True old school romance? That Thomas Hardy sure gave Tess d’Urbaville a hard life.

Ruminations 'Pon Watching Monsieur R. Polanski's Moving Picture Based Upon Thomas Hardy's Heartbreaking Rendering Of The Lamentable Treatment Of The Much Put Upon 'Tess Of The d'Urbavilles.' 

Caution Miss, if the rich young Master approaches
Offering up gilt plated hairpins or silv'ry broaches,
Don't shake his hand, shake firm your pretty head-
'Oh no sir, no engagement 'til our banns are read.'
 
Yon Master is a man who'd rather do wrong than right,
You want your wedding day, he wants his wedding night, 
Pearl earrings, gold necklaces, baubles of every kind,
But handing a wedding band... somehow slips his mind.

Master may well say he will give you everything-
Give him not a thing till he promises a gold ring,
Tess, 'tis not for your sweet heart his hand reaches,
Push his hot hand away and hold on to your breeches.

(Yes, it's a light-hearted take on a grossly tragic tale. But tragedy, humour, two sides of the same face?) 
'Tess, it's gonna end in tears.'


©Obbverse

It can be pure hell being a little Miss Goody Two-shoes; especially if it’s not a good fit.

Stuck In A Box.

Mother believed when my maker calls me to Glory
She expected me to transit straight past Purgatory,
Surely Saint Peter will welcome me as a fellow saint
With my unblemished record, no cause for complaint?

From the very moment I said my first word
Mother said 'the ideal girl is seen but not heard,'
Dumb obedience to Mother, as per Godly tradition
And my Catholic mom was a mother with a mission.

Just once I brought up the issue of whence I came,
'Where's Dad, what's his name, do we look the same?'
From the back of the bible she withdrew an old photograph,
She spat 'see, Child- some bastard's father and my lesser half.'

One day, reflecting in the mirror in the bathroom
I discovered a secret garden now beginning to bloom,
From that forgotten quarter sprung a scrubby triangle-
Add to which the itchy hair-raising fact of pits in a tangle.

So then mother lectured me on right and wrong,
The only wine, on communion, one Him, Hymn song,
Making plain to me I had a  face only a mother might like,
'Be as a nun- popularity with boys means being the town bike.'

She instilled the virtues of virtue as I sprang up,
Thanked God when He 'blessed' me with an A cup,
I'd longed to look swell in a tight come-hither gown,
My one foray in going strapless led to a dressing down.

Together mother dear and the priest had a talk with me;
It seems boys, booze and blazing were the Unholy Trinity,
One Sunday I stood 'tween 'em, before the whole congregation,
On my breast a white bow, confirming my good God reputation.

She must have seen this as being a mothers  finest hour,
Pressing a Father's service to protect her innocent flower,
Yep, Mother and Father Riley had my best interests at heart,
Father said 'God forgives your sins,' mother said 'but don't start.'

Mother had me wear clothes designed to say
'Nothing to see here,' swaddled in swathes of grey,
Who or what lay deep beneath was anybody's guess?
Designed less to go out and impress than kneel and confess.

                              - - - - - - - - -         

I've said 'goodbye' to Mother, she's snapped nothing back,
I've hung up my black coat, slung my veiled hat on the rack,
I've taken his picture  from her good book before I put it away;
From forgotten book-mark to being framed and put on display.

Ma had finally told the tale of a girl, new to town, alone,
Of the interest in her predicament a gentleman had shown
When she rested her weary seat on the step of the Flatbush Inn,
Of how he'd dined and wined her, how easily she'd been taken in.

Now Ma's in Heaven (if all went as she planned)
And I'm finally free of her heavy restraining hand,
It's time to cast off my cardigans and her puritan views,
Now comes the time to take up offers she felt I had to refuse.

Cardigan unbuttoned, I re-evaluated Gods gift,
My small prospects required no underwired lift,
It was plainly time to jettison my drab underwear,
I went into the closet to find what I'd secreted there...

I slipped on my silk slightly padded bra, fiery red,
A thong to hide my modesty, if barely by a thread,
A tiny black dress to ensure my honour would be lost,
I've no desire to keep temptation at bay or legs crossed.

I recalled the words mother was wont to say
If she suspected her daughter may be led astray,
'Child, if you wish to go to heaven, to pluck the lyre,
Abstain, for drinking  and smoking serve to stoke the fire.' 

So I went in to the bar, the repository of all sin,
Scarce sat down when a man turned with a grin,
An absinthe in one hand, a Camel butt in the other,
Just the kind of devil who'd be condemned by Mother.

