STW does National Poetry Day

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  • STW does National Poetry Day
  • Premier Icon imnotverygood

    ‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
    Knocking on the moonlit door;
    And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
    Of the forest’s ferny floor:
    And a bird flew up out of the turret,
    Above the Traveller’s head:
    And he smote upon the door again a second time;
    ‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
    But no one descended to the Traveller;
    No head from the leaf-fringed sill
    Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
    Where he stood perplexed and still.
    But only a host of phantom listeners
    That dwelt in the lone house then
    Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
    To that voice from the world of men:
    Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
    That goes down to the empty hall,
    Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
    By the lonely Traveller’s call.
    And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
    Their stillness answering his cry,
    While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
    ’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
    For he suddenly smote on the door, even
    Louder, and lifted his head:—
    ‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
    That I kept my word,’ he said.
    Never the least stir made the listeners,
    Though every word he spake
    Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
    From the one man left awake:
    Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
    And the sound of iron on stone,
    And how the silence surged softly backward,
    When the plunging hoofs were gone.

    The Listeners – Walther De La Mare

    Ok so I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to poetry


    My two are:

    Lake Isle of Innisfree by WB Yeats

    I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
    And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
    Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
    And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

    And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
    Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
    There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
    And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

    I will arise and go now, for always night and day
    I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
    While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
    I hear it in the deep heart’s core

    And by the late great Seamus Heaney, Digging

    Between my finger and my thumb
    The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

    Under my window, a clean rasping sound
    When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
    My father, digging. I look down

    Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
    Bends low, comes up twenty years away
    Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
    Where he was digging.

    The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
    Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
    He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
    To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
    Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

    By God, the old man could handle a spade.
    Just like his old man.

    My grandfather cut more turf in a day
    Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
    Once I carried him milk in a bottle
    Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
    To drink it, then fell to right away
    Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
    Over his shoulder, going down and down
    For the good turf. Digging.

    The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
    Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
    Through living roots awaken in my head.
    But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

    Between my finger and my thumb
    The squat pen rests.
    I’ll dig with it.


    To dream the impossible dream
    To fight the unbeatable foe
    To bear with unbearable sorrow
    To run where the brave dare not go

    To right the unrightable wrong
    To love pure and chaste from afar
    To try when your arms are too weary
    To reach the unreachable star

    This is my quest
    To follow that star
    No matter how hopeless
    No matter how far

    To fight for the right
    Without question or pause
    To be willing to march into Hell
    For a heavenly cause

    And I know if I’ll only be true
    To this glorious quest
    That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
    When I’m laid to my rest

    And the world will be better for this
    That one man, scorned and covered with scars
    Still strove with his last ounce of courage
    To reach the unreachable star


    With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
    England mourns for her dead across the sea.
    Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
    Fallen in the cause of the free.

    Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
    Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
    There is music in the midst of desolation
    And a glory that shines upon our tears.

    They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
    Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
    They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
    They fell with their faces to the foe.

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

    They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
    They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
    They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
    They sleep beyond England’s foam.

    But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
    Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
    To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
    As the stars are known to the Night;

    As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
    Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
    As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
    To the end, to the end, they remain.

    And just for emphasis

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

    DD, that Heaney one is lovely. Haven’t seen it in an age!

    Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
    Thy micturations are to me
    As plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee.
    Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes,
    And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles,
    Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts
    With my blurglecruncheon, see if I don’t!

    Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz


    ‘This be the verse’ – Philip Larkin. Look it up.

    Come on, folks, let’s celebrate the poetic muse!

    One of my favourites;

    As the team’s head-brass flashed out on the turn
    The lovers disappeared into the wood.
    I sat among the boughs of the fallen elm
    That strewed the angle of the fallow, and
    Watched the plough narrowing a yellow square
    Of charlock. Every time the horses turned
    Instead of treading me down, the ploughman leaned
    Upon the handles to say or ask a word,
    About the weather, next about the war.
    Scraping the share he faced towards the wood,
    And screwed along the furrow till the brass flashed
    Once more.

