Monday, December 27, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas - revisited

Sick of Christmas Cheer?
Stuck interminably in all twelve of the days of Christmas?
Maybe it's time for something new?

On the first day of Christmas an ET gave to me
A Suitcase from a pear tree

On the second day of Christmas an ET gave to me
Two Mutant Doves
and a
Suitcase from a pear tree

On the third day of Christmas an ET gave to me
Three Fallen  Angels
Two Mutant Doves
and a
Suitcase from a pear tree

On the fourth day of Christmas an ET gave to me
Four eye-phones calling
Three Fallen  Angels
Two Mutant Doves
and a
Suitcase from a pear tree

On the fifth day of Christmas an ET gave to me
Five wooden stakes
Four eye-phones calling
Three Fallen  Angels
Two Mutant Doves
and a
Suitcase from a pear tree

On the sixth day of Christmas an ET gave to me
Six Sparkling vampires
Five wooden stakes
Four eye-phones calling
Three Fallen Angels
Two Mutant Doves
and a
Suitcase from a pear tree

On the seventh day of Christmas an ET gave to me
Seven Planets spinning
Six Sparkling vampires
Five wooden stakes
Four eye-phones calling
Three Fallen Angels
Two Mutant Doves
and a
Suitcase from a pear tree

On the eighth day of Christmas an ET gave to me
Eight Robot Slaves
Seven Planets spinning
Six Sparkling vampires
Five wooden stakes
Four eye-phones calling
Three Fallen Angels
Two Mutant Doves
and a
Suitcase from a pear tree

On the ninth day of Christmas an ET gave to me
Nine golden rings
Eight Robot Slaves
Seven Planets spinning
Six Sparkling vampires
Five wooden stakes
Four eye-phones calling
Three Fallen Angels
Two Mutant Doves
and a
Suitcase from a pear tree

On the tenth day of Christmas an ET gave to me
Ten Laser Guns
Nine golden rings
Eight Robot Slaves
Seven Planets spinning
Six Sparkling vampires
Five wooden stakes
Four eye-phones calling
Three Fallen Angels
Two Mutant Doves
and a
Suitcase from a pear tree

On the eleventh day of Christmas an ET gave to me
Eleven nuclear explosions
Ten Laser Guns
Nine golden rings
Eight Robot Slaves
Seven Planets spinning
Six Sparkling vampires
Five wooden stakes
Four eye-phones calling
Three Fallen Angels
Two Mutant Doves
and a
Suitcase from a pear tree

On the twelfth day of Christmas an ET gave to me
Twelve Spaceships Landing
On a world that's completely human free

The End

(Well, of course it is.)

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page

Maybe one day I'll do a somewhat tidier version of this. But it more was more a bit of nonsensical fun than anything else.  Hope everyone is enjoying the festive season and having a bit of a break from work.  


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Secret Santa: Christmas, Downtown Melbourne by Pamela Morrison

Christmas, Downtown Melbourne

Ding dong



A man enters the post office

Ding dong

His knuckles are grey

Ding dong ding

He walks past the card stand

Dong ding

His feet are bare

Dong dong

He stops and bends down

Ding dong ding

His paper bag is ripped


He looks up at the roof

Ding dong

One eye is open, the other is half shut

Ding ding

He draws a deep breath


No-one sees him, no-one is looking


Now the man is starting to sing

The notes of Jerusalem

Are bold as a bell

They rise to the vault of the ceiling

Then descend

Every space is filled

Every person is still

The last note has landed

Shoppers and postal workers stomp and clap

Ding dong dong ding dong dong ding ding dong

Ding dong dong ding dong ding dong dong dong ding

A person in uniform walks to the man

Turns him, takes him away.

Pamela Morrison

Pam wrote this poem about a pre-Christmas experience she had several years ago. It seems rather sad that it ends the way it does - as she captures the magic and finally the pathos of the incident.

