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Federico García Lorca

 Solidaridad screamed out from posters and stamps
that carried snapshots of the dead poet’s face.

We still haven’t found his body.
He said we never would.

They tortured him first,
taunted him for being homosexual:
trussed him up, laid him face down,
then shot him, for a joke, in the offending area.

It didn’t take him long to die.
When he did,
his body was dumped in some way out ossuary.

But first they carved the bullets out of his corpse,
three from around the anal tract,
keeping them as souvenirs.

 Later that night, Fascists, drunk,
laughed uproariously in their favorite bars.

They dropped the bullets into their wine
and drank to the re-establishment of law and order.

 Next day his friends were put to death.

Waverers were soon convinced by bullets
lodged at the base of another’s skull …

fine arguments …

Monkey Reviews Retirement

Monkey Reviews Retirement


“No more Latin, no more French, no more sitting on the old school bench.”

Monkey chants this famous ditty as he relaxes in the whirlpool bath, a glass of white wine on the tray before him and his faithful tablet sitting beside it.
“The olde order changeth …”  Monkey pauses and takes a sip of wine, “… lest one good custom should corrupt the world.”

“Welcome to heaven,”Monkey lies back in the jacuzzi and the beating waters whirl around him, sending him into a dream world.

No more committee meetings: The unter-monkeys sit in a circle, where all are equal but some are more equal than others.  They pass a lyre bird feather  round and round, weeping crocodile tears and lying through the tight monkey  grins of their alligator teeth.

No more writing reports: The dead text he revises is composed of misquotes, harsh judgements,  double-talk, and outrageous lies.

No more long-term contracts: “Will the defendant please rise. Sir: I sentence you to a term of two years’ detention at this institution, renewable for another two years. And, should you continue to to do well, and should you fail, over that four year probationary period, to fall by the wayside, or to do anything wrong, I sentence you to life imprisonment, till death do you and the institution part. Amen!!!”

No more promotion: Inmates with crowded heads and vacant faces, fools grinning at a universe of folly, paddled in piddle beside him.

No more cabin fever: Monkey has worked for forty years among foreigners and lunatics afraid of the rats who keep him company, devoured by his monkey lust to drive silver knives and forks through the watch springs of their inhuman, foreign hearts.

No more penis envy: They lounge in glass cubicles, checking each other out for size, weight, length, girth, with a roll of the eye, and a casual flicker of a forked lightning tongue.

No more water-fountain gossip: They prefer death by blow-gun, their poison dart injected through hollowed fangs or Chinese Water Torture, the slow drip after drip of poison inserted into ears and veins, a drop at a time, and slowly gathering … until their victim slows down, ceases to struggle, stands there, eyes open, unable to move, poisoned and paralyzed.

No more gala occasions: … gripping cup handles between finger and thumb, enormously pleased to be the center of attention, however clumsily they walk,  in their hired-for-the-occasion, ill-fitting,  black and white penguin suits.

No more macaronic Latin: Caesar adsum jam forte, Brutus aderat; Caesar sic in omnibus, Brutus sic in at!

No more thought police: The Thought Police try to make him change his mind. Others, in blind obedience to a thwarted, intolerant authority, first bully him, then beat him, then bite him till he’s dead.

No more Wittgenstein: Or is it just the act of perception, as Wittgenstein would have us believe, and nothing more, the money always spinning on its metal edge, never falling, the coin on its axis, a new day with its potential,  sunshine or shadow, thrown dice still skittering, a new world  imperceptibly poised in its own making?

No more Camus: “Il faut imaginer l’esclave heureux.”

No more Shakespearean tragedy: Down in the kitchen, the cooking staff are preparing the next nutrition break. As the cauldron boils and bubbles, three old monkey witches dance around the pot and polish that bright red poisoned apple.

No more annual reports: Monkey is not übermenschen, nor is he untermenschen, either. He thinks of himself as honorable mention, not a whole chapter in the book, but rather an interesting footnote to one of those less important pages that abound in local histories.

No more kowtowing to a vacant authority: “Yadda, yadda, yaddathree bags  full … and a fig for the frigging king beneath my frigging cloak.”

No more drugs: The bartender measures poison and monkey slips it skillfully into his veins.

No more avoiding direct questions: When asked where he grew up Monkey will now say “I don’t think I have.” When asked what he did for a living, Monkey will now say“I no longer know.”

There’s nothing more to say. The jacuzzi whirs on and on and Monkey continues his voyage serenaded by the buzzing of the bees as he walks past  the cigarette trees on his way to the soda water fountain.

“All About Angels” by Roger Moore – Poet

Thank you for your review, Pearl. To everything there is indeed a season … now the October poems are alive once more and indeed I am enjoying them.

