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Apr 24 · 223
Windowsill Observances.
Tommy Randell Apr 24
SCENE 1 :

To all intents & purposes She
Watches herself, looking back.
Double-gazing through
Her reflections to
Out there beyond the sill,
Where *** plants & Clematis riot.

Counting out the Quarantine
By crossing off the Saturdays.

While, on the Radio,
An English Whodunit,
Spooky with Silences,
Gets added sound FX from
The refrigerator groaning,
The Cold Tap's dripping echo.

It's a bigger question now
Whether Tuesdays ever had a purpose?

Thursday's Theatre of the Absurd
Is an accidental performance of
One Banana in the fruit bowl,
Looking for all the world
Like it might ring
So She can answer it.

The Kitchen Sill continues as a perfect setting
For Her Life, whether anyone is watching or not.

SCENE 2 :

The genius of a single
Wooden Spoon
Standing tall in an
Earthenware ***

In a kitchen of
Otherwise wall to wall
Steel and plastic
Is that,

In the hands of a
Dedicated Professional,
It becomes
The Flower
She knew He
Always meant to give.

SCENE 3 :

It's fun to imagine
How Windowsills
Can become
A Stage for The World,

How what goes on
Out there
Comes onto this
Tiled Margin to play out
Its many dramas.

Just today, for example,
She witnessed
One Lone Pine Cone
Give a Soliloquy,

Highlighting the ignominy
Of its glorious
Fibonacci Spirals
Tossed into a Bowl
Of Shells & Beach Detritus
Horse Chestnuts & Feathers,

And a Rose,
Made of curled Orange Peel,
Drying nicely and
Taking all the encores.

SCENE 4 :

There are little ***** of Coral
From an Island in the Aegean,
There are similar
***** of Sea Grass
From somewhere else.

There's a Stained Glass
English Beach Hut
She looks upon with pleasure,
On this Windowsill that serves
As Her Reminiscence Shelf.

Little Treasures sitting there
As a reminder of
Holiday Travels,
Stuff She brought back
With a Purpose
Meant to trigger Happy Times.

But, as She stands there
Doing dishes,
Awaiting Lock Down being lifted,
She can't help but
Look Beyond...
Shedding tears from tired eyes.

[To Be Continued...]

Tommy Randell 2021/02/14 - 2021/04/23
Is Love your idea of perfect happiness?
Do you deplore yourself more, or others?
Is it the trite phrases you use most you despise
Or your own hesitant silence that bothers?

Do questions like this make you crazy?
Tickbox Yes, tickbox No, tick Maybe.

Is your arrogance your greatest extravagance?
Or that lying has become your talent?
Do you like most what you like in a Man
Or is your liking for Women just balance?

Do questions like this upset you lately?
Tickbox Often, tickbox Never, tick Maybe.

Which living person do you most admire?
Who are your favourite dead artists & authors?
Is your current state of Mind like Ice or Fire
Or are your Thoughts just shadows & monsters?

Do you think of failure Not At All or Greatly?
Tickbox Both, tickbox Neither, tick Maybe.

Lastly, what is your greatest regret?
Which inanimate object would you most like to be?
What do you prefer Focaccia or Baguette?
Is it Lunch not dinner, Sauce not Gravy?

Can we access freely your microphone & screen?
Tickbox Absolutely, tick Indiscriminately, tick Willfully.

This is not a Test, you are not being defined -
We seek, only to know and not to classify.
The Data is non-personal, no outcome specified,
It will help us to help you in these more trying times.

We want to subscribe you to being Spied Upon daily -
Tickbox Yes, tickbox Of Course, tick You-can-tick-FOR-me...

Tommy Randell  -  01st April 2021
The impetus & inspiration for this was the so called PROUST Questionnaire (qv), though the Poem takes a different spin...

No-one knows for sure where the English Victorian Parlour game originated or to whom we owe it's invention but these days such lists of Questions are everywhere online and in the real World - Vanity Fair, Inside The Actors Studio, &c.
Mar 25 · 115
INVENTORY...
Tommy Randell Mar 25
I'm a man who has never quite looked after himself.
I have gaps in me teeth & random good health,
But I'm a man at peace with ALL his pieces,
The bits that comply AND the bits with caprices.

Although some days getting old IS a bit of a puzzle.
Which leg for example is joined to which muscle?
Or which arm goes first putting my coat on?
And, how only 3 Buttons can be gotten so wrong?

Is it just me or are people talking faster?
n'When did me tripping-up become such a disaster?
Why are coins so slippery and keys so awkward?
Why aren't memories just there and I have to think backwards?

Conversation has gaps while I find the right word.
My specs covered in fingerprints make everything blurred.
Walking to the Shops finds me sat in the Park
Getting my breath back, like some O.A.P. basking Shark.

In the scheme of things not a lot bothers me greatly,
But, y'know, something WILL drop off and I haven't looked lately.
Yes, when I add it all up, it is a bit of an equation,
Still, just one more decent poem is cause for celebration.

Tommy Randell. -  25th March 2021
O.A.P. is British parlance for Old Aged Pensioner.
Often used affectionately, often not.
Tommy Randell Mar 20
Most urgent, it seems to me
Is to live by the simple questions
In the face of difficult facts -
That Life is an Absolute
Never just an Act.

To be seen from afar
One has to be obvious,
To pass unnoticed
One has to be in the herd -
Even so, from afar a shout for help
Is just one leaf in a forest, falling.

I think of Words as I read them,
Not just their meaning but their sound -
Over time words are seeds
For furrowed minds. You never know
Which ones have it in them
To become a pasture.

My best work are little plantings.
Poems of hardy stock
That can stand the drought
Of not being read by nourishing eyes.
How does your garden grow?

