Archive for the ‘Tomfoolery’ Category

lefty-handy, it’s really true

please click image for larger version

Being one segment of my left-hand written poem as published earlier.

Just as evidence, it is really true.  Not pretty, as I said, but legible and yes, there is something about penmanship that interests me (by either hand).  And posted here mostly for my own amusement, and to demonstrate, hectic as I am, that I still have too much time on my hands as so demonstrated to colorize!  (merging a little poetry with a little art, and that makes me smile) 🙂

Actually I’d like to post some (shorter) poems in actual hand written form. (Is that a silly desire?) And equally would be interested to see some others do the same. I don’t know what the pen shows but I think it shows something, no matter any meanings in that way. There’s a flavor – something like that.

Oh, and does this append the “rules of poems”? To colorize or not to colorize? Bring out your crayons please!


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in response to a We Write Poems community prompt.

a tall tale told about a girl, a bed and a pear
Once upon a bed a pear came to sit and rest.
It was a very wild pear!  So wild in fact it hadn’t
been plucked, but rather had leapt right free
from its tree.

A pear of unusual intent, no doubt.
A pear covered completely in fur, peach-perfect
except for the big wet nose that smelled
just like vanilla soap.  Yep, unusual
for a pear like we said!

Grrr! said the pear, for it was wild indeed.
And Grrr! just seemed the right sort of thing
to announce.  Grrr! once more for emphasis,
not wanting to leave even a shred of doubt.
Pears are like that, single minded to the core!

Ummph, said bed, you’re very heavy for a pear.
Rather ripe, yes I am, said pear, feeling down
in his belly another Grrr! eagerly coming on.
While I’m certainly glad to accommodate both
your wait and weight, I wonder if you’ll soon
be moving on, a small second Ummph just
slipping out.

You talk a lot for a mattress, frame and
two sheets, said pear, and he was right.
Beds are better left unspoken to, but then
that rabbit was now well out of the hat!

Grrr! Grrr!, pear impatiently intoned,
what shall I do?  Muffled but clear, bed spoke
from beneath the sheets.  Please please
if you will, leave and I’ll reveal my magic to you.
Grrr!, I will I will, ripe pear stuttered back.

I will, Grrr!, I will.  Snow me peas!
Now not having very good diction, as most
pears don’t, “Grrr! – I – will” transmogrified,
what surprise!, into G – I – R – L, and in the
twinkle of a transitive verb, turned right into
a real live girl!

Pretty good magic thought the pear!

Such is the power of spoken word,
even when uttered by a ripe and furry pear.

And the girl was famished, being born
so late in life, so she ate the pear all right up!

And that’s the truth, so help me pear!,
as told by a bed, half-deaf & blind you see
and also the end, as they say.


neil reid © july 2011

Demonstrating a shameless disregard for good sense and poetry!

And somebody asked (you know who you are) for a story poem, so here, delivered as requested now!

Further illustrating that not every bear is exactly what they seem.  Nor is a photograph literal evidence for what a mind might do while sitting in a car, round-about lunch time, pen in hand as it were.  And what’s a poor poem supposed to do with itself?  Gone fishing it seems, and this is what was left behind.  But seriously, I’m serious a lot, and this isn’t!  Karma back in balance perhaps.

And I stand corrected now to make more evident and add one solitary pair of “quotes” as you’ll see included now, as yes, “Grrr – I – will” is in fact one whole object becoming another.  More clear?  (Yes dear.)

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I don’t do Cinquains, no not me!

Much ado about nothing much.

Dedicated to Margo Roby. You know who you are!

Those of you who know me some, know I don’t do formal poem forms.  No villanelles, no triolets, no sonnets, and god help me, what’s a sestina they boast about, nor a single Burmese climbing rhyme (only by fortuitous accident do I approach any rhyme), no tankas, not even the pleasant haiku, not even for you.  Alright, alright, maybe a cento or two, some gentle thievery tastes too good for letting pass untouched.  I’m mostly all dusty jeans in your backyard dirt.
And now Margo says, “cinquains”, and what the heck are those!

You can read Margo’s whole posting here.  Otherwise, at its most basic it is 22 syllables.  (But please, don’t ask me to count, more than fingers, more than toes!)  And of the few variants, she says this…

The personal cinquain is the easiest as it allows you to work around the syllable count, if you wish, and focus on the number of words: 11. You may, of course, stay traditional and work with the syllable count instead: 2, 4, 6, 8, 2 in which case, don’t worry about the number of words.

