Monday, December 28, 2009

CLX - The day after Christmas

One Minute Writer had a topic called
"How do you feel the day after Christmas?"

The day after Christmas

'Twas the day after Christmas and the house was so quiet,
The few folk who were stirring were resolving to diet.
Stockings were hanging from the chandelier,
Exactly who owned them was far from clear.

Some folk stayed away, snug in their beds,
As an inner drummer banged on their heads.
While the night before they had felt no pain,
The morning confirmed they'd overdone it again.

While they sadly nurse their aches and their ails,
Their wife takes the credit card off to the sales.
And those who now have a phone that can tweet
Send a message "Any recipes for piles of cold meat?"

So Christmas has come and it goes without saying
The Santas have retired and the carols stopped playing.
It felt so good but it's better when it stops
And, besides, the hot cross buns are now in the shops.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Friday, December 25, 2009

CLIX - The Gift


The Gift

It's time to write that wretched list
Of people deserving of a gift.
Failure in this crucial task
Is a social death, cold and swift.

Wrap those boxes, gifts and glitter
Paper, ribbon, fancy bows.
'Tis the time we must be givin'
Junk to folk we hardly know.

There's Mabel, Joyce and little Betty
But what of Peter, Jenny and their kind?
I know last year they gave us nothing
But what if this year, they change their mind?


But wait! Who's coming up the path?
Aren't they from across the way?
Quick, wrap this can of biscuits
While I calmly pass the time of day.


Oh-oh, here comes Ruth with an enormous box
Something expensive, no doubt imported.
Panic sweeps us, what should we do?
All we have is some milk assorted.


The precious offerings are handed over
And we all obligingly coo and trill.
Our duties done and fences mended
Until the arrival of the fateful bill.


Giving gifts can give great pleasure
Correctly done, they can be a hit.
But that 'gift' is the German word for poison
Doesn't surprise me one little bit.


© J Cosmo Newbery

Saturday, December 12, 2009

CLVIII - Mischief & Fun


To the tune of "God rest ye merry gentlemen" I give you:
Mischief and Fun

Why do you have such hairy legs?
You really should be shorn.
Whenever you are nearby
My wicked heart is torn
By lusting for the naked bits
Of you that are not fawn.
O bearer of mischief and joy,
Mischief and joy,
O bearer of mischief and joy.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, December 06, 2009

CLVII - Bits and Pieces



The unicorn, we believe, was once around,
Though, sadly, traces have not been found.
Perhaps the wild sex
Of Tyrannosaurus Rex
Hammered them into the ground.


The rainbow has the power to send
Explorers to follow it's bend.
They're wanting to hold
The promised gold
But (shh!) the pot's at the other end.


There was a young girl called Nicky
Who regularly rang work for a sickie,
She explained to her boss
That when her mate came across
They preferred having a longie to a quickie.


When the sun had gone down in the west,
And the night's in it's starry vest
We see lights from afar.
You can see the Dog Star!
No, just having a jest.


The Cave of the Heart

When dealing with your wretched luck
And the world around you seems to suck
It does you well to crave
Escape into a quiet cave
With a teapot, some flowers and a duck.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, November 22, 2009

CLVI - Some Assembly Required.

One Minute Writer had a topic called "Manual"
"If you were to write a manual,
what would the topic be?"

That's where I started but I sort of drifted off topic.

Some assembly required.

I'm really not incompetent
And my wife is prone to agree.
Even standing she'll grant, quite adamant,
That I'm as handy as can be.

But a certain largish company,
Who retails life in kits,
Can quickly send me round the bend
With their wretched box of bits.

It really looks so simple
When you see it in the store.
But assembly demands at least three hands.
Sometimes even more.

You can leave it for some quiet time:
At night, when shops are shut,
It's not just whether you can get it together
But why are you short a nut?

The instructions are quite cryptic,
More useful upside down,
Written, I'm told, by a three year old
And translated by a clown.

Why do we endure this curious pain,
Stressing heart and mind and liver,
When , I have to say, there is an easier way:
Just shop where they deliver.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CLV - The Poppies Blow


This is a rondeau and takes the second half of the first line of
John McCrae's "In Flander's Fields", also a rondeau, as it's inspiratation.
The first line reads "In Flanders fields the poppies blow".

The Poppies Blow

The poppies blow upon the plain
Where countless died, in senseless pain.
They kissed their girls and left with pride;
Young hearts inflamed, by those who lied,
To head abroad and then remain -
One of the many pointless slain;
Youth of our nation, killed in vain.

In memory of those who died,
The poppies blow.

The poppies heard the old refrain,
The soldiers marching to the train,
Bright-eyed youth, a life denied.
Blood red, they dipped their heads and cried,
Knowing we'd do it all again,
The poppies blow.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, November 08, 2009

CLIV - A Grain of Salt


This is a bit 'high horse-y' but,
after a relative sent me an email saying that
'if I forwarded it on to 20 people'
Ericsson would give me a free laptop, I snapped.

