Friday, August 28, 2009

The Laddie Fancies Himself A Poet

Those famous words from Pink Floyd's "The Wall" once applied to me. In my younger days, I wrote many poems. There was a time when I even dreamed of becoming a famous poet. Hey, it seemed better than working for a living!

My poems usually rhymed, because I happen to like rhyming poems. During my adolescent years, the high school English teachers who read my work often suggested that I focus more on non-rhyming poems. I sensed a kind of snobbery that seemed to suggest that rhyming poems were of a lower order than non-rhyming ones, more suited for greeting cards and other such common frivolities. Hmph! Tell that to Poe, Byron, Wordsworth or even Shakespeare!

Well, I never did become a famous poet and the poems of my youth are now hidden away from the world in an obscure attic drawer ... or, at least, they were until now. At risk of seeming presumptuous, I've decided to use this blog as an exhibit for a few modest examples of what I consider to be among my better poetic works. I thank you, Dear Reader, in advance for your kind forbearance, and I invite your comments, as always.

We begin with a poem that was inspired by something that I once saw. There used to be a derelict CF-105 fighter aircraft rusting away in a field in my home town. I discovered it while riding my bicycle one summer and I immediately clambered all over it. While doing so, I noticed a dead baby bird lying on the ground beneath one of the wings. It seems that its mother had unwisely chosen to build her nest inside the wing, just in front of the aileron. The nest had probably fallen out of the wing and the baby met its fate when some curious passer-by had moved the aileron up and down, dislodging the nest in the process. The poignancy of the sight inspired this:

Brought Down

In a wide and lonely field
A fighter aircraft stands
A touch of glory past it yields
Made by human hands

Its wings no longer touch the sky
Its engines roar no more
The plane which once flew fast and high
Brought down by raging war

Beneath its wing a dead bird lies
In quiet, grassy lands
Eternal peace within its eyes
Made by Gods own hands

Its wings no longer touch the sky
Its body cold as stone
This creature that was born to fly
Brought down by death alone
I'm sure most people are familiar with "Footprints In The Sand", about a person walking along the beach with God. I decided that it would be even better if it were put to rhyme...

Footprints In The Sand

I had a dream the other night, like none I've had before;
I dreamed that I was walking on a beach beside our Lord.
My life flashed by across the sky as we walked hand in hand,
And as we walked I saw that we left footprints in the sand.

And as the story of my life flashed by in front of me,
I noticed something else becoming very plain to see;
We left two sets of footprints during times of joy and fun,
But during times of pain and sorrow, I saw only one.

This troubled me and so I said, "Lord, I don't understand
The mystery that lies behind those footprints in the sand.
You said that, if I followed You, You always would stay close,
So why did You desert me when I needed You the most?"

The Lord replied, "My precious child, I never left your side.
You see two sets of footprints when life left you satisfied,
But when your life was hardest you see one instead of two,
For in those times of suffering, t'was then I carried you."
Here's a short, whimsical verse reminiscent of Ogden Nash, if I may be so bold...


René Descartes: Philosopher. A wise and learned man
Said "I can prove that I exist. I think, therefore I am!"
I'd like to pose a question, though, that puts him on the spot:
A table doesn't think, so does that mean that it is not?

...and, finally, a bit of musing on the dangers of the cold war era, appropriately entitled...

The End

I saw the jets go flying
First one, then two, then three
And found myself admiring
Man's vast technology

I watched them go in wonder
Till I saw them no more
And then, like distant thunder
I heard a growing roar

I saw the mushroom rising
It belched forth scarlet flames
And found myself despising
Those horrid silver planes

Okay, so "New car, caviar, four star draydream" it's not. Still, I hope you enjoyed them.

1 comment:

Tubes said...

Don't quit your day job.

Seriously, don't do it!
(your supervisor)


Not bad. I wrote some peoms too. But I think she burned them all