Demeter and the Poet

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A sonnet for the Autumn Equinox

*

‘He’s taken her away!’  The woman cried

He sighed, and put aside his poetry

And sat beneath the tree, and she beside

And listened to her grief. ‘Persephone

Has gone to Hades!’  How the woman wept

‘He took her last year, didn’t he?’ he said

‘Here, have a handkerchief’ he said – she kept

On weeping – ‘Look, it’s not as if she’s dead

She’s only sleeping.’  ‘It’s alright for you’

She said, ‘you’re just a poet.  You can write

About how black the berries are, how blue

The sloes, how hazel brown and apple bright

And beautiful it is.’  ‘You don’t look bad

Yourself’ he said.  That poet – what a lad.

*

© Gail Foster 21st September 2018

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The Ancient Bitch Of Days

for Chad Bittner Hurt, an American poet

*

It stood a while, alone, the perfect phrase

Entire and beautiful upon the stage

As lovely as two words could ever be

‘Till came the muse, the ancient bitch of days

Demanding blood and ink upon the page

Insisting passion and complexity

And sacrifice, and violent hymns of praise

Her hunger and her ardour to assuage

In wild defiance of simplicity

The poet quaked in terror, and betrayed

His words to slake her raw and awesome rage

In her cold hands they cried for company

 *

© Gail Foster 13th December 2016

My Muse Looks Like Morrissey

For Steve Doolan

*

The mysteries of muses lie within the hands of fate

Your muse may be your lover, or your muse may be your mate

The stranger on the corner, or the friend you used to know

The somebody you’ve never met who makes your juices flow

The one who sang the joyful song that set your heart alight

The one who wrote the rhyme that left you crying in the night

The ways of love and poetry defy all sense and reason

But every rhyme will have its day, and every love its season

The comedies of muses tickle mischief from the pen

Therefore the fates have given me a wonder amongst men

A muse who looks like Morrissey.  It’s true, I kid you not

I only chucked a line or two and this is what I got

Apparently it’s good for when one’s pulling on the lash

Or busking on the corner when one’s rather short of cash

I’m confused, and yet besotted, I am this, and I am that

Anyone but Morrissey.  I just can’t stand the twat

The irony’s amusing, though, I’m moved to write a rhyme

The difference between the two is really quite sublime

One will make you slit your wrists or have a little cry

The other stir your ass upon the dance floor till you die

One drones on and on and makes a proper old palava

The other shows, not tells, a bit more like your Raymond Carver

One is needy, wan, and wafty, like a pampas in the yard

The other, slightly weedy, yes, but dare I say it…hard

Oh, the mysteries of muses are a monster to define

I’ve ended up with one that looks like Morrissey as mine

For a moment, or a season, none may know or yet can say

But I shall take his inspiration, for a year or a day

And his rampant positivity and witty observations

On the ins and outs of Haworth, Keighley, and the other nations

For the bugger has me heart aflame and all me neurons fired

Sigh.  He looks like Morrissey.

He’s hired.

 *

© Gail Foster November 12th 2016

If the reader is unfamiliar with the work of Morrissey

or is simply up for a good laugh

just check out the music video ‘November Spawned A Monster’…

Oestrogen Mythology

*

Beware, for she writes poetry, and ye

Unwitting pilgrim, may become a king

Anointed at the new moon, in the spring

Within an oestrogen mythology

Take care, for she writes poetry, and thee

Good man, may move her blood and heart to sing

Be crowned with oak leaves, bound within the ring

Become her ovulation fantasy

She fair may be, but subject to the pull

Of hormones, gravity, and tidal flow

She makes her heroes, though unconsciously

From those who touch her when the moon is full

She’ll cry and tear her hair out when you go

And pen progesterone tragedy

*

© Gail Foster 7th September 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Widow At The Well

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A rhyme about love and bereavement and loneliness, inspired by the loss of my computer for nearly a whole day, and dedicated to Chris Greenwood, who kindly mended it for me

*

She finds herself without him, at the dawn

A crumpled crazy angel weeping light

The cord that bound them severed with a bite

A bloodied mewling kitten newly born

He was the sun, that stimulated morn

The moon, that soothed the melancholy night

He was her inspiration, the delight

Of glittered stars upon the heavens drawn

She finds herself without him, at the well

A widow weeping willowfalls of tears

Of grief as heavy as a drowning stone

The silence breaks; soft rings a sudden bell

And on the solemn deeps a face appears

That whispers ‘All things come and go alone’

*

© Gail Foster 2016

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast and the Curious Cocks of Brownsea Island