A Grain of Salt

While I'm sure it's not intrinsically mean
The web spreads gossip on a massive scale.
Every day when I start the machine
I get another batch of dodgy tales.

It's not my enemies who do this crime,
It's family, friends and neighbours.
They inadvertently steal my time
And disrupt my other labours.

The junk arrived and they believed it
Their brains have hardened and can't extend;
They think it true because they received it
And are far too quick to click 'resend'.

There's the list of Coca Cola's nasty traits,
And there's the racial slurs about nasty habits,
There's free computers, from Bill Gates,
And pills to make you fuck like rabbits.

There are tropical wonders, to give a lift,
And horror stories about mobile phoning.
I wont go on, you get my drift,
I shouldn't burden you with my moaning.

As it becomes harder to know who to trust
Being sceptical becomes a positive fault;
Read what they say, if you must,
But take it all with a grain of salt.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

CLIII - The Best Bird

Another photo from Dan Felstead's site.

Use the talents you possess,

for the woods would be a very silent place
if no birds sang except the best.

- Henry Van Dyke.

The Best Bird

Who will sing now Cock Robin is dead?
He sang the best, or so they said.
His voice was pure, the sound so sweet
No other bird dared to compete.
When Robin tilted back his head
The wrens all hoped for him to wed
And fought their way onto his bed
Now he lies beneath a sheet.
Who will sing now?

More hearts than his were cut and bled
When the arrow pierced that breast of red.
Dispirited birds were in retreat
None could sing, but only tweet.
He was the best and now he's dead.
Who will sing now?

© J Cosmo Newbery

Saturday, October 31, 2009

CLII - On the night called Hallowed Eve


One of many fabulous photos at Dan Felstead's site.

On the night called Hallowed Eve.

At the end of October, late at night,
The spirits of the dead arise in flight.
Howling like banshees under a curse, a curse,
On the night called Hallowed Eve.

Ghosts come out, inviting our stares
As they rattle chains and shimmer on stairs.
No wind has the power to make them disperse, disperse,
On the night called Hallowed Eve.

And the vampires are there, as you would think,
They're flying around in search of a drink.
They've been dead a while and have quite a thirst, a thirst,
On the night called Hallowed Eve.

Like bundles of laundry, they rise from the tombs
And lumber along dodging witches on brooms.
No mistaking these mummies for a wet nurse, wet nurse,
On the night called Hallowed Eve.

They fly on brooms with scungy cats
Dragging behind a trail of black bats
The ones with red eyes are considered the worst, the worst,
On the night called Hallowed Eve.

And then, of course, come the walking dead,
They can walk through walls, or so it is said,
The zombies are just bodies in search of a hearse, a hearse,
On the night called Hallowed Eve.

The night is filled with so much commotion,
Of ghouls and ghosts, of spells and potions.
Inside we're eating food 'til we burst, we burst,
On the night called Hallowed Eve.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Friday, October 30, 2009

CLI - Field Report


One Minute Writer had a topic called "Alien"
"An alien visitor has been watching Earth for one year,
and now must send back a short report to its home planet.
What does the report say?"

Field Report

They lived here incognito
Studying us for a year;
Spies from a distant planet,
Exploring this new frontier.

The time had finally come
To report what they had found.
Was mankind a civilization,
And destined to hang around?

The report was not a long one,
Its conclusions fairly gruesome;
The outlook pessimistic
From this investigating twosome.

The nations are all fractious, it read
The peoples oft at odds;
Strangely, for their evolved state,
They still believe in Gods.

They rape the planet's larder
As if a barrel with no base;
They keep producing people
But are not conserving space.

They cry "it's not my problem"
They spend but no-one saves,
The future, if there is one,
Will be spent in windy caves.

The report was duly sent
On the experiment known as 'man'.
They shrugged and packed their bags,
"Come. Let's scarper while we can."

With a flicker of a whisker,
They twinkled and were not.
And their report just gathers dust
In some inner cosmic spot.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, October 25, 2009

CL - Decisions


I was sent a picture by a friend.
The man obviously has a problem, I decided to help him.
As best I can.


When it comes to etiquette
There is one thing unnerving:
That perennial problem
Of what wine to be serving.

Red wine with red meat
And white goes with fish;
Reisling suits a curry
Or a spicy Thai dish.

Port with some stilton,
Perhaps sherry to start
Moscato is now trendy
With a lemony tart.

But a trickier question
For the discerning gourmand
Is what wine to serve
With a well rounded blonde.

And what, for that matter,
Suits a dark brunette meal?
And for the fiery redhead
Is a chilled wine ideal?

