The Daily Poem

Day 87


Some more (kids’, technically, but many adults seem to like ’em too!) little poems about fish…

The Seahorse (I)

I am a little seahorse
Beneath the ocean blue
I swim a bit and eat a bit
There’s not much else to do
My life’s not that exciting
– It may seem dull to you –
But I’m a little seahorse
And it suits me through and through.

The Gurnard

Bernard the Gurnard was swimming one day
When he saw that a trawler was heading his way
He turned with a cry of, ‘stuff that for a lark!”
– Swam straight in the gob of a bloody-great shark

The Pufferfish (III)

The dogfish won’t chase balls or sticks
The clownfish won’t do circus tricks
But pufferfish, give them their due,
Do just what you’d expect them to.

The Jellyfish
(strawberry flavour)

The strawberry-flavour jellyfish is just a lovely sight
As he undulates and wobbles through the water in the night
With his strawberry coloured tentacles all shimmering and bright
But don’t dare try to eat him – there’s a sting in every bite!

The Daily Poem

Day 86

Sometimes you wake up all at once – especially if there’s an alarm clock ringing. Other days you just kind of drift in and out, thoughts overlapping one another and the sounds of the outside world overriding all of them… 

Waking Thoughts Ambient

Bloody geese. Piss off back to Canada.
Christ, is that plane heading for Gatwick or coming through the wall? One of these days.
It’s the blaze across my nightgown. It’s the phone’s ring.
Please god, it’s too early. More sleep.
That poor bird, just hanging there.
I can smell the rain it reminds me of childhood do you remember that cut grass yesterday? Why would anyone try to describe the smell of cut grass – it’s the smell of cut grass and there’s nothing else like it if you say the smell of cut grass it describes it exactly.
Like hiding in ferns. Nothing can describe hiding in ferns on a hot summer day better than the memory of hiding in ferns.
There are people who have never hidden in ferns who have no memory of hiding in ferns.
What are the chances of them reading me writing it? And even if they did, would they have seen or smelled any of the similes I could offer up?
I don’t know what the African savannah smells like, but I can imagine it. I think it smells like hiding in ferns and if it doesn’t it doesn’t matter.
Lions. Birds. Trifle. Word-association. Football. Python.
Have to get up soon. I wish I could get back to sleep.
Christ, that was a big one. Bloody satnav.
He’ll get stuck.
I wonder if this could make a poem?

The Daily Poem

Day 85

I tend to think Sunday poems should be ‘proper’ poems. Or at least as proper as my poems get. I also think Sundays lend themselves to self-indulgence and nostalgia, so this one ticks all the Sunday boxes…

Long Days and Short Legs

When I was small the fields went on forever
But my legs were too short
And the day too brief
For me to get further than Tonbridge
Before tea time.

I would set off in the morning,
Just me and my best friend, or,
If I didn’t have a best friend that day,
A borrowed dog
(They roamed free back then)
And head for the pugwash and Etley’s fields.
I’d climb the five bar gate,
The smells of cow shit, cows, straw and sunshine
Filling my nostrils with memories,
And stomp along the baked clay path
That ran alongside the embankment.

Across the railway bridge –
Walking the wall, arms outstretched,
Fearless of the fall onto the tracks below –
I’d measure the steps it took me to cross;
Brown legs, black plimsolls, bubbling knee scabs.
There were horses in the field on the other side
And further on the burned out shell of a farmhouse,
Haunted, of course, by the ghost of ‘Old Etley’,
Who had died screaming in the flames.

I heard screams there once,
But they were my own,
When I fell from the garden wall
Into a sea of shade-seeking nettles
While climbing for walnuts.
Experiments with dock leaves proved disappointing
But my tears dried in time for tea
Which unreliable memory or wishful thinking would insist
Was double egg and chips.

When I was small the fields went on forever
But my legs were too short
And the days too brief.
My legs are longer now
And the days seem longer too,
But the fields are gone,
And the cows are gone,
And time remains a commodity
In short supply.

The Daily Poem

Day 84

Kids Eh?

These succulents are excellent
A nanny goat declared
The kids were being truculent,
They didn’t seem to care.
We’d rather eat some grass, they said,
It’s easier to chew.
That’s ALL you ever want, said mum,
I’m sick to death of you!

When we we’re kids we didn’t fuss,
We ate what we were told,
We wouldn’t argue with OUR mums,
We’d never be so bold;
This samphire’s simply scrummy –
Much tastier than lawn
What is it with you kids today? –
You don’t know you’ve been born!