I.     ONE word for the person—a name or another descriptor.

II.    TWO words that define or describe the person.

III.   THREE words that describe an event related to the person.

IV.   FOUR words that express the person’s attitude toward the event.

V.    ONE word that sums up or otherwise concludes the previous lines.

So alright, it must be moon-stroke, but here’s my one brief stray into cinquain:


    wonders why
    tripped by how
    dusted off, swims away.

So there, so brief, and you just kinda gotta look sidewise to catch the drift (of being a fish, never so much caught as when you think you’re not). And ain’t it odd, so little for so much commentary! (But fun is fun!) (or, I’m easily amused)

Margo further suggested,

Because a cinquain is short it is important to keep in mind the following mantras:








Alright, alright, do I hear a gauntlet being dropped? (Just me I know.) But just too delicious not to respond! And so,

    poem being bad (mantras revisited)

    poems sit. (politely said, meditate.)
    poems relax. (dusty jeans seem just right.)
    poems wander. (cover the desk with random notes.)

    each word has travelled far, has history
    and maybe will provide a hint (reluctantly).

    a good poet is optimistic,
    hopes he doesn’t land on his face.

    but might.

neil reid @ june 2011

poem “stuff” for Margo Roby’s Tuesday Tryouts, The Cinquain Form, wordgathering prompt (my entrance, only a polite one month late!)

Dear Margo (so the commentary begins… ),
Alright, if you haven’t guessed, I adore what you contribute to this gathering around the internet fire. Me, I’m seat-of-the-pants, intuitive (if you’re polite), lucky (if I’m good), a copy-cat when I want (mimicry is praise indeed, my rational, my classroom too, osmosis-like). I’m a rock beside your well tended knowledge, garden-like. Admired. Appreciated. Yet here’s the rub, tell me some words “not to use”, as you’ve itemized, and with a smile, I’m all eager to employ every one! Delicious fun! Such is the humor of rocks and bears. But thanks, sincere.

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poem for We Write Poems, prompt (#51) Pairings by Irene
Write a yin/yang poem based on any kind of pairings which are complementary. Explore that dynamic, the essence of creation itself perhaps.

barely how (a bowl of yin for a dollop of yang),

(growing like weeds in my backyard beds)

nothing is to everything as,

a void isn’t a void because  it   isn’t.
now a dog would never say a thing like that,
not wanting to offend, however a cat just might,
and precisely why the cheshire grin!

a question posed is to truculent tongue as,

well, you sort of explain, and you,
you don’t bother at all, not a single word.
the why of why, none the less spoken
with a hint of Chinese breath.

empty mind is to blank page as,

one of them never is (keeping the secret
for a while!).  one waits, one begs.  yet ink
might spill, say anything.  one never knows,
and one don’t.  to coin a phrase that’s deaf.

sphere is to incline as,

one creates a space, and the other falls into it.
actually falling ain’t so bad so long as it’s done
with some grace.  but all the same, we say
so long and happy tales to you.

dream is to story as,

all things being equated, the same and some.
like riding a bike, and look ma, no hands!
yet true enough, you go where you look,
not where you’ve been.  wide.  awake.

mouth is to spoon as,

desire implies oatmeal inside the bowl.
each dawn beginning round around, ripe and
full. lips like roses mean, sight unseen yet
arrives while we sleep.  miss bo peep, arise!

speaking poetry is to speaking poetry badly as,

and I’d hope you won’t snicker exclusively, nor
stick your tongues out at me, well, all except for
the lady in the third row back!  it’s such a delight
to contemplate, please, you go right ahead.

neil reid © april 2011

(Process notes) First, thanks to Irene for this unexpectedly surprising prompt. Much as I’m probably fairly predictable, I like poems not to be. Rather, let them participate in defining themselves, their relationships. It mostly only gets more difficult as I want to directly inject my own thoughts – rather than listening more. (Yea, because I too want to make good sense of things!) But tell me as you watch a sunrise, sunset or just the way things move in the landscape, and how much do you really understand, apply your own thoughts “on top”, but rather better sense is just to follow, attend as you also willingly observe. (More generous, perhaps?) Same same with language I think. (And good enough to launch a hot air ballon at the least!)

