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.  Mainly Fine

Come that forecast for tomorrow, and they show you a day minus rain, and then say, “Mainly fine,”
Or a day sporting the odd gaggle of clouds, but no rain in sight, and yes, still say, “Mainly fine.”
Now, I’m no mastermind, professor or boffin, but doesn’t saying “Mainly fine” presuppose
That outside of that “mainly” there’ll be the odd patch of drizzle, and not from someone’s garden hose.

Yes, it’s got me beat, or are they hedging their bets, they not so sure of their own calculations,
Tomorrow looking fine on TV, but a confusing low trough affecting weather stations.
And therefore, lest anyone say, “It rained!” they pointing out that “Mainly fine” was stated as well,
Which, though covering their backs, and making allowances for faulty machines, still doesn’t gel.

After all, why show a lovely fine day, or one where the odd fluffy cloud by-passes the sun,
Or is cost cutting involved here, a band of rain more expensive, or they just having some fun?
Well, such isn’t funny, for should we take a brolly or not, and what about that barbeque?
All being why I’ve a bone to pick with that scene devoid of rain-cum-that “Mainly fine” ballyhoo.

But that’s not all, (as they say in those ads where folk sport tight abs), there’s also that rainy forecast,
Which, despite those dark cumulus clouds we’re shown, doesn’t come to pass — oh why did I bike home fast?
Well, who really minds when that rain we’re warned of doesn’t show — despite all those things one could’ve done —
But that “Mainly fine” is quite another story, and why one can’t truly relax in the sun.

By Lance Landall

3.  Why Aren't We Warned?

My parents never informed me what life would be like, but heartlessly went ahead and had me,
And hence why I’m feeling rather sore, for had I known, I would’ve protested very strongly.
And to add insult to injury, somebody smacked me on the bottom when I slid on out,
And even scissored my lifeline, and hence why, “What do you think you’re doing!” I wanted to shout.

But how could I shout such? — given I didn’t even speak their language, not that I had been taught,
So I have no idea why they bothered to chat to me, (not that I aren’t the friendly sort).
Therefore, all I could do was amuse them with smiles, though to be honest, most were the cause of wind,
But in response, all they did was pull more funny faces, thus it’s just as well that I’m thick-skinned.

And that wasn’t all that I had to endure, for they passed me around like a hot potato,
Visitors cooing and ahhing, saying I looked like him or her, not that I knew any though.
Well, how could I? — given that I hadn’t been around for long, not that my vision was that great,
And half the time I couldn’t see them due to feed time, which my vocalizing would lubricate.

Yes, I wasn’t told a thing, and had to discover this all on my own, which took some working out,
And why I thought I would warn folk, not that I’ve ever truly figured out what’s it’s all about.
But at least they’ll have some idea, for one minute you’re cosy and warm, then, “What’s that blinding light!”
And that’s after they have yanked on your head, whereupon they proceed to scrub — not a pretty sight!

By Lance Landall

4.  Don't Disturb!

Oh dear, what a sight, everything seems so higgledy-piggledy, topsy-turvy,
Yes, a right royal mishmash, hodgepodge, hotchpotch, jumble, clutter — mess, just quietly.
I’m totally bewildered, confused, at sixes and sevens, flummoxed, stumped, perplexed,
I’m all at sea, adrift, befuddled, muddled, muzzy, just can’t think of what to do next.

Oh well, I guess I’d better get out of bed.

On second thoughts, I’m dreadfully tired, I’ve no get up and go, oomph, zing, zest, zip,
I’m worn-out, drowsy, lethargic, ready to drop, and there’s a good chance I could slip.
Yes, I’m terribly fatigued, exhausted, wasted, I’m running on empty, dead beat,
I’m so under the weather, sapped, drained, strained, and the floor’s very cold on my feet.

I knew I shouldn’t have set the alarm clock.

Besides, it’s a crazy world out there, so unpredictable, dicey, treacherous,
I’d be taking a huge gamble, a leap in the dark — I think it’s too dangerous.
I might get flustered, ruffled, rattled, bothered, exasperated, even lose control,
And there’s a chance I could get bumped, thumped, pushed, poked, kicked, scratched, chased,
cursed, fall in a hole.

Yes, I’d be far better off staying in bed.

Oh dear, just the thought of it all is making me feel nauseous, somewhat queasy,
And now that I think of it, I’ve been feeling rather off-colour just recently.
I think I must be coming down with something, I’m feeling quite faint, weak at the knees,
And something’s tickling my nose, irritating my throat — and did I just hear a wheeze?

That settles it! Could you turn the light off please?

By Lance Landall

5.  Don't Cry For Me, Argentina

Please don’t cry for me, Argentina, as I’m really quite partial to my Ford Cortina,
And to tell the truth, it didn’t cost me much, though that’s probably due to its gammy clutch.
Or it could be due to that noisy gearbox, that window that’s stuck, and those faulty door locks,
Which I guess is why I can’t get insurance, despite the seller’s frantic reassurance.

Well, I suppose things could’ve been worse, ay — as I could’ve ended up with a Holden, say,
So I guess one could say there’s a bright side, hence why I’ve taken the leaking roof in my stride.
Pity about the old steering though, though it doesn’t wander too much, as far as things go,
And there is the handbrake don’t forget — so no, Argentina, I wouldn’t get too upset.

However, I suspect I’ll need a hand with cash, given that my finances aren’t too flash,
For I’ve had to replace all the worn tyres, and quite often it unnervingly backfires.
I guess that’s why the mechanic shook his head, and given words wouldn’t come, little was said,
So I’m still somewhat in the dark, I’m afraid, and why the Warrant of Fitness is delayed.

