Poetry Blog by Randy Horton
Big Sal on A New Riddle of Cosmology (Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:31 am)
For the second time, the New Mills Festival will host a poetry trail filled with verse ranging from the silly to profound. Accepted poems will be displayed in shop windows around New Mills for the duration of the festival (13 – 29 September 2019). The theme of the festival is “The Elements – Earth, Air, Water and Fire.“ Poems reflecting the theme are encouraged, but poems on other themes are also ...
Tuesday 12th March 2019 2:07 pm
I’ve always supported freedom and equality
I wanted minorities to have equal opportunity.
I believed in promoting a liberal social order,
Showing non-aggression and peace at the border.
I wanted to teach the world to live in perfect harmony,
So that our new Utopia would all be down to me,
But my kids are proper communists,
They want to overthrow the state.
They will give ev...
Tuesday 19th February 2019 2:06 pm
Some writers use poetry
To propound great thoughts
Through deeply intoned vowels,
But poetry is only language,
And you can use it as if
Chatting with a friend
About passing days
You can pull them in,
Get a laugh or two,
And make them
The knife deep
Into the abdomen,
Drawing it up
Toward the eyes,
As you let...
Monday 18th February 2019 9:52 am
An explosion beyond comprehension sent all
The ingredients of the cosmos careening through the void.
Light, matter, and energy diffused chaotically,
Taking billions of years (as we now know them)
To fall into some kind of order, to establish
Some vaguely predictable interactions of
Cosmic proportion. Somehow, trillions of
Particles began to cooperate to form
Molecules of ca...
Thursday 17th January 2019 11:13 am
What if the hyperreal really isn’t real,
And the news never happened?
Our perceptions are just pixels, photons,
Bits and bytes scattered on a screen.
Gods and monsters both just
Misapprehensions of a troubled mind.
But whose mind is responsible for
The anxiety provoking representation?
Surely some eternal consciousness
Has not conspired to create in y...
Tuesday 15th January 2019 11:15 am
I didn’t really understand what you meant
When you said you saw a family picnicking
And they were happier than you,
Even though I felt it must be true.
And when you said you were happier than I was,
I knew you weren’t actually speaking to me,
But I decided to stay miserable
Just so your poem would always be true.
Friday 28th December 2018 9:23 am
I’m sure you can tell I’m
Part of the hip-hop community
So I take every opportunity
To spit rhymes like a hot tap
Gushing cheer in a Christmas rap.
When the weather is cold,
When the weather is hot
My generosity never stops.
I keep giving without a pause.
They should call me Santa Claus.
What? Don ‘t know who I’m talking about?
Then you can give Father Christmas a ...
Monday 24th December 2018 10:47 am
You’re not a believer
And Christmas isn’t for you
But you can enjoy
The festive season, too.
Your whole season
Doesn’t have to be wrecked
Just focus on all the
You don’t have to be spiritual
To enjoy lots of useless tat.
Or flashing lights, tinsel and all that.
And there’s no reason
You can’t have lots of treats, puddings
and sweets, or ju...
Sunday 23rd December 2018 11:17 am
Standing on the platform, waving goodbye to yesterday’s train.
Perhaps you wanted to feel you had a little bit of control.
You’re saying you hope that train never comes back again.
A peripatetic pretense helps to ease the pain.
It’s a phantom journey, but no one has to know.
Standing on the platform, waving goodbye to yesterday’s train.
You collected yourself, stood erect, and hoped to appear sane.
Monday 17th December 2018 10:10 am
I wrote this poem for my wife's birthday.
Salutations for Sally
The years don’t pass slowly anymore,
But there’s still time for an eternity
In your eyes, in your arms, your love.
Each moment a step to infinity,
But time doesn’t march, it ascends,
And we rise on the years,
Sadder, yes, but wiser and
More loving, more understanding.
And you lift everything around you...
Monday 10th December 2018 11:51 am
I stood outside the gates of Hell,
Ready to dive headlong into flame,
But you put your hand on my shoulder,
Turned me toward you and kissed my face.
