Poetry With A Mission

...a thought provoking poetical exercise.


Scary Stuff

I remained crouched behind the bushes in the hope that they would leave soon,
A frisky breeze tugging at my hair, clouds smudging the face of the moon.
I could hear the sound of waves breaking on the rocks below the cliff face,
And the distant lights of a fog-bound coastal village could dimly trace.

“Still no signs of life,” I muttered to myself, somewhat impatiently,
And squinting at my wristwatch, I wondered how much longer they would be.
I tugged at the collar of my coat, drawing it up around my neck,
And on hearing what sounded like voices, slowly raised my head to check.

“Finally,” I thought to myself, body taut like a stretched rubber band,
For the icy night air had chilled me, and great danger lay near at hand.
I snatched at my backpack, torch in the other hand, preparing to go,
While keeping my eyes on the shadowy figures emerging below.

Shortly they made their way down a rock strewn path leaving the cave behind,
And leaving me to nervously wonder what a search of its bowels might find.
Once they reached the shoreline below, and a waiting boat (discreetly moored),
I hurriedly headed for the cave, where no doubt contraband was stored.

The entrance loomed forebodingly, and fearful thoughts flittered ’cross my mind,
Hence the further inside I ventured, the more often I glanced behind.
It seemed to meander for ages, and my fears became more intense,
And darkness that my torchlight pierced, became increasingly pea soup dense.

I was about to turn back when the light of my torch fell on a crate,
And then another, and another, begging me to investigate.
Worried about my dimming light, I quickly explored the smugglers’ haul,
’Till the hairs on the back of my neck stood up, for I’d heard someone call.

I darted behind a crate, stabbed at my torch, my heart pounding wildly,
Visions of a messy end heralding a highly strung symphony.
The voice was getting louder, closer — in fact, someone was calling me,
“Get up you lazy thing, you’ve been dreaming, it’s nearly quarter to three!”

By Lance Landall

2.  Woosh!

Oh, you’re so mischievous, Maestro Wind, you really are, you create quite a stir,
And there are times when you take things too far, get carried away, unkindly err.
It’s one thing to tug at the washing and tangle it up, or to loosen the pegs,
But quite another to yank clothes right off, and to strengthen when, “No!” somebody begs.

You get terribly boisterous at times, we’d rather you settle down, be a breeze,
We’d rather see you waltzing pretty little flowers or slender branches in trees.
Yes, we don’t mind you rustling the leaves, rippling the grass, even swaying power lines,
But please, do we have to put up with all that moaning, and those irritating whines?

Quite frankly, you’re a tease, can’t seem to help yourself — I guess it comes naturally,
But hey, not when we’re having a picnic — it’s bad enough fending off flies, a bee.
And say, couldn’t you give us warning, not suddenly appear, or turn blustery?
And there’s no need to toss things about — that’s dangerous, acting unreasonably.

Yes, Maestro Wind, it’s about time you acted more moderately, less impishly,
Though it wouldn’t be so bad if it were just occasionally, infrequently.
But dear oh dear, you’re often bothering us, and as for those gales, they’re most unfair,
And so too, I must add, those annoying cuffs when I’ve combed and lacquered my hair.

By Lance Landall

3.  Down Below

I say, little worm, what’s all these holes in my lawn? Are they yours?
Are you responsible? If so, you must have amazing jaws.
And given the amount, you’ve clearly been very, very busy,
Or could it be that you happen to have a large family?

You’re such a wriggly, squiggly thing — slimy too, actually,
And so devoid of features, which doesn’t help with poetry.
I hope you have a helmet, because I have to mow the grass,
And over the top of those holes will be making a low pass.

I’d watch out for those starlings too, lest they grab you with their beak,
For they often visit me, and wriggly little fat worms seek.
I guess they need their dinner, but I wouldn’t rush to their aid,
So keep your helmet on, and your head down, and act unafraid.

Pardon? Worms are good for one’s lawn? Then I’d hate to see you go,
Though it’s rare for me to see you, given you’re mostly down below.
It’s simply all those holes I’m seeing, and squiggly little mounds,
Yes, that underground activity that intrigues and confounds.

