Sunday, October 24, 2010

CCXIII - In Praise of Killing Cats

Sunday Scribblings has a topic today called 'Curious'.

In Praise of Killing Cats

I wont win the hearts of the pussiphiles,
Those lovers of all things kitty and catty;
Like scratching posts of carpet scraps,
I’ll find myself shredded and tatty.

But someone must say what needs to be said:
Our survival is a cause for despairing.
Children are masters of asking ‘why?’
But us adults have given up caring.

T’was curiosity that drove the great minds
To explore and to paint and discover.
Science presents as a loyal spouse
But, ever tempting, curiosity is your lover.

We must embrace curiosity passionately,
For the future will not be forgiving.
And, if we lose a cat or two along the way,
It’s not too high a price for living.

© J Cosmo Newbery


Sunday, October 17, 2010

CCXII - Joyce Kilmer addresses a tomato...


Sir Percy, as is his want, started a Tomato poem competition.
Here is an entry. There may be more...

Joyce Kilmer addresses a tomato…

I think that I shall never eat
A poem as a lunchtime treat.

A treat on whom my mouth is prest:
The tomato’s great (though second best).

A treat that’s filled with liquid sun,
When gently bitten, warm juices run.

A treat that slakes a summer’s thirst
(If the bird’s not found it first).

Upon whose flesh some salt is spread
And eaten with some crusty bread.

Poems are made by fools like me
But tomatoes are on toast for tea.

© J Cosmo Newbery


Friday, October 15, 2010

CCXI - A Lady addresses a tomato...


Sir Percy, as is his want, started a Tomato poem competition.
Here is an entry. There may be more...

A Lady addresses a tomato...

Lovely tomato, to you I accede,
Let nothing consummation impede.
A gentle nibble on your cheek,
I tremble to your smooth physique...
Oh dear, it seems you've spilled your seed!

© J Cosmo Newbery


Sunday, October 10, 2010

CCX - The Secret

One Minute Writer had a topic "Secret"

The Secret

“Can I tell you a little secret?”
Oh, please don’t ask me that;
Am I expected to keep it a secret,
Safely beneath my hat?

A friend, let’s call her Maggie,
Relays secrets with great glee,
She says a secret stays a secret
If you tell no more than three.

She just loves to pass on secrets,
They’re a source of joy to her,
But she is far less understanding
If you spread some dirt on her.

Some people love the juicy gossip
Shared across a wall
But if you have some little secret
Please, don’t tell me at all.
© J Cosmo Newbery


Sunday, October 03, 2010

CCIX- Regrets



When I am breathing my last,
Metered by things that ‘ping’,
With nurses pillowing up my head
And a teary family in a ring,

I wonder if I will have regrets about
The things I’ve filled my time?
Will I wish I’d learn to swim
Or written poems that didn’t rhyme?

Will I wish I’d eaten Brussels’ Sprouts
More frequently than I do?
Or wish I’d spent a little time
And learned to dance a step or two?

Will I wish I’d worked for longer hours
Or more weekends or nights?
Or wish I’d watched more daytime TV
Or attended boxing fights?

No, I’m sure there are some things
That will never be resented;
But not every call was a clear one
And you play the cards presented.

Hindsight is most hurtful thing,
A critic without care.
All choices I made were the right ones,
As I was actually there.

All I can do is minimize
The regrets of looking back,
As the line becomes a flat one
And the memory fades to black.

© J Cosmo Newbery


Sunday, September 05, 2010

CCVII - Little Red Riding Hood

Charles Perrault, the earliest known writer of Little Red Riding Hood,
explained the 'moral' at the end so that no doubt is left to his intended meaning:

From this story one learns that children, especially young lasses, pretty, courteous and well-bred, do very wrong to listen to strangers, And it is not an unheard thing if the Wolf is thereby provided with his dinner. I say Wolf, for all wolves are not of the same sort; there is one kind with an amenable disposition — neither noisy, nor hateful, nor angry, but tame, obliging and gentle, following the young maids in the streets, even into their homes.

Alas! Who does not know that these gentle wolves are of all such creatures the most dangerous!

Time to return to the original.
In verse, of course.

Little Red Riding Hood.

This is the tale of Red Riding Hood,
A little girl, so trusting and good;
She was pretty, she was sweet,
The nicest girl you ever could meet.

Her hair was golden, like ripened corn,
The sun shone from her, as from the dawn.
Admiring glances on her would linger
And she had her Granny wrapped ‘round her finger.

She often skipped through the woods
To visit Granny with a basket of goods.
The woodcutters told her to be alert
As wolves would be attracted to her skirt.

But, unconcerned, she tripped along
Singing a sweet little skipping song.
But, true enough, a wolf was lurking,
Watching her pass and evilly smirking.

Wolves are cunning and know shortcuts
Through the woods to Grandma’s huts.
The wolf barged in, intentions shady,
And was quick up and upon the lady.

He threw the remains into the shed
And clambered into the old dear’s bed
Just as Riding Hood knocked and entered.
As normal, the room was lavender scented.

But as she approached the Granny’s bed
Some questions were forming in the little girl's head.
“Granny, you’re tense, why aren't you relaxing?
And I think you are overdue for waxing!”

