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POEMS/ANTHOLOGY
Apocalypse Poems PDF Drucken E-Mail

Hardly a Poem but don't mope, Mate

It was a lovely morning and we - that is Marge and me -

decided the kids deserved a treat, so off we went.

We live in Barking, so we didn't have far to go.

We did the City and wandered down to Pudding Lane,

where once the king's bakery stood -

before it went up in flames, taking most of London with it.

The king loved his loaves hot.

We saw Wren's masterpiece and whispered in the gallery,

came out and wondwered where to go next. Marge said:

"Bill, ask that bobby, he looks the friendly type.

So I went up to him and said:

"Good morning, Constable,

any suggestions for an excursion without frills?"

I see the good lady's with you,

so it can't be Soho and cheap thrills.

Take 'em down to Hyde Park, Speakers' Corner,

round that way. You can take the Central Line."

That got us to Marble Arch in no time.

"Could do with a cuppa char" - that was Marge, not me

.
"Why don't we have a look at the speakers,

then go to that corner house for some nice cream buns?"

Marge agreed, so we walked over to the railings.

One guy was a Communist intent on revolution,

another a vegetarian, who said Adam and eve ate figs

until the fall, after which they ate pork pies and beef rolls.

Then there was this West Indian who ..

but then this other geezer caught my eye.

He was standing under a banner on his soap box under a banner:

"The End is at Hand. Prepare to meet thy Doom."

His suit was black, hardly surprising, his shirt white,

but his face wore a dirty smirk.

All else fitted but the grin.

Was he savouring the memory of some naughtiness or sin?

Strange happiness amid prophecies dire of gloom.

"Uranium comes from Heaven,

and Plutonium from Hell.

And the two is gettin' married.

Jingle, jangle does the bell.

If you're good, you'll go to Heaven.

If not, you know the place.

Either way, be gettin' ready.

Thin's is moving at a pace."

So I said to Marge:

"Marge, get the kids.

Let's have a cuppa while we can.."

"Silly," said Marge, "it's hours before closing time."

"Not according to what he says, it ain't," I said.

The Usual Load of Rot

No one seemed to take much note at first.
Old-timers on park benches passed a comment or two,
Somebody wrote a letter to the local rag,
but no one (who mattered, that is)
really seemed to mind.
Of course, you will always have
your bellyachers and woolly romantics
with nothing better to do than whine
about the way things are going, -
the loss of bird life, the silenced dawn chorus,
the vanishing English hedgerow,
you know the sort of thing.

The leaves began falling long before autumn.
"Funny," they said, "curious," "that's one for the book."
This was all very interesting for botanists,
environmentalists, chemists and the like.
Such words as "pollution," "soil erosion"
and "deprivation" were bandied about,
but no one was much the wiser though
the experts were agreed on one point.
"Photosynthesis provides the basis of all life."
This was interesting but nothing like
as interesting as the favourite for Ascot,
the football results, the Top of the Pops,
the late night thriller or the FT index.

All that changed.
Foresters and timber merchants became concerned
about the decaying cores of many trees.
The government became concerned, too,
(not so much about the fate of the trees as such
as about the effect the scarcity of wood
was having on the paper industry and inflation).

Then the doom-watchers caught the scent
and there was talk of an imminent ecological collapse,
but the man in the street still
passed it all off as the usual load of rot.

Then Kew Gardens, Epping Forest, Central Park,
the Everglades and the Bois de Boulogne
went the way of all wood.

A tramp, locally known as Nat the Nut,
was found in the village cemetery gibbering,
Before being bundled into an ambulance,
he was heard to say:

"With these very ears I heard 'em groan,
and this is what one of 'em said:
'Tonight we are dying, yew and I,
and the morrow sees us dead.'
And the willows wept in the valleys
and the trees on the hills pined away."

When the harvest failed,
the church bells tolled
for a woe no man could gainsay,
for none doubted then the trees were lost
or held it was only they.

