Category Archives: Frank Poems: Life & Soul

Frank Poems: UNFORTUNATELY

In times of military tension
Call twelve random ordinary people
From each side
In off the street
And ask them if
They’d prefer war or peace,

Pointing out first in brief –
Because, after all,
Random ordinary people
Have non-random, not-so-ordinary
Lives to lead
And won’t be paid for this –

Pointing out the pros and cons
Of peace and war,
Especially regarding
Ordinary not-so-ordinary people
And in particular
The poor.

Then take a vote…

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The votes cast in today’s ballot
In respect of peace and war
Were as follows:

For Peace: 24
And none for War.

I therefore hereby declare
The winner is Peace
And certainly not War.

PS:
Unfortunately,
When it comes to war and peace
In times of military tension,
It hardly ever tends
To end like this.

The Guardian, 8 February 2022: "Putin’s massive table: powerplay or paranoia?" Photograph: EyePress News/Rex/Shutterstock.

Frank Poems: HAPPINESS

The Tom Maior samba school. Photograph: Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images. The Guardian, 12 February 2018: "Spirit of samba: the best of Rio and Sao Paulo carnivals in pictures"

Sadness is endless…
Happiness ends

Like a feather
Floating on thin air,
Fluttering
And dying
When the wind’s not there.

Carnival illusion,
Happiness of the poor
Who work all year
For a fleeting dream
Of fancy dress
As pirate king or flower queen,
Ending on Wednesday.

Sadness is endless…
Happiness ends

Like a drop of petal dew
Which glistens when
It feels the oscillation of the stem
Before, love’s tear,
It falls on cue.

Happiness is such a sweet
And delicate thing.
Flowers and kisses,
Humming-bird wings,
An airy aquarelle
In blue, yellow and green.
Happiness being all the above,
I always treat her well.

Sadness is endless…
Happiness ends.

My happiness is dreaming
In my darling’s eyes
Like the dawn that’s gleaming
Beneath the deep-black sky.
A gentle kiss
So my love may wake
To happiness today.

A FELICIDADE

Tristeza não tem fim
Felicidade sim

A felicidade é como a pluma
Que o vento vai levando pelo ar
Voa tão leve
Mas tem a vida breve
Precisa que haja vento sem parar

A felicidade do pobre parece
A grande ilusão do carnaval
A gente trabalha o ano inteiro
Por um momento de sonho
Pra fazer a fantasia
De rei ou de pirata ou jardineira
Pra tudo se acabar na quarta-feira

Tristeza não tem fim
Felicidade sim

A felicidade é como a gota
De orvalho numa pétala de flor
Brilha tranqüila
Depois de leve oscila
E cai como uma lágrima de amor

A felicidade é uma coisa boa
E tão delicada também
Tem flores e amores
De todas as cores
Tem ninhos de passarinhos
Tudo de bom ela tem
E é por ela ser assim tão delicada
Que eu trato dela sempre muito bem

Tristeza não tem fim
Felicidade sim

A minha felicidade está sonhando
Nos olhos da minha namorada
É como esta noite, passando, passando
Em busca da madrugada
Falem baixo, por favor
Pra que ela acorde alegre com o dia
Oferecendo beijos de amor

Frank Poems: RUBBISH SONG

(with apologies)

BBC, 2019: "Roadside litter: Law change could see car owners fined"

Why don’t we throw it in the road? (x4)
No one will be watching us.
Why don’t we throw it in the road?

Why don’t we throw it in the road? (x4)
Someone will clean after us.
Why don’t we throw it in the road?

Why don’t we throw it in the road?
Why don’t we throw it in the road?
Why don’t we throw it, throw it in the road?
Why don’t we throw it in the road?
We don’t really give a toss.
Why don’t we throw it in the road?