By Lance Landall

4.  It's Been A Hard Night's Day

It’s been a hard night’s day — yes, hardly slept a wink! — and it’s a long way to go till midnight,
So here I am, too tired to do a thing, feeling like I’ve been through the wringer — not too bright.
Yes, it’s been a hard night’s day — well, so far anyway — and things really aren’t looking too good,
For despite being too tired to do anything, I can’t seem to doze off like I wish I could.

There are things I need to do, but I just can’t be bothered, so now I’m feeling really bored,
Which is hardly a nice combination — I slumped in a chair — couldn’t move if a lion roared.
Well, seemingly, that is — too tired to even scratch my chin, and probably too tired to grin,
And were folk to look through the window, they’d possibly think that they’d spotted a mannequin.

It’s no good me counting sheep, and besides, I’d lose count if I fell asleep, but doze I can’t,
And if I did, would I fall out of my chair, not that such would do much to the rubber plant.
And then I’d wake up, perhaps with that pot plant on my head, and it still far too early for bed,
Me having fallen on the remote control, my tummy surfing all the channels instead.

Yes, it’s been a hard night’s day — well, if you get what I mean — how many more hours to go?
And I could well end up going through it all again once my poor old head hits the pillow.
Oh dear, oh dear, the last thing that I’m wanting after a hard night’s day is a hard day’s night,
And were I to go through another sleepless night, it wouldn’t be a very pretty sight!

By Lance Landall

5.  Smitten

The moment I entered the room, I knew she was the one for me, and my heart skipped more than a beat or two,
And when her gorgeous eyes locked on mine, my poor heart thumped so eagerly that I was scared of what it might do.
And when she strode my way, her eyelashes fluttering beguilingly, I’m sure I turned a sports car shade of red,
So grateful all the lights were dimmed — and what on earth to say to her, running 'round like a greyhound in my head.

When she cooed “Hi,” in a way that had me melt like ice-cream on a summer’s day, I stammered, “Yes,” in return,
And deep down inside that furnace being stoked within me, flames of love began to uncontrollably burn.
Politely ignoring my “Yes,” though somewhat quizzically, I thought, she attempted to make me feel at ease,
And all the while, midst her chatting and my agreeing with all that she said, how I wished that her I could squeeze.

Yes, she really had me smitten, and when next we were sitting together, I didn’t want the night to end,
And wildly hoped that she (so innocently searching my awe struck eyes), the rest of her life with me would spend.
When she said she’d see me again, and assured me that such she wanted too, oh boy, I was over the moon,
Excitement barely containable, levitation almost obtainable — yes, bring on the honeymoon.

Well, as further outings passed by, and I, still comatose on cloud nine, wedding bells began to ring-a-ling,
Hence that day when locked in a cosy embrace (just to keep her warm, of course), I popped the question, waved a ring.
And when she cried “Yes!” (eyeing the eighteen karats), yours truly hugged and kissed,  submitted more than willingly,
'Cause the moment I entered the room, I knew she was the one for me, which a sparkling ring would help her see.

By Lance Landall

This poem was upgraded 10 February 2020.

6.  Botheration

It seems when summer appears, and the door’s wide open, that blowflies think they’re being invited inside,
So in those blowflies come, as if on cue, when the truth of the matter is, they’re all meant to stay outside.
And once in, its seems they can’t remember where they came in, buzzing from room to room, agitatedly,
And should you be sitting quietly reading, they buzz you like kamikaze pilots, mercilessly.

Given such strong provocation, frustration inevitably sees you swinging your arms here and there,
A cushion in your hand, perhaps — anything! — they having succeeded in getting you out of your chair.
Yes, swipes to the left and right, all seemingly to no avail, though should you deliver a fatal blow,
In comes another after you’ve settled back into your chair, because somehow these blowflies seem to know.

Maybe its body odour — I just don’t know — but for some reason they keep coming back to where you are,
And this, despite you conveying via your frantic movements that you’re not saying welcome but au revoir.
I guess they can’t read sign language, nor understand modified English, not that one should curse, lose their cool,
'Cause unintelligible words and bizarre body movements tend to suggest one’s plain drunk or a fool.

