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M 'archives

I have previously had poems published in NOMAD

Something to Say, Written in Ink,The Place Within, (and included in the 2003 and 2004 Church Action on Poverty national campaign leaflets) Sonnet


Territory ©

The tragedy of war is war in action,
Fear promotes hatred and hate sheer anguish,
The travesty of peace is war's attraction.

Disruption, terror, political faction,
The young are quick to arms like schools of fish,
The tragedy of war is war in action.

Multi coloured flags dazzle in detraction,
Troops marshall to wait the governs' wish,
The travesty of peace is war's attraction.

Priests of multi faiths bless in benefaction,
Each claims their portion of holy parish,
The tragedy of war is war in action.

The blood and guts of its stupefaction,
Lost culture and worthy causes languish,
The travesty of peace is war's attraction.

At the end the refugees ejection,
All that has changed are lines of maps vanquish,
The tragedy of war, is war in action,
The travesty of peace is war's attraction

October 2004


Bliss ©

A Kiss
Not to miss
Yet please hear this
Some thing was amiss,
For puckered up lips his,
The pouting contact lacked fizz
His choice of touch, a pretty Miss,
Failed completely to do the Bizz
Put him in mind of a Liz-
ard, so failed fitness phys.
One night on the piss
Met young man Swiss
Drunk, gave kiss
Now Kris








Antelope ©

I often wonder why an antelope,
should these words in a name combine, ant and elope?
These tortured thoughts confuse my errant mind,
for is this tale for real, or just a wind,
that once an ant was looking for a dear,
to be his one sole love, to bring him cheer,
and spied a beast that seemed to him a hart,
so called to it, so might his romance start,
But she was plainly utter unimpressed,
to be by ant, so foolishly addressed,
Quoth she, I am not, moose, horse, hart nor deer,
and you my fellow are in folly here.
On the vast savannah plains I am fleet,
For you to so address is indiscreet.
So off with you before I fetch my friends,
who¹ll stamp you flat before you make amends

You may conclude from this, and may be right,
this ant was confident, but none too brght,
But tests have proved, and they were really hard,
That of his tribe he was an advanced guard
Oh beauty you who speak to me this way,
Though merest ant, please tarry and here stay.
You have won my heart with your mighty speech,
Please marry me, on knees I do beseech

Says she, On knees, it¹s hard for me to tell,
Such height of nonsense fails to impress me well,
'twould hardly be a match made in heaven,
Even if your size swelled by magic leaven.
I so sleek a filly and so haughty,
You so insignificant and naughty.
But here do not by me be disheartened

He dried tears and his appearance smartened,
I'll take you far afield to find your love,
By burning sun, pale moon and stars above

They travelled many days without success,
He on her back feeling quite depressed,
With all his goods in a tiny parcel.
Then one day spying a mighty castle,
Built of sand and earth with doors and arches,
Out of which were soldier ants on marches,
Processing the Queen Ant on a carriage.
He fell in love straight way, proposing marriage,
She whispered, Love, we must elope or stay,
As soldier ants guard me, night and day,
Never would they let me have love forsworn,
Against your bold suggestion, they would swarm

His friend, not elk, ibis, donkey or gnu,
Immediately was certain what to do.
Jump on my back I¹ll aid you to escape,
We¹ll to the coast that good old Hope of Cape,
Where you can set up home, for multitude,
And tell your offspring, when questions intrude,
How I was heroine of this love tale

Indeed you were said ant, but turning pale,
How should we name you, since you're not an ass,
Zebra, giraffe or unicorn? Sweet lass,
How shall I give my children your best name

That's easy said, the Queen Ant did proclaim,
By right of action, you have earned your scope,
From now on you will be an ant-elope




Poetry Critic ©

You may wish to butter me up in praise,

Or be the butt of jokey innuendo,

Until the but, meets its crescendo,

Doubt all I do, sounds like brash donkey brays.

Clichés dribble forth and strange inversions,

Alliteration a staccato gun,

Or phraser perpetual set to stun,

Scribble smart words in deranged perversion.

Tell it as it is, you despise my skill,

Let's not arse around, be honest for once,

You believe it's just old jotters I fill,

And if I were in school, I'd be the dunce.

