For goodness sake, where is my train?

https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham/poem-for-a-late-running-train

Well I’ll just stand here like a lemon,
Then, shall I?
Where’s that train you promised me?
I’d really like to be on it.
I got places I need to get to
And here is not one of them.

Any old train will do.
Any old duffer chuffer diesel puffer.
Any old sad sack terribly slack
Single track clickerty clack.
Send a choo choo through
Without much Ado!
Where’s my train?

I know it’s in your jurisdiction.
It’s really not an imposition.
Your timetable should win the booker prize
Because it’s a work of fiction.
Just send a train!

I won’t name and shame your company.
But your trains head west
And your website calls you great
And the info screen says you’re late
So that means you’re great and western
And a railway.
You’re Great Western Railway.

I phoned the customer helpline.
They said, what’s your log in details?
What’s your ticket type?
Now dance for us, fat boy, dance for us.
Bark like a dog!
Woof! Woof! Woof!
A-ha ha ha ha!
(These calls may be recorded
For training purposes).

Trains that are meant to be in
After my train
Are arriving before it.
How is that even possible?
Did they fly over the top of my train?
Are they magic trains?
Zig zagging through the air like
Drunken Dragons?
I whistle, kick my heels,
I sip my bottled water,
You know, like they do in films.

Is there a fault on the train,
Are there operational difficulties?
Has the buffet car run out of casseroles?
Is there a weasel on the line?
Is there some pervy bloke pleasuring himself in the vestibule?
Or has the drivers head exploded
Because he’s been reading Will Self again?
Has the train manager got struck by lightning?
Mind you, he’s a conductor.
Whatever it is, you’re keeping it to yourself,
Just like you’ve done with the train,
The one that should be here.
But hey, stiff upper lip and all that.

I thought I heard it approaching,
But it was a chaffinch.

Ohhhhhh why me?
I just want my train.
It’s driving me insane.
I’ll change my life
I’ll never be the same again.
I’ll be nicer kinder ever so emotive
Just send along that locomotive.
Where oh where oh where’s
The train?

Oh,
Here it comes now!
Looks kind of like
A drunken hippopotamus
Shuffle shuffle
Shuffle shuffle
Take your time, love.

Scooby Doo – The Later Years

Today’s daily poem podcast imagines the later years of Fred from Scooby Doo.

<div style=”font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;”><a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham&#8221; title=”Robert Garnham” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Robert Garnham</a> · <a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham/scooby-doo-the-later-years-wav&#8221; title=”Daily Poem 13 : Scooby Doo – The Later Years” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Daily Poem 13 : Scooby Doo – The Later Years</a></div>

Playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with the Dalai Lama

I was playing Hungry Hungry Hippos
With the Dalai Lama.
He kept distracting me,
Manually manipulating the plastic balls
Out into the gaping hippo mouth.
His gaping hippo.
The red one.
What a wanker.

The cheap plastic rattles
With frenetic energy.
He’s winning.
He’s obliterating me.
The hunger to win
Comes from within,
He said.
And desire without hunger is meaningless.
And you are going down, my son,
You are going down!

His hands a blur,
His lightning reflexes,
Nimble and quick and precise,
And me?
I shouldn’t have had that
Sausage and egg mcmuffin.
I shouldn’t have had that
Chicken mayonnaise bap.
I shouldn’t have had that
Scone.

Before the game had even started
He’s turned on the table lamp,
The ceiling light, the bedside lamp,
The fluorescent bulb in the kitchen,
He’s turned them all on.
It’s all about enlightenment, he’d said.

He’s winning, the bastard is winning!
Yet still he gets a rockhopper penguin
To stand there and fart
Trying to put me off.
Farting penguin farting penguin
Pungent pungent
Farting penguin,
Geez, that’s rife!

Perhaps he’s not the Dalai Lama at all.
Perhaps he’s called Steve.
But no one called Steve
Can play the way he plays.
He’s a Hungry Hungry Hippo virtuoso,
He lights up the room,
The plastic balls zoom,
Tick, tick, tick, tick, boom!

Oh for goodness sake
Now he’s playing one handed,
Showboating,
The little plastic balls
Drawn to the gaping mouth of his
Cartoon hippo
With an eerie inexorability.
Jesus Christ!
He yells.
I mean, Buddha.

He’s not aiming at all,
There’s no strategy,
He’s just going for it,
But it’s working,
Even the farting penguin is smirking,
And me?

