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R A Porter

Updated: Fri, 24 Nov 2023 09:59 pm

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Manchester born, with Lakeland and Northern Irish roots, I was fortunate to grow up surrounded by storytellers. Influences and passions include John Cooper Clark (naturally), Pam Ayres, Yeats, Heaney, Wilfred Owen, the Romantic poets, Spike Milligan, Leonard Cohen, George Best, James Joyce, Clive James and lyricists such as Elvis Costello, Lennon & McCartney, Paul Simon, David Byrne and Van Morrison. Professionally I have made films for 30+ years and learned a lot about moving pictures, words & music along the way. One thing I’ve done that will, I think, last is Sea Wall, a short film about love, grief and family developed from a play written by my nephew. I've always written, generally humorous poetry and prose, but there has been a much more consistent flow since February 2020, which happily seems to be an enduring rather than temporary state.

reflections on life's oddities

Things I will never understand   These things I will never understand Why DIY seldom goes as planned How trombonists get gigs in bands Whoever wins that one hundred grand Why sandwiches get covered in sand What is the function of the prostate gland   These things I’ll never understand   Who buys those porcelain figurines Sold in Sunday magazines Why there are still kings and queens How the Tower of Pisa leans What happens if kids don’t eat their greens Are there really 57 varieties of beans   These things I’ll never understand   Why cows lie down on rainy days How pale faces appear against green baize Why they say that crime never pays How stuff labelled “amazing” fails to amaze The longevity of Songs of Praise Whatever happened to HostessTtrays   These things I’ll never understand   The game of golf with its arcane rules Sitting comfortably, on stools That Birkenstocks are considered cool Where to store redundant tools Urinating in a swimming pool The application of the offside rule   These things I’ll never understand   Corduroy, small dogs in coats Distinguishing weasels, ferrets, stoats Welsh cheese derived from goats Circumnavigating the globe in very small boats The madness of the Brexit vote How cargo ships stay afloat   These things I’ll never understand R.A. Porter Floating on Windermere Floating out on Windermere Below the towering fells Enveloped by the beauty here And hosts of daffodils Over the side of the little boat Oars churn the placid lake Where unexpected items float To the Leven and the Crake They meander through the baby trout And clog their little gills Of their origin there can be no doubt Septic tanks and sewage spills Floating out on Windermere Where swans elegantly sipped Ecologically it would appear A balance has been tipped A cloak of algae like a shroud Suffocates any life below Which wanders briefly as a cloud To expire in the effluent flow Dead trout and eel and salmon too No place for them to feed Amongst the tampons, piss and poo Of negligence and greed Continuous as the Milky Way Over the black lake’s fourteen miles Where deadly cyanobacteria sway Its presence here defiles A sacred place that once did hum With insects, fish and birds Now stagnant under toxic scum The by-product of turds R.A.Porter jargon junkie I just can’t get enough Of empty words and phrases Insubstantial bits of fluff Business jargon crazes It’s carnage in the breakout room Let’s synergise, trim some fat If you’re after face time we can Zoom You’re smashing it, I get that I’m feeling all proactive Where we are is where we are Let’s touch base and trim the fat, You’re just not on my radar There’s an elephant in the room And it’s standing in my space Maybe trade it for a cash cow And let it wash its face Are you ready for a paradigm shift At the coalface or on the plate You can elevate your pitch in the lift Better never, than late We had a water cooler conversation But the needle refused to move I hear what you’re saying amigo I’m locked and loaded, in the groove I’m giving one hundred and ten percent Just holler if you want more I High Five myself each morning As I’m heading out the door Hit the ground running, raise the bar With a positive mental attitude Scrapbook ideas, stay below par Choose energy not lassitude Leaving no stone unturned It’s time to take some flack Your promising career crashed and