A Dunedin based poet, Pam is an ex-journalist who has had "the odd poem published."   Now in a completely different line of work, she's enjoying having no deadlines, and not having to write other people’s stories.  She loves sharing her work with others, and she is a fantastic part of the Tuesday Poetry blog group and an avid blogger -  more of her poems can be found here at her blog site where she continues to explore the world with words.

 So cheers Pam and all the other poets on the Tuesday Poem site for making this a memorable year in poetry.

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This Way to Grandma's

You think you are
standing on the path

just talking

but your words give you away
they sell your loved ones,

and murder your future.

If I was not a wolf
your inevitable betrayal would make me cry

but I am what I am

so I lick my lips
and lean in

with  an affectation of slothfulness

swaggering in my certainty
that while you  see me

you cannot see through
to the wolf inside

How could you?

So be a lamb
And talk your way to the table.

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page

Some poems can be moments of inspiration and some can take a little more -- encouragement.  This is one of those poems.  But while it hasn't been particularly obliging in itself, it has spawned at least two other poems so far, including: "fairy tale conventions."

To read the featured poem on the Tuesday Poem Blog—and link to other Tuesday Poets posting around NZ and the world—either click here or on the Quill icon in the sidebar.
(Also for anyone who likes a slightly twisted Little Red Riding Hood - Roald Dahl's version is here , I rediscovered it after I posted this.) or for more fairytale poetry click here to my Fairytale Poetry Hub

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Eulogy to battles lost

As requested this is a little homage to Firefly / Serenity (written 23rd November 2010).  Although if you don't like such things, I still believe the last verse to be worth reading. And yes there is deliberately no full stop at the end, for hope should never end with such finality. 

Take my love

You cannot miss
Slipping into space
On rickety engines
Tied together with
Chewing gum

Take my land

There's power in the verse
Even as heroes
Fall to wayside robbery
To survive, to get even,
To hide the truth of
A world
A universe
Bought and sold

Take me where I cannot stand

Hanging on a thread
Doctors, preachers, thieves
Breaking bread
Hiding chocolate
Toting guns
Retorting hot as fire
And cold as reckoning
Fools staking out a claim
to what they cannot hold

I don't care

So long as I'm flying
The inevitable betrayal
Should not hurt
So very much
Mere boulders knocked downstream.
Waterfall quick
Tumbles into madness
And away

I'm still free

A pretence as deep and wide
As the sky itself
Bound with
foolish reason
Cut through with civility

You can't take the sky from me

the rooms
entwined with flowers
lie empty
a memorial to
those who died
A testament to hope

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page  (of course the highlighted lines are from Joss Whedon - I hope he can forgive me, given this is a homage to his show)


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sex Sells

Sex sells
Lolling curvaceously over
The unnecessary
I want it
Primitive response

Higher order thinking subsumed in
How do I get it?
This thing
This curvaceous
Beauteous organ of desire
So even the smartest among us
Pull the wool out of their eyes,
Knit it into elaborate blindfolds
Embroider them in red
And smile at their cleverness

Donning the objectified
How the world
Became so dark

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page

We consume more than just things.  Ideas and morality (I'm not so much thinking Victorian morality as the whole blurry and not so blurry good/evil thing), politics, these are part of the constructs we create, fed, as it were, by outside influences.  Those influences are increasingly stereotyped and marketed with all the passion money can buy.

Anyway, that's enough of that.  I think I'll leave my protesting to the poetry.  Much better that way.
& for those who are interested,
John Horrocks',  "Something in the Waters"
is being launched at Rona Gallery Sunday, December 12 at 3:30pm.  I'll definitely try to make it.  Should be fun.

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Murdering Poetry

I would kill
for a voice that could read poetry
as finely honed as a boning knife
Plunged into the heart.

Incisive as fangs
sliced across arteries
spilling blood in fountains
onto the slavering faces
of howling wolves
My cheerful brogue slipping
into dark nightmares
and flourishing
as a bone deep canker
eating you away
from the inside
and slipping
the noose
around your neck
until the air
kicking under your heels 
is still.

