Poetry Blog by Marnanel Thurman (2012)

Recent Comments

Nisha Nair on Pigeons (Fri, 11 Sep 2020 03:06 pm)

Robert Haigh on Pigeons (Fri, 11 Sep 2020 02:00 pm)

Don Matthews on Don't say this struggle's all in vain (Wed, 31 Oct 2018 09:35 am)

M.C. Newberry on Don't say this struggle's all in vain (Tue, 30 Oct 2018 10:58 pm)

Brian Maryon on In my head (Sun, 24 Jun 2018 02:16 pm)

M.C. Newberry on Ogden Nash rewrites Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress" (Sat, 23 Jun 2018 06:55 pm)

Brian Maryon on Ogden Nash rewrites Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress" (Wed, 20 Jun 2018 04:09 pm)

Harry O'Neill on Breakdown of "I walked in darkness" (Sat, 5 Nov 2016 04:55 pm)

M.C. Newberry on Breakdown of "I walked in darkness" (Sat, 5 Nov 2016 01:43 pm)

Adam Whitworth on Breakdown of "I walked in darkness" (Fri, 4 Nov 2016 09:45 pm)

Why are there no spiders in the Wizard of Oz?

entry picture

I would hurry to the kitchen
with pedipalps a-twitching,
to see what I could get.
And when there I would eat all
the insides of every beetle,
if I had a spinnerette.

And that's only the beginning;
it sets my head a-spinning
to see them in my net.
To the edge I would scarper
where I'd pluck it like a harper
if I had a spinnerette.

Oh, I could catch the fly
that vent...

Read and leave comments (2)

Facebook

This one isn't a poem: it's just to tell you I've set up a Facebook page about my writing. If you like to like, please like it.

https://www.facebook.com/t.j.a.thurman

Read and leave comments (0)

Take a pew

My brother's hairy. I'm a smoother man.
I entered by the exit, without knowing,
They told me off, you know, but I began
con-sid-ering: do you know where you're going?
I climbed a hill when I was in my teens,
And my companion vomited on me.
Still, life is rather more like tinned sardines,
And all of us are looking for the key.
Some find the key, they pull the cover wide,
and ea...

Read and leave comments (0)

God in check

entry picture

I was asked for a poem for the newsletter the churches here send out to all the houses in the town at Christmastime. This is what I gave them and they printed. I think it's reasonably good, though it could probably still be improved here and there.

I think I see defences start to crack;
this world shall hear, and see that I am right.
The pawns pass round to right the rook's attack
advan...

Read and leave comments (6)

Today's the day

entry picture

Today's the day.  Click "Start", then click "Shut Down",
then order twenty pizzas on their dime,
then (slice in hand) break down this office door
and flip the Chairman's picture one last time.
Then tearing off your clothes, run down the hill,
dig through the woods, bathe naked in the stream,
and when you feel your stress is washed away,
stand up, and facing heaven, scream your scr...

Read and leave comments (2)

A legend

entry picture

I've been looking through old school exercise books. This is from June 1986; I was eleven.

Seven standing stones are under the sky,
seven standing stones shall never, ever die.
Clouds blow, grey, white, or black,
and the wind shall blow, blow through the stones,
and memories shall fade and die,
and nobody shall know, know the reason why
seven standing stones are under the sky.
S...

Read and leave comments (2)

Get ahead of the Games

We are delighted to enclose your travelcard
which will grant you entry to

Strap-hanging gymnastics
Competitive carrying of dogs and children
Endurance on the Northern Line
And the forty-metre scramble up the left-hand side of the escalator

Read and leave comments (4)

The naming of cats

entry picture

Today we have naming of cats. Yesterday
we had a game of chess. And tomorrow morning,
we shall have how to wear your trousers rolled. But today,
today we have naming of cats. The chessboard
waits, simple like one of our holiday games,
and today we have naming of cats.

This is the use-name. And this
is the particular name, whose use you will see
when you are given a cat. And this...

Read and leave comments (9)

Leaping like calves

entry picture

Once, a young fresher was reading the rules, and was
        more than perplexed at the place where they state:
"All undergraduates, if they are Anglicans,
       must be in chapel each Sunday at eight."
Racking his brains, he began a small rumour that
       spread through the town on the weekdays that followed; he
was not an Anglican, nor Nonconformist; his
       faith and reli...

