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Poetry

© Richard Ebbs ©


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CONTENTS


Words
Cheese
Fast 'un Lucy
Clare
Beautiful Things
All Things (Shite And Beautiful)
Medea
Wanted
Things To Believe In
Cooling Off
Radio Four-And-A-Half
Puffin Rant
Shakespeare At The Launderette
Waltzing My Tilde
Assorted Haiku
Allergy In A Country Churchyard




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Words

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words like shite that grows under each author
gone through the motions words, excrement, poo
words like the passage of wind, and water
claptrap and rot, sir, mucus and spew

words whose echoes, in chasms round you
hang like an old ship's bell in the fog
swirling words, like incense, voodoo
words from the Vatican's back-catalogue

words like poisonous blow-pipe darts
that barely prick before they stun
snaky words with flexible parts
that slide off and hide away out of the sun

calumnious words in a PC disguise
throw-away words that start runaway fires
crackling words like a tall tree's demise
words like the squeal of a joyrider's tyres

words from a little bird, twigged on the grapevine
ratted by moles and by snakes in the grass
cat-out-of-bag words, toe-treading, asinine
salt words you rub in, as bold as brass

words like battle lines drawn in the sand
chip on the shoulder words, shot from the hip
weasel-words, gossip-words, jibes and slander
the bilgerous patter of rats on a ship

words as plaintive as curlew's calls
far up above, when the cold winds blow
words that split from you and fall
killing me softly, in silence, like snow

words like runes, all Greek to me
learned as a spell, or incantation
open-sesame words, like keys
D-flat ostinato invocations

words whose true colour's best left unclear
made up like short-skirted, seasoned old tarts
window dressed chestnuts with gloss and veneer
style with no substance, more Dana than Mozart

cosmetic words you've tested on animals
netted in silk, given lipstick and smoke
pivotal subtexts and signals for sexual
gutteral, visceral blokes

clean-breasted words that tickle my trout
tickling me pink with a soft soapy flannel
double-Dutch nonsense you babble and shout
gurgling plugs for the Fantasy Channel

driven-home transports of delight
moonshine, taking my breath away
the bends and twists of a Shakespeare sonnet
maps to the heart of Anne Hathaway

fudge and rhubarb, waffle and tripe
spilling the beans from a scoop with the lid off
juicy sweet nothings, boiled down hype
a saucy sound bite from a dish with her kit off

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Cheese

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Somerset
and Cheddar
would be deader without cheese
even Glastonbury fairies
eat cheese!
mousy secretaries emerge
in furtive twos and threes
braving the noonday sun
for cheese!
ploughmen stop to shoot the breeze
but you know that it's really for cheese!
juries, dignitaries, and pagan luminaries from
Somerset history like Morgan the Fay and
Lancelot -all of them lived for cheese!
Somerset ravers have cheese in the woods
(the rhythyms are all cheesy quavers)
you see tee-shirts saying 'cheese not E's'
and space-cadets tell abduction stories
of flying away in the Mother Cheese.
in the dead of night apparently
Somerset Wiccans 'draw down the cheese'!
in every rustic cottage conservatory
you know that they're nibbling on cheese
bars resound with theories of cheese
(the philosophies, categories and
inventories of cheese)
-though no-one, basically, disagees with cheese!
even meat-eating missionaries
have cheese in the closet!
mostly, though we're easy to please
with cheese
in Cheddar life's deader
without a cheese spreader

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Fast 'Un Lucy

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I seconded her emotion
'she's armless as the Venus de Milo' I thought
but she took me for granite
just 'any old storm in a port'
I worshipped the quicksand she walked upon
but she called me a 'misfortune cookie'
catholic schoolgirls really take the biscuit
and I certainly rose to the jailbait
I liked the way she rolled her 'r's
but she was her own worst enema
she said that I needed
'a check up from t' neck up'
so I said 'I'm not cheap I'm free'
and when I made my peace with her
she made herpes with me
she liked to shoot up an octave
with a horn section always behind her
her Bach was worse than her Beethoven
and our romance had no Hacienda
she called me a 'perverted idiom'
I called her 'an airy-fairy kitchen-sink
drama-queen pantomime step-monster'
(our relationship was purely ironic)
and like Britannia, she waived the rules
she rode on a menstrual cycle
and played on the swings of her moods
four-square in her own vicious circle
her bio-logical alarm-clock rang
so she told me the doves had staged a coo
she put all of her Basques in one exit
(while I had a nervous breakthrough)
she phoned me up to shoot me down
and the rest is hysterectomy

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Clare

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back in my lair
if you were there
and if you dared
we could share an e clair
or have an affair
in our underwear
we could swap
my boxers
for your brassiere
and afterwards
we could
compare answers
to the questionnaire
in Marie Claire
Clare

