Poetry Blog by Laura Taylor

The Last Shanty

 

From packet and clipper,

from Royal destroyer,

with prayer and with hymn

and a rum-drenched Amen,                                                                              

goodbye to the matelot and captain;

so long to the boatswain and master.

We're chanting to ease up the passing.

 

The last one is sung in a million tongues.

Grief-soaked and lonesome

haul h...

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Mavis

 

Mavis had a room

that didn’t have a name.

You did not dine,

you did not live,

it was not kitchen,

was not front,

was not back or parlour.

 

Mavis had this furniture

that I had never seen.

It was not settee,

was not armchair,

was not pouffe,

for phone,

or couch divan.

 

Mavis had this massive room

full of golden sunshine.

Floating motes whi...

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Snakes Don't Kiss

 

Snakes don't kiss.

I know this because I used to be one,

in a former life,

long time ago,

biblically speaking.

Snakes don’t kiss cos their hiss gets in the way,

and that long long tongue you see with the V?

Gets all tangled when two snakes frenchie.

 

No, snakes don't kiss.

But never take a bet on it,

especially with a snake.

'Cause apart from not kissing, ...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Just The One

 

Fifty seven accusations.

Fifty seven lies. 

Fifty seven secret pleasures.

Fifty seven stolen lives.

 

Fifty seven invitations.

Fifty seven spiders waiting.

Fifty seven true intentions.

Fifty seven parlours entered.

 

Fifty seven aggravations.

Fifty seven silent gains.

Fifty seven violations.

Fifty seven acts of shame.

 

Fifty seven allegations.

...

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NaPoWriMo2018

April Showers

 

Morning water wakes and warms,

begins the dance of day.

April showers.

Songs and flowers ricochet around the rays;

anticipating conversations, Sunday lunch, and lazing,

the nearly-finished novel she's been saving for today.

April showers.

Musk, vanilla, ginger, mint.

'Hallelujah', smoothing fruit

across her plump and freckled

lump.

Acid iron on her tongue.

...

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NaPoWriMo2018

I Cannot Write Another

 

Ballads, odes, hymns, lists,

advice, nostalgic memories,

myths explored, journeys, paths,

unfinished drafts and anecdotes;

rewrote Red and other tales,

discovered prephonation,

haibun about horse racing,

comedy, and tragedy, quoting positivity,

but today I cannot do

what NaPoWriMo asked me to.

 

I have wrung out symphonies

from bitter fruit inside of me,

...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Quoting Positivity

 

Inspiration

fetishised,

against a backdrop:

snow-white clouds.

A pointy-eared baby being

innocent and cute.

Something about dreams,

stars, sunsets, moons;

inner peace,

what you can do,

harmony,

what you can do.

Lines ascribed to Buddha, Gandhi, Shiva, God,

wrongly, as it happens,

and meaningless, taken out of context.

 

Talismanic happiness;

...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Ballad of Narcissus

 

Long he lay and looked and loved

his own sweet face,

his own sweet face.

Long he lay and looked.

 

Himself an echo, manifest.               

He was possessed.

He was possessed.

He had no other thought.

 

He wanted water on his lips

to kiss complete,                                                               

to kiss complete;

to penetrate, possess.

...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Disobedience

 

Once upon a predictable time

(it always starts like that),

Little Red Riding Hood, aka Red,

skipped through the forest to her Nanna's.

 

"Don't talk to strangers" her mother had said,

so when the wolf whistled, she ignored it.

Rebuffed, he persisted,

"Pick these pretty flowers, yellow daffodilloes,

perfect for your Nanna"

then tried to sneak a paw into her bag.

...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Sunday Morning Overthinking

entry picture

 

Sleepy Sunday, shopping-bound,       

half-size trolley, halfway down.

Not Big Shop, parked askew;

small blue-branded Co-Op type.

Pavement blocked, intrigue piqued:

who what when where why Big Five.

 

So:

stolen, pilfered, snatched,

escaped?

Sick of snotty kids?                                       

Clumsy mums, dopey dads?

On the lam,                     ...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Floral Evensong

 

The day slept long

and the honeysuckle roared 

jaws unsewn

siren sounds for night-flight hawks

to lick her pink and yellow hollow

bring sweet syrup to her lips

to satisfy and saturate

and permeate her pollen.

