What’s the Cringiest Poem You’ve Ever Written?

“orator fits, poeta nascitor”
An orator is made, a poet is born.

Mine is less of a poem and more of a song. I am in my early 50s now, and wrote it back in those idealistic days when I was all of sixteen, thought I knew everything there was to know about the world, and when new age travellers were constantly in the news.

If you want to read something that will make you cringe even more than David Brent from ‘The Office’, you just need to take a look inside the songbook that’s been with me since the age of fifteen.

For those of you who can’t look in person, I’ve typed it up this particular corker here:

https://www.scottmartinproductions.com/pastpresenttense

Just scroll down to ‘Peace Convoy Partisans’. You won’t regret it, if only that you view your own writing more favourably.

And with that in mind, I challenge each and every one of you to fight back with an even more cringey contribution. Don’t be afraid. We’re all friends here!

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Minute Poem – ‘Upside Down’

Minute Poem

1 (8 syll) The straw that broke the roofer’s back

2 (4 syll) A roof of thatch.

3 (8 syll) With match to watch, his aerial 

4 (4 syll) Came unattached.

7 (8 syll) First mend the fault, then watch the sport.

8 (4 syll) That was his bid.

5 (8 syll) First roof, then tile, then aerial,

6 (4 syll) That’s when he slid.

9 (8 syll) He clung to life on gutter weak.

10 (4 syll) And fall he did.

2 Poems by David Gant, Brilliant!

Hopeless

The Posh Writers’ Society

comprises types of a peculiar variety

all of whom strive to impress

with their extensive vocabulary,

gleaned from a well-thumbed thesaurus.

What better way could they find to bore us?

If Wordsworth had been of limited lexicon,

and wandered lonely as a cow, would his poem

‘Daffodils’ still be being read now.

And, as for Hemingway, would the story he tolled

have had the same ring, if it had been called

‘For whom the bell dings’

I know what The Society will do with my poem.

They’ll go through it word by word.

Then, to make themselves feel superior

they’ll dismiss it as being absurd

which, according to Roget, is

another word for hopeless.

Roget and out

David Gant – February 2019


Last Post

In your pursuit of transient fame,

you care not who you hurt or shame.

From wherever it is that you choose to hide,

your fingers spread your venom far and wide.

Your airbrushed selfies on the screen,

make you look so cool, so mean.

Your words spewed out with bile,

leave no-one doubting your intention to revile.

What is it that they do to you that makes you act this way?

What makes you vent your spleen on them, every single day?

Now, this may be hard for you to take,

but we’ve just about had enough of your carping bellyache.

At last, the time has come for you to stop harping on,

so, pull out the plug, scarper and be gone.

And, when we hear the bugle’s sound,

we’ll raise our glasses and drink a toast.

Knowing that it sounds to tell us,

of your very Last Post.

David Gant    August-2018

Review of ‘Moving Times’ by Phoenix Writers

‘Moving Times’ is a book put together to celebrate the decade-long existence of the Phoenix Writers group, from Horwich Lancashire, and the contributors should be highly proud of what they’ve achieved.  

The first thing you notice is that it is a very attractive book with a simple but well-designed and effective cover. This really does the contents justice, which is something not achieved by all small press and writing group books.

As a member of three/four writing groups, I really do identify with the sentiments expressed in the book’s foreword – ‘What moves you, gets you out of bed in the morning, drives you to action? For us on a Thursday, it’s Phoenix Writers. We meet as friends, share ideas and get support and inspiration’. Yes, that’s what a strong and healthy writing group does for the usually lone creative. Such a group provides a stable and caring home for people who, by the nature of their pastime, can feel rootless and isolated. Phoenix is clearly a great base for many thoughtful and interesting writers.

This book contains just over 100 pages of stories, poetry and thoughts, and style/content-wise, there really is something for everyone. When reading a book of this type, I always begin with the poetry.

Ann Lawson’s ‘Iambic Tetrameter Rules, Okay?’ is a clever and amusing poem about the frustrations of forcing your creativity into a restrictive art form, and am sure the sentiments expressed will resonate with most poets.  With a completely different feel, ‘S is for Sharing’ is a short and life-affirming verse by Tony Nolan about all the positives in the world. This joy in living can be in short supply at times, so it’s pleasant to read regular reminders. In a similar vein, Joy Pope’s poem titled ‘Horwich Times’ made me proud to have connections with the town, and even more keen to produce my own book about Horwich – ‘a town of bustling resilience’. Kathleen Proctor’s poem, ‘Alexander, My Grandson’ is the most beautiful recollection of love for a grandchild who is ‘snuggling, nuzzling’ and ‘Chubby, chunky, comfortable’. Jeanne Waddington’s poem ‘The Contrariness of Young Love’ is about insurmountable contrasts between a young couple. It’s a regular enough subject, but the style lends it originality – ‘She’s a summer’s evening, he’s a cloudy day.’

The stories are also lovely to read and insightful. Bernie Jordan’s story ‘Time Moves’ begins this collection with a vivid recollection of a moment in the life of a crane and a railway bridge at Lostock station. 

‘Turning Left,’ Janet Lewison’s unpretentiously written tale, immediately drew me in with its endearing dialogue about a woman who ends up in a hired home that comes with its own snazzy car. She is changing her life, and the Cobra she now drives provides its own form of liberation.

