Category Archives: Frank Poems: Life & Soul

Frank Poems: LOVE BITE

Klipspringer: Stainless steel inspiration bucket, 12 Ltr



Speech sounds:



1 key of G Major

Chords: C, D, G, G7

3L of inspiration

(Serves as many as you like.)



Pour the inspiration into a bucket,
bring to boil and leave to simmer for 10 mins
before setting aside.


Shape the sounds into letters as follows:

A x 19
B x 5
D x 16
E x 67
H x 8
K x 5
L x 42
M x 19
O x 73
R x 4
S x 16
T x 6
U x 13
V x 25
W x 14
Y x 16


Combine the letters into words, as follows:

BE x 4
DO x 15
I x 8
KNOW x 4
LOVE x 25
ME x 15
OH x 1
SO x 4
TRUE x 4
WHOA x 5
YEAH x 2
YOU x 9


Divide the chords as follows:

33 of C
4 of D
26 of G
4 of G7


Divide three guitars and a drum kit
between an appropriate songwriter
and three other appropriate musicians
as appropriate.


Decant the pre-heated inspiration
in equal measures
into two jugs.


Shake the words into one of the jugs and stir well,
before gently pouring into one of the songwriter’s ears.


Shake the chords into the other jug,
together with the key of G Major,
and stir well,
before gently pouring into the songwriter’s other ear.


Give the songwriter’s head a vigorous shake
and leave to marinate for approximately 40 mins.


Set the musicians to cook the marinated words
and chords
for approximately 1 hr
on Gas Mark 6.


Spread the musicians on a stage
together with their respective instruments,
plus amplifiers, microphones
and a harmonica.

Serve hot. "Love Me Do" history


NOT ABBEY ROAD, Mike, Tom and Pete, Wenceslas Square, 2015 │ My Phots

Not the Fab Four
Not even four
Not left to right
Not evenly spread
Not walking quite in time
No beards and no long hair
Not wearing distinctive gear
Not Scousers
No bell-bottom trousers
No policeman to stop the traffic
No steps for me to stand on
Completely wrong angle
Three clicks, not six
Blurred, not clear
No subsequent album and album cover.

Not Abbey Road
Not London
Not UK
Not 1969.

Just my three fab lads
Crossing the road,
Twenty Fifteen
In Wenceslas Square.

BBC, 8 August 2019: "The Scot who took The Beatles' Abbey Road photo"


The Guardian, 10 January 2019: "Coca-Cola influences China’s obesity policy, BMJ report says." Photograph: Peter Morgan/AP.

You’d think it unwise
To advertise anything
Based on lies
But you’d be wrong

For the truth, all along,
As I’ve seen many times,
Is that reality
Is based on lies.

So don’t be a dope.
Drink Coke!

Frank Poems: OR NOT SONNET

Penguin: "Brimful of enjoyable exercises, witty insights and simple step-by-step advice, The Ode Less Travelled guides the reader towards mastery and confidence in the Mother of the Arts."

Whether to write a rondelay or ode
(Horatian, Pindaric, softly Sapphic?),
Ottava rima, ballad or ballade?
Vilanelle, pantoum or something epic?
Whether a Shakespearean soulful sonnet,
Triolet, sestina or graceful ghazal?
Whether and how to mix iamb, pyrrhic,
Trochee, spondee, anapaest and dactyl?
Whether a poem can ever be ideal?
Whether blank verse might be more impressive
Or whether rhyme can make you love me still?
Whether the feet should be five, six or eight?
Whether to risk sending you what I write
Too promptly, or poetically prevaricate?


NASA: Spacelab D-2 Module Launches – April 26, 1993

I volunteered to fly to space
Hoping to help the human race

But as, to be honest, I’d half expected
My application was rejected

For lack of relevant experience, they said.
So I think I’ll just take my wife to Scarborough again

Scarborough (Tripadvisor)


Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Doomsday Clock


It’s a minute to midnight.

Where’s Zeno when you need him
To make it stop?


I’m rather worried
About the state of the earth.
(Just thought I’d say it
For what it’s worth.)

I’m seriously concerned,
What we’ve done to the planet.
It can’t be much more poisonous,
Can it?

I’m thoroughly indignant
About all the wars.
Why don’t they consider
Is that what life’s for?

It makes me quite wild
What the human race
Has done to the world.
It’s a bloody disgrace!

The sixth mass extinction
Is already here
And the seventh will probably
Include us, I fear,

And I’m particularly preoccupied
About colonising space
And spreading our problems
All over the place

Because looking at history
We don’t ever learn
And I’m worried there’s no one
Whom it may concern.