See, the powdered words
no longer dry upon the page
a poisoned ink
that flows
within your veins
and through your soul
until your heart
no longer pains
and your death is wholly 

A..J. Ponder - 

It always amazes me just where and how inspiration strikes.  This poem has been brewing dormant for the best part of a year but it wasn't until Harvey commented on Rudyard Kipling that it hurried out faster than a smuggler with the redcoats after him. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rudyard Kipling " A Smuggler's Song"

If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse's feet,
Don't go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street,
Them that ask no questions isn't told a lie.
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by.

Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark -
Brandy for the Parson, 'Baccy for the Clerk.
Laces for a lady; letters for a spy,
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by!

Running round the woodlump if you chance to find
Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy-wine,
Don't you shout to come and look, nor use 'em for your play.
Put the brishwood back again - and they'll be gone next day !

If you see the stable-door setting open wide;
If you see a tired horse lying down inside;
If your mother mends a coat cut about and tore;
If the lining's wet and warm - don't you ask no more !

If you meet King George's men, dressed in blue and red,
You be careful what you say, and mindful what is said.
If they call you " pretty maid," and chuck you 'neath the chin,
Don't you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one's been !

Knocks and footsteps round the house - whistles after dark -
You've no call for running out till the house-dogs bark.
Trusty's here, and Pincher's here, and see how dumb they lie
They don't fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by !

'If You do as you've been told, 'likely there's a chance,
You'll be give a dainty doll, all the way from France,
With a cap of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood -
A present from the Gentlemen, along 'o being good !
Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark -
Brandy for the Parson, 'Baccy for the Clerk.
Them that asks no questions isn't told a lie -
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by ! 

This is such a lovely sweet poem with amazing rhyme and rhythmn, but it's the sinister edge and atmosphere that make it great!

P.S. "Touchdown!" is now out.  School Journal Part 2 No4 2010  "Scene: A spaceship is landing on an alien planet... "

A..J. Ponder 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fairy Tale Conventions

We are the child
Stepping out into a world of danger

We are the guardians of the child
Watching the path

And although the answer is no
It's always, 'no'-

The child goes -
We go

All the way to the end

When the road is bleak
And full of wolves

Someone must hold our hands

A..J. Ponder 

In the world of Fairy tales danger lurks around every corner, which of course only makes the journey more more irresistible.  This poem is for every child with whom I have walked that path into brilliant darkness.

For more fairytale poetry click here to my Fairytale Poetry Hub

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Sonnet to the Muse

Shall I compare thee, or shall I just write
Oh my demon, summer died as you drove
A plague of words
As black and dark as night
Through my heart and through my head.  Words you wove -

Yes you did - with a tongue so slick and sweet
My world held neither shadows nor delight
Nought but bloody threads
Spilling your own neat
Hell upon darkened pages of my life

But my torment is not your tapestry of text
Nor ink-smudged tears dried long upon my face
Tis but the fear that
You will set me free -
So let dead summers sink without a trace

Let words plague every corner, every part
My demon stitch the small world of my heart.

A..J. Ponder 

Much as I adore simplicity, there is no way I could compete with Helen's poem, Truths, so I thought why not go to the other extreme!  Everyone should have a go at writing a sonnet, with the reversal et al. at some stage of their life. One could say this sonnet is a little more textured than a traditional sonnet, but only a little, and it was great fun to write. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Mind the present that
I give you
The bow is tied askew

Just for you
A rainbow
Of love

The cupboards
And the kitchen wall
Brushed bright in every hue

Just for you

Confound it
All the words
Shall fall

Forgotten paintings
Blank and white
Against the wall

Against the page
And always you shall see
The note that never set you free

Just for you


A certain warhorse
Teeth kicked askew
Hearts beating

Bites all its tongues in laughter;
Half without
and half  -
Forever After

A..J. Ponder 

There is a certain saying, never look a gift-horse in the mouth.  And yet some gifts come with their own sadness.  This poem refers rather obscurely to a gift from my colour-blind grandfather to my grandmother.  The bright colours intended to cheer her had a somewhat opposite effect, serving only to remind them both of their thwarted passion for art.

