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APRIL DAILIES 2011

On the last day of March I decided to try to write one poem each day in April. I posted them in my blog* and also in a poetry forum, and announced them with Twitter 'tweets' that also went automatically on to Facebook. All this led to welcome and encouraging comments. For me this self-imposed challenge was an eye-opening and fun project. Here are my thirty 'April dailies' in the order they appeared. ALAN REYNOLDS, MONNICKENDAM

* EARTH TOURIST at http://birdcreekblues.wordpress.com


APRIL DAILIES 2011

LANGUISH GAS FO R APR IL FO O L

What through the language glass, the laughing gas of worlds or that of them, or it, our eyes report, through the media of phonemes we have learned at our mothers’ knees, or not, you may retort, to our minds makes up the matter we can know. That first sentence, diagrammed on grammar trees of plastic can be useful scratching fleas. It has perhaps semantic depth as well and buckets of pretentiousness to swell a research grant to help a grantee muddle the waters further so we’ll need a buddy system to ensure should one get drowned the other will get published or renowned, states mutually exclusive as you know must be the case. Move on to April 2.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

TAKING TH E FIFTH

The ancient man whose one athletic bound plonked him on the girder looking downed and outed shouted to the crowd below that he was God or would be could he grow the powers needed, grow into the role. 'Until that time,' he cried, 'I'll be a troll.' He jumped from the girder bannistering the bridge to a depth at which the natural laws abridge leaving him no soul, just the elements essential: the classic four you know, and the quintessential fifth essence we discovered in a ridge of his jaw now relic in our church's fridge.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

M EA CUPPA

I drink the tea and Infinity seems clearer than before. A Molecule grows Mammoth Sized and swims through hellebore while Halliburton in a junk sets sail to nevermore. The teas leaves stain my china redder than it ever was before.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

GLIM PSE O F EM O TIO N

I dreamed I was on a mountain, not the top but a south-side cove where a deer had grazed till a bear walked through and disappeared in haze. I wake in a land that is totally flat out to the horizon's curve. The seagulls scream and the jackdaws speak and the willows grow new limbs. There are no snakes here, nor a need for screens. It is civilised it seems. The bear I dreamed of has grown up and long ago it died.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

NO T M UCH SPEAK O F

Two languages, two accents, neither mine. I can do them both, not adequately but so you’d recognize their traces in my whine and bark and stops for glottal. Travels sow the seeds for weedy puns and frontiers grow so porous that they’re more honoured in the breach than in the competence I nearly reach. Occasioning confusion, stares and glee, I am grateful that despite my slanted speech the natives here, and there, are kind to me.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

A GO DDESS AW AKENS

The sun shown in the heavens. The moon shined boats at sea. The slow glow maiden Amalot Two-Handle slept till three then Everywhere condensed into the point she knew as Here and the Wisdom-Tooth man Getafix pulled her a pint of beer. Their breakfast was a fleet of trout she flummoxed with a net and flipped on shore then in a pan while Wisdom-Tooth Man set a table where mad hatters served as party favours for

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

the guests he said were coming soon. She watched amazed he'd pour a Stetson full of beer into tall schooners meant for port. He told her it was what he'd seen the Windsors do at court. This mollified the maiden and the idea made her smile as she cut him into chunks she chucked to her pet crocodile.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

GUEST O F H O NO UR

He's the only stranger here among his family. He is strangely silent all the time he talks. The mirrored walls reflect his animation and he sees that, though he swears he's sitting still as the rubber flowers on the hotel's tables. A wall of sound wafts by him but he fails to capture joy or meaning from remarks of kindness addressed to him. Disappearing into his cell phone's menu like it matters he swipes and taps and wishes he could cry at reflections from its screen of an old man so lonely he updates his own Sent Mail.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

FALLS

The poems that I learned as a child – I've forgotten the words – let rhythms glide by where I stand on a rock in the creek. I gaze at the banks where I saw the black moccasin smile. That was so long ago. Now I look way upstream to the falls remembering Grandfather laughing while helping me climb through cool spray and shadow to sun. Where had we been going?