"House by the Railroad," Edward Hopper, 1925

Frank Poems: LIFE SENTENCE


The Guardian, 13 May 2016: "Yves Klein and the birth of the blue"

Life’s to be lived
so live for today
or carpe diem
if your Latin’s OK
and don’t lose the will to live
or say life ain’t worth living
coz you only live once
and life’s too short
as we’re here today
gone tomorrow
and from cradle to grave
ain’t that long a stay
and life is a cabaret, old chum,
the best things in life are free
living is easy with eyes closed
and life’s not about how many breaths you take
but the moments that take your breath away
so live and let live
eat drink and be merry
and let tomorrow
look after itself
our little life being rounded with a sleep
and life what is it but a dream
which is not to say life can’t be cruel
as nothing is certain but death and taxes
and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
and all our yesterdays
are not today thank you
so look lively
and live as if every day was your last
coz he came to save the living not the dead
and although it’s not a matter of life or death
(it’s more important than that)
remember God writes straight on crooked lives
and live life to the full
stop

"House by the Railroad," Edward Hopper, 1925

Frank Poems: VOYAGE OF DISCCOVERY

California Institute of Technology: "The Golden Record"

(A poemification of the contents of the “golden discs” that were sent into outer space in the two Voyager rockets)

To:
Extraterrestrials Anywhere

From:
The NASA Kennedy Space Center,
Cape Canaveral, Florida

1977

Dear Extraterrestrials Anywhere,

It might have been lovely
to meet you. However,
given we probably
will no longer exist,
please find enclosed
the following gifts:

A RECORDED GREETING
from Kurt Waldheim,
Secretary General of the UN:

I send greetings on behalf
of the people of our planet.
We step out of our solar system
into the universe,
seeking only peace and friendship,
to teach if we are called upon,
to be taught if we are fortunate.
We know full well
that our planet and all its inhabitants
are but a small part
of this immense universe that surrounds us.
And it is with humanity and hope
that we take this step.

A WRITTEN STATEMENT
by Jimmy Carter,
President of the USA:

This Voyager spacecraft was constructed
by the United States of America.
We are a community
of 240 million human beings
among the more than 4 billion
who inhabit the planet Earth.
We human beings are still divided
into nation states,
but these states are rapidly becoming
a global civilization.

[Ha ha]

We cast this message into the cosmos…
It is likely to survive
a billion years into our future,
when our civilization is profoundly altered
and the surface of the Earth
may be profoundly changed.
Of the 200 billion stars
in the Milky Way galaxy
some, perhaps many,
may have inhabited planets
and space-faring civilizations.
If one such civilization intercepts Voyager
and can understand these recorded contents,
here is our message:

This is a present
from a small distant world,
a token of our sounds,
our science,
our images,
our music,
our thoughts
and our feelings.
We are attempting
to survive our time
so we may live
into yours.
We hope some day,
having solved
the problems we face,
to join a community
of galactic civilizations.
This record represents
our hope and our determination
and our goodwill
in a vast and awesome universe.

EARTH SOUNDS

  • music of the spheres
  • mother and child
  • life signs
  • heartbeat
  • F-111 flyby
  • volcanoes
  • earthquake
  • thunder
  • birds
  • pulsar
  • riveter
  • crickets
  • laughter
  • hyena
  • fire
  • rain
  • tractor
  • train
  • the first tools
  • footsteps
  • surf
  • sawing
  • wind
  • frogs
  • tame dog
  • wild dog
  • mud pots
  • Saturn 5 lift-off
  • elephant
  • horse and cart
  • speech
  • herding sheep
  • per aspera ad astra in Morse Code
  • ships
  • chimpanzee
  • blacksmith
  • bus
  • car
  • kiss

SPOKEN GREETINGS
in 55 languages
as translated below:

Akkadian

May all be very well.

Amoy

Friends of space, how are you all?
Have you eaten yet?
Come visit us if you have time.

Arabic

Greetings to our friends in the stars.
We wish that we will meet you someday.

Aramaic

Peace.

Armenian

To all those who exist in the universe,
greetings.

Bengali

Hello!
Let there be peace
everywhere.

Burmese

Are you well?

Cantonese

Hi. How are you?
Wish you peace, health
and happiness.

Czech

Dear Friends,
we wish you the best.

Dutch

Heartfelt greetings
to everyone.

English

Hello
from the children of planet Earth.

(From Carl Sagan’s six-year-old son,
Nick.)

French

Hello everybody.

German

Heartfelt greetings to all.

Greek

Greetings to you,
whoever you are.
We come in friendship
to those who are friends.

Gujarati

Greetings
from a human being of the Earth.
Please contact.

Hebrew

Peace.

Hindi

Greetings
from the inhabitants of this world.

Hittite

Hail.

Hungarian

We are sending greetings
in the Hungarian language
to all peace-loving beings
in the Universe.

Ila

We wish all of you well.

