Friday, May 31, 2013

520 : That Wretched Cloth.

Three Word Wednesday requires participants
to use the three words of the week in a composition.
The words this week were badge, liability and darken.

That Wretched Cloth

The drive to bear the nation’s flag
On car and towel and lawn
Displays the type of ignorance
From which distrust is born.

It is a liability
To wave that wretched cloth;
Where rational thought’s concerned
It leads to mental sloth.

It darkens the national heart
To a shadow of deep fear,
A shallow tribal barrier
To hide behind and jeer.

But emblems are all external,
And foolishly applied:
We share a common humanity—
A badge that’s worn inside.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

519 : The Prisoners of the Wind

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #110) presents a list of words
that we must incorporate in a writing piece.  

The words this week are:  

beam, anchor, shift, close, heart, phrase,
range, connect, current, fertile, layers, yield

The Prisoners of the Wind

Why stay ye mariners?  Come, hoist the sails!
Our hearts long to leave these shores
And travel to where the trade winds prevail,
Come now! Lift the anchor and set our course!

The Master
Patience travellers! The current runs against us;
The wind from the wrong quarter, and weak.
But tomorrow it may not be thus
And you’ll have the travels that you seek.

What enthusiasm!  It will move to another phase
Once there is only rolling sea about.
If there is any good in them, so goes the phrase,
A storm at sea will bring it out.

Make haste O Captain!  We are aching to commence.
There are fertile lands and wond’rous things
There are wines and rugs, perfumes and incense!

The Master
We must wait and see what morning brings.

We can feel the wind from the starboard beam
It must move for us to leave the port
It is not as easy as it may seem
There are layers of difficulty that can thwart.

But we are so close to our journey’s start,
We beg you yield to our wish to leave!

The Master
Travellers, there is no way that we can depart
We are prisoners of the wind and await reprieve.

They cannot connect with what is required
Their seafaring nous is less than nought.
It’s late, it’s best that they be retired
To prepare for an early passage from the port.

Time drags on and the hours seem increased.
To sail forth is that for which we hanker!

Look, the morning light!  A smudge upon the east!

The Master
Tis dawn.  The wind has turned. 
Bosun, weigh the anchor.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

518 : Presenting...

The Little Wet Hen

In times way back when
There was a little wet hen
Who panicked over matters quite small.
For the littlest of things
She’d flap her wet wings
And cry that the sky would soon fall.

At first folk took heed 
Of the doom she decreed
But nothing was as bad as she said.
So, as time showed her liable
To be quite unreliable,
Few cared for the squawkings she spread.

This did nothing to reduce
The dire warnings she’d produce—
To stop now would mean losing of face.
So she continued her addiction
To calamitous predictions
But, for the record, the sky stayed in place.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

Some of you may recognise this chook,
The rest of you can consider yourself lucky.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

517 : Alone inside a crowd.

Three Word Wednesday requires participants
to use the three words of the week in a composition.
The words this week were clever, silky and finish.


It matters not how clever you are,
Nor how silky your tongue;
You can have the most wondrous brain
Or be completely dumb.
And yet,
A sense we cannot forget
Beneath a leaden cloud,
Where we finish, in some ways bizarre,
Alone, inside a crowd.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

516 : The Writing on the Wall

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #109) presents a list of words
that we must incorporate in a writing piece.  

The words this week are:  

nebulous, cut, vision, hover, opaque, blazing, torch, slab, 
bleak, crush, timing, touch, breath

The Writing on the Wall
“Growth for the sake of growth
is the ideology of the cancer cell”
–Edward Abbey.

The future’s nebulous, at best,
And rarely well predicted.
When we are looking beyond today
Our vision’s quite restricted.

But still, there are hints of what’s to come
Seen dimly through the opaque haze;
Like Indiana’s blazing torch,
Showing drawings in a cave.

And hovering in the smoky light, 
a slab
With inscriptions cut in stone:

“Here lies the remnants of sapient man
Who breathed his last, alone.
He permitted social policies
Where the powerful crushed the weak,
But once they trashed the sky and land,
Their survival hopes were bleak.
The timing of the tribe’s demise
Was driven on by greed:
The leaders were both out of touch
And committed to their speed.
They could not see the obvious fate
Of growing, unencumbered:
Once the host's resources end
A parasite’s days are numbered.”

Is this what the future holds?
Or can we change our track?
Can we live on this lump of rock
Or will the insects take it back?

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

515 : Muzzled


Complacency makes the risk increased,
We allow our guard to slip.
We ignore the dangers resting there
And trust the lying lips.

We feel
That the risk is no longer real.

Beware the wild animal inflamed,
Beware the mean and vengeful beast
That’s muzzled but not yet tamed.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

514 : The Small Blue Dot

The Earth, circled, as seen from the edge of the solar system.

Poets United has the prompt "A place in the universe"

The Small Blue Dot

The universe is, at first glance,
A rather spacious place;
With no apparent boundaries
And lots of empty space.
There are
Some hundred billion stars,
If you please,
And it was forever thus—
It is the height of arrogance
To think it’s just for us.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

513 : The Last Journey

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #108) presents a list of words
that we must incorporate in a writing piece.  

The words this week are:  

mouth, vow, drone, space, chants, sun, 
binding, crook, circling, broken, cave, fist

The Last Journey

The priests chant in the setting sun,
Their drone reflects their pain.
Their pleading are to no avail,
Mouthed in faith but said in vain.

