Month: May 2016

Unseasonal Greetings

Sorry about the unseasonality of this post but I’m excited today to receive the proofs of my Christmas poetry booklet.

This is available as one of the pledge levels which accompanies my book. Other pledge levels include commemorative pipes, poetry prints, and personalised poems.

Funding for the book has now reached an incredible 193%. Unbound are making me do other things should it get to 200%, such as audio versions and a subscriber-only poem.

Hitherto, I had been labouring under the misapprehension that poets were languid, indolent types.

More info on the book is here …

https://unbound.co.uk/books/brian-bilston

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Alone Together

Alone together, for once,
I told her how I thought that –
in my unbiased opinion –
the incidence of oxymorons
in the English language
had been growing smaller.
That’s old news, she said,
adding that it had been the case
for almost exactly ten years.
Things got pretty ugly.
But this, in itself,
felt strangely normal;
for ours was
a bittersweet relationship,
a civil war
of violent agreements.
I found myself annoyingly
endeared to her
whilst she thought
my puritanical streak
seriously funny.
Our contradictions
complemented each other
perfectly.
Same difference,
I whispered loudly,
but she, with a sad smile,
after telling me how
I’d left her speechless,
went back to reading
her textbook
on business ethics.

Fighting Fit

I carefully fold so the corners will meet,
straighten the edges to make them all neat,
but deep down I know it will end in defeat;
I shall never fold correctly a fitted sheet.

I’d more likely become a top athlete,
be asked to move in to 10 Downing Street,
take notice of a Katie Hopkins tweet,
than be able to fold a fitted sheet.

The airing cupboard overflows, replete,
the rest of the room is on the retreat,
it looks like my laundry has begun to excrete,
but it is just my scrunched up fitted sheet.

Into neatness and smoothness,
it refuses to be moulded.
If this poem was a fitted sheet
this is how it would be folded:

fitted sheet

 

Penguin Awareness

I’ve been aware of penguins
since I was three
and now I think that one
has moved in with me.

The signs are everywhere:
the saltwater smell in the air,
moulted feathers on my chair,
a fish I found upon the stair,

but when I turn around
there’s no one there,
for he moves in the shadows,
like Tony Soprano.

I am forever stepping in guano.

I’m not sure why
he’s come to live with me.
There are better places
for him to be.

But, when I go to bed,
his soft heels tread
across the kitchen floor,

and I hear him open
the freezer door

and I picture him there,
thinking about the hand
that life has dealt him

and I wonder
if his heart is melting.

My Cat: A History

My cat, this ooze of fur and claws
across my lap, is currently experiencing
the eighth of her nine lives.

In 1919, while preparations
for a League of Nations
were composed, she dozed.

In 1789, Louis XVI appraised
the mob and realised his days
were numbered. My cat slumbered.

Whilst Thomas More, in 1534,
refused the Oath and paid the price,
she dreamt of catching mice.

Two hundred years before,
when across the land
the Black Death swept, she slept.

Further back, as Ptolemy
did some geometry and the world
got mapped, she napped.

When the citizens of Rome
showed their ire, Nero fiddled.
She curled up, enjoyed the fire.

Way back, in Ancient Egypt, my cat
was revered, at the top of the heap.
Didn’t really notice. She was mainly asleep.

Stuart Mould has invited you to join his professional network

I

Stuart Mould has invited you
to join his professional network.

He is wearing
a tuxedo and the smirk

of a man unfamiliar
with the concept of rejection.

Stuart Mould has four thousand
and fifty-eight connections.

Small wonder given the way
he generates

revenue
you never knew

existed. It’s all there
in his results-driven profile.

It appears he will go
the extra mile

in his position as
Customer Solutions Architect.

I don’t know why
but I click accept.

II

Stuart Mould has endorsed you for the following skills:

Marketing ✓
Leading Teams ✓
Targeting ✓
Weaving Dreams ✓

Scuba diving ✓
Semaphore ✓
Lego building ✓
Harp (Grade Four) ✓

Chess playing ✓
Home baking ✓
Soothsaying ✓
Lovemaking ✓

That’s a lot
of endorsements to get

from someone
who I have never met.

III

Stuart Mould has written you a recommendation
that you can include on your profile page.

“Bold strides this colossus in the workplace
with footsteps firm and full of flawless grace,
noble of purpose and so fair of face,
greeting PowerPoint with such fond embrace.

O Mighty Strategist! Leader Complete!
The Pivot-fabled Slayer of Spreadsheets!
Analytical Artist! Office Athlete!
Leviathan of the Corporate Elite!”

I must admit
I hesitated.

It seemed a little
overstated.

IV

Stuart Mould has invited you to join him and his family for two weeks
in their delightful villa situated near the Rio Real Golf Course,
and just ten miles from the charming, bustling city of Marbella.

I went, of course.
I’m no fool.

It had a private
swimming pool

where I, alongside
his four thousand contacts,

swam and schmoozed,
snoozed, relaxed,

after mornings
on sun-parched links,

and the clink of ice
in noon-time drinks.

We, the Professional Network
of Stuart Mould,

his corporate army,
paraded, parasoled,

a linked in, in sync
commonwealth.

I eventually met
the man himself.

He was not as bad
as I expected.

I felt I had –
at last – connected.