Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You There, In the Plaid

As the new son of an old nation
you got a gentle start
in pastoral South Lanarkshire
schoolboy days in Paris
wine, wisdom and worldliness
how soon the world can turn

Dispossessed of your ancestral lands
but never the blue and green tartan
cursed by the Crown
friend-in-arms of the Bruce
defeated at Methven and Dalrigh
victor at Brander, Roxburgh, Bannockburn

A hard life during hard times
made more so for the wars
that never seem to end

Sometimes on a walk
through the green grounds at St. Bride’s Kirk
I imagine your thick, black mane
damp with sweat and others’ blood
I can almost hear
your deep baritone thunder
across the plane of battle
Ye shall all die, thieves of England!

Gentle and sweet over pints and in love
all fury and ferocity in a good fight
beloved yet savage ancestor
we owe you all

And for reproducing before your final clash
on the frontiers of Andalucia
Thank you

As true as your spirit lives on
I will follow thee or die

~ J. D. Mackenzie

[Based on the following Poetry on Wednesday week 9 prompt: WHO AM I? Write a poem about a well know person, celebrity, historical or mythical figure. Please do not reveal the name. It should be fun to guess who it is.]

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Botti & Lucia Heat Up Emmanuel

It’s time we left our work and went to play
We’ve been at it for hours, I know you’re tired
The days don’t get much longer than today

There’s nothing like the solstice to inspire
So pack your gear and get your second wind
Let’s head out to the beach and build a fire

All our friends are here so let’s begin
To barbeque and let the Fosters flow
We’ll do a little sailing if there’s wind

The stunning sunset makes your soft hair glow
Let’s shake things up as we dismiss daylight
When stars come out the music starts to slow

Botti’s horn was made for summer twilight
Everything I love is here tonight

~ J. D. Mackenzie

[Poetry on Wednesday Week 8 Prompt: Choose a piece of music that expresses Twilight in Summer. Make sure it is on You Tube so that we can listen to it while reading your poem. In Terza Rima Sonnet form, please.]


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Right Here in Tuscany

We staggered through the final days
of our exhausting year
Your blue eyes told me everything:
just get me out of here

With carry-on and tickets
it’s sure nice we both pack light
We snuggled up with Ambien
for our twelve hour flight

I’d found a bello Tuscan villa
half a world away
Close enough to town for us
to shop there every day

I don’t worry much about
the words that I don’t know
Everyone can understand me
when I order Dolcetto

They don’t have a phrasebook for a pair like you and me
Maybe we should write our own right here in Tuscany

The locals have a way with words
that charms us every time
Botti piccine il vino buono means
small barrels hold good wine

But all I really want to do
is shed our clothes out by the pool
and slowly, gently carry you
the way we always used to do
remembering why I married you
I hope you feel the same way too

They don’t have a phrasebook for a pair like you and me
Maybe we should write our own right here in Tuscany

There’s no internet to translate what you mean to me
so let’s create our own new language, here in Tuscany
right here in Tuscany

~ J. D. Mackenzie

[Based on the following prompt from Rallentanda: This week's prompt is Italian. The aim is to use a sprinkling of Italian words in your poem.]

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Love's Lament

To thee I send this written ambassage
By legal courier, registered mail
To show thee worthy of thy sweet respect

I cannot blame thee for my love
Thou usest with my best man
My second cousin, the pool boy, et. al.

I hated you
When it would have taken less courage
And been far less expense to love

Were I hard-favoured, foul or wrinkled old
Then mightest thou pause, for then I were not for thee
But having no defects, why dost abhor me?

I do forgive thy robb’ry, gentle thief
Of my home, my pension and full custody of the kids
Not all of whom appear like me

But I forbid thee one most heinous crime
Theft of our season tickets to the theatre
Kill me with spites, yet leave these alone

I feel shame that I was so innocent
All the things I had learned
Had been wasted

~ J. D. Mackenzie, Will Shakespeare & Charles Bukowski


Sonnet 19
Sonnet 40
Venus and Adonis
Sonnet 26

As the Sparrow
My First Affair

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Auntie's Dining Room

In my time I’ve seen and heard all
it’s true these walls can talk

My Lady’s story
begins and ends softly
a well ordered life filled with
abstinence, letters and calm

All of her needs were met in her time
temperate friends and hounds
quiet walks on a quiet lane

Rare visits from that truculent nephew
true to his dualist inclinations
and spurious joys

Looking back
it was as if the passions of the world
wound up tight like a vengeful mainspring
and ticked down the hours until
her passing provoked a clarion call

And once sounded
with curtains drawn and music loud
what foul fury and Teutonic tempo!

Who knew the gentle footman
whose name I never worried to know
could so quickly devolve into savage frenzy?

Or that his tender couplet
complexion rosy and netherparts pale
could likewise surrender
her garments and decorum
even as swift?

My Lady’s cherished order
like torn clasps on foundations
even now a fading memory
so undone

~ J. D. Mackenzie

Inspired by Rallentanda’s prompt:

The Dresden clock continued ticking on the mantelpiece
And the footman sat upon the dining-table
Holding the second housemaid on his knees--
Who had always been so careful while her mistress lived

From ' Aunt Helen' by T.S. Eliot