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Thomas Thurman May 2010
Today's just a day
That's not Valentine.
No roses, no wine.
Today's just a day
I still want to say
I'm glad that you're mine.
Today's just a day
That's not Valentine.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
So many years have passed since first you sought
the lands beyond the edges of the sky,
so many moons reflected in your eye,
(familiar newness, fear of leaving port),
since first you sought, and failed, and learned to fall,
(first hope, then cynicism, silent dread,
the countless stars, still counting overhead
the seconds to your final voyage of all...)
  and last, in glory gold and red around
  your greatest search, your final quest to know!
  yet... ashes drift, the embers cease to glow,
  and darkened life in frozen death is drowned;
and ashes on the swell are seen no more.
The silence surges. **Error 404.
Written for a server's 404 page many years ago.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
And I have nothing else to do again
But walk these halls and wish I wasn't here,
But picking berries in a country lane.
A shadow is my face, the dust my brain,
My voice is but an echo in your ear.
And I have nothing else to do again
But counting every pace to keep me sane.
Dead as I am, I've nothing else to fear.
But, picking berries in a country lane;
Within me lives the spectre of a pain,
The ache of endless summer, yesteryear,
And I have nothing else to do again
But live in memory without my chain
And walk an aimless autumn Cambridgeshire...
But picking berries in a country lane.

Each universe must reach its long refrain.
A moment all my chains must disappear
And I'll have nothing else to do again
But picking berries in a country lane.
Thomas Thurman Jun 2010
I heard there was a secret metric foot
that David knew was favoured by the Lord,
and when he penned the psalms he'd often put
this pattern the Almighty best adored
amongst the endless praise and imprecations;
unstressed, plus stressed, suffuses through his pages,
though hidden by the English of translations;
pentameters still echo down the ages.
The spondee's spurned, and has been from the start;
an anapaest's anathema, and grim.
Though trochees may be near the Maker's heart,
you'll never hear a dactyl in a hymn.
There's only one the Lord thinks worth a ****:
the sacred, the unchangeable iamb.
I must get back into writing serious things again.
Thomas Thurman Apr 2011
The ones who breathe below the wave
have tales of how I should behave,
but should I sing, or comb my hair
when sleeping deeply in my grave?

There, deep within the murky green
I dreamed a man I've never seen
with trousers rolled and fading hair.
I offered him a nectarine.

Oh, does he take it? Will he eat?
I long to weep upon his feet
and wipe them with my golden hair.
He fades, and we shall never meet.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
Naught but a moon of purple
the naked hills along;
the voice of the ancient river
filling the vale with song.
This is my own translation of one of my favourite poems, *Atgof* by Hedd Wyn (1887-1917).  The original is at .
Thomas Thurman May 2010
Among those born as humans on the earth
within their mind the mirrored planet lies:
the universe contained behind their eyes,
more tangible with every day since birth.
Within, each place you love is held for you
perfected; every friendship dwells therein;
and if you dare, a thousand tales begin,
and if you close your eyes you'll see it's true.
    Within that place a forest lies, more real
    than all on earth, and all you count as dear,
    wherever they may be, you'll find them here,
    just as in life of sight, of sound, of feel;
there you and I will stay, and always be:
and when you need a hug, come visit me.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
Here as I sit and number pretty jewels,
the colours small and shining as they stand
arrayed or strewn, in lines as though unplanned
and re-repeating words of other fools
anew, to show my more pedestrian mind
reminders that I still can think anew,
just on a whim I look across to you
and in your eyes and on your page I find
eternity, infinity on earth,
the rainbow stretched to where the planet ends
the thunderstorms themselves your willing friends,
the rains that drown the land to bring its birth...
my petty counters fade: your rain transforms,
and so I ask to share your thunderstorms.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
The world's so queer, and yet you show surprise
to find him solid in the midday light.
He looks at you with strangely laughing eyes.
You told yourself you're sure to recognise
the green-clad arms, the ring upon the right;
the world's so queer, and yet you show surprise?
His name won't pass your lips. You know... those guys.
You know his name. At least you think you might.
He looks at you with strangely laughing eyes.
The happy folk? And after many tries
you force a smile, a single smile, polite.
"The world's so queer, and yet you show surprise...
You've seen me here before, contrariwise;
You can't pretend you don't recall the sight."
He looks at you with strangely laughing eyes.
(Your sister's outer clothing all of lies.)
(Your brother was a changeling in the night.)
The world's so queer, and yet you show surprise.
He looks at you with strangely laughing eyes.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
This wall you build around angelic things
to keep their halos shiny-bright, instead
you'll never hear the sound of downy wings.