Indonesian

Good night,
ladies and gentlemen.
Goodbye
and see you next time.

Italian

Many greetings
and wishes.

Japanese

Hello!
How are you?

Kannada

Greetings.
On behalf
of Kannada-speaking people,
good wishes.

Kechua

Hello to everybody,
from this Earth
in Kechua language.

Korean

How are you?

Latin

Greetings to you,
whoever you are.
We have good will towards you
and bring peace across space.

Luganda

Greetings
to all peoples of the universe.
God give you peace always.

Mandarin

Hope everyone’s well.
We are thinking about you all.
Please come here to visit
when you have time.

Marathi

Greetings.
The people of the Earth send their good wishes.

Nepali

Wishing you a peaceful future,
from the Earthlings.

Nguni

We greet you, great ones.
We wish you longevity.

Nyanja

How are all you people
of other planets?

Oriya

Greetings
to the inhabitants of the universe
from the third planet Earth
of the star Sun.

Persian

Hello
to the residents of far skies.

Polish

Welcome,
creatures from beyond the outer world.

Portuguese

Peace and happiness to all.

Punjabi

Welcome home.
It is a pleasure to receive you.

Rajasthani

Hello to everyone.
We are happy here
and you be happy there.

Romanian

Greetings to everybody.

Russian

Greetings. I welcome you.

Serbian

We wish you everything good,
from our planet.

Sinhalese

Wish you a long life.

Sotho

We greet you,
oh great ones.

Spanish

Hello
and greetings to all.

Sumerian

May all be well.

Swedish

Greetings
from a computer programmer
in the little university town of Ithaca
on the planet Earth.

Telugu

Greetings.
Best wishes from Telugu-speaking people.

Thai

We in this world
send you our good will.

Turkish

Dear Turkish-speaking friends,
may the honors of the morning
be upon your heads.

Ukrainian

We are sending greetings
from our world,
wishing you happiness,
goodness, good health
and many years.

Urdu

Peace on you. We,
the inhabitants of this earth,
send our greetings to you.

Vietnamese

Sincerely send you
our friendly greetings.

Welsh

Good health to you
now and forever.

Wu

Best wishes
to you all.

EARTH IMAGES

  • a calibration circle diagram
  • a Chinese dinner party
  • a construction scene in Amish country
  • a cotton harvest
  • a crocodile
  • a dancer from Bali
  • a demonstration of licking,
    eating and drinking
  • a factory interior
  • a fishing boat with nets
    (Greece)
  • a flying insect
    (Ichneumonidae)
    with flowers
  • a forest scene
    with mushrooms
  • a grape picker
  • a group of children
  • a gymnast
    (Cathy Rigby)
  • a house in Ethiopia
  • a house in New England
  • a human father and daughter
    (Malaysia)
  • a human fertilized ovum
  • a human foetus
  • a human nursing mother
    (Malaysia)
  • a leaf
    (Fragaria)
  • a man from Guatemala
  • a master craftsman from Taiwan
  • a modern highway
    in Ithaca, New York
  • a modern house in Cloudcroft
    New Mexico
  • a mountain climber
    (Gaston Rébuffat)
  • a museum
  • a woman with a microscope
    in Somalia
  • a page of the book
    On the System of the World
    by Isaac Newton
  • a portrait of a human family
  • a school of fish
  • a schoolroom in Japan
  • a seashell
    (Xancidae)
  • a seashore
    (Cape Neddick, Maine)
  • a sketch of Bushmen
  • a solar location map
  • a street scene in Pakistan
  • a sunset with birds
  • a supermarket
  • a tree toad
  • a United Aircraft Corporation turbotrain
  • a waterhole
  • an airplane in flight
  • an airport in Toronto
  • an artisan with a drill
  • an astronaut in space
  • an eagle
  • an elephant
  • an old man with beard and glasses
    (Turkey)
  • an old man with dog and flowers
  • an underwater scene
    with diver and fish
  • an X-ray of a hand
  • Boston
  • cells and cell division
  • chemical definitions
  • cooking fish
  • daffodils and a tree
  • diagrams of:

a human foetus
continental drift
human conception
human family ages
human male and female
vertebrate evolution

