When folk reacquaint themselves with Mr. Gray
They look, stunned to see he ain't aged a day,
They ask if Dorian has found the elixir of youth?
But behind Gray's merry eyes lies an ugly truth.
Back in the old days when he was young, in fact
Dorian drew up quite the Mephistophelian pact,
He could live a libertine life where age took no toll
And all it would take was a worthless eternal soul!
This Faustian deal only a short-sighted fool would sign,
For a moment Gray's hand hovered on the bottom line,
It looked quite the bargain- to a damn fool lad of his age-
So he struck the devil's bargain, signed on the last page.
In exchange for his signature Dorian gets the picture,
Faust gets a hell of a deal, ironclad as Holy Scripture,
Faust lingering over every letter should've been a hint
That Dorian should've better reviewed the small print.
Then Dorian lived the high life, and life rolled along,
All wine, women and song, doing everything wrong,
Years passed, as in the looking glass he aged not at all,
But before too long he turned his portrait to face the wall.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so it's said,
Now Dorian looks at his rendering with daily dread,
A portrait ageing in Dorian's place sounds far fetched
But it troubles him to see a fine face so deeply etched.
At days end, when Dorian looks back on his debauchery
Then what ghastly mistakes will the old roué and rake see?
A savagely ravaged face, facing an eternity of damnation;
And who signed off on fucking himself? self-fornication?
‘The devil with all that old technology. I’ve updated!’
As Autumn's leavings disappear
Winter is almost here.
Time is long overdue to replace our heat pump of old,
It's begun to moan and groan, to grumble and wheeze...
As soon as we stepped over 'House Warmers' threshold
The fair Val appeared at our side, as quick as you please.
Full of Christmas-like cheer,
Words warm as Butterbeer.
Her easy manner, knowledge and patience had us sold,
We were both warmed and affected by her rare expertise,
She radiantly smiled while I reached deep in my billfold,
Seems fixing our heating nightmare would be a breeze...
Winter solstice drawing near,
Feel the frosty atmosphere?
'Nother long silent month gone, and has our hot case gone cold?
All calls to Val get left on 'hold', she's giving us the deep freeze,
Conversely Val's name is a constant hot topic in our household,
Faith and hope in fu-flaming Val is cooling, plunging by degrees.
‘And installation as quick as a flash, as fast as lightning.’
Jimmy was a plain and simple dreamer,
A teen who wanted to star big in Hollywood,
To us, his few friends, there never seemed a
Snowballs chance in Hell he would or could.
Who, he the cool suave leading man?
Pure Jackass, sure not Hugh Jackman.
Our Jim imagined he might be Elvis's twin,
Peering into the cracked mirror he thought
'Same jet hair, long sideburns, same twisted grin,'
In looks talent and stature he was woefully short.
He presumed he'd make a fine James Bond
In the dark days before Craig went blond.
'I wanna be up there with Jimmy Dean
Or a mean moody and broody Marlon Brando,
Or a Triumphantly rampant Steve McQueen
Full of mucho macho testosteroned bravado.'
Then he wanted to become like Clint-
Bit of a stretch, 'cept for the squint.
No, he wasn't destined to be the next Dirty Harry,
James met a friendly obliging girl one fine day,
Who, six months on he felt obliged to marry;
Trust mean old Mother Nature to find a way.
But I guess he we all make mistakes;
That's the way the condom breaks.
Suddenly James Taylor was no happy go-lucky-guy,
His acting plans shrank as her waist began spreading,
How now he regretted that come-hither look in her eye
Seein' he's lookin' down the barrel of a shotgun wedding.
There's a price to pay after the fun and games,
And twins ran in the family of Sweet Baby James.
So dreams of Hollywood gave way to fatherhood
But his star-struck fantastical belief never waned,
So when Peter Jackson started shooting in yon wood
Hopes of a late season comeback were entertained.
Time to audition for the weather-beaten hero?
Nah, now Jim's even more De Vito than De Niro.
Jim could see himself in 'Lord Of The Rings,'
Now not as a lead, but a solid supporting role...
