Retired from decades of own-business toil. Student of human nature (and personal failure). Stood for Parliament 2005 as agent provocateur. Aspiring world-saver. Member of Newbury Poets’ Workshop. Hydroponic gardener. Style: mimicry, pedantry, angry, allegory. Published! You are 'avin' a laugh. www.barriesingleton.co.uk www.spoilpartygames.co.uk Blogger: spoilpartygames. Hello! I have returned - can't remember why I departed. I'll be standing for election again 2015. I will try to visit all of you who made kind remarks after I withdrew. Currently writing 'The Limeric of The Day' for political website:http://spoilpartygames.co.uk/ quite a good daily workout for the poetry muscle.
IMPURE WOOL (With a nod to the Wool marketing Board) There was once a noble king Who had a naughty fling With a nursemaid in her knitted night attire It wasn’t very fetching As the knitting kept on stretching But some aspect of it set the king on fire. The effect of their cavorting On the woollen she was sporting Was to make the nightie big enough for two So came that fateful night When their loving seemed so right The king decreed: “I’ll stay in here with you.” Now imagine the surprise When the court was made to rise For the king to do his daily “us and them” In walked a monster nightie One stern head and one more flighty With four bare feet a-pattering at the hem. Soon wool nighties were the fashion In their wake a wave of passion Caused a population boom like none before And the wool shop at the corner Slogan: “Wool’s a great adorner” Changed the sign to: “Go on - knit yourself a whore!” Now the moral of this tale Is if you’re a lusty male And feel the urge to go out on the pull Cherch’ la femme who has a nightie All come hither and invitie But remember there’s no substitute for wool! STEP CHANGE (For Isobel and Suzy - a laugh.) A princess strolling by a bog Sat down upon a handy log And cried aloud “Oh mercy me Where can my prince - my true love - be?” To her surprise a voice called back "My princess dear, alas alack You have to kiss a lot of frogs To find a prince in fancy togs." The princess leapt up to her feet The owner of the voice to meet But none stood there save she alone “Oh no, she cried, he can’t have gone!” At this the voice, now rather weak Let out a sort of gurgling shriek And out from underneath her shoe A flattened frog slid into view. "I am your prince" the flat frog wheezed "But as you see I’m rather squeezed A kiss brings forth the prince you’re seeking But sadly you will find him leaking." With that the mangled mass expired The princess to her room retired And ever pondered unkind fate To be stood up on her first date. INTERFACE “Dead Blackbird?” The thought half-formed. My shopping-hung body rotated. Sun-dimmed eyes probed sun-strong shadows. Sleeping plant pot! Black. Set to sleep a thousand years; Fashioned from oil that slept a million. The Blackbird would not be so indolent. In no time it would have flown - seeped, mouldered, re-moulded, returning in myriad life-forms. But the black pot sleeps, perhaps for ever, removed from Nature’s slim sphere. And Man, who took its life, may never-more know of it. LIFETIME LEG END (Celebrating Carol Ann 'Comeuppance') I scrape the ice from my windscreen thin and flaky cold like an old lover. I take the driving seat my birthright and turn the key as I once turned from an old lover. The engine refuses to fire groaning and jerking denying, defying like an old lover. I get out and slam the door a dog barks, mocking a wet tree; I am that tree only receiving warmth when pissed on by an old lover. YOU SHOW ME YOURS With hindsight it seems Adam would have been diviner If God had seen fit To fit him a vagina. In the Garden of Eden With a bloke for a mate He would not have found himself Outside the gate. And the fire and the brimstone In Sodom and Gomorrah Could have been deferred To some far off tomorra. No meddlesome female No fruit-flavoured fall With no-one begot - No begetting at all There’d be harmony yet With just two there to share it No fig-leaves required Paradise - grin and bare it! FAECAL ATTRACTION The slug on the pavement Is eating dog shit. I have never seen slug-shit But the slug had seen An advertisement. Apparently it’s nutritious Pre-prepared with no Artificial ingredients Or colorant. John Bull; entrepreneur Of the year Noticed a Tidy Britain Group stat That, 900 tonnes falls On the UK Every day. Seeking cogency, John Contacted an agency Who advertised in ‘Slime’ The most widely devoured Slug mag; Especially when disposed In hedgerows. ‘Eat John Bull Dog Shit’ It proclaimed ‘You’re worth it’. Soon All across Britain Gullible slugs were Tasting turd. John Bull was knighted: ‘Services to cleaner pavements’. The publishers of ‘Slime’ Won a prestigious award For bullshit. And the pathetic slugs of Britain Are still swallowing it. John is leaving for America. Their