Tommy Randell - 20th March 2021
Spring. In Lockdown.
Tommy Randell Mar 12
(Dylan & Cohen, talking together in a dream - )

"You think to lead? Lenny, you should know
There is an Art in it - to being noticed
But not being seen. To glance away
At the right moment with nothing to say
And be just the passer-by, the no-one, that day."

"The Poets of the Future are not born yet."
Cohen says, "In these locked down Days,
Prophets, like Yeats & Lorca, as always hold no sway
But lie un-sung in the furloughs!
We 2 are such Heroes, but which of us is which?"

"You don't understand, and I've followed You
From the moment I heard Marianne.
I'm sure you knew. I'm sure you were aware.
You've seen me look away, trying to be Not There,
Hearing but not Listening - Being there Not-Being.

"Success and Failure they are but Creeds
In my calculus of Thoughts and deeds.
The Art of Following is to Be,
To be the Known the Unknown needs -
Hallelujahs, Leonard will never get you Free."

In my dream, Cohen gave a gentle hinting smile
And, a piece more of the Puzzle -
"Watch the sidewalk, Friend," he advised.
"Seek out both, the Truth & the Lies.
Practice your Art, but don't take it Personal."

Tommy Randell - 12th March 2021.
Literally, a dream I had ... I left out Paul MacCartney, it got too complicated/
Mar 12 · 135
ESCAPE
Tommy Randell Mar 12
Sometimes reading my pages over
I dream I live inside a Poem.
Where my skin has memories, and
My honesty is the framework of bones.

Sometimes my words become candles
Scenting every room with their rhymes -
Music ripples through alphabetical shadows
Walls are a graffiti of favourite lines.

Friends face-time to comfort me,
Some send messages of their love.
Every full stop and pause is a fingerprint,
Actually speaking out loud is an event.

Every room of me is a verse metaphor
Each thought though unfinished endures
Walking from door to door searching
The way out is the way in I'm sure.

Tommy Randell - 11th March 2021.
Poetry is a private escape made Public
Feb 21 · 42
That Love is
Tommy Randell Feb 21
... Maybe something Poets recall nostalgically
    like the bittersweet bite of crab apples.

... Before childish lips knew kisses
    could bring flavours never dreamed.

... Icy waves forcing that indrawn gasp
    and eyes stung with sand and salt.

... Ears deluged with foaming
    terrors and turmoil, as the fingers clutch.

... The mauling and combing of water
    in total control now, without caring.

... A lesson to be learned uniquely
    how we came to know sadness in joy.

... There is more about Love to know
    than setting out to know more about Love.

... Less what happens to us in Love
    and more that Love is.


Tommy Randell   21st February 2021.
That Love exists is amazing still to me, in All its forms. I did Philosophy at University for a little while and studied, as we all did, Wittgenstein, wherein we come to face the endless uselessness of Language together with the Poetry of Language when it is used to express things that Feel, Mean, or such other Human states of Mind. Maybe Love is everything that is the case..? My old teacher Leo Lee would laugh at that for sure!
Feb 16 · 108
Edward Hopper Diatribe
Tommy Randell Feb 16
Polar opposites. Simple chaos.
Window paintings. Peopled interiors.
Windblown scarves & Naked dancers.
His voracious appetite for light.
Mexican blues on Railroad Drive. Engine 177.
Chop Suey breakfasts. Yellow rooms & Orange light.

Fruit bowl in the Barber shop window.
Have they all gone home to be lonely in private?
Silhouettes of rooftops and trees.
Blue vase on a bare stand. Drugs & Ex-Lax.
Shadowy stairwells. A man smoking, waiting.
2 in the Aisle. An Usherette in Cerulean mood.

Coal Town. 7am 1948. It is forever Stillness.
Gazing into canvas never out. Lots of folded arms.
Pleated shadows and hanging curtains.
Someone's Wife in 3/4 profile, turned away.
Pale Blue Comedians. Redhead sat on a bed.
It is the same Man painted twice in Nighthawks.


Tommy Randell. - 15th Feb 2021.
Streamed verse composed watching a YouTube discourse on Hopper's work. No-one ever mentions it is the same man painted twice in Nighthawks... Why is that? It is, it is - go see!
Feb 15 · 131
Sonnet to Indolence
Tommy Randell Feb 15
I'm an incredibly inactive person,
Even if I always say so myself.
But like all such I have to make certain
It's not contrary to others' mental health.

So, I give myself time in the mornings -
And for this I make no apologies,
Doing something starts best doing nothing,
Slowly slowly just fixes the quality -

And, I lie beneath the duvet breathing,
Drifting into a complacent sleep,
Ignoring the emails and the texting,
Working on my Induced Coma technique.

My whole life is a Sonnet to Indolence, and
This last line as such is a consequence...


Tommy Randell  -  14th February 2021
Feb 2 · 79
Long Tom's Topple
A poem is a starting point
But looked at in a certain way
Isn't everything?

Often unblinking in my sleep
Aghast at the place my writing
Has brought me

Through wide-awake eyes
My imagination sees a wasteland
Of word stacks like tower blocks

And storeys in the stacks move
Always shuffling up & down
Rippling with synonyms and rhymes

*

It is presumed some meaning
Will render itself visible
If I construct enough poems

One by one at impossible angles
So as the weight of each word
Holds the next word in place

When the whole landscape
May make sense finally but
Only as one vertical Cliff-face

A Jenga of Poems, Structures, and Towers
If you build it they WILL come but
Promise them a View from the top!