I can feel the hope draining,
My fingers are straining,
There’s four balls remaining,
Three now, the tosser
Has got another one,
This long show ceased to be fun,
I can feel every part of me
Starting to come undone
And now of all those balls,
There’s only one.

But he wants it,
The Dalai Lama wants it,
He clicks his fingers and in lumber
Four giant pandas,
Who lift up the table at his end,
And tilt
The last ball,
Gom!
Straight into the gaping mouth of his
Hungry Hungry Hungry Hungry
Hungry Hungry Hippo.

Next week
Next week
Next week
I’m playing Connect Four
With the Pope.

<div style=”font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;”><a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham&#8221; title=”Robert Garnham” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Robert Garnham</a> · <a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham/playing-hungry-hungry-hippos&#8221; title=”Daily Poem 16 : Playing Hungry Hungry Hippos With the Dalai Lama.wav” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Daily Poem 16 : Playing Hungry Hungry Hippos With the Dalai Lama.wav</a></div>

A plea to the bees who keep flying through my window

There’s so much I’d get done today
My life would be so at ease
If it wasn’t for stopping every ten damn minutes
To rescue errant bees.

I sit at my desk and I start a chore
It’s the sort of thing I often does
But just as I’m really getting into it,
That’s when I hear that buzz.

It’s the hottest day of summer and the window is open
It’s cranking up to thirty degrees
And all I want to do is work unheeded
Which I can’t do with all these damn bees.

They say that they’re brainy and ever so bright
From all the flying they do about
They manage to get in to my flat so well
So why the hell cant they just fly back out?

Have they just forgotten in ten seconds flat
The route that they took to get in?
Banging on the window so angrily
It’s starting to make my head spin.

It’s there! Just look! I left it open!
All you’ve got to do is see!
You pollinate the flowers as part of a hive
Or are you a particularly stupid bee?

Glass has been in buildings now for five hundred years
Yet it seems a foreign concept to you.
I suppose in the colony in which you operate
You don’t have anything that’s see through.

So you bang in the glass and that just makes you angry
While I flap on a ladder with the paper.
If you were a humble bee secret agent
Then you’re really not much of an escaper.

I’ve got lots to do today, I haven’t got the time
Just one false move and I’ll get stung.
I try to be patient to the animal kingdom
But you really are a pain in the bum.

A poem about meditation

Poem

Every now and then I need to chill
Relax and be calm
Or so people say.
But I’m a placid fellow
And I don’t get easily stressed
And if anyone says I do
Then I’ll punch them.

Sometimes though, I get miffed
And I just want to hit a pig
With a tennis racquet
And watch it run off squealing
Through TK Maxx.
But we’ve all felt like that.
Pardon?
Yes!

A mate said I should meditate.
Meditate? Meditate!
Do you mean sit still for a bit?
(No, I mean meditate)
So it’s not just sitting there,
I can do that!
I can do bugger all
I can keep my month shut
If that’s what it is then I can do it
I can sit perfectly still
I can sit perfectly still while standing on me head.
James.
If that is your name.

He said
Concentrate on your place in the world.
I said,
You mean like when you’re queuing for the bus
And someone pushes in?
Oi, what you playing at?
Bastards, aren’t they?
Oooo, I hate it when they do that,
Honestly I do.

He said, no!
Meditate!
Just shut up for five minutes, listen.
I said, do I have to go OOM
He said, you don’t have to go OOM
I said, I went to go OOM
He said, fine, go OOM then,
Jeez, you’re hard work!

Just meditate,
Obscure the hate
Let out a sigh
And hold your head high.
Fall in to the zone
And hold your own.
I said, I’d rather hold someone else’s.
He said, that’s not helping!

Meditate, don’t say you can’t.
Think of a word and make up a chant,
A phrase which brings an instant relief
Now tell me that this chant might be.
And then I said to he:
If it hadn’t been for cotton eye joe,
I’d be married a long time ago.
Where did you come from, where did you go?
Where did you come from, cotton eye joe?
Do do do do do do do do do do!
And he said,
You’re a bastard, aren’t you?

Meditate!
Sit cross legged on the floor.
I said I can’t, the money
Keeps falling from my pockets.
He said, good,
Change must come from within.

Just meditate,
The way to mindfulness
Is to empty your head of all thoughts.
I said, how can it be both simultaneously
Full and empty at the same time?
He said, I know,
Weird isn’t it,
Though in your case
An empty mind won’t take too long.

Meditate, just meditate,
For goodness sake just meditate,
Why don’t you meditate, you
Feckless Bulbous eyed burger chomper,
Just meditate,
Why can’t you do it?
Just close your damn eyes
And bloody meditate!