For more poetry please go to the Tuesday Poem blog by clicking on the link.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Questioning the Status Quo

Questioning the Status Quo

Why do we measure achievement in money?
Why do we allow ourselves to be held hostage by tradition?
Why is the food pyramid still taught in schools?
Why is birth control not encouraged along with aid to impoverished nations?
Why, after we won the right for a 40 hour working week, did we throw in the towel?
Why do older kids do better at school
and sport?
Why is there no consistency of care for our vulnerable youth?
Why do we have a four-term school year?
Why were women expected to stay at home,
expected to work,
and finally expected to do both?
Why does everybody shrug and say,
that's the way it is, because that's the way it's always been.,
Since when has that lie been an acceptable answer?
Many things have a long and revered history,
Fine, the history isn't revered, but at the time
Such behaviours were accepted as normal,
even respected, worshiped,
as the order of things.
The fight against the old evils isn't over,
while the fight against new evils has just begun.
But let us not start with,
"That is the way things have always been."
In the past they were worse.
Don't we have more hope than that for the future?
For the youth we farm out
to schools to welcome them in
and throw them away
four times a year,
How could we care so little? 

A..J. Ponder 

Sometimes it's not the perfect answer that is needed but the perfect question. Sometimes it seems to me that we do things simply because they seem the right thing to do, or we use emotion or tradition or simply what other people are doing to make our decisions rather than looking at all the information objectively. 

It seems wrong to allow ourselves to become so complacent, especially now when times are tough and making good decisions is more important than ever.  Because when there's no room to question the decisions we make, individually and as a society then there is no real freedom.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Don’t Care

Don’t Care

Don’t care didn’t care,
Don’t care was wild:
Don’t care stole plum and pear
Like any beggar’s child.

Don’t care was made to care,
Don’t care was hung:
Don’t care was put in a pot
And boiled till he was done.


Another blast from the past.  It's got the brutality and morality of an old fairy tale, a very very short fairy tale, and I remember a certain grandmother having a particular fondness for the second verse.  It wasn't until later that I discovered there was a first verse to go with the second.  with it the poem makes somewhat more sense, and has a wonderful tone and gathering of rhythm that's kind of fun -- but mostly its great because now my children hate it almost as much as I did :)

A..J. Ponder 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Boys, Please Dont Rock the Boat

  The boys are restless, 
And his brothers
Treading lightly
Enough for atua but
Creating the tiniest crack --
A devastating splinter
For mere mortals.
And we watch in fear,
Those who infest the fish.
We watch and listen from afar -
"Kauaka tikoki e te waka"
Knowing your music is
 You                  Not ours.
             All are shaken,
                overwhelmed, relieved,
                 for, in this place we hold life is sacred.
         Families, friends, the cleanup crew,
           no one forgets the North waits
                                                             for Maui to
                               the fish

Alicia Ponder

I felt the earthquake was the province of people who had lived through it. That raw emotion belongs to you who lived through it and are still living through the aftershocks. Still something like this doesn't pass anyone in New Zealand by, we all know people who are affected, so this was my take, a little late. Hopefully there's some kind of balance with North and South -- apart but together. Also if anyone speaks Maori feel free to tell me if I've stepped wrong. I was using online dictionaries for hours to try to get the phrase "don't rock the boat". Which was a bit of an eye-opener, because I thought it would be dead easy. And it wasn't - a bit like the shape itself. :)

PS if you want to know about quakes in your corner of New Zealand - why not check out GeoNet? It can give you updates, either choose your region or check out the overview.

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Mother Said... Anonymous

My mother said, I never should
Play with the Gypsies in the wood;
If I did, she would say,
Naughty little girl to disobey.
Your hair shan't curl,
Your shoes shan't shine,
You gypsy girl, you shan't be mine.
And my father said if I did,
he'd rap my head with the teapot lid.

The wood was dark, the grass was green,
In came Sally with a tambourine.
I went to sea - no ship to get across,
I paid ten shillings for a blind white horse,
I up on his back,
and was off in a crack -
Sally, tell my mother I shall never come back.