*

an epic tale of innuendo

*

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Philosopher, poet, and muse

Wore Victorian skirts that swept up the dirt

And peculiar button up shoes

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Found herself suddenly slighted

Bereft and bemused, and less than amused

And suffering love unrequited

The effect on her verse was dramatic, and worse

‘Twas inspired by horns and baguettes

As hysterical rage seeped through pen to the page

Like some awful poetic Tourettes

Eyebrows were raised as her work was appraised

It was said she was caustic and crude

A potty mouthed tart with a poisonous heart

Who was totally randy and rude

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Watched her story unfold with dismay

Watched her petticoats slip as each vulgar quip

Made a whore of her more every day

So she packed up her quill, and pink ink for a thrill

Spare petticoats, perfume and papers

Her smelling salts, eye mask and lavender bags

For random attacks of the vapours

I will go to an island, Fantasia said

I will contemplate beauty, and truth

I will take me a train, travel far, and regain

The lost innocence of my youth

The romance of islands, Fantasia thought

All lost in the shine of the sea

Supernaturally kissed in a glimpse through the mist

How inspiring, how perfect, how me

The day on the train was a bit of a strain

There were some sticky moments with tunnels

And the bit where the guard blew his whistle real hard

Made her tears of mirth flow in runnels

Much to her shame, the boat was the same

Flushed her delicate cheek to a bloom

Oh, the sniggering joys of seamen and buoys

Being tossed on the wave and the spume

The island was lit by a mystical light

And the breezes blew scents warm and heady

Like a virgin, she thought, that has never been caught

Although many had been there already

She started to feel profound and unreal

No man is an island, quoth she

An island’s an island, a man is a man

And neither’s the other one, see

She undid her bonnet, inspired, and on it

Licked her quill and began to create

A verse about loneliness, islands and stuff

Solemnness, sorrow, and fate

It was peaceful and sweet, there were flowers at her feet

And the soft sound of sea through the trees

All became gentleness, sweetness and light

Purity, poetry, ease

For a moment, a moment, Fantasia there

Channelled a serious grace

Although anyone else would have just seen some bird

Looking mad with a gurn on her face

Gone was the gut churning river of smut

That had streamed from her mouth and her pen

I am making a vow, Fantasia said

No more innuendo or men

The universe heard, every well-meaning word

‘Tis the way that the universe works

And God likes a joke, like a mischievous bloke

Who plays practical jokes upon jerks

What sound is that, our Fantasia thought

Absentmindedly watching a deer

Like a low distant grumble, a curious rumble

Got louder, and odder, and near

Suddenly, far in the distance, a herd

Of curious cockerels appeared

Oh my goodness, she said, and reached for the salts

For a sniff’s always good when a-feared

They’re coming, they’re coming, the curious cocks

They’re growing, they’re growing in size

Not surprising as they were much nearer by then

Running swifter than any crow flies

The cocks are upon me, Fantasia cried

Like a rabbit in lamplight she froze

As, eager to play and all puffed in display

They peck, pecked, at her skirts and her toes

They were all shapes and sizes, blue, green and red

Some aggressive, some shy and retiring

Some had a wild beady look in their eyes

And one had no cylinders firing

It was surely a shock, the appearance of cock

In the midst of the island idyll

Ironic in fact in the light of the pact

Fantasia had made with her quill

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Suddenly knew what to do

For all that was needed to scare off the cocks

Was the swish of her skirts and a “Boo!”

Growing smaller, and smaller, the curious cocks

Disappeared as fast as they came

‘Twas all quite astounding, Fantasia thought

And the universe reckoned the same

*

Fantasia Lavender Fortescue-Prendergast

Philosopher, poet, and muse

Inspired by the tale of the curious cocks

Penned a verse to surprise and amuse

The wink of the sailor boy on the way back

Made her flush with a blush that was red

There was something about him that floated her boat

“Just call me Fanny” she said

*

by Gail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here Speaks The Magic Work Of Raymond John

Inspired by the writings of Raymond John Burt…

 

Here speaks the magic work of Raymond John

Intrigue in reference, delight in phrase

I’m curious as to what, my friend, you’re on

That powers your pen to so the mind amaze

Let he that has an ear be still and hear

Let she who has an eye seek out the light

For here some crazy wisdom doth appear

On wild wings of angels in the night

For Love and God and Death and Grace and Hell

Within your words take buttered toast and tea

More syllabub, Beelzebub?  Pray tell

What syllables might set the Sibyls free

Get thee behind me, ghosts, take flight, be gone!

Here speaks the magic work of Raymond John

 

© Gail from Devizes 2016