I said, oooo,
Someone’s a little stressed aren’t they?
Now let’s have a nice cup of tea.

<div style=”font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;”><a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham&#8221; title=”Robert Garnham” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Robert Garnham</a> · <a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham/just-meditate-dammit-wav&#8221; title=”Daily Poem 14 : Just meditate, dammit!” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Daily Poem 14 : Just meditate, dammit!</a></div>

Aviation

Ever since I was a kid when I lived near Heathrow Airport, aircraft and aviation were a big part of my life. I’d go with my Dad to Heathrow to watch the planes take off and land. Highlight of the day would always be Concorde.

This love has stayed with me and I have flown on so many aircraft over the years, and I even took flying lessons in a little Cessna around twenty years ago. Travelling around the UK as a performance poet has allowed me to fly with a number of different airlines and aircraft types.

Naturally, over the last few years there has been a certain guilt attached to flying and maybe it’s something I won’t be doing quite so much of from now on. The environment comes first.

But it doesn’t stop me from being in love with the beauty and mystique of aviation, particularly those pioneering years. My favourite book will always be Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Wind, Sand and Stars, which I encourage anyone to read.

So here below are seven pieces which I’m very proud of, written over a five year period. I hope you like them.

And if you like what I’m doing, feel free to pop something in my virtual tip jar!

https://ko-fi.com/robertgarnham


Seaside Soul, a Poem for Paignton

Today’s daily poem podcast is a poem about the town I live in!

<div style=”font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;”><a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham&#8221; title=”Robert Garnham” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Robert Garnham</a> · <a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham/seaside-soul&#8221; title=”Daily Poem 11 : Seaside Soul” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Daily Poem 11 : Seaside Soul</a></div>

The Lighthousekeeper

Today’s poem is about a quite randy lighthousekeeper. This poem is not for the faint hearted!

<div style=”font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;”><a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham&#8221; title=”Robert Garnham” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Robert Garnham</a> · <a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham/robert-garnham-poems-trim-trim&#8221; title=”Daily Poem 10: The Lighthouse” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Daily Poem 10: The Lighthouse</a></div>

A dance poem

Give it all you’ve got

You can dance to this poem,
Throw shapes,
Take a stance
And go with it.
Give it all you’ve got.
But
I’ll have to move some of the
Words around.

And you’ll be giving it large!
Move this verse over here,
It’s like furniture,
And you’ll need room.
Flailing limbs and all that,
You might knock the full stop
Right off the end of this line

.
Is that better?

Boom. Boom.
Boom. Boom.
This poem ain’t no dancer
This poem ain’t no dive
This poem ain’t no chancer
Makes you glad to be alive.
This poem she’s got rhythm
This poem she’s got pace.
This poem she’s gyrating now
All around the place.

It’s a dance poem
Dance poem dance poem
It’s a dance dance dance dance poem
It’s a dance poem
Dance poem dance poem
It’s a dance dance dance dance poem.

(Laser flash in dry ice dreams
Lights ablaze and psychic screams!)
Let’s all go for a nice ice cream!

This poem ain’t no danger
This poem she’s got soul
This poem is a ticket machine
It really takes its toll.
This poem she’s so classy
This poem is so cute
This poem is so cheeky
And something of a brute

It’s a dance poem
Dance poem dance poem
It’s a dance dance dance dance poem
It’s a dance poem
Dance poem dance poem
It’s a dance dance dance dance poem.

(Laser flash in dry ice dreams
Lights ablaze and psychic screams!)

Give it all you’ve got.
It’s a dance poem.
Wordsworth did it nightly
It’s a dance poem.
Byron bopping to the beat
It’s playing on repeat
Shakespeare was the coolest cat
Shouting in the street
It’s a dance poem.

It’s a dance poem
It’s a dance poem
(Getting quieter now)
Dance poem.
Dance poem.
Dance.

A letter to Buzz Aldrin

Hello,

Here’s today’s poem podcast and it’s a letter to the second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin. Because I know how he feels. I’m always late for the party myself. But he got there, didn’t he? He managed just as much as the other chap. Here’s a poem for you, Buzz.

<div style=”font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;”><a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham&#8221; title=”Robert Garnham” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Robert Garnham</a> · <a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham/a-letter-to-buzz-aldrin-wav&#8221; title=”Daily Poem 8 : A Letter to Buzz Aldrin” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Daily Poem 8 : A Letter to Buzz Aldrin</a></div>