Another old favourite.  This poem has the allure of the forbidden.  It moves and dances with its own freedom, as it develops from repression to mystery and new beginnings.

Growing up in New Zealand the idea of Gypsies seemed as exotic and enticing as fairies and I have to admit I was surprised to find that this poem wasn't so easy to find as I thought.  There was nothing in particular dedicated to it, just some blogs with versions that didn't seem quite right.  This mash-up seems to be the closest to my rememberings although I'm sure other people will have their own favourite versions.

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Seven Rings for Mortal Man

Believe it or not, it's New Zealand SpecFic Blogging week. So I thought how about a little homage to the Lord of the Rings film in the hope that The Hobbit will eventually materialise.  (I'm dying to know if they are going to open with the scene of Smaug I've always imagined.)

Seven Rings for Mortal Man

I have a tale to tell to you,
A tale of woe and endless rue
Of dark things stalking in the night
and brave men come to do what’s right

Of Princesses and courage true
As seen on high from Godlike view
Of cameras scattered in the night
To catch this truly awesome sight

Now I would be a Hero
and wield a Hero’s blade
To smite the foe in battle rage
If only I could make the grade

Or evil crawling in the night
To fight the good with all my might -
It is not beneath my pride
To slaughter elvish scum upon an orcish tide

For these things I long, and many more
but to walk until I get footsore
And I absolutely swear
a dozen steps to get nowhere…

I’d do it all again for

This feature promises to bring
“Riders” dark and menacing
Dwarves and Elves and Men
And special effects beyond my ken

The stars the moon the absent sun
The stones on which the rivers run
Bless them all this awe-full night
In the promise of the sight


One film to rule them all
One film to spell-bind them
One film to bring them all
and in the darkness…

just watch it!

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page

ok maybe it's not pure spec fic but here's some others - one or two of which might be considered Spec Fic - hey what do I know?  I just write stuff.

Time Wyrm - The crack in the universe expanded
Kaitoke - 'nough said.
The Fair Folk by William Allingham
Ecila - I'm sensing a pattern.  A certain someone falling down the rabbit hole.

As You know Bob - prose poem by Tim Jones
Books in the Trees - Tim Jones.  Not actually a poem but definitely a fun read.
I know there are so many others but the slipper just fell off and the pumpkin is leaving.


hundreds of SFFANZ book reviews (some of which will be NZ)

Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier (lovely book, quite romantic)
Thornspell by Helen Lowe 
Brainjack by Brian Falkner 

Interviews with NZ SpecFic Authors

Elizabeth Knox (with Helen Heath, 10 Questions series)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mel's View

Your poem sat
watching the world
under your window,
sitting on your sill
serene as spiced coffee,
scarf wrapped
round and about,
nothing poking out,
but scratching toes,
a cold nose,
and thump,
a tail.

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page

I suspect this is Mel's and my little in joke - but sometimes it's the little things that count. Sometimes that's all we have, especially in times of upheaval or worry. So here's to all those people in Christchurch, we don't know what you are going through, but we've seen some of the devastation and our hearts go out to you.

Cheers, everybody.  Best wishes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blackening the Page (Unfinished)

I hear the sigh, 'alack and woe
Where did all the giants go?
the fountain pen
long dried and dead
spent all the prose --
left words instead.'

Still time is everything I guess
And distance makes it effortless
A march of hope
Through all the ages
Caught in frowns
On blackened pages.

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page

This poem is (probably) unfinished. I have written other stanzas but am unhappy with them. Sometimes it is the "easy" poems that are so very difficult!!! :)

Besides - it seems somehow appropriate that this particular work is incomplete - after all it almost needs to be criss crossed with re-writes to give it the right tone ;)

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Steven Colbert's" "Poetry" (and link to award winning writers segement)

 I remember someone put up a very nice piece of "Steven Colbert's" work - and I thought this might be interesting for all those people who think writing is a lonely pastime - I think it proves an axiom I've been saying for along time - you can't have too many writers!

