You Will Follow Us
We are birds in a tree.
Shooting, trapping, pollution
and building have destroyed
most of our kind.
For the moment, those left
but one by one we are going,
One day you will not hear us sing
and another sound will be heard –
it will be of the world caving in,
not bit by almost invisible bit,
but with a tired roar,
and you will have followed us into
One of my greatest concerns is of the need to conserve the environment. Those of you who read Green Monkey Publications posts may have read ‘Popping Off’. If you have not yet done so and you would like to read it, you will find the poem by scrolling down.
How Goes It?
Yo, I’m still swinging here.
I’m still swinging dere.
So, how goes it wid you?
Me, my bro? I’m mighty fine.
Creatively, I still move here
and I still move dere.
An you, my bro? I hope it’s
so with you.
Don’ lose de rhythm of creativity.
Let your imagination go wild.
Let your imagination fly high
like one mighty swinging monkee
over a big banana tree.
Your art won’t happen if you just
Get your feet and your behind off
Loop-de-loop. Swing by de tail of Art’s
That will be you, my bro,
if you let what’s in you grow.
Sebastian de Vervet
It has been a long time since the inimical Sebastian de Vervet wrote a poem for the Green Monkey Publications website. As so often before, he once again encourages individuals to believe in their own creativity and to do something positive with it. Sebastian chose these images to go with the poem because he loves pink and because he thinks those who created the images have more than a flair for creativity. How is the creative in you progressing?
In poetry I have found many teachers. Yes, I have. Over the years I have read a tremendous amount of poetry. These have included poems from centuries ago to poems recently written. One of the reasons why I have gained as a reader, thinker and communicator is because I have not restricted myself . I have spent years enjoying poetry in different genres dealing with a wide variety of subjects. Reading and discussing poetry has helped me to think better and express myself with greater accuracy. How much reading of poetry are you doing? If you haven’t read many poems, I urge you to start now. You will grow.
They are flying gold
to me and those who know them.
Bees thrumming harvests.
sparking flowers to fruit,
now dwindling slowly.
So many have gone.
The humming golden ones
are dying, dying.
Abundance is a myth.
Bankruptcy is fast coming.
Some flowers are dead.
When the bees teemed
forth, the crops sang happily.
They are winging off.
Those who toil within petals
are almost, almost lost.
There will be no grave
to mark the final passing.
No burnished plaque.
The pollinators are popping
off, and then so will we,
lamenting: ”Too late!”
Written by the author as an answer to the question: If the bees go, what happens to us?
In pushing the bees into a losing position, it is worth considering that we could be doing the same to ourselves. I encourage readers to give it careful thought and to ask, ”What can I do to see this does not happen?”
To you without illustration, what image or images come to you after reading this?
A butterfly beneath the sun:
part of a rainbow that’s come unspun.
I Am Glad
They are barely there
the people in the before-
Sometimes I catch impressions
of their smudged
amidst the rush and shove,
the we-need-to-get there
For a second I might glimpse the
almost-faces of so many,
then it is all a jumble in the
traffic lights, subway swallowing,
cars and buses, pavement
and road crossings
Those are the days I just want to sit
on a warm park bench
munch on sugary doughnuts
hold hands with someone and say,
‘’I am glad I have you.’’
what has touched me
a blue butterfly
balancing upon a new leaf
resting briefly there
singing in unison
dawn birds welcome the sun
forage in a tree
fish splash and circle
break the sun’s filtering rays
love this morning’s time
an old beetle sits
in silent contemplation
a little Bhudda
the soil shifts slightly
an earthworm is barely here
then down and gone again
velvet buttons swim
they are tadpoles exploring
loving the algae
a dragonfly’s wings
catch and shout the day’s light
disperse it for free
I have sat watching
slow to move and quick to see
what has touched me
© Andrew Pender-Smith
I composed this lyric a few weeks ago. Anyone looking at it carefully, and I hope you do, will see that it is comprised of eight separate haiku designed to link through, to create a lyric.
The sky cracked open
and I spun away
with whirling lights in my head.
The great bird beneath me
opened its wings
and flapped from
one fantastic place to another.
Moons sang and suns
danced in one wild, weird place,
while delicate frost touched trees
of rainbow hues in another.
The black bird opened its orange beak
and sang us onwards
until we came to a frozen lake.
Silver children skated its
and butterflies of sparkling ice sang:
‘’Isn’t this nice.
Isn’t this nice.’’
We journeyed on past planets
of indescribable blue
and shot up a waterfall
that roared and rushed into
valleys vast and mysteriously deep.
We came to a full, red moon
that was spinning and jigging to its own
It smiled at the black bird and
waved at me before floating away
over a long, green stream
of ribboning bubbles and delicate spray.
Finally, the air turned wonderfully warm
while a billion waltzing stars
catapulted in exotic, endless display.
Then, down, down we planed
in a golden moment that
jetted us over a gleaming sea.
‘’Home again. Home again,’’
the black bird sang with me.
I was now on soft beach sand.
I turned around once and the bird
was gone, flying on to I know not where.
I lay down on the fine, fine sand and
held onto memory after mad, marvellous memory
as one wild moon after another
looked down and winked at me.
© Andrew Pender-Smith
The Spaceship Shook
It was suddenly midnight blue
and a light flashed through
the hitherto unreachable galaxy.
Mars, Jupiter and Neptune were fun
but travelling beyond the Milky Way we spun
out of control on the intergalactic highway.
The spaceship shook and veered to the right.
Before our eyes was the most spectacular sight:
a purple and green place filled with shooting stars!
Our hair stood on end as we dropped
between multi-coloured, popped-
open comets and angry-ganged asteroids.
We left our craft, clambered on a falling
star and went pink-planet exploring.
This was whizzing- wild alien territory!
A whispering breeze took us from planet
to planet as a cold, crystal blanket
of singing ice sighed and parted.
The planet’s floor was creviced and black.
Pale purple mountains moaned as a crater began to crack
open and we drifted to a satin lake.
We glided out into luminous night
in a boat of curious sight
and entered a most peculiar city.
Buildings rose and dropped and bopped around
as a billion silver people danced upon the ground
and waved while a vanilla river swept us away.
At last we came upon a catapulting star
that shrieked and shot us up, out far,
till we landed back on the now invisible spaceship.
In full throttle and changing gear
we began to steer
our way to earth.
From far, far off we thought we
heard the sounds of mirth,
of a billion silver people laughing.
But a little blue moon put out
its arms to dance with our craft
and we never did find out who laughed.
Instead, we clapped and we wept
for it had been fun
but we couldn’t remember
how it had all begun.
And we wanted to do it again,
and again, and again.
© Andrew Pender-Smith
This poem has been used as a choral verse in schools, appears in an anthology of the Speech and Drama Association of South Africa, and in a collection of poems called ‘Fantastic Spacey Racy Thing and Lots and Lots of Other Poems’ by Andrew Pender-Smith. Those interested in using the poem are free to do so provided full acknowledgement of the author is made. If you enjoyed this fantasy poem, you may enjoy ‘A Strange, Sweet Lullaby’ published on Green Monkey Publications on the 12th of February 2018.
With good wishes,