Friday, January 30, 2009

C - Milestones


My hundredth ricketty rhyme! A milestone, of sorts.


Humans are the only beasts
Who punctuate their lives with feasts.*
Milestones to the passing ages
They calibrate our lifespan into stages.

In early days, they are quite near:
One day, one week, one month, one year,
First smile, first tooth, first real word,
The day a cautious step occurred.

Beyond the years, our life is pursed
In graduations, weddings, twenty firsts.
But soon there comes an awful truth
As people sense their failing youth.

Many folk find they cannot handle
The every growing blaze of candle
And so, finding their age to be a trial,
Decide to stay one age a while.

But still the non-time marks accrue
A testament to the things we do.
As living broadens, teaches, strengthens,
So the list of things done lengthens.

Towards the end, as life unravels,
Savour the milestones of your travels.
They all rejoice your life, save one:
That last milestone is a grave one.


*Granted, dogs and cats can scarce conceal
They pace their life from meal to meal
But once the meal has been consumed
The next meal countdown is resumed.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

IC - The Bone Man

It has come to my attention that paleontologists
have been sadly neglected in the literature, over the ages.
An ironic oversight, perhaps, but one I felt need to correct:

The Bone Man

Paleontologists are an amazing lot,
You have to admire those fossil guys;
Seldom included in poem or plot,
So dull, they rarely even socialise.

But when you stop to think of it
The thing they do is quite complex:
They take a toe-nail from a pit
And then reconstruct the whole T-Rex.

Somehow they know, with just one bone,
The shape of the remaining beast.
But they seldom disclose its favourite cologne,
A sign of respect for the deceased.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

XCVIII - Parallel Worlds


Parallel Worlds

In Austria, there was a fella
Who kept his daughter in a cellar,
He raped her every now and then
Until the family grew to ten.

A film was found of him at play
In bathers, down beside the bay
The tabloids, bless their heads of straw
Arose with one collective roar:

“How can a monster be having fun
At the beach, out in the sun?
How can he sleep, how can he laugh,
When he’s done such dreadful stuff?”

The truth is really quick to tell
We all run our lives in parallel
There is the ‘us’ the public sees
And then the rest, behind the scenes.

There is the priest, whom God employs,
Who lusts at night for choir boys.
Or the quiet guy on committees,
Who has two wives in different cities.

And the account who, with such skill,
Balances books while fingering the till.
And, as strange as this may sound,
I’m told that Hitler loved his hound.

The other side is sometimes brighter
The daytime clerk: a night-time writer.
The housewife who delivers meals
And the traffic warden who rescues seals.

When you meet with someone new
Stop and think a moment or two.
It’s easy to take the single perspective
When, in fact, they are a collective.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, January 26, 2009

XCVII - Australia Day Bits


Australia Day Bits
January 26th, 2009

This is the wattle,
Emblem of our land.
You can stick it in a bottle
Or hold it in your hand.
- Monty Python.

Continuing in the same vein:

Here is the kangaroo,
Our best symbol yet.
You can put in on the barbeque
Or feed it to your pet.

Sharks infest our waters,
Seas that carry ships.
Sharks will eat our daughters
We eat sharks with chips.

Here is the eucalypt
Reaching for the skies.
Stir it in the tea you sipped,
Swish away the flies.

This is the beer can,
Elixir of our world.
You can chuck it down, like a man
Or sip it like a girl.

© J Cosmo Newbery

XCVI - Black Goo


Black Goo

Spread thinly on some buttered toast,
The essence of Australia, silver-plated.
More Aussie than the kangaroo, some boast,
Since it is really only beer, reincarnated.

This wondrous, thick and coal-black goo
Is the ink of our history’s social pages.
But, of course, there are the critics too,
Who think it mud from primeval ages.

It’s Australia Day, so let us unite:
And at the time the flag’s unfurled,
Give a salute to the great Vegemite;
Australia’s gift to an undeserving world.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, January 25, 2009

XCV - First Degree Burns

Robbie Burns - Scottish Poet.
January 25th - Burn's Night.

First Degree Burns

On the night of Burns
A Scotsman yearns
For haggis, neeps and whisky.

Then checks out the chassis
Of the young lassies
Hoping for one feeling frisky.

Conditions are Spartan
For the men in tartan
As nothing’s worn under their kilt.

If they find a young thing
Who’s up for a fling
They press their case to the hilt.

As they roll together
In the damp heather
It's the whisky that keeps them active.

