boats in pyjamas

boats in pyjamas by anelephantcant

boats in pyjamas by anelephantcant

Click here to listen to the 1-minute poem read aloud:

boats in pyjamas
prepared for winter sleep
useless as promises
we knew we couldn’t keep

masts in pink petals
dancing in twilit sky
natural and lovely
to my unconsoled eye

trees now undressed
shorn naked unleaved
exposed as the summer lies
we never quite believed

sky in perfection
singular in its blue
stripped of its cloud love
as I’m denuded of you

shadows invisible
in darkness in fear
terrified abandoned
since you disappeared

heart on a jetty
wave-swept angry sea
salt water and salt tears
loneliness only me

masts in pink petals by anelephantcant

masts in pink petals by anelephantcant

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you by anelephantcant

you by anelephantcant

Click here to hear the poem read aloud:


you think you’re old
you meet someone
you have no new words to say
you think of every phrase you know
they all sound dull and so clichéd

but you write them down regardless
because somehow you have to start
your brain no longer functions
so it all pours from your heart

she’s a Shakespearean sonnet
a hive full of honey
she’s Judy’s Easter Bonnet
she’s a painting by Monet

she’s a hillside of heather
a foreign accent
she’s a love song by Cohen
and a dream lover’s scent

she’s a novel by Steinbeck
she’s a poem by Burns
Pavarotti’s Nessun Dorma
she’s Dior being worn

she’s Paris in Springtime
a small white cloud in the sky
the laughter of children
a single tear of pure joy

she’s the Italian lakes
the Islands of Greece
a perfect bouillabaisse
she’s the whole world, at peace

she is everything beautiful
and everything good
she is perfect in denims
and perfecter nude

each second of each day
thinking of you
each minute of each year
loving just you
and all of my life now
missing just you

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fragments by anelephantcant

fragments by anelephantcant

Click here to hear the poem read aloud:

is this the way to heaven
can I find it at last in her deep brown eyes
can she lead me there step by small step
or is she a devil in an angel’s disguise

is she able to release me
can she finally open this prison door
can she tear down the bars with her bare hands
or is my pain once more calmly ignored

can she create the picture perfect
can she paint colour back into my world
is she the one to heal the artist’s soul
or just another sweet transient girl

can she decipher the cluttered confusion
and make sense of this traumatised mind
is she the answer to daydreams and wishes
or does she walk away and leave me broken behind

can she uproot the most stubborn of weeds
allowing my withering soul to be nourished
inviting in the sunshine and air
making space for our love to flourish

perhaps she’s the Scarlet Pimpernel
who saves my neck from the cruel guillotine
or maybe she is only the whetstone
who ensures that the blade is sharp and keen

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Tribute to Lenny

When I was a student at Glasgow University I went to a party at the home  of my friend Big Frank, in Bathgate Street, in Glasgow’s East End.
At some point in the evening I heard a song on a sampler album.
It was Sisters of Mercy, by Leonard Cohen, which contains the lines:
‘If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn
They will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem’.
And I was hooked.
I first saw him perform live in Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall in 1972.
And, for the last time, outdoors on the esplanade at Edinburgh Castle in 2008.

photograph by anelephantcant

photograph by anelephantcant

This poem, inspired by The Stranger Song, is a tribute to one of the great poets of the last century, who became an extraordinary singer/songwriter.

But, more importantly, he was a beautiful person.

Click here to hear the following poem read aloud:

The Stranger

in the night the dreams return
eliminate all scents and flavours
I hear the words of Leonard Cohen
I told you when I came I was a stranger

I live my life as each one must
I stumble in and out of danger
whenever trouble comes I say
I told you when I came I was a stranger

each lady falls under my spell
each thinks she is my saviour
I speak the truth each time I leave
I told you when I came I was a stranger

so now though I am old and grey
I cannot alter my behaviour
love departs and laughs at me
I told you when I came I was a stranger

she of course was different
until I hurt and shamed her
my one defence for all the pain
I told you when I came I was a stranger

now in the night the ghosts return
to remind me how I changed her
I broke her loving heart and lied
I told you when I left you were a stranger

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rainbow by anelephantcant

rainbow by anelephantcant

Click here to hear the poem read aloud:

the day awakens far too early
before the sun decides to rise
her coloured smile inspires laughter
a glimpse of wonder from her eyes

I know I cannot hold a rainbow
or cup it gently in my palm
my soul craves to kiss it sweetly
but never again will I be calm

she has the same translucent glory
she brings a smile to every face
and no matter if the tears flow
she leaves the world a better place

I think at first she is an angel
with an aura not quite human
but she is really not so special
she just knows that she’s a woman

she is not like any other
she helps me live beyond the pain
when she flickers just outwith my vision
I yearn to see my dream again

she has the beauty of a rainbow
with a sad ephemeral glow
my heartache prays she’ll stay forever
my heartbreak knows that soon she’ll go

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Hallowe’en Scottish Style

Hallowe'en by Phil Burns

Hallowe’en by Phil Burns

Click here to hear AnElephant read his own drivel aloud:

AnElephantCant contain his excitement
As the end of October draws near
His wee brain fair itches
As he thinks about witches
It is far and away the scariest night of the year

Aye Hallowe’en is a night of fear-filled frolics and fun
As long as you ca’ canny*
You might see a de’il
Or a bogle for real
If you keek in each impenetrably dark nook and cranny

Some traditions last forever and ever
Some changes we find quite surprising
In the US it’s neat
To say trick or treat
But in Scotland for the past 500 years we call it guising

There’s ay laughter and games for the children
With treacle scones hung on a loosely-strung string
Just mind your thrapple
When dookin’ for apples
In case a wild wean wi’ a sharp-pronged fork takes a swing

And everyone carves out a lacklustre lantern
We use torpid turnips but some folk use pumpkins
We may be old fashioned
But please show compassion
AnElephant should not be casually confused with a near-extinct country bumpkin

Now though it’s all modern and commercialised
We a’ continue to do things we’re no’ supposed tae
It’s still the nerve-numbing night
That causes face-freezing fright
When we walk wi’ all sorts of gruesome ghouls and ghastly ghosties

Hallowe’en is the annual haunt of the bogeyman
He frightens the bravest bairns out of their hat-disguised heads
He has never been seen
But does that really just mean
He is hiding patiently but perniciously poised under AnElephant’s bed?

*Glossary of Terms:
Aye – yes
ca’ canny – take care
bogle – a bad thing, a spectre, a goblin
keek – look
ay – always
thrapple – throat, windpipe
dookin’ – ducking, trying to capture from a large basin or bath
wean – bairn, child
tae – to
bogeyman – boogeyman (USA), very bad (hopefully) imaginary person

Posted in Daft Rhymes, humour, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

sorrow flows

sorrow flows by anelephantcant

sorrow flows by anelephantcant

Click here to hear the poem read aloud:

my sorrow widens like a river in torment
as it flows under a bridge of my tears
and sighs like the wind in the darkness
dispensing the seeds of my fears

deep waters crash upwards in confusion
dragged screaming in dread from the well
unmoving horses gallop like thunder
around the pain of the coloured carousel

the questions contaminate the interrupts
inhuman voices soon grow bolder
nervous faces flit from eye to eye
finding chaos at last in the order

the writer lies sleepless in anguish
staring up through the nightmare above
the poetry that crawls from my heartache
is written in the blood of our love

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