  • DNA Structure
  • Earth
  • Egypt
    (the Red Sea,
    the Sinai Peninsula
    and the Nile)
  • Heron Island
  • house construction in Cameroon
  • House Interior with Artist and Fire
    (a photo by Jim Amos
    of Jim Gray & his wife)
  • human anatomy:

skeleton, front
skeleton and muscles, back
heart, lungs, kidneys
and main blood vessels, back
heart, lungs, kidneys
and main blood vessels, front
internal organs, back
internal organs, front
ribcage
muscles, front
sex organs

  • human conception and birth
  • Jane Goodall with chimps
  • mathematical definitions
  • Monument Valley
  • Oxford
  • physical unit definitions
  • rush-hour traffic in Thailand
  • Snake River
    and the Grand Tetons
  • snowflakes on a sequoia
  • solar system parameters
  • some Andean girls
  • some Bushmen hunters
  • some children with a globe
    (United Nations International School)
  • some dolphins
  • some fallen leaves in autumn
  • some sand dunes
  • some sprinters
    (with Valeriy Borzov of the USSR
    in the lead)
  • the Arecibo and Westerbork radio telescopes
  • the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition
  • the Golden Gate Bridge
  • the Great Barrier Reef,
    (Australia)
  • the Great Wall of China
  • the planets Mars, Mercury and Jupiter
  • the score of the cavatina
    from Beethoven’s String Quartet
    No 13
  • the solar spectrum
  • the structure of the Earth
  • the Sun
  • the Sydney Opera House
  • the Taj Mahal
  • the Titan Centaur launch
  • the UN Building
    by day and by night

EARTH MUSIC

  • the first movement
    of J S Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto
    No. 2 in F
    together with his Gavotte en rondeaux
    from Partita No. 3 in E major
    for Violin
    and the Prelude and Fugue in C
    from The Well-Tempered Clavier
  • the Javanese court gamelan
    Kinds of Flowers
  • Senegalese percussion
  • a Pygmy girls’ initiation song
    from Zaire
  • the Aborigine songs
    Morning Star and Devil Bird
    from Australia
  • the Mexican song
    El Cascabel
  • a men’s house song
    from New Guinea
  • The Queen of the Night aria
    from Mozart’s The Magic Flute
  • the Tchakrulo chorus
    from the Georgian SSR
  • Peruvian panpipes and drum
    and a Peruvian wedding song
  • Melancholy Blues
    performed by Louis Armstrong
    and his Hot Seven
  • bagpipes
    from the Azerbaijan SSR
  • The Sacrificial Dance
    from Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring
  • the First Movement
    of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony
    together with the cavatina
    from his String Quartet No 13
    in B flat, Opus 130
  • the Bulgarian folk song
    Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin
  • a night chant
    by Navajo Indians
  • Anthony Holborne’s
    The Fairie Round
  • panpipes
    from the Solomon Islands
  • Flowing Streams
    from the Chinese Ch’in dynasty
  • the raga
    Jaat Kahan Ho
    from India
  • Dark Was the Night
    by Blind Willie Johnson

Enjoy!

Yours sincerely

Earthlings

"House by the Railroad," Edward Hopper, 1925

Frank Poems: IF

"Girl Tending Geese," Benjamin Haughton, 1865-1924, Portsmouth Museums

If I had faith
That a poem of mine
At the right time
And in the right place
Could spread love and peace
Make foie gras history for geese
Take from the rich and give to the poor
Fix a broken back door
Make civilisation more civil
Stop talkers talking drivel
Resurrect the dead
Mend the garden shed
Save the whales
Get me a cottage in the Yorkshire Dales
Spread faith in hope and charity
Give transparency more clarity
Distinguish right from wrong
Liberate Hong Kong
Conjure something out of nothing
Help huffins and puffins
Enable one to keep one’s head
Multiply a loaf of bread
Empower the people
Stiffen the feeble
Vax the virus
Instantly inspire us
Reinforce the Celtic fringe
Celebrate those little things
Untwist me and unbitter
Unlout louts who drop their litter
Topple tyrants
Follow science
Rock that rhythm
Globalise goodism
Make thunder and lightning
A little less frightening
Take away the hurt
Justify a dessert
Put an end to greed
Make Warbreck Reserves win the football league
Reflower and reforest
Boot out Boris
Help the Martians get by on Mars
Florianopolise that empty vase
Make people weary
Of conspiracy theory
See orf aristocracy
Democratise democracy
Stop me going on a rant
Add a stress to eli fant
Earn some money
Make fundamentalists funny
Answer your prayers
Nix nightmares
Crack the climate crisis
Eliminate Isis
Heal the sick and make pain cease
Give cabbages increase
Exit Brexit
Take the biscuit
Spice up vegan saveloy
Make a man of you, my boy
Summon the sublime
Make the buses run on time
Stop the war
Work out what on earth life’s for
Bewitch and beguile
Or at least make you smile,
I might write more.

