Old Bill’s little poems


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It’s #worldpoetryday

A poem from my cousin Gina to her father’s memory reminds me that I tried my hand at a few verses about the old time travellers

a bit ambitious for someone who never really did ‘get in to’ poetry, but here goes!

Feathered spats, flowing mane, tail a flicking
Clip-clop, snort, fart, whinney, the patient grai
Trundles my painted vardo
On the one-way road to Destiny.
For life is not a carousel.
*****

Shining metal monster comes on puffed up with pride
It smells of coal, sour steam and oil.
Struts steaming on the road.
Its whistle blows. ‘Out of my way.’
Its mighty pistons menace

But naught can spook my vanner.
He’s earned himself some rest;
Crops grasses at the roadside,
As, chugging self-importance,
The thing goes huffing past.
*****
Or as a sort of haiku moment:
Steam-belching Behemoth
Blocks pinto-powered vardo.
And my vanner calmly g(r)azes.
*****

Having managed the above, I stumbled on the idea of trying to adapt John Masefields poem, Sea Fever, to Gypsy life at the end of the 19C. This might have been how Keomi might have expressed it, soon after she left Sandys and returned to the Romany life. I know it’s sort of cheating (like my version of Blake’s Tyger)
Tyger Tyger’s burning plight … Is thy mortal end in sight? ….. Will our human hand and eye…. See thee in the cimetrie?

but this is what I came up with:

On The Road
I must take to the road again, to the eternal whims of Fate,
And all I ask is my bow-top, and my patient vanner’s gait,
And the wheel’s kick and the bird song and the harnesses a shakin’,
And a chill mist on the barley, and a cool pink dawn a breakin’.

I must take to the road again, for the wanderlust of the Roma
Is a wild call and a clear call that never will be over.
And all I ask is a new day to bring its random treasures,
The pinto’s might, and the blown dust, and morning’s early pleasures.

I must take to the road again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the raven’s way and the pilgrim’s way, far from worldly strife.
And all I ask is a sweet song from my loving fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep, and a sweet dream, when my final day is over.

With apologies to John Masefield.

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More of my writings on bill-macfarlane.co.uk

#GypsyModel #Romany #BillMacfarlaneBooks #PoetsDay#PreRaphaelites

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Not that they necessarily  have to rhyme— that’s not the modern way is it? I found some of the poetry I tried a few years back when researching my short stories. The highest accolade I ever got was for my short verse Iatrogenesis.* It came from the editor of a prestigious poetry journal and was terse and to the point:  ‘Sorry, not for me!’ To break you in gently, here’s a less controversial one:

TYGER

Tyger tyger’s burning plight

Is thy feline end in sight

For our mortal hand and eye

Will see thee in the cimitrie

With apologies to William Blake, God rest him.

By NCM

Tried Spanish too. Course I was young in those days, and maybe in love. This was a  verse published in The Weekly several years ago. in the Valentine’s Day jingles.

Un beso dulce

Por ti Nadia

Amor de mi corazon

The name has been changed to protect the (not so very) innocent.

The following is a poem inspired by Edward Hooper’s book, ‘The River’ : A journey back to the source of Aids.

Iatrogenesis

 Dead chimps’ kidney, green monk thigh

‘ttenuated virus, doctor’s skilled eye.

Try it in the Congo for a few decades.

Hush now little children

Beware the spectre AIDS

 

What follows encapsulates the reply I got from the editor  of that poetry r/m/ag. It shows her reaction to the above,

Sad contributor

Sorry – not for me

Editor am I

Of prestigeous magazine

So kiss arse and try again.

Neither tanka, nor haiku, but don’t you think the above has a ‘nice’ touch of Japanese, simplicity, elegance and sophistication?

Any way, are you ready for this? More so, at least I hope, than the editor of that prestigeous magazine.


***

Needless to say, the bloody woman didn’t like it either!

Starburst

 Amber sugared potion fed throughout the land

A million in the Congo saved by monkey gland

Unwind the polio spiral feed it safe to Man

But see, the simian helix inhabits monkey bran

Mobius strip of RNA, its purpose to survive

Its habitat is people now, though it is not alive

Dazzling efflorescence, starburst of mutation

Sparks of sub-life spiral down to wait in blood of nation

Amber sugared potion, fed to volunteers

A million in the Congo, unwitting cause of tears.

Unwind the polio spiral, feed it safe to Man

Let AIDS be GOD’s creation, not this how it began

***

What follows has reference to the Gypsy Model. See separate new posts.


On the Road

I must take to the road again, to the eternal whims of Fate,

And all I ask is my bow-top, and my patient vanner’s gait,

And the wheel’s kick and the bird song and the harnesses a shakin’,

And a chill mist on the barley, and a cool pink dawn a breakin’.

§

I must take to the road again, for the wanderlust of the Roma

Is a wild call and a clear call that never will be over.

And all I ask is a new day to bring its random treasures,

The pinto’s might, and the blown dust, and morning’s early pleasures.

§

I must take to the road again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the raven’s way and the pilgrim’s way, far from worldly strife.

And all I ask is a sweet song from my loving fellow-rover,

And a quiet sleep, and a sweet dream, when my final day is over.

With apologies to John Masefield.