All the Dead are Poets

  1. All the Dead are Poets — A Sonnet

This poet’s muses are not passed that he
Need seek in Asphodel his sonnet’s fashion;
Though were it so and in that place they be,
What meadow rich to nurture blooms of passion!
Yet not to descant praise for that perdition
Nor frame in gild the state of such repose,
But cantillate in triumph life’s transition
That transcends earthly terms in it’s transpose;
For whom at rest in that so cold embrace,
Bereft of life in death’s eternal night,
Whom could they breach the void of time and space
Would not ten-thousand godly sonnets write!
    When passed beyond this mortal realm’s divide,
    All souls are poets on the other side.

French Pendant with Monk and Death Image: Wikipedia

French Pendant with Monk and Death
Image: Wikipedia


On Taking a Fly out of a Basin of Water

This post is a comment received on my doggerel poetry. Thanks to David for posting this!

If anyone reading knows who wrote it, please let me know!

I do like to see someone having fun with not-so-bad verse…!! And thank you for liking my own attampts to open English eyes to Ronsard.

Unable to provide poetry of my own, & being unable to think where to post the following on my own blog, I thought this ‘doggerel page might be a good place to share with you & others this neglected contribution to English literature… I found it in one of those marvellous weekly magazines which the 19th century seems thronged with: in this case a magazine I’d not previously heard of, The Gleaner – issue no.14, July 30 1823. I hope you might find it a fitting companion to your own enjoyable poetry in the doggerel form!

On Taking a Fly out of a Basin of Water

In yonder vase behold that drowning fly,
Its little feet how vainly does it ply;
Its cries I hear not, tho’ it loudly cries,
And gentle hearts can feel its agonies.

Poor helpless victim! and will no one save?
Will no one snatch thee from the threat’ning wave?
Is there no friendly hand – no helper nigh?
And must thou, little struggler, die?

Thou shalt not while this hand can set thee free,
Thou shalt not die, this hand shall rescue thee;
My finger’s tip shall prove a friendly shore,
There, trembler, all thy dangers now are o’er.

Wipe thy wet wings, and banish all thy fear,
Go join thy buzzing brothers in the air;
Away it flies, resumes its harmless play,
And sweetly gambols in the golden ray.

Best wishes – David



What fate torments you, spirit of twilight,
Forever cursed to chase the setting sun
And be pursued by spectres of the night
Borne on that cobalt shroud from which you run!
Your wake cuts like a knife through coalescence
Of colours bleeding out from sunset’s prism,
To drip in pools bereft of luminescence
That fill the chasm cleft by your incision;
Yet even as that fiery orb descends
Horizon’s crimson line, on eastern quarter,
Her speeding chariot’s argent light portends
The visage of Hyperion’s eldest daughter.
    By destiny decreed to never know,
    The dark of night, nor daylight’s warming glow.

Twilight On The Farm Image: Charles Rollo Peters Click image to visit.

Twilight On The Farm
Image: Charles Rollo Peters
Click image to visit.



The greatest irony in man is this:
That primal fears abound imagination.
Yet, that which he contrives them to dismiss
Is often wrought from like fancification.
For willingly does he embrace delusion
When acumen and reason can’t aspire
To produce some commensurate illusion
Of purpose that is meet with his desire;
And comprehension gleans but a few drops
Of knowledge from the sea of mystery,
Then noesis ends where understanding stops,
Unleashing boundless creativity.
    When ignorance gives rise to fear’s commotions,
    Imagination conjures up nice notions!

The Thinker

The Thinker

Voices in the Mist

Voices in the Mist

Line 1: Anapestic Trimeter – – / – – / – – /
Line 2: Dactylic Tetrameter / – – / – – / – – / – –
Line 3. Trochaic Hexameter / – / – / – / – / – /
Line 4. Iambic Pentameter – / – / – / – / – /

In the first living hour of my day
Even in infancy destiny called to me,
Sweet the voice that drifted from beyond your shores
On misty Irish seas o’er Mersey Bar;

And I knew in the heart of my youth
She would not suffer for me to remain with you,
Softly she would call my name one fateful day
And take me over ocean waves afar;

As the hour of my day approached six
Destiny’s yearning was burning consuming me,
August’s balmy waves echoed distant cries
With passion I embraced the nymph of fate;

On the wings of adventure elated
Borne across oceans of darkest profundity,
Into crimson skies where setting sun declines
To lands of carefree days and starry nights;

Then at noon on the day of my life
Far from the land of my ancestors legacy,
Boldly in exotic fields of passion’s fruit
I harvested sweet bounties of desire;

But that lady of fate is capricious
Destiny’s fealty endures only fleetingly,
Cruelly she imprisoned me in my delusion
To drift a northern isle in Carib seas;

Left to drown in the depths of contrition
Caught in a vortex of turquoise-blue misery,
Breathing long forgotten threads of carefree youth
Recalling mid-December’s summer days;

In this last living hour of my day
Gazing through mist in the North the pole-star I see,
Sweeter still your voice that drifts from those fair shores
O’er misty Irish Sea from Mersey Bar.