 

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NaPoWriMo2018

A Little Smash of Plaster

 

I bet it's still there,

a little smash of plaster

in the nicotined ceiling,

held in my memory forty-odd years.

 

Dad'd blush and mutter,

ramble about "safety"

as we would tell the tale for the umpteenth time,

gleefully relishing the moment.

 

It must have been a present.

He couldn't have afforded one from paper round or jobs done,               

and everyon...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Offside

 

Was I away

the day they taught the rules

and regulations?

Or was I just not listening?    

Looking and not seeing?

Glazed and completely non-engaged

by talk of tactics, strategy,

positioning and passing?

Perhaps.

 

Or was I feeling sorry

for my thin and thirsty pumps,

for my skinless shins,

for my tiny-skirted body

turning purple

on the winter-weat...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Charity Begins At Home

(to the tune of 'The Holly and the Ivy')

 

There's cameras in the holly

way above the line of sight,

and a neon sign on the roundabout

"One punch can kill tonight".

 

Well thank you for the warning

and increased security,

I'll be double-sure not to shoplift

now you're looking out for me.

 

It's nice to be surrounded

by markers of your greed,

and a lack of ...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Springtime at Aintree

 

Vultures descend on a city red and blue,

eating up the green grass.

Profit-driven fingers semaphoring odds

and the ends are as regular as clockwork here.

 

Runners and their riders gather at the gate,

accumulators tethered to their necks.

A sweat-streaked chestnut whinnies as she blows

and gathers up her feathers for                                              

The...

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NaPoWriMo2018

State of the Utopian Union Address

Part 1

 

People who slap their children in shops

will have them removed for one afternoon,

fed chocolate and pink fizzy chemical pop,

have puppies installed in their homes. 

If their violence persists,

we will ban them outright  

from smacking their kids.                               

If they continue abuse of their children,

lobotomy is the solution.   

 

Univ...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Subjects of Denial

 

My hair is clean and brushed and smart.

Hers is drenched and dirty.

I am wearing cosy clothes.

She is bare and purple.

I'm inhaling bluebell air.

She is breathing fire.

I am watching pixellated subjects of denial.

 

I am strong and tall, unbowed.

She is weak and wailing.

I am fifty years of age.

She is but a baby.

I have biscuits on my lips.

She has frot...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Superseding Planets

 

thin and unliveable, named after war

bloody and brutal and cold

 

smashable bubbles of glassy cat's eyes

we played with them in the road

 

vast in diameter, iron-rich regolith

channels and valleys and dust

 

tiny parameters, sand, ash and ribbons

of ruby, virescent, and rust

 

hold a marble to the sky

concentrate and close one eye

supersede and disapp...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Kontemplations

 

Considering

the cunt,

containing curse and origin,

alive within a Twelfth Night letter from Olivia

and Hamlet's country matters,

the Dead Sea of Ulysses,

Penguin prosecutions, unsuccessful,

and the trump cards of tender Beckett wives.

 

In monologues and myth making,

displayed on Venus figurines,

in Dinner Party paintings,

Courbet's fevered inspiration;

...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Not Doris Day's Armpits

(to the tune of Que sera sera)

When I was  only 12 years old,
I shaved my armpits
bare as can be.
Will I be sexy?
Will I be fit?

Here's what they said to me:

'Oh the itch the itch!

Whatever possessed you, bitch,

to bulk-buy a load of Bics.

Oh the itch the itch'

 

When I grew up I carried on
hacking my arm pits
week after week.
Did it get better?
Did it hurt less?
H...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Hotdesk Almanac

 

She keeps secrets in me.

Lifts my lid for privacy,

blows bubbles in my guts,

leaving evidence inside

with full impunity.

I am discreet

rebellion.

 

He spits bile inside me.

Hatred for his mummy

and the baby

and the way the teacher treats him

like he's soft.

He's not.

I contain his scarlet ache safely.

 

I display names and dates,

scratched in...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Origin

 

This began with whispered words,

bites from shiny apples;

 

a desire to command, create;

a hunger to articulate intensity,

to mechanise a melody inside.

 

This commenced with prephonation;

tutoring of simple lips,

tentatively glossolalic.

Patterns forming,

disconnected information circling itself,

pulling at phonetic cords of morphemes

 

and spitting ...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Advice For Free

 

Remember watching Motorhead

in Bingley Hall in Stafford?

The time that fella's ears bled?

Lemmy's warts,

the wall of sound,

and Philthy going mad?