*


My life is a persistent climbing
Up pathways & screes of meaning
In a metaphoric assault

One step forward two steps back
It's nobodies fault though
So I don't take it to Heart

Nothing written is a reason for shame
Every chance you take
Every move in the game

Sometimes success becoming known
Only by the poetic tradition that
You climb it first and it's yours to name


Is writing a poem a Climb or a Descent do you Think? I'm never sure. It is often like JENGA blocks where you move things about a lot up and down the Stacks of verses and Stanzas. At the end when the whole thing is standing there, you stand back... and the bottom is the place you wanted to be BUT it still feels like you've climbed UP something. So, you stand back... waiting for it to Topple...
Feb 2 · 91
Red in Tooth and Claw
If I was an Eagle I would prey on you
And my prayer would be to take you on the wing

If you were my victim then you too would know
The certainty of the truth in being an offering.

Let my Poet's fingers bleed to the bone for you
And my choice of words metaphor your suffering

Sometimes eating grapefruit through the skin
Life finds itself making sense of shuddering

But the first to feel it is the last to know
And a Poem made of every slaughtering
Jan 31 · 243
Patient Forty-Two
Tommy Randell Jan 31
Poets are considered mad by those
Who cannot taste the words
Let alone climb such mountains.

Poets are a lost cause to thrill seekers
Who cannot embrace the falling
Naked through clouds every morning.

Poets live where breakfasts come second.
Where phones ring unanswered and
Empty pages are savannah for their buffalo.

Poets are born everyday into Lockdown
Whispering couplets into empty mirrors.
Poets are their own sharp scissors.

Poets take their medicine daily
Born to serve and play their part
Walking the quiet corridors.

Don't begrudge us, we are born to cry
Imprisoned in a petting Zoo of rhymes
Where every poem is an only child.


Tommy Randell  -- 31st January 2021
Woke up at 10 to 4 (am) had written down by 20 past... One of those poems floating in on a dream. Lucky me.
Jan 28 · 55
REFLECTION
Tommy Randell Jan 28
.
Yes
Of course
Love is still Love.
The second time around
We play that Tune again because
We love the chorus and we know the sound.
Hearts do still syncopate, though they want to beat as one,
And lines get longer in some Poems, as old Poets tend to ramble on...

In a perfect World things balance out and Love finds a sweet repose...
It sleeps in comfort, like a finger coiled lightly round a nose.
And verses fade, with eloquence and style,
Stepping backwards with a wink
And perhaps a sleepy smile,
Until, what is said is
Quite enough,
And Love
Is still
Love
.
I have observed walking across my Home beaches... Reflections stretch out longer than the things being reflected. Just as, Echoes last longer than the original sound I suppose..?

A SHAPE-POEM, then.
Tommy Randell Jan 27
The Room is draped in Silence.
The Sunlight is a 3D soup of dust.

The Page anon like every island
Waits for me to give it my trust.

A poem has but one voice distinct
And isn't a Dual-logue or a Bi-alogue.

A poem is a gesture with pen and ink
Meaningful thought made analogue.

Believing there's something I have to write
Is like an angry dragon and me with a chain saw

I always hesitate to step into the light
Imagining Ice at the moment of Thaw.

Television is watching **** through a window
Imagine being inside looking out

Poetry is one line with Sixteen to go
This poem has the Title to end all doubt...



Tommy Randell  --  January 2021
Jan 27 · 29
Poet
Tommy Randell Jan 27
He was methodical
Every day he walked
To the beach and
Selected a small pebble
Every day back home
He dropped his prize
Into a bucket by the door

Never by nature irascible.
In fact he rarely talked
His thoughts out of reach
Very much a sleeping Rebel
But every dawn in bed alone
Tossing words onto closed eyes
"What do I keep the Pebbles for?"



Tommy Randell January 2021
Jan 27 · 59
Sitting for a Portrait
Tommy Randell Jan 27
This poem is a film
About how I see myself
At an age when the body
Is no longer young -
A dormant face, hanging
And flapping like wet washing,
In a backyard which
Gets little wind
But plenty of attention
From the Pigeons.

Paint me as I am, warts and all,
Tall and visible against a wall.


This poem is an old tool box,
Neglected and cobwebbed,
Whose contents have blunted
Through inappropriate use -
Whose wood chisels
Have been chipped on stone,
Whose rusty wrenches
Have hammered home
A reluctant nail or two -
Metaphors for hate crimes almost.

Pose me in my glory days,
Show me you care, let me count the ways.


This poem is a painting
Abstract and vague -
With a blue Sun in a grey sky
Cloudy with ***** coloured stains,
Through a window without curtains
Against which a wire bed,
With no pillows or mattress,
Is a constant reminder
Of hurts that were done
And no one came to help.

Long ago I wrote with a stick in wet Sand -
See, now, how I weave gestures from my hand.


This poem is a dictionary -
An etymology
Of events linked by meaning,
In a chain of cruelties
Which make up the man,
The What & the When
Of who I am -
Of how the past can be used
As the perfect excuse, just as
Every Poet gets away with ******.

Judge me then for your judgement is justified -
I was born it seems with Guilty in my eyes.


This poem is a pool party
Held in some afterlife -
Where every bad joke
I've ever known is gathered
Together as bad taste punchlines,
With spite as the currency
Of casual conversation,
And bile is whispered
Over petit fours and Cocktailed Devils
Consumed, of course, without hesitation.

Life is a poem within a poem -
A shadow play, with no plot showing.


So, now, this poem becomes no more
Like the finished Me than my Crimes -
Over the years in lieu of flowers
I have offered humour
In difficult times -
Because that is my way,
Not to add up to much
In the scheme of things,
To present myself as a Ghost with a Pen,
A Man hobbled to his broken crutch.

Look, here, now as I press on this Page -
Are you something Better to hold my gaze?



