Are You Listening?

A RATTLER’S TALE poem
BY
ANTHONY NORTH

Listen, can you hear the pain?
Listen, is it all in vain?
Anger mounts in the sky, Species die,
no matter how they try;
Listen, do you love your home?
Listen, it’s in the nature zone,
Listen …

Obese Lockdown

ANTHONY NORTH’S
EYE ON THE WORLD

Dr Illya Ness says: Manchester declared major incident as Covid increases. Boris says no national lockdown, but when the localities join together, that’s what it is – minus govt reponsibility

Philip Osophy says: Obesity cannot be conquered by an anti-obesity plan. So many problems are the result of specialization alone. Lifestyle needs Rational Holism to look at all.

Polly Ticks says: RIP John Hume. Only a giant walks the middle way through rivers of blood. Cameth the man.

Just One Word

A RATTLER’S TALE Poem
BY
ANTHONY NORTH

The future holds our destiny,
Tech for good or enmity,
Driving one word to ultimate power,
Providing a button that can devour,
Everything as the missiles hit,
Our leader safe in his pit;
Godly, he takes out man and bird,
For: In the End Was the Word

Ghostly Event

A RATTLER’S TALE Poem
by Anthony North

*****

Shriek!!! Don’t do that to me,
Creeping up so willingly,
Knowing that you’ll just go through,
What’s been done we can’t undo;
This is now our destiny, But
– wow! –
you breathers scare me

Chores Bores

A RATTLER’S TALE Poem
by Anthony North

*****

Am I a mystic? Washing to do
Found the truth? Clean the loo
As one with the Cosmos? Oven on
Above is below? Routine’s song;
Living in spirit is marvellous joy,
High in the clouds, nothing to annoy
Until the material re-connects,
My mind’s lost – it can only vex

Rattler’s Tale #11

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by Anthony North
for
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PHOTO PROMPT © Todd Foltz

BAKE-OFF

They were lined up, only their backs showing.
Reality TV was like that – liked to have a surprise for the end.
I suppose you could call them a metaphor.
The first contestant approached: ‘I think I’ll poach them.’
The second disagreed: ‘I’ll beat them to pulp for a huge cake.’
The third added: ‘Well I just like smashing them; watch the goo ooze out.’
I guess dumbing down had gone too far.
The egghead intellectuals agreed.

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GENESIS OF LOVE

Forget the apple. There were too many roses in Eden.
Or maybe it’s all just a metaphor.
In the beginning were animals.
They couldn’t mate face to face, see – so didn’t see.
Then along came animal Mark Two, or Human.
He was a weak but cunning upgrade.
He’d changed his hands – evolved the opposable thumb.
Man became a master manipulator – learnt how to fashion his tool.
Which meant he didn’t need to go around on all fours, but two.
Man became erect – had adapted a new pelvic bone.
Then came the human bit.
It became more comfortable to mate face to face – and he saw.
And she saw. Realised her nakedness, and he liked it.
And together they mated – and loved.
For the genesis of humanity WAS love.
But every story has a sting in the tale – our own Pandora’s box.
For hot on the trail of love came jealousy and, eventually hate.
The Red Rose and Red Mist are one.
There were too many roses in Eden.
And they have thorns.

Rattler’s Tale #10

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PHOTO PROMPT © Ronda Del Boccio

LET’S GO HOME

The two android scouts disguised themselves in the engines and looked up.
All they could see was empty space in the hot air balloon.
Realising it wasn’t going to get into space, they looked again at the data.
Reports of early space exploration:
Early successes – Poe, Verne and Wells …
The aliens had sent androids to counter the deadly viruses that had got previous aliens.
But …
What a useless species, these humans, they decided.
No interaction, no touching, and definitely no hyperdrive.
They’re doomed.
And delusional.
And the virus still around.
They decided to go home.

HUNTER DEAR

It seemed crazy to hunt deer in a boat, but since I met him …
‘Not hunt; draw,’ he admonished.
I apologised. ‘Old habits.’
He sat in the boat with me, riding the waves, yet there was no wind in my sails.
‘How are we moving?’ I asked. ‘How can there be a deer down there?’ ‘Who are you?’
He replied: ‘Maybe we’re in a lake held up by its antlers. Or maybe by a bull’s horns.’
He claimed to be an artist yet he looked like a harlequin, or a woman in a wall …
… always with his head on his side …
I guess its just a crazy world.
‘How do you feel?’ he asked.
‘Wet.’
‘But the water’s dry.’
‘Drowsy.’
‘Then you’re finally wide awake.’
‘What’s that over there?’
‘Your leg.’
Then I remembered, and it seemed to me that at last I was in a sensible world …
… and I saw the deer and didn’t want to hunt … and …
The lake became my blood, the antlers the staves of the stretcher and tranquility exploded.
And the artist wore a soldier’s helmet and I asked: ‘Who are you?’ once more.
‘I’m the artist who created crazy, and people thought me crazy, and couldn’t get I was reality.’
And as I closed my eyes, and the pain flowed away, I joined Picasso in the eternal picture.

