Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thorny Oyster to Next

There's no cuts on Wednesday fun here at Various Cushions land, though it's a little slower off the mark than usual - this week's poem is particularly heart felt and difficult to read. I'm only giving a warning in case Mollusc lovers would prefer to sit down before reading...

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Thorny Oyster to Next

Don't bring your Thorny Oysters to Next
For if you do, you'll end up vexed
They're far too slimy, too over-sexed
Too calcified for high fashion

You'll find nothing there to dress your bivalves
3/4 length pants go way past their calves
the top and the bottoms are too big for both halves
You'd be in for a molluscy ear bashin

You mightn't usually be an advice heeder
but this once try to tame this colorless bleeder
Do you need to hear it from a proper news reader?
Anne Doyle shares my take, there's no clashin

No, don't take a chance with this pearly seductor
he'd laugh at the scallop tops, quite the destructor
of confidence, don't let him work that adductor
No Next for your Thorny Oyster today

Tree Frog to Bed, Bath and Beyond

This one was in part inspired by Picasso over at Elizabeth's blog - see that post here.

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Tree Frog to Bed, Bath and Beyond

Don't bring your Tree Frog to Bed, Bath and Beyond
Though he might say of that shop, he's rather fond
Don't believe him, no please do not be conned
His real motive is far more sinister

Tree Frogs dream from when they're little tadpoles
Of fulfilling a seriously villainous role
They're not to be trusted, oh, won't you be told!
He'll lie even more than a minister

"I just want some bath pearls" he'll tell you, straight-faced
Then he'll hop to the showers, hot water to waste
Sucky pads help him climb up, the whole place he'll have cased
And get you into trouble with him mister

No, sadly you can't trust this little amphibian
Tho his eyes look all genuine, voice purer than Rhydian
If he begs "Will you bring me" tell him "You must be kiddyin"
No Bed, Bath and Beyond for your Tree Frog today!

Don't forget today is officially the first day of IPYPIASM - see yesterday's post if you missed it. I will update as the poems get placed!!!

Camel to Specsavers

I know, in this day and age, it's hard being a Camel owner, trying to guess the rights and wrongs of their care, afterall - they don't come with a manual - here is a small piece of advice, for those who are seeking it.

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Camel to Specsavers

Don't bring your camel to spec savers

You know he's not the best behaver

He's a diva, this ungulate, attention craver

He spits in the eye of opticians


His hooves are no good for handling contacts

He frowns at the sunglasses, chomps like a mastax

left loose on a rotifiers lunch, always detracts

from the mood in that home of good vision


He won't like the opthalmascope, it'll soon make him grump

He'll complain of the tonometer, call the whole place a dump

And forgive the pun here, but he will get the hump

He'll cause dents in the fence with allision


Your sweet dromedary wouldn't say "This is class"

engulfed not in sand, but with frameworks of glass

So better leave him at home, leave his whole biomass

No Specsavers for your Camel today

Elephant to the Dáil

A word of warning.....

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Elephant to the Dáil

Don't bring your Elephant to the Dáil

I don't care if he likes Labour, Greens, or Fianna Fáil,

He wouldn't fit in there at all, 't all, at all

No he wouldn't fit in the Oireachtas

He'd be sure to annoy the poor aul Cheann Chomhairle

He wouldn't sit still, go to sleep, like them all, yeah

He'd be sure to vote wrong, then have to call ye

And say, "We did our best and they mocked us"

Yes, you'll soon find your Ivory toothed friend

is prone to the Royal "we" which no end

annoys all the politicians, who tend

to find trunks more inclined to get blocked, thus

There'd be so many problems, no bail out could solve

so pack him his trunks, tell him better evolve

get on with his life, cos you won't be involved

No Dáil for your elephant today

Tapeworm to Yamamori

With apologies to Noodle lovers everywhere....

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Tapeworm to Yamamori *
Don't bring your tapeworm to Yamamori
He'd end up feeling grey and hoary
The staff would shout "HEY! what's the story?"
Twould be just like dynamite
For Tapeworms don't like Japaneses
Preferring to ask politicians for cheeses
Or watch Ben Hur, the Passion, anything about Jesus
They'd watch those old films all night
But tapeworms don't have table manners
they're much maligned by wedding planners
and their scolex look like a bag full of spanners
no, keep home this bold parasite
He wouldn't be able to get chopsticks to work
And if he fell in with the noodles, he'd surely lurk
And no one could save him from a chef gone berserk
No Yamamori for your Tapeworm today

*Yamamori Noodles are a very popular and lovely chain of Japanese style restaurants around Dubland, for the international amongst you readers.

