Anthony Williams Oct 2014

You strayed independent across my unlaid path
impressing me with a hideaway around the thistles
where inlay thigh flints spark like butterfly wings
fused to outstretched but still flimsy present glinting
loose eyes a smoky incense close to gleam igniting
potent tinder sax on a beneficent Burns' night portent
whispering wick lit slivers of be live next to me glen scent
fluttering and roaming through saliva kissed gloaming
a light shaved window opening a misty eyed gap
opportune as a mysterious space between maps

crossed with aye formations and melted highlands
I slide into a bonnie loch when you return my glance
smooth as a swan stroking shallow into deep meeters
the swirl of bagpipes barely rippling the surface meters

a proud union betwixt us found expression
unflagging love notes xx streamed passion
red into sky blue twitchy nerves lend fingers
fondling unfurled clouds into catchy dance rings
retracing steps into tempestuous hearts I rose
so dryads can black watch temptation intertwine
painted inside as I woad your Pictish tartan

only now the pedestal wobbles a little
but you don't fall to my arms
brave destiny's turn is fickle
and straight on without being toppled
you hesitate but give no nod to lead
no quick look behind you as I hoped
shying awry to continue walking
the hot moment runs past cold
safe as before inhibitions land
like icicles on my fanciful back

upstanding Meissen men often talk
of perfection showing no cracks
and chuckled as they left their mark
in crossed swords kilned with clay ores
giving a porcelain lion soft pause
for thought about a heart out clause
and about lifting any kilt or unstuck thought
to keep established ruling embarrassment
but is that parley risking nought?
the mane's trimmed short
too correct to tip the hat
to a potential welcome
down falls harassment
south of the borderline
sad that no one can put
that man lass
moment together again
but ever slow drifting apart
the dream mist
goes on

by Anthony Williams

Me, I play the piano
said one
me, I play the violin
said another
me the harp, me the banjo
me the cello
me the bagpipes, me the flute
and me, a rattle.
And they talked talked
talked about what they played.
No music was heard
everyone talked
talked talked
and no one played
but in a corner one man remained silent:
"And you, Sir, who remain silent and say nothing,
what instrument do you play?"
the musicians asked him.
"Me, I play the barrel organ
and I also play the knife,"
said the man who until now
had said absolutely nothing
and then he advanced knife in hand
and killed all the musicians
and played the barrel organ
and his music was so true
and so lively and so pretty
that the daughter of the house’s owner
came out from under the piano
where she lay bored to sleep
and said:
"Me, I played hoop
ball, chase
I played hopscotch
I played with a pail
I played with a shovel
I played house
I played tag
I played with my dolls
I played with a parasol
I played with my little brother
with my little sister
I played cops
and robbers
but that’s over over over
I want to play assassin
I want to play the barrel organ."
And the man took the little girl by the hand
and they went into towns
into houses, into gardens
and killed as many people as possible
after which they married
and had many children.
the oldest learned piano
the second, violin
the third, harp
the fourth, the rattle
the fifth, cello
and they all took to talking talking
talking talking talking
so that no more music was heard
and all was set to begin again!

there was little octopus he just loved to sing
but the thing he loved most of all was the highland fling
he would play his bagpipes and do his little dance
with his funny legs he just love to prance
he just loved the bagpipes he just played away
doing his little jig that made him bright and gay
he was very happy in scottish kilt
with his little hat  he wore at a tilt
he just loved the joy that it used bring
he was very happy to do the highland fling

there was little octopus he just loved to sing
but the thing he loved most of all was the highland fling
he would play his bagpipes and do his little dance
with his funny legs he just love to prance
he just loved the bagpipes he just played away
doing his little jig that made him bright and gay
he was very happy in scottish kilt
with his little hat he wore at a tilt
he just loved the joy that it used bring
he was very happy to do the highland fling.

c quirino Nov 2010

and then i am left,
at the upmarket stretch of sand
straddling this most unremarkable state,
quietly flicking my thumb against the blue lighter.

but it's too windy, at the water's edge
in an unremarkable state,
where no one recognizes me,
that bagpipes start playing

the wind acts against my fingers,
they are too delicate, too feminine,
no callousness ever affixed to these,
my ten silken extremities.

© Constante Quirino
NJ McGourty Dec 2012

In a land of myths, from the jaded isle,
Great stories are told of the brave and the guile.
But no legend of druids, of hags or ghouls,
Can compare to that of our own Fionn McCool.
In the province of Ulster, before armalite,
There lived a race of warriors who knew how to fight.
And who was their leader? The fiercest of the feared?
Of course it was Fionn! With his glorious ginger beard.
He had arms like a gorilla, at an impressive 8 feet,
And lived on a diet of very rare meat.
He drank only water he squeezed from stone,
And discovered 47 uses for human bone.
It was his giant strength that brought McCool his fame,
In kingdoms far and wide people knew his name.
But what was less renowned was his mental might.
Aul Fionn had towering intellect and wit to match his height.

