Category Archives: creative writing

When A Young Lady Wearing No Pyjamas

When a young lady wearing no pyjamas
Said, “Sir, have you seen the bananas?”.
I said, “I must stress
That I like your undress.
But you really should wear some pyjamas!”.

There Was A Young Lady Of Leicester

There was a young lady of Leicester
Who worked as a stock market investor.
She grew rich on shares
In both apples and pears,
So I married her, posthaste, in Leicester!

Dearth

Summers grow dry.
But sceptics deny,
And welcome grapes in England’s
Once green and pleasant land.

The watering can and hosepipe
Refresh the earth
Day and night.

There is a dearth.
For, I find
Within the sceptic’s mind
A different kind,
Of drout.

When Miss Emily Wrote Wuthering Heights

When miss Emily wrote Wuthering Heights
They said, “that rhymes with tights.
A young lady named Hocking
Removed a fine, silk stocking,
As I sang, “oh sweet delights!”.

Writers and Free Speech

In “A Letter On Justice And Open Debate” https://harpers.org/a-letter-on-justice-and-open-debate/, the authors JK Rowling and Margaret Atwood (amongst many other authors and academics), speak out against what they label as “cancel culture”. They condemn the growing tendency to silence (or attempt to silence) those who express opinions which offend particular groups or individuals. And argue that the best way to deal with views with which one disagrees is by engaging in free and open debate, rather than attempting to silence those expressing such opinions.

The letter has provoked controversy. Take, for example this response from a WordPress blogger:

“there is no such thing as cancel culture. This is fans deciding they do not want to associate with sexist, racist, ableist, bigoted authors/artists/what have you, and deciding to not purchase future works from them.

It is also not censorship because the government is not coming in and forcing these authors to remove their books from store shelves or anything like that. Fans are simply refusing to support these artists anymore. Publishers have that same right. So do booksellers.” (see https://amberskyeforbes.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/cancel-culture/).

Whilst the blogger is correct that the government is not forcing anyone to stop stocking, publishing or buying books and/or expressing certain opinions, the fact that some authors are, for example removing their books from JK Rowling’s publisher is intended to put pressure on said publisher to stop publishing Rowling’s works. The publisher has (quite rightly) not bowed to such pressure. However, where they to do so, this could have the effect of depriving Rowling (or anyone else who expresses a controversial opinion) of their source of income. Sure someone as famous as JK Rowling would, in all probability find another publisher, but what about lesser known writers? In the latter case such people might well be deprived of their source of income. Depriving someone of their (legal) source of income is a big thing to have on one’s conscience is it not?

I do, of course defend the right of people to spend their income as they wish, and withdraw their books from particular publishers, for we live in a free society. However, actively calling for others to boycott the works of particular people (merely because one disagrees with something they have said) can very easily spill over into bullying. Society (or a section of it) does not possess the power to censor and/or ban opinions. It can, however create a climate in which authors (and others) fear opening their mouths in case they offend a particular group or individual. This is a very unhealthy state of affairs.

I have been told by one particular blogger (via a comment on their blog) to “educate myself”, as I expressed an opinion with which they took issue. My readers wont be surprised to learn that my response (had I voiced it, which I did not) would have been unprintable! The blogger in question was, of course perfectly entitled to their opinion (as am I). however telling people to “educate themselves” is not the best way to gain friends and influence people. Such statements come across as arrogant and are not the best way of encouraging free and open debate.

An acquaintence told me that he was thinking of writing a book on HIV/AIDS. The main character in his novel would be gay and HIV positive. However, my acquaintence (not himself being gay) was worried that where he to write his novel he would be castigated for writing about a subject of which he has no (direct) personal experience. Consequently that book will, in all probability never get written.

Of course when one writes or speaks about a subject about which one has no direct experience, one should be sure to do research prior to doing so. However, if someone wants to make a fool of themselves by writing a poorly researched book, or speaking on a subject with little knowledge of said subject, they have the right so to do. Of course we the reader/listner have the perfect right to point out their errors. Indeed it may be our duty to do so. But what neither the state nor society should do is to call for poorly researched books to be banned. Nor should either the state or society prevent people from expressing offensive opinions.

The advocacy of violence to achieve political or other ends is a criminal matter and anyone advocating it’s use should feel the full force of the law. However disagreeing with someone is not violence and its dangerous when people contend that the expression of measured opinion constitutes violence. As someone who is disabled (I am registered blind) I would be offended where someone to say that disabled people have no right to be employed, and that all anti-discrimination legislation should be repealed, leaving it to the discretion of employers whether to employ the disabled. However me finding this view particularly objectionable does not mean that the person expressing it has committed an act of violence. They have not. They have expressed an opinion which, in a democratic society they are perfectly entitled to do, and the best way of me dealing with their perspective is to argue against it. I may feel angry but the person has done no violence to me and I should not hound them on social media, nor should I call for them to be deprived of their source of income.