The women folk, too
Have a dram or two,
It helps make the laddie attractive.

For those who don’t know it,
Robbie Burns was a poet,
Who said haggis was of God’s makin’.

While mashed neeps are fine,
And the haggis is devine
It’s the whisky that brings home the bacon.

© J Cosmo Newbery

XCIV - The Ballad of Billy, the Kid.

A Reuters news item told me that a robber in Lagos
had used black magic to transform himself into a goat to escape arrest.
Not fooled, the police arrested the goat.

It seemed to be to be the stuff ballads are written about. I have an example...

The Ballad of Billy, the Kid.

Gather round while I tell you of Billy the Kid:
A petty crim in Lagos, famous for what he did.
Billy, as a party trick, would turn into a goat.
First he’d take your wallet, then he’d eat your coat.

Billy was a rascal. Billy was a scamp.
Billy, to the crims, was the undisputed champ.
Billy was capricious. Billy would prevail.
Billy used witchcraft to stay away from jail.

He ruled the streets of Lagos, Prince of this domain,
Brashly re-offending, time and time again.
When the police came looking, for a robber man,
Billy changed to goat and nibbled at their van.


One sad day they saw him, trying to steal a car,
The goat trick finally failed him, he couldn’t drive it far.
They took him to the station, threw him in a cell.
He ate the Sargeant’s jacket and ate his hat as well.


The judge was looking sombre, his mood was clearly dark,
Billy’s days were numbered, his future looking stark.
The judge awarded medals to all who had pursued him,
Then, out behind the courthouse, slowly barbequed him.


© J Cosmo Newbery

Friday, January 23, 2009

XCIII - The Dragon


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

The Dragon

With flaming nose and steely eyes,
A dragon loves to terrorise.
He scours the land from an early hour
For serfs and vassals to devour.
He loves to hear their deep despair,
When he barbeques their derriere.
He smiles to see them beg and fawning
To the smell of bacon in the morning.

But one little serf had had enough
Of being hasselled by this tough.
He spread his legs and crossed his arms,
Determined to protect their farms.
“O scaley thing, you are a fraud!
Hop it or I’ll use my sword!
Unlike the rest, I don't overrate you.
So back off or I’ll perforate you!”

The dragon stood, as if debating,
Before sighing and then deflating.
It wriggled a bit, the head fell off
And from it stepped a small dwarf.
“OK, now that my skin’s unfurled
Will you protect me from this nasty world?
My jig is up, I’ve shed my hide,
So what protection do you provide?

“Well no, that’s really not my place.
I just wanted to save my serfy race.
Now go and inflict no further pain
For I’ll skewer you if you come again.”
The little dwarf gave the serf a salute,
Then lit the burners and inflated the suit,
And, with no further conversation,
Flame grilled the serfy little irritation.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Thursday, January 22, 2009

XCII - Ties



Be gone, ye sordid rag!
Foul tormenter of my neck.
Get thee to the rubbish bag,
You leave me sorely vexed!

What’s your purpose, O wretched cloth?
None! I’ll answer firmly for you.
A best, you are but food for moths
At worst, an ugly, garish noose.

Listen to me when I say
I think you are an odd piece
And should go the self same way
As the pantaloon, ruff and cod-piece.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

XCI - Alexander


He stands erect: young, tall, proud and alert,
Elevated to a high marble stand.
With powerful words
he firmly asserts
That change has come
to bless their land.

It strikes a chord with
the assembled crowd;
They are jaded with
their past selection.
Misled before, they
strongly avowed
It was time to turn
in a new direction.

Too often before they
have felt the pain
Of the same sad
tale rehashing.
In an attempt to
break the past chain
They’ve put their hope
in the young and dashing.

One wonders how this crowd will cope
Should past once more triumph over hope.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

XC - Moving House


Moving House
(A Rondeau)

When moving house you must take care
Of what to pack and what to spare.
There’s a ton of stuff to be towing
And other things should not be going:
Take it to the tip and leave it there.

Undertake the needed repairs,
Move the junk from under the stairs,
Leave the place all clean and glowing,
When moving house.

Ensure you pack the garden chairs
And mail’s sent to you know where.
Tell the neighbours that you’re going;
Avoid the party they are throwing.
Pretty soon you wont be there.
When moving house.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, January 19, 2009

LXXXIX - Beyond the Pale


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

Beyond the Pale

Our fences serve us with a dual role:
Enclose our private space as a shrine.
In doing this, they so set out the whole:
The other world is all beyond the line.

