Poetry Blog by Randy Horton

Cultivating Life

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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


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Tortured Metaphor

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.

Tortured Metaphor


Every rendition begins with shackles,

And ...

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bad writingmetaphorpoemtorture

Judging the Judge

Mark Judge knows the judge,
Maybe a bit too well,
The judge wants Judge to fudge,
But in time truth will tell.

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FeminismKavanaughMark JudgeSupreme Court

The Terror of Physical Education

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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...

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child abusecoachingphysical educationpoempoetry


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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...

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confuciusdespairerasmusgreat menhagiographyhumanitiesseneca

Dead Fathers

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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...

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Transatlantic Verses - online open mic

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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...

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onlineOpen MicpoetrySpoken Word poetry

Ode to Eve Libertine

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.


In 198...

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CrassEve LibertineJoy de VivrePenis Envy album

Slave to the Algorithm

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...

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algorithmfacebooksocial mediatwittervalidation

Living in the Future

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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...

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In My Arms

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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


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Seeking Joy

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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


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Writing Through Illness and Grief Group

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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...

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Bob War (Ode to Humane Farming)

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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...

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New Mills Festival Poetry Trail

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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...

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call for submissionspoetrypoetry trailsubmissions

Writing Prompts

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Stare at a blank page or screen until you feel an overwhelming compulsion to fill it with letters. If you are thinking about something, write it down. You once said you spend too much time ruminating. What about? While crying, you once said everyone hated you. What do you think makes you so unpleasant? You’ve had more than a handful of lovers. How did you attract them? You’ve had more th...

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writers blockwriting prompts

Lonnie's First Christmas Pudding

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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,


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alcoholchristmasChristmas puddingpuddingTexas

What I Never Told My Students About Descartes

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...

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Love Like a Cliche

You are certainly not a metaphor,

But you may be sort of like a simile.

You are my rudder and sails on a turbulent sea.

You are like a force that guides and propels me.


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  • 2017 - 2018 (19)

Recent Comments

Randy Horton on Cultivating Life (3 days ago)

Brian Maryon on Cultivating Life (4 days ago)

Randy Horton on Cultivating Life (4 days ago)

Brian Maryon on Cultivating Life (4 days ago)

Big Sal on The Terror of Physical Education (Wed, 15 Aug 2018 02:45 am)

Martin Elder on Hagiography (Tue, 24 Jul 2018 12:19 am)

Andy N on Hagiography (Mon, 23 Jul 2018 10:27 pm)

Stu Buck on Hagiography (Mon, 23 Jul 2018 08:48 pm)

Randy Horton on Hagiography (Mon, 23 Jul 2018 07:19 pm)

Nicola Hulme on Hagiography (Mon, 23 Jul 2018 06:55 pm)

Nicola Hulme on Hagiography (Mon, 23 Jul 2018 06:53 pm)

Wood on Transatlantic Verses - online open mic (Mon, 2 Jul 2018 01:11 am)

Freda Davis on Ode to Eve Libertine (Wed, 27 Jun 2018 01:37 pm)

Colin Hill on Slave to the Algorithm (Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:24 am)

Hayley Taylor on Slave to the Algorithm (Tue, 19 Jun 2018 09:52 pm)


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