Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mysteries

plasma-2338669__340

Physicists forge forward,
white coats flapping
like Messianic messengers’ wings
as they fly urgently around corners
racing to dine on Science,
masticating fact,
slurping maths,
spewing heretical pips and chips of maverick bone
into the spittoon of fools and false magic.
Caught within the limitations of scientific instruments,
they gloss over the cracks of universe and you,
yet still
insoluble mysteries seep through.

.

Word of the Day Challenge: Gloss

©Jane Paterson Basil

Advertisements

Perspective

perspective.jpg

Viewed from the moon
I am helpless as a raindrop
drying on the African plain,
an invisible crease
in the slithering ribbon of history.
Yet next to an amoeba
I am a galaxy,
imperious as the sea.

Similarly,
in the eye of the universe, each planet
is a dust-mote, blown away in a moment;
to the neutron, a speck of dust
is an enduring planet.

Word of the Day Challenge: Imperious

My Friend Johnny

Devon rolling hills nr Bickleigh
(Image Credit: Euro Cheapo)

Drenched by clotting dregs
of a cold-custard day,
too sluggish to juggle saucepans,
plates, food,
I watch cars, and muse,
thinking of armour,
of armies,
of uniforms marching
in single file as if in practice,
yet each with its own destiny.
Some face battle, others flee,
while a few
have been granted
official leave.

Monotonous shades of grey,
white vans, showroom red, more grey.
Sighting the next white van
I rise from my seat; this one
is unique;
embellished with wide wheels,
custom headlights,
boastful
tribal
decals.

“Johnny!”, I cry,
waving like one who welcomes
the first sunrise.
tenderness fills me
as this childhood enemy
who became a friend
drives by.

From this reach
he cannot hear or see me,
but “Johnny”, I whisper with a grin
thinking of how we meet
in the street to speak
of everyday things with an ease
that contradicts distance, remembering
the time he stroked hair from my eyes,
the sweep of his fingers
behind my ear;
intimate, yet more easy
the touch of lover; more like
a brother.

As Johnny’s van rolls out of sight
the evening sun escapes a bluffing cloud.
Effervescing rays needle light
through maple leaves,
seeking
to burnish an oasis
that grows between me
and the road.

The oasis swells.
Trees rise through concrete,
meadows stretch; nature’s blankets
woven in hues of gold and green
whose wild-flower hedges
stitch the patchwork of Devon together.

I burn fifty-five calendars
and race through fields.
Reaching the bank of a stream, I leap,
hair flying, feet finding purchase,
toes curling around smooth rock,
cool water a shock
that soothes and surprises.

Johnny waits on the other side.
No more do I despise his fear of drowning
or distrust his efforts to survive.
In turn, he doesn’t mind my wild eyes.
Like me, he is a child,
we are each ourselves;
He holds out his hand, wraps it around mine
and pulls me to his side;
I am home with my family,
ambling with Johnny,
Johnny, forever  my friend.

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Musical Hypocrisy

Today, the Haunted Wordsmith posted Jeannie C. Riley’s Harper Valley PTA. It always reminds me of The Son of Hickery Holler’s Tramp. Both songs are about mean-minded, small-town hypocrisy. I was in my teens when these songs came out, and I still remember how  real the protagonists were to me. I wanted to march right over to Harper Valley and give the PTA a piece of my mind, backing up the ticking off they’d already received. Then go on to Hickery Holler and adopt the kids.

If I was more organised, I might choose one day a week to post music. Since I’m not, I’ll just continue to throw in the odd record on a random basis. This is the original version, sung by O.C. Smith.

Here goes:

 

That’s it, folks.

Yellow newlyweds and greedy breeders

ATTENTION! ATTENTION!

THESE POEMS WERE GENERATED

BY A CRAZY MACHINE.

NOT BY ME!

While I was searching for a useful tool for helping to shape concrete poetry (which seems to have vanished without trace) I found a free poem generator, so just for fun, I gave it a go. After selecting the free verse option I was asked to type in three words. The generator chewed on my words for a moment, then requested a further three, related to three new words it had spat back at me.

In no time at all it coughed out this strange list of phrases:

Greed

The drive that’s really climb,
Above all others is the ardent ambition.
Artistic, ardent ambition.
Does the ardent ambition make you shiver?
does it?

An astonishing avidity, however hard it tries,
Will always be eagerness.
Does the astonishing avidity make you shiver?
does it?

Better breeding is multiplying.
multiplying is better breeding.
Does the better breeding make you shiver?
does it?

