Poem: Water Bear

After weeks of work I have finally completed… another poem.

Well, it’s something at least. Anyway, this was my attempt at an homage to a traditional Romantic ‘nature poem’, which is why I shoved in so many references to all the really famous ones.

Except the one about the nightingale. Suck it, Keats; I put in a Bowie reference instead.

If you don’t know what the subject of the poem is, then I am pleased to make this little babble the starting point of your education into micro-animals.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tardigrade

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WATER BEAR

Composed by: A Bum

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Neither a blithe spirit, nor fearful in his symmetry;
No golden host would soothe a lonely cloud.
But if I must make foolish poems–here’s the one for me:
The creature lurking in her hide.
A coward who could not abide,
To put such heart in such fragility.

For durable things do exist.
They only cause your eye to twist.

Where the loveliness of trees like falling Icarus is downed,
In the alternate reality between them
And the feasting worms; are microscopic diamonds to be found.
As sticking as the deepest scar,
A fragment of a neutron star:Hardness’ spirit made flesh on mossy ground.

Don’t know what I’m referring to?
I’m sure I’ll screw this one up too.

Such beauty, elegance–inspiring grace…
Go out the window. Ha, let’s not mince words;
What else would come to mind when you think ‘can survive in space‘?
An angel decked with moonlit wings?
An astral whale that sweetly sings?
Spend more time down on Earth if that’s the case.

And either way, prepare your mind,
For wonder of another kind.

So granted, I’ve already gone and blown the big surprise,
I should have been building up to. Well,
Why use convention singing of a beast that seldom dies?
Whom no extreme of temperature,
Nor even lack of atmosphere,
Could bring unto the reaper he defies.

The vacuum just puts him to sleep;
Rehydrate him and trust he’ll keep–

Until the next time Laika’s grave sends him to hibernation;
Unless by then his chariot returns him.
For unlike him his crew must flee from cosmic radiation;
No problem for our Major Tom,
Whom not even an atom bomb–
Could poison thus. And as for mere starvation–

It won’t vex him before ten years
Have passed; while my life disappears…

And each day brings new peril as those trees God made–
Diminish, taking all the tigers with them.
There’s more now in Texas basements than are burning in the glade:
Is that as mind-blowing as him?
To buy a tiger on a whim?
Our thoughts, his body: what seems the higher ‘grade’?

(Oh–while skylarks fight to thrive,
For now the daffodils survive.)

But not forever–nor will he; that fiction couldn’t sell.
Yet I wonder if he’d fear it if he could.
That when our starburst bursts, and all life on this planet quells,
A stranger from another place,
Would not dig up the Human Race,
But find an ‘Ozymandias’ of his, yell:

“ALL ELSE IN NATURE’S DOOMED TO FADE,
BUT QUAIL: BEFORE THE TARDIGRADE!”

https://i0.wp.com/static01.nyt.com/images/2015/09/08/science/08TARD1/08TARD1-master675.jpg

Poem: H.M.S. Overly Verbose

So, it’s another poem, instead of that whole short story thing I promised. Trouble is, the short story just won’t stay short. Maybe this will give you some idea of what I’m talking about.

It is, of course, the longest poem I’ve ever written.

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H.M.S. Overly Verbose

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It’s less than true to say I’m schooled in ship-building, I know;

But there are ports I’d like to show you. So here goes.

First we pick our starting point–or in my case,

Don’t. Begin at the beginning with our metal, cloth and wood,

Strewn all over; one titanium beam for the base,

is gilt with copper for a glowing finish. If I could,

I’d shove a pole of iron all the way throughout its core;

To prove I work in layers. But I’ll restrain myself.

(don’t get too comfortable; you can be assured–

this ship will prove most hazardous to your health!)

The hull we’ll build with tungsten plate glued on to tungsten plate;

I’m sure it will suffice for this creation.

Until we have to patch the ensuing leaks–but wait:

Try not to overwrite the decoration.

Fine flowers; stencilled, cut and blowtorched on to link

One mismatched bit of steel to fine ceramics.

And if, by chance, en route to this my Frankenstein ship sinks,

You’ll be too mesmerised by it to panic.

We’ll make the deck five miles long, so to incorporate;

Every bit of timber jigsaw we can find.

