COUNTERBLAST TO SORDID STUFF

No, I don’t want to read
Your sordid secrets,
Your sick fetishes,
Exudations of your drab,
Disgusting mind.
Others may applaud you
For being so ‘frank’,
Going ga-ga over your rank,
Rotten rubbish. (If ever poems stank!)

I would rather read something sane,
Crafted from wholesome heart and brain,
Words skillfully woven,
Allusions that make us ‘think’;
Language that flows
With sensible prose.
Not the yackety-yak
Of some third-rate hack,
(Poems that actually stink!)

I have spent too much time
Scanning drivel and blather
On this doggerel poetry site.
The lines bloat like foam or lather
In a decrepit sewage plant
(Heaven help my sainted aunt!
I’ve had enough!
I cry)
I would rather die
Than read this seething stuff.

Better to be seated in a shady nook
Reading an illustrated story book.

TAN PRATONIX

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EVENING

Far off
a flight of swallows turn and
head with tinkle-bells
of carts, winding
down a country
lane towards
their distant
home.

And in the fields the women
sing, a strange sonorous
melody, sinking with
the orange sun
in slow and
steady
note.

TAN PRATONIX

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CHILL CANCER

It was when I turned the corner of the road to recovery
that you hit me,
A succession of three quick blows in the head shoulders arms ears neck…
And I went down sagging.
The sun-shining bird-singing beauty of the sweet
sucking of health which
the effervescence of red corpuscles churning
spun
To a free-flowing of life-fulness
stuck
in the sinus at the bridge of my nose, and
the slow sickening
Realisation of another mind-wrecking nerve-slashing
evil-of-all-senses
curdling the white lightness of
the enthusiasm that blows
blue horizons of wind-washed fragility
Against a smoked sunset,
cutting
the day-bright florescence to
a heart-swamping black-bludgeoning all-hating
mindlessness –
Broke me
And I sank into the unconscious of a miserable cold.

This is not the first time that
I crumbled
to the blizzard of insomniac mind-screwing,
That
tortured by steel-hot poniards of pain, racked
by the prokroustes of frigid-fire,
choke-peared
I faded;
Not the first time nor the last;
for the brutality and sloth that is in me
turns
germ-strangling virus
to the pleasure of poetic passion – an
Incomprehension of this
chill cancer that is…
O God, the leucocytes of life-love are screaming
as I struggle
to rise to my feet!

TAN PRATONIX

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BIRD-MAGIC

Where no birds breathe, bird-magic breathes
Bird-beauty, bird-spirit, bird-splendour,
And brings where no bird wings,
Wing-beats that woo me to wonder.

What do I want when a woman can warm
Bird-magic from her bosom, her womanly arms?
Her lips that are petals, her thighs that are trees,
Boughful with blossoms of softness and ease?

What is the liquid that lingers with love
In her voice? Is the music that hangs in her eyes?
The dewdrop.that dangles from finger-tip touch?
The mellifluous magic that moves me so much?

This is no bird-magic:
This is woman, who with a sweep of her hair
Sends birds bursting to wings in the air.
This is woman, whose frown
Droops dark feathers down.
This is woman; her smile, her kiss, her holding in arms,
Hold more bliss for me than bird-charms.

TAN PRATONIX

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BENEATH THE APPLE BOUGHS

Beneath the apple boughs
Autumn had stripped bare,
The scent of honey in the air
Lingered with the bees.
My love and I stood there,
Sun streaming through the trees;
I smoothed her copper hair
And kissed a velvet cheek.

Beneath the apple boughs
Time stood still a while,
And with a tender smile
Watched me and my love
Beneath the mosaic.
Her heart beat like a dove,
The flame swelled at the wick
And melted at our feet.

TAN PRATONIX

(P.S. Many decades later, I wonder if this poem is tongue-in-cheek! ~Ed. Maudlin sentiment!)

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AFRICAN RHYTHMS

It was in Ruwenzor
I found the Bashan bull,
The purple-headed mount
Was bathed in misty blue.
A monitor lizard
Was feeding on an egg,
When suddenly there swooped
An eagle like a stone,
Crushing in the mud
A portly guinea-fowl.

I saw the phoenix rise,
Its ashes swirling dust;
Pouring through a gorge
Milky-white opals.
The jungle roared in green
And ferns lept in the air;
The basilisk crept through
A crevice in the rocks,
And chameleons looked out,
Bursting into spray.

A leopard’s staring eyes
Flung upon a deer,
And savage fury torn
By hungry crocodiles.
I saw a viper creep
Through lions in the shade.
A row of parakeets
Fluttered in a wave
And stormed a gorilla
Among the luscious fruit.

I saw huge elephants
Behind a splash of fronds;
Flaming honey bees;
The hippos in the stream
Skimmed by dragonflies;
A crowd of ibises;
A galaxy of stars;
Echoing in the night
From the top there poured
A glacier of ice.

TAN PRATONIX

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A HAND REACHED OUT FROM HEAVEN

A hand reached out from heaven,
It strove to touch my head;
Then I was just eleven
And I ducked and turned and fled.

When I grew up to seventeen
I lost the light of day,
The sky of blue, the earth of green,
And strayed into the gray.

The gray was pleasing for a while;
The pleasures of twilight
Were serpents coiled with a smile
To strike with lethal bite.

I groped to escape from the fang,
I stumbled through the gloom,
Clutched at the celestial hand
And saved me from my doom.

TAN PRATONIX

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ANNIHILATION

In every drop.of blood I see
A fang, a tooth, a claw;
And all the future is to me
A cataclysmic war.

From hidden mines of jealousy,
Revenge, suspicion, hate,
Inflamed by ignorance will burst
The flames of bloody fate.

And they will annihilate all
In every corner of the earth –
And then, what next? Will we be purged
And have a better second birth?

TAN PRATONIX

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BEFORE THE STORM

The scattered leaves
shook with life
and flung the air
with swirls of dust;

swept the trees
and swayed their heads,
brushed the skies
with thick grey clouds;

layer on layer
menacing black,
moving in waves
and waves to attack;

an army rushing,
horde upon horde,
whirling and swirling
the dust on the road;

leaping and tearing,
snapping dry branches,
banging the windows
and doors;

with a lull…

the wind
holds
its breath
for the storm.

TAN PRATONIX

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A BRIEF ROMANCE

Between you and me
Is a long stretch of sea
Preventing us
From communicating with each other
Properly.

My words fly through the air
And settle here and there,
Scattered like pigeons on the sand;
And boats which swiftly sail
With messages, in hail
And storm are wrecked before they land.

Bridges were built,
But mined by currents of guilt
They totter and fall;
Reason says, ‘It’s time to part.’
But can Reason subdue Passion’s heart?
Silence, like sheets of snow, covers all.

Truly, my dear,
In the span of a year,
Love’s ardent desire,
Its glow and fire
Expire
In a bleak vale of tears.

T.P.

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