caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
(This poem is brought to you courtesy of one too many forage enthusiasts being Wrong on the Internet about the merits of nomming on random bits of black nightshade, which totally hasn't killed them yet - how do you like them beans, Mr Fancypants So-Called Expert!?!?)

Nature's Bounty

The food we find in hedge and ditch
Is not to everybody's taste -
But still, it forms a treasure which
The Wise will hardly want to waste!

If okra you cannot afford
But mucilage be your delight,
The common mallow, much ignored,
Boils down to slime, so that's alright!

Or if the nectar of the vine
Is something that you've lately missed,
The daisy makes a kind of wine,
And that will also get you pissed.

Ah! Now the daisies drown your brain,
And mallow lubricates your guts,
On Nature's aid you call again!
(I'm sure I heard you cry out, "Nuts!")

So why's a Wimpy in my hand?
Because it's natural, right and good -
And this the Wise will understand,
'Cos I just found it in the wood!

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
(This actually, or at least oneirically, happened the other week. No sheep were harmed in the production of these Zs. May contain traces of poetic licence.)

And Dream of Sheep

I swam to surface, from the deep
And dodgy currents of a dream
Which I fell into, counting sheep
To rustle later by the gleam
Of moonlight on the haunted moor...
(The honest count was such a bore!)

...I dreamed my mafiosi kin
Had come to sponge a sandwich lunch.
They plotted sheep-related sin
While we spread peanut butter crunch
And whetted knives to carve the beef,

Who kept distracting me from what
I absolutely had to do -
To write a fairy-story, that
Would necessarily come true,
And overthrow the Government,
And crown a King who wasn't bent.

I wrote it up between the beers
And sandwiches. The sequel came,
And so I joined the mutineers
Who rose in the Republic's name!
I would have left it there and then,
But I'd already sold Book Ten...

...To daybreak's edge across the moor
I ran from fifty feral lords
Who wished to dunk me in my gore -

Since this has come of counting sheep,
I'll try a nightcap, next, for sleep!

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
(Disclaimer: This poem is a work of fiction. Any actual or fancied resemblances to real people, products, events, phenomena, or yawning voids in the very fabric of customer service are purely coincidental. I WISH!)

Waiting for Download

I buy a game, or just a tool
From someone on the internet -
And very shortly, you can bet
That I'll be flustered like a fool.

There's first the purchase to get through.
Because the checkout from the site
Is modelled on an all-in fight
With hordes of monkeys throwing poo.

At last to take my cash they deign,
And then I have to verify
That I am not a Russian spy
And promise never to complain

In case their download steals my stash
Before my promised bits arrive.
"I do!" The wires have come alive!
I'll have my program in a flash!

A big downloader! Whoop-di-do!
It upsells me the Brooklyn Bridge!
"Fuck off!" I cry - and hit the fridge
For pizza while the bits crawl through

The lines, like ants on treacle trails.
I eat the pizza, read a book,
Write twenty sonnets, catch a crook,
And fall asleep. The download fails.

I talk to umpteen helpline drones,
And do it all again, upon
The chance I knew not "Off" from "On".
Their best advice is "Roll the bones

Until by lucky chance you win!
Our server runs on MS-DOS,
And no-one knows, or gives a toss,
What kind of state it's gotten in.

"Thank you for calling!" "Thanks a lot!"
I write a script to roll the dice,
And come back home, to this advice:
"Get stuffed. We know you're just a bot!"

I take a month's vacation time,
And type in captchas all day long,
Until - this hour shall live in song! -
THE DOWNLOAD ENDS!!! And so, my rhyme

Shall end! ELEVENTY, IN LIGHTS!!111!!!!
I've got it! - Oy! What's this? "Please wait: needs to update.
Downloading: Ninety terabytes...."


My avatar called from the Moon
To say my app is starting soon.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

The Gardener's Rubaiyat

The garden's getting brambleful again.
The Rat Command has launched its Spring campaign.
I bring out my machete and my cat -
And then the clouds deliver this month's rain.

Where once were roses, now their rambling kin
Rise up to hug me, kissing cheek and chin
And leaving bloody lip-prints, which my wife
Is wont to cite as evidence of sin.

These doghouse days deserve a manly shed,
To keep my tools, and (at a pinch) my bed.
Alas! It's been co-opted for a lair
By That from which the Fighting Rats have fled.

The floods flash past, and leave but dust and drouth,
And memories of moisture in the mouth.
The Shed-Thing humps my building on its back,
And shambles off to seek the shady South.

My corky cactus tells me what to do,
And sails to seek the deserts, where it knew
A kind of loving in those five-year storms -
I storm, "Screw this!", and build a barbecue.

The slugs have found the Stella. Kenny Brown
Is chucking drunk. The Rat-King wins renown
By rustling all the grill-steaks while we row.
The cat applauds. The heavens burst. We drown.

The garden's full of brambles, bine and all.
My wife and I discuss our plans for Fall.
What beds we work on won't be out of doors!
The careful toads build ramparts on the wall.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)


I get the poems like I get the stammers.
The words won't speak - they break - I have to sing them.


Mar. 4th, 2013 06:17 pm
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)


Three tall words can stand
When three legion small deeds back 'em.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
On First Finishing Mira Grant's Newsflesh Trilogy

Seldom I've dabbled in the realms of red,
Or splashed my cricket bat with sanguine stains:
Who once the zombie genre sore disdains
Not lightly is amused by dudes undead.
At whiles attempts most valiant I'd read:
Bill Swears and Alden Bell took noble pains,
Yet none, meseems, did nosh upon my brains
Till Mira Grant scooped mine from out my head.
Then felt I like stout Rudyard Kipling when
Of all the well-worn ways to tribal lays,
He stumbled on that lost Threescore-and-Ten,
That closes hidebound books, and opens eyes
To all they asked - nor craves we read again,
But do, and do! - and cry, "When will we rise?"


