Pre code poetry.. huh what? Grab a beer, sit, we'll chat and play bongos
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341 posts in this topic

thanks again retro, and tundra (the borrowing of his longer line broke up my sing-song rhythm a bit). And 'Crane' was a wild ride - my #1 son and a fave poet are both named Crane... I like the way you start with a solid concept as foundation...



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I enjoyed your epic poem too frozentundra! We have some talented contributors to our little thread!


Thank you & everyone who has contributed also, for making this a great thread! :cloud9:



thanks again retro, and tundra (the borrowing of his longer line broke up my sing-song rhythm a bit). And 'Crane' was a wild ride - my #1 son and a fave poet are both named Crane... I like the way you start with a solid concept as foundation...




Thanks Pat. :grin: The Crane poem practically wrote itself, once I had a blueprint in place. :whatev:



The original "Paul Revere's Ride" by Longfellow. :cloud9::cloud9:



Paul Revere's Ride

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



Listen my children and you shall hear

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;

Hardly a man is now alive

Who remembers that famous day and year.


He said to his friend, "If the British march

By land or sea from the town to-night,

Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch

Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--

One if by land, and two if by sea;

And I on the opposite shore will be,

Ready to ride and spread the alarm

Through every Middlesex village and farm,

For the country folk to be up and to arm."


Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar

Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,

Just as the moon rose over the bay,

Where swinging wide at her moorings lay

The Somerset, British man-of-war;

A phantom ship, with each mast and spar

Across the moon like a prison bar,

And a huge black hulk, that was magnified

By its own reflection in the tide.


Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street

Wanders and watches, with eager ears,

Till in the silence around him he hears

The muster of men at the barrack door,

The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,

And the measured tread of the grenadiers,

Marching down to their boats on the shore.


Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,

By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,

To the belfry chamber overhead,

And startled the pigeons from their perch

On the sombre rafters, that round him made

Masses and moving shapes of shade,--

By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,

To the highest window in the wall,

Where he paused to listen and look down

A moment on the roofs of the town

And the moonlight flowing over all.


Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,

In their night encampment on the hill,

Wrapped in silence so deep and still

That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,

The watchful night-wind, as it went

Creeping along from tent to tent,

And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"

A moment only he feels the spell

Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread

Of the lonely belfry and the dead;

For suddenly all his thoughts are bent

On a shadowy something far away,

Where the river widens to meet the bay,--

A line of black that bends and floats

On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.


Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,

Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride

On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.

Now he patted his horse's side,

Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,

Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,

And turned and tightened his saddle girth;

But mostly he watched with eager search

The belfry tower of the Old North Church,

As it rose above the graves on the hill,

Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.

And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height

A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!

He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,

But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight

A second lamp in the belfry burns.


A hurry of hoofs in a village street,

A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,

And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark

Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;

That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,

The fate of a nation was riding that night;

And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,

Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,

And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,

Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;

And under the alders that skirt its edge,

Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,

Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.


It was twelve by the village clock

When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.

He heard the crowing of the ,

And the barking of the farmer's dog,

And felt the damp of the river fog,

That rises after the sun goes down.


It was one by the village clock,

When he galloped into Lexington.

He saw the gilded weathercock

Swim in the moonlight as he passed,

And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,

Gaze at him with a spectral glare,

As if they already stood aghast

At the bloody work they would look upon.


It was two by the village clock,

When he came to the bridge in Concord town.

He heard the bleating of the flock,

And the twitter of birds among the trees,

And felt the breath of the morning breeze

Blowing over the meadow brown.

And one was safe and asleep in his bed

Who at the bridge would be first to fall,

Who that day would be lying dead,

Pierced by a British musket ball.


You know the rest. In the books you have read

How the British Regulars fired and fled,---

How the farmers gave them ball for ball,

>From behind each fence and farmyard wall,

Chasing the redcoats down the lane,

Then crossing the fields to emerge again

Under the trees at the turn of the road,

And only pausing to fire and load.


So through the night rode Paul Revere;

And so through the night went his cry of alarm

To every Middlesex village and farm,---

A cry of defiance, and not of fear,

A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,

And a word that shall echo for evermore!

For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,

Through all our history, to the last,

In the hour of darkness and peril and need,

The people will waken and listen to hear

The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,

And the midnight message of Paul Revere.


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While local bards are working hard

To frame us a verse or two,

Let’s let a classic creator

Show them what one can do.


We know a pretty face can launch

A thousand ships, it’s true,

But a nice warm pair of buns

Can inspire poets too!





