Idiot Poems

One morning in Bangkok, we were up quite early, because of the enthusiasm of at least seven roosters on the other side of the Wat wall. I actually woke up (before dawn, damn them) having written a poem about them in my subconscious, irritated state. I’d like to dedicate this to all the roosters in Asia that have bovvered me in the morning. (Yes, that includes all you little feathered buggers in India.) It goes like this:

Cockerel

Oh cockerels, how keen are thee
To outcrow those who whisper not
Methinks the contest prize should be
A hatchet sharp and boiling pot.

And now for something graceful…

The Gentle Way of Phart

Before I came to India

I took the Phart for granted

Then a case of Dehli Belly
Made my view of Pharting slanted

So now I Phart most carefully
With delicate control
(To Phart with gay abandon
Means to first find toilet bowl)

Now, if I see a meditator
Seemingly in trance
I wonder to myself
If he is merely trying to Phart

I vow that I will never take
My flatulence for granted
‘Cos now I know, in India,
A Phart is carefully planted

It takes a honed technique
True, ’tis a fine and noble art
So now I am a Master
Of the Gentle Way of Phart

And when I’m gone from India,
Back home in my country
How well I will appreciate
My Pharts can now fly free.

Ode to India Railways

I thought I was intrepid

Flying ‘cross the world

Till I met with Indian trains

That thrashed my bod and bashed my brains

And rendered me to curled, pathetic

Urchin-like remains

Ne’er again will I set forth

“Intrepid be my name”

I’ll worry ’bout which platform

And how to step ’round rat swarms

And when to wake

And how to make out

Hindi station names

I was the proud adventurer
(a conqueror of travel all)
But then I had to learn to squat
With pants half mast
Whilst being rocked
Above a stainless steel hole
Smeared with (stuff I won’t say here)
Then try to wash my derriere
Long live the porcelein bowl

I’m now a humbled westerner
Who cringes at the blasting horn
And knows now why it sounds forlorn
(Tis sympathy the train does give
For those about to newly live
Intrepid journeys on the lines)
God help them, they’re about to find out…
Dude! Don’t board that bluddy train –
When you arrive, you’ll be insane!

Lizard Queen of Navarac – (Contains Lizards).

Tiny house living has its idiosyncracys. Such as being stuck inside a small space during very bad weather. A couple of winters back I had the dubious pleasure of experiencing this while it rained for two weeks solid. After several days I got to wondering if I should tie 44 gallon drums around the outside of my wee home, while nursing visions of it lifting from the ground and gently drifting out to sea.

A bottle of wine or two combined with over a week of solitude, and three nights later, I had written a poem/saga encompassing the visions that flashed through my head. It contains lizards because I’m great fan of them and somehow a collection of lizards ornaments and doodads has grown around me over the years. Funny what happens in a 17ft-long tiny house when the rain and the wine do flow…

Never had the lizards seen a sighting like the Lizard Queen, leading from the towbar thus...

Never had the lizards seen a sighting like the Lizard Queen, leading from the towbar thus…

Mount the towbar as she goes, strike a queenly lizard pose

While rain came down and gales blew, she sailed the Navarac, right through

Never had the lizards seen a sighting like the Lizard Queen

Leading from the towbar thus, she struck a pose, as leaders must

It poured down, then it rained again, and on and on they sailed and then

A dolphin surfaced by their side and took the lizards by surprise

'Well I don't know', the dolphin said, 'reality is in the head.'

‘Well I don’t know’, the dolphin said, ‘reality is in the head.’

Said to the dolphin, Lizard One, ‘Has real land gone and deep sea come?’

‘Well I don’t know’, the dolphin said, ‘Reality is in the head

‘This could be land, this could be sea, you could be only dreaming me

You never know, when there’s a flood, where seabeds start and land is mud’

Then Lizard Two espied a whale who gestured grandly with his tail

To the north, then to the south, and gathered plankton with his mouth

He sang a song of paths untook and plumbed the depths with line and hook.

He sang a song of paths untook and plumbed the depths with line and hook.

Said Lizard Two, ‘Hello big guy where does the sea turn into sky?’

The behemoth just played it cool, as does a whale when his mouth’s full

Lizard Three looked out to sea and strained to see where they would be

When time had passed and distance gone – it seemed to take so very long

Perilous, rose up the waves. He tried his hardest to be brave

He sang a song of paths untook and plumbed the depths with line and hook

The Lizard Queen still had her back faced towards the Navarac.

The Lizard Queen still had her back faced towards the Navarac.

The Lizard Queen still had her back faced towards the Navarac

She sailed it with a desperate pride, and several lizards stuck inside

Lizard Four, he knew the score and pulled the awning through the door

When canvas flaps there is no doubt, there’s winds ahoy and storms about

He folded it and made to stow it where a folded awning goes

And manned the oars with lizard paws, lending strength for yonder shores

All wasn't well with Lizard 5, who scratched his scales and licked his eyes.

All wasn’t well with Lizard 5, who scratched his scales and licked his eyes.

All wasn’t well with lizard five, who scratched his scales and licked his eyes.

The choppy waves, they made him ill. He wished the Navarac be still

Out the window, nothing green, only water could be seen

He manned the buckets, most to bail, with one for him, should stomach fail

More rain came down and cloaked the ground. The Navarac, horizon-bound

Picked up the challenge, sailing through, this lizard queen and lizard crew

Said the turtle, old and wise, with leather skin and see-all eyes.

Said the turtle, old and wise, with leather skin and see-all eyes.

A turtle cruised serenely by, then took one look and wondered why

A Navarac would up and go a-sailing in the water so

He spake unto the lizard queen, ‘Where doest thou go, where hast thou been?’

(For turtles are so very old and haven’t broke the formal mold)

Said she to him ‘I do not know quite where the Navarac will go

But we will know when we arrive, provided that we’re still alive

Left the puzzled Lizard Queen gazing at the aqua scene.

Left the puzzled Lizard Queen gazing at the aqua scene.

And as you ask where we have been, it is a most unlikely scene

Where we were once we are not now, and thus I pose upon the bow’

Said the turtle, old and wise, with leather skin and see-all eyes

‘Thou always knows when thee gets there. We all arrive so don’t despair’

And then he plunged to depths below, presumably where turtles go

And left the puzzled Lizard Queen gazing at the aqua scene

Where turtles speak and dolphins play.

Where turtles speak and dolphins play.

And then she thought ‘We’re out at sea. I wonder what our future be?

It’s not our past, that do I know. Let us create it as we go’

So she took up the prow once more and took the lizards through the door

Where burning bridges light the way, and turtles speak and dolphins play

And so they sailed on out to sea, within their own reality

With questions asked and knowledge seen, the lizards and their lizard queen

You face your history with your back, as does the Queen of Navarac.

You face your history with your back, as does the Queen of Navarac.

Thus says to us, the saga here, the future is a story where

You face your history with your back, as does the Queen of Navarac.

Words by D Sealey, pictures by P Oldale.

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