Tommy Randell  --  1st January 2021
Jan 25 · 193
Uisce Beatha
Tommy Randell Jan 25
Now here's a toast to the Hours
Chasing the Sundial round the Day
Let the Sun shine on the Sober
Let the Present never cease to stay

If Tomorrow there are Moments
The Past comes back to haunt us
We will raise a glass together
To the Truth our Life has taught us

As Brothers none more Equal
Each giving the other Pride of Place
Sometimes not choosing Wisely
But having impeccable Taste

On the Walk of Life, the Water of Life!
Let there be no parting between us
Let us never not drink Whiskey
Let us never not be Brothers

Blood is thicker than Water
Love ages better than Beer
Brothers count Time more Truly
With Laughter and with Tears!


Tommy Randell - 26th January 2021
We had a Day's Lockdown Walk to celebrate my Brother's Retirement Birthday. Here in England that is his 66th. Socially Distanced we walked to old haunts and talked Memories & Moments. We had a drop or two. We greeted a few friends passing by doing similar strolls through what is a very empty Yorkshire Town - un-naturally so in these difficult times. We never once Hugged each other - Hard for Us! We took 2 Photos, one of Him, one of me, and  I joined them together in PhotoShop... like you do.
The Photo of us is on one of my INSTAGRAM Pages. Just copy & Paste i
the link following into your Browser header...

https://www.instagram.com/p/CKfJh-fgBCy/?igshid=29ipgk8jir0u

Uisce beatha, is the name for whiskey in Irish. From Old Irish uisce "water", and bethu "life". The equivalent in Scottish Gaelic is rendered uisge beatha.
Jan 8 · 226
Inscription...
I bought a hat which fit me
It was a hat was never worn

I loved every lass who kissed me
And had five children born

I told a lie will own me
Moment to moment to my last

I owed a debt that drove me
To regret my wasted past

I've drunk more bottles empty
Than written poems of worth

Counted friends aplenty
All cherished for their mirth

People say my Father made me
Happy the hat that finds a peg

People say my Mother braid me
Unhappy the noose that fits the head

The good I left behind me
May never see the light

Any bad which lives in memory
Is a hat was made too tight


Tommy Randell 07.01.2020
Dec 2020 · 69
The Poet Lives Two Lives
Tommy Randell Dec 2020
When days outstretch the useful hours of light
And I lie wakeful with my restless heart,
My mind unleashed goes out into the night
To walk the silver beaches in the dark.

Grey seal cough their whereabouts on the rocks.
Gulls chatter and brag raucously of fish.
Still, from sound to silence my paradox
Is to want for nothing but still to wish...

I wish for more than the peace of wild things,
I need conversation, red wine, and talk -
The warm chaos strangers and friends can bring
Keeps my mind turning all around the clock.

No I'm not one to wish Life was ideal,
Ever changing changes are my nature -
Of what use is a candle made of steel
Or Poetry lived alone on paper?

I'm a man who lives two lives with one voice .
My life with others fills me with pleasure
As my time alone is my perfect choice -
Poet and Reader balanced together.
I still feel there is work to do on this Poem. I wanted to stay in the Classic form - 10 Beats to each Line etc - but keep the tone contemporary but poetic and stylistic using Iamb/trochee/spondee etc
Dec 2020 · 99
Needle & Thread
Tommy Randell Dec 2020
Truth fits more
than where it touches
slips through neatly
and makes sense
completely

Poetry pierces
Life's patchwork together
locks moments deftly
to **** Time as a healing
uniquely
What we do often we Poets is Heal - Makeshift and patchwork though it is.
Nov 2020 · 96
Waiting for
Tommy Randell Nov 2020
You want jazz music?
Go look in your sock drawer
Where your socks are rainbows
And the harmonics bizarre.

You want to get there in style?
Always leave in the wrong direction -
You've forever been fashionably late
Why make this day an exception?

The lights outside the theatre are red,
The floods on the stage are blue,
Act1 Scene1 you are sentenced to death -
The only one in denial is you.

An incautious dose of the Truth,
A self administered reality,
Was it Jazz you wanted or Fusion?
Either way Act2 ends in a fatality.

The skills in your resume are great
And yes improv is where theatre is at,
But one man can't do Beckett & Godot -
Irony is when death gets the laughs.

There is not always time yet it is time
To walk down-stage into their faces,
Tell them as an aside
Your word is as good as your braces -

It has taken a lifetime to get here.
It needed courage and no little persuading.
The choice of odd socks was crucial -
Act3 will result in more waiting.

Three dots is an ellipsis
Often marked with an arch of one eye -
When more has been said than done
Rhetoric is as good as a sigh -

Whatever you thought you were waiting for
Is not going to happen in this Life ...
Nov 2020 · 174
The Graveyard of Statues
Tommy Randell Nov 2020
In the graveyard of statues all is stone.
Metal rods resembling bones
Twist and curl in the fragments and shards -
The debris of History, a fractal of memoirs.

A Hieroglyph here, some Sanskrit, some Latin,
Nothing of meaning or any logical pattern -
Just a jumble & muddle, a jigsaw of rocks
All that is left of any language or thought.

And, at the perimeter notice the new bronzes -
Condemned by fashionable shifts of conscience,
Now cut short in their celebrity status,
No longer honoured; or perhaps now in-famous?

From Lincoln to Lenin, Kennedy to King,
Raised in Glory to be their own offering,
We pull them down in our own sweet times,
Proffer up new ones as popular paradigms -

A tarnished Trump, a battered Boris,
Villains & Heroes to be equally demolished,
Raised high in fervour, pulled down in hate,
Irony by the acre, justice by dictate,

Fame is epitomised when we say 'Nothing Lasts';
Words weaponizing the present to eradicate the past -
So History is ground to gravel and rust
By each new generation in its onward rush :

ENVOI :

As will our poems, statues to ourselves and others,
They too will become dust between fading covers -
Or survive, scrambled in some digital Mausoleum
Where no real mind will ever think of or see 'em...