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Beautiful Things

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pink carpet of blossom of cherries
on grass that is brilliant green
cloud from above hugging valleys
jays that go flashing through trees

a night that's replete
with the snorting of hedgehogs
a V-flight of geese in the sun
peregrines wheeling and
stooping and shrieking
the things you can do with your tongue

swimming at midnight
in phosphorus surf
a copper-green shooting-star
glancing the earth
Jessica sleeping
leading E5
aurora borealis
being alive

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All Things (Shite And Beautiful)

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all things trite and mournful
schoolteachers great and small
singing all-untuneful
and smelling of mothballs

the cauliflower earwax
of unencumbered things
for girls who don't like tampax-
he made the tiny wings

all things trite and mournful
schoolteachers great and small
singing all-untuneful
and smelling of mothballs

the cold wind up short trousers
was not a lot of fun
the farting in assembly?
-He made them every one

all things trite and mournful
schoolteachers great and small
singing all-untuneful
and smelling of mothballs

he made the postman's trousers
he made the Z-team lose
he made sheep-shaggers' wellies
and lessons in Miss Ewe's

all things trite and mournful
schoolteachers great and small
singing all-untuneful
and smelling of mothballs

he gave us runny noses
and feet that we might smell
how great is Yosemite
and car e-manuals

all things shite and beautiful
all creatures in Nepal
horses shite and beautiful
but Shergar beat them all

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Medea

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I

I wake
and lie still
close beside you
tangled
soft
in musk
and sheltered
waiting
breathing gently in
to steal
with spell
bound eyes
a cross
the careless
milky white
and wondrous
weight of you
held fast
to sleep
beside me
rapt
and meshed
in cradled silence
by you.

II

ahoy me bouy's up
on the surface
of you
swept
and blown
and tugged
as two I's rise
in stirring wake
and bob
of waving hair
me tide
a trussed
and mated
thrown
to sigh-lashed
crow's-foot-luck and sea.

awash
and watched
a resting
eyes so tropic-blue
to plumb
me
keep
and hold me
rolled
and folded in you
deep
you swell
and sway
and tug
me rolling calm
and broad-sighed
gloomy
lingering eyes
to you.

two azure seas
to tease and ease me
wave
a ring around
me.

III

I-lashed
to lookout eyrie
guard horizons
port and offside
sweep
and scan
you trackless
deeper
sea-view
churning
foamy
fore and after
clamorous wake
and milky
surfeit
bubbles
shags
and wailing gannet
swarm
and pack it.

sextant-ready me
to come about
all slippery-rigged
to sea-cure-fortune
near me
pitched
and fizzed
and
yawl
adrift.

you wallow
ingénue
enjoy
me purview
sing
a siren's magic
rapture
nodding doldrums
round
me wish-bone ankh
-a ring to conjure gull-rites.

moisture-freshened pasture
gate of horn
for me.

shaman you
you light of hand
with D-cup sorceries
to plunder
all my sin
use oily purpose
heave
me mildewed
sequinned pleasure-chest
over
board and take me
deer-horn amulet
me dally on
you.

marooned
and moored
to swell
and rut
and seize
your clammy
mildewed driftwood
pleas
me sly
me slick
me craft
a crewed
and seamen-worthy icon
tacked
to dervish undertows.

rushed
and gushed
with all hands
over come you
filmy upsurge
ooze and lap and
over take me
drag me
under
flapping sheets.

a frothy whirled
and petrel-stormy
Iliad venture.

to plunge
engulfed
and fish-eyed
slapped
and rolled
and flapped
to land
coralled for all me daze
to graze
upon you
blazing
lobster-pink
and salted.

lobster image

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wanted-
stripper into astrophysics
a salamander to thrash in love's alembic
an ecstasy socialist, a lapsed shamaness
the most beautiful nurse in the Universe
a sequinned anemone for one more high tide
someone called Lucy who likes
whiskey and speed
whose body's a temple to cider
someone called Jane
who's tall as a crane
with two pint jugs
and half a brain
some Odile who'll reel me in
and wrap her silky
frog's legs round me
someone who'll come to me with all the dope
and lay her cards down on the table
who'll give me a piece of her beautiful mind
and take me for a lobster sandwich
somewhere in the red-herring district
a sensei-mental bliss-miss femail
a wild-horse flutterer, fickle as fate
an under-the-counter FTSE gambler
fantasy lingerie incarnate
a storm in a D-cup and sorcery
somebody into the joy of socks
abhorring cant, adoring continental
contemporary fiction
with aristocratic knicker elastic
who'll give me an L. E. G.-over
in a country churchyard
some slave to the demons of love
with tits and other squidgy bits
from whom
the happy words escape intact
to fall like cherry-blossom
without regret

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Things To Believe In

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I believe in midges
I believe in dentists too
I believe in rottwielers
I believe in super glue
I believe clouds wander lonely as men
and drawing pins can be a pain in the arse