These Precious Moments smiles and wedding-rings
(for mixed-*** couples only), when they wed,
this airtight wall around angelic things,

a thousand miles from where a seraph sings
God's love for hated folk and underfed;
you'll never hear the sound of downy wings

unless you break the prejudice that brings
the boundary where angels fear to tread,
this airtight wall around angelic things

that shutters out angelic visitings,
or when you too are dying on your bed
you'll never hear the sound of downy wings.

you never know with whom they'll break their bread,
or so the writer to the Hebrews said;
This wall you build around angelic things
Will never hear the sound of downy wings.
written as a response to a thought-provoking blog post by Thomas Bushnell, BSG :
Thomas Thurman May 2010
As I love you anew
for the rest of my life,
I haven't a clue
(as I love you anew)
what other folks do
without you for a wife;
as I love you anew
for the rest of my life.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
If life should ever leave you left behind
just take a holiday. I'll stay with you
within a small hotel I call my mind.

A quieter place to stay you'd never find.
I'm hoping you'll remember what to do
if life should ever leave you left behind;

remember me, if you should be so kind.
And though I sometimes decorate in blue
within a small hotel I call my mind,

in every room I've written and I've signed
a note reminding you my love is true,
if life should ever leave you left behind;

and every evening finds us intertwined;
and every morning finds the bed as new
within a small hotel I call my mind.

A week becomes a century or two;
and when you're checking out, I'll follow too.
If life should ever leave you left behind
within a small hotel I call my mind.
Written for my partner while six thousand miles away on business.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
As the drawing shall tell
and the paper responds,
some enchantment just fell,
as the drawing shall tell...
in a paper for spell
with your pencils as wands,
as the drawing shall tell
and the paper responds.
Thomas Thurman Nov 2010
Go north. Go east.  Get lamp.  Get food.  Get key.
Get sword.  Examine sword.  It's glowing blue.
Say "plugh".  You watch the world around you flee.
You're standing near a boulder marked "Y2".
Put Auntie's thing in bag.  It doesn't fit.
(By Infocom.  Wherever games are sold.)
Such antics are the price for us to sit
where Thorin sits and sings about his gold.

You're standing west of house again.  You see:
a robot and a door.  The door sees: you.
You're carrying some fluff, some shades, no tea;
Be careful.  You'll be eaten by a grue.
Oh, now you've gone and fallen in a pit.
You're carrying as much as you can hold.
In Bedquilt.  You see shadows through the slit,
where Thorin sits and sings about his gold.

But Activision's little shopping spree
had turned the world to wanting something new.
It's sad, but still, I think we'd all agree
the Z-machine's demise was overdue.
The day when all the world went sixteen-bit
the era died.  I think they broke the mould
when pictures took the place of words and wit,
where Thorin sits and sings about his gold.

Prince of the numbers, worlds have watched you knit
the memories of processors of old;
you've made a better planet, I submit,
where Thorin sits and sings about his gold.
Another failed attempt at a ballade: it should be ababbcbc, not ababcdcd.  Still, it might amuse some of you.
Thomas Thurman Jun 2010
Because I could not wire a Plug,
It wired itself to me.
The carriage held but just ourselves,
And Electricity.

We passed the school, where children strove
To gain some erudition,
Ah! what a shame I did not learn
To be an Electrician.

