29 February 2020

#29 Felis catus

I met a monster cat a normal cat
a great disdainful stare’s been introduced
and then you firmly knock down all my books
who hoots and scowls to keep us well away
a collar to prevent the spread of fleas
will hiss at nothing there and bite my wrist
the owl has lived here since the woods began
at night we both go slinking through the mist
because you are my favourite eerie brat
the owl must find a safer place to roost
I am a monster man a normal man
they leap from you to me like sprightly spooks
is this a feather in your litter tray
you need to tell me what you want for tea


28 February 2020

#28 - skindeep

The Bannik is a bathhouse spirit in Slavic mythology. The imagery it sparked led me to some interesting places. It's also the second sonnet in this year's cycle to (obliquely) reference Led Zeppelin...

We dig our claws so deep into each other
that life becomes an ecstasy of blood
the wordless canticle of heedless lovers
to raise a charm against the coming flood.

We prophesy in childbirth and in water,
equivocate through fantasy and pain
together we will give the world no quarter
but slide our claws under its skin again.

And when the levee breaks we flee in fire,
preferring to incinerate in style,
yet still the blazing folly of the pyre
provokes a sudden unexpected smile
some understanding born out of desire,
a whispered kiss for every lonely mile.


27 February 2020

#27 - Wait... what was the question?

This poem was supposed to be about the Chupacabra, a mythical dog-like creature sighted in countries in South and Central America, as well as parts of the United States. The poem ended up being about imposter syndrome and the limits of trying to predict the future. I don't know, go figure! Anyway, the name 'chupacabra' literally translates to 'goat sucker' - which is gross. So, there!

Don’t let the gods of fortune boss you round
(the Fates can take the piss a little bit)
disaster follows some folk in a crowd
and life can be an oyster, filled with grit.

Don’t let imposter syndrome grind you down

shrug off the jeers of “Fraud!” and “Hypocrite!”
Taking risks can lead to the profound;
there’s satisfaction popping every zit!

Uncertainty shouts in a voice so loud

to render optimism counterfeit.
Confidence, unfettered and unbound,
is like an STI. So, go! Transmit!

Ignore the voice that tells you not to fight;
it's potent as a Chupacabra's bite.*


This is a Nightjar (also called a Goat Sucker) 

*i.e. not very potent, coz Chupacabra's aren't real. Or, they're only as real as you believe them to be. A bit like imposter syndrome really. "Oh, clever! I see what you did there!"

#26 – A Matter of Interpretation

Neu: Materion Dehongli

The Gog Magogs is part of what passes for a mountain in Cambridgeshire, complete with a myriad odd tales – the nomenclature is suitably confusing, considering that a) the legend to which it appears to pertain is i) based in Cornwall or Devon (to do with the legendary invasion of the Trojans to found Britannia), and ii) probably a corruption of the Welsh for “Madoc The Giant”; and b) getting some precision over which bit is Gog, which Magog, and why they’re even called that is a thankless task that Wikipedia, for one, shuns. Then we tack on the whole Biblical thing about who even Gog and Magog are supposed to have been/ be, and three conspiracy tales later (this year’s theme has seen me visit a surprising number of them in my cryptid research and I can only imagine that the secret service agent assigned to my internet browsing history must be having a more interesting month than usual) sees me throw my hands up and pluck this mash-up from the depths of recent forays into online conversations in flexible tongues (with grateful thanks to the custodians of this particular rhyming dictionary, a ymddiheuriadau i unrhyw siaradwyr Cymraeg ma).

“The giants’ mothers came from overseas;
“Their father cast them forth for being bold.”
Their guide’s face twists, like talking of disease;
They shiver in the damp, persistent cold.

They root him out at last, curled up in sleep.
“Mound to men come forth!” they rattle, proud.
“It’s prophesied your death shall sain our keep!”
O dewch, come on, mae’n gynnar – not so loud!”

He sighs, his height unfurls, their heads reel back.
Hands tighten on their weapons, shoulders square.
Proffwydoliaeth? Nah, I’ll dodge that cac.
“You want this spot? Dim ots, I’ll move up there…”

Y Gwirionedd Hanes? Anodd iawn.
Mae’n amlwg weld nad yw ein wlad yn llawn.

– FR

Corineus or Jack? Pwy sy'n cymrawd bach hwn?

25 February 2020

#25 - The Pfeffel, The

The kishi is a two-faced demon in Angola. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. 

If you can think the mighty throne you’re sat in,
was fairly fought for, just as justly won;
if you can fool the plebs by riffing Latin,
the public schoolboy’s old sine qua non;
if you can state that Bloodline, Breeding, School,
is what keeps Britain great – and think it true;
if you just know those hallowed, ancient rules
apply to other people, not to you;
if you believe that lies and propaganda
are statesmanlike, and Kiplingesque to boot;
then Johnson, (Boris?) (Pfeffel?) Alexander –
fuck off, and suck a bag of dicks en route;
and when you make a heap of all your winnings,
remember that there ain’t a second innings.
Attribution: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwPsiSzlmbs/ 

24 February 2020

#24 - Call Me Rita

The Kraken is a legendary giant sea monster in Scandinavian folklore. In reality, it is deeply misunderstood...

Impersonating islands is my game,
according to the sombre lays of doom
my nostrils sit like caves upon the main,
enticing sailors to an icy tomb.

If that's a game, then it's not very good
who uses nostrils for nefarious ends?
Like many who have been misunderstood,
I've only ever wanted to make friends.

My list of names runs like a dreary jig
hafgufa, sea-mist, crab-fish, twisted one
but you can call me anything you dig,
as long as we have wild aquatic fun.

While fishes frolic on the foamy brine,
come waltz with me we'll have a Kraken time!


23 February 2020

#23 - I go where I please

The Beast of Gévaudan is name of a man-eating animal that terrorised south-central France in the mid-eighteenth century. Most descriptions from the period identify the beast as a large dog or wolf with 'formidable teeth and an immense tail'. These legends have influenced subsequent versions of Little Red Riding Hood, as well as stories of werewolves! Woof

Tradition states that ruin comes to those
who deviate from customary trails.
But don’t believe these cautionary tales:
injustice is a wolf in sheepish clothes.

And, luckily for me, I am no lamb:
I’ve bled and birthed and screamed my insides raw.
I am a warrior in tooth and claw;
I will not be confined for beast nor man.

“Don’t wander in the night! Don’t stay out late!
The creatures in the dark will come for you!”
I hope they come so I can demonstrate
my mastery of Judo and Kung Fu.

This is the surest of all certainties:
I am not tethered – I go where I please.