Read and leave comments (1)

Fury said to a fish

Fury
said to a
fish, "I've a
whim and a wish:

let us both go to war; you shall
fight against ME. Come,
I must
make a stand: we shall fight
on the land, and if you insist we shall

fight on the sea." Said the fish to the cat, "The
result of this spat will be nothing but bubbles
to mark where you sank." "I'll be gun, I'll be bomb,"
said the cunning old tom, "and I'll target my
missiles and
blow up
your
...

Read and leave comments (3)

May

entry picture

The autumn leaves an ill-defined unease
that (while the summer flourished) I’d ignored.
The litany begins. We can’t afford
the oil we need to buy before the freeze;
they’ve forecast snow: we need to fix the tiles
that blew away before the summer came,
fit plastic shrouds on every window-frame;
there isn’t any salt in stock for miles.
       Yet soon I’ll wake, and March will fal...

Read and leave comments (7)

On not being a cat

entry picture

Were I a cat, my love, I'd leave each day
a single dying mouse upon your bed;
Yet, human, I must find another way
And honour you by leaving verse instead.

Read and leave comments (4)

Blood, bones and feathers

entry picture

For a change, I'm not blogging my poetry in this post. Instead, I wanted to share two things I've written about it recently. One was something I said early last year on Eratosphere:

I thought I'd write here about my long flirtation with poetry.

My parents, who both worked in London when I was a toddler, would leave me in the care of my grandfather, who would attempt to teach me reams of S...

Read and leave comments (0)

In depths of darkness out of doors

entry picture

In depths of darkness out of doors
in thunderstorms, in pouring rain,
the kisses on my mind are yours.
In depths of darkness, out of doors,
I'll bide my time until it pours
and lose myself in you again
in depths of darkness out of doors
in thunderstorms, in pouring rain.

Read and leave comments (3)

This is the poem

entry picture

This is the poem with something to say
that shows you the human condition.
This is the poem both deep and banal,
a triumph of juxtaposition.

This is the poem they'll write on a plaque
to show I was born somewhere near.
This is the poem that folks will recite
whose minds fill with worry or fear,

a poem to take in a book to the park
and ponder for passing the time.
This is...

Read and leave comments (7)

A love song

entry picture

The ones who breathe below the wave
have tales of how I should behave,
but should I sing, or comb my hair
when sleeping deeply in my grave?

There, deep within the murky green
I dreamed a man I've never seen
with trousers rolled and fading hair.
I offered him a nectarine.

Oh, does he take it? Will he eat?
I long to weep upon his feet
and wipe them with my golden hair.
He fa...

Read and leave comments (1)

Examination

entry picture

At last we reach examination day
and chewing on my full-of-hope 2B
I sit in silence at my desk and pray
for one last chance of saving my degree,
all work evaporating from my head
as if I’d never done a day’s revision
and spent the time with magazines in bed.
Here’s question one. I make my first decision.
       With A, I say I’m sorry for each action.
       With B, I say I sh...

Read and leave comments (3)

Attention

entry picture

Perhaps I have forgotten how to read.
I mean, I haven't lost the alphabet
but more and more I'm starting to forget
the way to focus in the form I need
to read a novel; more and more I find
my mental structures seem to fall apart
before the end, before I even start,
with only wrecks remaining in my mind
       that sink, or blow away in gales, or burn;
       I long for clarity...

Read and leave comments (2)

On first looking into an A to Z

entry picture

My talent (or my curse) is getting lost:
my routes are recondite and esoteric.
Perverted turns on every road I crossed
have dogged my feet from Dover up to Berwick.
My move to London only served to show
what fearful feast of foolishness was mine:
I lost my way from Tower Hill to Bow,
and rode the wrong way round the Circle Line.
       In nameless London lanes I wandered then
...

Read and leave comments (2)

Morning prayer

entry picture

Go praise thou the Lord! It's seven o'clock!
You cannot afford to slumber ad hoc.
Five times you've hit snooze, and you've wasted an hour,
Forget your excuse, and go get in the shower.

Go praise thou the Lord! The prayerbook awaits,
its words unexplored, so get on your skates.
It stands on the shelf for the start of the day,
for Jesus himself rose up early to pray.

Go praise tho...

Read and leave comments (3)

Two creatures

entry picture

Two creatures' eyes have seen the sun,
and now their lids are filled with dust.
But if their eyes were blue, or brown,
I cannot tell, and yet I must.

St Claire's an Amiable Child
who sleeps secure and snug as Grant,
but who can tell me of his eyes?
(The city parks curator can't.)

And Johnson had a cat named Hodge
who fed on oysters, and was fine;
his coat was black, but not ...

Read and leave comments (0)

Spanyel

entry picture

Spanyel! Spanyel! Thine embrace
Places Paws upon my Face;
What celestial Factory
Could fill thy doggy Heart with glee?