For who would think a wire called live
The life of humans halts?
My wiring style contains, I fear,
Two hundred forty faults.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet
We drive for all we're worth;
The eternal heavens seem so live;
So neutral seemed the earth.
I think Emily Dickinson's "Death" demonstrates that the common metre can make even the best metaphor sound trite.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
Before the sun begins to set
we'll share another cup of tea;
the kettle's never settled yet
before the sun begins to set,
and every morning since we met
you've shared your joyful life with me;
before the sun begins to set
we'll share another cup of tea.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
Your poetry holds picnics in the places
where some would say that words should never go;
there's strange delight in passing through those spaces
where nouns are tame and verbs are safe to know
to kingdoms where you colour past the lines,
where adjectives and adverbs long to tread—
the other side of “do not enter” signs
where rulers cannot reach the words you said.
    Yet nothing's for the sake of mere transgression:
    your words below, your metaphors above,
    with every part of speech in your possession
    together make a verbal kind of love;
conceiving thought anew, and giving birth
to cast and recreate the very earth.
For Carmen Machado, who is the sort of person poetry should be written for.
Thomas Thurman Aug 2011
Perhaps we lived a night and day away
and never knew the other one was breathing
and so we saw the sunrise stained with grey
but never fully realised we were grieving;
perhaps our eyes or bodies might have met
when on the Northern Line, or on a plane,
and left us cursed, unable to forget
and nursing till our death a treasured pain;
perhaps you read my story in a book,
how I'd been dust these seven hundred years,
the dreams I'd dreamt of you, and how it took
a dozen books to hope to reach your ears;
perhaps the Lord had mercy on us; hence
this coinciding's no coincidence.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
When good hot tea
Encountered cream;
When passioned truth
Met passioned dream;
When all the sky
Met all the sea...
And I met Katie;
She met me.

When good fried fish
First met with chips;
When longing lips
Encountered lips;
When squirrel once
Met silver fir...
Katie met me.
I met her.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
I see for miles, yet all upon my sight
outside my carriage are the endless seas,
the shifting clouds of fog, the tops of trees
that rock a simple path through poisoned white.
And at their feet, some sodden deep in mire?
Some sunk Atlantis sleeping 'neath the weight?
or but a borough innocent of hate,
Not well in hearts, but dead of hope and fire?
A dormitory town?  Or have you died?
Though built by stone, your pulse is nearly lost;
though faint your breath, your bridge is still uncrossed:
return before you reach the other side...
O land so drowned in dreams beyond a doubt
dissolve your heartfelt fog, or be spat out.
December 1996, south Hertfordshire.

I liked this more when I wrote it than I do now.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
This scent, semi-sour
Of the daffodils four
Holds time in its power.
This scent, semi-sour:
There must come an hour
I'll sense it no more:
This scent, semi-sour
Of the daffodils four.
The problem with this triolet when written down is the visual confusion between "sour" and "four".  It works better spoken.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
Dear Sir: This application form,
from one potential employee,
will tell you how I should perform.
I have a first-class BSc,
ten years of writing ANSI C,
some Java; Perl with DBI;
and tendencies to wander free
and gaze, all wordless, at the sky.

I know perhaps it's not the norm
to mention this on one's CV.
I wonder if you'd just transform
the job I'm asking for, to be
not writing code, but poetry.
Do ask your boss. It's worth a try.
He'd sing, himself, when he was three,
and gaze, all wordless, at the sky.

I'd stay till ten beneath a warm
duvet, and then I'd climb a tree,
my face upheld towards the storm,
or paddle barefoot in the sea.
Perhaps a friend comes round for tea.
Perhaps among the corn we'd lie
in silent solidarity
and gaze, all wordless, at the sky.

Sir, I enclose an S.A.E.
I wonder if you might reply
and leave your desk to run with me,
and gaze, all wordless, at the sky.
For the benefit of any HR managers reading, I would like to explain that this is not entirely autobiographical.
Thomas Thurman Jun 2010
When I am old, as owned by wrinkled skin,
and not by thought, since I'm already old,
do not kowtow to what you see. Within
the wrinkled skin's a child of three years old,
a teenager in terror of his sin,
a twenty-two year old in love, an old
and bitter fool, whose inspiration's thin;
when I am full of tales, and sick, and old,
do not kowtow to old and wrinkled skin.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
I have a dream I almost dare— to tell
a spell, a tale to share,
binding words into a snare,
but I find there's nothing there.
Englynion are a staple of Welsh poetry, but are rarely seen in English.  (This isn't a particularly good example of the form: it breaks some conventions about end-of-line stress, which are easier kept in Welsh.)
Thomas Thurman May 2010
Wherever on this earth I roam
a pair of deities are found:
Great Eos, goddess of the dawn,
Cornipsis, god of traffic sound.