When news of Fionn's exploits reached a pub in Aberdeen,
A mammoth figure emerged from the pungent, men’s latrine.
The patrons gave a shudder as it stooped through the door,
“O...One more Ben?” stuttered the barman as his piss reached the floor.
The giant gave a shout and wretched a toilet door aloft,
“Who scrieved this scaffy drawin, sayin that I’m soft?”
Silence gripped the bar as the men examined with horror,
A crude etching of Fionn McCool thrashing Benandonner.
The men remained mute, as the giant turned carmine,
“You think this Fionn boyo’s tough, I’ll carve out his spine!”
And so the giant departed, making his way west,
But not before he slaughtered the group and downed the drinks they left.

A roaring voice came through the mist and reached our own Fionn’s ear,
But when he reached the Antrim coast, he near pissed himself with fear
Seeing Ben on Scotland’s edge, throwing boulders to the sea,
“I’ll turn yer lungs to bagpipes! Ye feeble wee beastie!”
Fionn trembled before the monster, twice as big as he,
With a chest as wide as a trawler and biceps thick as trees.
Now Fionn was not a coward but nor was he a fool,
As the rocks formed a bridge he saw ‘the late Fionn McCool.’
And so he sparked a plan to deceive the creature,
A plot in which his wisdom and his wife would feature.
Running to his house he rushed to build a crib,
And dressed as an infant to complete the fib.

With the last stone in place, Ben crossed the sea,
With ‘murrrdur’ in his heart, his eyes mad with hateful glee.
He crouched to enter the house after kicking through the door,
Grabbing Oonagh in his hand, “Now where’s yer husband whore?!”
Fionn’s wife was calm as he held her off the ground,
But wretched as she smelt the breath of a gum-diseased hound.
“He’ll return soon,” she said as the shoes fell off her feet.
“but put me down and while you wait I’ll fix you something to eat”
While Oonagh was in the kitchen, Big Ben released a smirk,
“From the size of his wife, killing McCool won’t be much work.”
Oonagh lead the deception, returning with some cake.
But had placed rocks in the batter, before she’d begun to bake.
Benadonner was surprised, when he took his first bite,
He reached into his mouth and removed a pearly white.
Not wanting to seem weak, by refusing a McCool snack,
The giant continued to eat the stones until all his teeth had cracked.

Gumming back a sob, the brute looked around,
He spied the crib in the corner, and was disturbed by what he found.
A child sleeping soundly, but of such monstrous size,
Ben, now blind with tears was fooled by Fionn’s disguise.
Coughing to hide his alarm, the Scottish giant inquired.
“Is Fionn McCool the man, to whom this weeun is sired?”
Oonagh laughed and replied, “He’s his father’s son, no doubt.”
“Sure I remember he was six foot four when I popped him out.”
Now the Scot started sweating, THE BABY WAS FECKIN TITANIC!
When he imagined the father’s size the goliath began to panic.
He ran from the house, kilt flapping in the wind,
As McCool watched from his window, he kissed his wife and grinned.

While Ben crossed the bridge, he dismantled his creation,
To ensure the Fenian couldn’t follow, he divorced the nations.
Now centuries later, if you need proof today,
The remains of Ben’s bridge is called the Giant’s Causeway.

Terry O'Leary Oct 2013

The Horsemen, holding broken reins
the Morning of the Hurricanes,
sigh “it’s no use, it’s all in vain,
            the King will soon surrender”.

The Bishops bathe in Babylon
while Pieces, pacing, pale and wan,
watch Queen deflowered, Pawn by Pawn,
            The Knights dare not defend her.

They wonder why they ever came,
they have No One that they can blame,
they have no face, they have no name,
            they’re black and white, transgender.

The feeble minded Cleric clowns,
mouths hollow hurdy-gurdy sounds,
while Fantom of the Opera frowns
           when blessing bent repenters.

The empty handed Vagabond
smokes stale cigars, strokes faded Blondes,
waits wailing at the walls beyond,
            and kneels before he enters.

While peeking through the window panes
in fear of distant Hurricanes,
they’re spinning round and round in chains,
           defying life’s tormentors.

The Savants serve the underfed
while Jackals scrape the river bed
and Crows, collecting scattered bread,
            adorn, with crumbs, the platter.

The Pirate wields a wooden leg,
with pupils dull and visage vague,
and if instead he’s served the plague,
            it really doesn’t matter.

His Princess, Pale, no longer feigns,
she’s hiding from (the Dwarf explains)
the coming of the Hurricanes.
            The Stones stare, pointing at her.

The spectral Clocks with spindled spokes
remind the Mimes to tell the Folks
the time of day and other jokes,
            but No One looks to listen.

The Joker Wilde and One Eyed Janes
weep, winding up in rundown trains
mid whispers of the Hurricanes,
            and Priests no longer christen.

They’re fleeing from the Leprechauns,
the cuckoo birds, the dying swans.
While pitching pennies into ponds,
            their eyes opaquely glisten.

