Best Famous Funny Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Funny poems. This is a select list of the best famous Funny poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Funny poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of funny poems.

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Poems are below...

Written by Tupac Shakur | Create an image from this poem

The Rose that Grew from Concrete

Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping it's dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared.
Written by Shel Silverstein | Create an image from this poem

Cloony The Clown

 I'll tell you the story of Cloony the Clown
Who worked in a circus that came through town.
His shoes were too big and his hat was too small, But he just wasn't, just wasn't funny at all.
He had a trombone to play loud silly tunes, He had a green dog and a thousand balloons.
He was floppy and sloppy and skinny and tall, But he just wasn't, just wasn't funny at all.
And every time he did a trick, Everyone felt a little sick.
And every time he told a joke, Folks sighed as if their hearts were broke.
And every time he lost a shoe, Everyone looked awfully blue.
And every time he stood on his head, Everyone screamed, "Go back to bed!" And every time he made a leap, Everybody fell asleep.
And every time he ate his tie, Everyone began to cry.
And Cloony could not make any money Simply because he was not funny.
One day he said, "I'll tell this town How it feels to be an unfunny clown.
" And he told them all why he looked so sad, And he told them all why he felt so bad.
He told of Pain and Rain and Cold, He told of Darkness in his soul, And after he finished his tale of woe, Did everyone cry? Oh no, no, no, They laughed until they shook the trees With "Hah-Hah-Hahs" and "Hee-Hee-Hees.
" They laughed with howls and yowls and shrieks, They laughed all day, they laughed all week, They laughed until they had a fit, They laughed until their jackets split.
The laughter spread for miles around To every city, every town, Over mountains, 'cross the sea, From Saint Tropez to Mun San Nee.
And soon the whole world rang with laughter, Lasting till forever after, While Cloony stood in the circus tent, With his head drooped low and his shoulders bent.
" And while the world laughed outside.
Cloony the Clown sat down and cried.
Written by David Berman | Create an image from this poem

