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Unread 09-04-2021, 12:54 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is online now
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Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 7,367

Thanks, Annie — for liking the pararhymes (also called frame rhyme). That's actually a specific type of slant rhyme in which the initial and final consonant sounds in the final syllable are repeated, but the vowel sound between them is different. The first time I encountered that technique was in Wilfred Owen's poem, "Strange Meeting."

Fliss - Thanks for liking my SF poem, and I'm glad you found it interesting. I didn't know you are a sci-fi fan. What's TXF? By the way, Ed Shacklee is also in that Goreyesque issue. (I'll be back later with the link to the issue.)

Oh, yeah, that flower ... I looked it up. It's a passionflower.

OK, I'm back. Here is the issue:

Last edited by Martin Elster; 09-04-2021 at 12:56 PM.
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Unread 09-04-2021, 01:03 PM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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Location: Old South Wales (UK)
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Thanks, Martin. I hadn't appreciated the full subtlety of the rhymes; I just loved their gentleness.

I think TXF must be The X-factor, but I may be wrong.
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Unread 09-08-2021, 04:12 AM
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F.F. Teague F.F. Teague is offline
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Location: Gloucestershire, UK
Posts: 1,372

Ann, here's TXF (The X-Files)

I've been a fan since it was first aired on the BBC, I think. I remember watching some of the early episodes with Graham, my older brother.

Best wishes,

Last edited by F.F. Teague; 11-05-2021 at 04:26 AM.
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Unread 11-14-2021, 07:08 PM
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F.F. Teague F.F. Teague is offline
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Location: Gloucestershire, UK
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🍎🍎🍎 <-- because we're well into Autumn now...


In memory of Leo, 28th May 1975 to 15th June 2020

He loved the park that Autumn. "All the gold!"
he marvelled, gesturing to beech and oak,
his hands well gloved. By then, he felt the cold,
though in remission. But he liked to joke

about the cancer, chemo, all the drugs
that made him nauseated, tired, or high.
I listened, tried to keep him warm with hugs
while all the waterbirds went sailing by.

His favourites were the grebes. Their fiery crests
aroused a need to stroke my auburn hair,
remembering their dance, their necks and chests
entwining, rising, in the April air

and, later, how we sought to emulate
the dance and tumbled, laughing, into bed
and we were fire and we were pretty great.
"I'll love you for eternity," he said.

Ron Cooper, 'Courtship dance, great-crested grebes, Pittville'
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Unread 11-15-2021, 12:10 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Default It's


like plowshares spreading earth
and seeds sown in the furrows
promising new birth

like daylight priming passion
to sleep again with night
and wake a blushing sun

when we two make one
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Unread 11-15-2021, 01:03 PM
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F.F. Teague F.F. Teague is offline
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Location: Gloucestershire, UK
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There's a fantastic pocket poem. Excellent imagery; I'm particularly taken with 'blushing sun' 😊

This one's tamer, but it was fun to write. It needs trimming and I shall attend to the task when the schedule permits! I wrote it for Bonfire Night.

The moonlit skies were very clear
that Bonfire Night. And he was near,
the new professor, in the crowd
of students, teachers. Long and loud
the rockets soared above the Vale,
a shriek, a bang, a wanton wail,
the palms and pearls and peonies.
I felt his eyes on me. My knees
went weak. The music ebbed, then rose
with red and green and golden glows,
the Handel suite. I'll handle you,
he'd told me. Rhapsodies in blue
until the final firework died,
the 'Oohs!' and 'Aahs!' had all been cried,
but as he passed in grey and black
he stroked my arching lower back.

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Unread 11-17-2021, 02:43 PM
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F.F. Teague F.F. Teague is offline
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Location: Gloucestershire, UK
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Keeping with Bonfire Night, the next one is a sort of part two to the previous poem. Together they are 'Ooh!' and 'Aah! or, My Guy'. I'm happy to mention that I won a contest today with the latter, submitted as 'My Guy'. Here it is:

My Guy

Until the 5th November '88,
my mother hadn't thought to make a guy;
we had our sparklers, bonfire on a grate,
a good display of rockets climbing high
enough to rouse a little "Aah!" and "Ooh!"
but not so much to vex the neighbour's dog.
That year, however, "Here's a treat for you!"
said Mother and we gathered, all agog.

A guy in striped pyjamas was revealed –
a pillowcase or three made up his skin.
His flesh was Mum's old tights, yet he appealed
because he had the softest, sweetest grin.
"So, do we burn him?" I enquired, dismayed.
"That's right!" confirmed my dad and stoked the fire.
I trembled as I drank my cherryade
to think my friend would soon be on the pyre.