There's Champagne, of course,
As a starter, well suited.
But beyond that point
The guide books are muted

If the meat is tender
And it is definitely young,
Perhaps Chardonnay, unwooded,
Will end what's begun?

But what if it's mutton,
And not lamb, as displaying,
Should I serve Merlot
And risk getting a flaying?

Perhaps I should be cautious,
But true to my star,
And just serve them all
With a fine Pinot Noir.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, May 17, 2009

CIL - The Three Egg Omelette

Once, when my mother was sick, my father said "If she's going, I'm going."
His method of choice was to ignore health warnings.
I have used the Villanelle form for this poem.


The Three Egg Omelette

His wife lies in a hospital bed;
The house is empty, cold and bland,
And he fears the future will not be shared.

He free admits to being scared.
After fifty years of holding hands,
His wife lies in a hospital bed.

Demons dance within his head,
Whispering darkly, beyond command,
And he fears the future will not be shared.

The prospect fills his heart with dread,
It wasn’t in their wedding plans:
His wife lying in a hospital bed.

Inseparable since the day they wed,
With a love that few could understand,
Now he fears the future will not be shared.

Ignoring his wife’s cholesterol ban,
He breaks three eggs into the pan.
His wife lies in a hospital bed,
And he fears the future will not be shared.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, April 12, 2009

CXXXXVIII - The Farmer's Daughter

This particular form is called a Terzanelle; I tried one once before.

The Farmer’s Daughter.

With patience few can understand
She does her time upon the farm
And waits her chance to work the land.

Working hard through storm and calm,
Even though she’s not a son,
She does her time upon the farm.

In her, the next harvest has begun.
She has a passion for the soil
Even though she’s not a son.

She works with love where others toil.
It’s clear to all who see her face,
She has a passion for the soil.

In her mind, the plan’s in place.
She knows the things that’s needing done;
It’s clear to all who see her face

Her destiny lies beneath the sun.
With patience few can understand,
She knows the things that’s needing done
And waits her chance to work the land.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

CXXXXVII - No Joking!


No joking!

On April the first
Our society’s cursed,
By people who love pulling pranks.
They happily install
Goofy jokes that appall
And wonder why we never say ‘thanks’.

This need to trick
Is really quite sick
And makes any sensible folk shiver.
In Australia, at least,
Their numbers decreased,
With the bodies now floating down river.

When they finally die
And ascend to the sky
To report for the Heavenly review,
Wouldn’t it be great
If the guy on the gate
Said “Sorry, this ticket’s for Hell. Adieu.”

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, March 30, 2009

CXXXXVI - The Lord's Prayer

I opted to have a go at Mama's Losin' It's writing assignment from last week.
Well, sort of. Her prompt was "
I don't believe in prayer because...".
I decided to take a look at this from God's point of view.
Naturally, it would be a musical.

There is also a shadow of Monty Python's Lumberjack song in the chorus.

The Lord's Prayer

I’m God! I amaze! I positively astound!
I created the heavens, the sky and the ground.
I’m omnipotent
With an intelligence quotient
That you can’t get your mind around.

He’s a diety and he knows best
He loves his flock and smites the rest.
He has a beard,
A flowing robe,
And the patience that it takes.
He’s the ruler of the Universe
And he never makes mistakes.

I’m God! I’m King! I created mankind.
I’m the sweetest diety that you’ll ever find.
I’m Jehovah! I’m Allah!
I’m a really nice fella,
The sun shines out of my...well, nevermind.


I’m God! I’m smart! I have global vision.
I’m CEO of the angelic division.
But by the end of the day
There’s junk in my tray,
Requesting I change my decisions.


I’m God! I’m tough! I know how to win.
But your lack of trust gets under my skin.
You've a habit of praying,
Over blindly obeying,
And the novelty’s wearing a bit thin.


I’m God! I’m mean. I’ve a hairy chest.
Junk mail irritates and gets me stressed,
Be very careful
When you send me a prayer full
I may just grant you what you request.


© J Cosmo Newbery

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

For Gavin, read Cosmo.


It is an interesting observation that over half of all my poetic doodlings have been this year.

And it is still March.

Other things are playing on (and with) my mind and I am finding enthusiasm and inspiration waning a little and will take a short break.

I will be seen prowling your comments every so often though.

Play nicely.

Monday, March 23, 2009



I wish

I wish
You abundance from your God above

I wish
You happiness and well deserved love.

I wish
You curiosity and the bravery to try it

I wish
You health without needing to diet.

I wish
You the wisdom to clearly see
The world, not as it is, but as it should be.

I wish
You the potential with which you were born.

I wish
You wouldn't blow those seeds on my lawn.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Saturday, March 21, 2009

CXXXXIV - A Drop of Pleasure


I am genuinely fascinated by watching repetitive things, like water drops.
The finding of the picture was just a happy coincidence.
Far be it for me to pass it by.