    The blizzard felled the elm whose crest
    I sat in, by a woodpecker’s round hole,
    The ploughman said. ‘When will they take it away?’
    ‘When the war’s over.’ So the talk began –
    One minute and an interval of ten,
    A minute more and the same interval.
    ‘Have you been out?’ ‘No.’ ‘And don’t want to, perhaps?’
    ‘If I could only come back again, I should.
    I could spare an arm, I shouldn’t want to lose
    A leg. If I should lose my head, why, so,
    I should want nothing more…Have many gone
    From here?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Many lost?’ ‘Yes, a good few.
    Only two teams work on the farm this year.
    One of my mates is dead. The second day
    In France they killed him. It was back in March,
    The very night of the blizzard, too. Now if
    He had stayed here we should have moved the tree.’
    ‘And I should not have sat here. Everything
    Would have been different. For it would have been
    Another world.’ ‘Ay, and a better, though
    If we could see all all might seem good.’ Then
    The lovers came out of the wood again:
    The horses started and for the last time
    I watched the clods crumble and topple over
    After the ploughshare and the stumbling team.

    “As the Team’s Head-Brass”, by Edward Thomas


    O, my little pup ten years ago
    was arrogant and spry,
    Her backbone was a bended bow
    for arrows in her eye.
    Her step was proud, her bark was loud,
    her nose was in the sky,
    But she was ten years younger then,
    And so, by God, was I.

    Small birds on stilts along the beach
    rose up with piping cry.
    And as they rose beyond her reach
    I thought to see her fly.
    If natural law refused her wings,
    that law she would defy,
    for she could do unheard-of things,
    and so, at times, could I.

    Ten years ago she split the air
    to seize what she could spy;
    Tonight she bumps against a chair,
    betrayed by milky eye!
    She seems to pant, Time up, time up!
    My little dog must die,
    And lie in dust with Hector’s pup;
    So, presently, must I.

    O Nash

    Premier Icon richmtb

    On yonder hill there stood a coo
    Its no there noo
    It must have shifted

    Premier Icon binners

    Truly inspired poetry….


    Not like that Keith. No, Keith, NO! 😆

    Premier Icon DezB

    Pop and me
    My dad had come along to watch me
    the day I came last in the cub scout sack race;
    the day my glasses fell off on to the running track
    and somebody behind me
    deliberately hopped on top of them
    and damaged them really badly.
    I was that
    struggling runt at the back
    laughed at by everyone,
    everyone, except my dad.
    And not because he had
    a beating in mind
    but because he felt for me.
    And when he came to find me
    and I was melting with tears
    he said ‘You’re the one
    they’ll remember in the years to come, son,
    you were very funny.’
    And he took me to the shop
    and ordered me some pop
    and we halved the humiliation
    when he didn’t have the money.


    (and from memory)

    My doggie don’t wear glasses
    So they’re lying when they say
    A dog looks like it’s owner
    Aren’t they

    (both John Hegley, of course)


    You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge

    [Verse One: Ice Cube]

    Straight outta Compton, crazy **** named Ice Cube
    From the gang called Niggaz With Attitudes
    When I’m called off, I got a sawed off
    Squeeze the trigger, and bodies are hauled off
    You too, boy, if ya **** with me
    The police are gonna hafta come and get me
    Off yo ass, that’s how I’m goin out
    For the punk motherfuckers that’s showin out
    Niggaz start to mumble, they wanna rumble
    Mix em and cook em in a pot like gumbo
    Goin off on a **** like that
    with a gat that’s pointed at yo ass
    So give it up smooth
    Ain’t no tellin when I’m down for a jack move
    Here’s a murder rap to keep yo dancin
    with a crime record like Charles Manson
    AK-47 is the tool
    Don’t make me act the motherfuckin fool
    Me you can go toe to toe, no maybe
    I’m knockin niggaz out tha box, daily
    yo weekly, monthly and yearly
    until them dumb motherfuckers see clearly
    that I’m down with the capital C-P-T
    Boy you can’t **** with me
    So when I’m in your neighborhood, you better duck
    Coz Ice Cube is crazy as ****
    As I leave, believe I’m stompin
    but when I come back, boy, I’m comin straight outta Compton


    (City of Compton, City of Compton)

    [Eazy E] Yo Ren
    [MC Ren] Whassup?
    [Eazy E] Tell em where you from!