PHOENIX ENTERPRISES

FOR SALE: Luxury Condominiums somewhere in the Heart of Nevada

Independent power plant,
Fuel to last you eighteen months,
Built into solid rock,
Proof against nuclear blast,
Fallout and, as a special feature:
Da-dada-da - NEUTRON RADIATION,
Geiger counter warning system,
Airlocks at exit and entrance,
Water from non-pollutable source,
TV monitoring of all access routes.

Our survival co-operative also provides:

Radiation-proof protective clothing,
Ample food stocks,
All-in protection.

Every adult male in the group is encouraged to put in three hours' shooting

practice and paramilitary training on all days except Sunday.

Now is your chance. You owe it to the family. We can all see
what's on the way. Dark storm clouds are gathering.
Civilization is in a deep crisis. After the first nuclear
exchange law and order will break down completely;
hordes of desperate survivors will ravage the country
pillaging, raping as murdering as they go. There will be
cannibalism on a massive Zombie film scale.

Be prepared! Think positively. Join Phoenix Enterprises now. We are
armed to the teeth. We are NOT - repeat NOT - resigned to our fate.
We are optimists.

From the ashes of the old, we shall rise forth like fire-spitting serpents
to create a new civilization.

Invest NOW and let the mortgage take care of itself. We shall begin
all over again. We shall defend ourselves against the improvident
by every means.

We shall create a NEW world - A NEW WORLD.

KNOWLEDGE AND SCIENCE

Milton’s Paradise Lost is a book I sometimes dip into. For modern

readers it does not lend itself to a quick browse. It’s pretty clear from the

start who dunnit.

My version in paperback contains insightful explanatory notes.
Apparently “Science” in the Tempter’s words“ O Sacred,
Wise and Wisdomgiving Plant, Mother of Science”,* being derived from the Latin verb “scire”, really means what we now understand as “knowledge”.

This note seems to be for the benefit of such innocents who are

unaware of the process of diachronic semantic change, and who

may also entertain misgivings about nuclear power plants.

Newton’s apple might jolt us into considering matters of considerable
gravity.

Today we are concerned more about fallout than with the Fall, more
with the atom than with Adam.

Science is not primarily concerned with moral questions, yet

we have all benefited from science. That science has also

furnished Man with the means of self-extermination and involves environmental pollution on a global scale we must accept as collateral damage, call it what you will.

Science is not primarily concerned with moral questions.

Even though scientific knowledge is based on the axiom that our sensory perceptions, the experiments, observations and theories of science cohere,

being phenomena in one and the same time-space continuum, a scientist

should not be diverted from his or her quest by troublesome thoughts about extraneous factors, be they social, political or moral in nature, that impinge on the awareness of one indivisible reality.

In Milton’s day “science” simply meant “knowledge”.

Milton was concerned with the problem of good and evil, the relationship of God and Man, the conflict between Truth and Mammon, not with the complex realities of our modern industrial high-tech world.

Perhaps cogito ergo sum, that premise of the modern scientific method, also has a moral dimension.

Milton’s Paradise Lost is a book I occasionally dip into.

How wan the lily of the vale,

How sick the rose.

No children play,

No children sing.

Have you seen our little sister?

We saw her in our garden,

Her pockets full of posies,

We saw her skip away to yonder hill.

A gale is strangely blowing

Through beds of wilting flowers,

And the crimson sun is sinking

Until its strength must fail

Unmindful of our woes

And the burdens of this day,

If you see our little sister,

tell her we wish her well.

The willows are yet weeping,

The cedar still is mourning

And birds refuse to sing.

If you see our little sister,

Then tell her not to fear

For her home of quiet darkness

Is a better place than here.