 

Remember where we stood that night?

And how that fella, six foot three,

came and stood in front of me,

so we just moved a step along

and simply carried on?

 

At every single gig for years

a giant stood in...

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NaPoWriMo2018

Anke Djé, Anke Bé

 

Soon it will be time

for feather-tailed savagery,

to shake away the confines

of nine to five monotony.

Au revoir to fettered minds,

we're gonna soak ourselves in smiles,

hollow out the hate and bile

and dead-eyed disapproval.

There'll be hugs and hands to help with vans,

and kindness, undisguised, will be our currency.

 

Soon it will be time

for rum around ...

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Wilfully Blind

 

He sticks the blinkers on

and blindfold, counts out the sorrows

of no one he knows.

Puts them in a drawer,

locked with a careless key,

kicking doors shut

on notions of equality.

 

His side of the seesaw hangs heavy,

unbalanced, biased towards

the full and sated belly.

Wallet and tongue keep close company.

 

Sees with one eye only one vision:

singular,

...

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Butterfly

 

Remember to look up at the stars

 

Not the kind who whine about their first world problems on a million different channels

always me me me

 

to look up at the stars and not down at your feet

 

and reach out to the universe with all your tiny fingertips

 

and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see

 

in a world where reality TV isn't real

a...

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Celia in Silhouette

entry picture

 

You won't see Celia in silhouette on rebel chests,

marching over coffee cups,

diminished to an image on a tiny little badge,

on a backpack, khaki cap or six foot flag.

 

And you won't see Celia on key rings,

magnets, belt buckles, armbands,

black berets, red berets, playing cards or calendars,

bumper stickers, kitchen clocks,

acrylic blocks or lithographs,

writin...

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Happy Valentine's!

 

It's such a happy homely brand,

such a loving hand to hold.

Nothing says "forced adoration" quite the same

as an overpriced printed bit of Hallmark card.

 

Though I came in drunk last night

and all we've done is fight,

and we haven't actually spoken for a week,

this greeting card's designed to wipe out

all the battle lines and it's guaranteed

an armistice today.

...

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Valentine poemvalentines day

Not Exactly Miss Jean Brodie

 

I'm in my prime.

I swapped my firm and tight-fit skin

for confidence and knowledge

that within this ageing frame

lies a body of experience,

a warrior of thought

who brings her wisdom to the table,

leaves her ego at the door,

and won't descend to bitter ends.

I'm not exactly Miss Jean Brodie.

 

I'm in my prime

and looking back at how it felt

to live withi...

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On Not Wearing Purple

 

Sod wearing purple,

I’m gonna fake dementia.

Sup single malt in Tesco aisles

and Jose Cuervo Gold.                   

Steal Thornton’s biggest fuck-off box

of truffles, milk and dark.

Then stuff my face with Krispy Kremes,

leave fingermarks on magazines.

I’ll ride the roads in off-peak times,

rob Asdas far and wide.

A North West quest to shoplift shite

funded ...

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Recent Comments

Laura Taylor on The Last Shanty (Thu, 9 Aug 2018 10:22 am)

Big Sal on The Last Shanty (Wed, 8 Aug 2018 03:34 pm)

john short on The Last Shanty (Tue, 7 Aug 2018 10:37 am)

Laura Taylor on The Last Shanty (Tue, 3 Jul 2018 10:51 am)

suki spangles on The Last Shanty (Mon, 2 Jul 2018 11:04 pm)

Laura Taylor on The Last Shanty (Mon, 2 Jul 2018 11:26 am)

Martin Elder on The Last Shanty (Sun, 1 Jul 2018 08:09 pm)

Laura Taylor on The Last Shanty (Sun, 1 Jul 2018 05:11 pm)

raypool on The Last Shanty (Sat, 30 Jun 2018 06:03 pm)

Stu Buck on The Last Shanty (Sat, 30 Jun 2018 05:19 pm)

elPintor on The Last Shanty (Sat, 30 Jun 2018 04:59 pm)

Wolfgar Miere on The Last Shanty (Sat, 30 Jun 2018 04:54 pm)

M.C. Newberry on The Last Shanty (Sat, 30 Jun 2018 04:41 pm)

Laura Taylor on The Last Shanty (Sat, 30 Jun 2018 12:57 pm)

Pat Hughes on The Last Shanty (Fri, 29 Jun 2018 11:14 pm)

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