In yet another far hotel
the moment when the curtain's drawn
there to my eyes she manifests,
Great Eos, goddess of the dawn.

When lost again in foreign streets
I hear his comfort all around
as constant as when I was born,
Cornipsis, god of traffic sound.

Great Eos feeds the world its light,
a world Cornipsis fast destroys.
In every land they turn their trade,
the gods of dawn and traffic noise.
"And one day, out of Heaven knows what material, he spun the beast a wonderful name, and from that moment it grew into a god and a religion." -- Saki
Thomas Thurman May 2010
Where poets tell about a Fin,
her mind is where adventures are.
Adventurers may well begin,
where poets tell about a Fin,
to seek, to find, to stand within
the sunlight of her burning star;
where poets tell about a Fin.
Her mind is where adventures are.
Fin is my muse, and the love of my life.
Thomas Thurman Aug 2010
I knew an undergraduate at college
who spent his days asleep, or drinking beer;
he never needed academic knowledge
until the day of reckoning drew near,
when, as he found his time was growing short,
he’d borrow books, or photocopy them,
and, downing frantic coffee by the quart,
he’d burn the midnight oil, till five a.m.
It puzzles me a little when I find
the ones who press conversion at the end
expecting atheists to change their mind
in panic, like our coffee-drinking friend,
with fingers crossed and hoping for the best
in case this life’s continuously assessed.
Written impromptu as a comment on a sonnet by Roz Kaveney. ( )
Thomas Thurman May 2010
Llywelyn, looking down with glee — to see
the sea that the country
from Edward's domain cuts free.
The coastline of Cilmeri.
An englyn for Bethan, who had to travel through the floods.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
For all the words I mean to say
that I can squeeze inside a book...
I've written them, another day.
For all the words I mean to say
I'll say them in another way
and give my love a second look
for all the words I mean to say
that I can squeeze inside a book.
Impromptu, written on the flyleaf of my sweetheart's chapbook.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
When your creator took her crayon box
That day she thought to draw you all alive,
She found a certain green to sketch your locks,
Another green to show you grow, you thrive;
A green of richest thought unlimited,
A green to match the green of your creation,
A green to go, to boldly forge ahead,
A green for lands of peaceful meditation;
  The Greene King, standing proud with all his queens,
  Jack-in-the-green, surrounded by his trees;
  A thousand other shades of other greens;
  The greenness of the deepness of the seas;
And I, I fall and marvel at the light,
A million greens, like fireworks in the night.

That day she thought to draw you all alive
She drew your outline, sketched you, and refined
And shaped your eyes, that surely saw arrive
The laughing people in the frame behind,
The humans, dogs and kittens, trailing plants,
Who fill your background; all you love are here
Around you in the middle of the dance,
And as you watch, still more of them appear
  Beyond your face within the frame advancing
  Children and relatives and loves and friends
  Holding their merry hands in merry dancing
  Extending off beyond the picture's ends;
I know your other folk would say the same:
It's such an honour dancing in your frame.

She found a certain green to sketch your locks,
A deeper green, a perfect green attaining;
And now another from her crayon-stocks;
Refreshing and repeating what's remaining:
She bleaches it and tries another shade
Then leaves it for a while and grows it out,
Returns it to the colours that she made
Begins to work again, and turns about;
  And why this careful labour to provide you
  With perfect colours captured in your hair?
  She knows your colours mirror what's inside you,
  Eternal greens within you everywhere;
And still beneath, the ever-growing you
Shall dye, and yet shall live with life anew.

Another green to show you grow, you thrive;
Out from the snow the snowdrop breaks in flower.
Who could have called this sleeping bulb alive?
Yet buried patiently it waits its hour,
Counting the snowflakes slowly settling
Their weight upon the heavy earth above;
One day its Winter changes to its Spring.
Who can predict the power of life and love?
  Hope that at last the final frost is dead.
  Faith that the Winter dies and Spring shall rise.
  Love for the life that up through blades has bled.
  Joy to a hundred children's waiting eyes;
For every hour it slept beneath the ground,
A thousand wondering eyes shall gather round.