    [Verse Two: MC Ren]

    Straight outta Compton, another crazy ass nigga
    More punks I smoke, yo, my rep gets bigger
    I’m a bad **** and you know this
    But the pussy ass niggaz don’t show this
    But I don’t give a ****, I’ma make my snaps
    If not from the records, from jackin the crops
    Just like burglary, the definition is ‘jackin’
    And when illegally armed it’s called ‘packin’
    Shoot a **** in a minute
    I find a good piece o’ pussy, I go up in it
    So if you’re at a show in the front row
    I’m a call you a bitch or dirty-ass ho
    You’ll probably get mad like a bitch is supposed to
    But that shows me, slut, you’re composed to
    a crazy muthafucker from tha street
    Attitude legit cause I’m tearin up shit
    MC Ren controls the automatic
    For any dumb muthafucker that starts static
    Not the right hand cause I’m the hand itself
    every time I pull a AK off the shelf
    The security is maximum and that’s a law
    R-E-N spells Ren but I’m raw
    See, coz I’m the motherfuckin villain
    The definition is clear, you’re the witness of a killin
    that’s takin place without a clue
    And once you’re on the scope, your ass is through
    Look, you might take it as a trip
    but a nigga like Ren is on a gangsta tip
    Straight outta Compton…


    (City of Compton, City of Compton)

    [Dr. Dre] Eazy is his name and the boy is comin…

    [Verse Three: Eazy-E]

    …straight outta Compton
    is a brotha that’ll smother yo’ mother
    and make ya sister think I love her
    Dangerous **** raises hell
    And if I ever get caught I make bail
    See, I don’t give a ****, that’s the problem
    I see a motherfuckin cop I don’t dodge him
    But I’m smart, lay low, creep a while
    And when I see a punk pass, I smile
    To me it’s kinda funny, the attitude showin a nigga drivin
    but don’t know where the **** he’s going, just rollin
    lookin for the one they call Eazy
    But here’s a flash, they never seize me
    Ruthless! Never seen like a shadow in the dark
    except when I unload, see I’ll get over the hesitation
    and hear the scream of the one who got the last penetration
    Give a little gust of wind and I’m jettin
    But leave a memory no one’ll be forgettin
    So what about the bitch who got shot? **** her!
    You think I give a damn about a bitch? I ain’t a sucker!
    This is the autobiography of the E, and if you ever **** with me
    You’ll get taken by a stupid dope brotha who will smother
    word to the ****, straight outta Compton


    (City of Compton, City of Compton)

    (Damn that shit was dope!)

    Edit: hmm I thought the swear filter would take care of that.

    Premier Icon geoffj

    <Pam Ayres>
    A cyclist with an attitude superior
    Thought fixies with brakes quite inferior
    ‘Til on course to collide
    He ended his ride
    With his head up the next guy’s posterior.
    </Pam Ayres>