We live in a liberal society and long may we continue to do so.

A Beautiful Young Lady Climbing the Stairs

A beautiful young lady climbing the stairs
Said, “I suffer from very bad nightmares”! .
I said, “my dear miss Elane,
That must cause you great pain.
Shall we dine on apples and pears?”

When a beautiful young lady climbing the stairs
Said, “I’m afflicted by the most horrible nightmares!”.
I said, “my dear miss elane,
That must cause you great pain.
And your bedroom is up these here stairs?”

I Started Early – Took My Dog, by Emily Dickinson

I have recently subscribed to the Poetry Foundation’s Audio Poem of the Day. The poem for Monday 6 July is Emily Dickinson’s “I Started Early – Took My Dog”, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/podcasts/75386/i-started-early-took-my-dog-656.

To me, Dickinson’s poem is full of erotic imagery:

“But no Man moved Me – till the Tide
Went past my simple Shoe –
And past my Apron – and my Belt
And past my Boddice – too –

And made as He would eat me up –
As wholly as a Dew
Opon a Dandelion’s Sleeve –
And then – I started – too –

And He – He followed – close behind –
I felt His Silver Heel
Opon my Ancle – Then My Shoes
Would overflow with Pearl –

Until We met the Solid Town –
No One He seemed to know –
And bowing – with a Mighty look –
At me – The Sea withdrew –”.

The above could be read as a description of the sexual act. In particular the poem’s ending, “the sea withdrew” does, I think need no further comment from me.

Dickinson was a deeply religious lady. Yet religion and the erotic are not mutually exclusive. But perhaps my interpretation is wrong, and the poem is what it says it is, a description of a woman’s trip (real or imagined) to the sea, and how the tide nearly overwhelmed her.

I would, as always be interested in the views of my readers.

Your Chance to Win a Signed Copy of “Light and Shade: Serious (and Not so Serious) Poems” by K Morris

I am offering my readers the chance to win a signed paperback of my recently released poetry collection, “Light and Shade: Serious (and Not so Serious) Poems“. In order to be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of “Light and Shade”, please answer the following, what is the title of the poem from which the below lines come:

“So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.”

The rules:

1. Only one signed copy of “Light and Shade” is available.

2. The first person to email me with the correct answer wins a free, signed copy of my book.

3. Please do not answer the question in the comments at the foot of this post. Please send your responses to, kmorrispoet (at) gmail dot com. The address is rendered in this manner to defeat spammers.

4. Please put “Competition to Win a Signed Paperback of Light and Shade” in the subject line of your email.

5. The competition will close at 12 pm on Saturday 11 July. Any entries received after this will not be considered.

You can find the paperback edition of “Light and Shade” here, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08B37VVKV/. My book is also available as a Kindle download and can be found here, https://www.amazon.com/Light-Shade-serious-not-poems-ebook/dp/B08B4X3GVX/.

Poets Anonymous

On the evening of Friday 3 July, I spent a pleasant couple of hours participating in a poetry reading organised by Poets Anonymous on Zoom, http://www.poetsanon.org.uk/.

Poets Anonymous organises poetry readings. Prior to the pandemic these took place in and around London, (many of them in Croydon). However, since the outbreak of COVID-19 events have moved online. The group also sends out emails to interested people regarding poetry matters, including competitions and opportunities for poets to have their work featured.

I greatly enjoyed listening to other poets reading their work, and reading several of my own poems from “The Selected Poems of K Morris”, and “Light and Shade: Serious (and Not so Serious) Poems”. One of the poems read by me is entitled “In This Old Familiar Wood”, and runs thus:

“In this old, familiar wood

I take my hood

Down, just

In time for the rain.

I shall not put it up again.

Thoughts of lust,

Of lost love,

And friendship I shall retain

For a while. But this wood,

And the rain,

Shall remain.”

(“In This Old Familiar Wood” can be found in “Light and Shade: Serious (and Not so Serious) Poems”, which is available in paperback and Kindle, and can be found here, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08B37VVKV/.

Leigh Who Needed Money

When a young lady named Leigh
Said, “I’ll be honest with thee.
My sweet darling honey
I need some money”.
I said, “go ask a bee!”.