A green of richest thought unlimited.
I try to say I love you every day:
I know I keep repeating things I've said.
Perhaps I'll try to phrase another way:
Suppose I counted all the money ever
From now until when Abel risked his neck
With my accountants, who were very clever,
And wrote it on a record-breaking cheque...
  It wasn't half your empathising, was it?
  Your thoughts are treasured more than bank accounts;
  The bank won't put your loving on deposit.
  And could they take it, given such amounts?
The jealousy of cash makes misers blind,
And who needs money when you have your mind?

A green to match the green of your creation!
She took her time in sketching out your features,
Shading you well, and, drawn with dedication,
You took the pen she gives to all her creatures
And set about some drawing of your own,
Filling the art with arc and line and shade,
Showing your work the care that you were shown,
And making them as well as you were made;
  And much as life your drawing hand was giving,
  Another life from deep within you drew:
  A life, not merely likeness of the living,
  So separate, yet such a part of you:
Who finds your baby-picture on the shelf
And smiles and finds you, showing you yourself.

A green to go, to boldly forge ahead,
Should shine on traffic lights for every person.
If you should find a colour in its stead
That stops you-- not an arrow for diversion,
To Edmundsbury, Hatfield and the North,
Or any other place that's worth the going--
But rather reds that block your going forth;
If traffic signals freeze your days from flowing,
  Your life is green and you deserve the green.
  And if you try to go about your day
  And greens are coming few and far between,
  And reds and ambers blare about your way:
If so, I pray your days to hold instead
All green, and never amber, never red.

A green for lands of peaceful meditation.
You call: Come stand upon my sacred ground,
Come sit and breathe the peace of contemplation,
Come feel the grass beneath, the lilies round,
Come sleep, come wake, and drink the quiet waters,
Come to the maytree, blackbird, waterfall;
Come know yourselves the planet's sons and daughters.
The people pass and pause, and still you call:
  It's waiting for you when you ask to try it:
  Peace (and the air) cannot be bought or sold.
  You'll never gain it if you try to buy it:
  It's not an asset crumpled fists can hold.
All that you have is nothing you can lose;
You stand on sacred ground. Remove your shoes.

The Greene King, standing proud with all his queens,
Guarding a land of oaks and aches and cold.
It's not a normal place, by any means,
This island of the oldest of the old,
Where bow the ancient oak and ash and thorn
In homage to a figure on a hill;
Deep in the hills where Wayland Smith was born
You stand, an English body, English still.
  For odes and age and air and ale have filled you,
  Made you their own and promised you belong;
  And since their homesick longing hasn't killed you,
  I think you'll be returning to their song;
Come, take your time, and sit and drink with me!
What say you to another cup of tea?

Jack-in-the-green, surrounded by his trees,
Had given birth to leafy life aplenty,
He'd introduced his firs by fours and threes,
And sowed his seedling cedars by the twenty;
The field was filled with trunks and twigs and roots,
The soil was sound and fertile, and the fall
Would fill the forest floor with growing shoots,
And none but Jack was there to watch it all
  Until you came to wander through this field,
  To walk within the ways within the wood;
  Your mind was brought to peace, your spirit healed,
  The forest given form and blessed as good;
Jack-in-the-green will wonder all his days:
your presence never ceases to a maze.

A thousand other shades of other greens:
"Leaf", "emerald", "sea", "bottle", off the cuff;
"Viridian" (uncertain what it means),
But there's so many. Names are not enough.
Yet, in another life, your maker might
Have picked you out among primeval glades
To work as keeper of the rainbow's light
And in another Eden name the shades;
  If so, the planet's poets will rejoice
  That, given life together with a name,
  The colours sing a stronger, clearer voice,
  And every hue will never seem the same:
Each of the shades looks loving back to you,
Its namer and the one who made it new.