The wolf to stop her from retreating
Quickly threw off all the sheeting.
“Now”, he cried “There’s nothing between us!”
“Granny!” she shrieked “You’ve got a penis!”

And now we come to the tragic bit,
A wolf is a wolf and life is a shit,
And the hairy beast had it’s wicked way.
No woodcutters came to save this day.

There are do-gooders who, scared of offending,
Love to tack on a happy ending;
But morality tales should maintain their gory
Or risk losing the point of the tragic story.

© J Cosmo Newbery


Sunday, August 29, 2010

CCVII - Emotional Food

One Minute Writer had a topic "Write about a food that gives you a specific emotional response."
A limerick seems to be a good idea for something a bit risqué...

Emotional Food

There are many foods that emotionally sweeten
And make you feel good when they’re eaten;
But, for the food that permits
The best emotional hits,
Chocolate body-paint cannot be beaten.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, August 08, 2010

CCVI - Not the full story

I know of two folk, one family, one work, who ran off to be with someone that they met on-line.
Or thought they met of line. Sometimes you don't get the full story.

Not the full story.

But soft! What sound from yonder PC beeps?
It is an email! My darling Jools has written!
It’s love poem, full of the sweetest words!
Oh, I swoon, with the heartache of the smitten.

Look at him, dear reader, the poor fool
Is besotted by a woman who isn’t even there.
In his mind she lives, a peaches and cream concoction
With flowing long red hair.
She has legs that reach her armpits
And always wears white gloves.
Angels sing wherever she sits
And she’s attended to by doves.

Oh, my head and heart are throbbing
and I’m losing all perspective;
A very different throb engulfs my loins
And it’s hard to remain objective.
O Jools, my dearest darling!
The angel of my nightly dream;
I long to clutch you to me
With nothing in between!

Oh, if he could see her sitting there
In dressing gown and pink slippers,
She has an over abundance of body hair
And her breath is edged with kippers.
Her hair is done up in curlers,
There’s a tattoo on each breast,
One is a portrait of her first boyfriend,
The other, a group shot of the rest.

But time, dear friends, for a reality check,
Both sides are damaged stock.
Romeo is a bit loose with the truth
And Jools is in for a shock.
He said he carried a six-pack
And she dreamed of rippling abs
But the guy is just a truckie
With an overload of flab.
He works in a sweat-stained singlet
And trucks beer from place to place;
But at night he puts on lipstick,
High heels and black French lace.
He’s had a few relationships
But none of them took anchor;
Well, there was a goat called Suzie,
But she left him for a banker.

I can’t but dread the future
For this pair of lusty dears.
It can’t but end in tragedy:
There’ll be weeping, there’ll be tears.

Romeo, Romeo, where for art thee?
We’re a match well made in heaven.
Come, let’s run away my love,
On a scale of one to ten, I think you are eleven.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, August 01, 2010

CCV - Tourists as Sheep

Some people have more organised tours than others...

Tourists as Sheep

Carrying roses, they walk in a line,
Like sheep in a field, well crossed.
A plastic label displays their name,
In case the poor darlings get lost.

Orchestrated to the minute,
The group disappears afar.
Sipping beer from the side lines
I gently murmur ‘Baaa!’

© J Cosmo Newbery

Saturday, July 31, 2010

CCIV - The Buffet of Pigs Invasion


Buffets bring out the worst in people.

The Buffet of Pigs Invasion

In my mind I hear the voice over
Presented, in hushed and expectant tones,
A monologue on the tourist
As they migrate from their temporary homes.

“Look!” the voice is heard saying,
“Here they come! The herd in underway.
See how they traverse the forecourt
As they seek the nightly buffet!”

“See them lay claim to a table
Then dart off to scour the displays,
Circling around the all offerings
To find the picks of the day.

‘Everything looks so good’ they say
And pile it on their plate.
One can only hope that if they keep it up
They’ll be too fat to mate.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Friday, July 30, 2010

CCIII - The Round Ball


The Round Ball

I thought, wrongly as it turns out,
That Castro’s island, blockaded and small
Would offer some protection
From the nonsense that is football.

“Where are you from?” the waiter asks.
My answer draws a look, half smirk half pity.
Obviously we are, in football terms,
Country kids, come to see the city.

But this to me is not a bad thing,
The sooner we’re are out, the better.
I have no time for the fretful press
With opinions, photos and letters.

Back home, I could see the headlines
As Rupert’s attack dogs would be let out:
Indignant, biting, vengeful;
And “Sack them all!” the pack will shout.

But late at night, down in the plaza,
Not far from our hotel room,
Happy kids kick a ball in the dust
As a band puts out a blues tune.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Thursday, July 29, 2010

CCII- Praise to the Yak.


We had an internal flight on a YAK 42 - the original white knuckle airline.

Praise to the Yak!

A yak is hairy, a yak is strong,
But a yak cannot fly for very long.
When a plane’s called a Yak, one wonders why
But who would have thought a jumbo could fly?

The Yak is a tribute to minimum specs,
The seats were all broken, the table’s Laminex.
The engines were rusty, in need of a fix
The hostess bit the heads of day old chicks.