Earthrise │ Wiki


Up until today,
Monday the 23rd of May
2022, I’d say
The twenty-first century,
So manically fêted at the millennium
(If you can remember that),
Has been a bit crap.

Maybe the twenty-second
Will be a bit better.


(1st April 2022)

Now our world’s about to end
(Climate catastrophe, Covid pandemic
And Third World War)
One can’t help wondering
What on earth it was for.


Portrait of Pessoa, 1914 │ Wiki

My translations of twelve poems by Fernando Pessoa


Poets are perfect pretenders.
Their pretence is so real
They’d have us think pretence
The pain they really feel.

And the reader reading their poems
Feels only too well
The pain the poets pretend,
Not the pain they really feel.

And so we’re entertained
By each stop and start
Of that little clockwork train
We call the heart.


O poeta é um fingidor
Finge tão completamente
Que chega a fingir que é dor
A dor que deveras sente.

E os que lêem o que escreve,
Na dor lida sentem bem,
Não as duas que ele teve,
Mas só a que eles não têm.

E assim nas calhas de roda
Gira, a entreter a razão,
Esse comboio de corda
Que se chama coração.


Place your hands on my shoulders
And give me a kiss…
My life in ruins,
My soul all amiss.

I’ve no idea why
I seem to exist.
I’m a being who sees
But sees all amiss.

Place your hands
Upon my head…
In my dreams
I know all this.


Põe-me as mãos nos ombros…
Beija-me na fronte…
Minha vida é escombros,
A minha alma insonte.

Eu não sei porquê,
Meu desde onde venho,
Sou o ser que vê,
E vê tudo estranho.

Põe a tua mão
Sobre o meu cabelo…
Tudo é ilusão.
Sonhar é sabê-lo.


Sorrow in your sound,
My village church bell,
In the calm afternoon,
Deep inside me as well.

So slow and so sad
As if tired of life
With the sound of for ever
In your very first strike.

As I walk on alone
You’re so loud and real
But within me how far,
How dreamy you feel!

Each time you toll
The blue sky seems clearer,
The past grows more distant
As my sorrow draws nearer.


Ó sino da minha aldeia,
Dolente na tarde calma,
Cada tua badalada
Soa dentro da minha alma.

E é tão lento o teu soar,
Tão como triste da vida,
Que já a primeira pancada
Tem o som de repetida.

Por mais que me tanjas perto
Quando passo, sempre errante,
És para mim como um sonho.
Soas-me na alma distante.

A cada pancada tua
Vibrante no céu aberto,
Sinto mais longe o passado,
Sinto a saudade mais perto.


When alone I’d prefer not to be
But I’d be better alone when I’m not.
i.e. I always want
To be what I’m not.

Happiness would be others
If others could be happy,
i.e. their happiness wouldn’t be happy
In me.

People try to make something
Of nothing, which is good,
i.e. they’d be completely lost
Making nothing of nothing.


Se estou só, quero não estar,
Se não estou, quero estar só,
Enfim, quero sempre estar
Da maneira que não estou.

Ser feliz é ser aquele.
E aquele não é feliz,
Porque pensa dentro dele
E não dentro do que eu quis.

A gente faz o que quer
Daquilo que não é nada,
Mas falha se o não fizer,
Fica perdido na estrada.


Sometimes if I forget I’m alone
I remember
Others are alone like me,
Except they’ve never
Been me.

And when I really am
I’m free but sad,
Free to go
Nowhere alone.

But life, I think,
If truly understood
Is all of this and more.
That’s why sometimes
I forget I’m me.


Quando estou só reconheço
Se por momentos me esqueço
Que existo entre outros que são
Como eu sós, salvo que estão
Alheados desde o começo.

E se sinto quanto estou
Verdadeiramente só,
Sinto-me livre mas triste.
Vou livre para onde vou,
Mas onde vou nada existe.

Creio contudo que a vida
Devidamente entendida
É toda assim, toda assim.
Por isso passo por mim
Como por coisa esquecida.


Death is a bend in the road.
To die: to be unseen.
If I listen hard I’ll hear you,
Alive like me.

Earth came from sky.
A lie has no nest.
No one’s ever lost
On the true road west.


A morte é a curva da estrada,
Morrer é só não ser visto.
Se escuto, eu te oiço a passada
Existir como eu existo.

A terra é feita de céu.
A mentira não tem ninho.
Nunca ninguém se perdeu.
Tudo é verdade e caminho.