The greenness of the deepness of the seas:
A home to fish of many a scaly nation.
Follow the shoals; the smallest one of these
Swims as a fishy summit of creation.
Yet every one's indebted to the shoal,
All subtle in their difference from the rest:
A fish of friends, a member of the whole,
A mix of traits, a taking of the best.
  So you and those of us you love so well
  Will grow along with other friends' increase,
  Required ingredients in the living-spell:
  Each person brings a necessary peace.
The level-headed people mix with mystics,
And both are living mixtures of holistics.

And I, I fall and marvel at the light,
This changing light that grows throughout the years,
Extinguished not by hardship nor by night
Nor foolishness nor sadness nor by tears.
When we were separated by the sea
I wished myself amidst your myriad days.
My wish was mirrored in your missing me;
Your maker joined our wishes, joined our ways;
  She placed our hands on one another's heart,
  And you and I began a lifelong learning
  Of one another, like a magic art
  Whose telling grows with every page's turning,
And holds our friendship as a growing bond
Till seventy years old, and still beyond.

A million greens, like fireworks in the night.**
I fear this sonnet never can be done.
So many colours burst upon my sight
I cannot tell the tale of every one.
But I can tell how vast excitement fills me
When all the flying sparkles fill the sky;
I want to tell the world how much it thrills me
To hold you close, reflected in your eye;
  I want to tell in all my earthly days
  And yet beyond, of what you mean to me;
  I want to say I love the myriad ways
  Of what you are and what you'll grow to be;
These counts combining made the building-blocks
When your creator took her crayon box.
Written as a Valentine's present for and about my partner, Fin.

I recorded myself reading the poem at .
Thomas Thurman May 2010
For it's late in the night
and you're heading to bed.
And I'm sure that you're right
for it's late in the night
but I wish that I might
be with you instead,
for it's late in the night
and you're heading to bed.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
When once I stop and take account of these
that God has granted me upon the earth,
the loves, the friends, the work, that charm and please
these things I count inestimable worth;
when once I stop, I learn that I am rich
beyond the dreams of emperors and kings
and light is real, and real these riches which
exceed the worth of all material things...
when thus I stop, I cannot understand
when few and feeble sunbeams cannot find
their way into that drab and dreary land,
the darkness of the middle of my mind.
yet darkness cannot take away my joy,
for night can only hide, and not destroy.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
For you are the sun
and you are the thunder.
In sunlight I run
for you are the sun
that fills me with fun
that fills me with wonder
for you are the sun
and you are the thunder.
Thomas Thurman Nov 2010
I don't intend to die, for I have much to finish first.
But if you plan my funeral, if worst should come to worst,
I want some decent hymns, some "Love Divine"s, and "Guide me, O"s.
Say masses for my soul (for I shall need them, heaven knows),
And ring a muffled quarter-peal, and preach a sermon next
("Behold, that dreamer cometh" should be given as the text),
Then draw a splendid hatchment up, proclaiming my decease.
And cast me where the lamp-post towers over Parker's Piece
That I may lie for evermore and watch the Cambridge skies...
I'll see you in the Eagle then, and stand you beer and pies.
Thomas Thurman Jun 2011
Fury said to a fish,
"I've a whim and a wish:
let us both go to war; you shall fight against me.
Come, I must make a stand:
we shall fight on the land,
and if you insist we shall fight on the sea."
Said the fish to the cat,
"The result of this spat
will be nothing but bubbles to mark where you sank."
"I'll be gun, I'll be bomb,"
said the cunning old tom,
"and I'll target my missiles and blow up your tank."
After "Fury said to a mouse..." in "Alice".
Thomas Thurman Jun 2010
I have a friend who doubles as a god.
I'd seen the tell-tale signs I can't deny
for years before I realised it was odd.

A greener grass is growing where he's trod;
his bitter is immune from running dry.
I have a friend who doubles as a god,

a silent friend, who'd smile at me and nod;
I'd known him, and his one remaining eye
for years before I realised it was odd.

You're staring at me, thinking "silly sod".
But no, it's not just him: I don't know why.
I have a friend who doubles as a god:

her flesh is stars; with storms her feet are shod;
I'd noticed she was goddess of the sky
for years before I realised it was odd.