Oh, I recognised the danger, that I cannot deny,
Seen through the glass sparkly, that look in his eye,
Which one of us two poor souls appeared more shocked?
This angel wantonly falling or the good priest unfrocked?

A bit different from the usual offerings, but somewhere along the way the idiot muse took me somewhere unexpected. Ah well, it's the journey I suppose...

©Obbverse


Saw a fading hippy propped up against the bar the other night; Well wasted, stinking to high heaven of herb and Four Roses. Sad, but then I put myself in his shoes…

End Of The Hippy Dream.

When I finally take my last shot,
Knock back that final tot of gut-rot,
Line up that last toot and blow the lot...
Though mine's a wasted life, swift  forgot
Remember this when laying out this old sot:

Lay me 'neath a cool chill spot,
I fear too soon I'll be smokin' hot-
Plant some fragrant herb, a little pot?
Pop in a few wild poppies as a forget-me-not,
Some grassy rolling field; make mine a fitting plot.

‘Love these smoke-tinted glasses.’

©Obbverse


	

What’s in store for for those of a Criminal Mind? Let’s hope they’re devils for punishment.

Hard Time(s)

Patriotic Republicans proudly boast
'Law And Order' first and foremost,
So, pray, what kind of sense must they be making
Of the latest gang Hell-bent on Housebreaking?

Law Abiders who found it oh so concerning
When Grand Old businesses were burning?
Cries about dark matters to be be silenced with no discourse,
Blind justice must be meted out with swift and undue force!

But when Patriots wave the barred flag,
Protecting the bad name of Fort Bragg?
But, by God when they believe they speak for all the nation???
Christ, then you should hear their Righteous indignation!

Flaunting their colours on the street,
Glass breaking under stamping feet?
Chanting and frightening the frail and defenceless?
Invading property, beating dutiful police senseless?

When you do the Capitol crime
Shouldn't you do Capital time?
And since we're passing comment on Capital punishment-
It's favoured by the current outgoing inciteful President.

                         ‘Desecrating America again.’ 

©Obbverse


	

There’s no place like home for the wandering prodigal son.

Slack Off Gets The Brush Off.

I told Mother Dear I'd drop in on Christmas Day,
What I neglected to say is 'Ma, I'm home to stay,'
Would she welcome a son broke, busted, divorced and thirty
Whose spouse has locked him out 'cause he'd done the dirty?

She listened silently to my sad well-worn tribulatory tale,
It's my Christmas tradition, regular as the Sears Roebuck sale,
And I expect she understands I've arrived here empty-handed-
She'd get her present when my unemployment cheque landed.

Mother knows her misbegotten son is a low-down louse
So she laid down the heavy ground rules of the house,
'You better keep more than just your nose clean, Buster,'
I guess her once Golden boy has lost his old lustre.

When the whole family came over I enjoyed Ma's fine meal,
Those many brandy and port toasts I savoured, a great deal,
I farewelled the family with air kisses and best wishes 
Then went for a power nap while Ma did the dishes.

I lay abed, my heavy head dizzied by all the drink
But ears not dulled enough to not hear the distant clink
As Mother stacked up the multitude of dishes to dry,
Then hear 'Oh my son, my son,' and she began to cry.

Staying sat at home with Ma proved tryingly  hard,
She said I'd best sweep up the shed, out in the back yard 
Since she won't open the door should I invite in the guys
Nor if I should try staggering in sometime after sunrise .

Ma's nagging kept dragging on all through New Year's day,
'My son, my son, get up and haul that dry old tree away,'
She'd taken down the old fading blinking lights
That had lit up a litany of past Christmas nights.

She'd unwound the twisted tinselled trappings of old,
The fraying strands of tarnished silver and dusty gold,
Boxed up the tree top angel, so well past her prime-
She's seen in far too many parties o'er Christmas time.

'Place those precious decorations in the Santa sack,
Put it up in your wardrobe, in place of your backpack,'
I'd say she made her New Year resolution perfectly clear,
'My son, my son, come Valentines Day, you're outta here.'

I drugged out the tree, both of us destined for the chop;
Did the carpet of needles make her sorrowful eyes drop?
Sighing, she began to run around the littered living room
Muttering over her venerable over-the-hill whining vacuum.

My burning ears faintly discerned 'Oh my son, oh my son,
Next Christmas please just present me with a nice new Dyson,
Or a Hoover, Electrolux, Roomba or Miele, I really don't care-
My son, who don't pick up a thing, just sucks and blows hot air.'