From what Furnace flowed thy Blood?
Whence proceeded all this Mud?
Was that a Cow thou hidst beneath?
What the Tongue? and what the Teeth?

What the Nose? and what the Jaw?
In what Quagmire was thy Paw?
Hast thou swum the Pond as well?
That perhaps explains...

Read and leave comments (3)

Coincidence

entry picture

For Kit.

Perhaps we lived a night and day away
and never knew the other one was breathing
and so we saw the sunrise stained with grey
but never fully realised we were grieving;
perhaps our eyes or bodies might have met
when on the Northern Line, or on a plane,
and left us cursed, unable to forget
and nursing till our death a treasured pain;
       perhaps you read my story in ...

Read and leave comments (5)

And yet you show surprise

entry picture

The world's so queer, and yet you show surprise
to find him solid in the midday light.
He looks at you with strangely laughing eyes.

You told yourself you're sure to recognise
the green-clad arms, the ring upon the right;
the world's so queer, and yet you show surprise?

His name won't pass your lips. You know... those guys.
You know his name. At least you think you might.
He...

Read and leave comments (6)

Some folk are born with knowledge of their goal

entry picture

Some folk are born with knowledge of their goal.
I've met them, though I'm not like that myself;
I'm wandering through life, a placid soul,
content to leave adventures on the shelf.
I've loved and lived without a way to know
the field where I should strive to be the best:
to pan for gold, or be a CEO,
or cure disease, or conquer Everest;
        and likewise, you're a Poohstick ...

Read and leave comments (5)

sonnet

Among those born as humans on the earth

entry picture

Among those born as humans on the earth
within their mind the mirrored planet lies:
the universe contained behind their eyes,
more tangible with every day since birth.
Within, each place you love is held for you
perfected; every friendship dwells therein;
and if you dare, a thousand tales begin,
and if you close your eyes you'll see it's true.
        Within that place a forest ...

Read and leave comments (3)

sonnet

New ditty

entry picture

The world is filled with frenzied folk who say I'm incomplete
until I've played some game, or tried their favourite thing to eat,
or read a certain book, or heard some orchestra or band,
or spent a decade living rough in such-and-such a land...
but (most of all experiences) the one that draws my praise
is walking round with nothing on, on hot and sticky days.

Read and leave comments (3)

silly

Sleep

entry picture

They say my future follows on your past,
commanded not to love you by the wise.
They say he never truly lives who lies
a captive still, and by your charms held fast:
your warmth was torn by chilly morning air,
through daytime heat your image in my eye
would ever grow, would wane, would never die,
and with the night, you’d once again be there.
       You took my life, and took aw...

Read and leave comments (1)

sonnet

Pittsburgh

entry picture

This moment, I am God upon this town.
I compass every window spread below:
each pinprick point in total looking down
a pattern only overseers know.
I feel the human flow and ebb each minute
perceiving both with every passing breath;
each lighted room has home and hoping in it,
each darkening a sleeping, or a death.
        And nothing, nothing makes it wait to darken;
        ...

Read and leave comments (1)

sonnet

Dear Sir...

entry picture

Dear Sir: This application form,
from one potential employee,
will tell you how I should perform.
I have a first-class BSc,
ten years of writing ANSI C,
some Java; Perl with DBI;
and tendencies to wander free
and gaze, all wordless, at the sky.

I know perhaps it's not the norm
to mention this on one's CV.
I wonder if you'd just transform
the job I'm asking for, to be
not...

Read and leave comments (7)

ballade

Stations

entry picture

(after A. A. Milne, "I often wish I were a King")

I'm often lost in ruminations
On what I'd do if stuck at stations.

If I were stuck at HARRINGAY,
I'd pitch a tent and ask to stay.

If I were stuck at STEVENAGE,
I'd build a campfire, on the bridge.

If I were stuck at FINSBURY PARK,
I'd dance around it, in the dark.

If I were stuck at MORROWGATE, (*)
I'd phone and tell you I'd...

Read and leave comments (4)

parodysilly

Acquainted with the dawn

entry picture

I have become acquainted with the dawn.
I have observed the evening as it fell.
I closed the careless curtain that had drawn

the charcoal-shaded cityscapes of hell.
I have indwelt a ditch a fathom deep.
I have withdrawn within a concrete shell.

I have grown late to rise and late to sleep.
I have cajoled the air on bended knee
and filled a lack of hunger lest I weep.

I have aba...

Read and leave comments (14)

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message