Sunday, October 19, 2014

765 - The Psychic

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #183) presents a list of words
that we must incorporate in a writing piece.  

The words this week are:
shine, crazy, diamond, martyr, seer, secret,
laughter, prisoner, childhood, steel, stranger, shadow

The Psychic

She sat quietly, reflectively.
She could see what was coming.
Around her a small crowd had gathered.

A man, a farmer, speaks up: 
“Tell us", he asks, "of the seasons.”

The sun will shine but ever more so,
The earth will crack and dry;
Even shadows will be crisp and hot,
The crops will wilt and die.

The crowd murmured anxiously,
Unhappy with her words.
A woman asked 
“Will there be wealth?”

You will have enormous wealth,
Diamonds, gold and silken thread,
But none of this will feed you,
And you’ll die both rich and underfed.

The woman called her crazy 
And stormed away in pain,
While a nervous laughter 
Rippled through the crowd.

A soldier stepped forward.  
“And what of us, defenders of the realm?”

She was quiet a while before she spoke.

You are a martyr to another’s dream,
A pawn on a checkered board;
It’s no secret that you are used
For the benefit of our lords.

A small child then asked, nervously
“What of me?  What do you see for me?”

Your childhood is an illusion
Your future even more so;
You will forever be a prisoner 
To the will of the status quo.

Finally, a stranger to the village spoke up.
“Is there anything to give us hope?”

She looked at him blankly before saying:

Will the people steel themselves
To take control of their daily things?
Will they tackle the issues
And bear the pain this brings?

Probably not, 
she added, underneath her breath.

The crowd, unhappy with the message,
Regardless of its truth,
Then beat the seer to death.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

764 - Post-Mortem

Three Word Wednesday requires participants
to use the three words of the week in a composition.
The words this week were: gifted, intense and rot.


When, at last, the veil is lifted
On the stewardship we’ve shown,
When the rot is all dissected,
When the true neglect is known,
The inquest 
Will attest:

“Connected but intensely unaware.

To them, a paradise was gifted,
But they didn’t seem to care."
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

763 - On The Other Hand

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #182) presents a list of words
that we must incorporate in a writing piece.  

The words this week are:
machine, flesh, tease, lotion, gimmick, hypnotizing,
lust, chickens, torture, uniform, liquor, brains, trains

On The Other Hand

There are machines that take our jobs
But do ones that have been fatal to children in the past.

Whores sell their flesh
But some use the money to educate and feed their family.

Advertisers tease us
But commerce is what pays for our jobs.

The cosmetics industry sells fake lotions
But placebos have been shown to work.

Every week there is a new gimmick
But we crave variety and change.

We are hypnotized by affluence
But few can really achieve it.

We are expected to lust for more
But we live in a finite world.

We imprison people
But demand chickens be released from their cages.

We are promised uniform opportunity
But the promise is never kept.

We are told we over-consume liquor
But have seen the effects of prohibition.

Our brains are used to devise evil things
But they devise miraculous things as well.

The media trains us to be compliant
But we sometimes rebel when we see a wrong.

We take firm ‘moral’ stands on every issue
But refuse to consider the value of the other side.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

Thursday, October 09, 2014

762 - A Class Act

Three Word Wednesday requires participants
to use the three words of the week in a composition.
The words this week were: arrogant, crude and supple.

A Class Act

There is a certain elegance, 
A certain je ne sais quoi 
In everything they do.
An aloofness 
That is not so much arrogant 
As disdainful;
A presentation to the world 
That is one of entitlement
A regal stance that oozes class 
And separates the social strata.
They walk with a fluidity, 
With a liquid motion 
That captivates, hypnotises.  
There is nothing crude about them, 
They are a quality act.
They display a suppleness 
In their actions and, indeed, 
In their personal hygiene that, 
If extended to teenage boys, 
No homework would ever be done.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

Sunday, October 05, 2014

761 - The Expedition

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #181) presents a list of words
that we must incorporate in a writing piece.  

The words this week are:
sense, speech, sheets, goblets, signs, vital,
name, broken, away, strips, connected, poem

The Expedition

The word had reached the Empire
Of riches far away;
Of spices, gold and willing girls,
Of reindeer and a sleigh,
The vital signs that are required
For a mercenary foray.

The expedition was assembled,
Five bankers had been found,
Endless speeches had been given,
The boat they had was sound,
They filled its hold with puddings,
Rejecting those not round.

The sails were sheets of onion skins
Cut  into even strips,
The ballast was unbroken plates
Though some of them had chips,
And a passing poet was shanghaied,
To record the epic trip.

The captain was a cantaloupe,
The crew, a herd of sheep,
The first mate was a three-toed sloth
And spent the day asleep;
The cook was known to drink a bit
And predisposed to weep.

The bosun was well connected,
His father was an earl,
Who’d sent his son off to the sea
To teach him of the world,
But couldn’t dampen his inner love
Of dressing like a girl.

