English Poems From Why Give Nuts To A Man With No Teeth? Poem by Sheena Blackhall

English Poems From Why Give Nuts To A Man With No Teeth?

The Reserve of the Dead Swiss

And so, the ultimate obituary
Immortalised by snapshots
42 dead Swiss in the confines of a gallery
Living likenesses so like slabs in a mortuary

Vibrissae: Nasal Hair

The vibrissae of Madame Theresa
Release a huge dollop of snot
All over the Tower of Pisa
A glorious sight it is not

The vibrissae are ginger and pointy
And covered in germs and bacteria
And it's certain those hairs thick and jaunty
Should be exiled to outer Siberia!

Overheard: A conversation between a West African woman and a diner.

I visited Africa recently you know.
Went back to my father's village
They were so poor. I've never seen people so poor
But so happy! And they had nothing! Nothing at all!

Ah well, but they didn't know any better, you see
They didn't know they were poor
They didn't know what a wonderful life
We have in the west, in the civilised countries
All the things we have they don't possess
If they knew how little they had
They wouldn't be happy then!

Walter Scott:Hot Trotter

Sir Walter Scott, nowadays still a powerhouse, hot to trot
Gave his name and characters'names to:

A girls'school in Johannesburg, South Africa
Tea plantations in the highlands of Ceylon
Streets, pubs, restaurants, houses, cities, diners
Waverleys worldwide, the overspills
Of fame, in homage to the Writing Great himself

That Scottish author genius, hot to trot
Whose shrine in Embro's almost supersonic
Celebrity with knobs on- -and why not!

The Pill Poppers

Alfred Kerr, theatre critic and satirist, acquired a cyanide pill
Victor Gollancz,publisher secreted an opium pill
Harold Nicolson, writer, opted for morphia tablets
As did the novelist, Rebecca West

Frances Partridge, Bloomsbury diarist,
Leonard Woolf the writer
Saved up sleeping pills

All prepared for the unthinkable
Of what do if Hitler conquered Britain
A glass of water…a stiff upper lip
And goodbye Hun, we've given you the slip

At the Compost Bins 1,2,3,4,5,6 visits

1.The larches have entered the world of frost and cold
The heads are wreathed in coils of silver mist
Birds shiver in their feathers, cut to the quick by cold
The season of the caileach. The year turns old

2.Freezing breeze shudders the leaves
Sky high larches coorie together
Far below the river runs remorseless
Nettles quiver poised to sting intruders
Three blackbirds and one robin
Visit the apple tree

3.A hundred years from now
Will these horse chestnuts
Still be a canopy under the stars?
The tumbled leaves of beech are yellow and black
Like dismembered butterflies
The slippage of the slippery path to the loch
Is a stone's throw off

4.An oak leaf spirals down
Brushes my head. Any port in a storm
The trees are talking. I'm excluded from their chat
Perhaps they're admiring the way
The sun transforms them to gold?
The larches sway ritually
To the four directions
I stroke the rainbow with my outstretched hands
I flap my outstretched arms like a crane's wings
Threeravens watching me like hooded shamen

5.Vestigial puddles in the grass, after an Autumn deluge
It is midnight. My mind walks over the lawn
The moon has its anxious face on
Why is this diurnal mind treading the grass of night?

6.Every compost has its own acoustics
Vivacious squirrels scrabbling
The transient crinkling leaves that crackle underfoot
With the ears of a bat, you might even hear
The worm, turning the loam in worm casts, tiny ringlets

Autumn the Alchemist

The alchemy of Autumn changes all
Larch fronds sway, their fingers
Tipped with gold
A wren the size of a sixpence
Rustles the loose change of a bush
Copper silver, brass
Leaves clink and rattle
A tasty robin perches
A snack for a hungry cat


We fed the fire with sticks
Chanted a mantra

We fed the fire with thoughts
They rose as smoke

We fed the fire with song
Sound faded into silence

Later, a thrush sang its own
Sweet contribution to the day

Frozen (2)

I am frozen when
Forced to socialize at parties

I am frozen when
I'm given a surprise

I like my life well ordered
Plentytime to analyse

Every step, each word, each thought
I reject what comes unsought

My psyche's like a squirrel in its drey
It loves to hide away in shady nooks
I only thaw when I'm knee deep in books


When I was five,
The world began in Aberdeen
Ended in Lochnagar

My skimmed stone never reached across the Dee
My world was small
Fisher, farmer, banker, teacher, baker, clerk
The moon, my family lamplight shining in the dark

In the silence what disturbed me

In the silence what disturbed me
Was a shrine that was bare of incense
That soundless scent of prayer all Asia knows

What disturbed me further was
I have no sense of smell
Like a blind eye, my nose

Katherine the Great was a Russian

Katherine the Great was a Russian
Who knew how to keep herself warm
She walked through the ranks
Prodding buttocks and flanks
To see who'd be the best to disarm

An Ozzy Koala called Lydia

An Ozzy Koala called Lydia
Caught a terrible dose of chlamydia
For in the outback
She was easy to track
From her naughty girl flicks on the media

