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

Saturday, February 14, 2009

CXIII - Valentine's Day Doodles


Young Jack was prosaic,
He really was a dill;
He went and bought a hammer
And gave it to his Jill.

Jill, she was romantic,
She wasn't thrilled at all.
She took his bloody hammer
And nailed him to a wall.


Roses are red,
Candles are lit,
Chocolate's fattening,
But who gives a toss?


When I doodle, enthusiasm permitting,
I love finding connections, often quite unwitting:
It appears to me that "stupid"
Is the only rhyme for "cupid"
An association that some feel to be rather fitting.

© J Cosmo Newbery

CXII - The Crocodile and the Koala


The Crocodile and the Koala

Said the crocodile to the koala:
“There’s a secret I can share,
When people see me crying,
They think I really care!”

Replied the koala to the crocodile
“I think I get your drift.
When I hug a gum tree,
It’s me that gets a lift.”

“I look so warm and cuddly,
People think I’m really cute,
But underneath the fa├žade
I’m really quite a brute.”

“I clasp on to the eucalypt
As tight as tight can be
But in point of actual fact
I have no feeling for the tree.”

© J Cosmo Newbery

Friday, February 13, 2009

CXI - The Message


The Message

I sat and wrote a little note
As plaintive as can be
Stuffed it in a bottle
And chucked it in the sea.

I paced my little island
Waiting for a sail
To appear on the horizon
And remove me from my jail.

At last a ship appeared,
Upon the seventh day;
They threw a bottle overboard
Then turned and sailed away.

I waded out to fetch it
And struggled back to land;
I sat beneath my palm tree
With the message in my hand.

“Dear Applicant” it went,
In a language without smiles,
“Our lifeboats are all full today
But we’ll keep you on our files.”

© J Cosmo Newbery

CX - The One


The One

There are seven deadly sins decreed
That man should not abide;
There’s glutton, sloth and greed,
Envy, anger, lust and pride.

What I want, nay need, to know
Is “Can I have my druthers?”
I’m willing to let them mostly go
If I can be relaxed about the others.

Now, anger only burns inside;
I’d ditch it without qualms
And I’ve seen the damage done by pride
In those pious folk of Psalms.

Then there’s gluttony and greed
Two deadly sins, hard to be split.
Wanting more than you really need
Even though you can barely lift it.

Envy is a wicked scamp who brings
A desire to covet your neighbour’s lot
And sloth makes you want these things
Without straying from your cot.

Ah, but lust! Glorious lust, I love it so!
These’s no depression it can’t fix.
So could I keep the sin I know
And just ditch the other six?

© J Cosmo Newbery

CIX - Going Nowhere

One Minute Writer had a topic called "Coming Home".
I wrote this before hand but I might as well link up to it.

Going Nowhere

“I’m back” was all he said,
As he trudged off to his room.
It was as he had left it
Ready to resume.

He had left in one dark moment
And wandered into the night.
He’d headed to the station
For a train out to the light.

The waiting room was empty,
The platform had no guard,
The driver had departed
With the train left in the yard.

A black dog walked the platform
And pissed against a post;
The train was missing action
From people, real or ghost.

It was clearly going nowhere
And did nothing for his pain;
So he took his bag and coat
And wandered home again.

Breakfast was a tense affair,
He pushed it ‘round his plate,
He sat and poked it for a while
But eventually he ate.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, February 09, 2009

CVIII - The Carnival is Over


The Carnival is Over

The carnival is over
It’s time to pack the tents
Put away the grease paint
Give up on the pretence.

It was fun while it lasted
But it’s time to hit the trail;
The audience is dwindling
And the show is getting stale.

I’m feeling rather knackered,
I’ve nothing new to share.
All my stuff is packed now
And the horses sniff the air.

The world is ever changing,
Don’t fear it is the end,
Life, it is a roundabout,
We may come this way again.

So, the carnival is over
One does what one must do;
Be brave, I want no crying.
It’s time to go.


© J Cosmo Newbery

CVII - Sparks from the fireside


Sparks from the fireside

She’s a capricious mistress, fire:
Hypnotic, compelling, warming.
Dances brightly with hot desire,
Then bites you without warning.


They fought the fight, a dirty fight,
Sweaty, sooty, disheartened but unbowed
Until exhaustion finally smothers them
Like a warm but, Oh so heavy, shroud.


The first light of a cool, new day
Dappled sunlight plays upon the wall
Outside the birds have their say
A sense of normality to it all.
But the world is not as it seems
Just cinders, brick and twisted tin.
The sky is blue but there are no greens;
Just hollow laughing of the wind.


“God smiled on me” the lady said,
Her house survived the fire.
I wonder what her neighbours did
To attract such heartless ire?

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, February 08, 2009

CVI - The Girl in the Red Scarf

Photo: Photodom.

The Girl in the Red Scarf

She watches, as if uncertain of our intent.
Not pretty, in the way it’s usually decided,
Her skin is rough, her nose is large and rather bent;
Her breasts are small and curiously lopsided.

I feel drawn to rise, to speak on her behalf:
Granted, she is not a beauty, in the classic way.
But does she smile and does she laugh?
Does she kick her shoes off and dance the night away?