And fit them all together with smooth marble counterweight,

To fill the gaps between oak, maple, ash and pine.

And cherry, silver birch and lime–the best of woods for carving,

So I’ve heard: so that one’s for the figures.

(all nine thousand) with live trees too to stop us starving,

if it doesn’t work we’ll have to build it bigger.

A cathedral of the sea, although we’ll invert the fan vaulting;

Add some buttresses and blow them out of glass.

The angel-demon-griffins on that edge will prove most halting,

Should our questionable voyage come to pass.

Now for the masts; we’ll weld a million lightning rods together,

For the first, and next a million spears.

And if you fear the rest will attract equally bad weather–

Don’t worry. It won’t be done for years.

I want to build a ship that has a piece for all occasions,

And force it out into uncharted slaughter;

Decked with anything that’s caught my eye: the magpie consecration,

My pretty fish to blow out of the water;

With the super-laser-cannons I have armed with brazen swords

I brought to gun fights (true, to some exasperation)

And moon-rock enjoined catapults to face oncoming hordes,

Of better-made ships bound for devastation.

To keep the sails working in the face of this onslaught;

I suggest we take what we’ve already got,

And weave it through with spider’s silk; admire what we’ve wrought,

And fly them every time we have the shot.

But one restraint I’ll put here before people get excited;

That silk and sack, that satin suede and skin–

Will bear no message sewn on them until we’ve all alighted,

Or else I’ll have to sink it for its sins.

I guess we’ll have a colour-scheme: for I’ll not have a rainbow,

Spoil the twilight horizon with bad taste.

But we’ll embroider every metaphor with silver, like a halo;

always one more adjective to stall our haste.

And let’s erect a tower with a turret at the helm;

Like the writer in the berth that’s next to mine.

It’s not a rip-off; mine is knitted, hers is made of elm,

Homages honour these ships ‘of the line’.

And wool from every corner of the world will make the cables;

Even if exceeding three will weigh it down.

We’ll change it later if we have to. First–we’ll draw on Aesop’s fables,

One more homage won’t run us into ground.

As for the ridiculous amount of decks below;

Eventually there’ll be some theme in their style.

I swear the trip will go too fast, even if the ship is slow,

And stern to bow can be measured in miles.

I realise it’s not the ideal vessel for the task;

The monstrosity upon the wine-dark sea.

But skill in this and every art can only come to pass,

With time. (yes, that’s an allegory).

There are so many islands that I want to take you to,

That cannot wait. So while some might use a raft,

I’ll throw everything I know together; conjure up a crew

Of characters who’ll help us in this craft.

So the ship is both built and edited as we go;

Which of my many tales would you know?

H. M. S. Overly Verbose

Poem: On Time

As in, ‘on the subject of time’, rather than ‘I got this in before the deadline for my next blog post by the skin of my teeth-on time’.

Unlike my other recent poems this one doesn’t rhyme until the last two lines; and though I honestly prefer rhyming poetry, I feel this one expresses my half-asser self better.

Yeah… so. It’s a poem. Enjoy.

On Time

(And for those of you who prefer your poetry legible…)

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ON TIME

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Endlessly slumbering Time. Your dreams accelerate;

Day by day I struggle to find a moment to complain about it,

Amidst my own dreams;

Let alone to make the attempt to realise them.

Years pass; whole forests of imagination are swallowed,

To the very last leaf, by Your sands.

One tells oneself the silver sparkling dunes are prettier anyway,

But by the time only the ashen shells of the sturdier trees remain–

What else can you say?

Well. Things live in the desert too; buried in dark hollows.

Some can brave the moonlit wasteland to dig them up;

Others try to outrun the onslaught–for as long as possible.

Me, I shed my leaves at work: one eye on the clock;

Each letter writ in the blood I squeezed from a steel block.

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Ode to Doodles

Yes, other poets may choose to compose their verses on the great issues of the day, or agonise over the fundamental questions of human experience. Me, I’m a shallow tosser who wrote a sonnet about my own doodles. Surprise!

(and I don’t even know if this really is a sonnet; don’t those have to be written in iambic pentameter or some such shit? I don’t want to be the fuck who puts one two-syllable word down and calls it a ‘haiku’, after all…)

But for someone as boring as me, they do form an integral part of my existence; the representatives of that 99% of the time when I’m not doing anything useful, even though I really should be.