But all fences are not post and rail
There are mental ones, oft ill-defined,
That section us onto a scale:
Of picketted allotments of the mind.

Those yappy little dogs who chase you,
Barking through the slats as you walk by,
Seldom have the nerve to face you
Should they chance to find the gate awry.

There’s a bit of dog in all of us
That yaps at those who roam
But if given the open gate of progress
We choose the safety of our home

But life lies not behind your moat
It’s found most when we intertwine.
So take your hat and take your coat
And step bravely across the line.

© J Cosmo Newbery

LXXXVIII - The Flame


The Flame

Where does a flame go when it's gone?
Does it go to Hell, to continue on?

Where does a flame go when it's away?
Does it's heat live on in some other way?

Where does a flame go when out of sight?
Does another dimension hold its light?

Where does a flame go when it dies?
"Snuffed if I know", a voice replies.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, January 18, 2009

LXXXVII - Bits and Pieces


Lee, at his The Curate After Dark blog, had a cartoon about
a woman who prematurely donated her body to science:

My sex life, she lamented, surely sucks,
I deserve better, I want deluxe!
So she had an alliance
With a nice man of science
And now she's always in a state of flux.


When pushing ideas around for my Tending the Crops poem
the phrase "It's not rocket science" came to mind and,
while not used in the poem, found its own life.
Arugula is the name of the herb called rocket or,
if you are in flash restaurant, roquette.

Dig the soil where you intend to sow
Plant the seeds you and away you go
There's nothing peculiar
About growing Arugula
It's really just rocket science, you know.


Laura Jayne at Pictures, Poetry & Prose poses a daily writing challenge.
The prompt for this poem was “Lightning”.
I was reminded of a Japanese man I heard about, many years ago,
who had an embarrassing but fortunate encounter with lightning.

Lightning is quick, lightning shocks
Lightning can cash your heavenly stocks
A flash in Japan
Zapped an old man:
Fused his zipper and melted his socks.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Friday, January 16, 2009

LXXXVI - Ode to a Plughole.


In a comment to my last post, Jenners asked
"Is there anything you can't write a poem about?".
I don't see why there should be
so I took the first thing that came into my mind...

Ode to a plug hole

I see that I shall never think
Much about my bathroom sink
Or the orifice of that china bowl
The oft neglected pluggable hole.

Through this hole pass a stream
Of water, spit and shaving cream.
Drains are where such things go
Because these plugholes make it so.

All is well while the liquid flows
But in the dark, a hair ball grows.
The plughole, often so under-rated,
Get’s your attention when constipated.

So, Hail to Thee! little chrome vent
My song of praise is truly meant.
A final question, if you’ll grant me:
Do you drain clockwise, or is it anti?

© J Cosmo Newbery

Thursday, January 15, 2009

LXXXV - The Wasting Moth


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

The Wasting Moth

“The wasting moth ne'er spoiled my best array;
the cause was this, I wore it every day”
– Alexander Pope

If there’s an insect that earns my wrath
It is the mindless, little wasting moth

They usually appear late at nights
Flitting aimlessly around my lights

But what it is that earns my loathing
Is: it’s not me they love, it is my clothing

On sight, inside, I feel something snapping
And chase them ‘round the room, clapping

And if I catch the blighter, it is mushed
Ashes go to ashes, moths go to dust

But late at night, when I’m rhyming letters
Little mothlings are eating my sweaters.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Meet the Press.


There have been an assortment of questions, either in the comment sections or behind the scenes.

I thought it was time to answer a few of them.

Q: Do these lovely words just pop into your head every time someone shows you a beautiful picture?
A: It sort of evolves. Phrases and couplets appear from nowhere in particular and, if appropriate, they grow into the final product. Some poems start with the final lines and work backwards.

Q: Do you ever sleep?
A: Yes, I sleep well, long and peacefully.

Q: Do I dream in rhyme?
A: No I don’t but sometime rhymes will stop me from sleeping. Writing them down helps.

Q: When did you first start writing poetry?
A: In the late 70s. I had a long lapse and then resumed in response to the appearance of Percy Bysshe Silly in the blog world. Lillie suggested I challenge this upstart. This resulted in a poetry challenge that is more or less described in the first XIX posts.

Q: Do you really prefer Pinot Noir?
A: No, but it has more rhyming partners than Shiraz. Probably Cabernet Merlot is my true wine of choice.