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poem for We Write Poems, prompt (#50) First lines!
Write a poem that begins with the line,I’m willing to eat…” (then whatever next).

big yellow bus

I’m willing to eat a big yellow bus.  In heavy traffic or light, maybe
like godzilla would, Japanese tourists and all.  Vitamins you know.
Especially the digital cameras, they’re really good.

I’m willing to eat tulips in winter before they’re even sure of themselves,
just a good idea waiting to burst forth on the plate.  A little maple honey
really sets off the colors under the tongue.

I’m willing to eat clear blue sky, bright sun white buffalo with roosters
on the side, clouds squeezing rain, sponge cake whirlwinds with
lightning bolts, perhaps even a little snow.  Sugar of course.

I’m willing to eat self-doubt, frenetic historic tales whispered into
rambunctious sleep, the captain’s first mate, a curry dish, steaming
bowls of salted misconceptions.  Buttered words for dessert.

I’m willing to eat a country mile, where the river elbows close.
Maybe it never happened the way I thought but a windy feast
is as good as a fox in the chicken coop.  Licking lips.

I’m willing to eat the moon.  Would you like a slice?

neil reid © april 2011

Help me please! Maybe it’s already too late. An exercise that’s all process, no result, or is that the result? Nothing serious because I have been. So, a chocolate sunday of words. Stir them up, or me, and here’s what you get. Nothing serious, just because…

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prompt # 039
Bucket List
by staff@wwp

That thing you know, a “bucket list”, of a thing or things you want to do but haven’t yet in your life. Real or imaginary? Here (light heartedly) is one of mine.

If I were a bee

If I were a bee I’d fly to where the honey was sweet.
I’d fly high even if it meant my death. I’d fly right on south,
all the way to the very bottom, or top, all depending on
where you sit. That land of milky ice and snow.
Winds never tell me where to go. I go as I might.
I’d go where hardly anyone else ever goes, where
they are too scared to go, where they think they’d be
in an outer space away. Nothing familiar in the least.
And just why I’d adore it so! Everything new.
Everything a very first breath, wondering even if
there’d be a second one. But that’s what it’s like
to fly all the way to the South Pole alone!

neil reid © february 2011

Process notes:
This is just silly! Real fluff indeed. I should be ashamed.
I’m not. I’ve been oh so serious and intent. Not just cobwebs but myself to shake loose of now. Besides, I have nothing better to this prompt tonight. I want to go to Antarctica. Too old to ever be an astronaut, to go to Mars, and wouldn’t that be grand! My dream anyway. So Antarctica seems about the closest I might come to going to another planet. That part’s for real. It’s the child adventurer in me.
(And I just wanna participate… )

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prompt # 010
Object poems
by Mallery
Read the full prompt and poem responses by other participants.

Writer’s block? Mallery suggest an “object poem”. Pick an item, something close, something obvious, elaborate. Alright, well I’ve been some sick the last few days so my choice is as it is, right at fingertip. So be it.


There’s a little dust in the air
just some smoke from the great Chicago fire
a wayward impulse gone too far

Above my head, beneath my chin,
resting on the arms of my chair, eager
to alight, land upon my nose, tangle
with my beard

When the T Rex fell, or Martha Stewart
went to jail, some fraction is right here
on my desk, scrubbed into palms

Dust is a little impolite, doesn’t listen much
says it just can’t be bothered to respond
although to its credit, doesn’t reminisce

Coalesced into the carpet beneath my toes
immune to the intentions of vacuum machines
rising like a phoenix does

I contribute some, but some nether day
I’ll give the all of me

neil reid © july 2010

neil reid © july 2010

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read write poem   napowrimo #06

prompt by Rhiannon converse with images

Select an image, photograph, painting, or anything. Engage in conversation. Who are you? What are you doing here? (or something like that) Stir, and see what comes. (steeply paraphrased)

(So what is this silly response? Thought I might be profound, if just a little bit. But the fairy tale keeps wagging its tail, and here’s what left, not crumpled on the floor. Unredeemed I am. So be it, like the good book says!)

little red, by Jenny Bitner (with permission)

Goldy Bear

(in praise of things with teeth, including little girls)

I love to wear my pretty red jacket in the rain

I’m cloaked in my best fur when all these faces rain on me

My galoshes too, ten toes counting you

Ten times ten wishes I have seeing you, toes in flight!