‘Newfoundland’ by Elaine Hamilton is a short but lovely tale of boats, and it really conjured up a misty and weird atmosphere.

‘Going to Waste’ (by Dotty Snelson) is one of the longer pieces in the book, about recycling, hoarding, skip-diving and the make-do-and-mend ideology of a man, Gordon, his wife Sheila, and their personal tragedy. I really enjoyed this touching story.  

Barbara Oldham’s story ‘Stolen Bikes’ was about that very subject – or was it? Reading it, you really get a feel for the woman behind this very witty monologue.

Terence Park’s story ‘Wild Mouse’ tells the story of Mags and Rebecca on a day out at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. They take in all the pleasures and try to defer their ride on the ‘Wild Mouse’. The characters leapt from the page, especially their dialogue.

‘What the Spider Said’ by Phil Chrimes is an insightful tale of a conversation between Boris, a spider, and Humphrey. Their conversation is simple and so endearing. Pam Hunter provides another spider-related piece of writing as she relates the tale of ‘Little Miss Muffet’ and gives the reader the story behind it. There’s a lot to learn from how fairy tales and nursery rhymes come about.

Alan Gibbs’ piece ‘It Started Well and Just Got Better’ is about a campervan trip to Mull to view white-tailed eagles. This gorgeous personal recollection was good to read and really encourages the reader to visit this area of the world.

Lastly. Margaret Halliday’s piece, ‘My Home is in India’ did bring a tear to my eye. Margaret passed away in March 2019, and also attending ‘Write You Are’ – another Horwich-based writing group of which I am a member. I knew Margaret’s writings well, and this appreciation of her life in India was Margaret to the core, and a lovely, though unintentional tribute to her.

Thanks, Phoenix, for this book. Greatly enjoyed!

Christmas Card Rhymes

I was asked to put together a few very simple Christmas card rhymes – with a Christian rather than a secular feel. These were what I came up with. Feel free to use them on your own Christmas cards, but do credit me!














This card is sent

This card is sent with tidings
True strength and joy it brings.
For there was born a Saviour,
For there was born a King.

Could he be my Saviour?
Could he be yours too?
The crying baby born that day
Would grow to speak the Truth.

Could he be my Saviour?
That boy, God’s gifted son?
Yes – on that day, a boy was born
Who would save everyone.


No room at the inn

No room at the inn,
But the stable was free.
The first home of a boy
Who would soon die for me.

No room at the inn,
But God’s house isn’t there.
So where is God’s house?
It is everywhere.

No room at the inn,
But my heart has room free.
And there’s room in the Church.
Both for you and for me.


A stabled lamb

An angel speaks
To shepherds, awed.
“A boy will come.
Your God. Your Lord.”

A stabled lamb.
A newborn boy.
Three wise men visit
Full of joy.

The son of God.
He has arrived.
To influence
So many lives.

A mother’s pride,
A father’s love.
A precious gift
From God above.


More than

More than – a baby born.
More than – a prophecy.
More than – God’s child on earth
More than – what eyes can see.

Love – how we live our lives.
Love – how we spend our days.
Love – how we talk to God.
Love – how we learn to pray.

‘Book of Longing’ by Leonard Cohen

This attractive book of Leonard Cohen’s poetry, prose-poems and artwork, was taken from content that first appeared on http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com.  Some became song lyrics, and many in their current form, do have that feel.  Indeed, it is these shorter and more lyrical pieces of writing that speak to me the most.  Consider stanza 7 from the poem, ‘Better’.
 
better than darkness
is darkless
which is inkier, vaster
more profound
and eerily refrigerated
filled with caves
and blinding tunnels
in which appear
beckoning dead relatives
and other religious
paraphernalia
 
Some of the poetry is bewildering and clever, and I become overly aware of how many references I don’t understand.  This is nobody’s fault but mine. The poem, ‘Fun’ is about believing in God.
It is so much fun
to believe in G-d
You must try it sometime
Try it now
and find out whether
or not
G-d wants you
to believe in Him.
 
And another short poem is called ‘Thousands’. It simply reads:
 
Out of the thousands
who are known,
or who want to be known
as poets,
maybe one or two
are genuine
and the rest are fakes,
hanging around the sacred precincts
trying to look like the real thing.
Needless to say
I am one of the fakes,
and this is my story.
 
Shorter still is ‘Sorrows of the Elderly’.
 
The old are kind.
The young are hot.
Love may be blind.
Desire is not.
 
The shorter and snappier poems appeal more to those of us who aren’t poets and aren’t that well informed either.  However, I intend to pick up this book on future occasions and attempt to understand more of what I haven’t already picked up! 

From a Dog

Hello, my name is Suzie.

I sleep on Max’s bed.
Looking at the nice view
I rest my furry head.
I see other houses,
I see lots of cars,
And when the street goes dark at night
I look at all the stars.
When I look closely in the trees
I see bright leaves and birds.
The view is very beautiful
It makes me lost for words.
I might not see a river,
I might not see a stream,
But the view from Max’s window
Is like a lovely dream.
I need to leave my writing now,
I need to go outside.
Then I’ll come back to Max’s room
And on the bed I’ll hide.
(Wuff, Wuff!)
Written by a little boy