These people give my mind a gentle ****.
"The least of these you comfort: it was I."
I'd had a friend who doubled as a god
for years before I realised it was odd.
Still working on this one. Critique and ideas are very welcome.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
Hallelujah Simpkins, Syllogism Brown,
Wandered up to Barkingside to walk around the town.
Does it make you wonder, when they ring the bell,
How they press the ***** keys and sing along as well?
Syllogism wondered so he climbed the tower to see;
Hallelujah, Simpkins said, I know that I am free.

Hallelujah Simpkins, Pendlebury Jane,
Hurried to the hospital and hurried home again.
Does it make you wonder, when they run so fast,
How they know they'll ever reach the hospital at last?
Pendlebury wondered even though she couldn't run,
Hallelujah, Simpkins said, today I have a son.

Hallelujah Simpkins, Academic Smith,
Never et an orange if they couldn't eat the pith.
Does it make you wonder, if oranges can float,
Why they catch the Underground and never catch a boat?
Academic wondered so he went and caught the train;
Hallelujah, Simpkins said, and said it once again.

Hallelujah Simpkins, Concertina Flight,
Hear the song the angels sing in Dagenham tonight!
Does it make you wonder, climbing Heaven's stair,
How you'd speak to Hallelujah Simpkins, if he's there?
Simpkins only wondered whom he followed as he soared;
Hallelujah, Simpkins said, and glory to the Lord!
Thomas Thurman Jun 2010
Here deep in the city it is always night.
As I walk each street it is always night.
The men in their mansions drink their delight.
For those in the streets it is always night.
Those in the doorways step out to fight.
They slip to where it is always night.
Each plays a game to increase his might.
Each keeps his brother where it is always night.
We laugh, and lie about the lands of light.
I still light candles where it is always night.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
Here from the hilltop down towards the dell
I'll wander till this evening, I don't care.
An afternoon all fertile with the spell
Still calling me: be still and drink the air.
And so I'll pause, and ponder as I hike,
I'll take my time before the valley floor,
And meditate, and maybe, if I like,
Climb back again and walk the path once more.
  Full twenty years I've walked this hillside trail,
  And every time it makes itself anew;
  Unveiling as I head towards the vale,
  A flower unseen, an unexpected view...
Again I lose my footing with a scream,
Fall forty feet, and drown beneath the stream.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
How sweet the name of Cthulhu sounds
In raving mystics' screams!
It drives them mad, enflames their brains,
And troubles all their dreams.

It brings insanity and dread
Into the world of men,
This world which once seemed safe and sane
Shall not make sense again.

We gaze upon thy face more dread
Than any watchful dragon;
And sing the eternal hymn to thee,
Ia ia Cthulhu fhtagn.

Cthulhu! my dead yet sleeping king,
Thy cults shall be restored,
Thy tomb shall rise to air again,
Just, r'lyeh, r'lyeh, Lord.

Weak is our twisted woodland dance
And cold our campfires cursed,
But when the stars shall rise aright,
We shall be eaten first.
Thomas Thurman Sep 2010
Oh, many bounds I've beaten well,
And many more I'll drub,
But through this maze I'll take the ways
That lead me to the pub.

Where worries may be left behind,
Where life's despair may fail,
Where peace has smiled on pints of mild
And blessed the winter ale.

Where folk may laugh, where folk may spend
A moment free from fear,
Where smiles may bless a game of chess
Beside two pints of beer.

And in my mind I see the bar,
The beers' familiar names!
The window-seat where old men meet,
Where children play their games!

Where still you'll find a Sunday lunch
On Sunday afternoon,
And God's own pie, denoted by
A number on a spoon.