Yellow Bittern to the Off Licence

Ah yes, tis time for this collection in progress to take on the more serious themes, and indeed carve out its niche in the canon of Irish Literature - taking inspiration from its forebearers, standing on the shoulders of giants etc etc.

With all this in mind I give you

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Yellow Bittern to the Off Licence
Don't bring your Yellow Bittern to the Off Licence
I don't care if he offers you tuppence or Thripence
To bring him, listen to me, for this is my sense
The idea would be so far from sensible
Despite all the drink there he'd still end up parched
For it's only bog water that gets him on the march
Or he'd maybe eat reeds for his fix of some starch
No, vodka would leave him distensible
He'd nest in the peanuts and skulk round the cans
Oh he wouldn't pick up for you too many fans
This chestnut necked bird would disrupt all your plans
Your drinks order incomprehensible
Oh leave him alone, leave him down by the shore
Don't give him a shot, or a glass, oh no more
for this flyer would be left all hungover and sore
No Off Licence for your Yellow Bittern today

Background and academic notes:

The last time a poem of this beauty and originality referring to the yellow bittern bird was written would have been between the 17th and 18th Century in Ireland when Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna (more on him here) wrote his effort on the poor Bittern, an Bonnán Buí, who died of thirst, which resolved the poet to never let himself get thirsty again. The below is Seamus Heaney's translation, one of many.

By Seamus Heaney
(Translated from An Bonnán Buí in the Irish
of Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna)

Yellow bittern, there you are now,
Skin and bone on the frozen shore.
It wasn’t hunger but thirst for a mouthful
That left you foundered and me heartsore.
What odds is it now about Troy’s destruction
With you on the flagstones upside down,
Who never injured or hurt a creature
And preferred bog water to any wine?

Bittern, bittern, your end was awful,
Your perished skull there on the road,
You that would call me every morning
With your gargler’s song as you guzzled mud.
And that’s what’s ahead of your brother Cathal
(You know what they say about me and the stuff)
But they’ve got it wrong and the truth is simple:
A drop would have saved that croaker’s life.

I am saddened, bittern, and broken hearted
To find you in scrags in the rushy tufts,
And the big rats scampering down the rat paths
To wake your carcass and have their fun.
If you could have got word to me in time, bird,
That you were in trouble and craved a sup,
I’d have struck the fetters of those lough waters
And wet your thrapple with the blow I struck.

Your common birds do not concern me,
The blackbird, say, or the thrush or crane,
But the yellow bittern, my heartsome namesake
With my looks and locks, he’s the one I mourn.
Constantly he was drinking, drinking,
And by all accounts I’ve a name for it too,
But every drop I get I’ll sink it
For fear I might get my end from drouth.

The woman I love says to give it up now
Or else I’ll go to an early grave,
But I say no and keep resisting
For taking drink’s what prolongs your days.
You saw for yourself a while ago
What happened to the bird when its throat went dry;
So my friends and neighbours, let it flow:
You’ll be stood no rounds in eternity.

And here's the original - now sung as a Sean Nós number, with a mournful tune in most versions that I've heard of... you'll find it too on youtube, if you care.

An Bonnán Buí

A bhonnán bhuí, is é mo léan do luí,
Is do chnámha sínte tar éis do ghrinn,
Is chan easba bidh ach díobháil dí
a d'fhág i do luí thú ar chúl do chinn.
Is measa liom féin ná scrios na Traoi
Tú bheith i do luí ar leaca lom',
Is nach ndearna tú díth ná dolaidh sa tír,
Is nárbh fhearra leat fíon ná uisce poll.

A bhonnáin álainn, is é mo mhíle crá thú,
Do chúl ar lár amuigh romham sa tslí,
Is gurbh iomaí lá a chluininn do ghrág
Ar an láib is tú ag ól na dí.
Is é an ní a deir cách le do dheartháir Cáthal,
Go bhfaighidh sé bás mar siúd, más fíor,
Ach ní hamhlaidh atá, siúd an préachán breá
Chuaigh in éag ar ball le díth na dí.

