So, I was reading the new "Poetry Bus" Magazine yesterday (see last post) and I read the piece near the back written by Dave Lordan on rhyme. I really enjoyed it. He writes about rhyme in its widest, biggest sense and I liked the range, the open-endedness, of the piece (I urge you to read it... get the mag here... quickly now). The article reminded me how much I love rhyme... of all kinds really... but I know that, personally, I have a special fondness for the simpler stuff. There was a point in my life when I could have become an intellectual perhaps but when it came to it I just turned the other way*. I like simple things, simple pleasures, simple sounds. I guess it means some people think I'm an eejit but mostly I can live with that! And I know the argument goes that lots of people do end-rhymes badly... but then lots of people do everything badly and that doesn't stop us trying to do all those things... like sing... or cook... or have sex... or whatever!
And so... blame Dave Lordan, a little, for the poem below. I don't write much poetry just now so it feels good to work the old muscles now and again. To begin with the 'New' and 'Old" were 'New Poet' and 'Old Poet' but then I realised the subject was really wider than that and not just about poetry writing. Like so many poems this one is about all kinds of things... and there's more than a hint of Dr Seuss to it too, I think.
Everyone is the best ever
New and Old sitting by a tree,
Talking, talking, endlessly,
New barks out “How can this be?
Why is everybody ignoring me?”
Old takes a moment to serve reply,
Surveys the scene, the tree, the sky,
Finally proffers without a sigh,
“What are you saying, to whom and why?”
New is irate and loses cool,
“That should be obvious to a fool,
I'm what you need, a brand new school
Just listen to me, as a general rule.”
Old is sleepy, thirsty too,
Tired of talking, needs the loo,
Happy just to see the view,
The tree is green, the sky is blue.
But “Listen, listen, I can rhyme!
I can talk in double time!
I’m not afraid to social climb,
Everyone should hear my chime!”
New continues, into stride,
Puffed and pumped with precious pride,
“Hear the magic, I'm the guide,
Life’s exciting, what a ride!”
Old is fading, quite a sight,
Doesn’t really like to fight,
Shields the eyes to block the light,
Lies right down and breathes “goodnight”.
New is angry, loudly so,
Wails at Old “Not yet, don’t go!
Who will watch me, see me grow?
Who will tell me what you know?”
No word from Old, the soul is free,
The stories gone, so suddenly.
Too late, too late, we see the tree,
Too late, we want it endlessly.
*One of my other favourite bits of the new Bus mag is the Robert Frost 'roads' reference on page 6 ("fuck it, I'll take the bus/And that has made all the difference").