But here it is, here is the pause, I Will,

Where is your art, when such poison you spill.

November 2004 Marc R. Sherland



Oblivious ©

I fear revivals of old hoary Lore,
By those, newly convinced of moral right,
And that their ancient answers are alright,
To fit the modern need with better score.
I hate they preach and try to force their way,
Like pills or bullets in the throat or head,
Blindly follow where mind-camp leaders led
on paths of black or white, but never grey.
Put Faiths in sealed boxes marked dangerous,
Not to be opened without protection,
I really don't want to seem frivolous,
And it's not my rational projection.
Where Faith has led is oft' disastrous,
Now where it aims, makes us oblivious.

November 2004






Carpe Diem ©

Dawn broke chill, on another sleepless night,
Bird chorus chirped, before this town boy slept,
And the fox scaled its werewolf yelp adept,
Refuse bins yawned anxious, in rats' moonlight.
Diesel engines rumbled ahead of breakfast,
Caterpillar treads ground down the wet road,
On the thin grass verge dew settled its load,
Peace broke its truce, a tyrant to the last.
I glance at the computer log flashing,
Through the hours catching messages sent,
Calculating time that seems slow rushing,
Not like the day time, when it seems hell bent.
Now with grey glimmer, battleship flushing,
Ready for fresh day of inane gushing.

September 2004



A Humanist Grace ©

How lucky we, who greet this food,
Plated for our anxious diet.
Consider then, I crave intrude,
Whence comes this our menu's riot.

Great chefs and cooks who toiled hard,
Patient waiters serve us well.
Now spare good thoughts from careless guard,
Sweet earth that makes our pleasure swell.

Whilst we have feast and dainty choose,
This easy whim must we examine,
Fine fare for us yet many those,
Who yearn fresh food in deep famine.

The fields of grain the orchards full,
Spices from afar generous,
The fish and meat so bountiful,
We thank fortune so envious.

So better world, might fitter live,
Our fellow kin whole globe about,
As we eat full, so should we give,
To those infirm and those without.

May 2004





Omnipotence ©

Each time I close my eyes the wave I see,
Shocking in its multi camera angles.
Yet sea before the wave, bright with spangles,
Bouncing beach ball spins spectral daunting glee.
There, see it as it crashes over walls,
A rainbow of its arc crushes downwards,
Sloshes round their ankles climbing crownwards,
Ignoring helpless grammar in their calls.
It seems foretold, its rabid sense coming,
In Atlantean myths and flailing gods,
Toppled off podiums, scattered running,
Mixed with grey clay of dredged up dismal clods.
Now they are gone, nameless tourists sunning,
I am god Tsunami, dread becoming.

January 2005

If I Were In Charge ©

If I were in charge of the Civic Fireworks,
Out in the dreich cold of November,
Bonfires stack, dwindled to smouldering shirks,
Patter-slash zigzag rain spits on embers,
A cheap burger wrapper, still clutched in hand,
Mustard, tomato sauce, face streaked with war brand.

I would ban torches, blacken car headlights,
The amber park lights would gutter and quail,
Precisely at twelve o'clock midnight,
Heck, even the national grid would fail,
Switched off, for my purpose primordial,
We would huddle with new found cordial.

Smokers would only be allowed one chance,
To light a fag off their last, in a chain,
Or spark off neighbours' in ritual dance,
With hoods pulled up like cowls and old habits again,
Never a bloom of match, on pain of death,
Nor sparklers wizzle, spoils tar black breath.

At the last peel of the old Trongate clock,
There would be sizzle and a whoosh..........a whizz,
A hiss, a gleam trail of sparkling shock,
Kaboom ! Explodes, then the sibilant fizz,
Multitudes of rockets scud, zip zing flash,
Bang like mortars spray with ethereal rash.

The scarlets like starlets virtue splatter,
Yellows like roses bloom just once, then die,
Emerald gems ring the sky then splutter,
Meteors shower white then multiply,
Scampering to blues and amber dashes,
Then clap asunder and to earth crashes.

Dry gunpowder scent and smoke descends,
A miasma of detonation burst,
All the while more missiles the blackout rends,
Vroom report, like cannon shot star-rocket nursed.
And dogs, cats, foxes wait the silent bird,
Signals riven world will no more be heard.