Edited by pcalhoun
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While local bards are working hard

To frame us a verse or two,

Let’s let a classic creator

Show them what one can do.


We know a pretty face can launch

A thousand ships, it’s true,

But a nice warm pair of buns

Can inspire poets too!







Appending onto the 'Woman at the Window" poem.



Eons from from now the sun exploded

a new vigil at long last can now be reloaded

to wait again for the universe to pulse anew

providing her a chance to assemble a crew.


For endless ages waiting alone

made the long wait a timeless zone

this time around there will be others to share

the galaxy encompassing view out the window so rare.


Edited by frozentundraguy
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O happy day, a fly,

Caught in the web of Wandrei.

Among fans of verses weird

Donald’s name is revered.


So now I offer you this

Orgy of botanical bliss,

Married to a sweet PB

Cover. Anyone hungry?



Edited by pcalhoun
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Good stuff, guys! I will be starting another contest in the next day or two. This time I may offer up two covers to choose from. Last one was a blast!

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Ding dong rang the doorbell

Blind date calling from the depths of hell

Vanessa opened the door to quite a sight

Ivory bone exposed by moonlight

Smell of earth and rotting flesh

Time for the dead to get a little fresh

"My dear you aren't like my other callers""

"Dull, boring, handsy maulers"

"Despite your quite rancid smell"

"You're quite the dresser and listen well"

Oh it was quite the date!

Well worth the coffins wait

As she leaned in for a peck of sin

Ted came out with a mouth of skin!

She exclaimed "My you work quite fast"

Twas a love that wouldn't last

Now don't fret or be to sad

As blind dates go it wasn't so bad


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There's nothing like an ode

To horrors from before the code.

To think one thin dime could buy

Babe, corpse, and globe - oh my -

Aston fifteen's been Retro'd!


Excellent poems Pat end Retro. :applause::applause:


There's nothing quite like a blind date

his pace was slow as he strode by the gate

but his shadowy appearance at the front door

soon had my parents passed out on the floor.

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I saw the monster pass me by

I lingered there I know not why

He passed mere inches from my face

and left a grimace in it's place


I must have stood there for a solid hour

my attitude was regrettably sour

When chanced by two impudent gents

who quizzed me for my two cents


I was about to answer their inane request

but decided instead to reply in jest

Why no monster has passed me by

I had just decided to stand here and cry


But follow those tracks if you must

but be warned that you may turn to dust

That fellow left a strong impression

so follow him with incredible discretion.


But there is a twist to this short tale

twas a slight lie I told to put them on the trail

as the monster in question was none other than

an overweight hippie in search of his van

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'Close Shave'


Come in young man and have a seat

I welcome all, the healthy and beat

Lean right back let troubles fade

Whilst I sharpen my razors blade

When life has forced you in a rut

Tis the best time to get a cut

Many a man has sat for a shave

All of them I put in their grave

For I am the harvester of your soul

And all that pass my barbers pole

Don't struggle and keep your wits

At least you get to keep your two bits

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Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar:

Ten pre-codes would make you holler.

I only wanted a little trim,

But the barber’s nuts, I’m scared of him,

I’ve read his comics, now I’ll run –

Oh , he’s drawing a gun!


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This give me pause to think and crave

for signs long ago from Burma shave

easily read as one drove past

now it has me agog and quite aghast.


What if Burma Shave had the same MO

as Retro's barber who applied the fatal blow

would the highways ditches be littered with bones

spread out among the occasional orange cones.

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It is that time! Time for the second edition of the pre code poetry contest. I really enjoyed the last one and hope all those who contributed, voted, or just stopped in to have a look did as well. This time around I will be shaking it up some. Instead of me picking the cover for the contest inspiration it will be all inclusive, pick your own poison. You pick a cover, any genre, any book you very well please. Instead of posting in the thread you will send them to me via p.m. and I will collect these for two weeks and post the entries with an entry number but no names to prod those lurkers who wanted to compete last time but didn't feel comfortable putting it all out there for the boards to see. I will accept only one entry for each contestant so write as many as you please but choose your best for the entry. Prize you ask? Of course, just like Jayman won last time around but I haven't decided on just what yet. So grab your inspiration be it booze, broads (or dudes), or whatever gets those creative gears churning and ENTER!!! I will accept entries through the 15th of June and then post them for the voting round. Thanks everyone and if any question shoot a flashing flag my way.

Edited by retrocomics
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