Poetry Blog by Tim Ellis

Recent Comments

Tim Ellis on Nothing else matters (Wed, 23 Jan 2019 02:50 pm)

Tim Ellis on Dry January (Wed, 16 Jan 2019 02:47 pm)

lisa donohoe on Dry January (Tue, 15 Jan 2019 04:53 pm)

Don Matthews on Dry January (Tue, 15 Jan 2019 02:55 pm)

Tim Ellis on One sandwich short (Tue, 6 Nov 2018 10:40 pm)

jennifer Malden on One sandwich short (Mon, 5 Nov 2018 06:18 pm)

M.C. Newberry on One sandwich short (Sun, 4 Nov 2018 03:19 pm)

Hannah Collins on One sandwich short (Sun, 4 Nov 2018 03:17 pm)

Taylor Crowshaw on One sandwich short (Sun, 4 Nov 2018 06:51 am)

Brian Maryon on One sandwich short (Sat, 3 Nov 2018 07:08 pm)

Dry January

entry picture

I came to in a sickbed on January the 1st,

bowels on fire, tongue and tonsils stinking,

jackhammers splitting my skull. It was the worst

hangover on record in all history of drinking.

 

That agony was nothing to my suffering now

for in a fit of penance,  a superfluity

of over reaction, I swore a solemn vow

that the year will kick off with a dry January.

 

Dry January!...

Read and leave comments (3)

One sandwich short

he's one sandwich short of a picnic

he's two cards shy of a deck
he’s lost in the woods
he’ll never come good

he’s burnt out, a gibbering wreck

he's mostly away with the fairies

his ship is on the rocks
his nerves are shot
the man is not

the sharpest tool in the box

they say that he's not the full shilling

and he's got no gas in the tank
he's no flipping use
he's got a s...

Read and leave comments (7)

picnicsandwich

Nothing else matters

entry picture

Every single day I get a torrent in my inbox:

online communities that crave my support

with a signature, a letter, a donation to unlock

a Saudi prison cell; save turtles; alert

a smug politician to the suffering of the needy;

grant safe asylum to desperate refugees;

liberate wealth from the clutches of the greedy;

or restrict global warming to one point five degrees.

I wann...

Read and leave comments (5)

climateclimate change

Guisecliff Crag, August

entry picture

Where the fragrant heather moorland borders

wildwood, by the crags above the river,

the harebells and last fading heads of clover

nod themselves to sleep in drowsy August.

The ling is now full-on and tightly ordered

spikes of tiny flowers blanket over

the landscape like an Emperor’s purple toga

swathed across the heights, but thrice more gorgeous.

The fated grouse may look ...

Read and leave comments (5)

Augustgrouseheathermoorlandmoorsrowanwildflowers

100 Reasons to Plant a Tree

entry picture

Add them up and there must be 
one hundred reasons to plant a tree: 

The buds of May inlaid with dew.           1 
The verdure of the summer leaves.       2 
Winter twigs -a filigree                           3 
against the sky’s gunmetal hue. 
Refreshing shade when days are hot,   4  
and autumn colours -red and gold.        5 
Rot down leaves to make leafmould      6 
and mulch it rou...

Read and leave comments (7)

Treetrees

Accidents Will Happen

entry picture

For all the aging punks . With apologies to Elvis Costello.

 

Oh I just don't know where to begin:

we don't want it forever

so it's now or never.

We should keep them hanging on

till the investors have gone

and make sure they can’t get in

without a police chaperone.

 

chorus:

 

Because accidents will happen

if we let the frackers win

and we’ll all be the vi...

Read and leave comments (2)

elvis costelloEnvironmentfrackingspoof song

Yesterday

entry picture

Yesterday

all my troubles seemed so far away

then Third Energy came to say

that my house sits on Bowland Shale. 

 

Suddenly

mine’s not half the house it used to be.

There's an earthquake rolling under me

triggered by Third Energy.

 

How they messed up so 

I don’t know

they did not say.

They did something wrong 

now a pong 

comes from the mains.

 

...

Read and leave comments (3)

fracking

Where Are The Skydancers?

entry picture

I set off on a ramble through the Forest of Bowland

binoculars at the ready, a bird book to hand.

I hope to see some species that don't breed in the lowlands,

hen harriers and short eared owls, quartering the land.  

My list has pipits, crows and jackdaws,

grouse in surplus but no raptors.

I tick off golden plover, curlew and wheatear

but where are the skydancers? 

THEY'RE ...

Read and leave comments (7)

birdsbirdwatchinggame keepergrousehen harrier

Mercedes Benz

with apologies to Janis Joplin

 

Oh Lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz.

