English Poems From Carpe Diem Poem by Sheena Blackhall

English Poems From Carpe Diem

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My father
His marriage was consanguineous
Wedlock, a double blood knot
He sired two legitimate children
Who grew to loath each other
A manager, self educated,
He worked six days a week,
Sought out the hills for respite

He lived with the constant growl
Of a duodenal ulcer,
Survived on a diet of milk of magnesia
Bland, steamed meals and fish
A gastric inner Vesuvius that rumbled acid

He was punctual as a clock
Tea total son of a serious alcoholic
His nails were perfect half moons
He was fastidiously clean
His handwriting was copperplate

He visited history,
Battlefields, castles, glens

His eyes were keen's a falcon
His hair, shrank from a raven's wing
To a strip of a mourning band

Nature was his faith
He saw beauty in the wind on mountain grass

He was a lover of Robert Burns and the Reader's Digest
He said that a man who owned a cow was a conservative
A man who lacked one would be voting labour

His speech was lilting, Scots with a Gaelic shadow
He was the type of man
That women broke their vows for

An ox, he pulled two carts
Raising his own family
And that of his widowed sister

His wardrobe was Spartan
Plain and serviceable
His heart was the pearl in the oyster
Love beyond price, given unstintingly

He fed the little birds that came to his garden
Kept a shotgun, fishing rod, for hunting
He sang like a linnet, whistled like a sandpiper
Said only a winner gains a man's respect

He suffered from gout and bunions in old age
After a sportsman's youth of cricket,
Football, golf and trained athletics

And neither child inherited that gene
Weaklings both, a black dog on our shoulders

Could Have Been
I could have sailed the Suez Canal as an alligator
I could have written a scoop for the Emperor of ice cream
I could have been a drip in the Amazon rain forest
I could have emigrated to Outer Mongolia
I could have been a hurricane in Wyoming
I could have visited space with William Shatner
I could paddled in Mississipi mud
I could have been a prayer in the dawn of tomorrow
I could have sung a lullaby to an artichoke
I could have been an udder in a cow
I could have been the final troubadour

Whereas in fact
I am a small face in the wilderness
I'll have no defence at the great accounting day
In the scales of compassion I missed the bus as a mother

Between you and me
Go ask my dead, they'll tell you
In the pack of what it was to be truly human
I was always a few hands short of passing muster

The Poet as an Old Horse
This horse is the tragedy of a small life

I was never one for the flashy huzzah
Of the race course
Of what use are cups to a horse?

I live in a shaded field,
With nettles, flowers and flies
Eaking out anonymous minutes

My delight is to watch the foals
Romping free in the grass

My hooves are cracked,
My teeth are chipped or lost
My mouth is whiskered

But some mornings, the sun stirs me
To rise, for a leisurely trot

I have never run with the herd
When the day of departure comes
I shall leave without a word

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