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

FAITH IS GRAND

'Ask,' she says. 'Demand is sweeter than fulfilment.' The sun, there have been clouds, stays disappeared. We believe in its existence; faith is grand and this time sensible, a trust not weakened by being based on thought. I take her hand. Requiem for Long-ago Acquaintance The wind resembles cymbals made of cheese, its music mute, or, if heard, absurd. Perhaps it's simply gone, but if so where? Can absence ipso facto describe wind? And you, where are you? People say you've died. Where were you all those years they say you lived? Perhaps we each were cymbals stored apart, our music moot as that of those of cheese.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

RIGH T IT

Write a little. Write a lot. Avoid words like 'Hottentot' Look up meanings. Drift down streams of leftist leanings, rightist dreams. Closure is often oversold.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

Q UESTIO N TIM E

Which questions are appropriate? Nearly none. To ask and answer questions brings unrest, negation and embarrassment. Am I right? You may well know an answer. Maybe not, but either way there’s sure to be some swot who will answer betterquickerfaster or at least in a way that draws the attention of that beast social scientists call Discussion. Here it comes.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

W O N W ITH M USIC

Weepy's good. It is. Cries rinse regrets away and drown them in the sound of Chuck's 'Deep Feeling' blues while friends from school days play with might-have-been's and wont-be's until the landlord's cry of 'Time' wakes them to lives they really had and have and the blues are only blues and no need to be sad.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

CLARITY BEGINS AT H OM E

Eurasia is an island of such grand impressive size we say it's not an island. But it is. If you're not there, and want to be, somewhere you have to cross some sea so QED the OED decrees Eurasia too must be as insular as Maui, Crete, and Capri unless we trash consistency and rule exceptions set us free of meaning anything when we presume to name what we discern and what we don't. We never learn.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

REVEILLE

What her child says in her dream hurts her so much that, in her dream, she runs to another room where she tries to breathe or, if she can, stop breathing. She had tried so very hard when they were small to be there for them, sacrificing all sorts of things she had not really wanted to give each child precisely what she'd read they needed or, authorities wrote, desired. To hear this then! She wakes and sits up, stunned at knowing, for the first time in her life, that in dream and life she’d not been really hurt.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

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PAULINE PROSE-PROUST, PRUSSIAN PRINCESS AND PUTATIVE PROTAGONIST O F UNFINISH ED AUTO BIO GRAPH Y

I like to write in o.m.g. italics with a font not seen since seventeen-sixteen. It makes reviewers of my prose suppose I'm original, or tetched, or must have been in my merry minutes writing, running hose, and shaping paragraphs to form a calyx whose sense if any is sensory not flat and factual. I am not 'into' that, preferring quote-mark irony to ironing and to too-perfect rhyme. I end up whining.


APRIL DAILIES 2011

JUNGIAN

When I concentrate I can remember being old. Ninety-seven years, one-eyed and seven feet Haha above the gym floor on a beam. And scared. It was the first month of the Younging.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

REINCARNATIO N REDUX

‘I am old,’ cries the baby, whose parents hear ‘coo,’ the sense of the sentence obscured by their child’s lacking teeth and a language they know, and they cuddle it till it forgets. ‘Though I’m young,’ says the baby, ‘I quickly forget what the meaning of life is, so I can enjoy discovering it over again.’ ‘When he cries,’ think his parents, 'he’s wet.’

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

LILTING LYLE

The wind resembles treacle if I please, Lyle's Golden Syrup trickled over scones I’d reach would we fly lower. Can we, wind? The wind prances, less an answer than a portent of a coming voyage neither of us knows a jot about and swirls us up through clouds.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

GO O D FISH ING

If you are fishing with some skill and luck and passion and your hook is in a water where they're fish and your lore's sufficient that you don't go splashing or fall asleep or get stung so you pitch your tackle in the water there are times you will catch a bass, or root, or trout, or boot. They can all be eaten fried or poached with limes if you wash them down with magnums of chilled brut.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

O W ED TO BYRO N

Let us go then you and I to a place where wild woodpeckers fly beneath a pallid piebald sky and I – ashamed that I live still – revise each Wednesday my own will while you – pert, tall and right now shrill – emit grace notes that rise and float outside across our castle's moat into a book Lord Byron wrote or would have, had not Neptune felled him swimming in the Dardanelles, or Hellespont. All's gone. Just as well.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