Self-Portrait At 28

 I know it's a bad title
but I'm giving it to myself as a gift
on a day nearly canceled by sunlight
when the entire hill is approaching
the ideal of Virginia
brochured with goldenrod and loblolly
and I think "at least I have not woken up
with a bloody knife in my hand"
by then having absently wandered
one hundred yards from the house
while still seated in this chair
with my eyes closed.
It is a certain hill the one I imagine when I hear the word "hill" and if the apocalypse turns out to be a world-wide nervous breakdown if our five billion minds collapse at once well I'd call that a surprise ending and this hill would still be beautiful a place I wouldn't mind dying alone or with you.
I am trying to get at something and I want to talk very plainly to you so that we are both comforted by the honesty.
You see there is a window by my desk I stare out when I am stuck though the outdoors has rarely inspired me to write and I don't know why I keep staring at it.
My childhood hasn't made good material either mostly being a mulch of white minutes with a few stand out moments, popping tar bubbles on the driveway in the summer a certain amount of pride at school everytime they called it "our sun" and playing football when the only play was "go out long" are what stand out now.
If squeezed for more information I can remember old clock radios with flipping metal numbers and an entree called Surf and Turf.
As a way of getting in touch with my origins every night I set the alarm clock for the time I was born so that waking up becomes a historical reenactment and the first thing I do is take a reading of the day and try to flow with it like when you're riding a mechanical bull and you strain to learn the pattern quickly so you don't inadverantly resist it.
II two I can't remember being born and no one else can remember it either even the doctor who I met years later at a cocktail party.
It's one of the little disappointments that makes you think about getting away going to Holly Springs or Coral Gables and taking a room on the square with a landlady whose hands are scored by disinfectant, telling the people you meet that you are from Alaska, and listen to what they have to say about Alaska until you have learned much more about Alaska than you ever will about Holly Springs or Coral Gables.
Sometimes I am buying a newspaper in a strange city and think "I am about to learn what it's like to live here.
" Oftentimes there is a news item about the complaints of homeowners who live beside the airport and I realize that I read an article on this subject nearly once a year and always receive the same image.
I am in bed late at night in my house near the airport listening to the jets fly overhead a strange wife sleeping beside me.
In my mind, the bedroom is an amalgamation of various cold medicine commercial sets (there is always a box of tissue on the nightstand).
I know these recurring news articles are clues, flaws in the design though I haven't figured out how to string them together yet, but I've begun to notice that the same people are dying over and over again, for instance Minnie Pearl who died this year for the fourth time in four years.
III three Today is the first day of Lent and once again I'm not really sure what it is.
How many more years will I let pass before I take the trouble to ask someone? It reminds of this morning when you were getting ready for work.
I was sitting by the space heater numbly watching you dress and when you asked why I never wear a robe I had so many good reasons I didn't know where to begin.
If you were cool in high school you didn't ask too many questions.
You could tell who'd been to last night's big metal concert by the new t-shirts in the hallway.
You didn't have to ask and that's what cool was: the ability to deduct to know without asking.
And the pressure to simulate coolness means not asking when you don't know, which is why kids grow ever more stupid.
A yearbook's endpages, filled with promises to stay in touch, stand as proof of the uselessness of a teenager's promise.
Not like I'm dying for a letter from the class stoner ten years on but.
Do you remember the way the girls would call out "love you!" conveniently leaving out the "I" as if they didn't want to commit to their own declarations.
I agree that the "I" is a pretty heavy concept and hope you won't get uncomfortable if I should go into some deeper stuff here.
IV four There are things I've given up on like recording funny answering machine messages.
It's part of growing older and the human race as a group has matured along the same lines.
It seems our comedy dates the quickest.
If you laugh out loud at Shakespeare's jokes I hope you won't be insulted if I say you're trying too hard.
Even sketches from the original Saturday Night Live seem slow-witted and obvious now.
It's just that our advances are irrepressible.
Nowadays little kids can't even set up lemonade stands.
It makes people too self-conscious about the past, though try explaining that to a kid.
I'm not saying it should be this way.
All this new technology will eventually give us new feelings that will never completely displace the old ones leaving everyone feeling quite nervous and split in two.
We will travel to Mars even as folks on Earth are still ripping open potato chip bags with their teeth.
Why? I don't have the time or intelligence to make all the connections like my friend Gordon (this is a true story) who grew up in Braintree Massachusetts and had never pictured a brain snagged in a tree until I brought it up.
He'd never broken the name down to its parts.
By then it was too late.
He had moved to Coral Gables.
V five The hill out my window is still looking beautiful suffused in a kind of gold national park light and it seems to say, I'm sorry the world could not possibly use another poem about Orpheus but I'm available if you're not working on a self-portrait or anything.
I'm watching my dog have nightmares, twitching and whining on the office floor and I try to imagine what beast has cornered him in the meadow where his dreams are set.
I'm just letting the day be what it is: a place for a large number of things to gather and interact -- not even a place but an occasion a reality for real things.
Friends warned me not to get too psychedelic or religious with this piece: "They won't accept it if it's too psychedelic or religious," but these are valid topics and I'm the one with the dog twitching on the floor possibly dreaming of me that part of me that would beat a dog for no good reason no reason that a dog could see.
I am trying to get at something so simple that I have to talk plainly so the words don't disfigure it and if it turns out that what I say is untrue then at least let it be harmless like a leaky boat in the reeds that is bothering no one.
VI six I can't trust the accuracy of my own memories, many of them having blended with sentimental telephone and margarine commercials plainly ruined by Madison Avenue though no one seems to call the advertising world "Madison Avenue" anymore.
Have they moved? Let's get an update on this.
But first I have some business to take care of.
I walked out to the hill behind our house which looks positively Alaskan today and it would be easier to explain this if I had a picture to show you but I was with our young dog and he was running through the tall grass like running through the tall grass is all of life together until a bird calls or he finds a beer can and that thing fills all the space in his head.
You see, his mind can only hold one thought at a time and when he finally hears me call his name he looks up and cocks his head and for a single moment my voice is everything: Self-portrait at 28.
Written by David Lehman | Create an image from this poem