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Cooling Off

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once when I felt average
like a ship
torn from it's anchorage
I used to
look in the fridge-
oh for a
cool beverage, I'd say
like Keats
(or was it Coleridge)
and invariably I'd find
a draught of vintage
(or a sandwich)
foraging in the fridge-
never disparaging
frozen storage
not rigid like
'green but angry of Tunbridge Wells'
I never took umbrage
until Lovelock discovered
halons over the mid-Atlantic ridge
and that was when our happy marriage
of home convenience
came to a cool end
and so our love
went into suspension
(it was a suspension fridge)
a fridge too far
in fact
so
'I'm burning my fridges
I'm free at last
all my chains are in the past'
'you turn me off'
she said
-now it's
water under the fridge

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Radio Four-And-A-Half

animated fish image animated fish image

Rockall
Finisterre
Viking
Dogger
Cromarty
Forth
Tyne
German Bight
Portland
Biscay
Sole
Fastnet
Shannon
Mallin
Bailey
Fair Isle
Forfar
Heart Of Midlothian
Hamilton Acedemicals
Arbroath
Queen Of The South
Partick Thistle
Alloa
Kilmarnock
Dunfermline
Lanark
Aidrie
Stenhousmuir...

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Puffin Rant

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sufferin' goes with the territory
when you're a puffin!
it's hard to bluff that you're tough
with feet sticking out like sore thumbs
from a bundle of fluff like this
but I've just about 'ad it up to 'ere
with the off-the-cuff chutzpah of chuffin' auks squawking at me all day long...
I wish I could say that I just don't care
and rough it out
just say 'kippers'
stick two flippers up at 'em,
and think 'stuff 'em'!
but I can't
-I don't handle rubuffin' too well
which I guess is a problem
for a puffin

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Shakespeare At The Launderette, Or '400 Years Of Pongitude'

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BILL:
[KNEELING ON THE FLOOR WITH HIS FACE PRESSED AGAINST THE WASHING MACHINE]
out, grained spots!
to thy fair scent
I have added the rank smell of weeds.
I have held familiarity with fresher clothes
but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's mood
and smell somewhat strong of her displeasure.
what shite through yonder window cakes
this sad apparel fretted all with mortal grossness?
is there rain enough in the sweet heavens
to wash them white as snow, and could all great Neptune's
oceans wash such togs as these, all mudded in that
lust-stain'd oozy riotous bed, whiter than whiteness itself?
yet that they could be so preposterously stained!
Ariel! my industrious servant, Ariel!
your potent master calls that you should render service.
-wash-
I am over-spacious in possession of dirt.
no longer can I clothe my naked villainy
with Francis Bacon cast-offs
and thus seem the saint when most I play the devil.
o what foul and pestilent congegation of vapours!
[ASIDE: TO DOG:]
out, damned spot!
with unnatural deeds have I bred unnatural troubles
and now infected minds to greasy napkins
have discharged their secrets.
stain'd nobility lies trodden on-
things rank and gross in nature
possess it merely!
last I saw such black and grained spots
was when Polonius fell behind the arras
at the skidmark of his ambition.
but soft! methinks I scent the morning air.
the shite-cakes breaking in yonder window
no longer unspent joys shall usurp
[EXUENT]

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Waltzing My Tilde

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once I used to write in bold
where now I use italic
words that once were UPPERCASE
seem ever more cath-olic
once I used to scintillate
with simile and metaphor
now I only sin 'til three
and score less than I underscore
once I dreamed in CAPITALS
a space

cadet, at E's
flashing round in a 2CV
with hash##
under the dash--
board
like Ullyses or
Agamemnon stop.
{braced}
against all commas,
I was.
now
I Q at be and queue
for T
[and angle brackets]


With acknowledgements to Roger McGough

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Assorted Haiku

yin yang symbol

Harriet: your eyes
are blue lagoons; the sign says
'Fishing! Here! Today!'

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you ask: I tell you
'leopardskin skirts and bra-straps'
please: keep me posted

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black, white, or purple:
colour is not important
with regard to bra-straps

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a line on the piste:
bra-strap snaking down to
powdery moguls

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'cry on my shoulder'
she said. the plan was working.
bra-strap heaven. Yo!

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calligraphic lines
on your rice-paper shoulder:
bra-strap haiku. Wo!

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I count the reasons:
one: the bra-strap on the left.
reason two? the right

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my mind was racing:
'I work in a brasserie'
was this what she really said?

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Khatmandu policemen
holding hands at the border post
Shangri la-la-la

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Allergy In A Country Churchyard

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Atchoo!

Atchoo!

Atchoo!

Atchoo!


Atchoo!


Atchoo!



(or) Ali G In A Country Churchyard:

booyakasha
wicked
innit?
(for real)

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