Sunset, Sunrise

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Slumped on sofa, feeling low,
Don’t wanna shop or outside go,
Shocking din beyond window;
Apocalypse? Malignant crows?
Curtains closed, so I don’t know,
But curiosity, so

I think take a look,
Rise to feet discarding book.
Need to eat, don’t want to cook.
Kitchen no cavern – more a nook…
Is it birds or fatal fluke?
Peak between drapes like cornered crook.

Three car pile-up – bedlam there,
Poking bones, blood-mussed hair.
Look away from sickening scare,
See ribbons of colour streaking the sky and I carelessly cease to care,
Horizon highlighting rhapsody rare;
Surprising sunset, breathtaking flare.

Pity poor victims; tarmac is read,
Rubberneckers shaking heads,
Twisted bodies lately dead.
Making sandwich, ready for bed,
Scraping mould from hunk of bread;
Provocative dreams if properly fed.

Pluck off blossoming, blue-grey yeast,
Anticipating impromptu feast,
Unforeseen shock – view faces east.
Time is thieving, night-fleecing beast.
Feel like a flock of silly geese;
Sunset west, sunrise east.

Radio wakes in hollow bedroom,
Morning call; warning tune.
Sat through night, blind to gloom.
Feel foreboding, forthcoming doom.
Skin feels pocked with autumn bloom.
Off to horrid office soon.

Better slough of sleepless grime;
Supper’s off; it’s breakfast time.

Shamelessly written for Chelsea’s Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest 

©Jane Paterson Basil

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A Rapper Bites the Dust

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I was yapping out rap like a bad-assed pan handler,
yeah my planet smashing rapping had ’em leaping on seats,
my coalescing essence always jacking up the heat,
my effervescense escalating, neat and sweet,
leaving battle slammers squeaking like gamblers in shackles,
like blubbing mamas babbies who have smashed their rattles
Bro I was ripping out lyrics that Meek Mill couldn’t beat.
Yo Bro, if you wanna be replete, if you wanna be supreme
you need to to lead the league, leave the sheep, beep in your sleep,
so heed my seamy secret, it’s a little known fact,
only when your heart cracks like a rat that ran out of scraps,
only when your soul snaps
like a Sally from the Alley of the half-price sad sacks,
scrabbling for a bag, playing it bad, running on half-mad;
only when you’re low as a bro can go,
only when you’re low can you carry the show.

My kids were raised in the ‘hood in gangsta tradition,
running guns and drugs, pimping and killing and racing for perdition,
trading in sin, inking their skin with the enemies’ kin,
when Rev Run hit the city, riding pillion with Christ, fire in his eye,
peddling his religion, sidling into minds,
slamming Hallelujah with his criminal might.
Now Zimmon’s on a mission, Orland joined a choir,
Zeelin is a priest and I’m queuing for confession.
My rhyme is a mess. I’ve failed my final test
since the one word I can find to rhyme with confession
is
regression.

This carefully crafted terrible poem was written for Chelsea’s Terrible Poetry Contest, with apologies for submitting such a long rap.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Can I Say You’re Hot

I’m so happy! I’ve just discovered The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. It’s a little-known fact that I love, love, LOVE terrible poetry which is trying to be… terrible poetry. Three or four years back a wrote a few Terrible Poems (note: those words are in upper case, which means they were intentionally terrible). I took a look at them, with a view to submitting them, but they were terrible! That is, they were awful – funny, but lacking poetic form. In order to submit a Terrible Poem, I had to rewrite a terrible Terrible poem and make it into a worthily Terrible Poem. Get it?

I chose Shakespeare’s sonnet: Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day. Basically, he’s telling a woman that she’s beautiful and she’ll continue to live and be beautiful throughout eternity, since people will always read the poem he wrote about her. It was a popular theme with him. Unfortunately, not everyone understands what he was getting at, so I have selflessly rewritten it to suit a contemporary market. Also unfortunately, I messaged a faulty copy to the contest, but hopefully that adds to the Terribleness of the poem. However, here’s a perfectly Terrible copy, followed by the Willie’s original:


You’re As Hot As I Get When I Win A Race

You’re as hot as I get when I win a race;
You’re pretty and you’re always sober.
Gales blow petals all over the place;
It’s like, as soon’s you blink summer’s over.
One minute I’m sweatin’ like a goat,
The next the weather goes all cloudy;
You always need to take a coat,
‘Cos accidents and nature make stuff dowdy;
But your beauty will never go away,
And they’ll never take you from the sunshine.
You won’t even die, ‘cos you will stay
Alive thanks to this pretty rhyme;
As long as there’s still people around,
My poem will hold you on the ground.