And leap!

Golden hair, secret locks, stairs to my lips

Oh, you said lips! And they say I’m the one big and bad!

I’m just seduced by loveliness!

May I pet you sweet bear? My fingertips!

Well, I’m not, but inside my dear, yes I am

See the ribbon of my tongue, the emeralds of my teeth?

It’s not cold, but I’m shivering

I hear bells inside

Here, the door is open for you, yummy lovely you!

Oh, it’s dark and warm inside and

I’ve always wanted to be a wolf. My secret revealed

And I’ve always wanted to be innocent, and now

Brave new world      Brave new world!

We never would have guessed

Yes, love raw just like this!

Neil Reid © April 2010

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Poem tales

Getting dressed in the morning

I put poems on my feet. Poem-pants

and poem-shirt. (Then off I go to the

word-monger’s shop dressed in white.)

(But that’s a poem-lie.)

(I wear jet-poem-black.)

I wrote a poem and it turned into

a daughter-phrase. Good thing there

was a spare poem-dress in the drawer.

(Whatever to wear to the poem-prom?)

Parenthood, there’s so many words!

When my son grows up someday

I’ll hope he turns into a poem too.

(Another poem-lie.) (I don’t have a son.)

But I do have a poem-wishing-bone.

Launching into my life of poem-crime,

I broke into a poem-bank, stole every

word, every syllable in their poem-vault.

(Just kidding.) (Honestly Your Honor,

not for greed, for poetry!)

As a child, learned my P’s & O’s & EM’s.

But too many EM’s and I had to have

triple-poem-bypass surgery. I’m fine now,

but was told to give up doggerel rhyme.

I refuse!

Things todos poem-list:

Poems to clear the drain, poem-brooms,

grasshopper-poems for nature’s sake,

instant buckwheat-poems-&-grits (not haiku

but they’re quick), venison-poem-sausage

(remember the old poem-food pyramid?),

viral poems (although I can’t decide yet,

how’s the vote? For or Against!)

(stealth poems) too (those you can’t see

approaching your pen or ear).


Poems to get laid (like that’ll work!),

poems to be left alone (think I got

that one down!!).

I drew a poem-circle, perfection round,

included each of us, but a poem-mouth

ate us all up. It mumbled away

speaking Japanese.

Can’t I please now put my poem-pen

down? No! Poem-bellows-and-howls!

Wrote another poem, nearly swooned!

Afterward(s) I wanted a

puff of a poem-cigarette.

Was it good for you?

And yes, poems do have tails.

See them wag! Good poem,

good boy. Fetch!

Neil Reid © February 2010

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I am here

read write prompt #106, repeat after me
by community member Rethabile Masilo

Write a poem using repetition for poetic effect is the prompt for this week.

(Read the prompt for full details and examples.)
(Read other participants responses to this prompt.)

I am here

I am here.

Ferry boat moves, water slides away.

Ocean current moves, boat goes too.

What rock holds this space?

A salad map, round red dots.

Pointing me. I am here. Here.

Nor will hands on the clock

stay this place. I am here. Here.

Time changes nothing, but nothing

changes everything.

Lest one hand be lost. Follow then.

Given chance, a rock will move.

Obviously or mysteriously, it will move.

At the end of this unbreaking chain,

here reposed. I am here.

So far as my stride will bend. Daily mend

where sheets may tack, wind received.

Follow your gaze to horizon’s brim.

The edge of a world approaches close.

Trace my course upon your open palm.

Where a wave becomes a rock.

A steadfast wind upon your sea-salt lips.

And I am here. I am.

Neil Reid © December 2009

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May I get that door for you?

This is a poem meant to be meaningful.

Did I say profound? Meant to heal

your hurts, mend your fences, be the apple

a day, brighten your eyes.

Make glossy your coat.

Keep that nose nice and wet!

That’s all good they say.

Will great beauty heal you?

How about a big fat roll of cash?

The perfect cup of morning coffee?

And what will mend a pair of jeans?

A needle and thread and

a willing thumb.

Glad I could be of help.

Neil Reid © November 2009

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Lost boys

Lost boys


Lost boys gathered like grapes on the vine.

Waiting, fidgeting. When will Peter arrive?