"House by the Railroad," Edward Hopper, 1925

Frank Poems: TOPONYM SONNET

Google Maps

Acacia, Knight and Strathmore Avenues,
Charterhouse, Cornwall, Monks and Terry Roads,
St George’s Road and Humber Avenue,
Gulson, Harper, Orwell and Welland Roads,
London, David, Seagrave and Severn Roads,
Bramble, Far Gosford and Vecqueray Streets,
Gulson, Northfield and St Margaret’s Roads,
Cornwall Road, and Grafton and Whitefriars Streets,
Humber Road, Charterhouse Drive and Short Street,
Firedrake Croft, and Irving and Ribble Roads,
Parkside, and Paradise and Gresham Streets,
Binley, Bolingbroke, Hollis and Hugh Roads.

I bet you’ve never seen – £10 on it –
Your local streets turned toponym sonnet.

"House by the Railroad," Edward Hopper, 1925

Frank Poems: THE PRESIDENT SAID

The Guardian, 7 February 2022: "Trump’s incendiary Texas speech may have deepened his legal troubles, experts say." Photograph: Brian Cahn/Zuma/Rex/Shutterstock

The President said
Don’t worry, folks!
The Jina thing’s
Just a Democrat hoax.

The President said
I’m the expert who
Knew all along
It was only flu.

With just fifteen dead
I declare today
A big success
In the USA.

The President said
No one knew
All the warnings
Would turn out true.

Ignore fake news!
My right-hand fan
Li’l Mike Pence
Has it all in hand.

A great result!
Just a thousand dead
(Times thousands more),
The President said.

The President said
It’ll all go away
Just like a miracle
One day.

I can heal the sick
And raise the dead.
I’m Jesus Christ!
He nearly said.

The President said
What should smash it
Is bleach injection…
(Just being sarcastic).

Don’t listen to Fauci,
The President said.
If we’d followed the science
We’d all be dead.

The President said
I got it too
But I’m back at the White House
Coz I’m stronger than you.

The President said
Wave restrictions goodbye!
In the Land of the Free
Y’all free to die.

The President said
Biden’s a phoney.
Ignore the statistics.
I’m the one-and-only!

The election was stolen!
The President said.
I’ll walk alongside you.
(They drove him home instead.)

But the statistics were right
And Donald was wrong.
The President’s been
And the President’s gone.

(The President’s being prosecuted.
Witchhunt! he says.)

"House by the Railroad," Edward Hopper, 1925

Frank Poems: THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING

The Broad: "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," by Damien Hirst. Butterfly wings on household gloss on canvas. 96 x 60 in. (243.84 x 152.4 cm)

Milan Kundera thought being could be
Unbearably light. He didn’t discuss
What being would be like, were it unbearably
Heavy, nor which would be worse for us:
Heavy or light. Nor did he seem curious
To know if being, whether unbearably
Light or heavy, might be less injurious
Than not being, whether ever so heavy
Or ever so light. Likewise, Damien Hirst
Did a painting called The Unbearable
Lightness of Being, comprising a canvas
Covered with gloss paint and innumerable
Butterfly wings. Bright, indisputably
Beautiful, and unbearably heavy.

"House by the Railroad," Edward Hopper, 1925

Frank Poems: SAXOPOMES

saxophone

PDF

I write as near to silence as I can get.

Selima Hill

In the beginning
God created the heavens. Earth?
The hardest bit last.

*

In the beginning
Was the wordle, but wordle
Couldn’t be the word.

*

La la la la la.
Why should the la la’s be last?
Let the la’s be first!

*

So far, Century
21’s been anything
But exemplary.

*

Rejoice and be glad!
For this poem is both short and
Comprehensible.

*

A short poem a day
Keeps the temptation to write
Longer poems at bay.

*

A haiku is ars
Brevis that aspires, like us,
To vita longa.

*

You might not like this
But you cannot much dislike
Such short duration.

*

No use listening
To roses. If they whisper,
No one’s ear knows it.