A Little History

 Some people find out they are Jews.
They can't believe it.
Thy had always hated Jews.
As children they had roamed in gangs on winter nights in the old neighborhood, looking for Jews.
They were not Jewish, they were Irish.
They brandished broken bottles, tough guys with blood on their lips, looking for Jews.
They intercepted Jewish boys walking alone and beat them up.
Sometimes they were content to chase a Jew and he could elude them by running away.
They were happy just to see him run away.
The coward! All Jews were yellow.
They spelled Jew with a small j jew.
And now they find out they are Jews themselves.
It happened at the time of the Spanish Inquisition.
To escape persecution, they pretended to convert to Christianity.
They came to this country and settled in the Southwest.
At some point oral tradition failed the family, and their secret faith died.
No one would ever have known if not for the bones that turned up on the dig.
A disaster.
How could it have happened to them? They are in a state of panic--at first.
Then they realize that it is the answer to their prayers.
They hasten to the synagogue or build new ones.
They are Jews at last! They are free to marry other Jews, and divorce them, and intermarry with Gentiles, God forbid.
They are model citizens, clever and thrifty.
They debate the issues.
They fire off earnest letters to the editor.
They vote.
They are resented for being clever and thrifty.
They buy houses in the suburbs and agree not to talk so loud.
They look like everyone else, drive the same cars as everyone else, yet in their hearts they know they're different.
In every minyan there are always two or three, hated by the others, who give life to one ugly stereotype or another: The grasping Jew with the hooked nose or the Ivy League Bolshevik who thinks he is the agent of world history.
But most of them are neither ostentatiously pious nor excessively avaricious.
How I envy them! They believe.
How I envy them their annual family reunion on Passover, anniversary of the Exodus, when all the uncles and aunts and cousins get together.
They wonder about the heritage of Judaism they are passing along to their children.
Have they done as much as they could to keep the old embers burning? Others lead more dramatic lives.
A few go to Israel.
One of them calls Israel "the ultimate concentration camp.
" He tells Jewish jokes.
On the plane he gets tipsy, tries to seduce the stewardess.
People in the Midwest keep telling him reminds them of Woody Allen.
He wonders what that means.
I'm funny? A sort of nervous intellectual type from New York? A Jew? Around this time somebody accuses him of not being Jewish enough.
It is said by resentful colleagues that his parents changed their name from something that sounded more Jewish.
Everything he publishes is scrutinized with reference to "the Jewish question.
" It is no longer clear what is meant by that phrase.
He has already forgotten all the Yiddish he used to know, and the people of that era are dying out one after another.
The number of witnesses keeps diminishing.
Soon there will be no one left to remind the others and their children.
That is why he came to this dry place where the bones have come to life.
To live in a state of perpetual war puts a tremendous burden on the population.
As a visitor he felt he had to share that burden.
With his gift for codes and ciphers, he joined the counter- terrorism unit of army intelligence.
Contrary to what the spook novels say, he found it possible to avoid betraying either his country or his lover.
This was the life: strange bedrooms, the perfume of other men's wives.
As a spy he has a unique mission: to get his name on the front page of the nation's newspaper of record.
Only by doing that would he get the message through to his immediate superior.
If he goes to jail, he will do so proudly; if they're going to hang him anyway, he'll do something worth hanging for.
In time he may get used to being the center of attention, but this was incredible: To talk his way into being the chief suspect in the most flamboyant murder case in years! And he was innocent! He could prove it! And what a book he would write when they free him from this prison: A novel, obliquely autobiographical, set in Vienna in the twilight of the Hapsburg Empire, in the year that his mother was born.
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