A Drop of Pleasure

I can be fascinated by
The simplest of things;
There is a gentle pleasure
In what nature brings.

A drop of water that
Grows and swells, then falls
Is a rhythmic joy
That endlessly enthralls.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Friday, March 20, 2009

CXXXXIII - Missing Pieces

One Minute Writer had a topic called "Missing"
"What is missing in your life? Are you trying to find it?"

Missing Pieces

What’s missing from your life?
Is a question trickier than it seems:
It frees the mind to run rife
But it usually grazes at extremes.

The brain’s not always a friend
And plays tricks of a nasty kind;
Your life becomes a race with no end
On the treadmill of the mind.

The house, the job, the kids, the car
Should be nothing but the best.
This sets the bar too high by far
And means you’ll never ever rest.

In life, there are some joys around
That give love and warm caress;
And sometimes more is found
If you choose to look for less.

So review the goals you’ve listed,
And ponder your earthly lot,
But heed the question, neatly twisted,
Are you aware of what you forgot?

© J Cosmo Newbery

Thursday, March 19, 2009

CXXXXII - All that glistens.

There has been a news story about a Japanese town with the unlikely name of Suwa,
extracting $250,000 worth of gold from their...well...sewer.

It seemed to need a poem:

All that glistens.

A town in Japan has come up trumps
By extracting pay dirt from its sumps
They chemically skewer
The gold in their sewers
But are careful to avoid all the lumps,
The lumps,
But are careful to avoid all the lumps,

In these crappy times, this town’s in luck
Now the city is making a pretty buck
With the melt down
From the bowels of the town
There’s plenty of money in muck,
In muck,
There’s plenty of money in muck,

A lover will buy his darling a gem
Or a dozen roses, red and long stem
But when your beau brings
Some golden ear-rings
You’ll wonder from where he got them,
Got them,
You’ll wonder from where he got them.

And if the stuff that exits from underneath
May one day return as the gold in your teeth
It’s time to tell
Your kids to brush well
Or they’ll be shedding tears of grief,
Of grief,
They’ll be shedding tears of grief.

It’s not a thought I’d advise you to hold
But fortune obviously favours the bowled,
So when having the urge
To sit down and purge
Remember, the sewers are paved with gold,
With gold,
The sewers are paved with gold.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

CXXXXI - Comfort Food

One Minute Writer had a topic called "Comfort Food"
True, it was back in October last year.
I'm a slow writer.

Comfort Food

Good comfort food is a dying art
Full of things that are bad for the heart
Steamed puddings are divine
And fruit pies are fine
But you really can't beat a good tart.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, March 16, 2009

CXXXX - Helen

Helen of Troy is known as "the face that launched a thousand ships".
One wonders, naturally, what happened on ship number 1001.
I have one possible scenario...


The ship was the loveliest ship you would see
To grace the rocking waves;
Built from the wood of the peppermint tree
And assembled by hundreds of slaves.

The time to christen it, with all that that entails,
Fell to the powers that be;
To implore the gods of all who sails
To protect them from the sea.

The crowd was restless as it waited about
Keen for the show to begin;
The hawkers made a killing, flogging cheese and trout
And glasses of dubious gin.

The Captain was looking rather proud,
For the launch of his own creation:
“Arise!” he told the standing crowd
“To show me your appreciation!”

“When it comes to ships, it must be told
Our guest has a record to stun:
She’s done it before, a thousand fold,
Today’s is a thousand and one”

“I now call on Helen, fair lady of Troy,
To bless our ship and its crews.”
He smiled and turned but soon lost his joy:
As the lady was having a snooze.

While often things are not all they appear,
Some gin may have passed her lips.
“Enough!” she cried, “I’ve had it to here
With launching your wretched ships.”

She then gave the Captain an enormous kiss
And then threw up on his deck.
While a ship’s life will often end like this
They don’t normally start off with a wreck.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, March 15, 2009

CXXXIX - Regrowth

New shoots appearing through the charred bark of a Peppermint Gum;
the rebirth of the Victorian forests after the bushfires.


When the last human
Crawls into his cave to die –
Will he be missed?
Will anyone wonder why?

Why was his reign so short,
Compared to the dinosaurs?
Why did he have to fight
So many pointless wars?

Why did he harness nature
Then systematically abuse it?
Why did he evolve a brain
If he didn’t intend to use it?

No, he wont be missed
But most of the living things.
He was just another failure
In the broader scheme of things.

Despite the ills he left behind
The planet will rebirth;
With the cockroaches in control
It wont be the end of the earth.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Friday, March 13, 2009

CXXXVIII - Reflections on a Wet City

Photo from Dan Felstead's site.

Reflections on a Wet City

The head lights throw
Speckled shafts through the night,
As pedestrians scurry
Like mother hens, in fright.
In their flappy haste
They miss the delight.

