More Poems

from various places

This time, I thought I'd include poems from the past and the present (well, November 2016 anyway). They are The Seven Lies of Man, Somewhere Near Merthyr, In the National Gallery and Meeting the East Hill Mob. There are also many links to other (not all mine!) other poetry and related pages.


The Seven Lies of Man      (2004)
(No woman would behave in this way)


                                    Pink, chubby, much-loved infant,
                                    you lie there, mewling and puking.
                                    Still, it won't be long now before:


                                    The best schoolboy days
                                    are when you lie there in the heather,
                                    dreaming dreams of the days to come.
                                    And after this, the best days
                                    are when you dream of the days that have been.


                                    Oh, to lie there in her arms;
                                    to feel her soft, warm breasts
                                    easing into your anger.
                                    As a lover you'll do anything for this.


                                    Now you've got the lie of the land,
                                    you've got it made.
                                    Just wait, soldier.
                                    You'll conquer all;
                                    you'll show them.


                                    In the search for truth
                                    you sometimes have to tell a lie.
                                    So, the more lies you tell,
                                    the more you should be admired.
                                    Justice should be done.


                                    I cannot tell a lie, Pantaloon.
                                    Nobody is charmed by your hairy ears,
                                    your public farts, or your picking of nose at table.
                                    As you like it it may be,
                                    but no one else does.


                                    And now you're in the last days of your second childhood.
                                    You lie there, mewling and puking.
                                    Still, it won't be long now before -

[Jacques, in As You Like It, II vii, said that the Seven Ages of Man were: (i) Infant; (ii) Schoolboy; (iii) Lover; (iv) Soldier; (v) Justice; (vi) Pantaloon; (vii) Second Childhood.]


Somewhere Near Merthyr      (2016)

                                    'Come to my bridal party;
                                    Both of you come. It's not too far.
                                    You won't be sorry;
                                    others you know will be there.

                                    We're just a few miles from Merthyr.
                                    I'll draw you a plan.'
                                    So, on the date we travelled together,
                                    aided by lines on her map.

                                    We drove up the A470;
                                    past Quaker's Yard and
                                    mining's other legacies,
                                    through the rain and the wind.

                                    The sketch was poor;
                                    the streets all seemed the same
                                    but at last we found the Memorial Hall
                                    in the midst of the fog and the haze.

                                    Inside, she still wore her white;
                                    standing by a plaque that numbered the dead;
                                    her bright smile at odds with the dark night.
                                    'But this is -? 'Yes,' she said.

                                    'That was then. This is my wedding day.'
                                    Sixteen years before, she'd lost five friends and a father
                                    as Pantglas School was swept away,
                                    though not her life, nor that of her brother.

                                    So, we danced the night away
                                    with our second son, to be born the next year
                                    in a warmer, safer place
                                    and allowed purer air.

                                    To me, Aberfan is a black-and-white story;
                                    black because of young lives
                                    lost in a sweep of shameful slurry;
                                    white because of a bright smile lighting a dark night.

                                    Which do I remember best;
                                    after all these years?
                                    The history or a wedding dress?
                                    It is not for me to say; that right is theirs.

                                    Yet I can picture a beguiling smile
                                    on the night she put away her childhood hell
                                    and, through life's darkest veil,
                                    I hope she's smiling still.


In the National Gallery      (2014)

                                    In a sombre room,
                                    marked by umbers and ochres,
                                    Doubting Thomas thrust a hand
                                    into his Leader's side.

                                                                       I thought: 'I don't believe that'.

                                    In the Impressionists' Hall
                                    marked by lyrics of light,
                                    Lake Keitele's mirrored surface
                                    drew us in.

                                                                       I thought: 'I believe this.'


Meeting the East Hill Mob      (2002)

                                    One wet night I met the East Hill Mob,
                                    or, should I say, they introduced themselves with a bottle,
                                    shattering on the road six feet behind me.
                                    Too proud or too stupid to run,
                                    I watched the ring of faces.
                                    Seemed they were at more of a loss than me,
                                    till someone took it into his head to throw a punch.

                                    Later, when I was down, being kicked on the floor,
                                    it felt more like a ritual than a beating.
                                    It didn't hurt much beyond my pride:
                                    a graze on the cheek, a bootprint on a shirt.

                                    The graze faded, the shirt was washed,
                                    pride healed itself; it always does.
                                    And yet the drunken whoop in the street;
                                    the Saturday-night scream;
                                    the chorus of cat-calls;
                                    make a different music to me now.
                                    And, on a bad day, in some dark corner of my mind
,                                     still lurks the menace of the boot-boy.

                                    Perhaps the shirt wasn't washed as clean as I thought.


Links to Poetry and Related Pages (not all mine!)
An Old Review - Welsh Verse
Antique Poems Analysed Battle of Maldon
Card Sharps
Dic Penderyn
A Few Red Poets
Hear a Poem
July 1914 Poetry
Light Verse I
Light Verse II
Looking at a Poem
Looking at a Poem Revisited
Nietzsche's Children
The Pinko Songbook
Poetry and Popular Music
Poetry in Translation
Poezie in dua limbi
Song Lyrics
Triolet [Free and Formal Verse]
What is a Villanelle?
Why Write Haiku?
The Yellow Omnibus
And there are many poems on the Guest, More Guests, Even More Guests, and Languages Other Than English sections.
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