weiter …
 
forget that. PDF Drucken E-Mail
REFLECTIONS ON POSTWAR AMERICAN PRESIDENTS
 
Truman became President by accident, which
probably explains why, on the whole, he did a good job.
Eisenhower, deprecated as an inveterate bungler,
a shilly-shallying,  grinning incompetent,
is now beginning to emerge as one of the greats
of his century, a genius who kept ‘m  guessing,
a Brutus-like sly dumb guy, always three moves ahead,
his inane image proving a perfect camouflage
in the inanest, insanest, of all necessary games
with its shameful shams and rituals, the pretence
you can please all of the people all of the time,
the big lie that makes one man to be a god
having all the answers and a tucked-away fifth ace.
Kennedy played a straight hand, almost parading integrity
with a Gracchian touch, which, come to think of it,
explains a lot (for “forum” read “open motorcade in Dallas”).
On the other hand, images tarnish with exposure
and those who die in their prime never age.
Once again a Johnson put on dead men’s boots
and had to assume, then pay, the mortgage on Vietnam.
Funny how it’s the liberals who get so entangled in foreign broils.
Nixon’s waterfall was caused as much by neurosis
as by the exposure of deceit. Actually, Machiavelli
prescribed dirty tricks only in the case of need.
Why lie, when you can make an inoperive statement or two?
Ford gave the impression of being a decent non-intellectual,
the kindava guy who lacked the nerve to push his luck.
The key to explaining Jimmy’s rise and fall
is appreciating  America's occasional need
to find a clean Eugene, but not too clean,  
which is probably why he lasted out for just one term..
You can win one election, but evidently not two,
by promising to deliver, like you might a peanut order.
Reagan outdid even Eisenhower in looking like a goof,
and likewise turned up trumps - thanks largely to Gorby,
 or was it massive deficit spending, Maggy and good luck?
George W. Bush Senior, being no fool, kept his cool,
and was much kinder to Germany than ever old Europe was.
Bill ensured economic stability, but Starr-crossed like Romeo,
he let sexual proclivities distract him from his political portfolio.
So now we come to George W. Bush Junior.
He’s sure fixin' to finish the job,so let's  pray
it sure is the right one. Archie Bunker for President!
 
Elegy on Lacking Inspiration PDF Drucken E-Mail


Elegy on Lacking Inspiration


 

I don't feel much like writing this poem,

for there's nothing that much on my mind;

No birds are a-tweeting, no cattle are lowing,

or maybe my perceptions are blind.

 

For want of an alternative merit,

I find now is the right time to stop.

If a poem won't work, then end it

to limit the scope of the rot .
weiter …
 
Meeting Woody guthrie in the Sky PDF Drucken E-Mail

 

I hope to heaven that when I die
I meet Woody Guthrie in the sky
and then upon a dust-bowly cloud
we'll find the grace to sing aloud,
and that the Heavens won't debar
the using of a stringed guitar,
though usually the angel choir
prefers to play  the harp or lyre.

When Woody asks how things have bin
in the world of strife and sin,
I'll say  spud soup's 'bout just as thin
as  when on earth he  still could  sing.
(Them politicians can see through it
Like a lump of mama's  suet)

I'll say the Yanks go marching in
where many have to die
but again they're going to win
a war against some Arab guy,
Osama Bin Ladin, bad boy,
Osama Bin Ladin

I'll not omit to mention
George (Junior) Walker Bush,
who has the bold intention
to give all terrorists the push.

Robbers at home  less often use
the six gun than back then
for they prefer the gentle ruse
and still the fountain pen,
and still the fountain pen.

Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan,
may join us by and by,
And though they sure are getting on,
may they live long ere they die,
may they live long ere they die.

And then we'll do an earthbound tour,
in stadium, field or  sewer,
for like Joe Hill we'll return
from grave or tomb or dusty urn
as long as workers claim their right
and songsters acclaim their fight.
till everything is globalised
and unions have been pulverized.

Till then, till then we'll sing along,
till then we'll sing our song.

 

 
All Life is in Stages PDF Drucken E-Mail

 

CHILDHOOD

Ann and Mary

"Is this the gate of Heaven?" asked Mary.
"Silly," said Ann. "It's only the gate of the park."
As they walked down a glade, Mary asked,
"Who lives in those trees over there?
Look, they're waving at us."
"It's nobody," said Ann. "Just the shades
dancing over the grass under the trees."
"Let's climb that mound," said Mary.
"Yes, let's," said Ann.
"Does this hill lead to the sky?" asked Mary.
"Of course it doesn't," snapped Ann.
"If you were big like me, you'd see.
the thorns and thistles with purple flowers
on the brow of the hill, you would."
"Are hilly brows like eyebrows?" asked Mary.
"Sort of, only different," said Ann,
looking very deliberate, like mum sometimes.
Mary ran ahead. "Look," she cried.
"You can see a piece of the sky
where there's a hole in the ground."
"Silly," said Ann, "That's the refegshun of the sky
in the lake. Let's go down to the swans."
Once at the lake-side they saw a swan
swimming towards them.
"Is it an angel," asked Mary.
Her elder sister was speechless
for a moment. "It's just lovely," said Ann,
who had dropped her omniscient guard.