Death and Fame

 When I die
I don't care what happens to my body
throw ashes in the air, scatter 'em in East River
bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B'nai Israel Cemetery
But l want a big funeral
Patrick's Cathedral, St.
Mark's Church, the largest synagogue in Manhattan First, there's family, brother, nephews, spry aged Edith stepmother 96, Aunt Honey from old Newark, Doctor Joel, cousin Mindy, brother Gene one eyed one ear'd, sister- in-law blonde Connie, five nephews, stepbrothers & sisters their grandchildren, companion Peter Orlovsky, caretakers Rosenthal & Hale, Bill Morgan-- Next, teacher Trungpa Vajracharya's ghost mind, Gelek Rinpoche, there Sakyong Mipham, Dalai Lama alert, chance visiting America, Satchitananda Swami Shivananda, Dehorahava Baba, Karmapa XVI, Dudjom Rinpoche, Katagiri & Suzuki Roshi's phantoms Baker, Whalen, Daido Loorie, Qwong, Frail White-haired Kapleau Roshis, Lama Tarchen -- Then, most important, lovers over half-century Dozens, a hundred, more, older fellows bald & rich young boys met naked recently in bed, crowds surprised to see each other, innumerable, intimate, exchanging memories "He taught me to meditate, now I'm an old veteran of the thousand day retreat --" "I played music on subway platforms, I'm straight but loved him he loved me" "I felt more love from him at 19 than ever from anyone" "We'd lie under covers gossip, read my poetry, hug & kiss belly to belly arms round each other" "I'd always get into his bed with underwear on & by morning my skivvies would be on the floor" "Japanese, always wanted take it up my bum with a master" "We'd talk all night about Kerouac & Cassady sit Buddhalike then sleep in his captain's bed.
" "He seemed to need so much affection, a shame not to make him happy" "I was lonely never in bed nude with anyone before, he was so gentle my stomach shuddered when he traced his finger along my abdomen nipple to hips-- " "All I did was lay back eyes closed, he'd bring me to come with mouth & fingers along my waist" "He gave great head" So there be gossip from loves of 1948, ghost of Neal Cassady commin- gling with flesh and youthful blood of 1997 and surprise -- "You too? But I thought you were straight!" "I am but Ginsberg an exception, for some reason he pleased me.
" "I forgot whether I was straight gay queer or funny, was myself, tender and affectionate to be kissed on the top of my head, my forehead throat heart & solar plexus, mid-belly.
on my prick, tickled with his tongue my behind" "I loved the way he'd recite 'But at my back allways hear/ time's winged chariot hurrying near,' heads together, eye to eye, on a pillow --" Among lovers one handsome youth straggling the rear "I studied his poetry class, 17 year-old kid, ran some errands to his walk-up flat, seduced me didn't want to, made me come, went home, never saw him again never wanted to.
" "He couldn't get it up but loved me," "A clean old man.
" "He made sure I came first" This the crowd most surprised proud at ceremonial place of honor-- Then poets & musicians -- college boys' grunge bands -- age-old rock star Beatles, faithful guitar accompanists, gay classical con- ductors, unknown high Jazz music composers, funky trum- peters, bowed bass & french horn black geniuses, folksinger fiddlers with dobro tamborine harmonica mandolin auto- harp pennywhistles & kazoos Next, artist Italian romantic realists schooled in mystic 60's India, Late fauve Tuscan painter-poets, Classic draftsman Massa- chusets surreal jackanapes with continental wives, poverty sketchbook gesso oil watercolor masters from American provinces Then highschool teachers, lonely Irish librarians, delicate biblio- philes, sex liberation troops nay armies, ladies of either sex "I met him dozens of times he never remembered my name I loved him anyway, true artist" "Nervous breakdown after menopause, his poetry humor saved me from suicide hospitals" "Charmant, genius with modest manners, washed sink, dishes my studio guest a week in Budapest" Thousands of readers, "Howl changed my life in Libertyville Illinois" "I saw him read Montclair State Teachers College decided be a poet-- " "He turned me on, I started with garage rock sang my songs in Kansas City" "Kaddish made me weep for myself & father alive in Nevada City" "Father Death comforted me when my sister died Boston l982" "I read what he said in a newsmagazine, blew my mind, realized others like me out there" Deaf & Dumb bards with hand signing quick brilliant gestures Then Journalists, editors's secretaries, agents, portraitists & photo- graphy aficionados, rock critics, cultured laborors, cultural historians come to witness the historic funeral Super-fans, poetasters, aging Beatnicks & Deadheads, autograph- hunters, distinguished paparazzi, intelligent gawkers Everyone knew they were part of 'History" except the deceased who never knew exactly what was happening even when I was alive February 22, 1997
Written by Richard Brautigan | Create an image from this poem


 Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee
I once read something about coffee.
The thing said that coffee is good for you; it stimulates all the organs.
I thought at first this was a strange way to put it, and not altogether pleasant, but as time goes by I have found out that it makes sense in its own limited way.
I'll tell you what I mean.
Yesterday morning I went over to see a girl.
I like her.
Whatever we had going for us is gone now.
She does not care for me.
I blew it and wish I hadn't.
I rang the door bell and waited on the stairs.
I could hear her moving around upstairs.
The way she moved I could tell that she was getting up.
I had awakened her.
Then she came down the stairs.
I could feel her approach in my stomach.
Every step she took stirred my feelings and lead indirectly to her opening the door.
She saw me and it did not please her.
Once upon a time it pleased her very much, last week.
I wonder where it went, pretending to be naive.
"I feel strange now," she said.
"I don't want to talk.
" "I want a cup of coffee," I said, because it was the last thing in the world that I wanted.
I said it in such a way that it sounded as if I were reading her a telegram from somebody else, a person who really wanted a cup of coffee, who cared about nothing else.
"All right," she said.
I followed her up the stairs.
It was ridiculous.
She had just put some clothes on.
They had not quite adjusted themselves to her body.
I could tell you about her ass.
We went into the kitchen.
She took a jar of instant coffee off the shelf and put it on the table.
She placed a cup next to it, and a spoon.
I looked at them.
She put a pan full of water on the stove and turned the gas on under it.
All this time she did not say a word.
Her clothes adjusted themselves to her body.
I won't.
She left the kitchen.
Then she went down the stairs and outside to see if she had any mail.
I didn't remember seeing any.
She came back up the stairs and went into another room.
She closed the door after her.
I looked at the pan full of water on the stove.
I knew that it would take a year before the water started to boil.
It was now October and there was too much water in the pan.
That was the problem.
I threw half of the water into the sink.
The water would boil faster now.
It would take only six months.
The house was quiet.
I looked out the back porch.
There were sacks of garbage there.
I stared at the garbage and tried to figure out what she had been eating lately by studying the containers and peelings and stuff.
I couldn't tell a thing.
It was now March.
The water started to boil.
I was pleased by this.
I looked at the table.
There was the jar of instant coffee, the empty cup and the spoon all laid out like a funeral service.
These are the things that you need to make a cup of coffee.
When I left the house ten minutes later, the cup of coffee safely inside me like a grave, I said, "Thank you for the cup of coffee.
" "You're welcome," she said.
Her voice came from behind a closed door.
Her voice sounded like another telegram.
It was really time for me to leave.
I spent the rest of the day not making coffee.
It was a comfort.
And evening came, I had dinner in a restaurant and went to a bar.
I had some drinks and talked to some people.
We were bar people and said bar things.
None of them remembered, and the bar closed.
It was two o'clock in the morning.
I had to go outside.
It was foggy and cold in San Francisco.
I wondered about the fog and felt very human and exposed.
I decided to go visit another girl.
We had not been friends for over a year.
Once we were very close.
I wondered what she was thinking about now.
I went to her house.
She didn't have a door bell.
That was a small victory.
One must keep track of all the small victories.
I do, anyway.
She answered the door.
She was holding a robe in front of her.
She didn't believe that she was seeing me.
"What do you want?" she said, believing now that she was seeing me.
I walked right into the house.
She turned and closed the door in such a way that I could see her profile.
She had not bothered to wrap the robe completely around herself.
She was just holding the robe in front of herself.
I could see an unbroken line of body running from her head to her feet.
It looked kind of strange.
Perhaps because it was so late at night.
"What do you want?" she said.
"I want a cup of coffee," I said.
What a funny thing to say, to say again for a cup of coffee was not what I really wanted.
She looked at me and wheeled slightly on the profile.
She was not pleased to see me.
Let the AMA tell us that time heals.
I looked at the unbroken line of her body.
"Why don't you have a cup of coffee with me?" I said.
"I feel like talking to you.
We haven't talked for a long time.
" She looked at me and wheeled slightly on the profile.
I stared at the unbroken line of her body.
This was not good.
"It's too late," she said.
"I have to get up in the morning.
If you want a cup of coffee, there's instant in the kitchen.
I have to go to bed.
" The kitchen light was on.
I looked down the hall into the kitchen.
I didn't feel like going into the kitchen and having another cup of coffee by myself.
I didn't feel like going to anybody else's house and asking them for a cup of coffee.
I realized that the day had been committed to a very strange pilgrimage, and I had not planned it that way.
At least the jar of instant coffee was not on the table, beside an empty white cup and a spoon.
They say in the spring a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love.
Perhaps if he has enough time left over, his fancy can even make room for a cup of coffee.
-from Revenge of the Lawn
Written by Alice Walker | Create an image from this poem

