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Paul Hansford Aug 13
today I bring you
no secondhand poem
no recycled emotion
only a very special offer
you cant refuse
(I wont let you)
a part used bargain
from the hearts department
not quite perfect
but its yours for nothing
do with it as you will
pause before you throw it away
(please don't throw it away)
if you don't want it now
save it for later
keep it like a lucky penny
press it with rose petals in a book
put it at the back of a drawer
take it out from time to time
and remember
or find it maybe when youre looking
for something else
and think of me and smile
(I hope youll smile)
but please don't throw it away
its bound to come in handy
even if you never use it
Paul Hansford Aug 12
Take a group of chimpanzees
used to swinging through the trees,
and sit them down at keyboards in a row;
lots of paper, lots of ink,
lots and lots of time, I think,
and what the theory says, I'm sure you know.

Yes, along with all the junk,
all the gibberish and bunk,
somewhere there'd be the full works of the Bard:
As You Like It, Cymbeline,
Richards 2 and 3, the Dream,
though Hamlet, Prince of Denmark might be hard.

But I'm sure the little blighters
would get on fine with Titus
, The Taming of  the Shrew,
The Moor of Venice (that's Othello),
the other Merchant fellow,
and Antony and Cleopatra too.

The Winter's Tale would hold no terrors,
nor The Comedy of Errors,
and Verona's Gentlemen would turn out right;
Love's Labours might be Lost,
or even Tempest-tossed,
but All's Well That Ends Well, even on Twelfth Night.

Lear, King John, and Much Ado,
Henry 4, parts 1 and 2,
Henry 5, and 6 (in three parts!), Henry 8,
Troilus, Timon, Measure for Measure,
Pericles (a neglected treasure),
and how Romeo and Juliet met their fate.

All the Sonnets and the ****
of Lucrece
(typed by an ape!),
and if they worked for ever and a day
they could fit in Julius Caesar,
that Coriolanus geezer,
the Wives of Windsor and the Scottish play.

I grew more and more excited ‒
even thought I might be knighted
if I could be the one to make it work.
But to realise my dream
I had to try a pilot scheme,
to prove I wasn't just a reckless berk.

I bought one chimp from the zoo
‒ didn't have the cash for two ‒
and gave him a typewriter, just to try
for a short while.  Well, a fortnight
was the time-scale that I thought right.
You see, I'm quite an optimistic guy.

Now, everyone who heard
of my project said, "Absurd!"
when I told them of my striking new departure.
"Teach a chimpanzee to type?
"Why, I never heard such tripe!"
Still . . . he did produce the works of Jeffrey Archer.
This is an old one of mine, which somehow strayed away from HelloPoetry. If it sounds familiar to you, you'll probably have read it before.  If it's new to you, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
  Apr 17 Paul Hansford
Tom Balch
In the warm spring sunshine looking out
over the beauty that is the Mediterranean
and with a perfect view to the Balcon
through freshly trimmed and vibrant palms
we were talking my friend and I
about the use of words and of the use of rhyme.
I could see as he spoke the signs of their pain
and the enormity of their loss, a loss that I
thankfully can not comprehend.
Within those six verses of rhyme
there is no respite, only the marking of time
and their memories of Mel, in the warm spring sunshine.
Paul Hansford Feb 11
We named you Daisy
for your white fur, because
you were "short-haired white".
Not only that,
you were not blue-eyed or orange-eyed,
but "odd-eyed white,"
one orange and one blue.

I took you to school
to show you to the children,
and they loved your strange beauty,
drew pictures of you
with their white, blue and orange crayons.

You lived as our other cats did,
tame house-cat in the day,
but free to come and go;
half-wild at night,
following your instincts,
even if they were dangerous at times.

Then, one sunny morning, as I watched
from the bedroom window,
I saw you running back home,
heading across the road, and that time
it really was dangerous,
as a car came past, exceeding the speed limit,
because in a race between speeding car
and running cat,
in the event of a tie,
the cat loses.

