Saturday, 28 April 2012

Poems about People

Andy's ears

 

He's on
The telephone all day
His ears full
Of all the complaints
Human beings can muster

After dark
His ears crave
Strings
Ivory
The thrill that is
The human voice
When it's hanging
By a thread
Vocal chords fighting
Duels with each other

His ears make
The most of their diversions
They dance
By night
Free from the tensions
Of their daytime employment
They slurp down
Intoxicating alcoholic sounds
They live it up
Right up in there
They make believe passion
Is all there is
To hear
They tire themselves
To sleep and dream
Of aural joy
That's all days
And forever

 

 

 

 

Born-again renaissance man

 

He'll be angry forever
World owes him big time
He's all over spiky
And he likes that just fine
He pouts when he thinks
No-one cares about him
He's brilliant, talented
Full to the brim
He's creative, it swamps him
His feelings are rare
He is thought, he is meaning
He's beyond all compare
How could you know anything
When he knows it all
He's one big huge wonder
So you must be small

 

 

 

 

Cakes in rain

 

Here at your close we stand
Knowing
Little
Clear
Thinking racking torturing
We want
You to be
Here
You left so soon and before time
Escape
Has left us
Numb
We want to meet you
Set a date
Aware
You'll never
Come
We want to tell you struggling
Is over now
We're glad
We come to lay your brain to rest
A mighty
Fight it's
Had
You tried to draw the perfect plan
Your pens
Were filled with
Ink
Confusion wasted ever drop
You turned
Too tired to
Think
And then to bake the world a cake
Feed every
Girl and
Boy
But in your final set of scales
Sadness
Outweighed
Joy

 

 

 

 

Fairly tiresome self-assurance

 

Just in case you hadn’t heard
This is what I am like
And again, in case you missed it
Here I am, this is me
See me, hear me, see me some more
This is really
If you hadn’t noticed
What I am like

Don’t mess with me
I’ve warned you
I am so sure of myself
Not scared
To be a caricature
In fact
Reassured by stereotype
I can promise you
It feels great
Being me

So, once and for all
Don’t bug me
Don’t question me
Don’t try and change me
Because I’ve said it before
And I’ll say it again
In fact it’s rare
I’ll ever say anything else
This is what I am like
This is what I am like

 

 

 

 

Family ties

 

Drink and eat
Tea and cake
Bonds strain
Bones break

Eat some words
Bite your tongue
Been confused
Feelings gone

Pour a cup
Drink some more
Still confused
Heart is raw

Slurp and chew
Through the mess
Never-ending
Wilderness

 

 

 

 

How cool

 

I wanna be
With that band that
Swears a lot
I wanna
Smoke all the time
Use people
Lower on the ladder
As ashtrays
I wanna
Lick the face
Of anyone
Who can make me
Look better
Than I already do
I wanna
Never think
Of anything
But the superficial
Cos I'm cool like that

 

 

 

 

Questions for a queen

 

What do you think of your children's divorces?
Do you close your eyes and dream about horses?
Is it tiring to always be part of a show?
Do you care when a poet to honours says 'no'?
Do you feel like us, do you cry wet tears?
Have you changed, as we all have, over the years?
Has it been a real life, has it felt real to you?
To us it seems fiction, your story, untrue
Parades and carriages and armies of staff
Do you never just long to run your own bath?
Do you like it, would you choose it, would you be queen again?
Or would you rather live quietly, just one of them?
Less money, fewer banquets, not a sniff of a crown
Just headscarves or, better still, hair let right down

 

 

 

 

She’s not there

 

(Joan Eardley – ‘Joan Eardley, 1921 -1963, Artist’ 1943)

 

There are bad days
Not even half days
And when they come
The broken pieces of her face
Seem so perfectly formed

Reassuring, they say
‘The sky is still there
The colours still worth seeing
Being broken simply isn’t
The worst thing you can be’

Comforted, I brush my crumbs together
And look carefully, cautiously
At the slightly scrappy, sorry collection
Still sad but less lonely
In their fragments than before

The portrait feels like family
Or so I can imagine
We are the not quite whole people
The bits and pieces people
The hundreds and the thousands

 

 

 

 

Snobs

 

Whatever they're doing is better
Whatever you're doing is wrong
They are 'testing the boundaries'
You are just 'bumbling along'

They have all the right tools
The outfit, the know-how, the flair
You can live in their shadow
Be quiet, sit down, yes, you there!

They like skiing and soaring
You might manage a smile
They are so bloody marvellous
You are the rank and the file

Please don't try to upset things
Please just stay where you're put
You may think the door looks half open
But watch as it's slammed on your foot

Yes, back in your place, you're an upstart
And you're spoiling it all for the rest
Keep to the rules and stop smiling
You're cheerful, a pain and a pest

 

 

 

 

Struggling for significance

 

You rack your brains
And chant to yourself
'I must have something
Important to say'
You stay up late
And
Well
You know
You always did that anyway

You try exercises
Words come out
You declare 'See
Persistence does pay'
But the words
Are not great
You howl
'Why does nothing ever go my way?'

You never
Not once
Think
'Maybe my talents lie elsewhere'
Your self-belief is strong
That much I will say

 

 

 

 

The loveliest girl 

 

Her smile spells
HEART
In big letters
She is most truly
Too good for this world
She lives
Breathes
Fights
And stamps her feet to dance
Her voice is raised alright
But just to sing

 

 

 

 

The ship

 

More than a TV show
People have very different interpretations of this word
Friends

To me 'we're friends' means
I value you as a person
I see you as an equal
I am not better or worse than you
You have qualities I admire
That draw me to you rather than to others
I want to do things for you
And relax knowing that we will help each other
I trust you
Because you are my friend specifically
Not an unknown quantity
Or a floating voter
But a supporter
Supporting me whilst I'm supporting you
We're a feat of physics
A natural phenomenon
Proof that people help each other
For reasons other than finances and self-interest

I believe all this
Sometimes it seems stupidly
This word friends
Maybe I read too much into it

 

 

 

 

Unfulfilled Annie

 

She wants a record in the charts
(and crisps and pie and jam-filled tarts)
She wants a trust fund full of cash
(and bags and bags of shopping trash)
She wants love and health and money
(and to be kind and warm and funny)
She wants to paint and sing and dance
(the moonlight, music and romance)
She wants the latest in all fields
(plus someone else to cook her meals)
She wants so much it's plain to see
She always will awanting be

 

 

 

 

We're finished

 

There was a time we were close
Loved each other the most
So excited to feel
A connection so real
Didn't last though did it
And now we're stuck with it
Can't even finish with each other
Like couples do
Cos we were friends
And friends stay true

Now week after week we avoid the admission
That we don't really have that much in common
Not now anyway
Not any more
Odd moments of fun
The rest a right bore
Your habits annoying
Your sentiment cloying
If friendship is a line we're at this one's end
Time to give up and face it
We're finished
Friend

 

 

 

 

Widows

 

Widows talk about the war
An old kiss
They dance the quick steps
Their feet miss
The photos are grey
But the hearts pound
Some widows are half
Buried underground





The man


You stink of power
Sweaty, wrong
Your stupid vests
Off white, too long
Your meat-slab hands
So mean and low
Your eating habits
Far to go

You're selfish, greedy
Cruel, lazy
More TV dinner
Than Scorsese
You're hooked on women
Screw by screw
What you don't care
Is why or who

And yet you're craved
With passions strong
At home we wait
Full hungry throng
We know it's fatal
Falling so
God damn you, Tony
Soprano




All poems by Rachel Fox (some time after 1997)

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