What I write, they say,
Is all pretence and lies.
But no, it’s just my way
Of feeling is to fantasise.
I don’t use my heart.

All my dreams and all I do,
And all that fades or fails,
Will grow anew
As something else,
Something beautiful.

That’s why I write
About nowt.
Fancy-free but serious
About nowt.
Feeling is up to you.


Dizem que finjo ou minto
Tudo que escrevo. Não.
Eu simplesmente sinto
Com a imaginação.
Não uso o coração.

Tudo o que sonho ou passo,
O que me falha ou finda,
É como que um terraço
Sobre outra coisa ainda.
Essa coisa é que é linda.

Por isso escrevo em meio
Do que não está ao pé,
Livre do meu enleio,
Sério do que não é.
Sentir? Sinta quem lê!


Who can fathom the depths
Of someone else?
Another soul, another universe,

The only soul we understand
Is ours,
The others being looks, gestures, words
And the faintest hint of similarity


Como é por dentro outra pessoa
Quem é que o saberá sonhar?
A alma de outrem é outro universo
Com que não há comunicação possível,
Com que não há verdadeiro entendimento.

Nada sabemos da alma
Senão da nossa;
As dos outros são olhares,
São gestos, são palavras,
Com a suposição de qualquer semelhança
No fundo.


Often I’m inclined to think
I’m sentimental,
Having so much sentiment,
Until, on second thoughts,
I realise it’s all just thought

All of us who live
Have a life we live
And another we think
And the only life we have
Is the one that’s divided,

But no one alive can tell
Real from un,
Unreal from real.
So we live in a way
In which which life we live
Requires some thought.


Tenho tanto sentimento
Que é frequente persuadir-me
De que sou sentimental,
Mas reconheço, ao medir-me,
Que tudo isso é pensamento,
Que não senti afinal.

Temos, todos que vivemos,
Uma vida que é vivida
E outra vida que é pensada,
E a única vida que temos
É essa que é dividida
Entre a verdadeira e a errada.

Qual porém é verdadeira
E qual errada, ninguém
Nos saberá explicar;
E vivemos de maneira
Que a vida que a gente tem
É a que tem que pensar.


Death comes soon
Because vita brevis
And a moment makes light
Of what we thought heavy.

Aims not attained,
Love but begun,
And winners hardly know
What they have won.

And anyway death
Crosses out what’s uncertain
In the big book of fate
Which God has left open.


A morte chega cedo,
Pois breve é toda vida
O instante é o arremedo
De uma coisa perdida.

O amor foi começado,
O ideal não acabou,
E quem tenha alcançado
Não sabe o que alcançou.

E a tudo isto a morte
Risca por não estar certo
No caderno da sorte
Que Deus deixou aberto.


No sooner was I born
Than they locked me in me.
Ah! but I fled.
I’m an escapee.

If one gets tired
Of same place and same me
Who would not suffer

My soul searches for me
But I’m away on my steed
Hoping she’ll never

Being one is a jail,
Being me is not being,
But I’m away on my steed,


Sou um evadido.
Logo que nasci
Fecharam-me em mim,
Ah, mas eu fugi.

Se a gente se cansa
Do mesmo lugar,
Do mesmo ser
Por que não se cansar?

Minha alma procura-me
Mas eu ando a monte,
Oxalá que ela
Nunca me encontre.

Ser um é cadeia,
Ser eu não é ser.
Viverei fugindo
Mas vivo a valer.


In this world of forgetting
We’re shadows of our selves
In the real world of souls
Whose gestures and goals
Are here half forgotten.

Fog and confusion
Is what we have here.
The life light from there
So bright and so clear
Seems here an illusion.

But if, for a second,
You stop, you might see
As if in dappled light through leaves
A more than real reality

And then you might know
Within what’s fleeting and faint,
In what your imagination paints
And in what you long to imitate,
Your soul.

Your body but a shade,
A lie, but which senses
The tug of transcendence,
Of a truth that transcends
Time and space.


Neste mundo em que esquecemos
Somos sombras de quem somos,
E os gestos reais que temos
No outro em que, almas, vivemos,
São aqui esgares e assomos.

Tudo é nocturno e confuso
No que entre nós aqui há.
Projecções, fumo difuso
Do lume que brilha ocluso
Ao olhar que a vida dá.

Mas um ou outro, um momento.
Olhando bem, pode ver
Na sombra e seu movimento
Qual no outro mundo é o intento
Do gesto que o faz viver.

E então encontra o sentido
Do que aqui está a esgarar,
E volve ao seu corpo ido,
Imaginado e entendido,
A intuição de um olhar.