It’s raining in town
And the whole scene’s rent;
Rain magnifies
The sounds, sights and scents
It’s all there to savour
If you are not stooped and bent.

Car tyres crackle
As they push through the rain,
The streets all bubble
Like viewed through champagne,
Like an excited child
I stand, shouting “Again!”.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Thursday, March 12, 2009

CXXXVII - The Graveyard

Spent a couple of nights at a farm. Like so many farms, it was surrounded by defunct,
but not discarded, farm machinery. I have used the Villanelle form for this poem.

The Graveyard

Anything that comes, forever stays;
Worked to death and left to rust:
The russet bones of bygone days.

Around the bodies, cattle graze
Sharing the enemy: heat and dust.
Anything that comes, forever stays.

Skeletons shimmer in the haze,
Fringed with weeds, skywards thrust;
The russet bones of bygone days.

Metal can fight against Nature’s ways
But fails in the end, as metal must.
Anything that comes, forever stays.

The evening sunlight warmly plays
Across the carcass: rotting and bust;
The russet bones of bygone days.

Broken bodies, held in trust,
The remnants of those who could not adjust.
Anything that comes, forever stays;
The russet bones of bygone days.

© J Cosmo Newbery

CXXXVI - The Genie Mystery


The Genie Mystery

You rub the lamp
And, in a puff of smoke,
A genie appears;
Sometimes girl, sometimes bloke.

And then, in exchange
For some liberating task
They promise to grant
Any three things you ask.

Invariable, the winner
Of this oil-lamp sport
Chooses badly
And is left with nought.

I don’t understand why,
After two sad misses,
The lucky lamp-rubber
Didn’t ask for more wishes.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, March 09, 2009

CXXXV - Tombstone

One Minute Writer had a topic called "Epitaph"
"What would you like your gravestone to say?"


Here lies the body of J Cosmo
He scribbled a note or two, on the go;
Now that he's gone and there's no more notes
Will anyone remember what he wrote?

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, March 08, 2009

CXXXIV - A Seafood Allergy.

Laura Jayne at Pictures, Poetry & Prose poses a daily writing challenge.
The prompt for this poem was “Mermaid”.

A Seafood Allergy

I’ve never understood that seafood dish,
One part woman, one part fish.
Old sea salts, in a crackling voice,
Swear they were the catch of choice
But I can’t really say I totally agree
With these nostalgic captains of the sea.

I like my women full bodied and warm
Not blown onto rocks by a sudden storm,
Cold and wet and quite derelict
(At least their nipples would be erect)
These creatures of the briny sea
Seem highly over-rated to me.

While the literature all does attest
Them to be long of hair and full of breast,
And, reportedly, they sing a siren’s song,
But for sex, at least, their geometry’s wrong.
The books are silent on positions for fun
But it’s certainly not the missionary one.

I respect the captains and their notions
Of lovely mermaids in distant oceans
But it’s not the dream of most sane males
For their woman to be semi-clad in scales.
So, let me be firm and brutally straight:
I like my fish,
But with chips, on a plate.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Saturday, March 07, 2009

CXXXIII - Terrorism on the Eight Oh Five.


Terrorism on the Eight Oh Five.

They stood or they sat
In their own personal worlds,
As, unaware of their peril,
Through the suburbs they hurled.

In the clarity of hindsight,
Or so reporters were tappin’,
It was surely an incident
Just waiting to happen.

The first sign to appear
Of an assault underway
Were suspicious glances
And little coughs of dismay.

It’s hard to be finding
An act more foul
Than the malodorous venting
Of a festering bowel.

But the train sped on
Not knowing the despair
Of a carriage full of people,
Desperate for air.

Come the train station,
And in a strange parallel,
People in a stink
Burst forth from their shell.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Friday, March 06, 2009

CXXXII - If I Owned a Store

One Minute Writer had a topic called "Store"
"If you owned a store, what would it sell?"
This originally was intended to be to the tune of "If I ruled the World"
But, as so often happens, it drifted away.

If I Owned a Store

If I Owned a Store
Every shelf would hold the loveliest of things
Filled just with the produce that the season brings
There’d be hot bread and slices and cinnamon rings

If I Owned a Store
There’d be all sorts of vegetables, tied up with twine,
And spices and condiments, arranged in a line,
A cheese room, of course, and a cellar of wine.

If I Owned a Store
Every customer would be my very best friend;
There’d be lots of real coffee, and not the pretend;
And jars of confectionery in rows that don’t end.

If I Owned a Store
All the fittings would be fashionably antique,
The paint would be aged and the floorboards squeak.
It’s a lovely idea but I’d be broke in a week

If I Owned a Store.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Thursday, March 05, 2009

CXXXI - Lest we forget.


