Sunday, September 28, 2014

759 - The Schooling

A posey of flowers marks the spot where ashes
of drowned asylum seekers were scattered.

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #180) presents a list of words
that we must incorporate in a writing piece.  

The words this week are: 
posey, ashes, flames, sticks, lot, fear, 
love, discernment, polarize, identity, selfless, joy

The Schooling

Love comes naturally.
Everything fascinates babies,
Without discernment,
Without prejudice.
Every new experience is filled
With lots of joy and delight.
This is how we arrive:


Fear is learned.
Fear is taught.
Sometimes through 
The blistering flames of experience
But all too often through the 
Whispering innuendos 
Of tribal groupings:
My people versus your people,
Age, race, colour, gender
All needless labels that send a
Message of stereotype and difference.
Vilification sticks.
Humanity is denied.


Those who would control us
Know this all too well.
Politicians, advertisers,
Media owners of all types,
Tap into this contrived identity,
Polarize our groups
With the sticks and carrots 
Of fear and envy,
For their own ends,
A discordant ensemble
Of dog whistles.
Obediently we react,
Stay in our compounds
And bark at strangers.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

758 - Alternative Medicine

Theme Thursday has the prompt 'Apples'.

On the walls of a house of delight
Hangs a motto both pithy and bright—
"While an apple a day
Keeps the doctor away,
A nice pair will help pass the night."
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

757 - A Reflection on Life’s Parasites.

Pthirus pubis

Three Word Wednesday requires participants
to use the three words of the week in a composition.
The words this week were: adequate,explosive & parasite.

A Reflection on Life’s Parasites.

Life is full of parasites.
Some suck your blood,
Some your lifeblood.
Some graze on your extremities
While others are more invasive,
A little more personal.
Some arrive unannounced and,
Often unnoticed, never leave.
We have an adequate lot in life,
Enough to share perhaps,
And they are usually small, flat and largely hidden.

Some make their presence known with the odd tickle,
An itch perhaps, but we learn to live with them,
Are they co-mensal if you are the dinner?
Perhaps not but fellow travellers, none the less,
And we are a tolerant people.

Others arrive benignly, almost welcomed,
And, like a Trojan Horse, un cheval de troie,
They bide their time quietly grazing
Until ready to show their explosive intent,
And then they unexpectedly rupture,
Disgorging malice and toxins
Into your world.  Quite puzzling.
I have never understood
Why a parasite would
Kill its host.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

756 - Beagle II

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #179) presents a list of words
that we must incorporate in a writing piece.  

The words this week are: 
live, give, heart, gold, expression, searching,
old, ocean, mind, keep, miner, crossed

Beagle II

The craft touched down with a puff of smoke
It had travelled from distant stars;
Its hold was filled with a million and two
Specimens, in large blue jars.

It had crossed the visible universe
Searching for sentient life:
To record their numbers in a ledger of sorts,
And dissect them, with a knife.

And so they came to this blue-brown globe,
Across the oceans of deep space,
To count and catalogue it’s brighter minds,
To see who ran this place.

What was clear to them when they searched around
Was the jungle now owned the city:
Cockroaches, ants and some scaly things,
Made up the welcoming committee.

They approached an old temple of sorts
With gold leaf upon the door;
“It seems place where they burnt their coal
And a miner who wanted more”.

The ship’s scientists were amazed at this,
“Surely they had noticed the sun?
It’s a power source that gives and gives,
There’s free energy by the ton.”

The expression displayed on the leader’s face
Was one of shock and doubt:
“Well, I guess all signs of intelligent life
Died when the coal ran out.”

The cockroaches were most offended, of course, 
To be so rudely sidelined:
“We have far exceeded those men of old,
We have a heart, we have a mind”.

The crew were getting rather restless now
They moaned “This place is far too hot.
It’s like living in a bloody greenhouse,
Let find a better spot!”

And so they filed back on board their ship,
To continue their collecting;
In one lone blue jar, kept in the hold below,
Was a cockroach, for dissecting.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

755 - The Birthday Girl

This started out in the meter of
'Mary had a little lamb' but lost its way.

The Birthday Girl

Billie had a little cake,
It had a lovely taste;
And every bit that Billie ate
Built up upon her waist.

It had a single candle,
To celebrate the day;
She couldn’t do ‘one per year’
Without the fire brigade.

She celebrated through the night
As only she was able;
Next morning, when she woke up
She was underneath the table.

She was lying there beside a sheep,
Whose fleece was white as snow;
Mary lay beside her too,
And was not inclined to go.

