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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 Nov 2018
Ready to unfold from dawn's cold grey mist,,
Accepting the light that she cannot resist.
She'll krnow to follow nature's sweet path,
To reveal the beauty that only she hath

A spiral of petals that twist from the core,
Silky pages that open in her moment, not before.
She opens with colours that call tender touch,
Who knew that a rose could hold so much?

Her petals now open, but the bud always there,
Holding her strong, yet so fragile and fair.
This was written many years ago by a girl whose name I have regrettably forgotten. At the time I was foolish enough not to realise the meaning behind it, and I added four lines to turn it into a sonnet. Later I made it into the first version of Bee-Man and, after another long time, to the (currently final) Bee-Man poem. I wish I could now acknowledge the original writer.
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?
Paul Hansford Oct 2018
My ultimate ambition in life
is to be recycled. When I die
I shall not be put
with the newspapers, cardboard boxes,
plastic bottles,
and aluminium foil
into the green bin
to be collected on alternate Tuesdays
- that is not dignified
for a human,
and besides it is unhygienic.

But recycled I will be
into soil and air,
beetle, centipede and blackbird,
and the blossom
that every year comes
and fades.
I'll be back.
Paul Hansford Oct 2018
Why does the right hand get all the good jobs,
like greeting visiting dignitaries
(such a pleasure) ,
or blowing farewell kisses to the one you love
(such sweet sorrow) ,
or playing the melody while the left
has to oompah along in the bass?
Right-handers get the best adjectives too.
I mean, we’d all like to be
adroit (as the French have it) .
So why do we poor southpaws have to be
gauche or, while we’re about it, gawky?
Tactless, without grace, ungainly, awkward,
physically and socially inept, that’s us.
And Latin’s no better.
We’d like to be dextrous too.
What makes us
sinister? Was Dracula
left-handed, or something?

Even when we can hammer
or saw or paint or drive a *****
with either hand equally,
or cut the nails on both sets of fingers,
they only say we are ambi-
dextrous, which is a bit of a left-handed
compliment, treating the left
as if it were an honorary right,
as if it had no right
to be skilful
in its own right.

I suppose my left hand ought to be grateful
(in this respect) that I was not born
into a tradition where it is laid down
what each hand can do. It could have been
condemned to a lifetime
of bottom-wiping and not much else,
and becoming cack-
handed in more ways than one.
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