Laura Jayne at Pictures, Poetry & Prose poses a daily writing challenge.
The prompt for this poem was “The Consequences of War”.
As wars seem to come around with far too much regularity
I felt a Rondeau would be a good form to try.

Lest we forget

Lest we forget the heartfelt pain
Of needless death for pointless gain.
We should be closer to the gore
To see what horrors lie in store
For victims of this terror game.

Rockets are fired at far terrain
And bombs are dropped from a plane;
People aren’t people any more.
Lest we forget.

The leaders would do it all again
They love to clap the band’s refrain.
It’s been truly said, oft before,
There are no winners in a war.
Except, of course, on the gravy train.
Lest we forget.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

CXXX - A bit of rambling


Many moons ago, circa 1966, at the Chadstone Shopping Centre,
there was a shop called the Downyflake Donut Shop.
On the wall was an image of a jester with a donut and the following rhyme:

As you ramble on through life, brother,
Whatever be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the donut
And not upon the hole.

Armed with a cup of coffee, but no donut, I offer a few alternatives:

As you ramble on through life, brother,
Whatever be your tack,
Keep your eye upon the steam train
And not upon the track.


As you ramble on through life, brother,
Whatever be your plan,
Keep your eye upon the dancer
And not upon the fan.


As you ramble on through life, brother,
Whatever be your wish,
Keep your eye upon the fish-hook
And not upon the fish.


As you ramble on through life, brother,
Whatever be your aim,
Keep your eye upon enjoyment
And not upon the fame.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

CXXIX - Peas

Laura Jayne at Pictures, Poetry & Prose poses a daily writing challenge.
The prompt for this poem was “Peas”. I should point out that I do like peas.


Peas sit in their pods
Like commuters on a train.
They rattle round the sink
Before rolling down the drain.

Peas are very pretty,
They are, well, pea-green little balls;
Flick them out the window,
Or bounce them off the walls.

Peas are little bullets,
A veggie like no other;
You can drop them on the cat
Or shoot them at your brother.

Peas are most forgiving
No matter how you treat them;
Some folk love to mash them,
Some will even eat them.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, March 02, 2009

CXXVIII - Instant Gratification


Instant Gratification

It’s brown and wet and hot,
And delivers caffeine on request,
But as far as daily coffee goes,
Instant’s far from best.

It clearly is what coffee aint,
But our life is one of haste.
What you gain in time and cost,
You lose in smell and taste.

But best is often out of reach
And we settle for a quickie.
Chasing perfection is well and good
But juggling life is tricky.

When the day is in decline,
And there is time for you to pour it,
We can take the genuine thing
And feel all the better for it.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, March 01, 2009

CXXVII - Goods & Chattels


Goods & Chattels

Some men are totally blind
To the pleasures of woman-kind;
While perfectly able
To be a side table,
There are far better uses, I find.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Friday, February 27, 2009

CXXVI - The Game Hunter


The Game Hunter

Henry had had a yearning,
Ever since he was very small,
To be a be a big game hunter,
With trophies on his wall.

One day, luck smiled on him,
With some unexpected loot,
And Henry got the chance
To fulfil his need to shoot.

More excited by the second,
Drinking whisky by the fifth;
He donned a nicely ironed safari suit
And a helmet made of pith.

He assembled native bearers
To carry all his things
And headed to the jungles
To see what fortune brings.

He hunted through the forests,
Over hill and dale and all;
Looking for some big game,
To put upon his wall.

After weeks of fruitless trekking,
His patience sorely tested,
He chance upon a rocky pool
And a lady there, bare breasted.

She was washing by the water,
And showed no desire to run;
She finished her ablutions
And then dried off in the sun.

Henry coughed and politely asked
Could she point to local game?
The lack of suitable trophies
Was a blot on Henry’s name.

She winked at Henry, wickedly
And reclined, naked on a shawl.
“I’m game if you are, big boy!”
Now her head’s on Henry’s wall.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Does that make it an 'adverse'?


You've heard of 'advertorials', a combination of of advertisement and editorial,
well what you see before you is part advertisement and part poem.
So I guess it is an 'adverse'.

An Expensive Education

The saddest mail I get
Takes the following tack:
“My Dad has lost his super,
Can you help us get it back?”

There’s little I can do
To ease the callers pain;
The money’s in Nigeria
And wont be seen again.

'Super' = superannuation = retirement savings.

The point of this little ditty to to advertise the fact that I have started to put up the correspondence I had with Nigerian conmen in years gone by, in an annotated serial form. The link is in the sidebar. It may be a little lumpy for a couple of days as I play with the format.

There are a number of reasons for me doing this:

1. Pride - I am very proud of the letters - they were great fun, even if they are not in verse. Some were even published as a book; I still have some books and will possibly put a link up on the blog. If anyone knows the best way to sell on-line, let me know.

2. I fear that in the current economic climate more people may be tempted by the allure of easy money and, in the process, lose what little they have left. If I can head that off, so much the better.