Doodle Sonnet

And because this is one of the most illegible of my poems; behold a typed and slightly edited version, with an illustration of what I mean by ‘snail-knights’, in case there are those of you out there who aren’t familiar with that particular illuminated manuscript trope from the middle ages.

(like that would happen!)

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DOODLES

*

Resolute, one’s purpose keeps the pen in ruled lines;

If only one commits to resolution.

Yet here the ink imagines to branch out in tangled vines,

Resolve’s for those with sterner constitutions–

Than a scribbler slacking off from ticking boxes in Excel;

Solemn sowings given way to tiny stars,

Whose points are blacked in alternately–yes, she does it well;

Like frustration incarnate in paper scars.

Those flowers, skulls and rabbits might not serve to look as grand as

When gilt angels illuminated letters;

Yet kinship of their snail-knights with her wrong-looking pandas,

I see between our stationery’s fetters.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/bd/21/45/bd214501feb6772cddaf27e7437c6ec5.jpg

For faithless inspiration moves the heart’s pen when it will;

But the one in my hand’s shackle, struggles to be still.

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So there you have it. I think the doodles do deserve their own ode, at the end of the day. What do you think, patterned unicorn rabbit I drew while I was supposed to be working? Patterned unicorn rabbit’s… friend?

Unicorn Bunny and Friend

Patterned Unicorn Rabbit: I think that soon the world shall be mine!

… Friend: Yessss, masssster.

#NationalPoetryDay : The Snail (A Self-Portrait)

Just like me to post a poem the day BEFORE the day that turns out to be National Poetry Day. Well, once I heard someone at work mention it, I just had to write another one; and when you’ve been looking forward to another day of entering files onto a spreadsheet, writing poetry just ends up a chore, let me tell you!

Anyway, read on for the answer I know you’ve all been waiting for to the burning question of ‘why does this person identify with snails so much’? Enjoy it; it’s more upbeat than my usual offerings 😉

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The Snail (A Self-Portrait)

*

At the speed of slate and dressed in black,

I carry a world upon my back;

In a waterproofed pack (while I get wet).

The end of the book is a long way yet.

There’s awe in the shell, if not in the face,

And I, the King of Infinite Space–

The most awkward creature you’ve ever met!

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Me-Snail

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In other news, I’ve just added this year’s novel to my NaNo page; so if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, and especially if you’re doing history, supernatural or generally weird shit next month, feel free to look me up–I’m Rachelloon there too.

Poem (and Doodle): Hikikomori

Well, it’s another short poem from me, I’m coughing them up while I prepare for this year’s Halloween treat (while also preparing for NaNo), and this one comes from a notebook next to a note that says ‘Revamp ‘Hikikomori’ so it doesn’t sound so dumb‘. The original poem was longer, and did sound pretty dumb, but the more time I spend a-poeming the less dumb my poems sound. To me, anyway, I’m sure they sound plenty dumb to the rest of humanity, lol.

N.B.: ‘Hikikomori’ is a Japanese term that describes a certain type of reclusive shut-in, and at one point came very close to describing me. For this piece I’ve filled up my pretentiousness-quota by referring to a poem by Tennyson; no prizes for guessing which one. Enjoy. 😉

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HIKIKOMORI

*

The reflection of the view outside my window serves me fine;

For my masterpiece, one colour will suffice.

Indeed, these days the curtains take the brunt of the sunshine–

Protect me from the doom within the ice.

Thus in my skin I harden into stone;

An island, suited for a writer’s home.

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Hikkikomori

Rainbow Snail Initials and Another Poem

Initials in Snails

Because who doesn’t end up writing their initials in snails after a while, am I right!?

[It’s R.N.S.I., for those of you who were going to point out what a bad artist I am]

As for the poem I threw together while trying to think of something to write while I was at work and should have been working (complete with pretentious font-changes accentuating the words… and just overall pretentiousness) …

Writer's Block

In case the image is difficult to read:

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Writer’s Block

*

The opposite page is still blank.

Loop your florid lines of ink all you like;

It’s been blank the whole time.

You scour your Tabula Rasa,

And struggle to make it rhyme.

*

*slow claps self* …damn, I hate poetry! One of these days I’m going to write a poem about it…