Sonata or sonata?

As you know, when I’m eating the starter,

I like to listen to the Moonlight Sonata.

But you, I discovered a little later,

Would rather be with the Moonlight Sonata.

Must we call it off? Does it really matter?

Can’t both of us listen to the Moonlight Sonata?

I love you so much, your smile and your laughter,

I want to be happy with you ever after.

But it’s clear to me now, if I really haveta,

I could also be happy with you ever after.

The prompt for Matt’s latest Flash Fiction Foray was Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. There was a hint of an invitation to link it to the events in Paris, but that was so strong in my mind that I did it last week, and this week it’s defiantly flippant, owing more to George and Ira Gershwin than Beethoven. I hope he won’t mind (Ludwig, I mean, not Matt – I know he won’t mind). Thanks, Matt, for being a great host, and… What else can I say? Roll over, Beethoven!


Sunday Poem: No More

Sunday Poem

The Sunday Poem will be no more

At least until September,

But I’ll be back with rhymes galore

(As long as I remember).

Though like a bird that sings on high

I warble and I coo

I need to make some shepherd’s pie

And work on my haiku.

Do not despair or faint or fume

Nor let this spoil your slumber.

The weeks to count till I resume

Are very few in number.

Sunday Poem: Waves


Real poets are brave – poetry’s difficult! A while back I was named by Fading Shadow in a challenge to describe a sound, so I thought, why not a poem? Especially as we were spending the night in a tent on Sazilay Beach, where the only sound was of waves – what better topic? Well, it took me three weeks and I’m still dissatisfied. Maybe I’ll stick to nonsense – much easier!

Shall I say they crash and thunder? Here, tonight, it is inaccurate.

The soft persistence of their motion

Long transcribed in sand and root and stone,

Each gathering and collapse a different breath,

Scrolls upon the shore in Sazilay.

What of words like sigh and murmur? Almost apt, but still inadequate,

Lending false intent to this unfeeling mission,

Patterned bond of moon and sea and strewn

Dissolving foam, sinking back to earth

Here upon the beach in Sazilay.

We know this sound: raw religion, human song, a quest for intimate

Design in randomness and undisturbed attraction,

Heave and swell, an endless back and forth,

Stroking soft the slope of Sazilay.

Sunday Poem: First Words to Grammar


Rounding up the current series from the collection Poems Inspired by Second Hand Books on Sale on Amazon:

Though babies bawl and puke and smell

And generally have little glamour,

The marvel is they learn so well

The passage from first words to grammar.

The language matters not, forsooth,

From Almaty to Alabama

It grows inside like their first tooth

As they progress from words to grammar.

And we as parents watch with pride,

Despite the odd mistake or stammer,

Our offspring take within their stride

That magic step – first words to grammar.

Sunday Poem: Delicious

In the course of preparing my recent interview of Deirdre Dodo, I came across the following wonderful poem by Hilaire Belloc, to which I’ve taken the liberty of adding my own third verse:

The Dodo used to walk around,

And take the sun and air.

The sun yet warms his native ground—

The Dodo is not there!

The voice which used to squawk and squeak

Is now forever dumb—

Yet may you see his bones and beak

All in the Mu-se-um.

He died away not long ago

With very little fuss

The problem was he tasted so

Divinely delic-ious.

Sunday Poem: Statistics


Number three in my collection Poems Inspired By Second Hand Books On Sale On Amazon:

I’ve got the data, but can’t do the analysis.

Deal with it later? Statistical paralysis!

I ponder this over coffee and biscuits

And realise then I need Starting Statistics.

Or perhaps, I think, wondering where my gum is,

Better still would be Statistics for Dummies.

Sunday Poem: Seaside

cuneo 045

  • 1. get off the beaten track
  • 2. tiptoe along the basalt cliffs
  • 3. listen to the most invisible bird

Those are the first three lines of a poem by Frédéric G. Martin, over at Poems & Poèmes. It’s actually called Seaside: To Do List – I love the combination of the down-to-earthness of a list and the inspiring nature of the 12 items in the list. Frédéric writes in both French and English – I admire anyone who writes in their second language, let alone with such finesse. As Frédéric puts it, French is my mother tongue, which gives me love and desire. English gives me freedom and inspiration. What greater combination could there be?

Sunday Poem: Semantics


In my collection entitled Poems Inspired by Second Hand Books on Sale on Amazon, after Human Memory, here is the second, The Semantic Basis of Argument Structure. For this book not to have a poem dedicated to it would be a profound injustice.

Researchers into semantics

Are rarely great romantics.

They feel so strongly 

About words used wrongly

They get antics in their pantics.

Sunday Poem: Water

cuneo 177

Following my pleasure in highlighting Robert Okaji’s poems a couple of weeks ago, I’d like to do the same for Tammy Mezera. Despite the occasional iffy choice of words, some of her poems, I find, are similar in tone and precision, and if you mosey around her site, you’re sure to come across a few that do just the work a poem should. Here’s a short one called Static.

A quintessential romp through static

do I have faith or should I believe

some noise is better than nothing at all

And a longer one here called Water. Now so far I’m the only person to have given that poem a ‘like’, partly, I suspect, because Tammy’s not the most adept at self-publicising. So don’t hesitate to venture over and, if you like it, give her work a thumbs up  too.

Sunday Poem: A Tale of Two Cheeses


I have Oscar Relentos to thank for pointing out a remark by G.K. Chesterton: “Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” I didn’t know the quote, and nor had this unfortunate state of affairs even struck me. I believe Oscar has his own plans for rectifying the situation, but in view of the urgency, I thought it vital to  make a start at least.

Britain’s cheese renown is built on

Little more than blue-veined Stilton

(Though Wensleydale could have a say

And should Caerphilly come your way

Do not refuse – on wholemeal bread

It’s tastier than Leicester Red).

‘Tis sad to say, but by and large

There’s so much more to French fromage.

And as a footnote, another cheese quote from General de Gaulle: How can you govern a country where there are 258 varieties of cheese? According to a recent finding from France Soir, this figure, advanced during the war, is obsolete – today there are 1200 varieties. This obviously explains why François Hollande is in such dire straits.