Crosby Beach, Liverpool By Will Daviess

Crosby Beach, Liverpool
By Will Daviess

Distractions in Infinity

Distractions in Infinity — A Sonnet

I do not dwell on time; but time on me
Imposes thought that distracts meditation,
With chiding memories of what can not be,
A man derided by his own creation.
While high above infinity’s endless ocean
Where, from temporal realms, no echo rings,
The angel of existence orders motion
And time is but the beating of her wings.
She flies along the shoreline of mortality
Where waves of life break ever on the beaches,
Her touch imbues the living with vitality,
Her shadow is the threshold of death’s reaches.
    Her flight is clearly audible in the clock:
    Those silent booms between the tick and tock.

Walkowitz at Home -- David Burliuk Click Image

Walkowitz at Home — David Burliuk
Click Image

Willow Me (A Sonnet)

Willow Me

Interred within the soil of youthful prime
A willow seed lies sown in dormancy,
That with the daily watering of time
Grows old and dies, a withered, weeping tree.
And years are petals on the bud of life
That when she blossoms unfold to display
A sapless flower; her petals, passed and rife,
Hang virtueless, bereft of sweet bouquet.
Yet what possesses virtue, worth or reason
Save framed within this frail mortality?
Or whence derives one’s passion for the season
If not from this temporal symmetry?
And if in life I find a love to cherish,
Then I shall gladly live and love, and perish.

Weeping Willow by Claude Monet Click Image to visit

Weeping Willow by Claude Monet
Click Image to visit



all my life
you have
and my
you are
my life’s bane
every time i
see you
seeing me
my heart
the tears
i now weep
for the
tears and
the pain
in the
that I love
when i’m

James Ford broken mirror

James Ford broken mirror

The Boat (Doggerel)

I thought I’d do something light and fun. It’s been ages since I wrote doggerel (intentionally), so I thought, why not?

The Boat

I will ever enjoy to recall that fair day
‘Mid the birds and the bees we went out in a boat,
We pushed off from the shore with our anchors away
And the River Thames carried us far-off afloat;

How romantic the moment inspires me to shudder
Each sparkle on the sheen-like water as I rowed,
Pulling hard on my oar seeing you at the other,
Floating in a dream ‘neath Dunnings Bridge Street road;

And bobbing along to a dingaling dong
As the church in the graveyard its bell it did ring,
Gulls crowed overhead and the sparrows fled in song
Till the river we to Westminster did bring;

And just out of chance the Archbishop was there
On the banks of the Thames out in front of the Abbey,
So we asked him to wed us right then in a prayer
And the kind vicar agreed we two to marry;

Now its been forty years since we made our vows
And the old boat sank long moons ago,
But the birds and the bees are still flying in clouds
Though its winter right now and all’s covered with snow;

So hark you young lovers who down river go
To be wed by the bishop on river bank’s track,
The current is fast so be warned and know:
It’s nice going down but it’s hell all the way back!

Pierre Auguste Renoir

Pierre Auguste Renoir



This morning I discovered a hair
growing on the tip of my nose.
I’ve always cast myself as the bearer of
an unblemished nose, attractive even,
in the manner of those perfectly
symmetrical marble appendages
adorning the gods of Rome.
Oh well.
Tweezers flashed.
Pilus expelled. Antinous again, sure enough;
but the nose reneged its place
and refused to cede to vacuous
space the foreground of my
Clever nose.
It sensed, in a whiff that wafted on
the noontime breeze from across
the expanse of time to,
emerge from my neighbour’s kitchen window,
the redolence of school meals.
I am sent.
An eternal instant: I’m a happy,
clever and extremely cute little boy,
standing eagerly in line in my grey
short pants and pullover, holding
my dinner plate and breathing
deeply the delicious aroma of
cheese pie ‘n’ chips, now
transmuted into
the poignant essence of
Yes, my neighbours cooking can
certainly get the juices flowing!

The "Lansdowne Antinous" Image: Wikipedia Click on image to visit

The “Lansdowne Antinous”
Image: Wikipedia
Click on image to visit