Years and a bad marriage ravage all good things
And on bad boy Jim time had taken a savage toll.
He mightn't now look a fair maids desire,
But, bless Jim, God does love a trier.
He'd wracked racked up a fair am-dram record
So he rushed out and sent in his tatty résumé-
A video of his sad Caesar being put to the sword-
Reviews on his evisceration of the Scottish play...
The casting director saw something in our has-been;
Vaguely like a shrunken less drunken Charlie Sheen?
And so James lived the dream, be it ever so brief;
He's seen in the battle scene in 'The Two Towers,'
Second Orc on the left, he swiftly comes to grief,
But mention his bit part and he'll declaim for hours.
To deny him his Ring screen credit would be wrong,
But, like that Eternal Trilogy he goes on way too long.
Poor Poor Pitiful Me.
Not too long ago I used to think I lived half a life;
The car, two kids, two mortgages, the dog, the wife,
Stuck on the endless treadmill of work work work,
I thought one day I'd lose my mind and go berserk.
I see now I was 'a glass half-empty' kind of a guy,
A sad sack who saw the world through a gimlet eye,
My father-in-law berated me as a self-pitying soul,
His wife told me straight- 'what a miserable asshole.'
Abed one night, worried and awake at one o'clock
I rose and took a ruminative stroll around the block,
The streets and my thoughts were miserable and dark,
My feet grew weary but my brain continued to spark.
I was passing through the shadows of the church tower,
Deep in the dark depths I saw an eye's malevolent glower,
I was encircled and set on, just outside the church grounds!
Do these roaming gangs of mindless thugs know no bounds?
In the darkness I could see naught but a flash of white,
The gleam of bared teeth, evil creatures of the night,
I fought bravely under their outrageous bestial attack
Till someone tapped my head and everything went black.
When I awoke my bloody head was pounding,
An alarm somewhere in my brain was sounding,
I arose from the pavement and shook my head
But in my mind a creeping realisation spread...
I discovered I could no longer focus my brain,
My fragmentary thoughts seemed half insane,
My attack proved a bit more than a minor scuffle-
Both brain and feet seemed to be stuck on shuffle.
In the pit of my miserable guts sat a hunger, gnawing,
A deeply primitive part I knew I was beyond ignoring,
On my approach I saw three pre-dawn joggers scatter-
This new Zombie shows a hankerin' for fresh grey matter.
As I shamble along I glance at a storefront window
And see a sight, in reflection, I have no wish to know,
And that last human part of me clenches in resistance,
And I know I want no part in this miserable existence.
So I'm stumbling back home where I'm hoping I'll find
An up-in-arms wife to offer me a bit of peace of mind,
I guess our shotgun marriage was doomed from the start,
Let's hope she aims for my stupid brains and not my heart.
(Obviously watching Shaun Of The Dead on top of a few tasty episodes of The Santa Clarita Diet inspired another addition to the Shlock Mock Horror genre. I thought 'why not try to see it from the zombies point of view?' At least it's a fresh one.)
‘Hey, I know I’ve changed. No, It’s not you, it’s definitely me.’
(Some particular days you wake up feeling old. So, no funny business today. Sorry.)
Year Upon Year.
I still like to stroll 'neath the blue late summer sky
Though days run short and autumn's chill feels nigh,
Time was when I'd stride easy towards my leafy glade,
Nowadays a few more slow and stately steps are made.
This cool bower's perfectly placed for stop and rest,
Of late I feel this truth in my bones, and in my chest,
This stout tree I lean on now I've long thought as my own,
From young stripling and sapling, together we have grown.
As I look above those old signs are seen,
Subtle curls of gold amidst the sea of green,
Soon 'nough even summer's greenest leaf must fall,
Tomorrow, or two months hence, autumn reaps 'em all.
Don't get me wrong, I'm ageing happily every day I get,
Still, the years weigh and weary, we accumulate regret,
Every tree has twists and turns, Nature shapes and forms,
Each tree has boughs bent, bowed, scars from recent storms.