Tommy Randell Nov 2020
Nov 2020 · 104
I Would Like To Be...
Tommy Randell Nov 2020
I would like to be
Next to you on the bus, a casual stranger
Remarking on the weather -
But then, getting off before you, saying
This is my Stop... with a backward smile.

I would like to be
The copywriter of your Blurb -
Having read an advanced copy of the book
I'd be able to pin wings on your prose
That your work would soar... higher than high.

I would like to be
In the space between your thoughts -
Not an influencer or a trendsetter,
But just in the flow
Where you would never know... that I hide.

I would like to be
Someone you felt destined to meet -
But written so no-one would know
It was me the poem was all about,
Standing invisibly by your side... all this time.

I would like to be
There when you came home -
And I and your dinner would be ready,
A prelude to wild shenanigans
Behind closed curtains... with wine.
Oct 2020 · 92
My Portable Window
Tommy Randell Oct 2020
I have a portable window
I take it with me wherever I go
To let in the views
But keep them far away
So the world won't catch me
By surprise one day

A portable window is good for that
When things are strange
I can lock the latch

I was on the beach getting some Sun
Lots of people having fun
But as always it got too loud
So I closed it tight
And pulled the curtain down
Quiet where I could not be found

A portable window has such uses
The owner of one
Can shut out whom he chooses

I was at a Poetry Book Fair
Growing quite irritable with the people there
So I wrote some verses
These ones in fact
And when I had quite finished
Everyone clapped

While I with my portable window left
And they sat... in the dark
Windowless and less one Guest.
Oct 2020 · 148
FALLING SHORT
Tommy Randell Oct 2020
A glimpse at Saturn from so far away
Reminded me when things are seen that way
We love them as being as they seem
And as they seem becomes what they mean

It isn't so -- the mind's eye makes things glow
With the falsity of being more than we know
Few things we Love stand up to scrutiny
Which reminds me of you ...
             ... and what you used to mean to me

Seen through a lens the universe is not as we Thought
We hold it to our mind's eye and it falls short.
Tommy Randell Oct 2020
Is there a place thoughts go, deep in the dark
Needing to be alone, so Time can pass?
Does Time require the bleeding of a real live beating heart
To measure our passing from first to last?

All death is brutal like when concrete has set -
Tell me I'm dead when it's true... but not yet.
Tell all who knew me my Life was a losing bet,
That not one of my Poems beat the oxygen debt.

Perhaps watching a tree burn is like finding Love -
When you can't see fire for the smoke don't look.
'Though crying in Joy is always indicative of
Someone who confuses being hit by lightning with being ******.

The wrong sort of ending to a Life badly wrote -
Never more so than when words are weaponized as woke.

Tommy Randell - 2020 October
a real live — phrase of 'real' ... used to emphasize the existence or presence of something surprising or unusual. Definition from Oxford Languages
Oct 2020 · 48
Reprimand
Tommy Randell Oct 2020
You? You don't believe what you dreamed?
What kind of Poet has no Hope -
You can't remember what you did?
Just look back at what you wrote.

Oh, you never wrote things down?
So, why live in wood if you dont like leaves?
That stuff going on between your ears, that IS
Your Reason, your Motive, THAT is why you breathe.

From what ancient drum does my rhythm come?
From whose tarry mouth do these words spring forth?
I survive to write of my own demise
In the great tradition of Romantic plots -

Don't aspire to be that Poet
You say you've always loved to read -
Don't pretend you've always known it
When your bones have never learned to bleed!
Oct 2020 · 265
SCRAPS
Tommy Randell Oct 2020
My poems are the clippings
Of words freshly mowed,
A Life sentence
Of consequences I confront -
Paying forward
The debts of Love owed,
A self-positive, negative-space,
Confessed up front.

I had some violent days,
I had some peaceful days.
There are things I say, sometimes
There are things I don't -
Maybe we had more fun days
Than we had sad days,
Life is that pendulum
Between a pat and a punch.

A clip round the ear,
The smack of a Love-tap,
Our late, drunk Mother was wont
To do one or the other or both -
She could smile like a mirror
And then suddenly crack,
Breaking your heart
With the fiercest of Love.

So, it was a Granny that raised us
On Love & Devotion.
At home or at the table
We had to be quick to adapt -
Despite the threads of family life
And what memories were woven
There were always the humours of hunger,
In a Life, fighting for the scraps.
Oct 2020 · 126
Proposal/Prenup
Tommy Randell Oct 2020
Look, I don't like you, you're not enamoured of me
Let's get to know how selfless neither of us can be

You'll argue back as I say what I feel
I'll twist your true fears til you tell me what's real

We'll be a marriage of needs at war
A loggerhead of issues that stay unresolved

We'll be a puzzle that can't be undone
An unending passion of blood, flesh, and bone

We'll be those opposites squaring the circle
Emotionally unbalanced but logically certain

I'll be passive aggressive you'll be verbal assertive
Amorous & Cool to my Distant & Emotive

Opposites attract and we'll be magnetic
The unfathomable couple with a car-crash aesthetic

What could go wrong? Life will never be boring
You putting up with my Poetry, me with your snoring

What could go right? Everyday, head-butting the Wall
Staring back from the mirror Warts an' All

But this is my Proposal to ride out the years
I won't drink your ***** and you don't drink my Beers.
Oct 2020 · 187
TROJAN
Tommy Randell Oct 2020
I knew when I met you I had been hacked
Infected with Love in that first contact

Or maybe a coding of you had been there always
A twist in my sequence just waiting on the day

Anyway, you were in - all the doors were open
You are totally indelible like some perpetual notion

Do I still have free will in my daily choices?
Which Logic is yours among my inner voices?