I ran downstairs and found you
by the gate,
warm and unmarked
but unmoving, unbreathing

Carrying you gently to the back garden,
I laid you on the ground,
preparing to dig your grave,
as Marmaduke, our tomcat, came by.
Not the father of any kittens,
but surrogate to all our females,
after a birth
he knew what to do.
He would visit briefly,
sniff the mother, sniff the kittens,
walk off, apparently unconcerned,
and a day or two later
return with a mouse for mother.
That was his function.
That’s what fathers do,
even surrogates.

Only that day there was no birth,
no kittens,
and this time . . .
he sniffed at you,
at the hole I had started digging,
and walked off
in complete puzzlement.
This time he did not know what to do.
If you're interested, you could try another, rather similar, one of mine -
  Feb 11 Paul Hansford
Tom Balch
He played in the corn fields
with friends in the summer,
fished in the lake
and climbed every tree,
he helped with the harvest
as did his young friends
and he helped with the lambing
in those warm days of spring;
Such were his memories
of youth and of fun,
sun through the tree tops
warm on his face,
haunting new visions
have now taken their place
since he took the Kings shilling
and sailed off to France.

He saw lifeless black eyes
glazed in ashen white faces,
snow that was blood stained
and limbs that were dripping,
he shed stinging tears
for those no longer living
and he searched for the answers
that were never forth coming;
He heard screams from the dying
their lungs gas corrupted,
murmurs and mumblings
under clouds of confusion,
he heard rats in a frenzy
amid men decomposing  
and he searched for the reasons
that no one could give him.

He now bathes in warm sunshine
from a seat in the garden,
blanket hangs loose
where his legs used to be,
he knows not the faces
knows not their names,
he exists in the present
his mind knows not the past;
Not one single visitor
in all of these years,
to the staff he is Harry
the old soldier,the Dear,
they wash him, they shave him
and launder his clothes,
wheel him out in the sunshine
he loves watching the birds.
Paul Hansford Oct 2018
Have you noticed how people are always quoting
England’s greatest playwright and poet?
Oh, it’s not just the “such sweet sorrow”
Romeo spoke of so eloquently to his Juliet,
yet “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
stays in the memory as much as Portia’s “quality of mercy,”
Caesar’s “Et tu, Brute”, Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” …
(2B even learn it, but do they understand it?)
and it’s more than “All the world’s a stage” that makes the language rich.
Richard III’s “My kingdom for a horse” is another he’s remembered for,
or the “Double, double, toil and trouble” of Macbeth’s witches,
which is perhaps better known than Lady M’s “Out ****** spot.”
Spot the Quote, though, after “Once more unto the breach, dear friends,”
If you don't see any rhymes here you're looking in the wrong place. The end of each line overlaps / rhymes with the beginning of the next. (POET / OH IT; sorROW / ROmeo; TO BE / 2B; etc.).
Paul Hansford Oct 2018
I’ve done it,
A new kind of verse,
All by counting syllables.
The lines all have odd numbers of them.
One, three, five, seven and nine,
Then back down to one.
Just like this,

Paul Verlaine,
Famous French poet,
Claimed there was more music in
Lines with odd numbers of syllables.
I can’t say if he was right.
Is there music in
This simple

Number three
In my collection
Of syllable-counted verse.
They are not really too difficult.
So now what shall I call them?
That is the question,
As Hamlet

Make it a Greek word.
Now what’s Greek for forty-one?
E n a k a i s a r a n d a s y l l a b i c s.
That is what I can call them.
Such an easy name,
Don’t you think?

I’ll tell you.
Why don’t you try it?
Not so easy now, is it?
Can’t you think of anything at all?
Are you ready to give up?
Can’t say I blame you.
That’s all now.
As far as I know, I really invented this form, and anyone who wants to try it is welcome to have a go. I'd be pleased if you'd comment here to tell me, or message me.
Btw, enakaisaranda is Greek for forty-one, and with it having six syllables just by itself, how could I resist it?
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