They charged their goblets and raised a toast,
They named the ship ‘Ptomaine’,
The crew all sensed the moment too
And tried to break their chains,
They then sailed into the setting sun
And were never seen again.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

Saturday, October 04, 2014

760 - Left Luggage

Three Word Wednesday requires participants
to use the three words of the week in a composition.
The words this week were: barren, worry and intense.

Left Luggage

Waiting for God with a vacant stare
Your mind has wandered who knows where.
You have long lost your early bloom
And now test-drive an early tomb.
It’s not exactly intensive care—
They hose you down and comb your hair
And leave you strapped into a chair
In a sparsely furnished room,
Waiting for God.

“You’ll have no worries” they declare
But quietly hope that they wont go there
They leave you there to meet your doom
And never share the twilight gloom,
Life’s a pretty barren affair,
Waiting for God.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

759 - The Schooling

A posey of flowers marks the spot where ashes
of drowned asylum seekers were scattered.

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #180) presents a list of words
that we must incorporate in a writing piece.  

The words this week are: 
posey, ashes, flames, sticks, lot, fear, 
love, discernment, polarize, identity, selfless, joy

The Schooling

Love comes naturally.
Everything fascinates babies,
Without discernment,
Without prejudice.
Every new experience is filled
With lots of joy and delight.
This is how we arrive:


Fear is learned.
Fear is taught.
Sometimes through 
The blistering flames of experience
But all too often through the 
Whispering innuendos 
Of tribal groupings:
My people versus your people,
Age, race, colour, gender
All needless labels that send a
Message of stereotype and difference.
Vilification sticks.
Humanity is denied.


Those who would control us
Know this all too well.
Politicians, advertisers,
Media owners of all types,
Tap into this contrived identity,
Polarize our groups
With the sticks and carrots 
Of fear and envy,
For their own ends,
A discordant ensemble
Of dog whistles.
Obediently we react,
Stay in our compounds
And bark at strangers.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

758 - Alternative Medicine

Theme Thursday has the prompt 'Apples'.

On the walls of a house of delight
Hangs a motto both pithy and bright—
"While an apple a day
Keeps the doctor away,
A nice pair will help pass the night."
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

757 - A Reflection on Life’s Parasites.

Pthirus pubis

Three Word Wednesday requires participants
to use the three words of the week in a composition.
The words this week were: adequate,explosive & parasite.

A Reflection on Life’s Parasites.

Life is full of parasites.
Some suck your blood,
Some your lifeblood.
Some graze on your extremities
While others are more invasive,
A little more personal.
Some arrive unannounced and,
Often unnoticed, never leave.
We have an adequate lot in life,
Enough to share perhaps,
And they are usually small, flat and largely hidden.

Some make their presence known with the odd tickle,
An itch perhaps, but we learn to live with them,
Are they co-mensal if you are the dinner?
Perhaps not but fellow travellers, none the less,
And we are a tolerant people.

Others arrive benignly, almost welcomed,
And, like a Trojan Horse, un cheval de troie,
They bide their time quietly grazing
Until ready to show their explosive intent,
And then they unexpectedly rupture,
Disgorging malice and toxins
Into your world.  Quite puzzling.
I have never understood
Why a parasite would
Kill its host.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

756 - Beagle II

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #179) presents a list of words
that we must incorporate in a writing piece.  

The words this week are: 
live, give, heart, gold, expression, searching,
old, ocean, mind, keep, miner, crossed

Beagle II

The craft touched down with a puff of smoke
It had travelled from distant stars;
Its hold was filled with a million and two
Specimens, in large blue jars.

It had crossed the visible universe
Searching for sentient life:
To record their numbers in a ledger of sorts,
And dissect them, with a knife.

And so they came to this blue-brown globe,
Across the oceans of deep space,
To count and catalogue it’s brighter minds,
To see who ran this place.

What was clear to them when they searched around
Was the jungle now owned the city:
Cockroaches, ants and some scaly things,
Made up the welcoming committee.

They approached an old temple of sorts
With gold leaf upon the door;
“It seems place where they burnt their coal
And a miner who wanted more”.

The ship’s scientists were amazed at this,
“Surely they had noticed the sun?
It’s a power source that gives and gives,
There’s free energy by the ton.”

The expression displayed on the leader’s face
Was one of shock and doubt:
“Well, I guess all signs of intelligent life
Died when the coal ran out.”

The cockroaches were most offended, of course, 
To be so rudely sidelined:
“We have far exceeded those men of old,
We have a heart, we have a mind”.

The crew were getting rather restless now
They moaned “This place is far too hot.
It’s like living in a bloody greenhouse,
Let find a better spot!”

And so they filed back on board their ship,
To continue their collecting;
In one lone blue jar, kept in the hold below,
Was a cockroach, for dissecting.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014