If I go to the right, is that me or you doing it?
Am I Lover, or the Loved, or just misconstruing it?

Somewhere in me in some primitive way
Are you the Presence in my inner domain?

Are you the Shaker and Mover of Mind..
Or the dream-like echo of Thought ill-defined?

Does a Poet know, can any logic compel for sure,
The Truth he tells is for certain 'de jure'?

Am I still True to the person I was
When, with every word, Loving you is the cost?
Aug 2020 · 83
It Takes Two
Tommy Randell Aug 2020
We could have met and gone for walks
Coffee, bed, and aftertalks
We could have shared a silence or two
We could have ... maybe if we'd wanted to

I could have sat and watched you bathe
You might have given me a shave
I might have revealed a secret or two
Been a lot more honest if you'd wanted me to

But doors are locked and curtains are drawn
You have that way of being suddenly gone
And I'm no better at not getting it wrong
It's a bit of puzzle this Loving You

You make Poetry in me like no one else
Some times the thought of you always helps
And each word, line, and rhyme rings true
But of course it's just a fantasy too

It will go on being what it is
Until one of us works out which bit is which
Until one of us admits as all lovers must do
That to stop being One always takes Two

Tommy Randell -- 28th August 2020
Jul 2020 · 287
Frankenstein
Tommy Randell Jul 2020
When I wake in the first hours
and hear the rustle of leaves
birdsong and early traffic
my mind turns to my body's
pulling powers
the state of its tides and what
pain really means.

I check for changes.
Flexing a little as if I am
some new creation off the bench
a born thing of bones and skin
discovering for the first time
what awareness is
and what it will do to me.

The other days are there
forward in my mind
memories of other wakings
when hurt wasn't
and despair.
I walk my junctions
testing for creaks and groans

before I even attempt to move.
What it will feel like
must be considered
and adjusted to
for me to continue and
for my force of will to be proved
in the aching.

I am after all an old thing
not a new one
and it is the slippery trick
of time that fooled me otherwise
everyday born anew
but at every dawn
a Frankenstein.
I am 68yrs old. Recently diagnosed with Late Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis - my Auto-immune system possibly triggered by contracting Covid19 - I am moved into a different adventure. There are different tides of thoughts and feelings to explore and issues to perhaps promote and champion. We will see. Time Passes.
Tommy Randell May 2020
When I was just a little boy
I asked my mother
Why she was cruel and mean?
Why did she hit me?
Why did she scream?
Here's what she said to me...

You are what you are you are
You are your Father to me
Whatever he was you will be
I hate what you are you are!

At school I learned then to lie
Told my teachers
What they wanted to hear
Ignored all their questions
When home life was mentioned
Did not let anyone near

My life had but one repertoire
To be all they wanted of me
To seem what they wanted to see
To be like they are they are

When I grew up my mother was gone
I asked my Grandmother
Was my Father to blame
Did he make me so bad
That my Mother was sad - She said
No Two People Are Ever The Same

You are what you are you are
Perhaps your birth was too much a dream
But who made you is not all life can mean
What you are is all that you are

Over the years I have grown
I have my own children
Who proudly stand up next to me
They know I will let them
Be all their achievements
What will be doesn't mean it will be

Lo que será no significa que será
The past is just what has gone before
Tomorrow is not written in our lore
Lo que será no significa que será
Simply true.
Apr 2020 · 116
Eisegesis
Tommy Randell Apr 2020
Hello me
I was you
Hard to imagine
Impossible to prove

Time and tides
Have passed since now
My here is your then
My herewith without

One truth in hope
I'd wish upon you
Hindsight truly is
Of no relevant use

Hello me
My future echo
When you get there
Tell yourself Hello

I the Younger
Have no need greater
Than to believe
There will be a you later
Eisegesis is the process of interpreting text in such a way as to introduce one's own presuppositions, agendas or biases. It is commonly referred to as reading into the text, drawing out text's meaning in accordance with the author's context and discoverable meaning.
Apr 2020 · 189
Life Firsts #stillcounting?
Tommy Randell Apr 2020
Even at 68 there are firsts.
A surprise today, for example,
The smallest ritual of frying an egg,
Became a eucharist of laying it up
Onto a white plate, over a slice of sourdough -
When did this old Anarchist
Become so formalized in his worship?
Apr 2020 · 164
Devon Memory
Tommy Randell Apr 2020
Of the acres I held & managed
Two I liked to scythe by hand.
Old Tom in his 90s, first
Swung his hips to show me how
And ran the stone across the blade,
In long sure strokes that sang
At the tip with a susurrus Ping.

One of the days in those 70s' Summers
Would choose itself as Haying Day
And I would start,
In the top quarter,
Hips... 'n Shoulders... Arms...
Hips... 'n Shoulders... Arms...
Rocking forward into the swathe.

The sound of skylarks
In the grass meadows
Where the Geese lay in lazy dreaming,
My Bees whizzing by me
Back to the orchard in their buzzing busyness,
And the swish of the scythe,
And the whisper of clean cut hay falling.

Tom watching from the top fence
Egging me on with his toothy grin -
"Go on, Boy. You'm got 'er now.
Her's singing, a'can tell 'ee."
My then wife, rough-sheafing as I went.
An earthenware flagon cool in the trough -
I revelled in it and the labour was a joy.