Q: Will you publish a book of your poems?
A: Maybe, one day. I was similarly encouraged to publish a book of my letters to Nigerian conmen. I subsequently self published it and sold a few online, via my Sweet Chilli Sauce site. The book is not presently available for sale on that site. None of the people who encouraged me to publish the book bought a copy. So I'm understandably wary but greatly flattered by the suggestion.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

LXXXIV - Tending the crops.

"A Hind's Daughter" - Sir James Guthrie.

Tending the crops.

The farmer tills his fields,
Puts fences round his lot,
Knowing that his future yields
Rely on caring for his plot.

He tends to his land,
Improves it where it needs;
The crop is carefully planned,
He lovingly chooses seeds.

For the farmer wisely knows
That what he plants he reaps,
No use planting aloes
If he wants to harvest neeps.

Now there’s a magic vigour
To a farmer’s crop bestowed:
The harvest's always bigger
Than the cup of seeds he sowed.

It’s not unknown for a crop to fail
And bring the farmer pain,
But he knows in time he will prevail
And so plants his crop again.

So it is with life, my friends,
And our plots are far from scant.
Deal with what the season sends
And be careful what you plant.

Plant love and more of it ensues,
As a crop, it tops the scale.
But if hate’s the seed you choose,
Best hope your harvests fail.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

LXXXIII - The Fieldmouse and the Buttercup

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

The Fieldmouse and the Buttercup

In a meadow full of flowers
A fieldmouse came to settle,
And there he met a buttercup
And they chatted, heart to heart
(Or maybe heart to petal).

They met quite often in the field
And would sit a while together;
But while each admired the other
They talked about the weather.

And never once did either guess
What the other one was thinking;
Even when their cheeks were flushed,
They put it down to drinking.

‘Til at last the fieldmouse said:
“I think it would be true
That thought the fields are full of flowers
There are no more like you!”

Replied the buttercup to the fieldmouse:
“What lovely things you say;
You too are sort of special,
In a mousey kind of way.

Said the fieldmouse to the buttercup:
“I think my joy’s complete!”
And he blushed a pink beneath his fur
And squirmed upon his seat.

Said the buttercup to the fieldmouse:
"O you are a gallant fellow!”
And she too blushed, an orange blush!
(Because to start with she was yellow.)

Then they sat there side by side,
Neither knowing what to say,
Then turned and both said at once:
“Do you think it’s going to rain?”

So now we see them sitting
As they sat so oft before;
Still talking about the weather
But holding leaf in paw.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, January 12, 2009

LXXXII - Transports of Delight

Based on a photo by Reno.

Laura Jayne at Pictures, Poetry & Prose poses a daily writing challenge.
The prompt for this poem was “Gondolas”.
I have chosen to use the villanelle form.

Transports of Delight

Gently they are rocking at evening rest,
Tarped in blue, moored for the night,
These romantic vessels of love finessed.

Coal black ferries to a town possessed;
Venetian transports of delight.
Gently they are rocking at evening rest.

Gondoliers, traditionally dressed
Sing songs of love, of passion bright,
On these romantic vessels of love finessed.

Young women doing what they do best,
Playing Princess to their kneeling knight.
Gently they are rocking at evening rest.

How many a girl has acquiesced
To heartfelt deliveries of a lover’s plight
On these romantic vessels of love finessed?

Sleek confidants to the mating rite —
(Can we, should we, will we, tonight?)
Gently they are rocking at evening rest
These romantic vessels of love finessed.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, January 11, 2009

LXXXI - The Search for Intelligent Life.


The Search for Intelligent Life

At observatories around the world,
Scientists keenly scan the evening sky
For signs of any intelligent life
And hope to contact them. Or try.

But the speed of light is a limit
On how fast this contact’s done.
Messages sent out today will take
Years to reach the second nearest sun.

They’re serious about the work at hand
But the jokes on them, you see —
Somewhere, fifty light years out in space,
They’re watching “I love Lucy”.

© J Cosmo Newbery

LXXX - Personal Assistant

Dora Maar - Picasso.

One Minute Writer had a topic called "Assistant".
"If you could hire someone full-time to make your life easier, what would their duties be?"

Personal Assistant.

What tasks would I give to my PA?
Well, she…(yes she, I lean that way),
She would need to meet my habits quirky.
So tolerance will define her.
But what jobs to assign her?
To that the answer’s just a little murky.

A need, quite often overrated
Is the one to be appreciated.
It puts most others in the shade.
I need, but in some ways fear it,
Engagement with a kindred spirit,
Collective strops for our respective blades.