The Yak is a plane, extremely Russian,
What it lacks in finesse, it makes up in percussion.
But everything worked or, at least, didn’t fail
And I lived to pass on the tale.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CCI - Puppies of the Caribbean II


I was impressed, mentally but alas not physically, with the number of big breasted women about.
I seem to recall a UK television show where the hostess referred to her breasts as 'the puppies.
It was unclear as to whether this post should accompany the original Puppies of the Caribbean
or the previous post on Boobies. The Burns reference is to his Selkirk Grace.

Puppies of the Caribbean II

As she approaches, her assets wobble,
Like puppies under a blanket.
I glance briefly, avoiding a stare,
And, like Burns, quietly whisper ‘Thankit.’

© J Cosmo Newbery

CC - Puppies of the Caribbean


There was a tennis tournament being held at our hotel.
Lot's of sour-faced children and anxious parents.

Puppies of the Caribbean

Obnoxious, snotty little brats,
Taking in their coach’s story;
They work the minor circuits
And dream of tennis glory.

They’re told that they can ‘do it’,
They’re told that they’re the cream,
Then dragged around the traps
To live their parent’s dream.

Not mixing with us common folk,
They are sullen and seldom talk.
They seem a little puzzled
We don’t worship where they walk.

I’m sure they have the backhand
I’m sure they have the serve,
I hope the stuck up little darlings
Get all that they deserve.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CLXXXXIX - Boobies



Boobies are quaint,
Boobies are sweet,
Boobies have the cutest
Of baby blue feet.

Boobies are trusting
Rather naïve,
Boobies watch you approach
Rather than leave.

Boobies can fly,
Boobies can dive,
Boobies have no idea
Of how to survive.

Boobies are quaint,
Boobies are sweet,
Boobies have the cutest
Of baby blue feet.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, July 26, 2010

CLXXXXVIII - Thoughts on a different Plane.


Plenty of time to ponder on the flights.

When a day in a plane’s to be spent,
The hostess is a diversion, heaven sent.
But alas all the stewards
Dispensing the fluids,
Were male. Or maybe ambivalent.


There’s something surreal in the scene
Of people coming or having been,
Row by row and seat by seat,
Four hundred hunks of airborne meat,
Watching life on a tiny screen.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Baggage Allowance


Found this photos on Lee's 'Curate After Dark' blog.
It seemed a fitting way to reopen the case from the last post.
I have a few things written from my travels but I will stagger them out.

But the above photo prompted a brief thought:

Modern travel has its perils:
Visas, customs, jet-lag.
And waiting around in the airport lounge
At best, is still a drag
But I guess I just misheard my wife
When she said to pack my bag.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Interlude, with wine.

One Minute Writer had a topic "Wine/Whine"
Write a brief bit of fiction using the words "wine" and "whine."
I am off on holidays but I will take a pad and pen.
You never know...

There will be weeping, some will whine;
Others will cheer, a few will pine;
But I'm about to take
A well earned break,
With a passport, a visa and a lot of wine.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, May 23, 2010

CLXXXXVII - The Knight & the Dragon

Sunday Scribblings had the topic "Dragons".

The Knight & the Dragon

The hero of our story is a knight,
Aroused by a young maiden’s plight.
The distress she was showing
Got his hormones a-flowing
And he headed off in search of a fight.

The maiden was screaming with fear
As the fire-breathing dragon drew near
With the intent to subdue her
And then rudely barbeque her
An unpleasant ending was clear.

The knight was sure he could beat him,
The dragon, equally sure, came to meet him.
As they prepared for the bout
The maid gave a shout:
“The knight! He’s fatter than me, eat him!”

The combatants fight to rules, well defined,
And she’d clearly crossed over the line.
The dragon gave a twitch
And flambéed the bitch.
They ate her with bread and a fine wine.

© J Cosmo Newbery

CLXXXXVI - Cold Comfort


Cold Comfort

I admit I was skeptical when I was told
That it was the chill that caused a cold.
I decided to test this temperate bleating
And see if she got ‘hot’ if I upped the heating.

If cold equals cold, then it stands to reason
That hot will bring forth some passionate squeezin’.
I went to the dial and set it higher,
Enough, I hoped, to inflame her desire.

Time went by and the room grew steamy
But she just grew more tired and dreamy
Until she slept, as if sedated,
And I sat there sadly, hot but deflated.

While colds are known for bodily emissions
(And I still doubt them caused by cold conditions)
If you really want a liquid exchange,
I suggest the heating in the temperate range.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

CLXXXXVb - Taken with Relish, a second time.


In my previous post, Southlakesmom suggested my problem was using
'hors d'oeuvre' instead of the more common 'finger food'. Well, she may be right.
I would need different rhymes to make it work, though.
In the end, no joy, it took 3 extra characters.

Taken with Relish #2

Her fruits and her veggies were stewed
But her fantasies verged on the lewd.
She had sex on the brain,
Dreaming of entrée and main,
While foreplay was just finger food.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, May 17, 2010

CLXXXXVa - Taken with Relish.