Rattler’s Tale #9

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PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

VETERANS

‘You never got involved in Nam, did you?’ said the US veteran.
The Brit veteran said: ‘No. We were too busy.’
‘Doin what?’
‘Giving back our empire – and fighting the Commies who tried to take over.’
‘Where was that, then?’
‘Malaya, Borneo, as well as parts of Africa and the Middle East.’
‘How come we never heard much of them?’
‘Because in the main we were successful.’
‘How? Did you have some secret weapon like bombs or Agent Orange?’
‘Of a sort.’
‘What was that?’
‘Doctors.’

BLAST OFF

And here we are at Ad Hoc County Launch Site.

We’re all excited by the turn of events.

Following many false starts and redesigns we’re ready for blast off.

Indeed, Eton Must is piloting the prototype himself.

We asked him if the new fuel would be powerful enough.

‘Of course! I went back to the beginning for the idea.’

He elaborated: ‘But we don’t need as much hot air as Poe’s balloonist.

‘The only danger is it may be too explosive.’

We asked him what he meant.

‘Well, it was collected from the President’s breath during his speeches.’

Rattler’s Tale #8

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KEYUDOS

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

stay home

Dick bought the holiday hat but it didn’t work.
‘I remembered I was still in isolation.’
The virtual reality salesman sighed. ‘I warned you,’ he said.
Silence followed. Then, changing his hat, the salesman said:
‘Go for the full download – guaranteed to escape Covid.’
‘What? You download something into me?’
The salesman showed his new computer.
‘No. We download you into IT!’
‘Anything to escape isolation,’ said Dick.
Moments later, there was a ping and Dick disappeared.
He enjoyed his holiday for a while, then…
The salesman put on his undertakers hat.
A virus had got him.

ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE

The theatre was very old and had consumed many a performance.
The actors stood on the stage, taking in the atmosphere.
It was their final rehearsal, yet they knew they’d be interrupted.
Maybe it was the acoustics, but constantly the voices.
And the apparitions.
It was a busy stage.
They tried to concentrate, on their own lines, but …
… was that from West Side Story … and then Wilde …
… and …
‘All the world’s a stage.’
In this world, and the next.
Outside, the passers-by heard it, too.
‘Can you hear it?’ asked one.
‘Yes,’ the other replied. ‘Theatre – storytelling – outs our soul.’
‘It gets into our heads,’ said a third. ‘Makes us what we are, forever.’
‘There used to be a theatre here, you know.’
And the rubble began to sing.

Rattler’s Tale #7

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Poets & Storytellers United
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KEYUDOS

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

ROOTED

Dick found it when walking in the wood.
A conspiracy theorist, he jumped for joy.
Wow! Tech growing out the ground.
Investigating, he was disturbed by Bob, the sceptic.
‘What you doing?’
Dick said: ‘It’s got rootkit and worms emanating from it.’
Bob was a stiff, logical chap who never lost his head.
He picked it up. ‘I wondered where I’d left that.’
He walked off, leaving Dick feeling a right namesake.
Home, Bob took off his head and contacted Mothership.
‘We need better camouflage,’ he said. ‘Too many conspiriologists nowadays.’
He blamed the new leadership models. US, UK, EU? No more blondes.

AN UNUSUAL TAKE

‘Oh, kitten, I could eat you all up.’
‘Hold on Tiger. Take it slowly.’
***
The Director looked at the take. He’d been too late calling ‘cut!’
It was one hell of a mess.
The Producer said: ‘Are you sure this is a good idea? We’re running out of actors.’
‘I’m gonna direct a romance if it’s the last thing I do,’ he bit back.
***
The Director went round all the studios, but could he get another producer?
Could he hell. As they said: ‘You’ve been through 5 already.’
‘But I’ve got an appetite for this film.’
Which was one way of putting it.
***
Later, the geneticist said: ‘Why don’t you use the voiceovers as actors again?’
‘Humans!?’
Enraged, the Director was on his haunches once more.
Luckily it was the last geneticist.
The Director went back to the jungle, destined to remain a nature documentary star.
I guess mimicking can only go so far.