Well, it could be worse, 'cause though they are indeed a bother, they’re hardly the same threat as a bumble bee,
Which, when it comes to open doors in summer (though not quite as much), has the very same mentality,
And some sort of directional flaw too, or is it that they just don't like using the same open door,
That door that they came through without so much as wiping their feet, another thing one can hardly ignore!

By Lance Landall

This poem was upgraded 11 February 2020.

The continuing saga...

7.  The Blowfly

The blowfly — oh, how it pesters, and I don’t know why — when I’m sitting reading or writing quietly,
Yes, minding my own business, a hot drink awaiting my slurping, and it buzzing 'round me insanely.
Oh, how it races 'round the room in maniacal fashion, no rhythm or rhyme to its manoeuvres,
And so inconveniently, rather than when I’m up and can do something, like when one hoovers.

Why they buzz 'round the room in such a fashion beats me, and who knows where blowflies get all that energy,
Oh, if only I could harness such, though I’m sure I’d wear myself out, like I do flailing maddeningly.
But oft to no avail, they too fast for my cushion (please don’t tell the wife), or whatever else I grab,
Which I guess provides some exercise (looking on the bright side), and helps me shed any unwanted flab.

Now, I’m not a violent man, lest such horrify, but there’s naught more annoying than a fat blowfly,
One that refuses to settle to my advantage, but rather, causes frustration to intensify,
'Cause until it's bid farewell (one way or another), there’s no returning to one’s former peace and rest,
Thanks to the entrance of what can only be described as an infuriating maniacal guest!

Did I say guest?

Yes, the blowfly, a troublesome botheration, which has given rise to poetic inspiration,
'Cause one must express these things lest an inner boiling pot overflow, or one seek some medication.
But I’m not pleased I’m reduced to penning such poems, 'cause what blowfly has the right to torture me so,
Simply because on sunny days I choose to leave the door open, or a certain desired window?

By Lance Landall

This poem was upgraded 11 February 2020.

8.  Could I Have Breakfast In Bed, Please?

Could I have breakfast in bed, please? — as I just don’t feel like getting up today,
My bed’s so warm and the day too cold, and it’s going to rain and hail they say.
Yes, I can’t face the trauma of getting up, nor those chores I haven’t done yet,
Which, will only make me even more tired, and it is my birthday, don’t forget.

So please, could I have breakfast in bed today? — and yes, a magazine or two,
And oh, a nice comfy pillow would also help, not to mention some menu.
Sorry, I don’t mean to cause any bother, but could you make my bed as well,
For when I arise I'd better take things easy lest anything make me ill.

Yes, I can feel a draught already, could do with that heater on, and near me,
For half of me will be sitting up, and I’ve summer pyjamas on, you see.
And I wouldn’t mind my dressing gown on — oh sorry, I forgot to unpack,
And say, if mother nature calls, would there be any chance of a piggyback?

By Lance Landall

9.  Computers — Ahhhhh!

It seems like there’s a little man whose intentions are not that clear,
But who I am very certain revels in being most unfair.
He hides inside my computer and constantly interferes,
Which is why it often crashes, or a warning sign appears.

I would catch him if I could, but he is far too smart for me,
For he’s computer literate — knows it back to front — you see.
His timing’s just appalling, and his impishness knows no end,
Hence why he's blocking some emails, and some refusing to send.

Sometimes things will just disappear, even never to return,
And as for those viruses, they are the least of his concern.
It’s aggravating, exasperating — and it’s escalating,
And I fear that my patience is quickly evaporating.

It seems he hides amongst the chips, playing with the CPU,
Thereby making my computer freeze — randomly go slow too.
I’m sure that my graphics card, my motherboard and memory,
Are sadly falling victim to his cruel roguish energy.

Yes, I can just imagine that he's giggling away with glee,
Beholding my expressions and my disappearing dignity.
Yes, I can just imagine that he is doubled up with mirth,
Every time that something goes wrong, and I exclaim, “What on earth!”