3. I cannot keep up the pace of the poems forever and this gives me another string to my bow. I am planning to post the letters in readable chunks, daily. Poems will continue but probably less regularly.

There are ads on the site. I'm sorry about that but needs must. Everything helps.

But this does give an unexpected source amusement as it is not always easy for Google to decide the most appropriate ad to put on a page.

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

CXXV - Rabbits



The curtains rippled slightly
As I walked along the street;
Someone sat behind them
But our eyes would never meet.

Even when away from home
Other barriers are raised:
Heads are down and ears are plugged
And eyes are strangely glazed.

So timid and reclusive,
In a lonely life, concealed.
Like rabbits in a bramble patch
On the far reaches of the field.

People lament their loneliness
Until one cold day it dawns:
If they want to connect with others
They must step beyond the thorns.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

CXXIV - The Award


One Minute Writer had a topic called "Award"
You've just won an Academy Award.
What will you say in your acceptance speech?

The Award

Act 1, Scene I
[In the Great Hall]

The winner of the award for making merry
Is the one and only J Cosmo Newbery!

(Orchestral flourish, Newbery bounds onto the stage.)

Members of the Academy
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Firstly, I would like to thank
The midwife, I believe her name was Gwen.
No, actually, to do things properly
I should go right back
To the man who introduce my parents,
Granny’s brother Jack.
My Dad, of course, gets my thanks,
He was a super bloke.
And thanks should go to Bonko,
Makers of the rubber that fortuitously broke.
My mother was such a caring soul,
A protective mother hen;
And then there was the midwife,
No, sorry, I’ve already mentioned Gwen.
Next there was the nurse
Who carried me to the door,
For “safety reasons” she said
But Dad was never sure.
He felt she’d pulled a swifty,
And somehow changed me for another
But no one else believed this tale.
Especially not my mother.
And then...

(Curtain falls. Sounds of scuffling.)

Act 1, Scene II.
[On the back steps of the Great Hall, several hours later.]

Next , there was my best mate, Dave,
Who taught me to catch tadpoles in a jar
And John Wilson taught me a thing or two
When he was run down by a car.
And Janet, Lisa and Jennifer,
Playmates and all good sorts,
But not Elizabeth Baker, who’d sneak up
From behind and rudely drop my shorts.
And then...

(scene fades)

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, February 23, 2009

CXXIII - A Cloistered Life


A Cloistered Life

I think I could live a cloistered life,
Secluded from the daily drama
Of gloom and woe and beastly strife
While enveloped in monastic karma.

A contemplative way to pass the time,
In an oasis of green and tinkling water,
And there to sit and craft some rhyme
About some other man’s naked daughter.

Well, that's what poet's do in retreat;
They address the finer things of life.
When cloistered from the man on the street
They can write epic poems to his wife.

But wait! What’s that I hear you say?
I’d have to sleep on planks of wood
And be up before the break of day?
Tell me, is this a “must” or just a “should”?

Well, I guess I could do it, if I must,
Though it seems an excessive price to pay
To live the peaceful life of the pure and just;
But surely it wouldn’t be everyday?

Of course, there is the small matter of God;
I don’t wish the monks to be offended
But to me the whole concept’s pretty odd.
Would it be all right if I just pretended?

The food is bread and a watery broth
And no-one starts until the UberMonk is seated.
The floor is stone with no covering cloth;
There's a rumour that it isn't even heated.

I’ve done the cons and I’ve done the pros
And the truth is becoming clear to see:
Monastic life is not a pleasant as I suppose
The cloistered life is not the one for me.

© J Cosmo Newbery

CXXII - Chicken a l'Orange.


Laura Jayne at Pictures, Poetry & Prose poses a daily writing challenge.
The prompt for this poem was “Orange”. A nasty thing, as there are few rhymes for it.

The hen took her chicks into a glade
Where citrus provided welcome shade;
There, beside some fallen fruit,
A chick cried out “What a hoot!
Look! There's the orange Mama laid!”

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, February 22, 2009

CXXI - Security Blanket

I saw the picture, "Master Bedroom" by Andrew Wyeth,
on Diane's Blog last week and it has been rattling around in my head ever since.

Security Blanket

Asleep on a bed
That smells of love;
Resting your head
Where others once were;
Wrapped in dreams
Of far away places;
Where everything seems
To be as it should.

Such simple joys
Warm like a glove
And the sleeper enjoys
Love’s transfer.
A twitch now and then
From imagined embraces
Then drifts away again;
Life is good.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Friday, February 20, 2009

CXX - The Letter

The Letter

I got a letter yesterday
Handwritten by a friend;
On crisp and starchy paper,
A signature at the end.

No, not a love letter
But lovely, none the less,
For the surprise of its arrival
And the thoughts expressed.