Ma friends are all truck drivers ah must make amends

by blowin' clouds of black smoke from ma supercharged back end.

Oh Lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz.

 

Oh Lord won't you fiddle me the exhaust test readin's down

so ah can poison ma neighbors as ah drive around,

belchin' nitrous oxide all a...

Read and leave comments (3)

Janis JoplinMercedes BenzPollution

The End of May

entry picture

June will be the end of May!

The 9th will be a celebration day.

We'll dance in the streets of the whole U.K.

Let's make June the end of May!

 

When she came no one expected

she'd hit us with a rock hard Brexit,

so show the lady to the exit.

Let's make June the end of May!

 

June will be the end of May!

We'll halt the NHS decay

and give the nurses proper pay.

...

Read and leave comments (3)

Conservativesgeneral electionLabour PartyTheresa MayTories

The Happiest Place

entry picture

I scan the paper and I'm smitten
by a headline: someone's written
"The happiest place to live in Britain
is here in Harrogate."

I sip my fresh brewed Yorkshire Tea,
gaze at the Stray where glorious trees
ripple sedately in the breeze
and I wonder "What's so great?"

Every town surely has beds filled with flowers,
a grand Turkish Bath with a dome and towers,
mineral springs and clean w...

Read and leave comments (5)

Harrogate

A Call To Peace

entry picture

Let's unite in peace and make a plan:
a wily plan of mutual respect
to counteract the hatred in this man.
Let's do everything he won't expect!

We won't let goads and bigotry divide us
- let's evoke what World War II has taught us.
Don't let's patronise - let women guide us
when he slights our mothers, sisters, daughters.

And when he flays the vulnerable with derision 
let's answer bac...

Read and leave comments (2)

climateracismsexismTrump

President Trump has control of the nuclear trigger

entry picture

They're building a wall on the border.
They question which God you revere.
The military men have their orders
to weed out the liberals and queers.
The nation is ravaged with violence.
His critics are seeking asylum.

The U.S. lies in ruin - go figure 
why the wider world is gripped with fear:
President Trump has control of the nuclear trigger.


He's ripped up the free trade agreements...

Read and leave comments (2)

donald trumpnuclear war

Why Do Poets Like Autumn?

entry picture

For Andy Humphrey, with respect.

 

Because there's poignant glory in decay.
Because each burst of light may be the last.
Because the rusting hasp on dwindling days
grants access to new treasures from the past.

Because of gold and rubies on the boughs.
Because the bitter apple crop has sweetened.
Because we broke our backs in June but now
the leeks we broke our backs for may be eaten...

Read and leave comments (0)

autumn

Let the Bone-Fire Burn!

entry picture

I'm speaking and performing some poems tomorrow in Manchester after a march as part of both the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, and 100 Thousand Poets for Change. If you'd like to take part we're assembling in All Saints Park, Manchester at 11.30am. Or look on the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos website, and there may be something going on in a city near where you are. I've written th...

Read and leave comments (1)

elephanthornIvorypoachingrhino

A Message to the New Government

entry picture

The nation needs renewables now!
The nation needs renewables now!

As Once-great Britain takes a bow
and we leave the stage of the European Union,
the quintessential issue's the quandary how
we accommodate the suck of an economy consuming 
two thousand million megawatt hours 
of climate wrecking energy by the year
when there's finite reserves of fossil fuel power.
I spurn the allegation ...

Read and leave comments (1)

Brexitclimateenergygeothermalhydropowerrenewablessolartidalwind

Last Night

entry picture

Last night was more than anyone could bear.
Last night they plunged a dagger into Yorkshire,
approving plans to poison land, to fracture 
the ground beneath our feet, to choke the air.

Four thousand people sent in their objections.
A hundred speakers warned what could occur.
But seven County Councillors didn't care
and kicked North Yorkshire in the wrong direction:

a course that leads ...

Read and leave comments (3)

climate changefrackingPollutionYorkshire

Following the Money

entry picture

From the North Sea, wild and grey
the horde bore down on Scarborough Bay.
I overheard one of them say 
"We're following the money."

Like a Viking raiding force
they'd moved their enterprise onshore
to probe beneath the Yorkshire moors
for oil and gas and money.

A mighty fleet of high power cars
overran the Scarborough Spa.
I heard them, wassailing at the bar
thirsty for the money.

...

Read and leave comments (7)

climate changefrackinggasmoneyoilpollutionVikingsYorkshire

A poem for Ashraf Fayadh

entry picture


Saudi courts, your rule of fear is finished
- the sentence on this poet negates your faith.
Your hollow incantation "God Is Great"
is plainly false if God can be diminished
by lines of verse. Should murder be admonished
to Ashraf Fayadh, forevermore his fate
will hold as evidence that you're afraid 
of poetry. Frankly I'm astonished:

astonished that a land so steeped in culture,
in li...