*

Had it not been for
The Angles, we anglophones could play
At being saxophones.

*

From piano-forte
To pianissimo, impro
Has it all to play.

*

If you must harp on,
Harp on as an art, e.g.
Harp on on a harp.

*

Greenwashing’s a way
To cloak catastrophe with
A clean conference.

*

Leave the Moon alone!
Be content with fucking up
Planet Earth, our home.

*

Will lyric poets still
Be writing lyric poetry
Come the apocalypse?

*

No need to be koi.
Carpe diem, no matter
What your element.

*

They say the word Love
Is overused. Whereas love,
My love, is under

*

Rather depressing
Can be rather uplifting,
If you’re not depressed.

*

Mini-minor good,
Better than any make of
Maxi-major bad.

*

Only one way in,
One out. Amazinoutly
Labyroutinthine.

*

A traffic cone sits
On the head of our hero.
Glasgow smiles better.

*

Dropped capitals: fine
In monastic manuscripts,
Less so in short rhymes.

*

Coventry’s three spires
Were seen from four sides, but now
Three fourths have expired.

*

Now is the time for
All good men to step aside
For better women.

*

Allotments are more
Than war on weeds: peace and love,
And lovage and peas.

*

Double you double
You double you dot. World-wide.
Do make it worthwhile.

*

Porridge is poetry
With whiskey butter. The proof
Is in the porridge.

*

Here’s a little dream
Where you’re dreaming of a dream
You dreamed that you dreamt.

*

At New Street Station
Last night, the ghost passed me by
Of the late last train.

*

If you’re nice, the train
At Platform 5 will take you
Straight to Paradise.

*

In the human race
Don’t run too fast. Jesus said
The first will be last.

*

Trains and boats and planes,
Cars, bikes, buses and trams, and
Feet and legs to boot.

*

Wait for the green man
And be patient with his twin.
Better red than dead.

*

See Naples and die
Or see Little Eccleston-
With-Larbreck and live.

*

If your choice were this –
Earthly or heavenly bliss – best
To sample each first.

*

Red postbox, blue sky.
Push the envelope inside, but
Think outside the box.

*

What’s not rocket science
But is now the new normal?
No brainer! Cliché.

*

Escherlators are
Escalators that only
Seemingly escalate.

*

Yellow, blue and red,
Thence orange, green and purple.
Black and white? Not quite.

*

Mondrian disliked green,
But whether that was mutual
Remains to be seen.

*

The Christian Alt-Right
Is the religion that’s right
For oxymorons.

*

If you must be mis
Ogynist, you so must miss
Not having been born.

*

Hey, Eponymous Joe,
You misogynistic sod!
Good tune; lyrics – no.

*

Alas, Alaska!
Que será, à la Sarah,
Is baked Alaska.

*

I fell out of love
With my pre-loved pullover,
So I post-loved it.

*

Seventy-six and
Never been in a mosh pit.
Should I regret it?

*

Brexit meant Brexit,
But, for Boris, I resign
Really meant Remain.

*

David, Theresa,
Boris, Liz, Sunak. Alack!
Years we won’t get back.

*

Will legislators
Who advocate a little state
Auto-evaporate?

*

Your Royal Highnesses
And every aristocrat, pray
Be orf and don’t come back.

*

A republic means
A country that’s made itself
Unmonarchable.

*

The rich and powerful
Like it when we bow and scrape.
Don’t participate!

*

Live life by profit
And loss. Lose your soul and let
Profit be your boss.

*

Expensive perfumes
Containing hardly any scent
Make hardly any sense.

*

Last night I started
Rebecca again, and tonight,
Reader, I’ve read it.

*

They were the best times,
They were the worst times, even
Without genitives.

*

A foreign country
Where they don’t do things the same?
That’d be the past.

*

Turkeys, vote en masse
For Benjamin Zephaniah!
Don’t vote for Christmas.

*

Humanity v
Humaneness: hopelessfully
Syninymical.

*

One can never be
Too clever, except when one’s
Too clever by half.

*

Cleverness is nice
But it’s not clever to be
Clever but not nice.

*

Even the erudite
Can confuse what’s eruright
With what’s eruwrong.

*

Initial ID
Isn’t the real entity
Of identity.

*

Be true to yourself.
That is, if you remember
Which self is your self.