Sombra do corpo saudosa,
Mentira que sente o laço
Que a liga à maravilhosa
Verdade que a lança, ansiosa,
No chão do tempo e do espaço.


Guardian, 2016: "Generation Anthropocene: How humans have altered the planet for ever"

If it wasn’t for all the

abuse, assaults, bombast, conceit, deceit, fraud, greed, hatred, hubris, lies, plunder, rapes, sleaze, wars, arrogance, ignorance, intolerance, complacency, sycophancy, femicide, fratricide, genocide, homicide, infanticide, matricide, patricide, violence, aristocracies, autocracies, plutocracies, theocracies, monarchies, oligarchies, flattery, thuggery, pornography, injustice, malice, cowardice, prejudice, backstabbing, boasting, brainwashing, bullshitting, bullying, cheating, profiteering, robbing, shooting, stabbing, stealing, thieving, trafficking, vendettas, warmongering, hypocrisy, unaccountability, barbarity, egocentricity, immorality, inauthenticity, inequality, inhumanity, mendacity, religiosity, vanity, cruelty, bribery, chicanery, demagoguery, fakery, snobbery, slavery, poverty, bigotry, idolatry, tyrannies, aggrandisement, embezzlement, harassment, homophobia, xenophobia, censorship, dictatorships, degradation, denigration, deforestation, dehumanisation, addiction, despoliation, destruction, discrimination, exploitation, mutilation, oppression, persecution, pollution, repression, inquisitions, evictions, misogyny, iconoclasm, ageism, anthropocentrism, charlatanism, chauvinism, colonialism, denialism, dogmatism, ethnocentrism, expansionism, extremism, fanaticism, fascism, fundamentalism, hooliganism, militarism, narcissism, nepotism, obscurantism, philistinism, populism, puritanism, racism, sectarianism, sexism, sadism, solipsism, terrorism, totalitarianism, ultra-nationalism, vandalism, heartlessness, homelessness, humourlessness, lawlessness, pitilessness, senselessness, shamelessness, spinelessness, meanness, censoriousness, deviousness, licentiousness, nefariousness, obsequiousness, officiousness, sanctimoniousness, self-righteousness, litigiousness, selfishness, unfairness, murderousness, and other suspect suffixes,

it wouldn’t all be such a pain.

Shall we try again?

Frank Poems: PRESENT ARMS!

BBC, 1 October 2019: "In pictures: China shows off military might at 70th anniversary parade"

left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right

Square bashing
is smashing
for submitting your will
to people to whom
it might be better not
to submit it

bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang
bang bang

It helps you kill
people you probably wouldn’t otherwise

left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right
left    right

Frank Poems: FREE SPEE


English PEN

Who ha believe
A the en o the millen
Tha peop freed o spee
Wou be le now tha the?

Whe you ope yo mou
You ca reasonab expec
To be round denoun
A polit incorrec

An despi the advan
In sci an technol
Jus loo whe we are
In pol, phil an theol

For instan, in itics
You mus wa wha you say.
It mo abou dirt tric
Tha the ar o deba

I you ha the misfor
To li und a dictat regi,
You bet thin twi bef
Expressi yo opi

They a screa an shou
I you say Donal Trum
Is a bull, a li
An a absolu chum

They sli so polon
I the tea i yo cu,
Shou you wan to ma know
Mist Put i corrup

Bes to be abstrac
I you ta abou phil.
Don be li Socrat
An ge yosel kill

An a to relig
You fin it mo clev
To stay i the reg
O footba an weath

They cho o yo he
I you dou al-Qura
O sto you to de
Fo debati Isla

I the evangel righ
Don li wha i say,
They wi picke a frs nigh
To sto you watchi a play

I they thin tha a boo
I a lit bit hereti,
They bur i i publi
Withou havi rea i

No to ment paint, sculp,
Fil, vid, mus, dan an so,
Whe sti plent o peop
Fin the fundament wro

So plea don denoun me,
My sel-righteou fren,
An I ho you allow me
To ge to the en

Withou freed o spee,
A thi po demonstra,
The meani o langua
Soo crumble away.

Frank Poems: DEAR MR XI

NASA Science: Total lunar eclipse from Abu Dhabi

Please don’t undermine our moon.
What harm’s it ever done to you?!

You’ve got Tibet,
You’ve got Hong Kong
And now you’re set
Upon Taiwan.

But woe betide!
If you’re still not satisfied
And do decide on lunacide
The moon might not like it.
Beware the tide!