Susan, at Stoney River has a micro-fiction challenge where you must
write a short story in 140 characters or less. I failed the challenge,
assuming that I must count spaces, but liked the result anyway.
The prompt was the picture, above.

Taken with Relish

A woman, who loved to preserve,
Was known for her lack of reserve.
She would swap some pickle
For a slap and a tickle;
And thought foreplay was just a hors d'oeuvre.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, May 02, 2010

CLXXXXIV - Mixed Nuts


One Minute Writer had a topic "Nuts"
This leaves plenty of scope as there are a number of meanings...


“Nut” is a multi-purpose English word
In a language full of ambiguities;
No-one’s sure how this occurred
But it gives lots of poetic opportunities.


Mixed Nuts

Peanuts are an odd little nugget
A ground grower, not a tree-er;
Roasted with some salt to hug it,
They’re perfect with a beer.

A coconut’s home is up a palm,
Not even a nut, it’s a seed instead;
It can do no end of harm
Should it drop upon your head.

To throw more confusion to the troops,
Some nuts are really just pretenders,
Not nuts at all, their really drupes,
Cashews and almonds, the main offenders.

Some relationships are quite skewed,
Some work while others strut.
No-one really wants to be screwed,
But is a bolt complete without a nut?

Male squirrels have them, squirreled away
To protect them from the frost,
I wonder if they use some other name
To prevent them from getting lost?

And then of course there are the ones,
The vicar sees; coming to seek repenters.
He finds them naked, poking fun;
He should knock before he enters.

There: nuts and how to store’em.
I’ve skate on thin ice, I fear,
Some may wish for more decorum.
My response, of course, is ‘Nuts to that idea’.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

CLXXXXIII - A little capricious nonsense.

Susan, at Stoney River has a micro-fiction challenge where you must
write a short story in 140 characters or less. (Is this a Twitter thing?).
Anyway, today's prompt was a photo of a goat (above).
140 characters just cries out for a limerick.

A goat who answered to Billy,

Lived in a field that was flat, not hilly.

To survey his estate

He climbed on a crate
Unaware that he really looked silly.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, April 26, 2010

CLXXXXII - A Sound Choice

One Minute Writer had a topic "Sound"
"Describe the most beautiful sound you've ever heard."

A Sound Choice

There’s the infant that giggles with glee;
There the brook that burbles away;
There’s the bird that sings in the tree;
There’s the forest at the break of day.

There’s Mozart, when played by a quartet;
There’s the buzz of a crowd at a show;
There’s the wave that pummel a shore wet;
There’s sweet nothings, whispered sultry and low.

There’s friends who knock at your door;
There’s the silence when the radio stops;
There’s the dinner guest asking for more;
There the sound when the wine cork pops.

There’s the car arriving home after five;
There’s the magpies chortling to be fed;
There the crackle of a blazing log fire;
There’s the sizzle of bacon and eggs.

There’s the whimper as you nibble a neck;
There’s rain pounding down on the tiles;
There’s parrots squabbling on the back deck;
There’s thunder rumbling, away some miles.

There’s the moon and the baying of hounds;
There’s children in the park, having fun;
The world abounds with millions of sounds,
How can I possibly only choose one?

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, April 25, 2010

CLXXXXI- The Letter


Today, April 25th, is ANZAC Day in Australia.
Ninety-five years ago Australian soldiers were landed in southern Turkey
as part of Churchill’s ill-conceived plan to attack Germany from the south.
Thousands died.


There’s a picket fence and a cottage gate,
An anxious frown, the postman’s late…
He comes at last, he understands,
And the precious envelope changes hands.

The Letter

Dearest Mother, it’s late, it’s cold,
Me and some mates are in a trench,
Huddled for warmth, no food, no smokes.
I can’t begin to describe the stench
Of the bodies we have no time
To bury in any sort of respectful way.
They say the push is on tomorrow,
Never have I so dreaded the day.
It’s a lottery, you know, who gets shot
We shout and holler and run the guns,
To drop and dig all over again.
Greetings from Hell, your loving son.


As every mother ruefully learns
It’s not her son who eventually returns;
There’s a stranger standing in her hall,
If, of course, he returns at all.

Translated from the Turkish.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

CLXXXX - Coming Out


Australian swimmer, Daniel Kowalski, came out this weekend and proclaimed that he was gay.
I have no problem with that and I wish him well. Indeed, he is an inspiration.
I feel that the time is right for me to come out, as well.

Coming Out

I admit that I have long lived a lie
(Oh Mother, please, there’s no need to cry!)
Since about twelve, a feckless youth,
I have known a dark and inner truth.

As I watched those playing sports,
In coloured tops and football shorts,
A feeling rose (here I must be cautious)
I hid it well but it made me nauseous.

How could I be a male, strongly virile
And not adore football, Australian style?
There I’ve said it and now proudly proclaim
I cannot stand the wretched game.

Actually, I’m an atheist to all footballing,
Their gratuitous thuggery is just appalling.
I detest the game and how they play it,
And it is such a relief to finally say it.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, April 18, 2010

CLXXXIX - A Sonnet to the Individual


A Sonnet to the Individual

It’s the modern sterile normality
That all should be a social clone;

Eating, drinking, talking banality,
Never individual, never alone.