Here’s Shakey’s take on it:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

Thank you, Chelsea, for injecting some fresh fun to my life.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Promises

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Be mine.” he whispered, ”You are my chocolate coated limousine, my deepest bungee jump, my highest schoolyard leap-frog, my cool breath in a heated discussion, my hot water bottle at the frozen peak of mount Everest, my best cheese grater, my tastiest salt-lick, the cog around which I rotate. Your caress is cricket to me, your kiss is pink concrete.

Open me, live in me; crush me with the weight of your sub-atomic love bomb; your over-exposed throat; your forked knife sharpener; your ready whittling and all the utensils that you hide beneath the tittle-tattle of a million silences.

Take me, let me teach you to ride on the back of the butterfly that flits from gullet to lips; to scale the heights of fishes which fly in the sand; to extract kettle fluff from photographs of Mona Lisa; to build an atom from an elephant, a mousetrap from a mighty dam, to ignite the stars armed only with a broken toothpick and an excerpt from Handel’s Water Music.

Let me show you the truths I stole from centuries of reading rotting carrot heads and studying the birth of synthesis.

Come, share my bent nail, take the lonely word-processor from my fluted heart. Be my new burnt bread, my ocean of sky, my everything reduced for one day only, again and again, for ever and ever ’til death do us part. I’m begging you in B minor; express a quiet acceptance of fate. Let me love you.”

(He wanted to win me)

I don’t like your tone!” I cried.

Do not try to win me, or I will extract your teeth with a sledge-hammer. I’ll destroy your father’s estate. I’ll make the tax office refuse your rebate. I’ll tear down your house, drive your Mercedes into a wall, kill your computer with a rash of vicious viruses, burn your books, shatter your faberge eggs I’ll break your bed with my plastic passion. I will trifle with your affections and I will leave you raw and heartbroken.

I will undo you.”

(I told him that I liked things the way they were)

But we could be a perfect match, like Morecambe and pistachio nuts, like strawberries and the little plastic blocks that you screw on to hold modern kitchen units together when you buy them from places like B&Q, like bread and hair remover, like a hammer and all kinds of items that pair up nicely.

We could tie the tangle, dance the fandango, slide into sheets of satin on a brave raft of reality. We could build a barn, raise the roof, and fill it with glass and china and soft furnishings and small sharp metal objects. We could make tiny things with ten little fingers and ten little toes, that grow and go. We could wave them goodbye and turn to each other and say It’s just us now,’ and You go and sit down in front of the telly, while I make us a nice cup of tea.’ We could relax. We could retire and grow old together. And when the moment was right, we could die in each others arms.”

(He was just an ordinary bloke really)

Oh, I see,” I said. ”That puts a completely different slant on it. It sounds very nice. We’ll get a sensible semi-detached property in the suburbs. We’ll have quiet nights in, playing tiddly winks and tic-tac-toe. You’ll have to remove your shoes as soon as you come home from the office; can’t have you getting the carpets all dirty. When the babies come along, my mother can stay, to help me out until I get on my feet again. I expect I’ll need a nanny. They’re so useful, don’t you think? When you retire, we can move to a cottage in the country, and grow roses around the door. You could take up vegetable gardening, and I could join a bridge club.

Yes, I’ll marry you.”

(I was seduced by his offer of security)

When we wed, he expeditiously discarded the word-smithery with which he had won me, preferring practicality and rationalism, sprinkled with roses and romance. He lay carpets at my feet, regaled me with tasteful trinkets and household requisites. Furthermore,he tucked surprise gifts in hidden places: rank, balled-up socks under the bed. In the bathroom; twisted tubes, sticky globules, opposing odours. In the kitchen, crumbs and citric smears in the butter dish. At breakfast, grunts and unkissable stubble scumbled my serenity. In the evening his T.V. killed my creativity. At night the heat from his body chased sleep away.

(However, he soon irritated me)

I extracted his teeth with a sledge-hammer. I destroyed his father’s estate. I caused the tax office to refuse his rebate. I tore down his house, drove his Mercedes into a wall, killed his computer with a rash of vicious viruses. I burned his books. I smashed his faberge eggs. I broke his bed. I trifled with his affections and left him raw and heartbroken.

I undid him.

(We parted company)

When nights draw in I keep myself warm with many layers of thin clothing and thick blankets. In the musty swill of my tent I sleep easy, letting fickle seasons lead me. In spring I wake each morning with the dawn, eased into sense by light which pricks the skin of my tent. Overhanging trees dapple a caramel silhouette on the canvas of the tent that protects me.

My passion is consumed.

(I prefer to be alone)


Sorry Paul; I couldn’t resist tweaking my poem a little before publishing it on this site.
I left the original version untouched.

© Jane Paterson Basil