The Hunchbacks with their twisted canes
will bow before the Hurricanes,
in melted sleet, in frozen rains,
            in bruised and battered sandals.

Their Groans engulf the land of gulls,
the land of stones, the land of nulls,
and lurk between the blackened lulls,
            for Night Time brooks no candles.

Their prayers to Dogs and Nuns and Dukes,
(and other long forgotten Spooks)
are more than random crazed rebukes,
            though taunting to the Vandals .

The Beggars, neath the balustrades,
stop chiding Children, Chambermaids,
for darning socks with broken blades,
            as screams in dreams redouble.

Reweaving webs with endless threads,
crocheting hats to hide their heads,
they have no coats, they have no beds,
            their faces, full of rubble.

Yet something else will entertain
the Morning of the Hurricanes,
when goblets filled with pink champagnes
            dissolve in  purple bubbles.

The White-Robed Maiden empties trash,
and fumbles with an untied sash,
– her virgin urn’s awash in ash –
            she’s pacing in the Palace.

Her hopes converge in coffee spoons
(her memories adrift in dunes),
yet still she smiles with teeth like prunes,
            and lips of painted callus.

And long before the midnight drains
– the Saviour wakes, the Loser gains –
the waters of the Hurricanes
            will fill her empty chalice.

The storm (behind the clarinets,
the silver flutes, the castanets,
the foghorns belching in quartets,
            the bagpipes, puffed and swollen)

is keeping time to tambourines
while Tom Thumb and his Four-Inch Queens,
pick up the shards and smithereens
            of minutes lost or stolen.

They stumble through the old domains,
but cannot stop the Hurricanes –
the fountain weeps, the mountain wanes,
            the waves just keep on rollin’.

The Crowds arrayed in jewels, in jails,
stoop, peering through a fence of nails –
the vacuum in their eyeballs pales
            with plastic flame that sputters.

They’re sleeping there because they must,
their eyelids twitch like peeling rust,
their tears, palled pellets in the dust,
            behind the bolted shutters.

They’ll reawake without their pains
the Morning of the Hurricanes,
without their sores, without their stains,
their agonies will fill the drains
            and overflow the gutters.

Little Birds are dining
Warily and well,
Hid in mossy cell:
Hid, I say, by waiters
Gorgeous in their gaiters -
I've a Tale to tell.

Little Birds are feeding
Justices with jam,
Rich in frizzled ham:
Rich, I say, in oysters
Haunting shady cloisters -
That is what I am.

Little Birds are teaching
Tigresses to smile,
Innocent of guile:
Smile, I say, not smirkle -
Mouth a semicircle,
That's the proper style!

Little Birds are sleeping
All among the pins,
Where the loser wins:
Where, I say, he sneezes
When and how he pleases -
So the Tale begins.

Little Birds are writing
Interesting books,
To be read by cooks:
Read, I say, not roasted -
Letterpress, when toasted,
Loses its good looks.

Little Birds are playing
Bagpipes on the shore,
Where the tourists snore:
"Thanks!" they cry. "'Tis thrilling!
Take, oh take this shilling!
Let us have no more!"

Little Birds are bathing
Crocodiles in cream,
Like a happy dream:
Like, but not so lasting -
Crocodiles, when fasting,
Are not all they seem!

Little Birds are choking
Baronets with bun,
Taught to fire a gun:
Taught, I say, to splinter
Salmon in the winter -
Merely for the fun.

Little Birds are hiding
Crimes in carpet-bags,
Blessed by happy stags:
Blessed, I say, though beaten -
Since our friends are eaten
When the memory flags.

Little Birds are tasting
Gratitude and gold,
Pale with sudden cold:
Pale, I say, and wrinkled -
When the bells have tinkled,
And the Tale is told.

Bethany Nov 2013

When I hear those Bagpipes roar,
My heart begins to soar.

Frozen in my tracks,
My mind wanders back.

To a piper I once knew
Whose heart was pure and true.

He played those pipes like angels sing,
I often wondered, "Where are his wings?"

Those bagpipes casted a spell on me,
And that Irish lad's face is all I could see.

I used to weep when those pipes would sound,
Because for the moment my lost heart felt found.

See, that piper is the strongest man I ever met,
But because my heart was immature, I was'nt ready for him yet.

As years pass by, this broken heart has begun to heal.  
Yet as soon as I hear those faithful pipes, my heart starts to feel.

Time has a way of putting our mistakes far in the past,
But I have to accept that Celtic sound will forever last.

So when you see that kilt and bearskin come marching in the room,
Do as I do 'listen' and soon your heart will bloom.

For those bagpipes serve a bigger role then i ever knew, That thunderous sound can only come from a select few.

And behind one of those pipes, stands a beautiful man, but he never notices I'm his biggest fan.

Higgs Nov 2012

Romantic people,
Doing romantic things,
In romantic places...

Accompanied by the romantic sound of
Or maybe even harp...

But never bagpipes.

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