tally is 3.6 billion Pounds per annum; Less, of course Per anus. GOLD STANDARD (Blackbird) Perched, protestant of music mastery Hob-hued, your golden beak points up the lie. As every Spring your liquid notes pour forth to gild the world, from rightful throne on high. As Satan’s bone-chill darkness creeps the Earth complacently he trusts your black façade but comes the double gold of Spring and song that shadow balks; by beam and stave disbarred. Now: lustre burnished brightly to impress; beak butter-bright to catch a lady’s eye; your lusty lilting song, quite by default confers on all men’s hearts, nobility. RAGE AGAINST THE PRYING OF THE LIGHT (All due respect to Dylan Thomas) Do not go easy into that cruel plight, The unsought life should in negation stay; Rage, rage against the prying of the light. Though cells at their beginning claim no right; That right usurped, un-bid, demands that they Do not go easy into that cruel plight. Wild sperm who caught and shot the ovum’s flight, And learned too late; now grieving on your way, Rage, rage against the prying of the light. Bad dream: ‘gainst self divided; quickening’s blight; How fares Bliss, traded for some tragic play? Do not go gently into that cruel plight. Bland form, near birth, as yet insensible to sight; The languid eye seeks not the glare of day. Rage, rage against the prying of the light. So! Artless foetus, soon without respite; Cursed none accounted latent tears; I pray: Do not go easy into that cruel plight. Rage! Rage against the prying of the light! PAIN THRESHOLD As food of aesthetes - anguish-blind; is Art the Foie Gras of the mind? NOT NO-HOW Clever, clever man; more clever, even, than clever woman; in spite of all your nihilistic drives yet you advance, in unrestrained know-how. Wretched, wretched man! You created your gods, freed your women but never, ever, discovered ‘wise-how’! Now interred – body and mind in a grave of your own digging where the corpse of The Feminine hourly tramples on your head you lie, pondering your lack, for all eternity while Woman, free from base attention and the drone of your pheromones cleverer by the day usurps your plot. ‘THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY’ (‘Coinage’ of President Barack H Obama.) Crusader Bush saw his towers ‘knocked down’ said: “You’re either with us or the tourists”. Then he built a resort in Guantanamo Bay where there weren’t any judges or jurists. With Rummy’s ‘unknowns’ and Cheney’s ‘don’t care’ US justice was all but a mystery. In Dubya’s detention you’re outside the law and perhaps - on the wrong side of history. But blessed with Barack, throwing off Dubya’s taint Washed whiter than white we advance. Historic Obama has hailed the New Age but one still might look slightly askance. The Native American got quite short shrift when toiling invaders – ‘hands blistery’ without reservation – (well, maybe a few) judged them on the wrong side of history. Barack says that love is no use without power so he’s bought a huge chunk to assist him; with oratory, rhetoric, charisma – and cash no right-minded soul can resist him. He read ‘em a speech like the great Dr King it told Muslims: “Shake hands – no clench fistery”; don’t resist us (the way those dumb ‘Indians’ did) you’ll end up on the wrong side of history.” The New Age begins and it starts with Barack at least, so he says, so it must be. Like Tony before him announcing ‘New Day’ he says: “I am Barack – you can trust me” “The old ways are gone, we won’t trade our ideals my law decree: ‘cease and desistory’. But to mess with Barack H Obama – be warned: that puts YOU on the wrong side of history.” America is friendly unless you do wrong or show disrespect for the flag they’ve trounced every foe (designated by Right) and have God-given freedom to brag. But the sages make plain; down the ages its writ only winners scribe ‘truth’ – and their sophistry never fails to ensure, on that page, they’re good men and the rest - on the wrong side of history. VALOUR An ekphrastic exercise in collaboration with 'Ihsan' (heroic artist). Great Ages die un-mourned; no stone proclaims their aims and ethos cycled to a close. But those who populate a later time Divine, in ancient myth, a haunting trace of grace and chivalry: pure, unalloyed. Majestic argent clouds no more hold back the black that follows hard on Sol’s defeat; his seat usurped; cut off, brought low, outfought by water’s vaporous bullion-billowing to bring a paradoxic, pressing pall. Though Valour won the day, all standards fall with all that is contended lost to Man. Since time began no greater price was paid; no biding maiden bathed his wounds in smile; the extra mile was gone to no reward. The Abbey looms through time, its shadow long and song – sung out – invests that heavy beam. This scene attracts the Raven’s evil eye. His rosary of one black-hearted bead takes heed and prays