A final poem for National Poetry Month

Towser is waiting.

Towser is waiting.

Cruise De Luxe

Though bliss it be to grandly roam
In foreign land or sea,
The joy of joys is coming home
To domesticity.
And with content to settle down
From travel wear and tear,
With slippers, pipe and dressing-gown
In snug armchair.

When you have climbed the Pyramid,
Admired the Taj Mahal,
Beheld a bull-fight in Madrid,
Gondoled the Grand Canal,
How gleeful seems the garden patch
With blooms of bonny hue!
How Towser, when you lift the latch,
Leaps up to you.

You’ve drunk gin-slings in Singapore,
Loafed in the souks of Fez,
Sun-bathed on Capri’s silver shore.
And scaled the heights of Eze.
For travel education is,
And how you see and learn,
But, oh! the climax of your bliss
In your return!

Aye, though you comb the blasted earth
And roam the seven seas,
But when beside the quiet hearth
You cull your memories,
Then when the books and friends you love,
You’ll find in peace and rest
The end of travel is to prove
That home is best.

–Robert W Service

Published in: on April 29, 2013 at 3:45 AM  Leave a Comment  
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A final poem for National Poetry Month, Yellow, by Robert Service

Many people today think of Service as a rather shallow poet, but that’s because they haven’t read his body work. He thought about the world and its ways very profoundly. He knew and understood the human experience. There’s not a lot of that in poetry today. Too many poets, like too many artists, are so busy trying to be clever, or chic, or get noticed, they fail to realize, mundane acts and moments of life itself are often heart-breakingly intense.

 

YELLOW
Robert W. Service

 

One pearly day in early May I walked upon the sand

And saw, say half a mile away, a man with gun in hand.

A dog was cowering to his will as slow he sought to creep

Upon a dozen ducks so still they seemed to be asleep.

 

When like a streak the dog dashed out, the ducks flashed up in flight.

The fellow gave a savage shout and cursed with all his might.

Then as I stood somewhat amazed and gazed with eyes agog,

With bitter rage his gun he raised and blazed and shot the dog.

 

You know how dogs can yelp with pain;its blood soaked in the sand,

And yet it crawled to him again, and tried to lick his hand.

“Forgive me Lord for what I’ve done,” it seemed as if it said,

But once again he raised his gun — this time he shot it dead.

 

What could I do? What could I say? ‘Twas such a lonely place.

Tongue-tied I watched him stride away, I never saw his face.

I should have bawled the bastard out, a yellow dog he slew.

But worse, he proved beyond a doubt that – I was yellow too.

Published in: on April 29, 2011 at 8:08 AM  Leave a Comment  
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She whom T. S. Eliot called the “demon saleswoman of poetry”

What is poetry? Is it a mosaic
Of coloured stones which curiously are wrought
Into a pattern? Rather glass that’s taught
By patient labor any hue to take
And glowing with a sumptuous splendor, make
Beauty a thing of awe; where sunbeams caught,
Transmuted fall in sheafs of rainbows fraught
With storied meaning for religion’s sake.

Amy Lowell, “Fragment”

Of herself, she said, “God made me a businesswoman and I made myself a poet.”

Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 8:08 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Farewell, farewell! but this I tell To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!

Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.

 

–Samuel Coleridge Taylor, excerpt “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

Published in: on April 6, 2011 at 8:08 AM  Leave a Comment  
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The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees . . .

The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding–
Riding–riding–
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.

Alfred Noyes, excerpted from “The Highwayman”

Published in: on April 4, 2011 at 8:08 AM  Leave a Comment  
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It’s baaaack! National Poetry Month that is!

It’s that time of year again, when poets begin to think of making merry delights in verse for the gardens of your mind!  In case that came out to flowery for you to understand, April is National Poetry Month.

Dust off your Frost,

Polish your Goldsmith,

Frolic with Herrick,

Or just join Service and the boys

Whooping it up in the Malamute saloon!

The Malamute Saloon was the first saloon to open in Los Angeles after the repeal of prohibition.