Oh, yes, of course, we claim we are
But between claims and actions there’s a gap:
Who can, from their phone, stray far
Or pass up TV’s nightly serve of pap?

I , of course, am the complete individual,
Bowing to style but never to fashion.
I know one day we’ll run out of fuel
And our caves will echo with talk and passion.
A truth both worrying and most formal:
If everyone was like me --- I’d be normal.


© J Cosmo Newbery

Saturday, April 17, 2010

CLXXXVIII - S-Bend, Bent Double.

In comments to the last post, Dianne suggested I could write a poem about anything.
I don't know about that but there was a paper clip on my desk...

S-Bend, Bent Double.

The envelope please! And the winner is
The Paperclip! For it’s starring role in biz-(pause)-e-ness!
This little piece of wire, bent in upon itself
Is leading role on the office shelf.

It holds your piles of notes together
Better than string or pins or leather.
It will even catch and hold some pages
And secretly smile as you search for ages
Until you find your wayward notes
Snared at the back of some pile of quotes.

The paperclip is, surprise!, for clipping paper
But some people want to make them straighter:
Psychologists watch as you unbend them,
The shapes you make and how you defend them.
Some people unbend them as a tooth pick,
Others make them vanish, their party trick.
Some even use them to reset a device
While others just flick them, a habit not nice.

Something to which I lightly aspire
Is to own the patent for this twisted wire.
Several billion are made each week
And would nearly fund the retirement I seek.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, April 11, 2010

CLXXXVII - Souped-up Saucers


Souped-Up Saucers

Human beings, down through the ages
Have questioned the wise men and the sages,
Wanting to know “Are we truly alone?
Did ET really have someone to phone?”

On a country lane in a country world
A piece of cosmic crockery is hurled;
It hovers enticing, neither plane nor bird,
For photos, of course, but invariably blurred.

For reasons no-one seems to know
We are only visited by the shy UFO.
Treating the cities with galactic distain,
They come to the sticks, then are gone again.

Just as hoons drive to the industrial estate
To burn rubber, drink beer and procreate,
What if these souped up saucers hold the same,
Hoons after a good time on galactic back lane?

© J Cosmo Newbery

Thursday, April 08, 2010

CLXXXVI - Delayed Gratification

One Minute Writer had a topic "Delayed Gratification -Write about a time you had to wait to get something you really wanted."
Now I sort of meandered about the topic - not too sure if I favoured delayed gratification or not.
But I probably wont write any more now until I am back in Melbourne,
so you too can have delayed gratification.

Delayed Gratification.

I. Immediate Response.

I’m not much of a fan of long waiting
To receive what I’m contemplating.
The sooner I get ‘em, the sooner I forget ‘em;
Living life as a form of speed dating.

Remember, to delay receiving rewards
Is a sneaky old trick of the Lord’s.
“Stay very quiet and don’t start a riot
And you’ll receive all that Heaven affords.”

II. Delayed Response.

There’s pleasure in embracing the sensual
And ‘now’ is much better than ‘eventual’.
But I draw the line at drinking bad wine
Or sex with a goat, even consensual.

So, yes, I admit some things I will wait for
Like the dental appointment I’m late for,
And that horrible prancing that goes for folk dancing,
A pastime I have a deep hate for.

Other things that are best long delayed
Are bagpipes, however they are played.
There’s daytime TV and Chamomile tea
And all wars and religious crusades.

More things I’m in no hurry to be trying
Are bunge jumping, carol singing and flying.
Brussel Sprouts should be thrown out
And I’m in no particular rush to be dying.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

CLXXXV - Four Lines of Garden

Marc, at Daily Writing Practice had a prompt
to write a four line poem about gardens.

Four lines? Well, what say I write a limerick style
and combine lines 3 and 4 into one. (Sorry Percy).

And what say I write two small poems rather than one.
Apart from that, I followed his prompt exactly.



I don’t see the need to work hard in
the democratic jungle, my garden.
Planted seedlings and self-made weedlings
Are all due my equal regardin’.


A weed is not a gardening disgrace,
It’s just living in a most awkward place.
A rose would earn scorn in a paddock of corn
But still smell of old ladies and lace.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

CLXXXIV - Postcard from Rome

As a suitable end to Easter, I present you with a poem
written by my ancestor J Cosmos Newberrium,
sent on a post-rock from Rome, circa 100AD.

For your convenience, I also provide a translation.

Odoratus piscari.

Extendere tu toga! Iter fibula!
Tractus alteruter. Campus tintinnabula.

Narrare catena? Vestum detrahere?
Bellus vomitorium! Quo vadere?

Aspicere! Magnus harena!
Populus! Sonitus! Musicena!

Aspicere! Caesar! Ave Emperator!
Pollex gravis, Punctun declivator.

Oi! Quo vadis custodia?
Et porta? Cur claudere? Quo sedia?

Ave omnes! Adventare, solum commodus.
Spectare! Longinguus porta apertus.

Bellus feles! Pulcher feles!
Bellus dentes! Haliotoses.


Something smells fishy.

