Below are the all-time best William Kershaw poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members
I found the bottle lying on a dune of wind-swept sand,
And I brushed the grains upon it with a weak and trembling hand,
I was crazy-mad for water, I was more than three days dry,
So I pulled the cork with sand fouled teeth and spat it at the sky.
What came out wasn't water, it tasted more like smoke,
So I thought myself the victim of some fools cruel joke.
Then standing there before me, like a Muslim houri dressed,
Was a damsel more than beautiful, who my flaking face caressed.
She said "you've given me my freedom from my prison of the ages.
So I offer wishes numbering three as payment of your wages."
I knew what I desired, I knew what to wish for first,
I said "give drink to all upon this world who now suffer thirst.
But give those thirsty, a love of fellow, more than words upon the lip.
So they offer the bottle to a brother, before they take a sip.
And give those brethren gratitude, to kneel before they swallow
And thank whatevever God they serve for allowing them to follow."
When this was said I realised, my wishes all were spent,
Which was what I knew I'd wanted, from my first intent.
She said "o man, I see you're one, whom God has truly blessed,
So take a drink of water, and lay thee down to rest.
I grant thee freedom from jealousy, from earthly want, from sin.
Accept these gifts as tribute from an Effete of the Green Djinn."
My reason for wishing as I did, to this day seems to flee me,
But nightly as I slumber well, I still dream of Genie.
September tries to convince herself,
Making pretend that she is really, truly,
A Summer month, albeit one of dying fire,
Holding at bay the chill of Autumn winds.
October plays temptress with her Duality;
Sun to warm the back of your flannel shirt,
With punkin' frosting nights, crisp and cold.
Air so clear it sears the throat like a glass of cider.
November comes dark, wet and gloomy.
An ancient harridan forced to bridal bed.
Chanting "fools, there's time before winter comes,
Still time enough for love."
December mutters in her sleep........
Feeder near the,
Window of my room,
So I can look outside,
See life again as God's gift,
And raise my broken spirits up.
She doesn't know how much she gives me,
But I vow to live because she loves me.
Haiku as an art:
To paint a canvas broadly,
With tiny brush strokes.
Winter be but two weeks old and already they lament.
No passion seems as strong as their loudest prayer for spring.
Spring will come when it will and wake the grasses and willow.
Let Natures brief time of slumber last long enough to rest her.
The winter be time for beauty to be found on ice etched panes,
And bayonets of glass, hanging from every eave to be seen.
Winter be found in crystalline air so pure only heroes inhale it.
And footsteps crunch like breaking luttuce upon the snowy ground.
Beyond winter times will speed and rush their way forward.
Spring then Summer and Autumn sprinting to their ultimate ends.
Let winter luff her way on tiny frozen feet while fire warms yours.
Add another log and settle in for a long nap and a dream.
We frolic and hide
Among wind swept laughing clouds
A creature so unlike a dinosaur,
Pallid, weak and frail.
No fossil in the stony flesh of Mother Earth,
Unlike trilobite, leaf or snail.
Worse yet, no one searches for your trace,
Or recognises that you're missing,
They're all wrapped up in studying,
Fornication, fondling and kissing.
No biologist, paleontologist, anthropologist,
Searches for your presence, growing frantic,
To find at least one before the Great Extinction,
The last of the true Romantics.
T'is true they're not searching for you now,
Without rutting their interest is small,
They'll learn one day that the old ways were true,
And again you may hear hopeful calls
We quarreled, argued, fought but she was unfair,
"Write me a poem then Shakespeare", she taunted.
Then threw pen and paper on the table as a challenge.
"C'mon Lover", she snarled trying to hurt me, "get busy."
I picked up the pen and tried to think of something to write.
I glanced at her and saw her victory already shining in her eyes.
"Try that thing you're always counting syllables over. Seventeen only.
You should have that crap down and ready by now."
No haiku would flow from my pen no matter how hard I pressed.
Realising for the first time that no one ever wins a quarrel, I paused.
I wrote for a moment, not needing verse or count or rhyme.
My poem for her was brief and cruel and compassionate and true.
I folded the paper and handed it to her. "You win", I said walking away.
On the paper I had written; I love you.
Once upon a time and sometimes, even still,
Men call him by name and worship him, a god.
Not a God, who demands and receives men's fear,
Their prayers His just payment for paths they trod.
No quivering or terror is desired by he, no fearful pleas,
Prayers with this one are but dialogue with an old one;
Abuelo, Grandfather, Uncle, Sire.. Happy prayers.
Viejo, we pray to thee to return to us, thy lonely ones.
With Thy coming play the sun warm upon thy flute.
Grace us with children and rains and honeybees.
O lover of the singing reed, give us a fecund earth as Mother.
And give unto her womb thy holy cargo, the sacred seed.
Hide not from us, beloved bringer of life, we know thee.
No paint or warbead decorate thee or feathers of Hawk or Eagle.
Wear a crown of ivy leaves and smile as you play to encycle us
Bearer of the sacred seed, player of the singing reed,
To know this of thee is to know all. Yol Bosum!! may there be a road.
By William Kershaw written just for Constance's Tell His Story contest
Poor ol' boy Richard Odekirk,
Just couldn't get fired and hasta work.
It's unfair that he'll miss the enjoyment,
Of his 96 weeks of Unemployment!
Just for Caties contest!!!