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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

POEMS - SUGAR LUMPS TO SWEETEN THE BRAIN


MANCHESTER JOHN

He used to say to me:
"You're a great man for the poetry, so you are",
in that double-cream-thick Irish voice,
undamaged by life in Manchester
for these past thirty years,
unpolluted by dropped aitches,
truly a man out of Joyce.

He adopted me as his literary soulmate,
giving newspaper cuttings folded
and folded and folded again,
offering me scraps of poems
and articles about poetry from his trouser pockets,
like sugar lumps to sweeten the brain.

He was a porter, a lift-and-carry man in BHS,
and his big physical bulk disguised an intelligent mind.
Some workmates would goad him
with Pat and Mick jokes.
He reacted by shouting them down
and stomping away to try to unwind.
  
He loathed them but he liked me
because of our wavelength,
our fm compared to their medium wave,
our need to scan the written words,
to read the metre, to understand the point.

I was a great man for poetry and he was a great man.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

PUBLISHER, PUBLISHER, WHEREFORE ART THOU PUBLISHER (OF FUN VERSE FOR KIDS)

Following the first hilarious (my blog, my word!) collections of funny poems for kids (of all ages), collection three is ticking along nicely.



"Fun With Words, Fun With Rhyme" manuscript is current at 80 poems on 64 pages.  The aim is to get to 100 pages and well over 100 poems.

I will self-publish the book but I would love it to be taken up by a mainstream publisher - alas, with all the hurdles associated with agents and publishers, a tough challenge. (And yes, I have worn out my copy of Writer's & Artists Yearbook and almost hammered a keyboard to death!)

But never give up!

This collection is intended to be read aloud to enthusiastic and interactive young audiences.  It is about fun but also about nurturing young creative minds and a lifelong love of books, bookshops and libraries.

Lofty, but sincere.

These are the titles of the poems so far:


CONTENTS

Writing
Ho+Ho+Ho = Ho Ho Ho
Class Acts
Breakfast Serial
Compare
Blank
Waspish
Sneaky Crawlies
Not Feeling Swell
Plane Sight
Oh my Days
Bye Bye Yesterdye
Learning Stuff
Comfy Book
Underachiever
Aunt Val
Blinking Silly
Body Of Work
Aristocounting
Blow
Last Straw 
Yum Yum
Spaced
Goodnight From Him
Born & Bread
Playing With Food
Celebrate The Fool
Hum-Bling
The Selfie Poem
Gurgle
Udder Chaos
Smashing
Buzz
Thank You For Your Custom
One Direction
M1 Speak
National Poetry Day Poem
Incident At The Bird Feeder
Cooky
For A Change
Loser
Bear
Off My Trolley 
Bananas
Rainbow Me
Angry Poem
Plop Poem
Excitable Poem
Noise
Alphabetcha I Can Transport You To Wherever You Want To Go
Bus Fuss
Remember This
Forget This
Blowy
Weather Blether
A Bottle Of Fun Words
Fall In
Lost In Translation
Twitter
Tweet Poem
Oh Dear
Core Blimey
Sharp Wits
Ouch
Thirsty Work
What To Do About Orange
Sadsuma
Moaning Lisa
Hole In The Argument
Where There’s A Will
Telling The Tooth
That’s Charlotte
Hardy Shopper
Food’s On You
Easy Eats
Barking
Giggle TV
Sounds Like A Plan
Hmmm

Monday, 7 July 2014

COMPARING YOU TO A SUMMER'S DAY




Here I sit in the UK,
Comparing you to a summer’s day –

You have a face like thunder,
You have highs and lows,
You fluctuate
Like the drifting snows.

You’re cold as ice,
You’re mercurial, chronic,
You’ve got rainbow eyes
From gins and tonic.

You’re dense as fog,
You’re an ice-cold blast,
Hard to predict
Like the weather forecast.

You’re a tidal wave,
You’re sleet and hail,
And every notch
On the Richter scale.

You’re foggy and frosty,
You’re murky and misty
And I can’t recall
When you last kissed me.

As I compare you,
Think I’ve got you pinned,
And by the way,
You have terrible wind.

Friday, 4 July 2014

FALL IN

From a forthcoming collection of fun verse for kids (of all ages) - Fun With Words, Fun With Rhyme 



leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf
leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf
leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf
leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf
leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf
leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf
leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf
leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf
leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf
leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf
leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf
leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf
leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf
leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf
leaf      leaf      leaf      leaf    leaf     leaf      leaf

It is highly unlikely that Autumn leaves
Will ever fall as neatly as this,
Unless a Sergeant-Major
Is employed to shout and hiss:

“Right, you ‘orrible leaves,
I’ll not tolerate any trouble,
So get yourselves in line,
RIGHT NOW, on the double!”

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

COOKY (A NONSENSE POEM)


From a forthcoming collection of fun poems for kids (of all ages).  I'm keen to take my "Fun With Words, Fun With Rhyme" talk/workshop around schools and libraries.  Enquiries to joecushnan@aol.com

The chef he cooked a stew on the coldest winter’s day,
The chef he cooked a stew he called a cassoulet,
The chef he cooked a stew with lots of ingredients,
All sorts of stuff that sounded weird not making any sense.
He peeled things, he chopped things, he mashed as best he could,
He was careless and fearless about preparing fancy food.

The chef he cooked a stew with vegetables and fruits,
The chef he cooked a stew with underpants and boots,
The chef he cooked a stew with nuts and bolts and screws,
A tub of lard, a tin of paint and a pair of ballet shoes.
He whirred it, he stirred it, he shook it very hard,
Then placed it in a sunny spot outside in the yard. 


The chef he cooked a stew, he added salt and pepper,
The chef he cooked a stew and threw in Granny’s slipper,
The chef he cooked a stew with lamb and pork and beef,
Rocks and stones and old tin cans to break a diner’s teef.
He plopped it, he slopped it, he spilled some on the floor,
He splashed the cat, the cat said drat and scurried out the door.

The chef he cooked a stew and it was time to serve his guests
The chef he cooked a stew and hoped they’d be impressed,
The chef he cooked a stew and they all thought it was pretty grim,
They chased him out of town and that’s the last they saw of him.

Monday, 30 June 2014

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CUSTOM




I walk down a corridor
And into a room through a door,
Empty room but another door
That leads me to another corridor.
I walk down that corridor
And into a room through a door,
Empty room but another door
That leads me to another corridor.
I walk down that corridor
And into a room through a door,
Empty room but another door
That leads me to another corridor.
I walk down that corridor
And into a room through a door,
Empty room but another door
That leads me to another corridor.
At the end of the day my feet are sore,
Another door, another corridor,
I walk through that door with aching feet
And out of the building into the street.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

GUIDERS (CIRCA 1962)


Before we had bikes,
Before we were Raleigh riders,
We had homemade contraptions,
Death-traps called guiders.

A long plank of wood and two smaller strips,
Four assorted pram wheels,
A piece of rope for steering,
And for brakes, shoes with worn-down heels.

We took our lives in our hands,
We took risks on the downhill run,
We had accidents, there was blood
And bruises, badges of honour
To prove we were having fun.