THE PROBLEM WITH WORDS by Barrie Purnell

THE PROBLEM WITH WORDS

I met her in the long hot summer of sixty three
On a surfing beach in south-western France
I wanted to grab her attention with my poetry
I just hoped it would give me a chance

The words I needed were there in my head
But were cryptically concealed in my mind
They were words that I’d heard or words I’d read
But those damn words were so hard to find

I needed to write some lines to give to Nicole
That would tell her I wasn’t a naive hanger on
Words to pick the lock letting me into her soul
I needed to strike before the moment was gone

Words those lyrical poets seemed always to find
Words to tempt her away from the glitz
To persuade her my love was worth leaving behind
Her hedonist friends on the beach at Biarritz

Why is it when you try to write what you’re feeling
The words are never what you want and you know it
It was never an ace that I seemed to be dealing
But the joker mocking a wannabee poet

Like drunks my words staggered and fell off of the line
Forming a jumbled lexicon piled at my feet
My pen itself appeared to be hostile and malign
Leaving me staring at a pristine white sheet

Too late I found the words that I wanted to say
Another troubadour had enraptured her heart
My love turned to malice when I heard her say
That I was not in the race from the start

So in place of verses that were full of love and desire
The words were those of resentment and spite
I ignored her contrition and appeal for a ceasefire
Because I was totally absorbed in the fight

I dealt out my words like sharp stainless blades
Each syllable became a barbed arrow of pain
Each sentence simply one more heartbreak repaid
For that love lost down in Aquitaine

It was so much easier to find words for my malice
Fired like bullets from a gun onto the page
My jealousy proving a willing accomplice
For my humiliation, frustration and rage

Too late I realized some of the words that you write
Can fatally wound without leaving a trace
Each word is forever and lies there in plain sight
You cannot recall them or have them replaced

I wish I hadn’t wasted my words on anger
But then what is life without any regret
For a poet each word they write is a failure
There are so many failures I need to forget

This poet sees life as a glass that’s half empty
I don’t look for the silver linings on clouds
Life’s disappointments and tears I find aplenty
You’ll find me hiding at the edge of the crowd

So if you are trying to win yourself a new lover
Don’t try ensnaring her with eloquence and rhyme
When you find her just tell her simply that you love her
Using poetry will be just a waste of your time

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The School Bully by Pete Brammer

A true story of why a boy was left unable to read aloud, even his own prose, for over sixty years

At eleven, I left the St. Anne’s School,

In black and white uniform, I did feel cool,

On Memorial Avenue, my anxieties grew,

With the release of flatulence, I blew a few.

Now, back to one of the youngest there,

 Wearing a cloth cap, to cover my hair,

Sporting a ‘C’ on that, and a pocket.

Heart beating so fast, I couldn’t stop it.

First day, was English following registration,

I certainly didn’t suffer, constipation,

Our English teacher was Honeybone,

 I later wished I’d stayed at home.

For he’d placed a book on every desk,

Which would set me out, from all the rest,

Whilst reading out aloud, I made a mistake,

And he showed me up, for goodness sake.

“You’ll never do that again!” I vowed,

To myself of course, not aloud,

The look on his face, was that of pleasure,

As I sat there, suffering the pressure.

With venom, he cried. “I beg your pardon?”

Quickly making, my resolve, just harden,

My arse had tightened up some notches,

Whilst around my neck, appeared nervous blotches,

I said “I would rather not sir.”

His punishment? Detention’s what I got,

But he failed to know, I didn’t care,

Goading him, as far as I dare.

 

I knew every time; I walked through his door,

The Detention Board, I’d be fetching for sure,

This I did, as if full of joy,

Knowing for him, it would certainly annoy

For he didn’t know, I had a gem,

 Dad in the army, was an RSM,

Telling me to always, stand and fight,

Of which I did, with much delight.

I will never kowtow to a bully like him,

Succeeding in that, allowed me to grin,

A grin to say, “Up yours mate!

Picking on me, was a big mistake.”

‘C’ = Central School
‘RSM’ = Regimental Sergeant Major (Top Non-Commissioned Officer rank in British Army)

WORDS by Joe Lyons

WORDS by Joe Lyons

 Words once wrote did thoughts provoke
They chase around the brain
Flitting here, hovering there, never to be the same
Alighting on paper to leave an entry there
Like a butterfly in the garden hovering without care
Each thought grows ever stronger vivid colours mark the senses
Nothing bad could ever hide there, with innocent pretences
Always changing, always the same
Information is used by any name
Sights, sounds, smells and tastes
Lest we forget them in our haste
Light and dark colours, govern each day
Controlling, calming, come what may
Feelings, memories, the paper takes till full
Whatever you believe thoughts can never be dull
From the pen streams words using vowels and verbs
In truth, to tell a tale no matter how absurd

Mundane by Joe Lyons

Mundane

by Joe Lyons

 Absorbing like blotting paper soaking up the last drop
Only when it’s sodden
does it find time to stop
Just like a dripping tap
going splish splash all night through
It only takes a washer if you know what to do
Of all the mundane chores
that life brings us today
It’s the gnawing ones
the boring ones
you wish would go away
Cartoon showing frustrated man trying to fix a leaky faucet

Joe Lyons

Poetry, a subtle kind of passion by Michael Healy

A reply to Faymarie’s feelings about poetry. How do you feel?

Poetry, a subtle kind of passion

Poetry is a subtle kind of passion

That can lift the soul in a glorious fashion

Select your words with great care

So they flow and fit in a way that is rare.

You hope your thoughts will coalesce

So your audience feel that they are blessed

If only one person sees your meaning

Like a baby that is weaning

And it fills them with a passion

So just one of your poems is too small a ration.

Link your words till they raise a smile,

Do it more so it lasts for a while

After all, as you will know

A good poet’s art can make your passion glow.

                                                                           Michael Healy

Something profound by Faymarie Morris

Something profound by Faymarie Morris

 Sometimes a poem just seems to arrive.

Sometimes it gets dragged from your psyche

and chews at your insides, driving you mad,

like a bad dream that visits nightly.

Why do I put myself through this torment

sitting for hours in front of a screen,

struggling to find a more meaningful word?

Something profound, instead of just green.

 

How did they manage, those poets of old

with quill pens and rough sheets of paper,

scratching away in some garret or shed,

to create something worthy of favour?

I suppose that was all they had to do,

those offspring of the social elite.

But their talent, foresight and use of words,

were absolute, and still hard to beat.

 

So, why do I write the same kind of stuff

that I store in the depths of my brain,

then churn out in similar ways, each time?

The same format, again and again.

Will I ever write something of value,

something forceful or significant?

A sonnet, haiku or lyrical ode

that a reader might find eloquent?

 

But I’m not the one writing the poem,

it’s the poem that’s writing itself.

It waits in the darkness beside my desk,

a fanciful muse or irksome elf.

And whenever I feel like giving up,

because nothing I write seems to fit,

I remember something Tennyson wrote

about poets needing a fruitful wit…

 By Faymarie Morris

I Forget by Michael Healy

I Forget by Michael Healy

I forget image - specs

So what was it I had a mind to do?
So why is that shoe not fastened?
So what day is it, I wonder,
What month, what year?
It’s clear,
I forget

And yet I had so much in mind,
Amo, amas, amat, tan, cos and sine,
The formula for brine, a bouquet of fine wine,
Three times three makes…?
Three times three?
Three times three, it’s gone
Why is that shoe undone?
Where is my coat?

I must make a note to remind…
What was it I came to find?
So what day is it, I wonder?
Is it summer yet?
I forget.
I FORGET!!!

Michael Healy