You held me tightly against you and promised
You’d protect me for all eternity.
You assured me I was one of the good ones,
And I never should have been in this place.
You led me from the depths to a softer light,
And we lay,...
Saturday 1st December 2018 1:07 pm
It’s best to sneak up on the reader.
Change the meter,
Change the rhyme,
Change the tone,
Or change the subject.
Try to do something unexpected,
Like confessing a crime
Or secret perversion,
Even in a
Thursday 29th November 2018 8:18 pm
He broke her spirit when he declared
He didn’t even know what love is.
She had only asked a simple question
As she planned her own future.
Whilst he resisted closing his options,
He never noticed how open hers were.
She awaited his answer as her suitors
Sat on the sidelines biding their time.
He pretended he didn’t understand
The comfort of constant companionship...
Wednesday 28th November 2018 8:17 pm
At the interview, she said,
“These are some designs I’ve been
Working on since I got out of jail.”
On his dating profile, he said,
“I’ve finished the last course of antibiotics
And feel I’m ready to date again.”
At dinner, she confessed,
“I listened to a Justin Bieber song to see what it was
And I ended up listening to the entire album.”
At the office sexu...
Saturday 24th November 2018 7:16 am
If you’re a poet prowling in penumbral light,
Staggering through shadows alone and lost,
Praying for a spiritual Sherpa to
Take you to atmospheric heights,
Or at least pull you from chasmic depths
And save you from the crushing pressure
Of self-loathing and free floating anxiety,
You should get to know me.
If your addictions are afflictions
You can no longer bear an...
Wednesday 31st October 2018 11:56 am
A traffic jam that spans an entire epoch
Is followed by daily punishments of
Dreary Sisyphean meanderings,
Followed by even more traffic
In sweltering heat and sticky humidity.
With all energy drained from
Lungs, limbs, and mind,
He shuffles into his house
Seeking only relief and brief reprieve.
As he unbuttons his soaked shirt,
“Do me,” assaults his ears...
Tuesday 16th October 2018 11:56 am
The idea for this poem was to have Metaphor itself tied to a chair and tortured with bad writing. I have a feeling the bad writing comes through, but the meta-metaphor and overall conceit for the poem may be lost. But I guess writing is, in a sense, experimental, even if it isn't falsifiable. So, whatever, here is the poem.
Every rendition begins with shackles,
Friday 12th October 2018 12:07 pm
Mark Judge knows the judge,
Maybe a bit too well,
The judge wants Judge to fudge,
But in time truth will tell.
Tuesday 25th September 2018 11:16 am
It seemed you never put down your club
With the handle wrapped in cloth tape.
You patrolled the hallways, playground, and athletic fields
Like a sadistic southern sheriff overseeing slaves.
You thought “abuse of authority” was your job description
As you terrorised children with the constant threat of violence.
Each look, each word, each step you deemed unacceptable
Was met wi...
Tuesday 14th August 2018 8:38 pm
In the Halls of Knowledge
The Great Men shared their wisdom
With emperors, kings, monarchs, and generals.
Great women shared their insights and guidance, too,
But their words are stored in different wings of the Great Hall.
It was the Great Men who laid the foundations
For civilisation, for democracy, for tyranny,
Architectural planning, sewage, and war.
It was the Great Me...
Monday 23rd July 2018 4:48 pm
They say we carry the dead with us,
And most are surprised by the weight.
We hoist them up on our shoulders,
And imagine our strength is adequate.
But invariably we fault and stumble.
We stagger and trip and fall
We can’t see a way out of this trouble
Each partition becomes a wailing wall
We drop them in the middle of our marriage.
We trip over them when we try...
Thursday 12th July 2018 12:15 pm
I am hosting an online open mic using Zoom.us conferencing software beginning at 7 pm (UK time) on 1 July 2018. We will use Zoom.us teleconferencing software (meeting ID 260-756-986) and take turns reading our poems out as you would in a physical open mic. With luck, we will have a few poets from Britain and a few from the US as well. If people join from other countries, that is even better, but t...