And can she sing and can she cook?
Is she hotly passionate? Does she have a lover?
I am haunted by her wounded look:
There’s an honesty that beauty often covers.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Saturday, February 07, 2009

CV - The Cotton Dress

Photo from Dan Felstead's site.

The Cotton Dress

When wandering in a foreign land
And drifting, as in a dream,
I chanced upon a cotton dress,
Hanging from a beam.

The land about was grey and white,
The air would dimple skin;
Locals here went for warmth
But the dress was paper thin.

It spoke to me of distant realms,
Of music, beads and bright sunshine,
Of flowers, light and happiness,
A million miles from mine.

And where’s the woman of the dress?
I looked but saw no signs;
I suspect she dances barefoot still
In a place the sun still shines.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Friday, February 06, 2009

CIV - The Butterfly


I started this the same time as Cycles (poem CI) but have only recently returned to it.
It seemed to me that a rondeau sounded as if it would be a good form for a 'cycles' theme.
And then enough!   I'm through with butterflies for a while!

The Butterfly

They flutter by, sipping flowers,
And only live for several hours.
Hard pressed for time they choose a mate
And, on the fly, they copulate.
Such relationships quickly sour.

Once duty’s done there is now a
Pressing need to find a bower.
Like a white rabbit, running late,
They flutter by.

Avoiding birds who would devour,
They head out urgently to scour
For a green place that is sedate
Enough to stay and lay and wait.
Like an leafy autumn shower—
They flutter by.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

CIII - The Carnival


Picture Source: Gregory Editions
Laura Jayne at Pictures, Poetry & Prose poses a daily writing challenge.
The prompt for this poem was “Carnival”.

The Carnival


The air is thick with smells and squeals
Of food and kids and Ferris wheels
There are spruikers, dodgems, chips and stalls
Ghost trains, drinks and mirrored halls.
Gypsies who can read your mind
And snake oil vendors, of the finest kind.
From the outside, you can sense excitement
Oozing from every stall and bright tent.

Come in, come in, you wont regret it!
Life will depress you, if you let it,
Look! Over there, performing fleas!

Oh Daddy, Daddy, can we please?

Escape from life, leave the gloom behind?
Come kids, let’s go see what we can find!
But we must be away by ten, at latest.

Yea for Daddy! You are the greatest!

Good Sir, let me read your palms

Your end is written in the Psalms!

Get some donuts while they’re hot!
Or perhaps a beer would hit the spot?

A beer and two donuts, the hot jam ones.
And a sausage in one of those long buns.
Actually, I think I’ll have a second beer.

Balloons, balloons, get your balloons here!
Here kids, let me twist it into a hat
Or would you prefer a dog or a cat?

Hello, big boy, how can I please you?
Come to my tent and let me squeeze you!
Don’t worry, Bruno, here, will mind the brats!

No, thanks. Hey kids, look! Dancing rats!

Oh yuck! That’s vile. How truly gross.
Dad! Dad! Don’t get so close!
Oh, Dad! Can we go on that spinning ride?

Will you keep your food inside?
I well remember the last time, honey;
Dinner was a waste of money.

Hey, show your kids you are a man!
Make the bell ring—if you can!

Go Dad go! Give it a good whack, not a token!
Oh—never mind, it’s probably broken.

Oh look, it’s late, the time has flown,
One last ride then we must head home.
Or would you like to try out the guns?

It’s not fair, we are having fun!
We want to stay until we win a hat.

I knew they were going to tell you that.
Children are the great negotiators!

Repent now, prepare to meet your maker!

Come kids, you didn’t listen to what I said,
It’s time I got you home to bed.


The last folk leave, the night is late,
The spruiker shuts and locks the gate
The stoves are cold, they’ve cut the lights
The music’s gone and the place is quiet
The make-up’s off, the splendor shed
A drink is opened, a paper’s read.
In the caravans around the site
Ordinary people embrace the night.

© J Cosmo Newbery

CII- The Gnawed's Prayer


Sometimes Sophia suggested I do a poem about a Praying Mantis.
I felt a prayer would be more appropriate.

The Gnawed's Prayer

My Lover
You are so handsome.
Welcome to my bed.
Your pleasure’s here.
You will be done
In ways you will not have guessed of.
Give me your hand and follow me
And I’ll give you an experience
As I have given to those who have come before you.
Take me not with timidity
But deliver me from wanting.
For you I am thankful,
For the pleasure and the dinner,
For coming and cumming,

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, February 02, 2009

CI - Cycles


Jenners, cheeky possum, offered me a 'strings-attached' award.
I could have the award if I wrote a poem about butterflies.
I have tackled butterflies twice before: here and here.
I took a different tack this time.
The award is in my Trophy Cabinet.


She flits from shrub to shrub,
There to lay her eggs;
From them comes a chubby grub,
A stomach, with hairy legs.

These multi-legged eating machines
Do what their mothers reckoned:
Quickly gobble up their greens,
And a flower or two, for seconds.

When they are full and quite replete
They spin a home of silken strings
There they discard most of their feet
And grow a pair of wings.

A brief flutter with a passing mate
Leaves the female ‘in the club’;
Entrusted with their joint estate,
She flits from shrub to shrub.

© J Cosmo Newbery