In his prime, Old Tom could fettle
An acre an hour, he was proud to say -
My couple used to take a long afternoon
For the fun of it... but,
A lifetime of remembering it
Has kept me warm and filled with Devon light.
I had land and I managed it.
https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-2B2a7geId/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Apr 2020 · 626
Reminder
Tommy Randell Apr 2020
Life can't be phoned in
Nature has no Pause Button
Reality? Check!
Mar 2020 · 1.5k
Lockdown 7
Tommy Randell Mar 2020
There was an old fella in Lockdown
Thought all the time spent alone was a let down
The higher the fever he got
The funnier his thoughts
But there was no one there to get his punchlines...
A few lines from last night's fevered moments. The lurgy is passing I think today, but shutting yourself away from family & the world is a little bizarre to be sure.
Mar 2020 · 896
Lockdown 5
Tommy Randell Mar 2020
Imagine there's no virus
It's easy if you stay
Indoors with the TV off
And your smartphone put away

With ice creams in the freezer
           bought as good behaviour teasers
Ah go on have another shower
           Does it matter that's three in an hour?

Imagine there's no laundry
It isn't hard to achieve
Just stay at home in your Jammies
On self isolation leave

You should phone a friend
           but which friend first and when ?
Do you really fancy that seventh biscuit
            No, best be sensible and wait a bit.

You may say I'm a dreamer
That 'normal' will and must go on
But I want us all to be believers
That Covid will be beat and gone

I should go on listing things to do
           but lists exist only to be reduced
And any short exercise routine
           is never as easy as mug of caffeine

You may say I'm not being serious
I'm just ******* out of Imagine
But when it comes to the Coronavirus
Daft stuff is a great distraction

Meanwhile binge watching 8 seasons of House
            might occupy us 5 weeks or thereabouts
And the cotton face pads we got as a panic buy
            will keep our bums both clean & dry

Imagine there's no virus
It's easy if you try
For a moment don't let it confine us
Just wave from your window and smile

Tommy Randell - 28th March 2020
Mar 2020 · 898
COVID-19
Tommy Randell Mar 2020
A lightning bolt doesn't care
If it hits the ground or not
It's just the way lightning gets its kicks

The moon doesn't reminisce
Look down at our daft gazes
With the fondness of parenting

Tides don't rock up on the coast
To give us thrills and salty shake downs
The climate doesn't do friendly

As an Evolutionary principle, Viruses
Are more like who WE are
Than we are like them anymore

CO-rona VI-rus D-isease 20-19 isn't bothering us
With any kind of lesson in mind
If anything we're just virus ovens

On the surface Covid-19
Is hiding behind its name
Just an old wolf in another death disguise

Death like lightning can wait
For the World to turn under it
What goes around...
Coronavirus is of course an old friend in wolf's clothing - MERs(qv) SARs(qv) etc were all variations. In this more logical naming we have systematized the nomenclature, presumably because we are expecting more than a few more...
Mar 2020 · 1.8k
Lockdown 3
Tommy Randell Mar 2020
I'm socially distanced
Emotionally challenged
Snacking persistent
Financially managed
Institutionalized & bored
Conversationally deluded
Talking to myself more
The dog included

I was sure it was Friday
But the calendar says not
It's all cancelled anyway
And I don't need to shop
The weather's ironic
It's March and ****** Sunny
I'm not often neurotic
But my nose is a bit runny

Soon the clocks Spring Forward
Something to look forward to
I'll take what's offered
To keep myself amused
In solitary confinement
Caffeine fixated
Isolation compliant
But socially frustrated

Conversation starvation
How long has it been?
Mental stagnation
Leading to day dreams
I'm not sure I can do this
My whole life is unglued
It's been 55 minutes
My Wife went to the Bathroom

Please walk by my window
Give me a wave
Lockdown is not Limbo
Things can't be that grave
Wait Wait I hear noises
Upstairs on the Landing
Suddenly there are choices
I've not been abandoned!

Tommy Randell 26th March 2020 Day 003
Be safe and stay well & sane...
Mar 2020 · 1.3k
Lockdown
Tommy Randell Mar 2020
We're alone in the house
For the duration but
Got it down to a fine art
This Social insulation

There's recipes on telly
With random ingredients
When the loo roll is gone
The flat bread'll be convenient

We can make cakes in a mug
Like master chef geeks
Chocolate chip lattes
Microwhipped into peaks

Once a day some quick lungfulls
Of the great outdoors
And, so you all dont get ours
And we dont get any of yours

We'll take it turns
For our constitutional
Wearing a wetsuit
If that's not too juvenile

We've set the evenings aside
For reading aloud and ghost tales
For political debate and
Painting our toenails

We're going to play charades
And famous statues and
We're going to spend 1 hour alone
In separate rooms

With no TV and no electronics
No mp3 players hidden in pockets
Just reading or paper to write stuff on it
WE'RE going to keep this Lockdown honest!

Tommy Randell - Tues 24th March 2020 Day 001
Love & Peace to you All. I hope you stay well.
Mar 2020 · 190
Viral Denial
Tommy Randell Mar 2020
As a weapon of choice
I often use Poetry
As a martial art
Poetry is my Tai Chi

I frame thoughts into words
As a pause in the moment
When things get absurd
And my world is torment

It never makes sense
To keep it all my in my head
My brain has contents
Which are apt to spread

Poetry is lingual
Images mostly not
Fire & water can't mingle
Like silence and thought

Self-isolation is
A contradiction in terms
It's a daft bit of gibberish
A law of diminishing returns

Life is a virus
Death is the cure
Optimism defines us
Fear is a detour

Panic buying
Siege mentality
Science denying
Political centrality

We are all a bit parrot
We are all a bit monkey
We all get a bit zealous
Hearing the turn of the key

But there's nothing to fight
It's a hall of mirrors
And we're blaming the crowd
For our own inner terrors
A Self Explanatory Exploratory...
Mar 2020 · 161
Imagine,
Tommy Randell Mar 2020
How different life would be
If we had different eyes
And we could see a sea of stars
Across the daytime skies