Oncoming night assembles stars that light our paths. Look, there goes Mars: sword, sandals, sneer and scenic scars identify him as the sod who starts the wars we fight for God and Country when, succinctly shod, we march off singing, smiling, chanting or – if we're returning – ranting. The gods adore our gallivanting. They think we are when panting cute and we're of all the things they shoot their favourites cause like them we loot and lust, and languish, all the while imagining we've wit and style. We muddle on. It makes them smile.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

STONED

He lies if you can call it that on stones below the rapids that he ran last night on a dare no-one remembers when police conduct polite enquiries. How he stares.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

M O ST ANY AM IS

Reduced the only way he’s been for years, that is to say he is reduced to tears, the would-be writer reads an Amis book unwillingly to end, this book which took him by the throat and shook him for his heart and, had he had one, would have made him part with it and life. Such brilliance set in word has lifted him and though he finds absurd the fact a book can act to stir his blood from encroaching stasis he admits the flood of thought and non-thought it has set loose will bear evidence he is at times still real.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

NO BLESSE O BLIGE O H PLEASE

Our decades on the throne give us perspective. We do not listen to the folk we greet. It they’ve titles they’re derived from some selective amusement. We and they both know it’s meet that they bow somewhat profusely while we gaze at the wall behind them. Each must know his place as we know ours. Until the end of days we will reign sublimely, chosen by the grace of God, our only peer, He’s claimed to us. Things change and princes marry, die, divorce not always in that order and the fuss of ministers and budgets is a course to run, say some unhindered by a throne and wishing till they’re ill they had our own.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

JUST DESSERTS

When ‘why’ deserts me and now rye's anathema and wordplay fails to keep emotions out I grow sombre, still, elated. I am a jumble. My memories fill and empty what was me – or ‘I’ – I still search language for a clue to what it's all about – until, relaxing, I join enjoyed memories and flow.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

M O NNICKENDAM DAW N

The below-horizon sun redlines the clouds, accelerates their thinning till all's clear. The day makes light of darkness and its shrouds and with silhouette and sound the birds appear. Grey herons lift from graveyard nests and plane above the houses cruising to the sites they will fish today. From trees blackbirds explain in glorious song their territorial rights. A mallard beats a rival with his beak, re-joins his pretty partner and they fly, they and the rival. Jackdaws light and seek what darkness hid, and find it now the sky is filled with sun and sound. Old church bells ring in another summer day this magic Spring.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

H ICKORY DICKORY

rat pack made benign alcoholism graceful as seen on tv always glass in hand many talented crooners ready quips and laughs golden voices left alone in limousines once brightened our lives maybe also theirs anyone listening might have thought back then

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

STAGED FRIGH T, A PLAY

It could be worse, unlikely as that seems. We have paid to watch an angry woman talk. We get more than we've bargained for: she screams. About unfairness. She says choices stalk and mess her up. She says she tires of Free. She strides unlady likely on the stage demanding Structure, hating Sartre. 'He,' nonstop she's shrilling, 'has saddled me with rage!' I could ask how, but fear that would incite her formulation of a louder answer. I cannot stand to sit here stunned all night. There is mostly monologue, no song, no dancer. I watch my watch and realise some days the ticket's not the only price one pays.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

TH UNDER LIKE M USIC

Home from the towers hiding suit go in village big shirt and jeans custom scuffed leather boots Rolling Stone issues with O’Rourke a must read Punch in the great years of editor Cohen seeming like old Times humour now gentle music like thunder on bridges on way home after smoke after taste faux friendly noise bars well known and never forever returning grimaces stranding in stand in emotions first light not all right quick love making all right off in a daze breakfast snack bars and papers up in the tower a suit among peer groups and papers those always and budgets and bytes random lunch restaurants over tipped waiters cars for the trip back and tipped back and snoring

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

next morning meetings prepared for and boring systems arising and changing the world ways not imagined or cared about much systems devised cause we could and we did we can and we do it we do it again thunder like music it’s all rock and roll.

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APRIL DAILIES 2011

FINALLY

Poetry lightens shuttered hearts, engages jaded minds. Its lines illuminate cold nights, ameliorate hot days. It celebrates the best in us, retells that till it’s true. Forever here until it goes, each poem preserves its space in thoughts as visible as wind, as loud as falling snow. !"

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April Dailies 2011  
April Dailies 2011  

poetry collection: 30 poems from self-imposed challenge to create a poem each day during April 2011