to please, anon, his Lord. Love’s oaken cell lies, this knight’s stature deep there keeping sunlit memories pure-bound ‘neath hallowed ground until the day he’d kneel to feel, through plated breast, soft heart denied that died of excess sensibility. As woman weeps, so man is born to war. Though she deplore the going down of sons the ones with wit to win stir life and loin; victors conjoin, to Nature’s lusty lore ensuring more are born, set in Her way. The broken sun breaks on a broken sword; all but his word was broken in that field. No shield can swerve the thrust of pointed truth denied to youth, yet vitally intent. With tabard timely rent - its blade strikes deep. Time broods on all: time lost - time not to be; to Gravity, time’s drip and grain succumb. Now numbed in stark futility’s embrace all grace denied to valorous essay; delay enfolds the world and dreams abort. Whither Valour now; what purpose served? His enervated being stands perplexed all purpose vexed by abject Fate’s charade; façade in ruin, like to that relict pile as vile Raven flaps his bounty home. NO REFUGE So many gifts are heaven sent to humble souls who close-the-ground dwell. That bounty owned, I still ask why Charisma’s gifted to the scoundrel. In Stateside joust the hopefuls bring great cogency and erudition. But then Charisma mounts the stage and wins the country’s top position. Poor Gordon followed Tony’s stint felt sure that any fool could juggle. Charisma’s gilt is jester-gold; he’s lost without it and must struggle. All’s right and fair in love and war and politicians’ quest for power. Charisma tips injustice’s scales; the wrong man comes – cometh the hour. Mind is no match for instinct’s urge; a fundamental to confound all. Mankind is doomed, like Hamelin’s rats to scamper to the piping scoundrel. 'POETIC' LAUREATE JUSTICE As the post is a Poisonous Chalice I would give this advice to the Palace: "Give McMillan the job With his motorised gob And watch him get lumbered with Alice." RESOLUTION Never mind your ecstasy - feel my anguish! I am newly expelled from Heaven. Rescue me. Barely formed; a humanoid beast; control elusive; malfunctioning; succour me. Why make you physical assessment? These scars I, even now, lay down: mind lashes. How will you fill my emptiness? With the satiety of cleverness or nutritious wisdom? Remember you nothing of this state? Then you are fools who should play no part in my nurture. Would you lead me blithely into error? Then you are knaves whose ineptitude disqualifies you. * * * * * Lucifer alone ennobles desolation. In the fullness of my time, I shall turn to Him. FLAIR Darkly shines the black flame of my word illuming psyche’s deep interstices where trick and treat of alter ego angst perform a dance of wild capriciousness. That tiny pilot light assumed at birth draws to itself such fuel as life affords; ingested bleak – metabolises black bedimming further spirit’s bushelled light. As life ascends, so deeper drives the well with depth itself a bitter-sweet reward; now mantra’s cant is caught in tarry pitch and mind’s dark-lantern shades late tarrying. Pitch-black can mirror sky if one has wit thus I determine to make light if it. OF BEDS As the oyster yields a pearl man invents. Neither realises their fecundity is rooted in irritation: of one - the body of the other - the mind. Man kills the oyster for its pearl. And kills his own World for that eureka moment of invention. INCLUSIVITY. “Intolerance” I can’t abide anathema the name. The same is true of “prejudice” practitioners bring shame. But “choice”: the most abhorrent against cohesion runs let choice be purged from daily life by us - self-chosen ones. INSTANT INSIGHT So that’s why! I thought it was reference to grinding labour fire and beans originating from homage paid to a rapid-response bean-tree-God Brazilian branch. But NO! That’s why! No inkling till I knocked the jar; gravity and Sod’s Law; the lot spread across a tiled floor. Instantly I swept it to a heap. Instantly I panned it up. Judiciously I bunged it on the compost; confusing nosey passers-by; reprieving my waste-bin from the phrase: “worse than death”. Then I knew – that’s why! Click-click; stick-stick. In the twinkling of an eye, twinkle-free, unseen nano-dust instantly regained the moisture of life sucked from it in some Guantanamous coffee-Hell; instantly became slipper-adhesive. So that’s why! CHALLENGE CUP (Posted as a thank you to all the rhymers here.) Beware, beware, the bogus bard dressed in the Emperor’s clothes; all hung about with accolades cheap chandelier with wonky shades who: the very soul of verse degrades and every true muse loathes. Beware the ragged, un-tag-ged, line iambic counterfeit that tread on deft directed toes; uncontrolled thrashing of Baby-Grows; putting out of joint every knowing nose with the smell of nappied deceit. Beware lest you fall in that