You see, tasks of the more daily kind
By and large, I don’t mind,
I’ll jump right in with rolled up sleeves
Of course (now, I’m risking strife)
The boring stuff’s done by my wife.
Perhaps she’s the one who needs a Jeeves.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Saturday, January 10, 2009

LXXIX - Remnants and scraps

One Minute Writer asked
"You've been hired to write for a science fiction series.
Describe an alien race you create

The alien is not really green
But his presence is easily seen.
He turns up on time,
Brings flowers and wine,
And then insists on helping you clean.

Lee, at The Curate After Dark (care, R-rated), marvelled
at the use of "dongsnog" as a word verification in Blogger.

Dongsnog is a word that we're missing,
What with images of hot penile kissing,
Our lexicons need it.
But I ready concede it
Really is just fond reminiscing.

In a quiet moment, I pondered 'pulchritude' as a word:

Pulchritude means “with extreme good looks”,
Most unfortunately so, in my books,
It’s an ugly old word,
And those few times it's heard
It sounds like a collection of chooks.

One Minute Writer asked
"Can money buy happiness?"

Can happiness be bought for a buck?
The boffins say we're pressing our luck
To expect that riches
Will cure life's bitches
But we can subcontract the jobs that suck.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Friday, January 09, 2009

LXXVIII - Grave Warning

My original illustration was portion of a starkly striking photograph by Larry Usselman
As this was copyrighted, I have replaced it by one, fittingly, from The Morgue File

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

Grave warning

Moss covered,
Resting place,
Name unknown.
Crumbling marker
Of crumbling bone.
We are but actors in this place, a brief cameo before the curtain’s drawn;
It’s a sad truth we all must face, The end begins the day we’re born.
So while you’re here, your life embrace: Who will remember us once we’re gone?
Father, son,
Sister, brother;
Loyal friend,
Loving mother,
Neighbour, mate,
Secret lover.
Life is fun,
Life is toil.
Laughter, tears,
Midnight oil.
Sadly missed,
Sent to soil.
Moss covered,
Resting place,
Name unknown.
Crumbling marker
Of crumbling bone.

© J Cosmo Newbery

LXXVII - A Senseless Question

Cornelisz Cornelis - "The golden age (bacchanalia)"
One Minute Writer had a topic called "Senses".
"If you had to lose one of your five senses, which would you choose?"

A Senseless Question

Who’s the contender
For the sense I’d surrender?
Is this a game or a terrible dream?

The questions not a fair one
But, supposing I can spare one,
I will play along for the sake of the team.

For a start, I’d keep sight
The world’s a delight
Of nature and beauty and nudes.

And touch, too, would stay;
I can be fondled all day
And seldom request it concludes.

There are sounds I adore,
Birds, beaches and more,
Quartets and the pipes of Peru.

Smell, on the whole,
Plays a supporting role;
But if it went, taste would go along too.

It seems such a crude waste
Of my cellar to choose taste
But it is the best of a really bad deal.

So, those are my thoughts
On an awful choice, of sorts;
I hope never to make it for real.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Thursday, January 08, 2009

LXXVI - Waiting

One Minute Writer had a topic called "Waiting".
"What are you waiting for?"


Patience, we’re told, is a treasure,
A virtue, and so, beyond measure.
But it’s so irritating
To sit around waiting
For a tradesman to come, at his leisure.


Punctuality, there’s not much to it,
Should you ever wish to pursue it;
But it can be a shock
To arrive on the clock
As no-one ever sees you do it.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

LXXV - The Cat

Laura Jayne at Pictures, Poetry & Prose poses a daily writing challenge.
The prompt for this poem was “A little Kitty Tale”.
Double billing: One of this week's writing challenges from Mama's Losin' It
is to write about a pet. Two for the price of...uh...two.

The Cat


They wheedle their way into your life,
More demanding than the average wife.
At dinner time, they will implore you
Then, for the rest of the day, ignore you.
Preferring instead to put their behind
In the warmest spot that they can find
And there, asleep, they will remain
Until it’s time to eat again.


To own a cat you must cede them
The right to decide when to feed them.
Also your choice of favourite chair
And then endure their disdainful stare.
It’s nice to stroke them, hear them purr,
If you don’t mind all the discarded fur.
But, should you do anything that rankles,
Farewell the flesh from above your ankles.