The sheep was far less certain,
And feared it was main course.
Well-founded, as it turned out,
When roasted, with mint sauce. 

Mary thought it fitting
That the event was caught in rhyme,
So let it be now recorded
That they had a spanking time.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

754 - When They Are Gone

Three Word Wednesday requires participants
to use the three words of the week in a composition.
The words this week were: breezy, hairy and monstrous.

I hadn’t planned to contribute this week but things changed.

When they are gone
On hearing that a friend’s son had suicided.

The black dog lives at their address,
Rabid, hairy, and teasing relentless—
They hope that it will disappear
When they are gone.

They teeter closer than they will admit
On the edge of some monstrous pit,
They hope the pain will just fade away
When they are gone.

A breezy front is oft’ displayed
When an exit plan’s been made
Seldom seen but, oh, so clear
When they are gone.

That awful day when they submit
Is far from being the end of it.
The black dog’s load is shared around
When they are gone.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

753 - The Skewed World of Smoking Joe.

I don’t often mix prompts but this week they seemed to fit together:

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #178) gave us 
hospital, tests, anxiety, fluff, words, ouch,

pester, blood, know, meal, center, jello

And Three Word Wednesday gave us:
geek, carcass and slash

The Skewed World of Smoking Joe.

Treasurers come and Treasurers go
But few are as reviled as Smoking Joe.
He smokes cigars, he drive flash cars,
The poor and weak are his natural foe.

His ministry is full of geeks
Who give his dream its lethal tweaks,
They will tear apart our social heart
To make the feudal land he seeks.

He slashes back all progress made
His final goal is to just downgrade,
He tests each thing for the tax it will bring:
Is Jello a food or a wrestling aid?

He has no feel for what’s at stake;
His choice of words—a big mistake:
“Should the poor have a car, they don't drive it very far”
Like “if they need a meal, then why not cake?”

The hospitals are filled with anxious folk
Who do not share the fat man’s joke.
But they’ll disappear this financial year
When hospital funding goes up in smoke. 

The sick and old, in their desperate plight,
Do not pester his sleep at night.
He wishes them away, in a cold-blooded sort of way,
Just stack the carcass out of sight.

Joe says that we must be very tough
To rid our life of its social fluff,
We are just little workers, making cash for the jerkers
Who never learnt how to say ‘enough’.

Self-centred and quite proudly so,
Determined to reframe the status quo,
Stuff the poor, the rich need more,
Such is the world of Smoking Joe.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

Sunday, September 07, 2014

752 - The Dream Seeder

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #177) presents a list of words
that we must incorporate in a writing piece.  

The words this week are: 
horses, signal, bullets, thrust, plant, dismal,
edge, spot, rose, locks, ball, meandering

The Dream Seeder
Father’s Day 2014.

It is late.
The bed is warm.
He sits beside me.
His tone alternates between conspiratorial and alarming.
His words, exotic and alive, paint a picture.  Pictures.
The wild.
The fanciful.
The instructive.
The richly embroidered tales of adventure, 
tales of love and derring-do,
meandering at times, exciting always,
where proud Arabian horses stand tall, nostrils flaring, scanning the desert air for assassins, where writhing, serpentine plants spiral to the heavens, through the giant-dwelling clouds, to where a goose sits, patiently twitching her golden sphincter, where small girls with golden curls dream of leaving their dismal cinder-full, sister-full drudgery for the rose-petalled, glass-shoed bliss of the Prince’s Ball, where wicked, warty witches, living in confectionery cottages far from the forest’s edge, waiting to lock small wandering children in even smaller cages, to fatten them and eat them (can you spot the message here?), where tassllated cowboys in white hats gallop, firing from guns in both hands, bullets that always find their targets, as they gallop across the wild, wide savannas to rescue the beleaguered fort, where gnarled old sailors, led by a courageous, young captain, battle seas rife with one-legged, ear-ringed, parrot-toting pirates and large, one eyed, long tentacle creatures, in search of the “X” that always marks the spot.
These are the stories of the twilight.
These are the seeds of dreams.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014

Thursday, September 04, 2014

751 - The Lesson

Three Word Wednesday requires participants
to use the three words of the week in a composition.
The words this week were: bribery, clobber & skeptical.

The Lesson.

Silver tongued vixens 
Will clobber
Many an unwary 
Young man;

With their exotic charms
They do it because they can—
They cavort,
A bribery
Of sorts.

Should ring out
From the hills
“Be sceptical
Of the life robber
Who trades
In low carnal thrills”.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2014