A poet broke out
staggering sober into a drunken world
the moon was scary bright
he tickled his bag of measly coins
to cold stray women by the road
looking to buy a hug
a nickel of affection
and like a madman
they all flee from him.
Back he turned to his cold hut
at the furthest corner of the ghost town
on the edge of the living forest
lacking the strength to live in such world
he piled papers with ink
and wrote about a loving world
they lacked the courage to live in.
Illustration is ‘The Poor Poet’ by Carl Spitzweg
My nap beneath a tree was disturbed
By the screeching sounds of angry birds
A starling came down, I asked
“Is there a conference of birds?
Round and round this canopy they swirl
Why such angry protest?
“We have seen an owl’s plumage” he said
“Awaiting in his hidden roost
With hoots he croons”
“Why do you hate him so?” I went on
“Each time that horned feathered fiend
Blinks those dreadful wide eyes
Our world tilts a little less to gloom
We’ll cut off that cursed bough
Upon which those scaly paws perched
That treacherous curse to our kind
Has come to eat our children”
Thus did the sterling lament
And flew right back to its course
A feather floated in the sky
And settled peacefully on my beard
Shutting my eyes again I softly whispered
“Poor lonesome owl.”
A lark swoops down
as if dead and lifeless
then charges up suddenly
just before its beak hits a rock
shoots back to the sky
in pompous grace
singing in scorn
at your flightless self
who though its skylarking days
had come to an end.
A train left the city
Southwards coast bound
With a poet on board
Whistling smoke and rocking steady
Ferrying an adventurous soul
Out of this world to where it wills
Paper and inked quill in hand
The body born on wagon light and free
The soul intoxicated with love and beauty
Opens in virgin magical words
A world of endless adventure
He looks outside the window after every verse
To the vast grassland savanna
And the galloping wild beasts in it
The lion roars within his pages
And like a snake the train slithers
Headfast towards the ocean to drink
As the air fills with salty anticipation
And the feet itches for sand.
I went by walking aimless on the shore
My head heavy with thought
And my heart sinking in grief
My mind and body far apart
I sat at the pier drowning pebbles.
A little bird perched on a hyacinth,
That went along in steady breeze.
To take a trip across the lake
To drink and rest tired wings.
So I paused my pebble throwing,
To let it by undisturbed.
A shy hippo with snout out
To take some air yawned
Spraying about water in one exhale
Scaring off the weary winged traveler
Who soaring up high above water
Lifted up my hopes in its wings.
The pebbles my sorrows drowned
and trampled underfoot
the hippo back under water
The lake calm again I started home
From what would have been-
an uneventful day
No wreaths on my door this Christmas
No glitter on my walls
No candle to keep wait
Am a shepherd out in the night
Cold and half asleep
But my heart is well decorated
In unimaginable colour and splendour
With a picture of your face
Hanging on its tree twigs
And the thought of you
A big glittering star
On its top crest.
A house scented with love
Frank incense and myrrh.
Filled and overflowing
I went looking for a jar
To fill with my waters of love
An object for my affections
But still my water overflowed
And every jar filled to the brim
Broke too small for my gushing waves
Breaking banks I flowed by and by
From a stream, to the Nile, to the sea
And then you came along
And the tides rose high
Where two oceans met
No jars- waters too vast to contain.
The lover and the beloved has ceased to exist
And all has become one.