Straighten your toga, we’re going to a show!
Pull the other one, it plays Jingle Bells.
Why are you taking off my leg irons?
Nice tunnel, where will it take us?
Oh look, a large arena! People! Noise! Music!
Oh look! The emperor! Hi Guv!
His thumb seems heavy, it is hanging down.
Hey! Where have the guards gone?
And the gate? Why is it closed. Where are our seats?
Hi everyone! Come on down, the sand’s fine!
Hey look! The far gate has opened.
Nice kitty. Pretty kitty.
Lovely teeth. Nasty breath.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Monday, April 05, 2010

CLXXXIII - Cups of Joy


Cups of joy

Seldom in the daily rush of life
Do you meet with such perfection;
Beautifully displayed, with love and care,
They arouse a deep affection.

Such vessels are a joy to hold
And warm the cockles of your heart.
Lovingly filled, sweet and warm and milky,
They are a most wond’rous piece of art.

O glorious porcelain saucer and cup
I swoon, en route to fainting,
Now, if the woman will kindly step away,
I can look more closely at the painting.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, April 04, 2010

CLXXXII - The Modern Alchemist

Sunday Scribblings had a prompt about Alchemy.
Here is my take on it.

The Modern Alchemist

In his dark and moist and danky room,
The alchemist pursues his ancient trade:
To find the famed philosopher’s stone –
How the change from lead to gold is made.

Amid the cinnabar, galena and aqua regia
Pyrites, potash and smells infernal
He has two other research goals;
Ultimate wisdom and youth eternal.

Through the centuries, in malodorous labs,
The alchemist has been in honest pursuit
Of things now sold in monthly doses
By weaselly men in pinstriped suits.

The modern publisher, multinational,
Has turned type-metal into share gold
With magazines selling distilled wisdom
And lotions for eternal youth, or so we’re told.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Saturday, April 03, 2010

CLXXXI - Postcard from Sydney

Postcard from Sydney

Sure, they have the Opera House
And a coat-hanger for a bridge,
But really, that’s the end of it,
Just a postcard for the ‘fridge.

The roads are just a parking lot,
The drivers can't relax;
Not a straight road anywhere,
Just covered bullock tracks.

They speak a different language:
A ‘middy’ holds their beer,
Their potato cakes are called scallops
And their scallop’s name’s unclear.

Their ladies are too precious,
The men all oil their pecs,
Their shock-jocks are all morons
And their footballers have no necks.

Sure, they have the Opera House
And a coat-hanger for a bridge,
But really, that’s the end of it,
Just a postcard for the ‘fridge.

© J Cosmo Newbery
Graphic adapted from

Friday, April 02, 2010

Lest we forget (the train sauce).


I found that there are 25 or so of my poems on a Russian blog.
I don't mind, quite flattered really. They credit me but don't link to my blog.

One of my more sombre poems is about the stupidity of war.
Here is the original and the Russian translation.
For Dan, the original Russian is here.

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.


Lest we forget the heartache
From the useless death for senseless gain.
We should be closer to the gore
To see what horrors await
For the victims of the terrorist game.

In the rocket firing distant landscape
And bombs dropped from aircraft;
People aren't people do.
Lest we forget.

Leaders would do it all again
They love to slam band's refrain.
It's really said often before,
In war there are no winners.
Except, of course, train sauce.
Lest we forget.

© J Cosmo Newberyski

I am heading to Sydney for a week.
Look out Sydney. All others relax.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

A Tolstoy moment: Words and Peas


It's my birthday and, innocently roaming the internet, what do I find?

A Russian translation of some of my poems!

I have visions of a monk in a monastery, slaving away by candle light...

The following is about Peas and was originally put up March 3rd, 2009:

The original is in black, Google's translation is in green:


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

Pea sitting in their pods
As residents of the suburbs by train.
They roar around the drain
Before you scroll 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 very likeable,
They are, well, in general, green as a pea small balls;
Click them out the window 

Or rip them from the walls.

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

Pea - small markers
Vegetarian like no other;
You can lower them to 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.

Pea is the most forgiving
Regardless of how you process them;
Some people like to puree them,
Some even eat them.


Well, that was a birthday present I hadn't expected!


Friday, March 26, 2010

CLXXX - Mrs Whippy

One Minute Writer had a topic described thus:
"Kids get so excited when the ice cream truck comes into the neighborhood.
What kind of delivery truck would make adults line up in excitement?"

Mrs Whippy

Mr Whippy vans around the world
Attract Children to their frozen creams;
But Mrs Whippy, with her whip unfurled,
Attracts the men to live their dreams.

The women may frown, pretending hurt,
They know where their men are to be found:
Queuing to get their sweet dessert,
When Mrs Whippy’s van comes around.

With her lash that flails and cracks,
She gives them moments to reminisce;
As she raises welts across their backs
Then sends them home to domestic bliss.


Mrs Whippy fills a great social need,
Doing what the little women would rather not.
For an hour the men are her mighty steed,
To be ridden and whipped and quickly forgot.


All the men of the town enjoy her treats,
Even the saintly vicar is not excepted.
She doesn’t care who she beats
And all major credit cards are accepted.


