Into the Unknown

They joked about how statistically they should be dead.
So far nothing had disproved that they’re immortal.
‘We’ve had occasional glimpses of the portal
between this life and the next,’ one of them said.
‘But we haven’t touched its handle,’ another chortled.
The needle of the health gauge moved to red.

The Cat’s Cradle Story

He pretended to write a panegyric poem.
‘Someone ought to,’ he said. Rome seemed far away.
As did the Hare Krishnas chanting, ‘Ohm’.
Or Ampere? Watt? — He’s not sure what they say.

The wind resembled things that have no name.
Leaves fell. They would. But should not. This was Spring
when a young man’s heart should turn to fancy fame.
The police cat made a mess of balling string

or was that stringing messes? What was clear
was that fog was creeping over slime slick stones
and chill was claiming children he held dear.
The village wizard read his fate in bones

cast tumbling from an antique leather cup.
The story — gory, glorious, and wild —
accelerated till his time was up.
He pretended that was his intention all the while.

Blessed Season

It’s a challenge to stay sane now it’s the season
for madness what with idiots giving voice
to power-mad ogres who make a scurrilous play
to enslave us, saying they will make us great
again. As if we ever weren’t. The race
for now is finding judges who’ll convict

these fools who say we are led best by a convict
and by prevaricating robber thieves who season
dissent with hate to sensitise minds to race
and gender as being divisive. A loud voice
incites us to rate differences as great
and to welcome how there will be Hell to play

in, as our new home. This will be a short play
with no intervals, just the role of the convict
in many guises all of which are great
crowd pleasers in their wished-for silly season.
Off stage we hear a single plaintive voice
they calls us to our senses as we race


pell-mell to Hell. It tells us, ‘Stop your race
to perdition. You have other roles to play.’
It could be you. It could be me. This voice
is still powerful, though still. It can convict
the robber thieves who try to steal this season
that’s meant in truth to let ourselves be great.


Not again, but still. We always have been great.
It’s silly, you could say tragic, how we race
to partake of useless potions with which we season
emotions so the negative that can play
havoc with good living. Tricks convict
only people who don’t heed their inner voice.


The morning sun survives. It gives us voice.
We rise together and our power’s great.
We free up love and reason, and we jail the convict
who tried to divide us up by sex and race.
What had been tragic is now a morality play
that teaches how to have a blessed season.


Oh Love, oh Reason, be our guides and race
and win against the evil men who play
for evil. Let this be a blessed season.

The First Blank

The first blank fired toppled Igor from his rhino.
Not that it could have hit him but because
His steed stopped short from panic making him go
Airborne with lousy luck into the jaws
Of the castle moat’s dire guardian, the dogo.
A second blank detonated, making the dog pause
Its mastication of felled Igor’s limbs.
We watched in wonder how fast Igor swims.

2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge — 5 April

Attack against All Odds

I mop rain drops from the pommel of the packhorse.
From my perch high on my chestnut stallion’s back
I gaze across the river at the black source
of the kingdom’s wealth. The factory’s chimney stack
spews dragon breath. With my spyglass I track
green smoke to where it buries itself inside
the castle of twelve princesses. I ride,
packhorse behind me, across the swaying span.
We gallop. Arrows fly. A sentry cried.
With sorcerer’s sword I slay all the trolls I can.

2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge — 4 April

Communications Nil

She swore off thinking in iambic lines.
It worked.
She cleaned the cellar.
Throwing out the desiccated goldfish,
Vacuuming the debris left by silverfish,
Hearing Ferlinghetti imitating Ginsberg
In her now less fettered head,
But remaining unscathed
Secure in a cocoon
Of no iambic waffling
And
As a side effect
Of no more thinking
At all.

2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge — 3 April

It’s All Hunky Dory

The future in spite of pessimists is bright.
The plagues and inequalities will stop.
In two thousand twenty-two we’ll see the light.
At no cost to us we will come out on top.
The Unicorn Resurgent will delight
the Earth and put an end to agitprop.
We will live forever richly and in bliss
And laugh at those who took our fate amiss.

2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge — 2 April

Introduction

The stranger whom I introduce is me.
I greet myself and wonder, ‘Who is that?’
The manger, room where fleas are wont to be,
allows no sleeping dogs to bark the cat

but it shelters Shetland ponies parsing odes.
I greet myself in the manger and declare
I will get a penthouse when their parsing bodes
well or at least better. That seems fair

to middling. Yet to answer who is me
requires some introductions more or better.
I am, perhaps, the person that I see
in mirrors, or who tries to pen this letter.

2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge — 1 April