Oh, many weary miles I've trod,
All filled with life's alarms,
But in my brains it still remains
My local Carlton Arms.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
I always tried to write about the light
that inks these eyes in instant tint and hue,
that chances glances, sparkles through the night,
fresh as the morning, ****** as the dew;
the light that leaves your image in my mind,
that shining silver, shared for everyone,
that banishes the darkness from the blind,
the circle of the surface of the sun.
And when your light is shining far from mine,
when scores of stars are standing at their stations,
we’ll weave our fingers round them as they shine,
and write each other’s name on constellations;
and so we’ll stand, and still, however far,
lock eyes and wish upon a single star.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
I'd write you a verse
like the moon in the dark,
like a muttering curse.
I'd write you a verse
from better to worse,
from muffled to stark,
I'd write you a verse
like the moon in the dark.
Thomas Thurman Mar 2011
How do I love thee?  In a way that's bad,
by which I mean so bad it's almost good.
I need you, and you know it drives me mad.
I want you more than any other could.
And we could write romances, you and me.
I want to hear your Hitchcock movie schtick.
I want your everything.  I hope it's free.
I want you in my window, and you're sick.
And yet you know my raving is a sign
I'd rather we were paramours than friends.
You're outlawed from the moment that you're mine
Until the day our bad romancing ends;
I'll love you in a leather-studded bra.
Rah gaga gaga roma ooh la la.
This is not the most serious sonnet ever.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
But you're clutching a script
if the world is your stage.
You've mumbled, you've slipped,
but you're clutching a script
and the binding is ripped
and you're missing a page;
but you're clutching a script
if the world is your stage.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
I heard this tale about a queen
whose anger rose against a cliff
she coloured crimson, shade unclean.
I heard this tale about a queen...
I think I'd cleanse it back, with green
and live with you beside it, if
I heard this tale about a queen
whose anger rose against a cliff.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
A dozen years, the length of feline days:
compared to human lives it may appear
the cats lose out. To be a human pays.
I think on this, and on companions dear:
Successive cats whose whiskered lives touched mine
Have lain upon my lap— do you suppose
Their tiptoe through the years is but a sign?
I measure out my life with kitten toes.

As they and I pursue the hilly ways
that fill our lives, "Beware! The end is near!"
"Your death is nigh!" or some such friendly phrase
will tell me that it's all downhill from here.
And soon the ***** more steeply will incline,
And drop away as quickly as it rose.
You trace the arc? My life is on the line:
I measure out my life with kitten toes.

Though now, my cat, we feel the sunshine's blaze—
your windowsill is warm, the skies are clear—
yet still I feel the sun's all-seeing gaze
remind me of the coming day, I fear—
the coming day I cannot feel it shine,
and on my face the smiling daisy grows.
I only have the one, where you have nine:
I measure out my life with kitten toes.

Prince, lord of cats, may endless meat be thine!
O grant that thine immortal princely doze
may evermore upon my lap recline!
I measure out my life with kitten toes.
I was challenged to write a ballade on the subject of cats' toes.  This is the result.
Thomas Thurman Jun 2010
In depths of darkness out of doors
in thunderstorms, in pouring rain,
the kisses on my mind are yours.
In depths of darkness, out of doors,
I'll bide my time until it pours
and lose myself in you again
in depths of darkness out of doors
in thunderstorms, in pouring rain.
Thomas Thurman Jun 2010
Once, a young fresher was reading the rules, and was more than perplexed at the place where they state
"All undergraduates, if they are Anglicans, must be in chapel each Sunday at eight."
Wracking his brains, he began a small rumour that spread through the town on the weekdays that followed; he
was not an Anglican, nor Nonconformist; his faith and religion was mere Heliolatry.
Saturday evening, our hero retired with a smile on his face and his bin at his door,
only to wake to a thunderous hammering, made by the porter, next morning at four.
Ah, how a little lie, told with great frequency, gains repercussions that no-one expects!
"Dawn's almost here, sir, the Chaplain expects you; go down to Main Court and you'll pay your respects."
This is no longer the rule, but it used to be.  "His bin at his door" = standard Cambridge signal that you don't want to be disturbed in the morning.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
They never told about the cold, cold morn,
the painful blue and cheery winter sky;
the friendly warm embrace of toothy yawn,
the reeking of its breath; its marble eye;
the dragon gets a mention in her tale
but just that Margaret entered its insides:
another hero trapped inside the scales,
but nothing of the dragon's life, besides.
They say the beast was Satan in a glamour,
but that's all nonsense, since the ****** matron
who made her crucifix a makeshift hammer
is ever since considered childbirth's patron;
because it gave her birth, and spared her bones,
she'd visit every week for tea and scones.
Written for an imminently expectant friend.
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