Accept that you can never tame them.
But get revenge when you name them.
While dogs get solid names, loyal and true,
Like Rex or Rover or Henry or Blue,
Cats get Tiddles, Primrose or Smee
Denying a killer its long pedigree.
A cat wont come when you call him,
Largely because his name appalls him.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

LXXIV - Man in a Beige Cardigan

Hand with a Sphere - Escher

One Minute Writer had a topic called "First Impression".
"Write what might go through someone's mind when they first meet you."

Man in a Beige Cardigan

If you were to meet J Cosmo,
You would be shocked to he was so
Ordinary, placid and, well, fawn.

When you meet this odd poet
(And the trick is to not show it)
You will have a strong desire to yawn.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, January 05, 2009

LXXIII - The Gotcha Bird

This photo appeared on Braja's Blog.
It resulted in the following shitty little poem.

The Gotcha Bird

A nasty number is the Gotcha Bird:
A first glance, a lovely little Kingfisher.
But it’s prone to shoot a horizontal turd
From it’s sweetly feathered fling fissure.

Now, defecation's natural, a thing birds do,
And it can make forest walking fearful,
But while other birds will drop in on you
The Gotcha will give you an earful.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, January 04, 2009

LXXII - Offcuts and remnants


Sometimes Sophia commented on the 2008 ‘leap second’;
I felt the need to chip in with my 2¢ worth:

It's a problem that makes scientists spit
When a year, into a year, wont fit.
It would improve on things
If the orbits were rings
And the planets didn't wobble a bit.

One Minute Writer asked
"If you could be the best in the world at something, what would it be?"

Perfection’s not part of my plan
(it’s a cause of much madness in man)
But I’d be living a lie
If I didn’t at least try
To be the best ‘me’ that I can.

One Minute Writer also asked
What resolution wont you make because you know you will break it?
Well, no prizes there!

I am resolute, with poetic annotation,
In my pursuit of self-improvisation.
But when it comes to wine
I seldom decline;
It seems I can resist anything except temptation.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Saturday, January 03, 2009

LXXI - The Merchants of Doom.

Who am I writing about here? You can decide for yourself.
But the financial pages opinion writers should be on the list.

The Merchants of Doom

When problems loom
The Merchants of Doom
Are eager to sell us their wares;
They give us a lashing
Of weeping and gnashing
About how badly we’ll fare;
They tell us the bad things,
The morbid and sad things,
They are happiest when pulling their hair.
They’ll say that they knew
We’d always get through,
But only say that when we’re there.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Friday, January 02, 2009

LXX - The Case for the Negative.

Laura Jayne at Pictures, Poetry & Prose poses a daily writing challenge.
The prompt for this poem was “The Beauty of the Rose”.
I sort of took a contrary view but a rose demands a sonnet.

The Case for the Negative

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,
By any other name, would smell as sweet.*
Thanks but it’s not the name that’s on the nose,
It’s all the rosy problems that I meet.

There are aphids, thrip, moths and red spider,
Rust and black spot, catapillars hairy,
And the thorny branches can provide a
Most nasty wound to the unwary.

You often need to prune and deadhead them
To shape and otherwise try to train them;
And then worry if you’ve overfed them.
It really is a pain to maintain them.

Frankly, in the garden I am too lazy:
Ditch the roses, plant a daisy.

© J Cosmo Newbery
* Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet, (II, ii, 1-2)

LXIX - Design Fault


Design Fault

The incompetence cannot be overstated,
This manufacturer should be castigated
For producing a product so frequently poor
That most items fail at least once, often more.

It’s prone to bend, or seize or crack
And there seems no way to send it back.
Nor can you book it for a service, annual,
(Actually it is not even listed in their manual)

And don’t try calling, you don’t have a prayer,
All messages left go unanswered there
So what’s this product so cripplingly slack?
I refer, of course, to the human back.

It’s the shoddiest construction you can find;
Don’t talk to me about intelligent design.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Thursday, January 01, 2009

LXVIII - A Clean Slate.


A Clean Slate.

Out with the old and in with the new,
Fool yourself with a resolution or two:
Loose some weight,
Clean the shed,
Fix the gate,
Rotate the bed,
A habit to quit,
Some notes to write,
Get more fit,
Forget some slight,
Walk each day,
Drink good wine,
Open a café,
Protect your spine,
More quality time,
Be more polite,
Remove the grime,
That novel to write,
The list is endless, goes on and on.
Perhaps we’ve got this whole thing wrong.
We load ourselves with lists of guilt;
With the bricks of “must”, failure’s built.
What if we forgot our baggage to date
And started again, with a clean slate?

© J Cosmo Newbery