A bhonnáin óig, is é mo mhíle brón
Thú bheith sínte fuar i measc na dtom,
Is na luchaí móra ag triall chun do thórraimh,
Ag déanamh spóirt agus pléisiúir ann;
Is dá gcuirfeá scéala in am faoi mo dhéinse
Go raibh tú i ngéibhinn, nó i mbroid fá dheoch,
Do bhrisfinn béim duit ar an loch úd Bhéasaigh
A fhliuchfadh do bhéal is do chorp isteach.

Ní hiad bhur n-éanlaith atá mé ag éagnach,
An lon, an smaolach, nó an chorr ghlas,
Ach mo bhonnán buí, bhí lán de chroí,
Is gur chosúil liom féin é ina ghné is ina dhath.
Bhíodh sé go síoraí ag ól na dí,
Is deir na daoine go mbímse mar sin seal;
Níl aon deor dá bhfaighinn nach ligfinn síos,
Ar eagla go bhfaighinnse bás den tart.

Is é a d'iarr mo stór orm ligint den ól,
Nó nach mbeinnse beo ach seal beag gearr;
Ach dúirt mé léithi go dtug sí an bhréag,
Is gurbh fhaide mo shaolsa an deoch úd a fháil.
Nach bhfaiceann sibh éan an phíobáin réidh
A chuaigh in éag den tart ar ball;
Is a chomharsain chléibh, fliuchaíg bhur mbéal
Óir chan fhaigheann sibh braon i ndiaidh bhur mbáis.

Iguana to Apache Pizza

Like Monday's romantic poem - this one has special resonance for me, Apache Pizza being the site of Mr VC and I's second date. No wonder I was smitten

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Iguana to Apache Pizza*
Don't-a bring your Iguana to Apache Pizza
It'll lose it's-a dewlap, get tomato on feets-a
This is one little-a lizard who can't take the heats-a
Better tell-a him now, you-a better not yeild
They won't sell him wine there - mixed or varietal
And the staff there won't discuss no problems societal
He's as well watching TV through his eye that's parietal
Or to blend with the grass in the field
And Iguana's are rarely served nice pepperoni
So your little fella will likely get moany
No he doesn't live there, níl sé ina chónaí **
Apache yells hurt his subtympanic shield
So tell your Iguana, it'd just hurt his gizzard
Twould be less fun than meeting a tired Eddie Izzard
He's not like a turtle, it's home for this lizard
No Apache Pizza for your Iguana today
* Pizza place in Dublin City Centre
** He is not resident...

Parrot to knobs and knockers

Oh, I've been terrible lazy of late... Anyway, looking forward to Joan's Book Launch tonight - eloquently introduced over here. (not by myself needless to say - eloquence, and anything else that calls for a scintilla of energy is far beyond my grasp just now)

In other news - hope you will enjoy the following -

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your parrot to knobs and knockers
Don't bring your parrot to knobs and knockers
the name alone is bound to shock her
and asides from that she'd loose her flock her
sense of direction would be all distorted
While the shiny door handles might be sure to excite her
and the songs of the various doorbells delight her
I've no doubt the knocking on doors would just fright her
She'd lose all the colour she'd sported
She'd peck at the letterbox, imitate all the doorbells
No the staff wouldn't be under her feathery spell
They'd get her down from her roost and send her to hell
Such a terrible mess you'd have courted
So sit Polly down, tell her she must be crackers
if she insists on looking at claxons and clackers
Tell her you will not bring her, and no one will back her
No Knobs and Knockers for your Parrot today
See here for more on the wonderfully named knobs and knockers emporium

Laptop to the swimming pool

A common sense kinda poem, providing evidence for and removing all doubt on the theory that laptops should not be brought swimming

A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your laptop to the swimming pool
Don't bring your laptop to the swimming pool
I know it can cope with a modicom of drool
while you snooze writing blog posts, but don't be a fool
You'd soon be ejected by life gaurds
For logging on in the deeps or the shallow
you'd find your notebook as bad as a mallow
for sites, no matter how worshipped or hallowed
would be blurred by the chlorine so hard
Yes laptops have no place 'mong swimmers
They won't float or slide, won't sparkle or shimmer
they'll sink like a stone with their damp damaged inner
and the LCD shattered and charred
So put your laptop on hibernate
Don't care if your best friend says it'd be great
Put it away before swimming, today's not the date
No Swimming Pool for your laptop today

