LEADERS - not followers

Sunday, March 30, 2008

TOP prompt - Regional poetry

North/South Divide

“If you stay long time in Thailand,
You must to learn speak Thai
If you want happy ending
No promplem; just sabai, sabai.

Thai lady speak good English
When learn so high, at school.
She very like your rangwedge
And have jai yen – that’s ‘cool’.

She have good teacher Angkrit,
Up-country, in Isan.
Not only khao nieow – ‘sticky rice’,
Also 'homework' – that’s karn barn.”

“I understand you, clearly,
But here’s what’s wrong with you.
You say things back-to-front, e.g.
For ‘your friend’, you say, ‘my friend you’.

Now, here’s what I learnt, just this week,
But something is amiss
You never explained that Isan and Thai
Are different. Look at this!

I’ll say the Isan version first,
And then translate, to Thai.
You’ll see just what my problem is,
But can you explain why?

Khop khun lai derr, means khop kuhn krap,
Bo penyang dor, means mai pen rai.
Koi mark chao, that means pom rak khun
Chao si pai sai, is kuhn ja pai nai?

Thank-you very much, never mind,
I love you, where are you going?
Mai mi pen har; no problem,
My Thai has started flowing!”

North/South Divide II

Show me the way, I think I’m lost
Someone give me some direction
I’m prepared to pay any cost
Just to reach my destination

Co-ordinates were very crude
Maps helped me out to some degree
What’s longitude and latitude?
All points north are clear to see

But it was south I headed for
A to Z index underneath
The maps I’d spread out on the floor
Drawn to scale; some in relief

My compass wouldn’t save the day
It lost me before I started
I couldn’t read it anyway
My route was not clearly charted

I found an ethnic take-away
I bought a curry and some rice
Sat down, ate it, couldn’t say
I liked the meal; it wasn’t nice

I chose the route I thought was best
The taste of the east was in my mouth
My confidence was going west
My northern mistrust of the south

Made me question my instruction
It’s never taken me this long
Usually there’s no disruption
This time something was going wrong

I saw a note for my attention
Opened it up and had to stare
Somebody forgot to mention
‘Thomas Place’ is now ‘Thomas Square’

Those ‘nice’ Southerners were to blame
Not the team back at the depot
Why did they have to change the name?
Just so Northerners couldn’t go?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

So It Goes

Originally posted for -Top Symbolic

Revived for - Sunday Scribblings Scandalous


Light Years ago, at ten, it commenced.
We sensed a wave of optimism;
rode the rapids at nine; relished
the prosperity. Nobody could
have predicted the severity
of the decline beginning at eight.

We hate the memories it evokes.

We lost all track of time at seven,
but the countdown clock was still ticking,
stubbornly sticking to its schedule

Dark Ages ago, at six…or five,
barely alive, it began – to gnaw
at our bones, asking for direction

Voices we listened to, gave advice,
forced us to face difficult choices.
Four…three…two…it was all but finished.

Diminished responsibility?
A lack of hands-on experience?
We feel it was inevitable.

The final digit; one. No appeal.

Zero; times up. All things; happy, sad,
good or bad, must come at last, to rest.
Our once, twenty-twenty clairvoyance,
and all those blessings we counted,
amounted to mockery; bluffing,

and we got our just deserts…nothing

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

TOP prompt - Novels

S O L D O U T!

The bookstore owner blamed the publisher
The publisher blamed the agency
The agency blamed the author
The author just blamed himself
Who could blame the reader
For his urgency?
Needs that cover
On his shelf

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Allsorts Of Isan

Late arrival for MPTR Mar 10 2009


Gazing forth, across the earth, from high
Stands a monument to Buddhist Faith; Pra Yai
To his rear, the people of Khon Kaen
Over to his left, it’s Chaiyaphum and then
Udon Thani kneels at his right hand
In reverence; voicing the respect of Thailand

Before him, Loei and Nongbualamphu
Receive the careful attention of his view
Pra Yai symbolises Lord Buddha
In his presence, his loyal pilgrims shudder
The hopes and fears of all the nation
Are offered in prayer and meditation