We'd shuffle home tired, too late for a drink,
Civic Display over, a year to wait,
Till water, music and her wicked wink,
Will swoosh in cymbal clash a thrumming fate.
But sleek from the Gorbals a final score,
Swish sparks of rebellion skywards roar.

November 2004 ©


Tied in Knots, Like a Knot of Toads ©

Knot that I don't love you,
Knot that I don't care,
Knot that I am impossible,
Knot that I eat too much,
Knot that I am cruel,
Knot that I drool,
Knot that I am horrid,
Knot that I snore,
Knot that I take you for granted,
Knot that I am greedy,
Knot that I steal the quilt,
Knot that I smell foul,
Knot that I have bad breath,
Knot that I can't drive,
Knot that I can't spell,
Knot that I don't work,
Knot that I am lazy,
Knot my bad habits,
Knot my mood swings,
Knot my education,
Knot my background,
Knot my ethnic genetics,
Knot my sleeping in,
Knot my keeping you awake,
Knot my nose picking,
Knot my nail clipping,
Knot my family,
Knot my cheap car,
Knot my untidiness,
And if knot, why knot ?
And should we, could we knot, be a knot ?
Why do we knot see, and why can we knot be,
When anyone can see,what knots has caused us knot to be.
Knot excuses, knot tedium, knot fear,
Alright if that's knot to your liking,
Just get knotted.




The Sweet Fix ©


When you searched for your silly hat and scarf,

On the topmost shelf of the hall closet,

You discovered my sneaky deposit,

Of continental vice, you had a laugh,

Tipping over my secret stash of chocs,

So now I am on my knees, scrabbling,

Foaming at the mouth, for my dabbling,

Had left few specials, so your casual knocks,

Spilled them crazy to fortune's lazy dog,

Whose wolf woofing pleasure snuffles close by,

And ignores my cries of "Don't dare" and "Just try"

Temptation wags his greedy Yuletime log.

Look how, frustrated hands hook on love hips,

I aim invective at your sorry sight,

Not foreseeing this awful nightmare plight,

And all the time the hound is licking lips.

Then poised under the telephone table,

I spy soft cream centred delight chocolate,

That has not met the mongrel's gnashing fate,

I pounce on it as quick as able,

Its teeth my fingers intermingle mix,

As dog and man's evolution crumbles,

We growl and snarl and snatch our grumbles,

As each wrestles for morsel's single fix.

Bold I produce the glory gory thing,

Leap in victory, raise it overhead,

All stuck with slavers, dust, hair, and bugs dead,

Knowing this may dire disease bring.

Still mad with triumph and with battle sweet,

I pop the thing into my muzzle's gap,

And poke my tongue into the tasty sap,

Then show my empty palms to mutt's defeat.

It slinks and slumps and takes the hump and goes,

For I won sweet scent right under its nose.


by Marc R. Sherland January 2004



Wandering Trace ©

When you are gone I seem to lose my way,

I have to lock from sight things that are sharp,

Brittle ornaments and matches spark,

Even hide words that poets have to say.

You do go often, leave me lonely here,

To contemplate your freedom and its bounds,

Then I jump at conclusions and stray sounds,

And build my passions around such fraught fear.

Today you are in another odd place,

So stuck in meditations of slick sludge,

Yearning to be with you to hold your face,

Those who have your pleasure yet bear my grudge.

I watch wet tyre tracks leave wandering trace,

And wonder that distance can faith displace.

January 2004 Marc R. Sherland




Ostrich ©

The ostrich is by a stretch the biggest bird,
An emu's big, though not as big, just take my word,
Though some claim the Jabberwock that's pure absurd,
Only in Wonderment made or occurred.
In Carols mighty aims.

It's quite an ugly bird it looks demented,
As if its thoughts are something quite tormented,
With beady eyes and beak, by freak fermented,
And brain so cranially small, cemented,
Within that skull untames.

The ostrich cannot fly it has been grounded,
No doubt for something wicked did, confounded,
So now it lumbers awkward fast dumbfounded,
How are the mighty few by them surrounded,
Stripped of their bravest names.

