice was raising in tempo. "And now I'm rich! Rich beyond my wildest dreams! And I can leave now, because that's all I came in to do, to tell you worthless brain dead shits that you aren't going to amount to anything! You don't pay attention and you think the world is going to look after you when you leave with your lack of A-Levels! Well let me tell you" he shouted whilst jabbing his finger at Boyle in particular "That life isn't like that, so I'm off. I can't cope with you fucks anymore and I don't have to! Ha ha ha ha, aha HA HA HA HA!" he ran out the room still laughing manically as he did so.
There came an abrupt stop to to the laughing and a mangled scream, and the sound of someone falling heavily and brokenly down the stone flagged steps. The boys looked at each other and slowly gathered their books. After they had filed out of the room, down the steps, and stepped over the moaning figure of Mr Granger, only Boyle remained.
"You're a twat" said Boyle and left Granger slumped in pain, alone at the bottom of the stairwell.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Even Hermit Crabs Get Lonely

Even Hermit Crabs get lonely
On the sea floor beneath the waves,
As a tide of life sweeps above them
Whilst sheltered in their shells.

The crab scuttles across the bed
Of the deep and teaming sea,
And in it's solitary home it dreams
And in it's dreams is free.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Akay Wood


In the woods I walked
Till a sight through the arms of trees
I saw, a light that burned
Amongst the dark,
Emblazoned on my eyes.

It was cold that night.
A frost made crisp my steps.
And I felt a peace descend.


Though a star is chained it dances
And in it’s throws illuminates those
Cast under and aside, with different shades
Are all perceptions changed.


I am the Lord of the Dance, said He

In the revel of an evening
By the light of the shining star
By the side of the slow running river,
Midst the trees as they creak

Even as a solitary figure in the shadows
Where questions are echoes –

The grass made ice figurines
Ferns carved and hardened.

No answers are given,
As I walked the path home.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Tale of Rhun Hir ap Maelgwyn

‘Seek it then, foolish King, but know what fate awaits you’ the hag screeched in the shadows of the hovel. ‘Know that others faster and stronger than you have looked for the sword of Rhydderch Hael, and never come back.’ The fire in the middle of the floor flared in eldritch blue, and the hag seemed to dance amongst the embers. The wind outside howled louder as it streamed down the sides of Yr Wyddfa, and pounded on the hide entrance. Rhun Hir ap Maelgwyn kept his eyes on the hags face no matter where she moved, his distrust made the greater by his friends advice “fear the hag Rhun. Watch her case she steals your treasure.” Rhun had puzzled at this and questioned his friend. “Your life Rhun, your life!” Now he was alone half way up the side of the mountain beneath Clogwynn Du’r Arddu, the “black cliff of the darkness”. And in this hovel Rhun began to think he had found the heart of that darkness.
‘Tell me hag where it is. Then I can leave you and this filth’ said Rhun in a harsh whisper. His fear was driving his temper and he was struggling to keep his peace with the hag.
‘Disgust, foolish King? Not disgust. Fear I think. Fear. And yet where you will go for Rhydderch’s sword is darker than the rocks of Yr Wyddfa, foolish King. Oh yes.’ Her eyes seemed to burn brighter like a cat’s. How he longed to get out of here and run back down the mountainside. It was only his wiseman’s council which had told him to make the treck alone, otherwise the hag would never be found. Her hovel was said to never to be in the same place the next day, and the ground showed no signs of fire or of people passing. But up hear she lived beneath the howling mist ridden hills, beneath the cliff of the darkness.
‘Tell me where to find it. Your silver is there’ he threw the bag on the far side of the fire where it chinked to a stop.
‘Ah very good’ she said ‘but not enough. Promise me a promise Rhun ap Maelgwyn and I’ll tell you of the way to the Dyrnwyn sword.’ The sword of the white hilt. The sword of fire that would bring him his Kingdom.
‘I give it, hag’ he said. To be done and out of here was all he could think of.
‘Not soo quick young buck, for favours three you’ll agree, then the sword that burns the darkness fires the soul, will in your hand be control’d’

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I should not care of words I heard

I should not care of words I heard
Spoken in woolly ears of feted friends
Beneath a gloomy sky of smoke and ale,
Upon a bench of drink and bums
Sodden in a way of misery
Far from the churly ears of work
Under a barley star of freedom

I should not stand for triteness
Nor shy away from pompousness,
But glory in the revel of the evening
As gory heads are lolling
Though the trauma of the dawn.

To be easy in the way of words
Spoken in silent love of things
Both dear and not dear
And peaceable and passionate
Till it echoes from the door,
In a reeling week of selflessness.