The Poetry Place

Gremlins final

Tuesday, 13 April 2010 15:02:21

Tuesday, 13 April 2010 15:02:21
Perhaps, creeping from under the mattress?

I think so.  So I shall park this one now.


Gremlins

Thursday, 8 April 2010 18:07:51

Thursday, 8 April 2010 18:07:51
Adding all the bits together, then cutting some out and rearranging the rest, I've come to this.  Repetition of carpet is bugging me.


By forgetfulness born of indolence

these furtive–faced creatures

creep through corridors

along the skirting boards

and at the dusty edges of carpets

 

Gremlins come

creeping from under the carpet

from between the cooker and the cupboard

from behind the fridge

 

At every opportunity, dropped guard,

moment of inattention,

they squeeze from their hidey-holes

squinting from behind ornaments

lying in wait under upturned spoons

unlaundering the sheets

 

They lurk among lost lists

nearly squeezed tubes

and prescriptions from the doctor

that will never be used

 

Gremlins play in kitchens, causing

fried eggs to harden

bacon to congeal

and toast to soften

 

They are the cause of

an itch between the toes

cramped calves in the night

flat batteries in the morning

 

Proof against gremlins

are cool head and warm heart

to shake well the hand

to kiss warmly the cheek

to welcome everything given

whether debt or gift




Forgetfulness born of indolence

Friday, 2 April 2010 10:52:01

Friday, 2 April 2010 10:52:01

By forgetfulness born of indolence

These furtive –faced creatures

Creep through corridors

Along the skirting boards

And at the dusty edges of carpets

 

It’s not as good as by sloth on sorrow fathered which would be hard to beat but I like  furtive faced and have to thank Graves for suggesting that through his ‘dusty featured’.

 

At every opportunity, dropped guard,

Moment of inattention,

They squeeze from their horrid holes

And hidey-holes

Squinting from behind ornaments

Lying in wait under upturned spoons

Unlaundering the sheets.

 

I can’t have horrid holes and hidey-holes of course but I rather like unlaundering – you can read into it what you like – may not keep both dropped guard and moment of inattention.

 

But the oddities of the original poem are beginning to get through to me. 



Gremlins in Oxford

Saturday, 27 March 2010 11:35:30

Saturday, 27 March 2010 11:35:30
I've just returned from the Oxford Literary Festival and was treated to an overnight stay in Hogwarts, sorry, Christ Church College.  Bacon and egg in Hogwarts dining hall, overseen by portraits of past worthies (but no owls delivering mail) was a bizarre experience.  There was a low level gremlin attack which meant no one was aware that a room had been booked for me but the kindly porters discovered one to which I was ushered - and to which I managed to return, later, even without the ball of string or trail of breadcrumbs.

Certainly there were gremlins - or lollocks - 'among lost lists'

and worn out batteries
failed walkie-talkies
and keys to unused rooms

gremlins play in kitchens, causing
fried eggs to harden
bacon to congeal
and toast to soften

gremlins encourage you
to mistake the pots and mix tea with coffee
sugar with salt
and strangers for friends






Proof against gremlins

Tuesday, 23 March 2010 18:43:12

Tuesday, 23 March 2010 18:43:12
Proof against gremlins
Are cool head and warm heart
To shake well the hand
To kiss warmly the cheek
To welcome everything given
Whether debt or gift

These lines came to me while I was reading the last verse of Lollocks in a cafe and had to be scribbled on a small scrap of paper.  A writer should always have a notebook!  


Paris intervenes

Saturday, 20 March 2010 15:19:32

Saturday, 20 March 2010 15:19:32
Not much lollocking last week as I was in Paris for the ELSA - English Language Schools Assoc - conference.  Amongst other things, I was able to promote the virtues and values of Teachit, and the Poetry Place in particular, of course to a lively and receptive audience.

However, the Open Studio has been negelected as a result but I did have time to think while Eurostarring - so lollocking will resume shortly.


Lollocks

Saturday, 13 March 2010 14:01:39

Saturday, 13 March 2010 14:01:39
I love the first line 'By sloth on sorrow fathered...' - in fact I think it's the best line of the poem, which, I do wonder why has been so much anthologised.

The second verse is an opportunity to think of where else these gremlins might play hide and seek:

among lost lists
nearly squeezed tubes
and notes from the doctor
 - or -
presecriptions from the doctor
that will never be used

And later, concerning the when rather than the where:

gremlins come
creeping from under the carpet
from between the cooker and the cupboard
from behind the fridge
where indescribable matter resides

The signs of their presence:

an itch between tghe toes
cramped calves in the night
flat batteries in the morning

Lots of possibilities!











Lollocks

Thursday, 11 March 2010 20:41:59

Thursday, 11 March 2010 20:41:59
Lollocks seem to be something along the lines of gremlins....  boils on the neck?  Anyone reminded of Fungus the Bogeyman?


Signs of spring

Tuesday, 9 March 2010 17:33:58

Tuesday, 9 March 2010 17:33:58
in spite of the cool temperatures, there are so many signs of spring.  But I'm thinking about writing something to help me with a Robert Graves poem - and then to help a teacher who requested some assistance with 'Lollocks'. Funny old poem and in order to get into it I'm going to try to write something similar or extend it  in some way.  Watch this space.  (But do something more interesting in between times...)


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