cash-baited trap! Pledge your tongue to the sweet savoured line. Though an unstructured poem with little to say bamboozles the judges (as none will gainsay) who dares, wins reward - that the Gods alone pay; done right – it’s as water to wine. DARKNESS UNSEEN (My plagiarism - for Nicola) The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me. He has a sense of pride in damage done to Earth’s true balance and ecology; an arable delight in battle won with what - but for his art - grows naturally. All summer, subtle strata sang their song; a savouring of moisture, light and air and Nature’s balanced order lingered long until the ploughman’s slice took back “man’s share”. The smell of earth spoke that primeval nose; the truth of every furrow pleased the man but culture’s creeping creeper, overgrows concealing that fell step when this began. Yet in that weary plod still honour lurks in honest work, provision and respect; God smiles on men who toil in all their works and seems unheeding that Creation’s wrecked. The shadowed field lies striped in muted pain in hope of time’s caress and healing balm but no horizon cloud brings respite rain; ere long, a harrowing will break that calm. The candle blown, his ancient past returns as spirits from the trees assail his dreams and restless through the night, his old soul yearns for enterprise that Everyman redeems. The dream so deep, bat-like, full-fled by dawn reprises archetypal roles enjoyed when Nature’s game was played with naught but brawn and Earth’s brow lay unfurrowed – unannoyed. Respect for Nature then, was absolute each kill a prize, not taken, but received; Earth not bereaved when woman lifted root; thus was mankind sustained with Earth not grieved. Alas! That Golden Age, tarnished to brown as man’s brute weight upset the balanced cup; Eve’s daughters, once revered, he now put down and Mother Nature’s garden he dug up. His ingenuity – hallmarked fools gold through revolution’s zeal turned sod and head; he saw the earth as his, to have and hold A chattel-spouse to dominate and bed. Defiled, the Earth endures her ravaged state put to the plough as vanquished to the sword. The ploughman, long since, time has titled: “late” but tractored free of time, the plough is lord. Left to my world, where darkness closes in and ploughman’s error multiplies apace; confronted with GM’s unmeasured sin I ponder yet: what loss, the human race? SEAT OF MAJESTY (Melvyn Bragg 'did' Metaphysical Poets this week.) I’m a Metaphysical Poet though there’s no way you might know it as the concept simply cannot be defined! Do I walk reality’s margin and where Angels won’t tread, barge in in verbosity eschew the daily grind? As a Metaphysical Poet Exposition: I o’erthrow it it’s not my job to say just what I mean. I spar without definin’ on obliquity reclinin’ goin’ arm-in-arm with Mr In-between. Yes – the Metaphysical Poet must make sure he doesn’t blow it by writin’ clearly somethin’ quite concise. With extensions allegoric (and odd reference to poor Yorick) he should go around the block, no less than thrice. Join this Metaphysical Poet bring indulgence, and bestow it he is hungry for a validation-crumb. It rides daily on his conscience he is writing arrant nonsense; and is really just a Metaphysical Bum. DARK PLACE The smart bomb flew – the pilot flew away. Both unconcerned by what was done that day. A side-swipe of collateral excess brought down the house at some unsought address. A rubbled life beneath the rubble drained as those above all impotently strained to beat the clock; forestall the Reaper’s watch; the pilot sipped a Coke and scratched his crotch. One power-shower’d – the other auto-soiled; the victim wet – the pilot dried and oiled. Blood ceased to flow; so little blood yet there the pilot ate a steak; blood-macho – rare. Death came at last as day fell into night. What good was served may never come to light. TIME EMBROIDERED The time that once was ‘once upon’ has gone and I am through that portal no mere mortal ever more regains but slowly drains thereafter of life-force on downward course to timelessness. Time that was once additional with fetes, traditional in embrace of growth; now loath to find its tally yet advanced; frame disenhanced as years take toll and goal concedes to aimlessness. Universal Time, with space entwined your face unlined, eternal ingénue by you, is all encompassed since the Word; our mark: inferred ineffability. And me: a petty point of pointlessness. RE PROOF Dead Mother, I still strive to prove my worth; see-off the passing-dullness from your eyes. Though three-score-ten, yet still I crave a smile in recognition of this son grown wise. Were wisdom truly mine, this quest I’d loose to wander off and die of zeal-denied; with striving for approval quite eschewed at-home in my own judgement I’d abide. But I am built on sand with faulted stone your mother-masonry