Patience is a premium too expensive sometimes.

Peter has little for me I think. Over-grown by some?


But Tiger Lily has my eye. I’m here for the duration

either way. Just don’t wanna become a pirate is all.


Rustle is in the limbs. Shaking leaves. Waiting

for Autumn just won’t do. Boys pile the leaves.


Leap. Only natural to wanna fly. We have

big eyes. Horizon is only a belt we discard.


See her eyes. Wandering colors like sea

like sky like wings like falling far and far.


Dust off happy thoughts.

I trust to that wildness.



Neil Reid © November 2009

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Memories, you know, don’t say anything about the past.  What they say is how we hold then now.  Interesting critters.  (Take note of the dedication and RWP article given below.)



For my teacher, Dave


I wore my cowboy hat.  My boots were

just ordinary shoes, but I knew better.


I had a badge, holster and gun, but honestly

I wouldn’t ever shoot you.  I’m on the side

of what’s good.


My hat might be black, but I’m still good.


I wore my cowboy hat every day.

Until someone said they didn’t believe,

not at all.  Not even in make-up stuff!


I understood, but still it hurt.  That lasted

for a long long time.  There remained many

cowboys on TV, but I wasn’t one of them,

not any more.


Mostly I kept that all a secret.  Mostly,

until right here.  Mostly.  I’ve been normal,

I’ve been good.  You’d probably not have

seen that cowboy in me.


I hungered, I craved for peace, long long

before it was fashionable.  Be it on the

dust deep streets of Cimarron, or now

here where I work a growd up job.


I reckon you’d understand.  As one day

a new teacher rode into town and had

nerve to say, write what you wish!


And just so, the cowboy did.  And

it looked just like this!



Neil Reid © October 2009


A little Tomfoolery, but not.  And there really was a cowboy, you see.

And dedicated to Dave Jarecki, author of the wonderful and instructive RWP posting, children and poetry – the kids will all write.

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Darkly humorous

Darkly humorous


Where is dark?


Is it under this book?  No, just my desk.

Around the corner, under those old clothes?

Just a carpet, green shag.  Shucks!


Oh yes, the refrigerator!  Surely here.

Darn, that pesky bulb.  Every time!


Is it in the closet perhaps?  Not when

I open the door!  Someone’s looking 

over my shoulder here.


Is it under a rock?  Just worms!

I looked twice.  Pretended to walk away.

Hurried back.  No luck!


I calculate the tides, influence of the moon.

Stealth!  That’s it!  Outside at night?

Stars abound!  Dim, but no dark.


Aah!  What about between the stars?

Isn’t that black?  Really, just what mortar is.

And a hole is not whole!


No cheating!  Please.

What if, clever me, I close my eyes?

Yes, but understand your prize!


Standing at the gate to everything

and nothing much.  Yet bathed all the same!

Your might is only over one.  Incredulous.


Complete.      Indivisible.

Get the joke?



Neil Reid © October 2009

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Poems are a piece of cake!



I think I’m a little slow, not that bright.

I’ve even forgotten my second line.


And now the third is pressuring me!

The dictionary is so full, but not me.


Gimme a break    or a good comma will do.

Sleep, sheep, Bo Peep.  Never liked rhymes.


Anyone got a magazine?

Someone distract me please.  Please!


Well now, this is just plain silly!

Time to go eat some cake?


Tomorrow I’ll be an astronaut.

Surely I can push a button or two.


And a very small leap for poetry-kind.



Neil Reid © September 2009


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Flood water

Flood water


A flood can come on small feral feet.

A flood wants to lick your hidden toes.  

It wants your shoes.  Its got none, you see.

It wants to look in your pockets.  Spare keys?

Or tumble in your drawers, riffle your socks,

find an old pocket knife.  A flood has nothing,

except what you give.


A flood is brown.  Waiting to bath in the sea.

A flood doesn’t really understand fish.

Why are they so slippery to touch?  They just

so seldom want to sing, only to get away.

But a flood takes tea with trees.


A flood is a little forlorn.  It began like tears.

A flood remembers a sky that’s grey,

remembers looking down on your home.

Wonders why you’re away when she comes

to town.  Sees tail lights, streaking red.


You came to me just that way,

and I fled right up slippery banks.

And all you wanted was all of me!



Neil Reid © September 2009


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