    Rob Hilton

    Meanwhile, somewhere in the state of Colorado, armed to the teeth
    with thousands of flowers,
    two boys entered the front door of their own high school
    and for almost two hours
    gave floral tributes to fellow students and members of staff
    beginning with red roses
    strewn amongst unsuspecting pupils during their lunch hour,
    followed by posies
    of peace lilies and wild orchids. Most thought the whole show
    was one elaborate hoax
    using silk replicas of the real thing, plastic imitations,
    exquisite practical jokes,
    but the flowers were no more fake than you or I,
    and were handed out
    as compliments returned, favours repaid, in good faith,
    straight from the heart.
    No would not be taken for an answer. Therefore a daffodil
    was tucked behind the ear
    of a boy in a baseball hat, and marigolds and peonies
    threaded through the hair
    of those caught on the stairs or spotted along corridors
    until every pupil
    who looked up from behind a desk could expect to be met
    with at least a petal
    or a dusting of pollen, if not an entire daisy chain,
    or the colour-burst
    of a dozen foxgloves, flowering for all their worth,
    on a buttonhole to the breast.
    Upstairs in the school library, individuals were singled out for special attention:
    some were showered with blossom, others wore their blooms
    like brooches or medallions;
    even those who turned their backs or refused point-blank
    to accept such honours
    were decorated with buds, unseasonable fruits and rosettes
    the same as the others.
    By which time a crowd had gathered outside the school,
    drawn through surburbia
    by the rumour of flowers in full bloom, drawn through the air
    like butterflies to buddleia,
    like honey bees to honeysuckle, like hummingbirds
    dipping their tongues in,
    some to soak up such over exuberance of thought, others
    to savour the goings-on.
    Finally, overcome by their own munificence or hay fever,
    the flower boys pinned
    the last blooms on themselves, somewhat selfishly perhaps,
    but had also planned
    further surprises for those who swept through the aftermath
    of broom and buttercup:
    garlands and bouquets were planted in lockers and cupboards,
    timed to erupt
    like the first day of spring into the arms of those
    who, during the first bout,
    either by fate or chance had somehow been overlooked
    and missed out.
    Experts are now trying to say how two apparently quiet kids
    from an apple-pie town
    could get their hands on a veritable rain-forest of plants
    and bring down
    a whole botanical digest of one species or another onto the
    heads of classmates and teachers,
    and where such fascination began, and why it should lead
    to such an outpouring of nature.
    And even though many believe that flowers should be kept
    in expert hands
    only, or left to specialists in the field such as florists,
    the law of the land
    dictates that God, guts and gardening made the country
    what it is today
    and for as long as the flower industry can see to it
    things are staying that way.
    What they reckon is this: deny a person the right to carry
    flowers of his own
    and he’s liable to wind up on the business end of a flower
    someone else has grown.
    As for the two boys, it’s back to the same old debate:
    is it something in the mind
    that grows from birth, like a seed, or is it society
    makes a person that kind?


    Appolinaire: Le Pont Mirabeau

    Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
    Et nos amours
    Faut-il qu’il m’en souvienne
    La joie venait toujours après la peine

    Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
    Les jours s’en vont je demeure

    Les mains dans les mains restons face à face
    Tandis que sous
    Le pont de nos bras passe
    Des éternels regards l’onde si lasse

    Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
    Les jours s’en vont je demeure

    L’amour s’en va comme cette eau courante
    L’amour s’en va
    Comme la vie est lente
    Et comme l’Espérance est violente

    Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
    Les jours s’en vont je demeure

    Passent les jours et passent les semaines
    Ni temps passé
    Ni les amours reviennent
    Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine

    Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
    Les jours s’en vont je demeure





    Degged with dew, dappled with dew
    Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
    Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
    And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.

    What would the world be, once bereft
    Of wet and of wildness ? Let them be left,
    O let them be left, wildness and wet ;
    Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

    And Ted Hughes, of course:

    I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
    Something else is alive
    Beside the clock’s loneliness
    And this blank page where my fingers move.

    Through the window I see no star:
    Something more near
    Though deeper within darkness
    Is entering the loneliness:

    Cold, delicately as the dark snow
    A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
    Two eyes serve a movement, that now
    And again now, and now, and now

    Sets neat prints into the snow
    Between trees, and warily a lame
    Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
    Of a body that is bold to come

    Across clearings, an eye,
    A widening deepening greenness,
    Brilliantly, concentratedly,
    Coming about its own business

    Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
    It enters the dark hole of the head.
    The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
    The page is printed.

    Premier Icon binners

    High Flight by John Magee

    Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunwards I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds – and done a thousand things
    You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there,
    I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air,
    Up, up the long delirious burning blue
    I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
    Where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of god.


    Nice one DezzieBee

    Premier Icon honeybadgerx

    Another Ted Hughes offering – I always think of it when riding in the winter!

