I Joined the Poetry Writing Circle
NOTICE TO RESIDENTS
We, at Twilight Lawns Residential Home for a Better Class of Person, have been very fortunate during the last few months to have acquired a new resident. This personage is none other than Mr Jack Lincoln Palmistry, the Former Poet Laureate. Mr Palmistry, after his mental breakdown, with which most of you will be familiar, came to Twilight Lawns plc to convalesce. He fitted in so nicely, that he decided to stay with us, and left his charming little pied-à-terre in Halstead, Essex, to make his home in the Lord Kitchener Wing, where we hope he will be happy during his final days.
Mr Palmistry, the dear man, has kindly taken on himself the mantle of Mentor and Artistic Director, and consequently runs a Poetry Workshop every First and Third Tuesday of the month.
All residents are welcome, and for a small fee, will be encouraged to bare their souls poetically as they gather around his knee (metaphorically speaking) to learn the beauties of Iambic Pentameters and Heroic Couplets.
Paper and writing implements are available for sale in the book store near Nurse Smythe’s Office,
Please note: Cissie is reminded that "to bare one’s soul" is a poetic device and there must not be a repetition of the Rape of the Sabine Women Tableaux she organised at the last Spring Equinox.
Those of a bellicose disposition will only be permitted to write in crayon. MrTemple and Miss Hortense de Cline are welcome under the understanding that there must not be a repetition of the dangerous use of sharp metal implements as in the fracas at the Cut and Colour Workshop run by Sister Ignatius Loyola last year.
(Sister Ignatius Loyola is apparently recovering from her wounds, but will not be returning to Twilight Lawns plc in the near future).
Here, below, is a lovely poem, written by Mrs Oulde-Ffarte, a Member of the Poetry Writing Circle.
I Joined the Poetry Writing Circle
How I wish I’d Been Born French or German
Those Italians have it Easy, Everything seems to end in A or I or O
The Title Page of Dear Mr Lincoln-Palmistry's lovely and inspiring book
I thought I’d join a group to make some friends
And at the same time, make amends,
For wasted time when in my youth,
I failed to learn the bitter truth,
That learning may seem boring in the extreme
But knowledge is not Naff as it may seem.
So I’ve come to dear Jack Palmistry
For help in writing poetry.
But how, I’ve found since in my school days,
My poetic tastes have changed in one or two ways.
When Sir, said “Write a poem of your best toy,”
My Teddy featured strongly; he was my joy.
And my rhyming, and my meter
Could hardly have been sweeter,
Well it is when you’re eleven,
And your Mum and Gran like it anyway because they LOVE you.
But then adolescence came between me
And the Human Race in general. Believe me!
And my poems took on an Apocalyptic flavour.
(And if you’ll excuse the wobbly rhyme) my writing and behaviour
Fell between the actions of a Slut and Ma Teresa.
I had given up fluffy bunnies for the razor!!!
I would change the world around me and learn to love my brother.
But I was buggered if I could put up with my Mother.
She criticised my purple prose
Where heaving bosoms fell and rose.
And laughed at my erotic stuff as well
Where heaving bosoms also rose and fell.
One of our Supply Teachers - She gave great lessons. She didn't last long, though.
So I couldn’t quite decide
Between Socialism and Matricide.
Then I became obsessed as teenage poets go,
With the end of mortal coils and depressions deep and low.
Then BLOOD and DEATH and PUTREFACTION
Gave me written satisfaction.
But now ‘neath Mr Palmistry.
I’m scrutinising another me.
My poetic content has quite changed.
From when my hormones were rearranged.
I understand the Subjunctive Clause,
Much better since the menopause.
And somehow now, Autumnal skies
And fluffy kittens; babies’ cries;
Friends and neighbours; shopping trips;
Windy beaches; sailing ships;
All fill my notebook, but I still despair.
I still fall at meter. And those rhyming words aren’t there.
It would be easier if I didn’t have to find
A rhyme for words of the poetic kind.
I push and pull till adjectives follow the relevant noun
I search through my Thesaurus until I think I’ve found
A word to rhyme with another, but then it’s quite absurd
The word I’ve been looking for turns out to be a verb.
Oh if only I were German. It can’t be so hard for them.
All sentences end in verbs. All their verbs sound the same.
Or what about being Italian? Rhyming along as they go?
All words end in “I” or “A” if they don’t end in an “O”
But it’s terribly hard in English. The language is a sod.
I’ve been trying to write a poem, and it really is quite odd.
The lecturer gave us “Nostalgia”, and said “Write a bit”,
Using bloody Iambic Pentameter. Well frankly, who gives a shit?
And then I end up with “sunset sky of orange”
And have to force a long interminable line (which doesn’t scan)
about how much fun it was to shop at Gorringes.
I think I’ll do a course in car maintenance or landscape gardening or finger knitting when this is over.
More by this Author
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India, 1946. Independence looms. Day in the life of a Chota Sahib. But this young boy doesn’t realise that he is the baby who will be thrown out with the bathwater. He’s Indian, but the wrong colour.
A somewhat less than learned attempt to explain Restless Legs Syndrome and possible ways of diminishing its effects. The writer is a sufferer, yet can describe the condition with some little humour.