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Poem for the Day

Posted: 20 November 2014

Yes, I agree. We’ll pull ourselves together.
We eat too much. We’re always getting pissed.
It’s not a bad idea to find out whether...
We like each other sober. Let’s resist.
I’ve got the Perrier and the carrot-grater,
I’ll look on a Scotch or a pudding as a crime.
We all have to be sensible sooner or later
But don’t let’s be sensible all the time.

No more thinking about a second bottle
And saying “What the hell?” and giving in.
Tomorrow I’ll be jogging at full throttle
To make myself successful, rich and thin.
A healthy life’s a great rejuvenator
But, God, it’s going to be an uphill climb.
We all have to be sensible sooner or later
But don’t let’s be sensible all the time.

The conversation won’t be half as trivial—
You’ll hold forth on the issues of the day—
And, when our evenings aren’t quite so convivial,
You’ll start remembering the things I say.
Oh, see if you can catch the eye of the waiter
And order me a double vodka and lime.
We all have to be sensible sooner or later
But I refuse to be sensible all the time.

The New Regime
Wendy Cope

Poem for the Day

Posted: 19 November 2014

My busconductor tells me
he only has one kidney
and that may soon go on strike ...
through overwork.
Each busticket
takes on now a different shape and texture.
He holds a ninepenny single
as if it were a rose
and puts the shilling in his bag
as a child into a gasmeter.
His thin lips have no quips for fat factorygirls
and he ignores
the drunk who snores
and the oldman who talks to himself
and gets off at the wrong stop.
He goes gently to the bedroom of the bus
to collect
and what familiar shops and pubs pass by
(perhaps for the last time?).
The same old streets look different now
more distinct as through new glasses.
And the sky
was it ever so blue?

And all the time
deepdown in the deserted busshelter of his mind
he thinks about his journey nearly done.
One day he’ll clock on and never clock off
or clock off and never clock on.

My Busconductor
Roger McGough

Poem for the Day

Posted: 18 November 2014

At this time of year here is my own take on yesterday's poem. With apologies to John Masefield.

I must go down to the shops again, to the shops and the Christmas sale,
And all I ask is a woollen coat to keep me from the gale....
And some fine gloves and a thick scarf and stout shoes of leather,
And warm socks that will keep me dry in the stormy weather.

I must go down to the shops again, for the call of the ringing till
Is a clarion call that summons me and keeps me spending still.
And all I ask is a busy store with sale queues never-ending,
And the hard cash and the credit cards and people spending.

I must go down to the shops again, for the Christmas sales are on,
It’s a glad rush and a mad dash ’fore the bargains are all gone.
And all I ask is twenty per cent off the ticket price for me,
And a good make and a fair deal with interest free.

Sale Fever
Bill Adair

Poem for the Day

Posted: 17 November 2014

An old favourite. You can almost taste the salt and feel the sea spray.

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;...
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Sea Fever
John Masefield

Poem for the Day

Posted: 16 November 2014

It is madness
says reason
It is what it is...
says love

It is unhappiness
says caution
It is nothing but pain
says fear
It has no future
says insight
It is what it is
says love

It is ridiculous
says pride
It is foolish
says caution
It is impossible
says experience
It is what it is
says love

What It Is
Erich Fried (trans. Stuart Hood)

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