    The tractor stands frozen – an agony
    To think of. All night
    Snow packed its open entrails. Now a head-pincering gale,
    A spill of molten ice, smoking snow,
    Pours into its steel.
    At white heat of numbness it stands
    In the aimed hosing of ground-level fieriness.

    It defied flesh and won’t start.
    Hands are like wounds already
    Inside armour gloves, and feet are unbelievable
    As if the toe-nails were all just torn off.
    I stare at it in hatred. Beyond it
    The copse hisses – capitulates miserably
    In the fleeing, failing light. Starlings,
    A dirtier sleetier snow, blow smokily, unendingly, over
    Towards plantations Eastward.
    All the time the tractor is sinking
    Through the degrees, deepening
    Into its hell of ice.

    The starting lever
    Cracks its action, like a snapping knuckle.
    The battery is alive – but like a lamb
    Trying to nudge its solid-frozen mother –
    While the seat claims my buttock-bones, bites
    With the space-cold of earth, which it has joined
    In one solid lump.

    I squirt commercial sure-fire
    Down the black throat – it just coughs.
    It ridicules me – a trap of iron stupidity
    I’ve stepped into. I drive the battery
    As if I were hammering and hammering
    The frozen arrangement to pieces with a hammer
    And it jabbers laughing pain-crying mockingly
    Into happy life.

    And stands
    Shuddering itself full of heat, seeming to enlarge slowly
    Like a demon demonstrating
    A more-than-usually-complete materialization –
    Suddenly it jerks from its solidarity
    With the concrete, and lurches towards a stanchion
    Bursting with superhuman well-being and abandon
    Shouting Where Where?

    Worse iron is waiting. Power-lift kneels
    Levers awake imprisoned deadweight,
    Shackle-pins bedded in cast-iron cow-shit.
    The blind and vibrating condemned obedience
    Of iron to the cruelty of iron,
    Wheels screeched out of their night-locks –

    Among the tormented
    Tonnage and burning of iron

    Weeping in the wind of chloroform

    And the tractor, streaming with sweat,
    Raging and trembling and rejoicing.


    After Apple Picking

    My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
    Toward heaven still.
    And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
    Beside it, and there may be two or three
    Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
    But I am done with apple-picking now.
    Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
    The scent of apples; I am drowsing off.
    I cannot shake the shimmer from my sight
    I got from looking through a pane of glass
    I skimmed this morning from the water-trough,
    And held against the world of hoary grass.
    It melted, and I let it fall and break.
    But I was well
    Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
    And I could tell
    What form my dreaming was about to take.
    Magnified apples appear and reappear,
    Stem end and blossom end,
    And every fleck of russet showing clear.
    My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
    It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
    And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin
    That rumbling sound
    Of load on load of apples coming in.
    For I have had too much
    Of apple-picking; I am overtired
    Of the great harvest I myself desired.
    There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
    Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall,
    For all
    That struck the earth,
    No matter if not bruised, or spiked with stubble,
    Went surely to the cider-apple heap
    As of no worth.
    One can see what will trouble
    This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
    Were he not gone,
    The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
    Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
    Or just some human sleep.
    Robert Frost


    Amy Lowell one of my favs ( the other one if her’s is called Decade, but look that up yourself 😳 )

    Madonna of the Flowers
    All day long I have been working,
    Now I am tired
    I call: “Where are you?”
    But there is only the oak-tree rustling in the wind.
    The house is very quiet,
    The sun shines in on your books,
    On your scissors and thimble just put down,
    But you are not there.
    Suddenly I am lonely:
    Where are you? I go about searching.

    Then I see you,
    Standing under a spire of pale blue larkspur,
    With a basket of roses on your arm.
    You are cool, like silver,
    And you smile.
    I think the Canterbury bells are playing little tunes.

    You tell me that the peonies need spraying,
    That the columbines have overrun all bounds,
    That the pyrus japonica should be cut back and rounded.
    You tell me all these things.
    But I look at you, heart of silver,
    White heart-flame of polished silver,
    Burning beneath the blue steeples of the larkspur,
    And I long to kneel instantly at your feet,
    While all about us peal the loud, sweet, Te Deums of the Canterbury bells.