burned Natural wastage or the sack I’m Going viral, I hear what you say Let’s think outside the box I’m struggling for bandwidth today And my ballpark’s on the rocks I’m drilling down to circle back we need more blue sky thought In this window there’s a growth hack Do don’t sell yourself short If you want a silver bullet I’ll keep you in the loop When you see a lever pull it We’re going from nuts to soup Let me run this up the flagpole Dice and slice a bigger pie Tee up the low hanging fruit There is no team in I R A Porter What is the point of a poinsettia? What is the point of a poinsettia They rarely stay red for long Holly in a pot would be better And makes a superior Christmas song but every year they appear in their glory Doomed to an early demise Every year a familiar story Gone faster than a plate of mince pies They come from the central American plain Where it’s hot and it’s dusty and dry Where you hardly ever get caught in the rain And snow doesn’t bother to try Yet here in our wet and cold season They sit like red soldiers on shelves Without logic or purpose or reason Amongst Christmas crackers and elves And people absent mindedly buy them To share with their family and friends Knowing full well that they’ll die then And those red leaves will fall in the end To leave some stray stems gently browning A sight so un-festively bad Like a Santa whose face is fixed frowning Or a Snowman that’s melted and sad By Christmas Eve they’re going cheap Alongside Christmas socks for him and her Destined for the compost heap Like last year’s advent calendar No - there can be no decoration un-merrier Than the wilting Euphorbia Pulcherima R A Porter The 78 Record Exchange Hands in pockets, denimed, Green Flash on my feet Hunched against the drizzled air that fills the cobbled street Up the hill I bend my neck and seek the Holy Chalice Grooved vinyl and shellac adorn the gilded palace Golden letters gleaming, Roy Rogers on the range Chuck wagons forging Happy Trails to the 78 Record Exchange I step across the threshold and transport myself through time Ella, Oscar, Louis, melody, and rhyme Bakelite and valve sets, faded record sleeves The crackle of Caruso, Billie Holliday, Jim Reeves LPs, tapes and 78s, sheet music, gramophones Little Richard, Bartok, Mozart, Led Zeppelin, Undertones Rare 50s imports from the States, meticulously labelled George Formby, steamy Delta Blues, heavy dark oak tables Time and fingers sifting between album covers Songs of hope and innocence, wanderers and lovers Tchaikovsky ballerinas float like sylphs above the racks Inhaling jazz in Gauloises, Miller echoing in the cracks The shuttered store stands empty inside a metal cage A silent shroud of grey cocoons notation on a page The needle adroitly lifted, no more horns amplified Red Sails in the sunset, the day the music died. R A Porter The Books I haven’t Read You could make a table or a double bed Out of all the books I haven’t read Gotta get through them before I’m dead the must-read books I haven’t read Maybe I should keep them in the shed all those books I haven’t read Their whereabouts best left unsaid So many books I haven’t read I’d like to try harder but it fills me with dread To think of the books I haven’t read Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag’s a more acceptable spot When it sits undisturbed in its usual slot Ben Okri imagined a famished road Over 500 pages I’m yet to unfold Garcia Marques left me mostly subdued With his one hundred years of solitude Henrys Miller and James weren’t my cup of tea Virginia Woolf just terrifies me War and Peace like the Steppes is forbidding and vast Two volumes in hard back with an All-Russian cast On the shelf Dostoyevsky’s a solid house brick Sandwiched by Trollopes and one Moby Dick On Dickens’ Bleak House I’ll just have to pass Under Local Anaesthetic by Gunter Grass Camus’ Plague, Hesse’s Bead Game and Auto Da Fe Are my idea of all work and no play So I’ll leave them there standing where angels fear to tread One more of those books that I haven’t read. R A Porter

Short Film - Sea Wall

you can watch Sea Wall here: ?si=z9JYWLUCBGpCLz7j

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

Audio entries by R A Porter

A Good Innings (01/12/2023)

Once upon a time in a vest (22/11/2023)

Urinal View (19/11/2023)

Dave's Back (13/11/2023)

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