Wednesday 27th June 2018 2:16 pm
In 1981 Eve Libertine punched me in the head
The monotony of matrimony is calamity
Binding binary boxes are worse than death
She fucked the patriarchy with eloquent temerity
Women aren’t possessions and men aren’t protectors`
Love as a transaction is a stifling contract,
Together we can all be our own liberators.
Radically free in the face of existential facts.
Tuesday 26th June 2018 7:30 pm
I don’t want to drive engagement.
I don’t need your gratuitous clicks.
I won’t beg for attention with
Pics of kittens sleeping with chicks.
I don’t need your engagement.
I won’t ask if you’ve used a skate key.
I don’t need any silly test to
Know you are as old as me.
I don’t really care how you engage.
I won’t tempt you with an opinion poll.
No one really ca...
Tuesday 19th June 2018 2:21 pm
I live six hours in the future,
Relative to family and other loved ones.
I wake each morning to news of the world
As the Atlantic Ocean shields them
From dreadful awareness a bit longer.
I know the missiles are airborne,
The tsunami approaches,
The revolution has kicked off,
Or just that the avocado yield was low.
I’m fighting the urge to scream,
To call, to...
Wednesday 6th June 2018 4:28 pm
I found a picture of you in my arms,
Sleeping securely, safe from harm,
As you knew it, anyway.
Your trust for me was complete,
You wanted for nothing
And thought of my love only
As often as a bird thinks of sky.
You didn’t yet know people
Can go away or even die.
I know how things changed,
But I can’t bear to think of it.
I picture you now, with your love
Thursday 31st May 2018 3:43 pm
At an unprogrammed Quaker meeting
The spirit moved someone
To remind us to find our Joy.
After, a friend said she would
Find joy in a nice boy toy.
Or maybe it was a toy boy.
She said one is a boy
You’d like as a toy
And the other is something
A boy would like to play with.
We giggled at that,
And I was reminded of a joke
About a party where everyone...
Friday 25th May 2018 6:05 pm
While mourning his daughter Tullia, Cicero took to writing a book of self-consolation. Thinking himself the inventor of this type of self-help, he said, “Why, I have done what no one has done before, tried to console myself by writing a book.” (This is quoted by Han Baltussen in the Nov. 2009 issue of Mortality in an essay titled, “A grief observed: Cicero on remembering Tullia.”)
I certainly d...
Wednesday 23rd May 2018 10:27 am
I was an adult before I realized that barbed wire is not called Bob War, because that was how my grandfather pronounced it, and he happened to be the person who mentioned it to me most often, as he was the person who would always tell us kids that we needed to help repair the fence. Some concerned neighbour would call to tell him some of the cows were out, and he’d tell us to grab some Bob War and...
Monday 21st May 2018 8:19 pm
I'm putting together a poetry trail for the New Mills Festival. The festival begins 14 September and runs for three weeks. Poem will appear in shop windows throughout the town. We will have a round-robin poetry reading for participants on 26 September 2018 at The Butterfly House at the Torrs. The deadline for submissions is the end of May, but I'm accepting poems as I go, so it is best to get them...
Thursday 5th April 2018 10:46 am
Monday 5th February 2018 11:32 am
Okay, listen up, y’all.
I spent Christmas in England,
And this is what I saw.
They got something called a Christmas Pudding
I don’t know why--it ain’t got no pudding in it at all.
It’s just a big fruity mess
Rotting in fat and alcohol.
First they take dried fruit, sugar, and peelings,
Mix it with some flour, spices, eggs, and brandy,
Add some stuff I can’t remember,
Monday 18th December 2017 11:11 am
When teaching Descartes, I dutifully described his dualism in detail.
I discussed his importance as the father of modernism,
But also his common ground with scholasticism.
Together we examined the ways he attempted to prove God
And the reliability of both mathematics and his own senses.
Also, some biographical information including his early education,
Military service, tra...
Tuesday 17th October 2017 1:33 pm