    Loving this thread so far, people! Wonderful stuff, bringing smiles and sadness in equal measure.

    If we’re allowed lyrical poetry, this always stuns me in to silence;

    Iron-clad feather-feet pounding the dust
    An October’s day, towards evening
    Sweat embossed veins standing proud to the plough
    Salt on a deep chest seasoning
    Last of the line at an honest day’s toil
    Turning the deep sod under
    Flint at the fetlock, chasing the bone
    Flies at the nostrils plunder.

    The Suffolk, the Clydesdale, the Percheron vie
    With the Shire on his feathers floating
    Hauling soft timber into the dusk
    To bed on a warm straw coating.

    Heavy Horses, move the land under me
    Behind the plough gliding — slipping and sliding free
    Now you’re down to the few
    And there’s no work to do
    The tractor’s on it’s way.

    Let me find you a filly for your proud stallion seed
    To keep the old line going.
    And we’ll stand you abreast at the back of the wood
    Behind the young trees growing
    To hide you from eyes that mock at your girth,
    And your eighteen hands at the shoulder
    And one day when the oil barons have all dripped dry
    And the nights are seen to draw colder
    They’ll beg for your strength, your gentle power
    Your noble grace and your bearing
    And you’ll strain once again to the sound of the gulls
    In the wake of the deep plough, sharing.

    Standing like tanks on the brow of the hill
    Up into the cold wind facing
    In stiff battle harness, chained to the world
    Against the low sun racing
    Bring me a wheel of oaken wood
    A rein of polished leather
    A Heavy Horse and a tumbling sky
    Brewing heavy weather.

    Bring a song for the evening
    Clean brass to flash the dawn
    Across these acres glistening
    Like dew on a carpet lawn
    In these dark towns folk lie sleeping
    As the heavy horses thunder by
    To wake the dying city
    With the living horseman’s cry
    At once the old hands quicken —
    Bring pick and wisp and curry comb —
    Thrill to the sound of all
    The heavy horses coming home.

    Heavy Horses, Ian Anderson writing for Jethro Tull.

    Poems by William Carlos Williams : 39 / 114 « prev. poemnext poem » User Rating: 5.8 / 10
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    Report Poem Landscape With The Fall Of Icarus
    According to Brueghel
    when Icarus fell
    it was spring

    a farmer was ploughing
    his field
    the whole pageantry

    of the year was
    awake tingling

    the edge of the sea
    with itself

    sweating in the sun
    that melted
    the wings’ wax

    off the coast
    there was

    a splash quite unnoticed
    this was
    Icarus drowning

    William Carlos Williams


    …like wandering into an episode of poetry please. no bike poems tho.

    you could do worse than get jenny swann’s ten poems about bicycles which is both good and available (if it’s still in print) from candlestick press down in that there englandshire.

    or, if you’re north of the border, you could get the rather fabulous flying scot by rab wilson. if it doesn’t fulfil yr handmade, restoring bikes etc etc niche there’s something wrong with you. but buy one roncadora press thing and you’ll want more. hugh bryden – a kind of legend.


    Is it already?? Jeeze that passed me by.

    No good posting other Authors stuff.. pen yer own…


    Another seasonal fruit poem 😉


    Late August, given heavy rain and sun
    For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
    At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
    Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
    You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
    Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it
    Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
    Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
    Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
    Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
    Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
    We trekked and picked until the cans were full
    Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
    With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
    Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
    With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard’s.
    We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
    But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
    A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
    The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
    The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
    I always felt like crying. It wasn’t fair
    That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
    Each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not.

    Seamus Heaney ( RIP )

    Brown and agile child, the sun which forms the fruit
    And ripens the grain and twists the seaweed
    Has made your happy body and your luminous eyes
    And given your mouth the smile of water.

    A black and anguished sun is entangled in the twigs
    Of your black mane when you hold out your arms.
    You play in the sun as in a tidal river
    And it leaves two dark pools in your eyes.

