Sonnets

A classic poetic form, consisting of fourteen lines of iambic pentameter. The two most usual rhyme schemes are ababcdcd-efefgg (English/Shakespearean) and abbaabba-cdecde or abbaabba-cdcdcd (Italian/Petrarchan). The move from the first eight lines (the octave) to the remaining six lines (the sestet) often sees a turn in the theme or the 'argument' of the poem. Dialectical, innit?

Push the Button?

We have a fearless leader we can trust
Who's proved to us already that he would
Destroy communities for their own good
Burn shadows into pavements, flesh to dust
He flaunts the firmest finger, face that fits
A leader who can make that tough decision
Personifies the stone-heart politician
Choose yes or no to blow the world to bits
- When button push one day will come to shove

Memoir

Every year on holiday he says
He'll write his life, a memoir from the flat
Where once a letter slipped beneath the mat
And sent him off to work not college days
He says he'll put on record anecdotes
Red cash bag in the office flying high
On picket lines and letterheads and tie
Guitars and drumkits, reels and fishing floats
He'll write of those who fell along the way

Red Brick Dreams

If I could build the world from LEGO bricks
The clean-lined architecture would delight
We'd build for function and construct for kicks
Each beautiful creative studded site 
If I could build the world from LEGO bricks
I wouldn't let one small set hoard them all
To build monstrosities to make them rich
While others wait in hope for tiles to fall
If I could build the world from LEGO bricks

Sonnet to a Bricked-Up Window

Oh ticket office, ticket office, why
Is your fair window really gone for good?
However much I touch or hard I try
The robot can not serve me like you could
If you had closed 'cause I don't have to pay
If transport were a public service, free
I'd no more need to use you anyway
Or miss your glazed familiarity 
But still the faceless charge a fortune fare

Gallipoli

Written on the centenary of the start of the appalling slaughter that was the Gallipoli campaign in World War One:

Rank corpses carpeted Gallipoli
At Russell's Top, Lone Pine and Suvla Bay 
By bullet, bayonet or dysentery
Eight months of folly fighting lives away
Young Albert Booth got out of there alive
From hell to hell, from Dardanelles to trench
No others from his landing craft survived
But joined the dead, the ANZACs, Turks and French 
One hundred thousand gone from those sad nations
And all for what? A great futility
Did lives not figure in the calculations 
Of Britain's First Lord of the Admiralty?
- Excuse me if I don't take out a sub
- To Winston Churchill's great admirers' club

N38 To The World

A Petrarchan sonnet (yesreallyon getting a night bus to catch an international train ...

I used to but I haven't missed this bus
At 5a.m., a half-full cart to take
The staff who clean and guard before you wake
Who start the engines 'fore the rest of us
From brief repose unwilling exodus
Hold open half-mast eyes on work-worn faces
Resignedly wishing they weren't going places
No chat, no caucus, nothing to discuss
But then I disembark and change my routes
And switch dimensions through a boarding gate
Some two hours later morning, bright debate
White, coffee-charged commuters sporting suits
While most of those on night bus 38
Were black and wearing hi-vis, smocks and boots

Death Row Diner

Get this! Hopelessly unthinking about the barbarity and injustice of state executions, we have a "pop-up restaurant" themed as "death row dinners". Pass the sick bag.

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