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday poem : Not a sonnet or a poem of any sort

say something scathing
like I should follow fashion
like I should
give a damn

A..J. Ponder
 I wasn't going to post even the pretence of a poem this week.  Been busy thinking about my stories that I'm meant to be submitting to a certain competition.  huh, fat chance! But one of my sub comments kept on alliterating - so...  Did write a sonnet this week and a couple of others, but have selfishly decided to try and find collections for them, if I can find the patience from somewhere.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday Poem - Clay, Thou art Mine to Command

My story is too exciting to leave
And too jealous to abandon
So I'll leave you here
on the doorstep
While I step out
From grey winter
Into dusty sunshine

A..J. Ponder - author page

 I usually write poetry to get my head in the right space for - well, more writing.  This was a day, or a week where the story was....rather demanding.  Good days :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Elegy for Jabber

ok I know it's not a patch on the original, but it was fun to write.Yes, Lewis Dodgeson got it wrong...

'Twas brillig that redoubted world
where mimsy has been placed
I stood between the Boros' graves
and hid my wretched face.

The Jabberwock, he’s gone my sons
those evil Raths took him away,
your uffish friend is dead and gone
I know not what to say,

They took him on a vorpal ship,
it cut gallumphing through the night
to man’s home world of blue and green
and scrumbled out of sight

I landed fast and found a man,
with curly hair, and flame-blue eyes,
just standing there with book and pen,
his open mouth caught flies.

I told him of the Jabber-wock,
And you; my sons, left far behind,
I told him of the vorpal ship.
The man replied in kind,

Though his news was greevly bitter,
I’ll always fleer his words so black
for they did slay the Jabber-wock
with blades of snicker-snack.'

I cried, 'my heart is slain this day
Oh Frabjous Foe, Callooh, Callay
My tail brelucks, my spines reflay,'
And gortled in dismay.

'Twas brillig that redoubted world
where mimsy has been placed
I stood between the Boros’ graves
and hid my wretched face.

A..J. Ponder - author page

And for those of you who are interested in such things Massey University has got a school journal display up until the end of the week celebrating 12 years of collaboration - where students have a brief to illustrate a story/play.  Peter Friend and my play, "Touchdown"  was selected this year - so that was fun - you can see the winners art, past winners, the design process,etc.  It was fascinating - esp for me, seeing different versions of our characters and how the designers worked with the brief etc. Being last year students in an intensive design course I found all the work on display pretty amazing, and the winners especially so.  "Ima­gine That! Stephen Olsen reports back from the open­ing night of the exhibition."  

"While not phys­ic­ally present these char­ac­ters from a sci-fi play soon to appear in the pages of the School Journal were undoubtedly in star­ring roles at the open­ing of the Ima­gine That! exhib­i­tion in Wel­ling­ton this week which runs until Sunday 15 August."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Food Fight

Blossoms on the kowhai tree
untouched and ignorant
of the raging war above:
Tui versus Bellbird.

And when the battle passes,
ten kings will rule triumphant
over a golden kingdom
of shredded wheat

A..J. Ponder

Amelia chose two poems for NZ day: Kaitoke and Food Fight. I chose Kaitoke to go with the fantasy theme I had going last week. This week, I think it's more than time we started looking forward to spring!
Published (page 96) Caught on Canvas.

Friday, July 30, 2010

NZ Poetry Day - Kaitoke

I run as lithe as any elven maid,
through forest stream and wooded glade,
to listen as the soft wind soughs,
and dance beneath the autumn boughs.

My footsteps as they pass,
barely bend a blade of grass,
no trace remaning in this wood,
picture perfect where I stood.

A..J. Ponder

Sorry this is a bit late guys, but it is still Friday. 

This was written in 2005. I was amazed at the lack of trace the LOTR crews left on Kaitoke, and wrote this poem in their honour as much as for Kaitoke itself, which is was still gorgeous, even if not quite as untainted as in my remembered youth. 

Published Caught on Canvas 2005 (p104) under a gorgeous old world picture of a girl with an umbrella, and opposite a kaitoke forest that must only remain in my youth, so rich and green and dark.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Fair Folk/The Fairies by William Allingham

All the talk about hobbits made me remember an old child-hood favourite  by William Allingham

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And grey cock's feather!

Down along the rocky shore,
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old king sits;
He is now so old and grey
He's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
Columbkille he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieve League to Rosses;
Or going up with music
On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
For seven years long.
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back,
Between the night and morrow;
They thought that she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lakes,
On a bed of flag-leaves,
Watching till she wakes.

By the craggy hill-side,
Through the mosses bare
They have planted thorn trees
For pleasure here and there.
Is any man so daring
To dig up one in spite,
He shall find the thornies set
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And grey cock's feather!

William Alingham, 19 March 1824  (or possibly 1828 general consensus seems to be 1824)- 18 November 1889 . William Alingham was an Irish poet described as clear, fresh and graceful, his work has always been thought of as charming, and although he was never really famous like some of the other poets of the time, his work is still around over a hundred years later, apparently Terry Pratchett's working title for "The Wee Free Men" was "For Fear of Little Men" after the poem, and the opening verse has been used in a number of other works including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Click here to arrive at the Portal for Fairy Tale Poetry, or back at the Tuesday Poem hub:  

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page

Monday, July 19, 2010

Time Wyrm

         Wyrm                                                                    the Universe
      A         in Time,                                             Brilliance of              all
                       through Space,                     the true                              around
                                 splitting the milky Stars
                                                  and Revealing


there's a crack in Amelia's computer screen
and insistent
that I should write a poem
I complied

After all, Amelias'
lose their mothers'
to forgetfulness
far too easily.

So, should sudden sulks and sullen
teenage tantrums
tear darkness through
and through

cast your eyes to the
starless wyrm
of starry space
and remember this

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page

Click here for more poetry, back at the Tuesday Poem hub:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday Poem, excuses

Of course yesterday's post, Head Cold, could be construed as a poem, it's a bit like a computer generated word medley after all.

But I also thought linking up to a slightly longer bit of prose would count somehow as a poem, so here is the link. "The Queen & I," Winner of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Association of New Zealand, short, short story competition 2005 and published in the ICON Handbook March 2005.

Those are my excuses and I'm sticking to them. Happy writing, everyone!!

A.J. Ponder - Amazon author page

Monday, July 12, 2010

Head Song

Wordle: an affliction of poetry 12 July

I went to wordle (as suggested by Mary's rather audacious blog) only to discover my affliction of poetry was just a head song.  Should have known.

A..J. Ponder - Amazon author page

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"Silvery Grey Ribbons" An Oil Triptych from Space

(I knew I wanted to write a poem on the spill, but I couldn't get my perspective right until I saw these pictures of the oil spill from space. Nasa link )

the wild blue
it lies
in the


Your Gold
has infected
the sea
and turned
its waters
bright with
the blood of


black gold
not rare
nor precious
to save-
the invisible lives
washed up on
on a calm
of death

A..J. Ponder


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Screaming at the Wind

I did warn you...

Screaming at the Wind

They found a cure
For what ails you
For cancer and depression too
And put their fingers in their ears
And shouted
as hard as they bloody well could...

What's the fucking point
Of telling people what's killing them
When they don't bloody want to hear
Preferring Fairy Tales
Over reality
Preferring to die
Than read labels

They found a cure
And they knew it
And somebody even tried to tell you
Somebody said
That chronic illness of yours
It might be
It just might be...

And though it was your cure -
You put your fingers in your ears
And shouted
As hard as you bloody well could
Because your drug that wasn't a drug
Has you hooked
Line and sinker
Because that drug that isn't a drug
Is your social drug of choice.

A..J. Ponder 
 (BSc Hons- genetics/biochem...)
I don't normally do this with my quals but they are relevant

I could say get tested for Coeliac today, and I suppose 80% is an ok indication - but it's not good enough.  100% specificity is not the same as 100% accuracy not when researchers say traditional "coeliac" is the tip of the iceberg and may be irrelevant anyway. In fact despite the high mortality and associated diseases I got the strong impression after reading the Christchurch study and several others, that many specialists don't like diagnosing without actual stomach problems-- not because of health issues, but because of social ones. 

That's my rant.  Rant over.  Your health.  Your life.  Your choice.

Summary of the Christchurch study. 
the study itself -
and afew other odds and sods (schizophrenia) (the why we don't screen argument) (psych stuff) (cancer)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday Poem - Hijacked

I have a song in my head
insistent as waves on the shore
I have a song in my head
no room for a brain any more

I have a song in my head
musak for the merry go round
I have a song in my head
every beat as my feet hit the ground

I have a song in my head
and it's wearing my patience away...

There's a song in my head
And the sea wont shut up
There's a song in my head
And I can't shut the door
There's a song in my head
Every thought now long dead
There's a song in my head
but I don't care anymore

A..J. Ponder - author page

ok warning. Next week there will almost certainly be swearing. I was thinking I could simply take out the stronger language, and I did manage to remove one. Oh, and last week I forgot to thank Tim, I don't think I could have created Ecila without our little conversation about rhyme :)

P.S. if you find your brain has been hijacked by this poem, I do not promise to give it back. Certainly mine has failed yet to return.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I would just like to take a moment to thank all the readers and writers for coming to the Rona Gallery readers and writers evening it was great to catch up with people I haven't seen for a while.  A special thanks for the people who took the stand, Mary for being such a delightful hostess and Fiona Kidman herself for her exquisite poetry and her grace.

Alright - Poem 


She fell
Between the cracks

Not one thing,
Nor another

Down the rabbit hole
Past Lala lane

Yes we've all been there
To visit

To take in the view
And refuse to

But this girl stayed
Past dinner time

More curious
Than annoyed

Less curious
Than lost

More and Less
Than you or I

She ignored the very late rabbit
With his watch habit

Not hearing much -
Except the Cheshire cat

Grinning back

A..J. Ponder 
Okay explanations.  This is very recent. 12 June. Ecila has a soft c.  That'll do.  Have a wonderful week everybody.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Grey Day in Summer

(or -- Sometimes, the hottest Summer's Day is Just as Grey as Any Other)

It is a grey day
My heart is stuffed with pillows
The breeze blows through my head as if it wasn't there
And through the unrelenting sunlight
Under the eaves
There are shadows
With the names of loved ones

It is a grey day
My world is stuffed with pillows
My stomach filled with bright and burning lead
Skin deep sunlight burns my skin
And all around
There lie shadows
Plots of grass
Marked by picket fences

It is a grey day
My soul is stuffed with pillows
There is hot sun, there is blue sky, but I have fallen
Past the sweet scent of roses
Where the lies lie
Beneath the bright words
That mark
The places we dare not cross

Alicia Ponder
 I rather hate doing this - but this poem should really be softly illustrated, each stanza has a little church, a churchyard and a picket fence.   (Also the font and the format make a big difference, and I'm not entirely sure I have them quite right here. )

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

An Essay of Meaning

It's strange how these things happen. Wanted to create a blog for the Tuesday Poem group.
No cell phone. No account.
Hang on, I thought. This is crazy.
So for luck I put in my e-mail and my once-favourite password.
Presto. There it was an account - pre made. Obviously knew this day would come.
Cheers for reading. It's going to be about the poetry. Can't bear over analysis. I like simple truths, clear fresh language and occasionally rhyme (bad me).
I may not be part of the Tuesday blog yet, but here's the poem anyway. It's conception was only about 25 years ago. Bout time it was aired.

An Essay of Meaning

Picking the flesh
Eating elegantly
With such forethought

The tempting treat
Screams silently.
Assimilated endlessly
Under the knife.

The molecules mixed
And analysed,
With such strong digestive juices,
are added to --
and thereby diminished.

A..J. Ponder 

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Beginning

In the beginning there was light
and then there was darkness -
what followed
was the defining moment.

A..J. Ponder - author page