how to trap a poem, not

I’ve tried
to write a poem
for the solstice
for midsummer
for the longest day.

the beginning of the end;

I failed
to find a start
carve a middle
coup de grace
weave a wordy way.

the beginning of the end;

I set my traps
the night before
made all the best laid plans
I chose the bait
and lay in wait
and all seemed well in hand;

patience
that’s the key
so it seemed
but easy said
is rarely easy done.

the beginning of the end;

as light became
less light
my eyes
shuttered wide
to closed
and into sleep
I dribbled deep
from yawn to drowse
to doze.

the beginning of
the end
came when I woke
and found
nothing much to find
but pins and needles
muscle cramp
a spider hanging
from my hat
but not a rhythm
not a rhyme
nor any useful line,
nothing fine
that could be used
to light a fuse
or bold enthuse
to glean a verse
to break this curse
not epic,
blank,
not villanelle,
not idyll,
even terse.

I’ve tried
to write a poem
but despite
my best attempts
I wrote
a shopping list instead:
coffee
tea
turnips
tomatoes
crackers
crisps
and cheese.

© 2018 robert greig

(note: … a not-poem for the summer solstice)

may you never

May began sunny
and soon became stormy
a howler wind wailing
its stern disapproval,
a timely reminder
that spring isn’t all
that we’d want it to be
with as many moods
and erratical ways,
and taking for granted
will leave you dismayed
as May means just that
that it may be fine
as just as easily
may be uneasily
prone to a tantrum
a temper or two
prone to a spell
of unseasonal blues,
but seasonal is
as seasonal does
and spring flings it all
into the mix
the rock and the rap
the trip-hop and flap,
the Lindy, the bop,
even a tap-dance or two
to keep us all guessing
up on our toes
tenterhook teases
and hayfever sneezes,
so may you never
assume that today
will be just the same
day after spring day
as anything happens
and anything goes
as everything’s possible
even some snow.

© 2018 robert greig

peripheral

this is where I write
in secret, in silent space
peripheral light;

this is where I write
on paper between the lines
in ink, coded signs;

this is where I write
one word informs another
tells it where to go

next

this is where I write
effortlessly agonised
conjuring the world;

this is where I write
start the day and end the night
not a soul in sight;

this is where I write
giving lexicon a voice
and other stories;

this is where I write
balanced probabilities
circumstantial proofs;

this is where I write
to pacify the demons
exorcising lives;

this is where I write
scribbling the hours away
shading in the grey;

this is where I write
an arrhythmia in verse
sometimes somewhat terse;

this is where I write
making more than one mistake
odds and evens stakes;

this is where I write
lost again and losing height
this is where I might…

take two…

this is where I write
lost again and losing height
this is where I wrong…

take three…

this is where I write
lost again and losing height
inferring hindsight…

take four…

this is where I write
lost again and losing height
turning off the light.

© 2018 robert greig