The Boy-King’s earthly days are done,
Embalmed, he shows distain,
While in his fists, a crook and flail,
The symbols of his reign.

Protocol drives all actions now,
Unbroken from the past.
The priests involved all understand
The binding rules of caste.

Circling, they then fulfilled their vow
And placed the Son of Ra
Into a cave, in the desert sands,
His entrails in a jar.

Such is the lot of those alive
Within this earthly space;
Dignity is not guaranteed
When given Death’s embrace.

Despite what even kings contrive
Death presents an equal face,
But it is a dismal one indeed,
And quite devoid of grace.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

512 : Fit for Purpose

Poets United has a Mother's Day prompt.  No surprises there.

Fit for Purpose
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children she didn’t know what to do.
- Nursery Rhyme.

Part I
Where a social parasite accuses 
a mother of being a social parasite.

[Knock, knock]
Good morning, m’am, I’m from The Daily Bleating
We’d like to talk about welfare cheating;
We’ve come to give you our biased views
So we can report them on the evening news.
Now, kindly tell us which is worse—
Baby kittens or milking of the public purse?
It’s said that you didn’t know what to do
But with so many kids, and you have a few,
You must have known what would occur.
Do you have any idea who the fathers were?
No, wait, wait, don’t shut the door!
Come on, tell our viewers—are you planning more?
[Door closes]
There you go, viewers, it’s a welfare rort,
Now, across to Chuck for the weather report.

Part II
Where the children talk
to their mother on Mother’s Day.

Mother, we’ve not ever said this before
But you’ll never model for Dior;
You are getting old and have grey hair,
And you wear the daggiest underwear.
Your hands are rough and worn and stained
Your face is wrinkled and fine veined,
You repeat yourself when you are talking
And you stoop a bit when you are walking.
But having said that, let us say this:
Nothing beats your hugs and kiss!
You worked all day to see us fed
And tucked us nightly into bed.
There we lay like warm sardines
Knowing that we’d had our greens.
You helped us with mathematical divisors
And taught us not to run with scissors.
You dressed and kissed our cuts and scratches,
You taught us not to play with matches.
You hugged us all, runner-up and winner,
But forbid us swimming after dinner.
You stored away every thing we’d paint,
And still have them, though somewhat faint.
At school events, you’d jump and holler
And made us feel a million dollars.
You taught us all to shun deception
And loved us all, without exception.
In a world that’s part false and part fickle
Mother, dear, you’re the genuine article.
We should tell you this much more than yearly,
Our darling mother, we love you dearly.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

Friday, May 10, 2013

511 : Quiet Love

One Minute Writer has a daily prompt that we are supposed to complete in a minute. 
Never going to make the time limit with a long poem but welcome the prompt.

Quiet Love

I loved you 
From the beginning,
Your eyes,
Your heart, 
Your mind,
Entranced me
Beyond all reason
Left me dazzled
More than blind.
Sure you’re flawed.
But aren’t we all
So lowly scored?
It’s been a while 
Since I met you—
When you sent
My world a’spinning.
I loved you then—
Still do.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

510 : Off the Table

After reading DIX – Off the Table, Rob Bear wondered
what would happen when the couple went home.

Here is the answer:

A man found his wife on the make
And was thrilled with the cash she’d take
But his happiness fled
When she complained in bed
Of having a splitting headache.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

Thursday, May 09, 2013

509 : Stand Your Ground

Poetic device alert: 
The knife below is figurative, not literal.

Stand Your Ground

We should never apologise
For doing what is right;
Nor think the time is lost
Spent sleepless in the night.

While some would counsel otherwise,
To step back from a fight,
A line that’s drawn, not to be crossed
Can be firm but still polite.

The bully loves to hold the knife,
To torment and to hound,
But when challenged to an affray
Will blink and then back down.

In the upheavals of daily life,
A truth that I have found
Is the cruel will often step away
Should you choose to stand your ground.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

Sunday, May 05, 2013

508 : Off the Table

Mad Kane has a regular limerick challenge.
She provides the first line,
the rest is up to us.

Off the Table
"Off the table Mable,
the money's for the beer..."

A fellow, who took many trips
To clubs where a young lady strips,
Got the fright of his life
Recognising his wife
Both dancing and pulling large tips.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

Saturday, May 04, 2013

507 : A Penitent Limerick

Three Word Wednesday requires participants
to use the three words of the week in a composition.
The words this week were believe, penitent, tribute.

Now I confess I have only used one.
This limerick evolved while pondering the three words
And I saw no reason to discard it.

Simultaneously Red Dirt Girl had posted
about women doing housework naked.
The two things sort of fitted together, with the following result:

While professing to be penitent,
The remorse was after the event.
When he saw his wife nude
He said “I hate to intrude”
But, quick as a flash, in it went.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

506 : Disappointment


The first impression stuns the eyes:
You glisten as of gold,
Around you people fashion dreams
That comfort and enfold.

But no,
The truth has no such glow.

It seems
The promises were inflated
And the gilding cannot disguise
Base metal, that has been plated.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013

505 : A fellow would frequently hum...

Mad Kane has a regular limerick challenge.
She provides the first line,
the rest is up to us.

The "Te Deum" I was thinking of was Charpentier's.

A fellow would frequently hum
A few bars of the “Te Deum”
To settle his nerves
As he fondled the curves
Of his (or another's!) wife’s bum.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013