The Old Fossil's Library

For more work by Roger Moore - click! All About Angels by Roger Moore

AllAboutAngels was written in memory of, and dedicated to, Roger Moore’s wife’s aunt. This book is a celebration of life and an exercise in remembering those who have completed their journey and gone on, leaving us behind. But more than poems about the loss of our human loved ones, Mr. Moore’s verse cries out the end of the cycle of life for wild things, and even describes the heart-wrenching beauty which can be found in the death throes of the seasons .

I read this book for well over a week – not because it was difficult, but because the poetry was sublime…sometimes sad, sometimes disturbing…mostly bittersweet…always emotional.

Here’s a ‘for instance’:

“September Angel” by Roger Moore

one leaf

turning on the tree

spells the end of summer

though warm days linger


a hummingbird


by a burnt brown sunflower


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Beaver Pond in October


The Beaver Pond
in October

Open are the pond’s bright spaces,
brown and withering are the reeds.

Clouds float in the pond’s dark mirror.
Small islands of grass seed
where underwater logs have clogged
and rotted themselves back into life.

Around us, emptiness, empty nests,
earth and its waters waiting for what
strange second coming?

like footprints, delicate on the water,
their pale green tongues lapping
towards the land and everywhere
the low light bright against stripped
white branches.

That lone mast standing still,
gift-wrapped this bouquet of grass
and cloud-enhanced,
magic, these sun

this October light,



Metaphor: Wednesday Workshop


Wednesday Workshop
26 October 2016

Metaphors: What are they? I must be honest: I don’t really know. I don’t understand them. I never have. I probably never will. This morning, I determined to find out what a metaphor really is. So I Googled metaphor and came up with the following definitions.

  1. A metaphor is “a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance.”
    Well, that is pretty clear, isn’t it?
  2. A metaphor is “something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else; emblem; symbol.”
    No doubts there.
  3. “Metaphor is a figure of speech which makes an implicit, implied or hidden comparison between two things that are unrelated but share some common characteristics. In other words, a resemblance of two contradictory or different objects is made based on a single or some common characteristics.”
    I know exactly what they mean. Or do I?
  4. “In simple English, when you portray a person, place, thing, or an action as being something else, even though it is not actually that “something else,” you are speaking metaphorically.”
    No misunderstanding here.
  5. “A metaphor is a figure of speech that refers, for rhetorical effect, to one thing by mentioning another thing. It may provide clarity or identify hidden similarities between two ideas. Where a simile compares two items, a metaphor directly equates them, and does not use “like” or “as” as does a simile.”
    Slightly clearer, but not as clear as daylight.

I turn to my blog for help and read that “The egg of my skull / shows hairline cracks: / tiny beaks pecking / fine-tuned sparks of song”. “This piece,” Tanya Cliff writes, “offers a unique and beautiful perspective on the theme (of birds).” I think I can do without the dull, dry definitions set out in the definitions above and understand metaphor as “a unique and beautiful perspective”. This functions for me. Thank you, Tanya.

Two more sequences, this time from October Angel: (1) “she gathers her evening gown / and walks among ruined flowers” (Meg Sorick’s choice) and (2) “a snapdragon opens / the frosted forge of its mouth / and sprinkles the sky / with ice-hard shards of fire” (Tanya Cliff’s choice). I can understand the first in terms of “a unique and beautiful perspective” since the picture of the October Angel is clear in my mind. In addition, evening / evening gown / ruined flowers are particularly evocative. The second sequence is much stronger as anyone who has seen the snapdragon flowers braving the ice and frost will testify.

After thinking about these three examples, I think I can now understand metaphor a little bit better. I would define a metaphor as “a brief verbal sequence that creates a new reality that offers a unique and sometimes beautiful perspective” on something that we have long known and accepted but now, thanks to the writer / poet, see in a different light.

This personal definition allows us to distinguish with ease between dead metaphors and clichés like dead as a door nail or avoid it like the plague while allowing us to enjoy the permutations that spring from the innovation of the true metaphoric sequence. The metaphoric sequence also allows us to distinguish between a two word metaphor and a series of metaphors that are thematically linked.

From my own poetry, ruined flowers would be an example of the first while the longer sequence a snapdragon opens / the frosted forge of its mouth / and sprinkles the sky / with ice-hard shards of fire would be an example of the second. Iterative thematic imagery, a form of sequenced metaphor chains, then links the whole work, be it poem or longer piece, within an associative semantic field of parallel meanings. This also illustrates the idea of differentiating between the inorganic and organic conceit, where the inorganic conceit is the example of a single, independent instance while the organic conceit is woven into the fabric of the oeuvre.