No, don’t cry for me, Argentina, for there’s really nothing like an old Ford Cortina,
And once I get it on the road — though don’t know when — I’m sure I’ll be the happiest of men.
It won’t be long before the shocks are fixed, and it’s kind of exciting not knowing what’s next,
So please don’t cry for me, Argentina, for it could even have been a Fiat Bambina.

By Lance Landall

6.  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

7.  And I'm Thinking...

And I’m thinking — well, there’s always something that I’m thinking — have you noticed that burning smell?
Seriously though, I can’t seem to put my brain to bed — yes, that old mental carousel.
And in case you’re thinking too, and thinking, “What a random poem,” I’m afraid I must agree,
So don’t go sharing it with anyone, because I’m thinking, who knows what they’ll think of me?

It’s quite ridiculous, ay — but that’s what can happen when you’re thinking, or is it thinking?
 As it could just be the mind doing its own thing — random like — no, I haven’t been drinking.
And I’m thinking, why does the old mind keep going when you tell it to quit? Doesn’t it hear?
And once again I’m thinking, and thinking, possibly not, or should one simply persevere?

Well, such hasn’t got me far, for it’s still just doing its own thing — has a mind of its own,
And now I’m thinking, there’s a thought, a mind with a mind of its own — am I really alone?
“Don’t be silly,” I hear you say, “You’re just thinking ridiculously,” but hey, is it me?
And I’m thinking — well, maybe not — or could it be that I’m simply exhausted mentally?

Say, I know this is rather random, but I see pictures when I’m asleep, and I’m thinking,
There must be someone there, so why on Earth can’t they hear? Okay, okay, I saw you winking.
Well, you can giggle all you like, but I might have the last laugh, for don’t you see pictures too?
Now that’s got you thinking, which has also got me thinking, perhaps I’m as crazy as you!

By Lance Landall

8.  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

9.  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

10.  Smitten

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

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

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

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

By Lance Landall

11.  Botheration

It seems that when summer appears, and the back 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, that they’re all meant to stay outside.
And once inside, 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, and mercilessly.

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

Maybe its body odour — I really don’t know — but for some reason they keep coming back to where you are,
And this, despite you conveying via your frenetic 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 or lose their cool,
For unintelligible words and bizarre body movements tend to suggest one’s either drunk or a fool.

Well, it could be worse, I guess, for though they’re indeed a bother, they’re hardly the same threat as a bumble bee,
Which, when it comes to open doors in summer, (though not as frequently), has the very same mentality.
And yes, some sort of directional flaw, or is it that they simply refuse to use the same open door,
That is, the door that they came through without so much as wiping their feet — another thing that one can’t ignore!

By Lance Landall

The continuing saga...

12.  The Blowfly

Yes, the blowfly — oh, how it pesters, and I don’t know why — when I’m sitting reading or writing quietly;
That is, minding my own business, hot drink awaiting my slurping — and it buzzing round me insanely.
Oh, how it races around 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 about it, come when one hoovers.

When I'm up? Well, there’s often a cat on my lap!

Why they buzz about 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, as I do flailing maddeningly.
But often to no avail, they too fast for my cushion, (don’t tell the wife), or whatever else I can grab,
Which I guess provides some exercise, (looking on the bright side), and helps me to shed any unwanted flab.

Now, I’m not a violent man, lest such horrify, but there’s nothing more annoying than a fat blowfly,
One that refuses to settle to my advantage, causing frustration to intensify.
For until it is bid farewell, (one way or another), there’s just no returning to one’s former peace and rest,
Thanks to the intrusion of what can only be described as an infuriating maniacal guest!

Did I just say guest?

Yes, the blowfly, a most troublesome botheration, which has given rise to poetic inspiration,
For one must express these things, you know, lest an inner boiling pot overflow, or one seek medication.
But I’m hardly pleased that I’m reduced to penning such poems, for what blowfly has the right to torture me so?
Simply because on sunny days I choose to leave the back door open, or a certain desired window.

By Lance Landall

13.  Rumble In The Jungle

Say, there’s been a rumble in the jungle, cheeky chimp took a tumble due to some bungle,
He no doubt having lost the troupe’s bananas, having got entangled in his pyjamas.
For rather than heading straight off to bed, he has a habit of fooling around instead,
And hence that biff about the lugs he got, which to be honest, I doubt his antics will stop.

Well, I mean to say, when do chimps behave? Their hair never combed; and I’ve never seen them shave,
Nor brush their teeth and wipe their elastic lips, hence that spilt food that no doubt results in slips.
And they thus caught up in branches of trees, despite their amazing jungle gym expertise,
For branches aren’t good mates with pyjamas, and hence all those fallen and squishy bananas.

And hence that rumble in the jungle, that painful tumble, all due to cheeky chimp’s bungle,
Which wouldn’t have happened if he’d gone straight to bed, rather than him clowning about instead.
And especially when he’s in pyjamas, and carrying a bundle of bananas,
Which to be honest, every chimp should clearly know, and thus far more monkey sense show, but no.

So there you go, hence why if in a jungle, I’d mind lest some chimp once again his chores bungle,
And you become showered in bananas, not to mention squashed by a chimp in pyjamas.
One who naughtily refuses to behave, comb his hair, brush his teeth, wipe his lips or shave,
And instead of heading straight off to bed, having finished his chores, just fools about instead.

By Lance Landall

14.  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

15.  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

16.  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

17.  Laugh Out Loud

I’ve never seen a bumble bee wearing a helmet and goggles,
But a hedgehog wearing pantyhose ones weary mind just 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? —
Now, that it would be stretching things, I have no choice but to confess.
However, things could get far worse, so I will quit while I’m ahead,
Lest it be I see a chimpanzee knitting jumpers while in bed.

By Lance Landall

18.  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

19.  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