Read and leave comments (6)

Ashraf Fayadhatheismexecutionfree speechpoetpoetryreligionSaudi Arabia

God The Banana on Harrogate Alternative Radio

entry picture

You can listen to me reading the first hour of my epic sonnet-novel "God The Banana" on this internet radio show. It's in 3 sections interspersed with some very good music. Enjoy!

https://m.mixcloud.com/HarrogateAlternativeRadio/artapes-presents-3/

Read and leave comments (0)

Lagoons of sadness

entry picture

Cracked mud.  Black trees.  Dead grasslands.

Vast lagoons reduced to puddles.

Jungle Babblers scuff  beside the pathways.

A few ducks dabble.

 

But I remember Bharatpur before,

in ‘89 - the wetlands shimmering.

A haunt of Sarus Crane and Painted Stork

where duck counts peaked in millions,

 

and how a young man stood here once,  bedazzled

by dancing cranes and divin...

Read and leave comments (2)

Tom's last poem

entry picture

I’m sheltering in the hole made by a tree 
which must have been knocked down sometime today. 
Its torn-up roots are angled over me, 
keeping off the force-ten gale’s melee. 
It’s sixteen weeks now since my gruesome sighting 
-a de-horned unicorn with pecked-out eyes 
beside a road. The poems I was writing 
I printed off and posted for a prize, 
and now I rove and doss down in the dark 
be...

Read and leave comments (3)

Rhino swansong

entry picture

Stuff yourselves you rakish apes, carousing, 
smashed on greenhouse gases, with your gross 
physiques ensconced on barstools turned from trees 
that we’d depended on for shade and browsing. 

You looked on us as merchandise. A horn. 
Mindless hulks. You gunned us down, despising 
I rhinos for existing whilst espousing 
reverence for the fabled unicorn. 

Mince us up! We’d make your quart...

Read and leave comments (1)

carbonclimate changeextinctionrhino

Access weekend

entry picture

iPod plugged, young Victor’s 
muttered not a word since my divorce. 
Grace is up front. She carps, 
“Dad, why d’you drive this Chelsea Tractor?” 
Thinks she’s going to save the world of course 
since reading a bit of ecology for GCSE. 
I hang a left and bark, 
“You think I never cared? You’ll see!” 

My big Land Cruiser cruises 
country lanes through blizzards of thistle-down. 
The car-...

Read and leave comments (0)

climateecologyeducationhopetrees

Noah was a modern man

entry picture

When oceans rose and ice-caps ran 
like rain, Old Noah made a plan. 
-a cunning plan you’d marvel at 
which could’ve saved the world, save that 
Noah was a modern man. 

His ark’s small size compelled a ban 
on lions and tigers. Of that clan 
he rescued just his pussy-cat, 
when oceans rose. 

And when the global flush began, 
Old Noah was nature’s daftest fan. 
He gave deck-space to ...

Read and leave comments (4)

Bigfoot

entry picture

I’ve left my clomping prints on every shore 
since Africa was Eden in my youth. 
The sand will bear my dent for evermore. 

I chewed-up gum-trees with my baby jaw 
and bit the dry red heart with my first tooth. 
I’ve left my clomping prints on every shore. 

Europe roused my growing thirst for war. 
Her spirit fired me up, one hundred proof. 
The sand will bear my dent for evermore. 

...

Read and leave comments (3)

climateEarthenvironmentHomo sapienshumanityplanetvillanelle

The frog maker

entry picture

There’s gift-stalls galore outside the wild and hilly

Monteverde Forest. I buy a saffron

amphibian, sculpted in glass, from the guy that crafts them.

“What species is it?” I ask. His smile goes chilly.

“Is Golden Toad. He no more around.”

He knew them as a boy and recounts the thrilling

jackpot glitter of frogs in the fern-leaf frilly

puddles of April that made their spawning ...

Read and leave comments (4)

climate changecloud forestCosta Ricaextinctionfroggolden toadMonteverde

END OF HISTORY SALE!

entry picture

FINAL DAYS!  TOTAL CLEARANCE!!

The END OF HISTORY SALE is Now On!!!

Buy this planet!  *slightly damaged

When it’s gone it’s gone.

 

It’s a massive,  one-off sale sensation.

Conservation?  Don’t be conned!

We’ve got the whole world for exploitation!

When it’s gone it’s gone.

 

Buy this beautiful hardwood foot-rest!