scarce first degree; your temple ill-constructed bowed and propped in bad grace, from its portal, issued me. Now, in its turn, an ill-considered life considers what’s achieved through all this strife. BOOM DOOM Magic Obama - Rentagod has taken up Tony’s staff and rod to biblically wander the wilderness where the simple folk crave his address and yearn to feel his healing grace as Obama succours (!) the Human Race. Magic Obama comes nigh to implore ya: make room in your hearts for this Barack-room lawyer. Hail to the king who needs no crown your sorrows in vacuous rhetoric drown! His words ranging wide, cover every angle but his trousers still have a recalcitrant dangle. And what’s this I see – are those shoulders a-slope? Don’t tell me Obama: our latest white hope is as lost as the others who went before; a boy, needing status – who’ll always want more? Alas yes! He’s another whose childhood decreed like Blair, there’s no status can sate such great need! Thus the World goes on down to a welcoming doom to the sound of Obama’s abominable boom. IN PASSING Two trains pass, and two men glance caught up in that St Vitus’ Dance of restless movement, nationwide as over silver tracks they glide like millions more who’s dumb commute conforms to rigid iron-clad route. Neither can know the other’s trade. They woke at six and toast was made. Each wears a suit that signals clearly some minor status won quite dearly and each accepts, devoid of fuss: they’re headed for a terminus. All down that train some traveller’s eye half notices a train go by but none then ponder its intent to drop its load from whence they went; a mix of workers – workaday; just like went past the other way! The trains arrive in unsung towns. Two men possessed of time-etched frowns arrive at work which – truth to tell each other might do just as well. They passed again that night - unstirred and none felt what had passed: absurd. WRONG WRITING When Dubya reads another’s words He does it rather well Transposing type to spoken word. We followed him to Hell. The rhetoric is honed and clear An actor with his lines No word illuminates the man No Freudian Slip defines. We now know Kennedy’s: ‘Ask not’ Was written by another. No one who heard asked: ‘Who wrote that’ Just hailed Jack as their brother. Obama now shall rule the waves That Britain once aspired to. This man will speak the world anew (Through someone he has hired to). Or will McCain’s new running mate: The Palin Stepford Wife Through off-the-peg words cut to fit Transfuse him with new life? We lie content within the lie Of Havel’s shrewd perceiving. The Emperor’s clothes are woven words Bespoke for our deceiving. PROXY PLEADING (for Armistice Day) (With unqualified respect for Rudyard Kipling.) Have you news of my mother? Not this strife. But she will come back? She’ll surely bother? Not while death is prized above life. Has anyone had word of her? Not this strife. ‘Killer’ is hardly a mother-metaphor Even though death is prized above life. Oh dear. To what, then, do I amount? Nothing this strife. As mere life Best to take pride in being of little account Now death is prized above life. Then hold your head up all the more; Embracing strife. Your go, in time, will bring its grief But you will live to succour war As surely as today you suckle life. NOT MUCH CALL FOR PLOUGHSHARES. The arms of the world reach up in despair A desperate child, with no mother there; As the armaments industry demonstrates flair There is not much call for ploughshares. The artisan’s hand cupped Britain’s prowess When the smith made and mended the tools of success; His arms now have yielded to mayhem and mess And there’s not much call for ploughshares. Our industry hums as the arms take on life Assembled by willing hands – daughter and wife; Taken up in far lands to facilitate strife Where there’s not much call for ploughshares. To cry “Halt!” killing jobs, that would be suicide! Altruism’s besmirch, politicians deride. What? Lose the election – talk sense man – besides There’s never much call for ploughshares. The arms Britain sells: ‘strictly meant for defence’ But Terror’s defeat equates guilt’s recompense Such that swathes of the world lie untended – whence, There is not much call for ploughshares. Mother Nature armed man and put fight in his head That the strong might endure to plant seed in her bed But Nature, herself, profane war leaves for dead So there’s not much call for ploughshares.
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
THEATRE OF WAR (11/11/2013 – 11.am) (11/11/2013)
NOT MUCH CALL FOR PLOUGHSHARES. (09/11/2013)
DOGS OF WAR (08/11/2013)
TETHER'S END (07/11/2013)
CORRIE AND JOHN (after Joan Hunter Dunn) (30/10/2013)
BRAWN DRAIN (29/10/2013)
BLANKETY BLANK SLATE (directed infant rage 2012) (27/10/2013)
DEAR DIARY (Mother Nature) (26/10/2013)
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