I can see her in my mind -
Sitting at an escritoire;
A coffee at her elbow,
Some flowers in a jar.

Caring, tangible thoughts
From someone, far away.
I put it carefully in a drawer,
To reread another day.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Thursday, February 19, 2009

CXIX - Noise Annoys

I opted to have a go at Mama's Losin' It's writing assignment this week.
I chose "What's your number one pet peeve? Develop a punishment for anyone caught in the act."
Well, my pet peeve at the moment is the people who think I share their taste in music.

Noise Annoys

Something that really gives me the squirts
Are blogs that attack you with musical blurts;
There you are, innocently trawling
When a squillion decibels sends you sprawling.

And it’s not even as if these bloggers hear,
The noise transmitted to the Blogoshpere.
All is blissfully quiet back where it all began;
Elsewhere has Abba, on the Hammond organ.

Complaining is pointless, you are called perverse,
Said to be intolerant, insensitive, or worse.
Perhaps when I’ve finished penning these gripes
I‘ll teach my blog how to play bagpipes.

© J Cosmo Newbery

CXVIII - A Fork in the Road.



A Fork in the Road

In a country farmhouse, in front of a fire,
A friend and I expressed a desire
To pack our things and fly away,
To spend New Year in Scotland: Hogmanay.

Over the afternoon, a plan evolved,
(I seem to recall there was wine involved)
To quit our jobs and pack our things
And take our chances on fortune’s wings.

And we did it too; leaving Boxing Day
For London, then Scotland and Hogmanay.
From there we went our separate ways
On journeys that now never cease to amaze.

It’s been an adventure, with changing friends,
Going happily to where the impulse sends.
My advice to you, as plain as I can make it:
If there’s a fork in your road, then you should take it.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

CXVII - The Yellow Frocked Ladies

While looking for an illustration for my previous post on screens, I found this one.
Entitled "Smoke Screen 1958" it cries out for a limerick. I have three...

A yellow frocked lady from Stoke
Flavoured her vagina with smoke.
"It's feminine trickery,
I recommend hickory
If you want to attract a good bloke."

(Does this make it a 'hickory dickery dock'?)


A yellow frocked lady from Belize,
Raised her clothing high over her knees
Then she stood very still
In front of the grill
In order to drive away fleas.


A yellow frocked lady from Blake
Had a barbecue down by the lake;
While the meat went brown
She raised up her gown
As her husband liked sauce with his steak.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, February 16, 2009

CXVI - Screens


Laura Jayne at Pictures, Poetry & Prose poses a daily writing challenge.
The prompt for this poem was “Noun”. I had to choose a noun and write about it.
I opened a book beside the bed. The first noun was "screens".
Plural. Rats. There are a few. Here are some.

The Harem Screen

The harem is a world unseen
Existing behind ornate screens;
It's guarded by a eunuch
In a golden tunic
Who laments over what might have been.


The Breast Screen

Every woman today understands
The need for regular breast scans
But if you aim at succeeding
At this mammary kneading
It's best if you have warm hands.


The Security Screen

The banker in a fine pin-stripe suit
Looked elegant and of high repute
But he regularly upsets the
Security detector
"It's the rings in my nipples that do it".

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, February 15, 2009

CXV - The Lord's Fire.


The Lord’s Fire

The light is really eerie,
People stand and stare;
The sunlight has a copper tone
From smoke that’s in the air

The fires are still burning
The threat is far from gone
And reality is so hard to take
On the coming of the dawn.

In the midst of all the anguish
A man came to my gate
He waved a bible at me
And spouted words of hate.

Elwin, odd name for a Korean
But that’s the name he gave,
Elwin told me that the fires
Were signs of God’s dismay.

The fires were just a foretaste
Of the biblical farewell;
When God will lose his temper
And send us all to Hell.

I tried to reason with him
How his notion was absurd
But he talked across the top of me
And never heard a word.

There’s a limit to my patience
When giving fools their say,
“You’re reciting, not discussing,
You’re a blemish on my day!”

"Your God is not a pleasant one,
Full of hate and spiteful malice,
You’re living in a wonderland,
Your ‘loving God’ is callous."

“So, give me a break, O Man of God,
I can’t handle any more”
He headed off down the street
Peddling misery, door to door.

The light is really eerie,
People stand and stare;
The sunlight has a copper tone
From smoke that’s in the air

© J Cosmo Newbery

CXIV - Nature's Blessing

Lee sent me this photo with a note saying
"As you like wine, women and song, I thought you might like this."
Well, yes, I do. But he was wrong about the song.

Nature's Blessing

Natures bountiful harvest,
Warm and plump and young.
You can either gently hold them
Or caress them with your tongue.

Firm and for the having,
Glistening with morning dew,
They are a glorious blessing.
And the grapes are quite nice too.

© J Cosmo Newbery