    Brown and agile child, nothing draws me to you,
    Everything pulls away from me here in the noon.
    You are the delirious youth of bee,
    The drunkedness of the wave, the power of the wheat.

    My somber heart seeks you always
    I love your happy body, your rich, soft voice.
    Dusky butterfly, sweet and sure
    Like the wheatfiled, the sun, the poppy, and the water.

    Pablo Neruda

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    What is this life if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.
    No time to stand beneath the boughs
    And stare as long as sheep or cows.
    No time to see, when woods we pass,
    Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
    No time to see, in broad daylight,
    Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
    No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
    And watch her feet, how they can dance.
    No time to wait till her mouth can
    Enrich that smile her eyes began.
    A poor life this if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.

    William Henry Davies

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    Sonnet 17 by Neruda from the best day this year

    I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, ?
    or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. ?
    I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, ?
    in secret, between the shadow and the soul. ??
    I love you as the plant that never blooms ?
    but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; ?
    thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, ?
    risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body. ??
    I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. ?
    I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; ?
    so I love you because I know no other way ??
    than this: where I does not exist, nor you, ?
    so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, ?
    so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.


    From one of my heroes:

    A Silly Poem

    Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
    I’ll draw a sketch of thee,
    What kind of pencil shall I use?
    2B or not 2B?

    I Must Go Down To The Sea Again

    I must go down to the sea again,
    to the lonely sea and the sky;
    I left my shoes and socks there –
    I wonder if they’re dry?

    There Are Holes In The Sky

    There are holes in the sky
    Where the rain gets in
    But they’re ever so small
    That’s why the rain is thin.

    Spike Milligan


    Making it a slightly international poetry day, the only piece of foreign poetry I’ve ever memorised:

    Bertolt Brecht

    Anmut sparet nicht noch Mühe
    Leidenschaft nicht noch Verstand
    Daß ein gutes Deutschland blühe
    Wie ein andres gutes Land.

    Daß die Völker nicht erbleichen
    Wie vor einer Räuberin
    Sondern ihre Hände reichen
    Uns wie andern Völkern hin.

    Und nicht über und nicht unter
    Andern Völkern wolln wir sein
    Von der See bis zu den Alpen
    Von der Oder bis zum Rhein

    Und weil wir dies Land verbessern
    Lieben und beschirmen wir’s
    Und das liebste mag’s uns scheinen
    So wie andern Völkern ihrs.

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    Between my finger and my thumb
    The squat pen rests.
    I’ll dig with it.

    Excellent choice, only poem I can remember from school days.

    I always post this, in this sort of thread, love it… The feeling of claustrophobia and desperation through it. I’m told it flows better in norwegian mind, there’s some clonky rhymes and phrases in the english translation.

    Dare not to sleep!
    By Arnulf Øverland
    Translated from Norwegian by Lars-Toralf Storstrand

    I was awakened one morning, by the quaintest of dreams
    ‘twas like a voice, spoken to me
    It sounded afar – like an underground stream,
    I rose and said: Why do you call me?

    Dare not to slumber! Dare not to sleep!
    Dare not believe, it was merely a dream!
    Yore I was judged.
    The gallows were built in the court this evening,
    They’ll come for me — 5’ in the morning

    This dungeon is teeming,
    And barracks stand dungeon by dungeon
    we lie here, awaiting, in cold cells of stone,
    We lie here, we rot, in these murky holes.

    We know not ourselves, what does lie ahead
    Who will be the next one they’ll reach for.
    We moan and we shriek: But do you take heed?
    Is there none among you who’ll hearken?

    No one can see us,
    None know what befalls us.
    Yet more:
    None will believe – what the day will bring us!

    And then You defy: This dare not be true!
    That men can be utterly evil.
    There has to be some one with merits pure
    Oh, brother, you still have a great deal to learn

    They said: You will give your life, if commanded
    We’ve given it now, for naught it was handed
    The world has forgotten, we’ve all been deceived
    Dare not to sleep in this hour – this eve.

    You oughtn’t go to your business hence,
    Or think: What’s your loss – or what is your gain?
    You oughtn’t attribute your fields and your kine,
    Nor say you’ve enough – with all that is thine.