I Said to Poetry

I said to Poetry: "I'm finished
with you.
" Having to almost die before some wierd light comes creeping through is no fun.
"No thank you, Creation, no muse need apply.
Im out for good times-- at the very least, some painless convention.
" Poetry laid back and played dead until this morning.
I wasn't sad or anything, only restless.
Poetry said: "You remember the desert, and how glad you were that you have an eye to see it with? You remember that, if ever so slightly?" I said: "I didn't hear that.
Besides, it's five o'clock in the a.
I'm not getting up in the dark to talk to you.
" Poetry said: "But think about the time you saw the moon over that small canyon that you liked so much better than the grand one--and how suprised you were that the moonlight was green and you still had one good eye to see it with Think of that!" "I'll join the church!" I said, huffily, turning my face to the wall.
"I'll learn how to pray again!" "Let me ask you," said Poetry.
"When you pray, what do you think you'll see?" Poetry had me.
"There's no paper in this room," I said.
"And that new pen I bought makes a funny noise.
" "Bullshit," said Poetry.
"Bullshit," said I.
Written by Sylvia Plath | Create an image from this poem


 Since Christmas they have lived with us,
Guileless and clear,
Oval soul-animals,
Taking up half the space,
Moving and rubbing on the silk

Invisible air drifts,
Giving a shriek and pop
When attacked, then scooting to rest, barely trembling.
Yellow cathead, blue fish ---- Such queer moons we live with Instead of dead furniture! Straw mats, white walls And these traveling Globes of thin air, red, green, Delighting The heart like wishes or free Peacocks blessing Old ground with a feather Beaten in starry metals.
Your small Brother is making His balloon squeak like a cat.
Seeming to see A funny pink world he might eat on the other side of it, He bites, Then sits Back, fat jug Contemplating a world clear as water.
A red Shred in his little fist.
Written by Rg Gregory | Create an image from this poem


 just as the dusk comes hooting
down through the shivering black leaves
of the swinging trees we (the brave ones
swaggering like marshalls through a lynch-mob)
crash-bang our way to the door
of the so-called haunted house

knock knock - kick in a pane of glass
and the dusk hoots louder in our ears
and the swinging trees ride like a mob
with murder in mind - knock knock -
the heavy knocker on the solid door
shaking the house - knock knock
knock knock - louder shaking our brave
bodies the heavy knocker of our hearts

knock knock - knock knock knock

we laugh with a harsh laughter we
have never heard before push and shove
each other in a boisterous fear
lean on heave crash open the door
fall in a heap inside - pick ourselves up
courageous still giggling and bruised.
shush find words bounce our voices off the walls.
shush shush yell catcalls scream shriek roar batter and shatter.
shush shush shush oh shush yourselves no really - shush in the air under the stair what can we hear shush are you getting scared we knew it we knew that if we dared.
we can hear noises noises noises in an empty house the sound of our voices echoes in crevices rattles in doorways booms in the hollowness of empty rooms no that isn't all that doesn't explain the tall hooded silence standing in the hall or the whispering smell of dust bristling the floor scurrying like the dried-up bones of mice to the hole in the crumbling wall something snatches our voices away from us too quickly for our voices to be all nonsense the house is dead it can't harm us old bricks and wood you're letting the darkness go to your head shout if you don't believe us shout if anybody's there if anybody's there you won't get us afraid of you whoever you are whoever you are this is what we think of you boo boo boo what's wrong what's wrong tell us what's wrong listen nothing no nothing at all your voices went but they didn't return you called but nothing came back at all there's something there swallowing up words absorbing them into air heavy waiting alert (daddy-longlegs pitch on skin sinister fingers whisper through the roots of our hair.
) .
we're not afraid of you nothing nobody we know you're there what is it at the end of the passage in the gloom by the still door eyeing without eyes everything we do sucking us in with its black stare you think it's funny don't you trying to frighten us keeping out of sight come out here if you're anything - we'll show you arms move suddenly along the wall the moon riding hard on foaming clouds stands solid in the door and it's not a good moon at all why did we come we should have stayed home but here we are in an evil room trapped between the witchcraft of an empty house and the cold hard grin of the moon i'm going in you can't i must you'll become air a heavy silence a dance of dust there's nothing there nothing nothing there he gives a brave laugh but a laugh drained of blood and moves down the passage to the masked door hesitates and turns wanting our support frightened to his heart's core steps no - is drawn - backwards into a black space rapidly dissolving in our misted eyes we half-hear a short gasp - no more the moon's grin is louder as (on his restless clouds) he bucks about the sky no one returns to us and in the morning (rooted in fear we could not leave the place but spent the night huddled in one big stack in the frozen hall) and in the morning we find not a single trace of the friend who went as simply as any word into thin air
Written by Barry Tebb | Create an image from this poem