 

 

weiter …
 
Early Dew PDF Drucken E-Mail
By Julian Scutts

I

By river-banks I saw such scenes
as might enchant an angel's gaze.
They gladdened many a childhood hour
and filled my youthful heart with praise.

Onwards, onwards my bark glided,
where waters flowed by open leas,
past greening woods where lad and lass
cast apple blossoms to the breeze.

weiter …
 
Valentines PDF Drucken E-Mail
By Julian Scutts

She was the one he ate that apple for.
(from a song in the musical The Pajama Game)

When We Sipped Cider

How sweet was cider in that year
we sipped our fill before the fall!
How gold, how glorious the sky,
so rosy-red the stones around,
how long the shade of Michael's tower.
In each other's arms entwined,
we sipped sweet cider and we kissed,
at the Cross in Coventry.
O Eve, my love, where are you now?
And where, O dear, am I?

weiter …
 
A Time to Weep PDF Drucken E-Mail
By Julian Scutts

Foreword

Critics commonly apply the technique of making a statistical note of certain "key words" found throughout the works of some particular poets. Apparently "gold" is the most frequent substantive in the poetry of Robert Browning. (1) The combination of "Wanderer" and "Hut" occurs so insistently in the works of Goethe that this verbal phenomenon calls for the discovery of some deep-seated causal factors able to explain it.1 (2) The notion of the transcendence of individual words in whatever context they occur has engaged the minds of rabbis,2 (3) biblical exegetes and, in recent times, scholars in the fields of linguistics and textual criticism.3 (4) On a more pragmatic level, poets create word-patterns which emerge and are recognized as such only after their corpus of works has formed in sufficient measure to allow a comparative analysis of its constituents, the words within it.4 This fact provides evidence that such patterns are not the result of any deliberate or preconceived design. The following collection of poems is based on their apparently arbitrary inclusion of the verb "to weep" and its derivations.

weiter …
 
A Shade Disconcerting PDF Drucken E-Mail
By Julian Scutts

 

ADIEU, MY FRIEND

 

Shall we ever meet again
at the crossroads of the mind?
Shall we ever meet again
in the fragrant fields of thyme,
though memories fade and flowers must wilt
and every heart must fail?
Shall we ever meet again
though none may tell us where?

 

What once was good is ever good,
and faithful, true and fair.
This thought assures us we shall meet
and tames my dark despair.

 

weiter …
 
A Short Medley PDF Drucken E-Mail
  1. First Steps
  2. There's Nowt on our Herm
  3. At the Frankfurt Book Fair
  4. I can take it
  5. Me and My Shrink
  6. Algebra
  7. Roach Motel
  8. Why Fat Cats So Often Purr
  9. Down the Red Carpet
  10. The Plucky Duck
  11. To Lady and the Dog Star
  12. Crazy Mixed-Up He-Goat
  13. Elegy on lacking Inspiration
  14. Can Love Die?
  15. My Drug-Store Muse
  16. Behind Poets* Corner
  17. Mike Malloy's Maximum Cover
  18. To Conquer and Be Loved
  19. Transmuting Gold
weiter …
 
Islands PDF Drucken E-Mail
By Julian Scutts

To Cyprus

I know an isle, to Love the long-lost home,
the sea's white waves, the sun's hot rays caress.
Necessity, that most cruel fate of all,
has banished Love, yet may not quite suppress
the present fragrance of a sacred past.
On Trodos pines still have their sweet incense.
The while it lasts, no honeymoon can end.
Oh do not mark the boot-prints in the sand,
but hope that Love shall one day conquer all.
Even the sea, long shines the patient sun.
What mars when Love, long absent, claims her own?

weiter …
 
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