Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Feature: Douglas C Pugh Day 3

Today we bring you something a bit different. Doug asked for some word prompts for Day 3 of his feature. I sent him a ton and he returned a poem for each prompt! It was too difficult to choose only one. So we share with you now, my three favorites of the bunch as well as his painting "The Gift". Enjoy! --- Jen

Prompts: Bobcat/King Arthur/Word Play

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there is nothing
hidden here in the grass
despite the tell tail swish
of anticipation
and the taste
of your demise

there is no spring
coiled, ready, taut
lurking for your next tread
it is all imaginary prickles
on errant senses
thrown by chill winds

there are no jaws
teeth glistening, razor edged

except mine!

© Douglas C. Pugh

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Morte Author

The tombs of five
lay on the island
drained now, its marsh
a shallow ring in a field
tough grass only showing
where ranks of bullrushes
had stood sentinel for aeons
the causeway a piercing thrust
through the dark earth

five kings, father, brother
and brother again
cousin and finally he
centred in glory
where fables have passed
their tread light as whispered words
and thundered in the hearts
of schoolboys as honour
and legend were spilled and instilled
as sparks from the clash
of broadsword against shield wall

Painted in words of chivalry
draped in the oaken frame
of 'England, fair England'
a fallacy, a vague notion, an invention
that was then yet to be
he fought, died and was interred
beneath the Pendragon swirl
that was neither England nor Wales
but Powys, cutting its swathe
from the rugged roots of mountain harsh
to the Northern Sea and its harsh bite

how he would laugh in the halls
mock the virtue of his legend, this taker
of skulls and land, this killer
of crowns and lined nobility, the sweeper
of souls and all before, the savage
that reached too far
yet flails uselessly with silvered scorn
his strike now nothing
but the echoed hiss of derision
against the legions of words ranged against him

and yet five they remain
numbed mounds buried in grass
circled in dust and legend
daubed in mystery and hollow rings
of magic and spells, bound only
by the spine
of authored hope

© Douglas C. Pugh

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Word play

she said:
would you play
with my words
fumble my vowels
caress my consonant
show me the strength of your pronouns
take me to the ultimate conjunction

he said:
my dictionary is old and tattered
I prefer the stolid logic
and stiffness of rule
that math brings
though I am prone
to premature matriculation

© Douglas C. Pugh

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"The Gift" © Douglas C. Pugh


  1. Oh.. I love these.. Especially Morte Arthur and Word Play.. .. absolutely excellent!!

    love the last line of "word play." ... premature matriculation...

    Made me laugh out load.... thank you.. You just turned a round a bad moment this evening with these three poems.

    Chris Brooks

  2. Okay. This is a real treat.

    "Bobcat" catches the thing just right. I live out in the boondocks, and a bobcat has come into my yard twice. Big sucker. Condescending expression across his smirking, whiskered, consonantal lips. The look both times said it plainly: "Yo momma!" (Both times I was safely inside looking through the back window).

    Then "Word Play." Indeed, so playful I actually smiled (distant planets slightly spazzed in perplexity).

    But the main course is "Morte Author." I get the sense that this could never have been written by someone not of that land. The soul of legends has crept into the DNA of this poet, and it is expressed in rich words and deep images. This thing is a real beauty!

    And before we get to the "authorial" entombment and occasional literary disinterment, we take a subtle and quick detour down the side road of ethics...of power, brutality, stupidity, and its eventual overcoming by mortal time.

  3. Thank you both.

    Chris I'm so glad my lunacy helped. To give a smile is the greatest gift.

    And Tim, I researched my family and came across legends. Not neccesarily of my family (I could only track that back to the 1780s) but of a local prince, who had the battle name of Arthur, was given a stone sword of office at the stone ring nearest to that family village. And of course is buried (with his shield of all things, something unheard of in those metal scarce days) in an untouched semicircle of five mounds, itself set on a now drained, man made island. The tale captivated me and yet made a legend more real.