© J Cosmo Newbery

Sunday, March 21, 2010

CLXXIX - The Search


You will have heard of Edward Lear's poem "The Owl and the Pussycat".

He didn't tell the full story.

The Search for the Owl and the Pussycat

The Owl and the Pussycat went for a sail
In a beautiful pea-green boat.
It started to hail and to blow a gale
So Owl covered Cat with his coat.
His coat,
So Owl covered Cat with his coat.

The storm grew worse, grimmer by the minute;
From side to side, the small boat tossed,
And the bedraggled pair tossed within it.
“Pussy”, said Owl, “I think we're lost.
We're lost,
“I think we are quite lost."

At this the Pussy let out a howl,
A noise that would curdle cream,
“Tell me owl, you intelligent fowl,
What type of ‘lost’ do you mean?
Do you mean,
What type of ‘lost’ do you mean?”

Are you saying we’re just a little bit out,
That we aren’t where previously assumed?
It’s a better answer, without any doubt,
Than the other, which means that we’re doomed.
We're doomed,
Than the other, which means that we’re doomed.

Back at shore, the alarm went out
That the seafaring two were missing.
They launched a craft, with a frog and a calf
And a limpet, fond of French kissing.
French kissing,
And a limpet, fond of French kissing.

The frog adopted the pose on the prow
Of someone surveying the skyline.
The calf faced backwards and stared to row
While the limpet had found some dry wine.
Dry wine,
While the limpet had found some dry wine.

The owl looked shocked, his eyes agog,
As the trio arrived, full throttle:
There was an exhausted calf, a Napoleon Frog,
And a limpet, who was stuck to a bottle.
A bottle,
And a limpet, who was stuck to a bottle.

And so they returned to whence they had come
All bedraggled and looking a mess.
The Pussy decided to go home to her Mum
And left the Owl to deal with the Press.
The press,
And left the Owl to deal with the Press.

The cameras flashed as the Owl told his tale,
And retelling, it never got shorter.
From the back of the boat came a muffled wail
As the limpet threw up in the water
The water,
As the limpet threw up in the water.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Remember to vote for me at
Percy's Silly Poetry Competion

Thursday, March 18, 2010

CLXXVIII - You are getting sheepy, very sheepy...


Cosmo had some little sheep,
Little sheep, little sheep,
Cosmo had some little sheep
Who loved what he had done.
And everything that Cosmo wrote
Cosmo wrote, Cosmo wrote,
And everything that Cosmo wrote
Was voted number one.


© J Cosmo Newbery

OK, now my little sheeps, hold that thought.
It it time to put your cloven hooves to good use.

Sir Percy, cad, blackguard and arch-villain,
has opened up the voting site for his Silly Poetry Competition.
All I ask you is that you go to the site , write something suitable gushy
about me and vote for my poem.

You can, of course, read and be suitable impressed by the other poems
but after the social oo-s and ah-s are done, you will vote for me. OK?

The voting site is here.

To make it easier for you, I suggest that you just cut & paste
the following into the comment section at the voting site:

I am a sheep, more woolly than hairy,
And I find mint sauce both green and scary.
I prefer poems to be of lambs on the moor,
But a yak is close, if the lighting is poor,
So I cast my vote for J Cosmo Newbery!


Monday, March 15, 2010

CLXXVII - The Ides of March


The Ides of March

Beware the Ides of March
Said the sayer of sooth;
Sitting mystically, aromatically,
Within her spiritual booth.

I can read the future;
I can tell of coming romance;
I can milk for all you’re worth
If given half a chance.

I know all about your past,
That nasty moment in the water,
The number two figures closely,
And the time you stole a quarter.


Your favourite flower is a rose
(Or maybe a lily, the image’s blurred).
And someone with the initial M
Is most sorry for what occurred.


I sense you are quite tidy
But sometimes make a mess;
That you have a secret longing
For a job that has less stress.


Now, show me your hand:
“My, my, your life-line splits in three!
It shows the generous nature
Of someone who likes to give! (whispered) To me.”


© J Cosmo Newbery


For strangers to this site, there is something of a joust going on between a number of knightly gentlemen (or otherwise) and demure , sweet and coy ladies. See the link to Sir Percy's Silly Poetry Competition in the side bar.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

CLXXVI- If you don't mind.

I have been getting bit too much nasty stuff
from people
who love sending 'jokes' to 57 recipients.
Often hateful, always misguided, I have taken to saying so.
And to 'Reply All' if the option is available.

This poem is a rondeau, suitable for rubbish
that keeps going around and around,

and might be subtitled "Hit the Road, Geoff".

If you don’t mind.

If you don’t mind me saying so
I think your taste has reached a low
In sending nasty hateful guff
And, quite frankly, I have had enough.
It’s odd to see your Christian show
Of love and hope and tally-ho!
Crack and drop like the mud you throw.
I ask that you don’t send such stuff,
If you don’t mind.

PC is the name you bestow
To try to shut me up, I know
Now, leave if you must, in a huff
But I’m not afraid to call your bluff.
Oh, and shut the door as you go.
If you don’t mind.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Saturday, March 13, 2010

CLXXV - Goldfish



Gold fish swims in a bowl of water;
She can be watched from every quarter.
Swim little gold fish, swim little gold fish,
Strange your life must be.