Will we weather another winter, to see in the spring?
Older, wisened to the fact the rose holds within a sting?
So take a little time to remember blooms cut cruelly short,
Long life holds more sorrow than we once young 'uns thought.
Well, doesn't Ted Cruz just take the cake?
Taking time off in Cancun for a winter break?
What a tropical hot spot Teddy has chosen
Especially when his home state is frozen.
Well, doesn't Ted Cruz's thinking take some beating?
His one day in the sun sure feels all too fleeting,
Now he's back, flush faced, looking none too thrilled
About getting grilled over leaving his constituents chilled.
Well, doesn't Ted Cruz's excuses take out first prize?
His taking a sojourn down South wasn't too wise,
'Protect our Great borders' strikes a dry hollow note-
Those Washington speeches now stick in his throat.
Well, doesn't Ted Cruz's cool logic simply take it all?
Once happy to build on and bolster Don's border wall,
Now with the frosty reception our border jumper's getting
His thoughts turn toward re-election- boy, now he's sweating.
Turn Of The Card.
Hammering the Master Card?
Spending with reckless disregard?
Maxed out the American Express?
Left cents and penniless?
Dangerously low on cash?
Facing your financial crash?
Monetarily strapped and depressed
By sky-high monthly interest?
Remember the good old days
Before receiving your Barclays?
Wanna be freed of debt,
Unburdened by deep regret?
Don't have cash in hand?
Indebted by over a grand
but still enticed by what's in store?
It's all too tempting to ignore.
Deep in the shi in hock?
Fearful of the postman's knock?
Gentle reminders stacking up?
Red lettered demands backing up?
Striving for a happy ending,
To cease this senseless spending?
Over that credit card you've just signed
Instantly returned, discredited, declined?
Here's what I've hard learned;
Don't spend what ain't earned,
Before those bankers block it
Take that card out of pocket.
Time to lift the curse
From wallet or purse,
No more living on the edge,
Time to stop the haemorrhage.
Withdraw that piece of plastic,
We're gonna do something drastic,
No more will you nonchalantly swipe it,
You owe a debt to yourself to wipe it.
Here's my last card tip-
This card must get the snip,
Grab scissors or pinking shears...
This is gonna end in tears...
Time to grab a pair,
It's time to end this affair,
When you're behind the eight ball
It's the unkindest cut of all.
Cut your bastard Master Card in two,
It's the only creditable thing to do,
Ain't no financial gain without pain;
Now, never play them cards again.
(Started off as a few throw-away lines of comment. But I just can’t leave bad enough alone. As my credit card statement shows.)
Them Ol' Solid Gold Summertime Blues.
At last those cold clinging wintry days dogging spring are done,
Now there's no better place than on the warm grass under the sun,
And as I doze my mind drifts back to yesterdays unclouded by regret,
Of good old days by the pool, when we wuz young and green and wet.
Those were the days, before our mapped-out lives had begun,
Before a mother aimed her daughter towards a rich mans son,
When the discs spun only for us four; Clare, Marie, me and Chet,
Long gone days, then soon forgotten, but now- impossible to forget.
Sometimes when you wake up feeling sad and blue
On a rare blue moon when doubt bedevils even you,
When the wife’s heart feels cold, the future looks bleak
It’s time to lay your burden down and stand up and speak.
Don is prepared to bare his very soul- if he must,
Though heeding others opinion fills him with disgust.
‘Hello, my name is Donald and I’m a Selfish Neurotic,
Though those in my party prefer the term ‘quixotic,’
And now, as I think back on four hard fraught years
Thinking of a future past November brings me to tears.’
‘Why, suddenly no-one wants to be my Bestie?
Now all my good ol’ boys and Yes-men detest me.’
It’s a rare privilege seeing this side of Donald J. Trump,
In many a throat there his mawkish tale raises a lump,
There he stands, a broken man with his token friends
Ever deeper into self-pitying he maudlinly descends.
‘So, everybody dislikes me because of my personality?’
For once everyone freely agrees with Don, like, totally.