Gratitude for the harvest; the rain
For the relief of suffering and of pain
Food for the hungry, strength to the weak
A fitting focal point for the blessed meek
Supports the infirm, tends to the old
The pious poor, the emotionally cold

The waters below, gently lapping
Reflect the subtle sound of one hand clapping
Prepared to unleash their potential
Energy; electricity; essential
Lighting our progress through the ferment
Physical guide; practical enlightenment

No tree to shade his contemplation
Deflect his wisdom, distract concentration
His sacrament of inner vision
Available via the conscious decision
To follow the example of his life
Grants untold pleasures, and the absence of strife

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More Beautiful

WI Impulse
There’s Only One

Persistent police pester prolific
Petty pilferers
Tactics teach teenage ticket touts to take
Shelter from the rain
Hushed whispers flush festering frustrations
From wind-swept faces
Senior citizens sway in the swell
Flags flap, slap and clap
Chattering children, shivering shyly
Sweep to the shrine
Wild, windy, wet weekend weather, welcomes
Faithful followers
Clinging cautiously, clustered companions
Combat cold and crowd,
Willingly waiting, anticipating
The Saturday scene
Battling gangs, bearing grudges, bond and group;
Banish grievances
Sympathies merge in single-minded song
‘There’s only one…’…what?
One spirit; one voice; one passion…one love…
…The Beautiful Game

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Love's me not

Dear John



“Hello, am I speaking to Mr. Smith?”
“Speaking; who’s that? Mr. Rogers?”
“Pardon? This line’s not too clear”
“I said, ‘are you James Rogers’?”
“Yes, I am. Can you hear me now?”
“Loud and clear; what is it?”
“I’m sorry; I couldn’t hear”
“I said, ‘what do you want’?”
“I need to ask for help”
“OK, name it; fire away”
“My wife has left me”
“Gosh! What can I do?”
“What did you say?”
“How do I assist?”
“Can’t hear you”
“Miss her so”
“Pardon me?”
“Miss her”
“My God!”


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

TOP prompt - Smoke and Mirrors



* NEW!!! - ‘No Risk - More SD-Ram’!
** ‘Smart’ Rock Music Simulator!
*** Number one with debut single!

Satisfaction guaranteed
Easy operation
Simply ‘speak’ your composition
Into the vocal attachment

(* Contains ‘Smoke and Mirrors’)
(** Lyrics not included)
(*** Subject to vocal restrictions)


↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓


1. (Hi-hat)

This is it, this is it, this is, this is, this is it
2. (Floor toms)

Down daddy, down daddy, down, down, down daddy
3. (Lead guitar)

Do-oo you-oo choo-oose to-oo
U-oose new-oo blue-oo shoes

How I howl wild woes woes wild wild woes
Howl a while woes wild wild woes woes wild
4. (Rhythm guitar)

Haha haha haha haha, haha haha, haha haha
Haha haha haha haha, hahaha
5. (Lead guitar)

Why-ee now-ow-ow-ow-owww


6/7. (Rhythm guitar/
Laughin’ lovin’, lovin’ laughin’ (Sit down sit down)
Lovin’ laughin’, laughin’ lovin (Down sit down sit)
Lovin’ laughin’, laughin’ lovin’ (Down down sit sit)
Laughin’ lovin’, lovin’ laughin’ (Down sit down sit)
(Repeat ad-lib)


8. (Lead Guitar)

How I - howl wild - woes wild - woes wild woes
Howl a while woes wild - wild woes wild woes wild
Grrrowll – grrowll - grrowll
9. (Rhythm guitar)

Gasp-gasp-gasp-gasp, gasp-gasp-gasp-gasp
Gasp-gasp-gasp-gasp, gasp-gasp-gasp-gasp
10. (Lead guitar - to feedback)