    You oughn’t abide, sitting calm in your home
    Saying: Dismal it is, poor they are, and alone
    You cannot permit it! You dare not, at all.
    Accepting that outrage on all else may fall!
    I cry with the final gasps of my breath:
    You dare not repose, nor stand and forget

    Pardon them not – they know what they do!
    They breathe on hate-glows, and evil pursue,
    They fancy to slay, they revel with cries,
    Their desire is to gloat, when our world is at fire!
    In blood they are yearning to drown one and all!
    Don’t you believe it? You’ve heard the call!

    You know how infants will soldiers remain,
    While dashing through streets, fields, chanting ‘bout pain
    Aroused by their mothers‘ assurance of glory
    They’ll shelter their land – and they’ll never worry

    You know the fatality of the lies,
    that glory and faith and honor abides
    You discern the dauntless dreams of a child,
    A saber, a banner, he’ll flaunt them so wild,

    And then they’ll leave home for a rainfall of steel,
    ‘Till last they hang ragged on barbed wire will,
    Decaying for Hitler’s Aryan call,
    That is what a man’s for – after all…

    I couldn’t imagine – too late now it is
    My sentence is just: The verdict’s no miss
    I believed in prosperity, dreamt about peace
    In labor and fellowship; love’s fragrant kiss
    Yet those who don’t die on the battlefield,
    Their heads for the axeman, will certainly yield

    I cry in the gloom – if only you’d knew
    There is but one thing – befitting to do
    Defend yourself, while your hands are still yearning,
    Protect your offspring – Europe is burning.


    I shook from the chill. To dress, up I rose
    Without stars were shining, so far, yet so close
    ‘twere simply a brilliant ray in the east,
    Admonishing warning from the dream that just ceased

    The day that soared up from earths furthermost strand
    Augmenting with blood — and with firebrand
    It grew with terror – like a breath that was lost
    It seemed like the starlight – was slain by the frost.

    I weighed: Something is imminent – and it’s dire
    Our era is over — Europe’s on fire!


    If we’re “allowed” William Carlos Williams, hardly national…

    This Is Just To Say
    by William Carlos Williams

    I have eaten
    the plums
    that were in
    the icebox

    and which
    you were probably
    for breakfast

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold

    National entry, Betjeman:


    Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
    It isn’t fit for humans now,
    There isn’t grass to graze a cow.
    Swarm over, Death!
    Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
    Those air -conditioned, bright canteens,
    Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,
    Tinned minds, tinned breath.

    Mess up the mess they call a town-
    A house for ninety-seven down
    And once a week a half a crown
    For twenty years.

    And get that man with double chin
    Who’ll always cheat and always win,
    Who washes his repulsive skin
    In women’s tears:

    And smash his desk of polished oak
    And smash his hands so used to stroke
    And stop his boring dirty joke
    And make him yell.

    But spare the bald young clerks who add
    The profits of the stinking cad;
    It’s not their fault that they are mad,
    They’ve tasted Hell.

    It’s not their fault they do not know
    The birdsong from the radio,
    It’s not their fault they often go
    To Maidenhead

    And talk of sport and makes of cars
    In various bogus-Tudor bars
    And daren’t look up and see the stars
    But belch instead.

    In labour-saving homes, with care
    Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
    And dry it in synthetic air
    And paint their nails.

    Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough
    To get it ready for the plough.
    The cabbages are coming now;
    The earth exhales.


    see me
    wan time
    ah wis a fox
    ah wis ah sleekit! ah
    gaed slinkin
    an snappin
    the blokes
    aa sayed ah wis a GREAT fox
    aw nae kiddin
    ah wis pretty good
    had a whole damn wood
    in them days

    Ian Hamilton Finlay

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    O pointy birds,
    o pointy pointy,
    anoint my head,

    ‘Pointy Birds’ by John Lillison, ‘England’s greatest one-armed poet’

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    Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom,
    Boom, Boom, Boom,
    Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom,
    Boom, Boom, Boom


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