By Lance Landall

10.  While I'm Asleep In Bed

You know, it’s almost as if I say, “Here, mind my brain while I’m asleep in bed,”
And that whoever does so, does his or her own thing with my poor tired old head.
Hence those dreams that they put together, and sometimes very mischievously,
They clearly drawing on the old archives where fodder beckons them temptingly.

Yes, they certainly enjoy raiding the vaults, and often replay this or that,
And then there’s those ghastly nightmares, my sudden awakening scaring the cat.
But whatever their arty concoctions, they’re very clever to say the least,
Though such probably aided by that close to bedtime snack that becomes a feast.

Well, there isn’t a lot I can do, for once asleep they’ve the run of the place,
Hence those smiles, grins, frowns, or anxious looks that come over my buried snoozing face.
But how they do what they do truly baffles me, those dreams being so real to me,
As if I had filmed every one, and placed them in my head conveniently.

By Lance Landall

11.  Have You?

Who’s seen those stripes on zebras, who’s seen a peacock’s proud tail,
Who’s seen a cat’s long whiskers, and an awesome spouting whale?
Who’s seen an emperor penguin, an elephant’s huge ears,
Who’s seen a burrowing mole, adorable polar bears?

Who’s seen an armadillo's armour, a chameleon's tongue,
(Who’s heard the bird’s dawn chorus that each morn is loudly sung)?
Who’s seen those humps on camels, who’s seen a turtle’s hard shell,
Who’s seen a reindeer’s antlers? — and as for skunks, oh, that smell!

Who’s seen those spots on leopards, a platypuses flat bill,
Who’s seen those tusks on walruses, a spider’s weaving skill?
Who’s seen a praying mantis, a tiny ladybird bug,
Who’s seen a giant panda, (that many would love to hug)?

Who’s seen a tree hanging sloth, that teeny and pesky gnat,
Who’s seen a rhino’s horn, those intriguing wings on a bat?
Who’s seen a swinging gibbon, a baboon and gorilla,
Who’s seen prickly hedgehogs, an elassssstic caterpillar?

Who’s seen an electric eel, cockroaches, worms, slugs and snails,
Who’s seen a giraffe’s long neck, animal’s various tails?
Who’s seen a flashing firefly, glow-worms that glow in the dark,
Who’s seen the clever beaver and that odd hammerhead shark?

Who’s seen a cheetah speeding, who’s seen a rabbit and hare,
Who’s seen a komodo dragon-cum-lizard extraordinaire?
Who’s seen a lion that’s roaring, and those coyotes that howl,
Who’s seen a rooster crowing and those kittens that...meooooow?

Well, I know that I have, though to be quite honest with you,
I’m talking more about TV, that comfy armchair view.
Oh, how spoilt we are, courtesy of one’s remote control,
And to top it all off, popcorn in a sizable bowl.

By Lance Landall

12.  Figurative Speech

“I’m tied up,” they say, when nothing’s further from the truth, because it isn’t so,
They simply speaking figuratively, not that one would necessarily know,
Because they could be, literally, but one’s phone not able to display such,
And so, one taking it all with a grain of salt, hardly able to do much.

“I’m in a mess,” they say, when that isn’t true either, ’cause they’re tidy and clean,
Yet their figurative speech leaving one imagining quite a grubby scene.
Oh, when will people stop it, because it’s so misleading, hardly true at all,
And why, figuratively speaking, one just has to live with it, when they call.

By Lance Landall

13.  Laugh Out Loud

I’ve never seen a bumble bee wearing a helmet, nor goggles,
And as for hedgehogs wearing pantyhose, such my mind boggles.
Imagine a rhinoceros wearing lacy pink pyjamas,
Or even worse to contemplate, the odd sight of diapered lamas.


What about a brawny elephant in a shiny sequined dress?
Well, that this would be stretching things, I have no choice but to confess.
However, things could get worse, you know, so I'll quit while I’m ahead,
Lest I see a chimpanzee knitting jumpers while lying in bed.

By Lance Landall

This poem was upgraded 1 March 2020.