Keats' original can be found here, for those unfamiliar with it. 

[ profile] wswears's Zook Country* and Alden Bell's The Reapers Are The Angels are the other good books reffed above, and indeed are the only other literary zombie-fests I have so far finished.  Not even unmentionable-smashing ninja Bennet sisters have otherwise managed to carry me along with the Brainsss Brigade.  This is probably because I get my RDA of shambly zombie goodness by 5.30 most mornings, courtesy of my trusty shaving mirror - but I digress.

For those unfamiliar with Mira Grant (alias the excellent contemporary fantasist [ profile] seanan_mcguire), what more can I say? Go on, get some read on you!

 * ETA:
Which first persuaded me that a zombie apocalypse book could also be a right good read, and in whose absence I might never have tried out the others.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

The Personal Astronomer

I always think of you as William Herschel,
The fields of heaven spread before your eyes,
And you screwed tightly to your telescope
Discovering Uranus.


(The old ones are always the best.)

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Between the frosted moor and the forging dawn

A neat bare tree stands up like a new broom.

Between me and all those three,

A ditch cuts, shallow as mirrors or deep as the sky,

A molten iron moat for today.


caper_est: The Liberty Bell strikes! (liberty)
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
I've found I can't keep re-writing this, because it gets every way worse each time, and there's nothing I really ought to change in it; so here's a few words re-posted from my comment on John Scalzi's tribute thread to the late Anne McCaffrey, one of my great influences from my early teens: -

I was twelve, and in various ways less than happy, when I first encountered Dragonflight: the start of a long literary affection, and an eye-opener in a lot of ways. Lessa was my first bookcrush, and what a crush she was: it wasn’t until much later that I stood far enough back to notice that she just happened to be the first female protagonist I’d ever met who simply pulled me straight into her viewpoint and kept me there to the last gasp of the race. What this particular character identification says about me, who knows?

This was only the start. Anne McCaffrey also introduced me to, among other things: science fantasy; dragons as I’d desired them to be since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and heart-hungry for dinosaurs; the concept and necessity of fanfiction; the powerful domestic (esp. Harper Hall) and romantic (everywhere) strains in a genre I’d always seen overwhelmingly in terms of the heroic, epic, scientific, and high-political… I can’t even go on. Today she has far less direct influence on my style and tastes than almost any of the other writers who captivated me in my personal Golden Age – but her characters still show strongly among my friendly ghosts, and there are images from those books that have scarcely dimmed on me in thirty years remembered.

Oh, aye: there goes one I shall be missing. Wind to her wings.

And here's what I wrote when I caught the bad news on Making Light. It is not as good as I'd have it, but it will have to do in the pinch.

Lessa's Last Word

"He'll shake me!" she said,
Who shook him into shaking
Their world's mean Alexander from his roost atop High Reaches –
Who shook his heart, and in the aftershock
Their age,
Their ways,
Their me - a small mean singer from an eminence of twelve,
Borne up to be, to love her, in a storm of stone-musk wings –

"He'll shake me!" she protested,
Still shivering from shaking
The wide world's tree for redfruit: new days, new flights of old
Whom she had moved to leave for after times
Their age,
Their ways,
Their selves – that small fierce vision, from a child's height and the sky's –
Spent, shivered, frozen – home, with all the wide world's price on wings!

She shook us, then.

Between our worlds seeps chill.
The breath that bore her flight up's fallen still.


Mar. 31st, 2011 10:44 am
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Booksquee!  I just acquired - free, gratis, and by unanimous and enthusiastic accord that nobody but me wanted it - a quite nicely preserved Everyman hardback of Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, Vol I.

It isn't particularly rare or financially valuable, but I've been seeing references to Reliques since I was about fourteen, and never ever have I actually seen or held a copy of it.

Inside my head, I am boinging away like Zebedee off the Magic Roundabout.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,650 words, and a wild ride which I didn't know where it was going until the very last moment.  Lord Evil temporarily discomfited; an important secondary character nearly gets her soul eaten by accident; and Flashy Elder Brother and his father most spectacularly earn a good few chapter's worth of their passage.  I do love a scene of deep unexpected horror in which the final resolution has me bursting out loud with laughter and relief!  I hope that effect will generalize to future readers...

This messes the hell about with the rest of the Garcastle scenes, though.  I'll have to tie off the business with the Duke's Relatively Okay Genius tomorrow when I've cooled down enough to think sensibly, and see how things look from there.

I also emitted a poem in a white fury triggered by semi-random recollection of the myth of Cassandra and Apollo.  I will not rehearse it here because, although I think it one of my better efforts, it is really very horrible.  But at least Cass got to be the unequivocal hero of the piece for once, and may just have landed a blow as cruel and telling as the prophetic curse the Sun-God laid on her.  Ever since my dream of St Lucy's Eve, I've been feeling even less fond of that particular gilded orc than I was previously.

Dionysus, now...

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
The BBC's carrying a story today about the Somali poet Abdirashid Omar, who is in hiding from the al-Shabaab militias after scourging them in his widely-circulated work Fatwo, or the Decree.  They would like him to recant it: he would like them to shove it. 

"A person who contradicts his own poem will never be taken [seriously] again in Somali society - something they knew because they are Somalis."

Read, read, read the full story here

My own thoughts at larger length, on my main blog here.

The author's musical recitation of the whole piece (in Somali) on YouTube is linked to from both, or you can find it directly here.  Though wholly ignorant of the language, I found it well worth the listen.

And his making and his upholding of it, well worth an honourable toast, and a few minutes' humble contemplation.


caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

August 2015

2 3 4 56 78


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 18th, 2017 01:04 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios