The Author

He portrays a lonely figure
In his cottage by the sea
With his pencil and his paper and his dog.
Gone his youthful verve and vigour
But remaining in its lee
Is the gift that soon will form his epilogue.

With the ocean panorama
Bathed in twilight’s amber glow,
He reflects upon his cherished thoughts and dreams.
Playing out a lifetime’s drama.
As his passions ebb and flow,
High above, a solitary seagull screams.

Though his clothes may hang in tatters
And his hair be long and grey
Yet his eyes still sparkle brightly as he writes.
For in literary matters
He is half a world away
And upon his works will thousands set their sights.

They will never know the sorrow,
They will never know the pain
That has forged the man behind the flowing pen.
Yet adversity’s tomorrow
Brings a refuge from the rain
Where his reader may find shelter now and then.

Once a student, once a teacher,
Once a lover, once a friend,
The seed now feeds the hand that once did sow it.
A philanthropist, a preacher,
Altruistic to the end
He’s theorist, philosopher… and poet.

He’s the universal writer,
He’s the champion of choice;
Every corner of each foreign field he calls.
He’s the independent fighter,
He’s the literary voice;
He will touch your heart before the sunset falls.

©2019 Rod Walford

 

Gastro-Google Blues

Reducing weight, apparently, is quite the thing to do
If you should find your waist inhibits tying up your shoe
My wife declared our current menu healthy, wise and frugal
But, on a mission, I one night consulted Mr Google.

And what he had to say quite frankly scared me half to death
His information overload just took away my breath
With “Don’t eat this!” and Don’t eat that!”—it filled me with dismay
To find white sugar’s poison—yet I have it every day!

Some say if I don’t eat red meat I could become anaemic
There’s words like phytonutrients and indices glycaemic
Beware of high cholesterol—it rises every hour
If you even look at chocolate or venture near white flour!

Some carbos are not good for you and others quite okay:
White bread is bad and so is wholegrain many people say.
And wheat? Well, that is just about the worst thing ever out
If it doesn’t give you bloating, it’ll surely make you stout!

Potatoes are the worst thing you can put upon your plate
For they expand the waistline at a most alarming rate
And as I Googled on I just could not believe my eyes…
No bread … No pastry…. No ice cream…. No beer… and no pork pies!

I told my wife “He’s crazy this here Mr. Google guy.
He spouts advice like water—it’s enough to make you cry!”
“Now don’t you worry dear,” she said as I began to pine,
“You can’t tell truth from fiction with the stuff you read online”

“I wonder how we’ve lived this long—when we were young,” I said,
“We had no flippin’ gluten free reduced starch wholemeal bread!”
My wife said, “Yes and ice cream once was good for what you’d got:
They’d serve it up in hospitals—and patients ate the lot!”

I said to her, “I’m not so sure I want to break my habit.
If I eat all that green stuff I shall turn into a rabbit!”
“Well, moderation seems to be the way to go,” said she.
“A bit of what you fancy does you good—that’s fine with me!”

Some choices are just common sense and some we can’t avoid
My choice right then was not to join the gastro-paranoid.
So I shut down Mr. Google and his know-all expertise.
My wife said, “Would you like a beer?” And I replied “Yes please!”

© Rod Walford

 

Rod Walford is an Englishman living in Auckland, New Zealand and has been writing poetry for some 25 years. He is a semi-retired diesel fuel injection engineer. He has self-published several books of rhyming poetry including “Timeless,” “Real Poetry for Real Women (written by a man),” and “One Hour before the Dawn.” Access his website here: www.rodwalfordpoetry.com


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18 Responses

  1. sally cook

    I truly enjoyed your commitment to meter, .and joy. .Oh, please , will you come back again, oh Victorian boy?

    Reply
  2. Peter Hartley

    Both of these poems very good, and the second vastly amusing. The regular rhythm makes them easy to read. The best thing about the City of Sails is the glass panels in the Sky Tower and the fantastic view between your feet.

    Reply
    • Rod Walford

      Thank you Peter – I see we have, at some point in history, stood on the same spot ! It’s a beautiful city is Auckland.

      Reply
  3. C.B. Anderson

    The first poem was rather wistful and full of toothsome rhymes, though occasionally (especially in the second poem) there is some missing punctuation: In S2, L1 a period at the end of the line after “death”; similarly in S3 after “anaemic” and S4, L3 after “out.” You need a comma at the end of S5, L1 to separate the two elements of a compound sentence.

    Both poems were lively in terms of the sequences of ideas, which were delivered at a spanking pace.

    Reply
  4. Paul Oratofsky

    In the first poem, the last line of the next to last stanza – shouldn’t it begin either “He is theorist…” or “He’s a theorist….”? There seems to be a beat missing.

    Reply
  5. Amy Foreman

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading both of these, Rod, and found the rhyme scheme of “The Author” particularly appealing.

    Reply
    • Rod Walford

      Thank you Amy – I see Monty has also commented on “The Author” in the same vein. I confess I did not deliberately set out with any particular plan in mind – I just make a start, get “in the zone” and see what happens. I really appreciate your support

      Reply
  6. James A. Tweedie

    Rod,

    It’s funny how, in America, if you say something is “bush” it is a demeaning insult. But to say it to someone “down under” it could well be taken as a compliment. This is especially true for your brand of poetry. Well done and well written, as well as being thoughtful (poem #1), and laugh out loud funny (poem #2). Thanks and keep it up!

    Reply
    • Rod Walford

      Thanks James – I’ll go with “compliment” then !
      Appreciate your encouragement.
      I don’t profess to be a technical poet like so many contributors here – but I enjoy writing and if folk enjoy the end result that’s sufficient for me.

      Reply
  7. Monty

    Good stuff, Rod.

    Two poems with out-of-the-ordinary subject-matters; both of which are well-written, with clear and concise diction throughout; both of which contain consistently strong rhymes; and both of which have a contemplative ending.

    I especially like the format you used for ‘The Author’. Although not rare, it’s not something that one sees all the time on these pages; and it requires the utmost discipline to pull it off. I couldn’t help noticing that the last lines of stanzas 3 and 4 in ‘Gastro’ contained a slight metric anomaly: was that intentional?

    Reply
    • Rod Walford

      Glad you enjoyed them Monty and thank you for your appreciation.
      I’m not sure about the metric anomalies you mention – how does one pronounce “chocolate” ? – I had 3 syllables in mind when writing “Gastro” but I take your point.
      I am rarely technically perfect but suffer from the dreaded condition where part of the mind is already engaged in the next poem before the current one is optimally polished !
      I hope you are keeping well. All the best.

      Reply
      • Monty

        . . . but my comment about ‘The Author’ wasn’t “in the same vein” as Amy, Rod. Amy expressed her liking for the ‘rhyme-scheme; my praise was for the ‘format’ of the piece.. the stanza-arrangement, if you like. Each stanza contained:
        Line 1.. 8 syllables
        Line 2.. 7 syllables
        Line 3.. 11 syllables
        Line 4.. 8 syllables
        Line 5.. 7 syllables
        Line 6.. 11 syllables
        . . this is what I was referring to when I used the word “disciplined” above. I found it to be quite sophisticated.

        Regarding the ‘meter’ thing: I was referring only to the first two words of both lines.. ‘If you’ and ‘If it’.
        All the other lines start with de DE de DE: but those two lines start with de de DE de.
        D’you see what I’m saying?

        My favourite place in Auckland . . . the like-for-like reconstruction of Edmund Hillary’s ‘hut’.

  8. Rod

    Ah yes I see what you mean in both cases Monty! As I mentioned I am not much of a poet for the technically minded, preferring to reply on general impact on the average reader. Sometimes I feel a little out of my depth here in the SCP but I will persevere! Thanks for your much valued insight.

    Reply
    • Monty

      I’m no expert myself, Rod. The only reason I questioned those two lines is because . . . after two years of reading (and learning from) the comments on these pages, I’ve become aware of what’s called a ‘substitution’ – a term used in metred poetry to indicate a change in the metric beat from that which dominates the rest of the poem. I’m still not that sure about it – for example, where and when ‘substitutions’ can be used in a line; or how many can be used in one poem – but I initially wondered if you’d used ‘substitutions’ in those two lines: that’s why I first asked if it was intentional.

      Regardless.. like you say, you don’t need to concern yourself with such technicalities. You’ve evidently got a natural gift and flair for writing; and compared to some of the poorly-written stuff I sometimes see on these pages (albeit infrequently), you’ll never be out of your depth here. Both of your feet are planted firmly in the sand.

      Reply
  9. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    These poems are an absolute delight. I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Author’ for its rhyme, rhythm and sentiment – it spoke to my heart. ‘Gastro-Google Blues’ is a grin of a poem with a welcome helping of humour and a punchline I can relate to. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Rod Walford

      Thank you so much Susan – your kind comments are truly appreciated . Yes most folk get a good laugh out of “Gastro” – I must try my hand at some more humourous poems – God knows the world needs humour right now !

      Reply

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