If I now apply my own definition back to last night’s conversations, when mathematics turned to metaphor, I was able to grasp a new and beautiful perspective (the scientific one) on something that I had long known and accepted. My thanks to all who inspire me to write and commentate and particularly to those who participated with me in this discussion: Chuck Bowie, Tanya Cliff, Meg Sorick, Kevin Stephens, and John Sutherland.

All About Angels




All About Angels

Angels: many people believe in them, some people don’t. ‘What are they really like?’ you ask. Well, the ones I have seen, and they are the only ones I can talk about, are nothing like the angels we see in old church paintings.

 Angels visit me regularly. They speak to me through the mouths of innocent birds and beasts and I listen to them carefully, for they are the messengers of Gaia, the earth goddess. If we do not listen to the earth goddess, if we don’t pay attention to her words, the earth and the people who live on it will be in serious trouble, sooner or later.

 So, go out into the garden and the woods. Walk softly. Stand beneath autumn trees. Watch for footprints in the winter snow. Above all, watch out for the living creatures with which we share our world. Listen to them when they speak to you. Pay attention to their words. Do not ignore them, and remember St. Francis of Assisi who called them his brothers and sisters, for that’s exactly what they are. They are our extended family and as we treat them, so will we ourselves be treated when Gaia, the earth goddess, calls us home.

Pensive Angel

 “A penny for your thoughts!”

 The pansies turned their heads,
gazing at her with great disdain.

 They are the lowest of the low,
yet grow again, each year,
from their own scattered seed,
like weeds.

 Their faces are beautiful,
bursting suddenly from winter’s
white dream.

 They create pastel thoughts and fill
the flowerbeds with secret dreams
that they alone can see.

All About Angels, my next book of poetry,  will soon be available on Amazon and Kindle.

Wild Bird


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Wild Bird

 A wild bird has built
her nest in my heart.

Her blood-beat
flutters new rhythms.

Birdsong streams
sunlight in my pulse.

Afloat I knew the sea-
surge lift and pull.

Now hot blood rises
with the sun and sets
with this glorious fall
from heaven to earth:

sweet helter-skelter
glide of current and cloud.

Hair is to head
as feather is to nest.

The egg of my skull
shows hairline cracks:

tiny beaks pecking
fine-tuned sparks of song.

Monkey Presses Delete



Monkey Presses Delete

Monkey loves walking behind the gorillas.
He loves to see fear in faces, tears in eyes
as the gorillas smash and grab and break down doors.

The gorillas break and enter: and when they do,
monkey simply points and gorillas do their thing:
it’s that simple …

Monkey has a code word he took from his computer course.
“Delete!” he says with delight
and the gorillas delete whatever he points to.

He loves deleting parents in front of children,
though deleting children in front of their parents
can be just as exciting.
He also loves burning other people’s books
and deleting their web pages.

The delete button excites monkey:
maneuvering the mouse tightens his scrotum
and he feels a kick like a baby’s at the bottom of his belly
as he carefully selects his victim and “Delete!”

The gorillas go into action:
ten, twenty, thirty, fifty, seventy years of existence
deleted with a gesture
and the click of an index finger pointed like a gun.

Monkey Throws Away the Keys


Monkey Throws Away the Keys

Monkey is tired of writing reports
that are never read.
He is fed up with frequently asked
questions and their unread answers.
To every lock, there is a key.
Monkey looks at the red and gold
locks of the last orang-utangs
and wonders how to unpick their DNA.

Monkey would give his kingdom
for a key, a key, a little silver key:
the key to a situation, the key to a heart,
the office key, the key to the door,
at twenty-one, the keys of fate,
the Florida keys, the key to San
Francisco’s Golden Gate,
a passe-partout, a skeleton key,
the key to Mother Hubbard’s
cupboard, where she hides dry bones …

On the last day, when monkey leaves work
he takes a lifetime of keys
and throws them down a deep dark well.
As they halve the distance to the water,
he listens to the sound of silence
and wonders if they’ll ever hit the bottom.

Late Summer Angel




Late Summer Angel

“It’s good to stop, while mowing,
and to rescue that one red leaf,
and that one yellow leaf,
and that other leaf
the sun has spotted,
like an old man’s hand.

And it’s good to stay
bent over for a while,
to rest and to gaze
at the October fungi,
mushrooms and toadstools,
thrusting from the earth:
puff balls, dust balls,
little brown umbrellas.

 And it’s good to see
where the moles
have dug new houses.”

 “Better yet,”
says the autumn angel,
“is to stand beneath
the trees, drinking up
the sunlight.

Raise your hand and see
your skin fragmented
into a coat of many colors.”

 Sunshine through
a stained glass window.

 Light rains
droplets down
through speckled leaves.

Note: Late Summer Angel is from All About Angels, the poetry collection that I am currently revising for re-publication. It will be available online at Amazon and Kindle in time for Christmas, 2016.