Knee-eelin’ down now - kneeeel

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Not Cricket

It knows no boundaries
The scoreboard’s straight forward
Concentrated action
Beginning to end
It’s like a religion
All over the country
Services celebrated
Every weekend
It’s never over
But it’s often wide
It’s played on a pitch
Eleven a side
Fours are quite common
Sixes are rare
Singles more often
Sometimes a pair
It’s not called ‘Not Cricket’
It has its own name
More grave than life or death
It’s a funny old game
You guessed it, it’s Football
Not 'soccer' or 'ball'
It’s man-made, in England
Supported by all

Manchester (La La La)

The only team in Manchester
Played in the FA Cup
One year, when I was just a lad
And bothered turning up

The third round draw took us away
To dodgy London Town
Playing against Watford
Not exactly the jewel in the crown

The local boys from ‘MCD’
Were CITY, through and through
They hired a dodgy mini-bus
From Dodgy Dave, a blue

It took us hours to make the trip
Through deep, mid-winter snow
Johnny ‘Nesh’, complained all the way
Did he really want to go?

The Beech Road Boys were there in force
At least a dozen strong
“You must have come in a taxi!”
They taunted, with their song

It was in the days of standing
The terraces were full
Of CITY boys, who made more noise
The ‘home’ fans sounded dull

The ‘home’ fans were confined to seats
As CITY took the ground
Three sides went up as CITY scored
One never made a sound

And when the final whistle blew
One goal had stolen the show
And those ten thousand CITY fans
Returned home in the snow

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

TOP - Voice prompt

Finding Our Voices
Public speaking was not my strength
My vocals refused to carry
I coaxed my chords until, at length
Pitch and Tone agreed to marry
At the top of my voice, I felt
I sounded like somebody else
But I shouted out loud to see
If people would listen to me
I couldn’t believe the effect
As the words issued from my lips
Despite all the rises and dips
Though I had nothing fresh to say
A new dimension to my range
The reaction was rather strange
Had they felt intimidated,
Provided the correct response,
Because they felt obliged to act?
Or was it imagination?
Quietly, I dwelt on the fact;
It’s all in the presentation
Why do you take sincerity so negatively?
Is it just insecurity?
do you do what you do for your desired reaction?
If that’s the case, here it is;
Inspired by encouragement, go ahead, give us more.
Try to make it ‘nice’, like last time,
Now we have your attention, try to understand us.
It’s the things you do that inspire,
we find we have to state the thoughts they provoke in us,
but you seem to want only praise.
Praise and platitude, as close as brother and sister;
pay a visit to their cousin;
If we’re making this concept hard for you to swallow,
chew it over, then swallow your
Don’t you know, every thought, every word, every action
you perform, displays a wisdom
Your actions, especially, speak louder than mere words.
Please allow the words we use, their

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Mother's Day

Because of Mum

I was small,
Having a ball;
Learning things
That growing brings
To all kids,
Making their bids
In their lives;
The over five’s.

Thanks to Mum
I could become
A hero;
Someone to know.

I remember
One September
In the park,
Making my mark.

Not at first,
I was the worst;
Small and scared,
Just not prepared.

Six years old,
It felt so cold.
Mum close by
Lit up the sky.

Mother said
“Don’t be afraid
Don’t be scared.”
She always cared.

Reaching out
I had to shout
“Give me hope!”
I couldn’t cope.
It was just
A case of trust,
Need of patience

Instead I
Began to cry.
Mum was near,
Dispelling fear.

That was me;
A big baby.

“Try again
There’ll be no pain,
Only joy;
You’re a big boy.”

A symphony
In my ears,
Despite my tears.

With a smile,
After a while
Courage came.
She called my name.
“Get through it;
You can do it.
Just be brave;
It’s what you crave.”

Always right,
Just like at night,
In my bed;
My dreams were fed.

“Now you know;
I told you so.
Now you’ll like
Riding your bike.”

Filled with pride,
I used to ride
Every day,
And in my way
I thanked her;
Gave her laughter.
Not a word,
But she still heard.

She’d cured me;
Made me happy.

Saddle sore,
I cried no more.