P is for Poetry #atozchallenge

For the last two years I’ve joined in the #atozchallenge, namely to post every weekday in April using each letter of the alphabet in turn. In 2015 it was places I’d been to, in 2016 it was London themed. This year it is a dictionary of my family, recounting incidents small and large that have taught me lessons down the years, caused me consternation or generally seared themselves into my memory.  I hope you enjoy them. To find other bloggers doing the challenge and maybe be inspired yourself, check out the A to Z Blogging Challenge Blog, here

I write poetry on a few occassions; dad wrote on many. My favourite form is the sonnet. I’ve published a few before on this blog but I thought, at this point in the A to Z to share a few that haven’t seen the light of day before and ask you to decide which you prefer.




If they really believe all this began

With some sort of enormous explosion,

They desperately lack imagination

To have labelled it simply “Big Bang”.

And some of them see no starting place,

No stepping off point for any of us

But rather conceive a continuous

Expansion, spreading through time and space.

And that idea, however well meant

Is flat and devoid of all passion,

Which leaves the way clear for those who are sent

To teach us a different construction.

That one day, long gone, a Devine hand

Fashioned some clay and gave life to man.


Poetry Class


I’ve lost years to selfish myopia,

A self-inflicted Miltonian curse;

Ne’er imagined such poetic utopia

When reading Chaucerian verse.

I’ve honoured the Bard from a distance

Whose Marvel’s have Donne me no good;

And Swift has been my resistance

To Keats’s autumnal soul-food.

And when Hopkins near sprung me from prison,

I relapsed and began doubting Dylan.

But, at last, I’ve changed my prescription

Revealing a lost world so rare.

I can now read that famous inscription:

“Look on my works, enjoy: don’t despair.”



Global Warming: The Future’s Hot


His skin is a sticky backed plastic,

One he made earlier. A white

Crust forms, pores oozing their oily mastic,

Like a shield displaying the toiler’s blight.

He bows his head against the drooping sun,

Leans into the teeth of the harsh solar wind;

Effortful tears round his farrowed eyes run,

Each suppurating drop leaving him blind,

False-stepping from trimmed field to tangled Web,

While arrogant man thinks he’s in control;

The future’s a desert, his life-waters ebb,

Jet-glazed, he continues his skills to extol.

For our children the tide will lap them with dust;

Our bequest will be fields we have covered with rust…


A sonnet of acceptance


The hard edged square of a wide open beak

Is the way to acceptance for the eyeless chick;

And the out-partied youth, so in need of sleep

Accepts his bed, candle burnt to the wick.

The ruddy faced vagrant, familiar, alone

Hates taking the coin, but accepts through need.

The guilt-crusted husband, who wants to atone,

Accepts degradation, the price of his greed.

Bashful young suitor, twice married lover,

Each pray for acceptance in plighting their troth.

Just a nod from their significant other

Let’s free the excitement of roué and youth.

Now it’s our turn to be asked to appear

And we shall be there, at 2, never fear.


Team GB


Improbable arcs, they shape with simple grace,

Higher by far than Herculean gods.

They dive, like salmon, in an old millrace,

Fake scaled, in black, mocking friction and the odds.

Four lycra saddlemen of apocalypse,

Impossibly close till they swoop up high,

While a peacock prepares his triptych blitz,

Both men and gravity does he defy.

Water, earth and air limit simple men,

But those honed gods are made of sterner stuff.

After four toiling years, they reach a point when

Their efforts lift the fog, they’ve done enough

To know what has been their goal all along:

To leap higher, go faster, and be strong.



The hand that guides


Your consoling hand sits light on my sleeve,

A Macavity tap to release me on four;

We set sail, in step, gliding with ease

Past blind spots and honey pots strewn on the floor.

I fumble to catch that elusive toe-tap

Which, if I could, would allow me my head.

You remind me, by way of a quick finger snap,

Of the dangers where taking that path might lead.

I continually try to do it my way,

To give into weakness of flesh and of soul

But you hold the leash tight; I cannot stray

And we remain linked; two parts of one whole.

May it always be thus as we gib and we tack;

You looking forward, my hand at your back.



Lost in Communication



On first meeting, you were an ugly lump:

More than a handful. I had to shout

To be heard. You needed a good thump

To behave. The future? I had my doubts

That you’d make a difference. You began

To absorb my life: names of friends, each love,

You knew my needs. You seduced me as Pan

Captured each victim in the web he wove.

I succumbed as you stayed by my side

A devoted, besotted starry-eyed bride.

I sit now and dream of that point long ago

Before you appeared and I coped all alone;

My struggles were useless, like that of Echo,

And now my life is in hock to my phone

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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25 Responses to P is for Poetry #atozchallenge

  1. LucciaGray says:

    I like the poetry class best. “Look on my works, enjoy: don’t despair.’ Although poetry may and often does deal with disturbing and often complex topics, in the end, it’s purpose is to enjoy the writing and reading process, or at least make some sense of the despair and share it. Some poets are too introspective, too often, they forget the joy there is in poetry, so let’s enjoy it:)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Liam says:

    The thing that’s fascinating about the tension between science’s Big Bang and religious beliefs of creation is that the Big Bang theory was originally proposed by a Catholic priest, Georges Lemaître.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think you saved the best to almost last and last. ‘The Guiding Hand’ is my favourite – you captured not just the act of learning to dance but also the lyrical sway of the waltz. And of course I love to dance! ‘Lost In Communication’ is clever – I didn’t know where we were heading til we got there and then the second reading was a hoot! I’m currently enjoying old and new friends in your anthology – just one story a night, though I’m often tempted to read on………

    Liked by 2 people

  4. willowdot21 says:

    I like the poetry class it is so clever and flows. I also like the hand that guides… I a useless judge I like them all for different reasons!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ritu says:

    Loved the poetry class one but they were all good His Geoffleship!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I liked the Communication one.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Charli Mills says:

    Poetry set like pearls in a necklace, each one shining on it’s on. In Genesis, I like the idea that creation needs a passionate explanation. The Future is Hot is fair warning and yet we face those solar winds, blind to what is coming. Lost in Communication made me laugh and cringe; it’s the sad love story we all have with our phones. Great sonnets, Geoff. I’m in awe that you can write so many.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. JT Twissel says:

    All are wonderful. The hand that guides is probably my fave.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoyed ‘Poetry Class’ but my favourite was the Global Warming poem., the language so powerful and the imagery, I loved the flow and rhythm of it too!


  10. Oh, and I think you should write moore poems!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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