Don't let them burn me, Miss! I heard him speak.
I shan't, I vowed, then yelled, "Look over there!"
They looked; I ran; I grabbed him with a shriek
and rushed upstairs. I heard my brothers swear
they'd get me, but too late! I locked the door
and fell with Mr. Fawkes upon my bed;
he slid and almost collapsed upon the floor.
I held him tighter, kissed his fraying head.

I heard a blur of voices from outside
but didn't care cos G. was looking cute
in blue and white. He took another slide;
I caught him, sat him up and smoothed his suit.
Then, side by side, we watched that year's display.
No movie star nor muscle man was he,
but there was nothing anyone could say
or do to take my guy away from me.

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Unread 12-06-2021, 12:48 PM
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F.F. Teague F.F. Teague is offline
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Location: Gloucestershire, UK
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Here's a poem (published) based on a trip to see some alpacas back in mid-October:

Meet and greet

We smell them first. Ammonia – a rush,
assailing nostrils, clinging in the throat.
And then, the sounds of sweeping, brush brr-ush!
The east wind whips; I'm grateful for my coat.

We're ushered in. We're seven; they are eight
in white and beige and chestnut, grey and black.
They loiter, humming gently, by the gate,
or traipse towards us, turn, and sidle back.

I'm introduced to Otis, gelded male.
Just stroke his neck, says Jo, our barn hostess.
His hair's so soft, it's like a fairy tale,
and very dense. He blinks as I caress.

The humming's reassurance, Jo explains;
a constant checking everyone's alright –
no signs of fear, no nasty aches and pains.
Alpacas shriek, she adds, when they're in fright.

Geronimo, I think, and grit my teeth.
The black alpaca here, though, seems to smile:
her bottom-row incisors long beneath
her upper lip. Aunt Biddy. She has style.

I wonder if they think about Peru;
dismiss this, as, once more, they venture near,
their humming not unlike a wood kazoo
in chirpy tone and mood. They check and cheer.

Photo (also published): A.R. Teague, Cotswold Alpacas (Aunt Biddy shown near the back)

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Unread 12-10-2021, 12:47 PM
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F.F. Teague F.F. Teague is offline
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Geronimo the alpaca: Tests unable to confirm TB

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Unread 12-10-2021, 02:00 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is online now
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Location: Connecticut, USA
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Why does that not surprise me?

Geronimo the Alpaca

I felt healthy and hardy.
TB? None, for sure!
Why the gun to my head?
Does that make you secure?

Sniffing hay-scented air,
I was glad when I saw
my owner each day;
but condemned by your law,

a scapegoat alpaca,
I paid a big price.
As for your cold heart,
try melting its ice.

(Appeared in The New Verse News.)


Defra has killed its way out of trouble
and now its trouble is more than double.
George, are you living in a bubble?

Do you know how to communicate?
Is it easier to terminate
a blissful life? (You couldn’t wait!)

“Retest! Retest!” we asked, or more
humane, let him be studied, the door
to a cure more open. Instead, you tore

Geronimo away from his mum.
Yet, unlike you, we are not numb.
Perhaps you’re the type who won’t succumb

to kindness. But when has Big Farming
ever shrunk from killing or harming?

I composed the following poems before poor Geronimo was murdered.


I am sheltered behind this tall fence.
What kind of irrational sense
**does it make to go kill
**a beast who’s not ill?
My caretaker’s dread is immense.

I am eight years of age, inky black,
an alpaca who lives with no lack
**of love and sweet hay,
**and I’d much rather stay
in this state. Do you catch my drift, Mac?

I think you’re as thick-skulled as cattle.
I think you shall not win this battle.
**So come. Try to end me.
**The world will defend me.
Your bovine beliefs will skedaddle!

To Geronimo the Alpaca

Will Defra choose to handle
the TB testing scandal
in a manner that is laudable?
We, your staunch supporters,
are visible and audible,
proving that all Earth’s borders
are linked. Geronimo,
well-loved by all the world,
you’re now on shirts and totes.
When the High Court judge hurled
that unjust judgment of murder
(what sentence could be absurder?)
it put a lump in our throats.
The government loves to flirt
with Death. And yet this shirt
displaying your sweet face
only serves to show
that Defra have no case.


“Believed” to be infected is not the same
as “proven” to be infected. Evidence
was insufficient. Even so, you came
to kill me. Others came to my defense—
petitions, protests, signs—which testifies
this thing’s far bigger than saving one furry pet.
Had I infected my mistress? No. Surprise?
I hummed as she fed me—I knew she was upset.

Innocent till proven guilty, yes?
So why not for our fellows, large and little.
Healthy until shown not to be—unless
our moral principles are eggshell-brittle.
Yes, this is bigger than killing an innocent critter
whose death would leave my kindly fan club bitter.

(I had bought a tote bag with the alpaca's picture on it, but I have it hidden away in a cabinet.)

Last edited by Martin Elster; 12-10-2021 at 02:03 PM.
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