Hummingbird to Starbucks

You would have thought that a serious allergy to thinking that has recently developed in me and may be all too clear to my astutest readers would cause me to give up my regular date with delight that is the weekly poem to dissuade. Yet I know how much you all yearn for it, live for it, how it lifts your little hearts, brings you joy, and makes you feel like the world is a better place for its advice. And so I soldier on for at least one more week - any brain power I once had - replaced by italics in an attempt to make it look all highbrow... I give you....
A Poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your hummingbird to Starbucks
Don't bring your hummingbird to Starbucks
Not in cool trainplanes or warm cartrucks
You'd find out soon your plan by far sucks
Leave him at home being minded by Hector
Your flash little bird that can fly in reverse
Would soon find that a visit there would be cursed
I don't care if it means that you need to be terse
For your sins you can go see the Rector*
For Hummingbirds can't drink Cappucinos
Not with an old man, not with a bambino
There's not much for protein, not a single amino
and there's no syrup flavoured like nectar
Yes, you'll find his metabolism is quite fast enough
and another dose of caffeine would be just too rough
you could bring in your robin, your wren or your chough
but no Starbucks for your hummingbird today

* or other religious type guide of your choice

Poet to the Meat Processor

Bet ye thought I'd forgotten... never!



A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Poet to the Meat Processor


Don’t bring your Poet to the Meat Processor

Not unless you want to obsess her

With blood yukky guts yukky gore, oh god bless her

What can I say to convince you


She’d write sonnets on tumblers, would rhyme at the trimmers

There’d be no end of trouble as she’d rip through the inners

And mourn for the animals, write odes for the sinners

Would sharpen noun knives with verb flints, ooh


She’d be so unkind would go endlessly quoting

Animal loving poets to the workers while noting

The scent of the blood and the decorous coatings

If you try to obstruct her she’ll mince you


For it’s a well known fact that all poets are vegans

And this is why too, quite a lot are Galwegian

They’d go ape in a meat plant, so don’t risk a lesion

No Meat Processor for your Poet today




Moth to the Winding Stair

This week's poem to dissuade is a purpose built one. I am reading tomorrow night at the Winding Stair for the launch of the Moth magazine. The Winding Stair is a very famous and lovely book shop (though I've only been in it once, and felt a wee bit intimidated by the fact that I couldn't spot the staircase - no doubt now that I'll be reading there, they'll show me the staircase, give me a key to it or some such).

Anyways - very much looking forward to it, mean while here's the poem. Let me know if I should read it out or not, or come along tomorrow night and tell me yourself

btw - the infra red frequency that candle flames emit has been found to contain similar frequency to that emitted by female moth pheromones

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your Moth to the Winding Stair


Don't bring your moth to the winding stair

He’d find the lights too blinding there

He doesn’t delight in finding rare

Books, he’d just flit through the bookies


No, moths can't seem to camoflage

among the assorted bricolage

in this sacred home of books, no courage

would be enough, no cookie


Your moth can't read by candle light

better keep hold of that door handle tight

This butterfly ancestor would amble right

into flames that remind him of nookie


So tell your moth he'll have to be patient

It's not that you're lazy, nor are you complacent

but this lovely shop's not for your fluttering agent

No winding stair for your moth today

Pigeon to Douglas Newman Good

This week's purpose built glory is definitely going to be read aloud. Tonight, upstairs at Douglas Newman Good, in Lucan village. Lucan Writers and some very esteemed guests (including Eamonn Lynskey, Oran Ryan, Alma Braydon, Raven, and others) will be reading there as part of Lucan Festival. So do be there to cheer us on if you can....

DNG is an estate agents for those who don't live in the area.

A poem which attempts to dissuade you from bringing your pigeon to Douglas Newman Good


Don’t bring your pigeon to Douglas Newman Good

He wouldn’t behave like a good pigeon should

He’d home in on the staff, say he misunderstood

The request not to act omnipotent


He’d not be fancied, it would not be terrific

To hear him a cooing at auction, horrific

To see him scratch ads from billboards, dolorific,

Oh t’would be quite the trial, quite the torment


No the real estate agent’s no place for a pigeon

He’d nest in the rafters, if you’ve any smidgeon

Of sense you’ll agree this is no tough decision

Stay at home with your grey flying rodent


I couldn’t care less if he has a ring round his ankle

If his wings are powered by an engine called wankel

No matter the trouble, the pain or the rankle

No Douglas Newman Good for your pigeon today