Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Some poems we like to read at bedtime

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

We have a book of classic poetry that we often read a bit of at bedtime. Some of mini-Elbeno’s favourite poems:

  • Naming of Parts by Henry Reed
  • Tarantella by Hilaire Belloc
  • The Way Through the Woods by Rudyard Kipling
  • Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost


Sunday, May 4th, 2008

The arid highway subjugates the earth,
A monument to mastery of man.
Fantastic artifice: cement and steel,
The world enslaved and trammelled by its span.

A million ugly motors fight the road;
Retch bitter toxins from a distant star.
Miasma of a century’s exhaust
Insinuates itself in every scar.

Gentle infusions of jazz from the radio.
Engines stand idle, but there’s no particular
Hurry; removed from the concrete reality,
Lulled in his filtered cocoon, he’s untouchable.

The grimy shards of past disasters lie,
Statistical monitions of the real,
Neglected, on the asphalt. He believes
That nothing can collide with his ideal.


Thursday, April 17th, 2008

They say soon we will run out of helium.
Most people think, “What’s the big dealium?
So our voices won’t squeak
When we inhale a leak –
Balloons will just lose some appealium.”

But balloons aren’t the sole use of helium:
For industrial stuff, it’s idealium.
When released without thought,
It can never be caught,
But escapes from the earth with great zealium.

The Hedgehog

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

The hedgehog is a noble beast; he keeps the garden clear
Of slugs and snails and other pests throughout the temperate year.
Just after dusk you’ll see him on his customary beat
Hunting Lumbricus terrestris or some other juicy treat.

Although he’s not the biggest or the fastest or most muscular,
He’s the most learned animal, nocturnal or crepuscular.
He wears his mantle lightly and he’s never ostentatious,
But of course he’s quite the expert on all matters erinaceous.

Gentility’s his touchstone; he’s unfailingly polite,
Except to over-curious dogs that send him into fright.
He’ll clean a plate of milk and bread without a single question,
Although dairy products will play merry hell with his digestion.

So if you find a hedgehog in your garden, wish him well,
And keep your eye out for him following a rainy spell.
Just let him tend his patch according to the natural order,
And he’ll gladly keep the pests away from your herbaceous border.

On the Benefits of Showering

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

From time to time when I’m perplexed
Or by a tricky problem vexed;
A cipher that just will not yield
But keeps its mystery concealed,

I find I have a last resort
Before cerebral fuel runs short:
I open up the bathroom door
And step onto the tiled floor.

The whirring fan, the gurgling drain,
The white noise washing on my brain.
The shower is my bosom friend –
It leads me to the enigma’s end.

No matter how fiendish the puzzle,
The pump’s deliberative buzz’ll
Help me find the right solution
By the end of my ablution.

Showers do not only soak us;
They bring things into mental focus.
Doubt not their catalytic power –
I wrote this poem in the shower.

Modern Correspondence

Friday, February 29th, 2008

I’ve set aside my usual time for checking on my email.
Penis enlargement… penny stocks… pretending to be female…
Apparently my gas bill’s ready for an online look,
And Amazon have managed (finally) to ship my book.
An urban legend warning from some well-intentioned kin:
I’ve told them about, but still they’re taken in.
An ex-colleague invites me to keep up to date with Plaxo;
I never really liked him – kind of glad he got the sack – so…
Hey, I’m a lotto winner? But I never bought a ticket!
I’m sure that link is suspect, so I don’t think I will click it.
An invitation to attend some friend-of-friend’s new play;
A mangled Chinese subject that the program can’t display;
And endless special offers from the online stores I’ve used,
While the comments section on my blog is once again abused.
But the Reverend Bayes can save me, so I mark it all as spam,
And with any luck I’ll never see another email scam.

Journey to Bed

Friday, January 18th, 2008

The house is quiet, completely dark
Except for one defiant spark
Which rails against the night’s embrace:
The screen illuminates my face.

The hour is late; my head is tired.
The stimulants which kept me wired
Have long since faded. Now instead
I think of turning in to bed.

I kill the light. My eyes protest
This sudden, unexpected test.
I scarcely need them; in my brain
The layout of my house is plain.

The corridor is to the right:
A gauntlet I must run each night
Where every floorboard’s heartless gaze
Surveys my pathway through his maze.

Each sentry waits to shout my name
If I should fail this nightly game
But I have played at this before:
I deftly pass and gain the door.

The danger here is not yet past;
I must negotiate the last.
The final task that lies ahead:
To reach the far side of the bed.

My presence somehow more than sound
Is now my enemy. Around
The bed I glide with silent speed
Before the sleeper pays me heed.

I shed my clothes, enter the warm
Beside my spouse’s sleeping form.
The steady breathing lets me know
That sleep is still the status quo.

So I relax and, slightly curled,
Let Morpheus take me from the world.
My thoughts ease their frenetic rate
And gently disassociate.