Little Goth

Tinkle tinkle little Goth
Like a dark demonic moth
Your skull rings and nasal pins
Your mascara black as sins
Hair of midnight, face of fright
Mark you out, oh child of night


My mind's often off with the fairies
It's a flibberty-jibbet of a mind
Always skedaddling, harum skarum

I've been training it though
Yanking its chain
Another twenty years
And I'm sure it'll come to heel

Meall an Lochain

A six barred gate leans open, into the wind
Sky and the rain pour through its spars, unstoppable
A human checkpoint rusting over its own shadow
The distant bleat of a sheep, its nearest neighbour

Moon Struck

The moon will be there when I'm not
Is that why the moon's so high and mighty?
It thinks it's God's gift
Pulling the tides up and down
Like fisnet stockings
The moon's a typical female
Never pleased with her shape

Moss acrostic

Muffler for the frozen lawn
Overblanket for the earth
Softly green it soldiers on
Sharing room for mushroom's birth

Mother-in- law

Forever knitting for her family
She was love in a frayed cardigan
Frier of bacon and eggs
Giver of hugs, of care
Westie puppies barking round her shins


I took my hate out walking
A turn around the town
I dressed it up in poetry
And academic gown

My hate thought this avoidance
A need for action rose
When next I met my enemy
I punched her on the nose

Simile Simile

As happy as a cow pat
As sad as Sunday's knickers
As dark as a horse's nostrils
As hard as a healed scab
As red as a virgin's blush
As confused as macaroni
As soft as a rotten sheep
As blue as a Tory joke
As dead as a spent squib
As lonely as the last leaf in Winter

Six unrelated things

Unlaced Highland dance pumps
An angry Scottish terrier
The sound of a bamboo flute
A tour around the galaxy
A hermit crab on the road
Two pink candyflosses

Strange fruits (3)

The dead ones lie on shelves
In the earth's pantry
Their bones stored like rice
No further need for a compass
Their thoughts spill out like seed
Some may bear strange fruits

Tai Chi & Qi Gong

Tai chi and QiGong keep old Chinese women young
Paint the rainbow, touch the earth, can ache as much as giving birth
Skelp the midgies, flap your wings…pull your unseen psychic strings

The 5pm Meditation

What came first, was it the kiln or the potter?
Sky doesn't reply
The compost remains silent. It is turning the matter over

The Boulder

When people push me around, I give them the cold shoulder
Stand still as a boulder. My face growing colder and colder
Asked politely, I might acquiesce
But whethere I will or won't, is anyone's guess

The Thing is…

The thing is
Courgettes are only colon fillers
Soggy little yucks of vegan slops

The thing is
Global footprints dig their poisoned heels
In the clouds

The thing is
My uvula's like a struck tunung fork
It's my tremulous tremendous snore maker
The thing is
Sardines are tinned, no heads or tails
No eyes to see who devours them

The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

I am a wolf in sheep's clothing
All nicey nicey up front
But inwardly raging

I am a wolf in sheep's clothing
I butter you up
The better to slide around you
Watch out for my wolfy back biting

I am a wolf in sheep's clothing
Little miss goody two shoes
Oh so sweet and engaging
Inwardly raging

Ticked off

Out among the grasses, underneath the trees
Little tics are waiting to give you Lime's disease
And if the tics don't get you be sure the midgies will
Or else malicious mushrooms are rearing up to kill

What never gets done

The house will be here when I'm gone
So why push the dust around?
It always returns again, like the prodigal son

Autumn is so much better
At finishing its chores
Painting the leaves on the trees
Harling the grass with frost
Shrivelling up the brambles
I never got round to picking
Old Mother Autumn
Giving the birds a-whipping

I could trim the ivy hedge
Butm I like to see it sprawl
Higgledy-piggledy over the shared steps
Curling around the legs
Of my neighbour's fence
Like a choker, a noose, a garrotte
Like throttling caul

Spiders- I'm quick
To give them the old heave-ho
One flick of the elbow grease
And out they go!

As Things Stand

Decay has presented his calling card
Beggars from Eastern Europe
Have blown in with the winds of poverty

The sea as usual, is badly behaved
Punching the pier like the bully that it is

Not cared for in the community.
Incurables pound the pavements to pass the day

Leftovers from the oil boom
Flounder in its smutty wake
Haunting the foodbanks, counting every penny
Like boats the sea's abandoned
With barnacled, rotting hulls

Gum and gull droppings pepper the paving slabs
With fag ends, squashed beer tins, take-way wrappings
The suicide bridge is blocked up
Too busy, too tempting for making a quick exit

A yellow pages book is a pillow
For a homeless man in a city underpass

Walking Meditation X

Moss sucks the soles of my feet, like treading a sponge
I am not picking over the wreckage of the past

I am not second guessing the worries that are to come
One footstep follows another. Plod, plod, plod
No room for a thought to squeeze in to curdle the blood

Douglas Scotney 11 November 2019

saving it all up, getting it all down in one, multiplies the fun

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