Tag Archives: poem

Spinks

Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights (detail)

Five gold rings? Why? To symbolise eternity?
Five gold rings: by showing one’s fidelity
so suitable as signs to give to our true loves!
But after gifting partridge and three turtle doves,
fancy French hens and a choir of blackbirds,
surely expectations are running now to words
which indicate to all some feathered friends?
Consider now the goldfinch, tinier than French hens.

Its liquid tinkling sounds are delightful to our ears,
‘finch’ an onomatopoeic version of its pinks.
Its striking blood-red mask’s said to spring from Christ’s own tears,
and the Scots and rural English call them ‘spinks’.
The flash of yellow seen on each and every wing
of these cheerful birds brings joy to every heart.
And their friendly chatterings as they trill and peep and sing
speaks of hopes of never ever being apart.

Now believe me when I say that the things of which one sings
in the carol may not be the things one thinks.
For the gifts the true love brings when one sings of golden rings
could be goldfinches or rightly golden spinks!


5/ Twelve Days of Christmas

Ode to the moon

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I can’t bathe in your seas,
No cow jumps over you;
No Man here takes his ease,
You’re still old when called ‘new’.

But I’ll still bow to you
When they say you are new,
Silver coins I’ll thrice turn
In my pockets, to learn
If more money I’ll earn
And more riches discern.

Then thanks for good fortune
I shall give to the Moon!

© C A Lovegrove

Written for a Twitter readalong of Philippa Pearce’s Tom’s Midnight Garden

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night has come when some say ill-luck
will come to some souls and go running amok
if their baubles and candles still hang, and bright tinsel
and such dingle-dangles which they’re saying long since will
have lost their immediacy, attracting the spite,
malevolence and such-like of brownie and sprite.

So take down the décor, the fairy, the lights
which shine there from Advent to Christmas; Twelfth Night’s
the end of the season — or so it is said.
But what says one Herrick,* a poet long dead?

DOWN with the rosemary, and so
Down with the bays and misletoe;
Down with the holly, ivy, all,
Wherewith ye dress’d the Christmas Hall:
That so the superstitious find
No one least branch there left behind :
For look, how many leaves there be
Neglected, there (maids, trust to me)
So many goblins you shall see.

Then let us follow Herrick, who knew what must be known,
and keep our Yuletide greenery up till darkness has all flown.

* Robert Herrick (1591-1674): Ceremony upon Candlemas Eve.

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The wee hours

Wee hours of the morning
It’s brass monkey weather
It comes without warning
We’re wondering whether
Dare we shrug off the blanket
Kick out the cold bottle
Whether we’ll tank it
Or leap out full throttle
And run to the en suite
Begin that fierce widdle
Before we complete
Weeing, right in the middle
Will toilet lid fall
Causing pain as it crashes
Damn Nature’s loud call
And its uncalled-for splashes


An ode to the male prostate (actually, there isn’t a female prostate)

Couplets

Summer’s pond skaters are long gone,
The garden pool glazed like a mountain tarn.


Rather than battered and tempest-tossed,
This morning trees glistened with early frost.


Standing on the platform waiting for the train;
not too long till I’ll be holding her again.


A selection of tweets using the hashtag #CoupletsForBreakfast

The Wolves are Running


A travelling Showman collects as he goes
and lest you should be in any real doubt
know what he collects the travelling man shows.

The Wolves are Running, as Someone well knows,
but though it’s the snow that brings the Wolves out,
the travelling man still collects as he goes.

Someone, if seen, isn’t safe from his foes;
when asked where he is it is best you say nowt,
for what he collects the travelling man shows.

With Barney dog, pack, and his travelling clothes
will the Showman escape? Will he still go about?
The travelling Showman collects as he goes.

The Wolves are still Running; it thaws and it snows;
and people they’ll scrobble, and laws they will flout,
yet what he collects the travelling man shows.

But hope still remains, despite all those woes,
that humans and wolves he will put all to rout:
a travelling man collects as he goes,
and what he collects the travelling man shows.


A villanelle inspired by John Masefield’s The Box of Delights (1935) and incorporating key phrases from the fantasy

The party’s over

Hooray! The bright flag bunting now is out,
fluttering festively in a light breeze,
festooning the branches of the trees,
lemon, bronze, beige, hung about
the path that winds through the wood.

Now, though, they’ve become dry brittle pages,
their supports the bars of strong stout cages.
Ageing paperbacks falling apart would
trail across my vision in such a way.

Beneath my feet they crunch and crack,
the golds and scarlets spread across the track
mingling with tan, and dun, and grey.

Soon early winter’s drizzle will send a brook
cascading down the slope, the stones and sludge
a dreary carpet on which to trudge.

The party’s over; autumn’s done, so close the book.

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Cronk

A speck in the sky
cries its single note.

Cronk.

I shade my eyes against the sun
to spot, if I can, what’s made
this rude clarion call
to a mate I cannot see.

Cronk.

Resonating bell-like to my depths:
a glimpse of eternity,
a sense of rightness,
a gushing of love
from a precious fountain.

Cronk.

A reminder that
we’re alone
and yet not alone.

And now it’s gone.

The Joker

Teeth too big for his mouth
still he spits out bile with a laugh,
close-lidded eyes concealing disdain
for a populace he leads by the nose

Spared grillings by broadcasting ninnies,
cocking a snook at all and sundry,
a joke of a man, yet as serious a threat
as you’d ever get in a month of Mondays

His nodding head a pain in the neck
(though emphatically not for him)
he laughs all the way to the bank,
a loose cannonball on deck to scupper us all

Spinning a farrago of lies
the joker in the pack
may yet turn up trumps