*

Whether you travel
Near or far, it’s not easy
To arrive at who you are.

*

Are you a glass half-full
Or glass completely empty
Sort of not-full glass?

*

Look up on YouTube
Led by Donkeys and you’ll see
We’re led by donkeys.

*

I remember that,
In the 1960s, I
Wasn’t really there.

*

At seminary
I learnt being good’s better than
Belabouring God.

*

A world religion
Is a cult that’s currently
Holy sectcessful.

*

The dead don’t come back.
The living don’t want to leave.
Brexit’s total crap.

*

Neznámý jazyk.
Krásný schovaný výhled.
Otevři okno.

Teanga iasachta.
Radharc an-álainn i bhfolach.
Oscail an fhuinneog.

Lingua estrangeira.
Vista linda não vista.
Abre a janela.

A foreign language.
A beautiful unseen view.
Open the window.

*

Paz em três linguas.
Síocháin i dtrí theanga. Mír
Ve třech jazycích.

*

Would you have others
Do unto you, sisters, brothers,
As you do unto them?

*

Not knowing how to spell
His name didn’t diminish
William Shakspere’s fame.

*

Perfectionism
Plus imperfectionism –
Hey! Humanism.

*

I wandered lonely
As a cloud that floats on high
Over No Entry signs.

*

Half of England owned
By one percent is serfdom
In a change of clothes.

*

Sod the effing bastards!
(Unpoetic language is fine
If kept to one line.)

*

The fearless fighter
Goes down fighting. The writer,
Right to the full stop.

*

Does Mandela Effect,
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Not affect you at all?

*

Indefinite a
And most definitely the
Shouldn’t end like that.

*

Please bring some apples
Up the pears, when coming down
The pears and apples.

*

Being invisible
Shouldn’t mean you can’t be heard,
Just you can’t be

*

As mighty oak trees grow
From little acorns, just so
Plant little poet trees.

*

Always a better,
Always a worse, but never
A mediocrer.

*

Be the bestest you are,
Not the worstest you’re not, and
RIP the rest.

*

Pandemonium, pan,
Pandemic, saucepan, frying pan,
Panic, deadpan, pan.

*

Did it all happen
By happenstance? Half the world
Ruled by psychopaths.

*

How to put the world
Out of order: pander to
People like Putin.

*

What’s so familiar
About the mass murderer
Adolmir Pitler?

*

A prayer for Putin’s
May parade: May it rain, may
It rain, may it rain.

*

Says Mr Putin,
Don’t be good. If I could be
More evil, I would.

*

Which side butters best?
Patriarch K bets it’s better
On the mob god’s side.

*

I’m coming for you,
Владимир Путин. My name
Is Fate. Как дела?

*

Seven, eight, nine, ten,
Eleven. Evil bastards
Don’t go to heaven.

*

Tories are revolt
Ing. Boris Johnson’s revolt
Ing. Why aren’t we re

*

Political poems
Can be too polemical.
Peace is poetical.

*

Poems won’t stop a war.
Perhaps that’s not what they’re for.
Here’s a curse instead.

*

The Taliban ban
Women from doing what men can.
Ban the Taliban!

*

Will the world survive
Is a fuss about nothing.
The problem is us.

*

Things could be better
Elsewhere in the multiverse,
If not multiworse.

*

A part of our world,
Our galaxy and universe.
Uniquely. You and me.

*

Whilst waiting in line,
Synchronised jigging of hips
Might help pass the time.

*

Précis: precisely
Saying what was said, but less
Not more. Precisely!

*

This might have been like
What one would write, were one not
Sick of subjunctives.

*

Is thought inferior
To not thinking? That’s something
One might think about.

*

Money makes the world
Go round, whereupon the rich
Round it up, not down.

*

If you’re somebody,
Seems you must marry someone
Who’s not nobody.

*

Yeats keeps arising
And going, going but never gone
Along to Innisfree.

*

Round about midnight
Is about the right time for
Midnight roundabouts.

*

Woke up this morning,
Got them City blues. Two nil
Sutton United.

*

A game of two halves:
Forty-five minutes followed
By the same again.

*

Raynauld’s wouldn’t be
So-cold, if it weren’t he who
Discovered Raynauld’s.

*

The extremely unctious
Shouldn’t be that much in need
Of extreme unction.

*

Veritas vincit.
Vincit veritas. Looked at
Front or back, truth wins.