Anyone who knows me well will be aware that I go in for overkill. Here’s the hilarious second poem it wrote for me, inspired by a different set of word prompts. I expected it to be romantic…

Marriage

A wonderful wedding, however hard it tries,
Will always be celebration.
Wonderful wedding.
Does the wonderful wedding make you shiver?
does it?

The unify that’s really married,
Above all others is the warm wed.
Now ringed is just the thing,
To get me wondering if the warm wed is marital.

yellow, nervous newlyweds sings like romantics
Nervous newlyweds are yellowish. nervous newlyweds are irrational,
nervous newlyweds are chickenhearted, however.

So there you have it: nervous newlyweds sings like romantics. However, in addition to their skin being yellow – a point that is repeated in case you weren’t paying full attention – their hearts come from chickens.

Finally, I requested rhyming couplets. For this I was asked to submit a larger group of words. The resulting rhyme is… unusual. I was hoping for a poem about a road-sweeper and a psychiatrist. Maybe that’s what this is; it’s hard to tell.

See the laughing of the shunter,
I think he’s angry at the hunter.

He finds it hard to see the blouse,
Overshadowed by the angry dormouse.

Who is that screaming near the broom?
I think she’d like to eat the elbowroom.

She is but a black analyst,
Admired as she sits upon an annalist.

Her shameful car is just a prescription,
It needs no gas, it runs on subscription.

She’s not alone she brings a baccy,
a pet beaver, and lots of laxey.

The beaver likes to chase an alternation,
Especially one that’s in the association.

The shunter shudders at the hilarious armadillo
He want to leave but she wants the morillo.

Maybe it’s better at haiku, but I don’t have the heart to find out.

 

shiver (2)

 

In case you feel like playing silly buggers, here’s a link to the generator. If you do, don’t be mean; please share the results.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Seasonal Fruit

child-559407__340

.
                             Green leaves
                        rise through the earth
                    unfurling from embryonic seeds
                   instinctively reaching for the sun
                      while  nature  nourishes
                           each blind need

               
               Kittens
         cavort in  a garden
          playfully pawing
               petals

                                         Butterflies
                                    brighten  the  meadow
                                trusting their delicate wings
                               flitting to land on pink lunches
                                    as  they  battle  each
                                       rushing breeze
             
                 Eagles
            alight on trees
       flying free, soaring high
        ignoring blossoms that
            bloom and die

                                         Tall trees
                                  broaden their branches
                                  preparing to reproduce
                                      before leaves
                                           fall

                             I
                           hefted
                      my  gaining  weight
                 across  transmuting  phases
             of embryo, kitten, butterfly, eagle.
             I have played out the part of tree.
              Finally  acknowledging  mortality
               I liken it to a seasonal fruit
                  whose roots must wither
                     to make room for
                       fresh plants
                         to bloom
                           and
                            g
                            r
                            o
                            w
                            .

While this poem has only a tenuous connection to it, it was inspired by something my brother copied down many years ago. I think he heard it on the Sonny and Cher Show. Maybe it was set to music, maybe not. Snatches of it often play in my mind, and yet I can find no record of it anywhere. It speaks of the ego of youth – the feeling that the world is yours, and you can do anything. Here are a couple of stanzas:

Look at you, look at me,
standing ten feet tall are we.
Look at them, look at us
wondering why they make such fuss.

Look at me then look again
and maybe you’ll remember when
you stood this tall and knew it too,
and the whole world turned to look at you.

Does anyone recognise it? It would make my day if I could get a full copy.

Also, I’d really appreciate an honest critique of my poem. I’ve been battling with it for days, and I’m still not sure whether it works. You can pull out all the stops; if it is weak, I’d prefer to know.

©Jane Paterson Basil

The Curs

Kiri's-scribbles.jpg

Some days
maybe for a week or more,
the curs sleep. I square my shoulders,
hold my chin parallel to the world,
point my nose
toward
the next
moment.

A jaunty walk, a go-getter smile –
both come easy on days like these,
yet I never forget;

inside me
the curs lurk.

I hear them snore,
my stomach lurches when they turn,
and always
I take
a deep
breath,
cataloguing my gems
until breathing is easy again,
blinding every sense to the sighs, the snorts,
the crawling taunts
of a disturbed cur.

If it retreats into still sleep,
I have succeeded in my quest for peace,
but too often
a cur’s
trickling
dream
leads into a curdling cry
and the pack wakes,
instantly absorbed
in its vicious intent.

Attacking the threads in my mind,
they tangle and snap the intricate design
whose painstaking lines
create a picture
of serenity.

As I am currently out of reach of the Internet most of the time, I’m unable to keep up with my reading, and my posts are sporadic, which is why my response to Kira’s Sunday Scribbles Challenge is two days late.

©Jane Paterson Basil