An Old Man Named Michael Finnegan

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Like Mike learned
(mostly the hard way)
(according to Perl)
persistence will eventually pay off.

John tried to explain to Mike
that everything will be okay in the end,
and if it’s not okay,  then it’s not the end.
But Mike just wanted to get to that conclusion.

Fred said there is eternal recurrence
which made Mike scratch his head
until Tom explained
that life is a circle
(Pooh and Piglet
going round and round the spinney
after Woozles).
Gilbert said that is sheer nonsense.
and described concrete beginnings
with well-defined ends
(Chris was in the branches
and brought the hunt to an end).

Mike said he was getting tired
and just wanted to go to bed.
“Exactly!” said Elwyn
(not sure just how
he’d been pulled into the discussion).
“End the day now
and tomorrow
you will
begin again.”


PAD 30 in November

For today’s prompt, write a “the end” poem.  You can reach the end of a book, journey, or conversation. 

Beginnings and endings.  Within this little piece are the philosophies of Lennon, Nietzche, Mann, Chesterton and White.  A little nonsense for the end of November.

Daily Bread


What a difference

thirty minutes

and the tilt of the earth make.

Keep us, Lord,

from presumption


deliver us

from snatching the future

as we traverse

these rotations

and tedious roads.

May your breath

nick our hearts

and hands,

claiming us

as yours.


Today De Jackson (AKA WhimsyGizmo) is hosting at dVerse and it’s Quadrille Monday. A Quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words, not counting the title, and including (this week) the word nick.

I penned this now on my smartphone in the car (a passenger 😂) at the beginning of a ten hour journey home. Long roads lie before us.

Come play!




(Father of Many Seeds)

Before time
we stood —
cast down,
(some say)
from heaven
because our grandeur
challenged the gods.
Accidentally planted
on a backward planet,
we dug deep
and drank long.

our time ends
in agony
as we

for the angels
have forgotten
how to cry.


At dVerse Poetics our host Anmol (alias HA) challenges us to write on the theme of the ongoing climate crisis.  I chose to write about a tree that is very dear to my heart, the baobab.

Baobabs in southern Africa have begun to die off rapidly from a cause yet to be determined. Most scientists believe that the die-off is a result of global warming, climate change and greenhouse gases. “It’s not just the baobabs, either. Around the world, the creaking deaths of ancient trees are testifying to the period of extraordinary environmental change that we are living through.”   [Ed Yong (11 June 2018). “Trees That Have Lived for Millennia Are Suddenly Dying The oldest baobabs are collapsing, and there’s only one likely explanation”. The Atlantic. Retrieved 12 June 2018.]  



I cannot read the newspapers anymore.
The world as we know it
is dying  — fast,
faster than we thought.
Our bellies are full of plastic.
There will be no more
(fill in the blank with anything but cockroaches)
in the next 50 40 30 20 10 years.
Doomsday, people.
We are talking Doomsday.

I cannot listen to news radio anymore.
No one speaks hope.
No one talks about
It’s ME-this and I-that;
We don’t give
a (fill in the blank with the expletive of your choice)
about anybody/thing else.
“SHUT the (expletive) UP!”

I cannot watch news on television anymore.
Everything is being burned
or blown up.
The (fill in the blank with anything but the cost of living)
is falling —
falling down like fat eggs on walls
and we can’t fix it.
W E     C A N N O T     F I X    IT!
People are shooting our children.
Our children are shooting people.
Floods, drought.
Earthquakes, mudslides.
Before our eyes
the world is crumbling.
We all fall down.

I cannot bear the news anymore.
Read me a bedtime story.



Over at Writer’s Digest, Robert Lee Brewer in Poetic Asides is offering the Wednesday Poetry Prompt. For today’s prompt, he asks us to write a negative poem.
Why not write along?

The Theory of Pointless Housework


Based on thermodynamics
and the four basic laws thereof,
I’ve a theory why housework is pointless.
(So toss away those rubber gloves!)

The zeroth (0th) law states clearly:
systems which to each other have access
will come to an equilibrium,
all rooms will reach a balanced mess.

The first (1st) law then tells us
that energy is constant (though it can change).
It cannot be created or destroyed,
so clutter will just be re-arranged.

The second (2nd) law is my favourite —
closed systems tend toward chaos there
and fighting disorder requires great energy
which simultaneously increases turmoil elsewhere.

The third (3rd) and final law is absolute,
for when temperatures drop really low
(like at minus two hundred and seventy-four degrees Celsius)
disorder and entropy cease . . . SO

0)  Everything reaches a balance
1)  Disorder is constant and everywhere
2)  Clean in one place, another gets messy
3)  When hell freezes over, who will care!



Merril is hosting at dVerse today and asks us to write a poem about theory or theories – how we make sense of the natural world, our bodies, space, or whatever.

I apologise for my loose interpretations of the laws of thermodynamics.  I have always been fascinated by entropy and order.


Wisdom of Old Age


I am mostly confused.

I thought grey-haired grannies knew everything,
were fearless
and dispensed wisdom like gumballs.

But I am just tired,
worn down
and bewildered.

One day we curse and mourn.
The next day we bless and rejoice.

The world is going to hell,
but it’s been there for every generation.

Perhaps the wisdom of old age
is knowing this life is an impossible thing to hold
and letting go.

Who Fills the Void

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she said,
“is like an empty pail.
There exists the possibility
of a draught of fresh, cool water,
but unless I get up and fill the chalice
I am thirsty and the vessel remains vacuous.”

he replied,
“I hear what you say.
But for just an instant
consider hope the water
and the barren basin is me.”

Quick contemplation
and then,
with wrinkled mouth and brow,
“In your picture,”
she returned,
“who fills the void?”

said he,
with a showman’s pause,
“That, then, is the question.”

Mysterious Wonder


Beauty lies not
(he emphasised not)
in the eye,
but in the brain.

He’d reduced it
to a formula:

……….two ex
……….why squared
……….divided by double-u
……….stunning grandeur.


Uninspired she smiled
and feigned interest —
hearing the emphatic rise and fall of his voice,
beautiful in its timbre.

When she left
she shook her head sadly.

He’d missed
the point


Björn is hosting at dVerse, asking us to use pauses in our writing.
“Make  (the pauses)  visible in the way that suits you best.”

This piece was inspired by a podcast.

For God So Loved


…..anybody everybody me

…..raise that hand, child!

in him
…..seeing not is believing not

should not perish,
…..i don’t wanna die

but have eternal life.
…..gimme that silver-lined cloud
…..and harp of gold.

For the Light


For the light,
for the light of this new day,
……………………we give thanks.

For the yellowy head of dandelion,
for the green teeth of grass,
for the tumble blue of sky,
for the crimson beans of luck,
for the pumpkin orange of clivia,
for fragrant fields of lavender amethyst.

For the light which reveals the colours —
…..boomeranged light,
…..inebriated light,
…..light ubiquitous.

For the light,
For the wonderful light,
……………………we give thanks.


It’s Open Link at dVerse and this is my last offering for the year (as well as my first shared poem in MONTHS!).
I am humbled and honoured to have two poems included in the newly published
Chiaroscuro – Darkness and Light: Voices from poets – dVerse Anthology (available on Amazon). In celebration of this launch, and of the season in which we celebrate the Light, I wrote this poem of praise to light.
May you all have a blessed and peaceful holiday.

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