*

Charity may be
The best of the three, but hope
Is the last to leave.

*

Nudging native tongues
To linguacide’s a silent
Sort of genocide.

*

The Land of the Free:
A euphemia where people
Get shot frequently.

*

America, please
See common sense and amend
That mad amendment.

*

RIP but, I
YWBSK,
RSVP, OK?

*

Owning a joke shop
Is no laughing matter: it’s
The way they sell them.

*

This has been written
By me, A.I. Sadly I can’t
Own my own copyright.

*

If there is a god,
Let her, him, it or them be
Holy pronoun-free.

*

Little Bo Peep’s sheep!
Lost! … Leave them alone! Wagging,
Tails have happy endings.

*

Hey, Talking Black Sheep!
Got any wool? Yeah, three bags –
One each for three peeps.

*

Higgle Piggle Hen
Lays lots of eggs, which I then
Sell to gentlemen.

*

Hey diddle diddle,
Cat cow little dog fiddle.
Dish spoon skedaddle.

*

Miss Muffet. Tuffet,
Curds, whey. Spider beside her!
Miss Muffet hopped it.

*

Little Jack Horner,
Corner, Christmas pie, thumb, plum,
Self-praise. Rum-ti-tum.

*

Humpty Dumpty. Wall.
Fall! King’s cavalry. First aid.
Alas! Too ovulate.

*

Old lady swallowed
Fly spider bird cat dog goat
Cow horse. Dead? Of course.

*

Grand Old Duke of York.
Ten thousand men. Marched up, down,
Up, down, neither… Clown.

*

Down the woods today?
Surprise! There’s a picnic there
For teddy bears. Yay!

*

Go n-éirí an bóthar
Leat, is go mbeadh do shaol lán
Le áthas agus craic.

May the road rise up
To meet you, and your life be full
Of Hibernian fun.

*

A lesser grievance
Of old age, good grief! is pips
Stuck between your teeth.

*

Two cups of cocoa
Coincidentally must be
A cocoincidence.

*

When all’s said and done
And the battle’s lost and won,
Two 2s still aren’t five.

*

After poetry, there’s
Doggerel, caterwaul and –
Begad! – bugger all.

*

Live in the mo… Woops!
Live… Woops! … or just keep living
In the past… Perfect!

*

Being in a hurry
We’ve no time to worry about
The endlessness of time.

*

It’s good to talk, good
To be silent. Better still
To know what’s best when.

*

Live life like a poem.
No matter how hard at times,
Try to make it rhyme.

*

We’re living to die,
Which explains why we mostly
Spend life dying to live.

*

Life is a struggle
Of Now versus Then, in which
Then is the winner. Amen.

*

Metaphorical
And literal heartache. Not
Even simile.

*

Though heart failure’s bad,
No way’s it half as bad as
Failure of the soul.

*

I’m dead, I think, though
According to R Descartes,
Erm… therefore I aren’t.

*

Humorous alive,
Perhaps post-humorously
Funny on the other side.

*

Going down fast. Tell me,
Tell me, please tell me the answer,
Coz this time’s the last.

*

When you’re feeling up
Side down, try to keep your feet
Firmly on the ceiling.

*

What happened before
The beginning began, and
What, after the end ends?

*

Spring summer autumn
Winter. Birth adolescence
Adulthood death. Spring

*

Et in saecula
Saeculorum orum or
Um orum. Amen.

*

Horror without end
Is even worse than an end
With horror. The End.

saxophone

"House by the Railroad," Edward Hopper, 1925

Frank Poems: OH ME OF LITTLE FAITH!

Anish Kapoor: Void

Last night, when I was pissed,
I had a dream
In which God told me
He doesn’t exist.

My head was still aching
From too much to drink.
It was such a stressful situation,
I just couldn’t think.

As a lapsed Catholic
I was moderately shocked,
But Non-God was emphatic:
He is not to be mocked.

I blurted incoherently
For God’s sake, how can Non-God be?!
Non-God sighed and did sad face:
Oh ye of little faith!

So I made the decision
In an alcoholic haze
To immediately apostate
And embrace atheism.

This evening, however,
Feeling alright,
I started thinking things over
About that Non-God last night

And after my rethink
I’m lapsed Catholic once more.
Tonight I am sober,
Last night I was pissed.

"House by the Railroad," Edward Hopper, 1925