The ostrich has a naughty peccadillo,
For snatching fancies, such a wicked fellow,
Chasing folk who run, is certain to follow
Pecks wigs from heads, and likely then to swallow,
For indigestion maims.

It's legs bend backwards at the knee, oh how strange,
Plainly by nature's folly to so derange.
On its feet it has two claws to scrape its range,
Defend its clutch of eggs that loves' nest arrange.
From predatory claims.

The feathers of this bird are rough and coarse,
Though by fashions milliners preferred of course,
To see a hat with plumes you can guess the source
For these have a plucky tale to tell of force,
Hunters with sundry fames.

They lay eggs of the largest oval kind,
Squeezing out must feel a constipated bind,
When plops mother of an omelette left behind,
Croucheel on matted grass for incubations timed,
Or blown collections frames.

They package it now as Sunday dinner joint,
And farm it in Devon's fields with oil anoint,
No doubtl they pluck it often to make the point
like crocs and politicians we might appoint,
All are- but meat for games

july 2004

Visiting ©

Golden host howked out, on formica edge,

In cheap vase glows, bought at the iron gates,

Severed from lives, withered to their fates,

Trumpets involuntary, vision sedge.

Stalks wave helpless, in neat beds beheaded,

Denied a gilded, wilted chance to cheer,

Mown down to this feeble aura of fear,

We pass them unnoticed, frail embedded.

Reaching the fraught conclusion of our tour,

Pausing to bunch up, sit and stare forlorn,

Our friend is pleased and seeks to reassure,

For each one plucked untimely, one is born.

My gaze falls on cloudy water for cure,

I top it up to freshen; their death sure.

October 2004 Marc R. Sherland


Dance, Jig Saw. ©

All praise the remarkable chemistry,
Of molecules that wed improbable,
In primal soup, lethal, impractical,
Building chains in lucky synchronicity.
Do we perceive the anxious hands of gods,
Fiddling here, as if with mechano,
Or alchemy with spells, like Mephisto,
When mixing clays for animated clods ?
If gods there are, they do not care a whit,
Nor exercise our doubts as their concern,
Or worry at a lack of faith, not a bit,
Condemning us in furnaces to burn.
What rot, what folly, makes us want to fit,
Cosmic jigsaw, when missing pieces quit ?

January 2005



Cower Lower ©


When golden sun has scared away the cloud,

That scatters off, chased from the summer blue,

Then brilliantly screams, your love is true,

So I might bask in glories of the proud.

But when it rains our misery looms large,

The glower of your frown casts shadow down

And I am apt to think in storms I drown;

For rain beats patter, lightning builds its charge.

So I am patient, fearful of the drum,

Whose flash has warned with its electric burst,

I count long seconds still... will it come,

And by its passage know how I am cursed.

Each rumble of your temper like a gun,

Makes me cower lower, till it is done.

February 2004 Marc R. Sherland





Seal Approval, or Seal Cull-ture ©


I'm a seal, I'm a seal,

I'm a very clever seal,

I can bounce a ball on my head,

I can swim around in the sea,

Can't you see, look at me.

I'm a seal, I'm a seal,

I'm a very clever seal,

I can bounce a ball on my nose.

I can swim around in the sea,

Can't you see, look at me.

I'm a seal, I'm a seal,

I'm a very clever seal,

I can clap my flippers like this

I can swim around in the sea,

Can't you see, look at me.

I'm a seal, I'm a seal,

I'm a very clever seal,

I can catch a fish in my mouth.

I can swim around in the sea,

Can't you see, look at me.

I'm a seal, I'm a seal,

I'm a very clever seal,

I can jump for you thru hoops.

I can swim around in the sea,

Can't you see, look at me.

I'm a seal, I'm a seal,

I'm a very clever seal,

I can avoid fishermen's nets.

I can swim around in the sea,

Can't you see, look at me.

I'm a seal, I'm a seal,

I'm a very clever seal,

I can dive deep in the ocean.

I can swim around in the sea,

Can't you see, look at me.

I'm a seal, I'm a seal,

I'm a very clever seal,

I can wag my arse in your face.

I'm a SEAL !


Marc R. Sherland


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