Timber sourced from the Amazon:

the world’s grea...

Read and leave comments (1)

climate changeenvironmenthistoryplanetsale

One hundred reasons to plant a tree

entry picture

Add them up and there must be 
one hundred reasons to plant a tree: 

The buds of May inlaid with dew.           1 
The verdure of the summer leaves.       2 
Winter twigs -a filigree                           3 
against the sky’s gunmetal hue. 
Refreshing shade when days are hot,   4  
and autumn colours -red and gold.        5 
Rot down leaves to make leafmould      6 
and mulch it rou...

Read and leave comments (6)

trees

This bird

entry picture

Look at this thing, this gruesome thing, this shake-off from the slick.

A car mechanic’s rag, a bag of bile, a doodling hand that drags

a biro clot of crudeness up the beach.

This foul-up. This bird. This broken component of our world.

Then look at that: a flesh gorged kite, circling

while cluster bombs slake a starving nation’s soil.

America’s pin puckered vein, the fight for th...

Read and leave comments (3)

Afghanistanbirdsbombsoilpollutionwar

C-R-A-P World Holidays

entry picture

I’m looking for a holiday. 
I’m surfing on the internet. 
I want a little getaway, 
a place I haven’t been yet. 
I hit on this site 
-‘s got lovely colour photos, 
the prices are all right, 
there’s lotsa countries you can go. 
It’s called: Culturerelaxationandadventurepackageworld.com. Culturerelaxationandadventurepackageworld.com 
That’s C-R-A-P-World dot com. 
C-R-A-P 
CRAP WORLD! CR...

Read and leave comments (9)

climate changeextinctionholidaysPollution

No Warning

entry picture

Chipper people,  old and young,
making the most of the evening sun,
sucking death into their lungs
beneath a high street awning:

Formerly sociable,  carousers and clubbers
but outcast now,  they croon one another
with raucous gurgles of bronchial slobber
and carcinomas forming.

A message made to catch the eye
is emblazoned on the packet’s side:
“Cigarettes gonna make you die!”
but t...

Read and leave comments (1)

Bankscarsclimate changeParis climate summitrecessionsmoking

Fracking Hell!

entry picture

North Yorkshire was a green and pleasant county 
with rolling hills and cricket on the green, 
and tourists by the score 
would come to see the moors, 
historic sites and charming rural scenes. 
And when they'd had their fill of nature's bounty 
they'd spend their cash at tearooms and hotels. 
But then some gas was found 
two miles beneath the ground; 
now Yorkshire has become a 

Frack...

Read and leave comments (2)

climate changeFossil Energyfrackinggasyorkshire

Speak The Unspeakable

entry picture

Speak The Unspeakable

 

Hi, I'm called Tim. 

I’m writing this today

to make you all uncomfortable,

to rock your peace of mind.

 

I'm here to shock you,

here to mock your carbon hungry ways.

Expect no civil platitudes,

no reassuring lies.

I'm here to whack your attitudes,

dynamite your lassitude.

At times I'll be a little rude

- it's all for your own good!

...

Read and leave comments (3)

climate changeglobal warmingParis climate summit

How To Be A Denier

Claim yourself to be a fount of knowledge.
Claim that every scientist's a liar.
If you've done a course at any college 
you can be a certified denier.

Gather up those inconvenient facts
and twist them like they're bendy bits of wire.
Disseminating data needs great tact
but any fool can thrive as a denier.

Lobby for a mega corporation 
to push emission targets ever higher.
Easy work, ...

Read and leave comments (10)

climateclimate changeclimate change deniersdenial

Six Degrees

At one degree the western plains 
of the US will be starved of rain,
Bankrupted farmers will pack up and flee
as desert restakes its claim.
There'll be no ice cap on the Arctic,
we'll lose the rivers of Kilimanjaro,
and frost that keeps the Alps secure 
won't do it any more.
The Barrier Reef will bleach and die,
mountain animals will reach the sky
chasing the cool, and those that can't f...

Read and leave comments (1)

climate changeEarthEnvironmentFutureglobal warmingParis climate summit

God The Banana

entry picture

I've now published my epic verse-novel God The Banana. It's available in print on Amazon & on Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/God-The-Banana-Tim-Ellis/dp/150317428X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1417545504&sr=1-2

I posted the first two of the 437-sonnet story here a few weeks ago.  This is how it continues:

 

Many thousand sticks of incense smoulder

blueing the gloomy hall within t...

Read and leave comments (0)

bananacathedralepicgodpoem

The Prophet Of Amanga

entry picture

I've published a new ebook, and you can get it for free at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/489438

It's the first part of a trilogy called God The Banana, an epic verse-novel written as a sequence of 437 sonnets. Here's the first one:

 

Picture a diamond spinning against the dark,
flinging back the brilliance of a sun.
Move a little closer - you’ll be stunned
how lakes and oceans ...

Read and leave comments (2)

bananaepicGodprophetsonnet

A new video

entry picture

I've made this great new video of the title poem of my free ebook.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lItDO6AmUsc

Read and leave comments (0)

Ellisian Fields

entry picture

Although we stare until our eyes go fuzzy
nothing stirs,  no whisker,  not a nostril.
The pond has want of life but we live hopeful:
the fringing sedge is dense,  the water scuzzy
and these impediments can well excuse the
absence of movement.  At least we have a photo,
a snap displaying capybara profiles,
unmistakable if somewhat muzzy.

A quarter hour ago the pair revealed
their forms i...

Read and leave comments (0)

Poem for Nelson Mandela.

I expect everybody’s read enough Nelson Mandela poems by now,  but here’s mine anyway...

 

“What’s it got to do with us?”  refrained
my father when his boys
spurned the bottle of Cape Red plonk
he’d serve with Sunday roast.  Despite how it stained,
he’d never grasp our umbrage at his choice,
but Nelson’s cell was like a sunken rock
to which our teenage optimism was chained.

There se...

Read and leave comments (5)

ApartheidNelson Mandelapoem

New poetry video

entry picture

Here's an updated version of my promo video for my e-book. It's only a couple of minutes long - why not give it a viewing and award it a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down?  I'm selling the book to raise money for rhino conservation.

http://youtu.be/4WCmD3HUQHM

Read and leave comments (0)

On The Verge is on Kindle

entry picture

Great news! I've re-published my e-book On The Verge on Amazon, so you can now buy it direct from the Kindle store. As before, all profits go towards saving the Black Rhino. It's still available on Smashwords, and from all the e-book retailers I know of. Enjoy!   

 

 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/On-The-Verge-ebook/dp/B00E8R5K2E/ref=sr_1_61?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1375260286&sr=1-61&k...

Read and leave comments (0)

Half-price book!

I am giving fellow write out loud members an opportunity to buy my e-book On The Verge at half price.  Just enter this voucher code: SP58T on the Smashwords checkout page.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/317217

I am donating all my profits from sales of this book to a rhino conservation charity.

Read and leave comments (0)

The Spirit of the Road

This is the first poem in my new e-book On The Verge, which I am selling to raise money for a Black Rhino conservation project in Africa.  You can buy the book for under £2 here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/317217  and it can then be downloaded onto just about any computer, smart-phone, tablet or e-reader.

The Spirit of the Road.

 

Everything’s got a soul you know.

The...

Read and leave comments (0)

El condor no pasa.

entry picture

 

El condor no pasa.

 

Dawn was a slobber drooled from fangs of giants.

We willed the canyon clogging mist to shift.

The Colca River roiled beneath the silence,

muffed in cloud.  Snow-caps snarled.  We got shoved

about by tour groups,  guffawing and looking miffed

to see no condors.  Us,  we found some plusses,

hummingbirds,  sierra finch,  Andean swift,

...

Read and leave comments (6)

chickenbuscondorellisgringopasatim

A gardener reminisces.

 A gardener reminisces.

 

A long-ago morning,  bright but biting cold,

I forked a client's border.  A sheen of frost

had silenced the robins,  silvered the cobwebs and glossed

a gorgeous Norway Maple's veils of gold.

One by one she dropped her leaves and tossed

playfully some of the sparkliest at my head,

laid the rest around me as a bed

and unabashed lolled ...

Read and leave comments (6)

Gringo on the Chickenbus.

entry picture

This is a plug for my Fringe show at the Ilkley Literature Festival.  It's called Gringo on the Chickenbus (ignore what the ILF has published in their program - they're idiots!),  and it's at the Ilkley Playhouse on Tuesday 6th October ,  9pm.  Admission free.  Look on the gig guide for a map.

It's a one-man show,  mostly poetry with a lot of  bouncing about and a song thrown in,  and some lovely...

Read and leave comments (1)

European Capital of wot?

Pier Head meets Manhattan:  very strange.

It's not my student sphere,  this Liverpool.

Only The Swan in Wood Street stays unchanged:

a haven for the chronically uncool.

 

A quarter century dies inside the door.

My nostrils drink a familiar Dettol whiff.

Same bikes outside,  same sticky plank floor,

long hair,  strong ale,  thundering Metal riffs.

 

My crowd didn't do opera with the toffs...

Read and leave comments (3)

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

Find out more Hide this message