Gold fish has no mate to support her;
No sense wondering what he bought her.
Swim little gold fish, swim little gold fish,
Estranged your life must be.

Gold fish has no sons or daughters;
No point telling her that she orta.
Swim little gold fish, swim little gold fish,
Strange your life must be.

Gold fish swims in a bowl of water;
Unaware of impending slaughter.
Swim little gold fish, swim little gold fish,
Short your life will be.

© J Cosmo Newbery

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

CLXXIV - Lilith

Lilith (1892), by John Collier in Southport Atkinson Art Gallery.

When looking for something quite unrelated,
I found the above painting of a lady called Lilith.
There seemed to be a need for a poem.


Now there is something I never knew:
Eve was Adam's wife, number two.
Some tart called Lilith was the first to find
The family jewels of mankind.

There's no denying the girl's a looker
(though Eve, the bitch, called her a hooker).
When I look at her sweet young breasts
and ponder the pleasures they suggest
I really find it hard to believe
That Adam left her to shack up with Eve.

But I must say this quite up straight:
The snake would be off-putting on a date.

So who was this Lilith, build so well
That she held all of mankind in her spell?*
Was she, like Eve, made from a spare bit
Of Adam's first owner's body repair kit?
And, if instead of crawling from a pond,
She was the work of some God's wand
Perhaps some mystic in a cave'll
Tell me why she needs a navel?

© J Cosmo Newbery
* OK, so mankind consisted of just one gullible guy
with a penchant for stealing apples.
Call it poetic license.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

CLXXIII - Last Train to Gallimaufry


After much too much coffee,
I give you my entry in Sir Percy's
Silly Poetry Competition.

Last Train to Gallimaufry

The fireman fed the engine well
The train moved at full split.
It trailed its smoke across the land
And whistled quite a bit.
All this was rather odd because
There were no tracks for it.

Two travellers watched the passing view:
A yak, in sporting cleats,
And a rock who looked quite fetching
In a dress with tartan pleats.
They sat in awkward silence,
Upon green leather seats.

With a crack, the door flew back,
The yak gave half a shout:
In strode a little anchovy,
"Good Sirs, you shouldn't pout!
Come now, you mustn't be so glum,
What can we talk about?"

So saying he climbed upon the seat
And lit a thin cheroot.
"Socially irresponsible,
But I couldn't give a hoot!"
"You Sir!" to the yak he said
What's with the fancy boots?"

The Yak, of course, took great offence
And turned his head away,
Then Anchovy the asked the rock
Of what he had to say.
The Rock said what a rock says best,
In a stoic, rocky way.

So as the trip progressed along,
The anchovy took the floor:
He told them of the foamy sea,
Of bluebells on the shore
Of how he mined for opals
And how he won the war.

The Snark appeared, but briefly so,
"Present your tickets, please"
He took them with his flippers
And clipped them with his knees.
As quickly as he'd come, he was gone,
Back to the rose-red sea.

The anchovy resumed his monologue
From where he'd stopped before:
He talked of how to mend a fig
and the aroma of a door,
Of pots and pans and icecream vans
And whether pine trees snore.

By now the Yak could take no more.
He rosed and cleared his throat:
"Good Sir", he said, "You've lost the plot!"
"Here, Rock, hold my coat!"
He then recited a poem
Apparently learnt by rote.


The Yak & Rocky.

T'was Brylcreem and the slimy locks
Could do little to hide the mange.
All greasy were the woollen socks
And the roast lamb tasted strange.

And there the Yak and Rock did sit
Beside the sea and knitting eggs.
They were wearing all their swimming kit
And bronzing one another's legs.

They watched some twit of the finest grade
A vorpal sword held in his hand,
Knick himself with the flailing blade
And collapse upon the sand.

As in ashen shock he lay,
The Yak and Rock, with all due care,
Pushed his vorpal sword away
And shaved off all his hair.

Knit one! Perl one! Knit one! Perl one!
The knitting needles fairly flew
And as they flickered in the golden sun
A lovely toupée grew.

A Yak sized hairpiece on the cards
And one moustache, quite thin.
The Yak looked like Keith Richards,
The Rock like Errol Flynn.

T'was Brylcreem and the slimy locks
Could do little to hide the mange.
All greasy were the woollen socks
And the roast lamb tasted strange.


The Anchovy was astounded
He clapped his hands red-raw;
Even the Snark reappeared
And brusquely asked for more.
As for the Rock, he blushed a bit:
He'd heard it all before.

Now they were the best of friends
And talked of many things:
Of docks and socks and sticky-tape,
Of cowslips and of string
Of the perils of a face-lift
And how to dance a fling.

They talked away all through the day
'Till all were fairly hoarse.
Though they were all quite hungry
None fancied custard sauce.
So they sent out for a pizza,
No anchovies, of course.

© J Cosmo Newbery


For strangers to this site, there is something of a joust going on between a number of knightly gentlemen (or otherwise) and demure , sweet and coy ladies. See the link to Sir Percy's Silly Poetry Competition in the side bar.