©Obbverse

(Based NOT on myself but very loosely on the Stephen King ‘character’ Larry Underwood in ‘The Stand,’ which I’m gamely re-reading after the Covid year?!?)

Time to review my New Years resolutions?

(Posted after a prompt from Chel Owens A Mused Poetry competition, prompt being ‘New Year Resolutions’ limerick style.)

Re-resolved.

It's time to repeat the same damned vow I swore
This time last year, as I've done many years before,
My now traditional annual end-of-year vow-
'Next year I'll be a better man than I am now,'
So many broken promises, still plenty more in store.

‘Hey babe, trust me, this year’s the charm.’

©Obbverse

Peter Sutcliffe, The Yorkshire Ripper dies in custody. Will Peter be missed? Don’t hold your breath, Pete.

Say A Spittle Word?

Today we're here to see Pete Sutcliffe go west,
The charitable say 'God only takes the very best,'
So, before someone sets down this thorny wreath
Who wants to pay tribute, before Pete's laid beneath?
     Or toss a clod on the casket, as per popular request?

Let us pray in the hope Pete has a long uneasy rest
In his interminable internment as Lucifer's house guest,
There's not a welcoming devilish smile, merely clenched teeth;
Pete promised the devil his due, but Pete had nought to bequeath.
     Poor Devil, getting stuck with an ass soul he forgot he possessed.

©Obbverse

Slowly the lights go on in the dim and gloomy White House.

Something's Going Off.

When the early election votes rolled in
Vainglorious Donald could not hold off,
It was a result he alone had no doubt in
So he prematurely started to spout off.

He'd felt a winner, right from the run in,
He'd never seen his term as just a one-off
And when Don's on a roll, don't dare butt in,
Like the polls Don has no automatic shut off. 

Oh, but what a dark day Don did waken in,
In the wee wee hours Sleepy Joe had taken off,
Since those blue post-its have begun to weigh in
Don demanded those accountable take the day off.

Now Don tossed every (ill)legal appeal in-
Forget due process, Don wants this deal off,
His base vote's left a hole big enough to piss in
And suddenly he's getting a democratic kiss off.

In Arizona and Nevada, states he gets flipped in
Don is sweating, steaming and feeling ripped off,
He'd been hoping for a red-hot Southwestern love-in,
Now even Sweet  Jesus Georgia's telling him to shove off.

From right to left, the tide and vote drifts in
Till Don's glowering towering rhetoric lifts off,
Language a drunken sailor would take delight in-
Don's script writers hear a screw up, a total write off.

Donald is in the White House and he's staying in-
It looks like finding that ol' safe room's paying off-
Ain't no better hidey-hole to hold out and obstruct in
Though millions have told him it's time he fucked off.

Where’s Whacky?

 

©Obbverse


	

It’s not easy getting into a Militia mans head- and when you do it leaves you queasy.

(A few thoughts from a member of Michigans moronic Militia while waiting on a lawyer.)

Just A Zealous Guy.

We can't have mobs roaming, owning the streets
Upsetting our noble brave boys in blue-
Unless they're brave knights wearing white sheets
Gathered there to protect the Right and true.

Unlike the good ol' ones these days are passing strange,
I see the sea change, it's blowin' a gale,
Seeing foreign faces not welcome in my home on the range,
They leave me looking a whiter shade of pale.

I don't want to hear or see all the signs of the times-
But I do hate to see Democrats legally elected,
I do believe in Mr Trumps brave assertion of ballot crimes
And that our Confederate flag is horribly disrespected.

I believe nowadays we hear too much colourful chatter,
I believe some folks just best shut their mouth,
I can't help but take a dim view of Black Lives Matter,
This proud North Michigan boy sez 'Go back South.'

So, since the law abiding Michigan voters don't know no better
And our redneck misogynistic feelings she's assaulting 
We're gonna go get Governor Gretchen, leave a ransom letter;
Surely our founding fathers wouldn't call this revolting?

Strange, now I'm down in lockdown but atop the FBIs hot list
Yet I'm Right and white, so it all feels grossly unfair,
I'm feeling uneasy about getting stuck in a cell with a real terrorist,
This could be this sad-ass Aryans worst nightmare.



©Obbverse





As a bit of silly fun there’s four song titles tossed into this. Artists are Bing Crosby (plus many others) Procol Harum, Harry Styles, Pug Jelly. If you’re bored, go figure. (Yes, Bonny Brian, a blatant musical rip-off; I feel no guilt…)