 For Brenda Williams

La lune diminue; divin septembre.
Divine September the moon wanes.
Pierre Jean Jouve Themes for poems and the detritus of dreams coalesce: This is one September I shall not forget.
The grammar-school caretaker always had the boards re-blacked And the floors waxed, but I never shone.
The stripes of the red and black blazer Were prison-grey.
You could never see things that way: Your home had broken windows to the street.
You had the mortification of lice in your hair While I had the choice of Brylcreem or orange pomade.
Four children, an alcoholic father and An Irish immigrant mother.
Failure’s metaphor.
I did not make it like Alan Bennett, Who still sends funny postcards About our Leeds childhood.
Of your’s, you could never speak And found my nostalgia Wholly inappropriate.
Forgetting your glasses for the eleven plus, No money for the uniform for the pass at thirteen.
It wasn’t - as I imagined - shame that kept you from telling But fear of the consequences for your mother Had you sobbed the night’s terrors Of your father’s drunken homecomings, Your mother sat with the door open In all weathers while you, the oldest, Waited with her, perhaps Something might have been done.
He never missed a day’s work digging graves, Boasting he could do a six-footer Single-handed in two hours flat.
That hackneyed phrase ‘He drank all his wages’ Doesn’t convey his nightly rages The flow of obscenities about menstruation While the three younger ones were in bed And you waited with your mother To walk the streets of Seacroft.
“Your father murdered your mother” As Auntie Margaret said, Should a witness Need indicting.
Your mother’s growing cancer went diagnosed, but unremarked Until the final days She was too busy auxiliary nursing Or working in the Lakeside Caf?.
It was her wages that put bread and jam And baked beans into your stomachs.
Her final hospitalisation Was the arena for your father’s last rage Her fare interfering with the night’s drinking; He fought in the Burma Campaign but won no medals.
Some kind of psychiatric discharge- ‘paranoia’ Lurked in his papers.
The madness went undiagnosed Until his sixtieth birthday.
You never let me meet him Even after our divorce.
In the end you took me on a visit with the children.
A neat flat with photographs of grandchildren, Stacks of wood for the stove, washing hung precisely In the kitchen, a Sunday suit in the wardrobe.
An unwrinkling of smiles, the hard handshake Of work-roughened hands.
One night he smashed up the tidy flat.
The TV screen was powder The clock ticked on the neat lawn ‘Murder in Seacroft Hospital’ Emblazoned on the kitchen wall.
I went with you and your sister in her car to Roundhay Wing.
Your sister had to leave for work or sleep You had to back to meet the children from school.
For Ward 42 it wasn’t an especially difficult admission.
My first lesson: I shut one set of firedoors while the charge nurse Bolted the other but after five minutes his revolt Was over and he signed the paper.
The nurse on nights had a sociology degree And an interest in borderline schizophrenia.
After lightsout we chatted about Kohut and Kernberg And Melanie Klein.
Your father was occasionally truculent, Barricading himself in on one home leave.
Nothing out of the way For a case of that kind.
The old ladies on the estate sighed, Single men were very scarce.
Always a gentleman, tipping His cap to the ladies.
There seems to be objections in the family to poetry Or at least to the kind that actually speaks And fails to lie down quietly on command.
Yours seems to have set mine alight- I must get something right.