Not just the zodiography
But a map for every purpose
With all our pasts and futures
Charted on its surface

Imagine,

A sense of ever present place
Set day & night to guide us
To have the harmony of Home
Reflected there inside us

Never to be lost, just one look up
To be in perfect alignment
To have no countries only our Stars
And the heavens our horizons

Imagine,

Every eye reflecting
Every window, lake, and pool
To live in such a constant storm
And infinity of jewels

Imagine the oneness every day
The expansion and compassion
Imagine Us and the World this way
Imagine what we could imagine
Yes, the song Imagine - which I am not a fan of btw - but the idea it is our isolation in the darkness drives us to see our differences here on Earth. If maybe we could see the stars ALL THE TIME, maybe then we might find more a sense of connection...

Zodiography? Made it up... sounds good for a geography of the Zodiac.
Mar 2020 · 127
A Reminder
Tommy Randell Mar 2020
The Wolf in the old me
Had the perfect job
To howl at every Moon
However
Whenever
And to keep
Reminding the world
Nothing
Was more perfect than
Challenging any so called
Light in the Dark
To an honest duel
To see who drew
The first echo -

Don't pass on it
I used to say
Pass it on.

The Wolf in the older me
Sleeps soundly
Every night
Whenever
However
Blue Moon
Harvest Moon
Who wants to blow
Smokes rings at the Sky
Keeping
Who knows whom awake?
As well remember
The Moon's gonna
Keep coming around
That's what
Keeps it up there -

As it passes by
I say
Pass on it.
A poem about not tilting at Windmills, funnily enough... Yep.
Feb 2020 · 108
Acting Out.
Tommy Randell Feb 2020
Loving you was living, everyday
with a rainbow in my head -
But I guess the play's the thing
when all is done & said.

We got to do the little stuff
binds Lovers into couples -
We blew each other kisses
to heal each other's troubles,

we waved, from far away,
we shone to cast a glow,
we acted as if we meant it 'cos
the Play IS the Thing, we know.

I'm hooked on how we mattered,
on our entrances and exits,
but what we said was only chatter,
we loved but to exist.

In the bright lights of our drama
up there on the stage
we ended our little saga
on a grey and empty page -

We jacked up all the rainbows,
we got dosed on real affection,
but were we lovers just for show
that is the question?

That thing that's said
about the one you're with..?
Well, with every one, I did,
it was real what I pretended to give.
Love the one you're with...
Feb 2020 · 177
So not a Sonnet.
Tommy Randell Feb 2020
Poetry Writer. Poem Speaker.
Treasure Maker. Treasure Seeker.
Moment Catcher. Memory Quilter.
Scene Snatcher. Story Builder.

Journeyman Jeweller. Cliché Crafter.
Ballad Brewer. Muse Master.
Couplet Coiner. Lyric Lover.
Syllable Counter. Slam Brother

Sonic Sculptor. Rapper Line-man.
Metaphor Mixer. Synonym Titan.
Haiku Explorer. Iambic Eater.
Paradigm Reporter. Free-verse Teaser.

Fourteen lines of concern to whom it
When Thesauras Poet writes a Sonnet
What it is.
Feb 2020 · 224
Just So.
Tommy Randell Feb 2020
I've got a brand new book
With lots of empty pages,
I've got an old well used head
Full of stuff that's not been said
In ages.

I've had days and days of time,
Unsorted lines that end with rhymes,
Scrumpled up memories in a mind
Utterly disorganized,
And I have asked why?

Why not get on with it?
Shuffle up some verses,
Move the brain cells about a bit,
Fire up the old creative furnace,
See what smoke emerges?

Instead, I've looked out the window
At a couple more weeks passing by.
Days have become evenings, diminuendo.
Something will happen, sometime
I've thought, if I give it time.

The brand new book is coffee stained
I noticed as I talked to my Brother.
He has a lyric needs fixing he says,
Writing a song about our mother.
We passed a pleasant hour.

Afterwards I am writing this
As a Keep Note on my phone,
A bit later and I will transcribe it
As the first in my new notebook of poems.
And then I'll keep on going.

I'll fix the lyric and words will flow,
I'll reconnect with what I know.
Lines & rhymes will crackle and crescendo
And out of the furnace smoke will blow.
My Brother knew - Just so.
My Brother has an instinct about me I don't have
Feb 2020 · 150
Valentine
Tommy Randell Feb 2020
I made a card
A valentine
Photos of us
In happy times

We do that
To show our Love
As if Joyfulness
Is evidence enough

But often dear
I remember tears
And how we've survived
Across the years

The truest, best
Of us as a couple
Is how together
Our strength is doubled
Feb 2020 · 223
The Blue Note
Tommy Randell Feb 2020
Yes, that was me
      in your dreams last night
But I will keep to myself
      the promises you made -
I saw you this morning
      glance at me as we crossed paths
Although I too almost believed
      we were not lovers
So good was your performance -
      Bravo, my Love -
Please don't reply openly
      my wife is suspicious already -
I have mentioned you
      Once or twice over breakfast
But I was suitably vague
      making unwavering eye contact
Lying about how unfit you are
      at work, and how young & naive -
I had to pour hot coffee on my own hand
      to disguise my growing arousal -
I know the way you walk home
       I will step from the shadows
To surprise you where we can talk
       finally alone to plan our joining
You will recognize me I know
       our destiny will drive us on -  
Never before has such certainty
       been mine and all before
We have even met socially or talked -
       So clever of you to call me to you -
So clever of you to wear blue
       like the others...
Storytelling, I love Story telling.
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