Poetry by Jeff Green


Filling Time

by cricketjeff on August 30, 2010.  © Jeff Green, All rights reserved

For stone age men cave painting was the highest form of art
And teenagers use penknives when they want to carve a heart;
We’ll never know the reasons that graffiti had to start,
It’s now another way to fill your mind.
He climbed the hills in order from the tallest to the least,
She catalogued the wildlife in the lake,
He grew a giant marrow and then stuffed it for a feast,
She knew the different tastes of duck and drake.
Some people sit and knit a scarf, some try to learn to fly;
What do you do to fill the time before you have to die?

When language was invented there was poetry and song,
With winters spent deciding ancient stories can’t be wrong,
Then minstrels turned to novelists when printing came along —
The tales they told were ways to fill the mind.
He woke and said “I’m forty, there are girls I’ve never met”,
For fifty years he strove to put that right.
She knew the man she wanted and she made her friend a bet,
She’d sample his delights by Sunday night.
Some people build cathedrals and some write to make men cry,
What do you do to fill the time before you have to die?

In mediaeval Europe there was little time for play
But modern men and women need to wile their lives away,
We can’t be bound to working hard on every single day,
So choose another vice to fill your mind.

Try sampling each cheese that’s ever found its way from France,
Or abseiling down bridges on the Rhine,
You could devote your final years to learning how to dance,
Or pickling your inner self in wine.
Some people start debating, though that’s hopeless if you’re shy,
What do you do to fill the time before you have to die?

The Scots invented golfing, wasting hours on windswept links,
The English turned to football when they’d have sufficient drinks,
Across the pond there’s baseball (an excuse for forty winks),
All sporting ways to occupy the mind.

I’ve watched a lot of cricket and I’ve raised a family,
I must have read at least ten thousand books.
I walk on English mountains and I paddle in the sea,
I love to flirt and swap expectant looks.
And now I’m writing sonnets to the Moon who rules the sky,
That’s what I do to fill the time before I have to die.

Author notes

From this quote, in particular the phrase in bold.

“People just blindly grabbed whatever there was: communism, health foods, zen, surfing, ballet, hypnotism, group encounters, orgies, biking, herbs, Catholicism, weight-lifting, travel, withdrawal, vegetarianism, India, painting, writing, sculpting, composing, conducting, backpacking, yoga, copulating, gambling, drinking, hanging around, frozen yogurt, Beethoven, Bach, Buddha, Christ, carrot juice, suicide, handmade suits, jet travel, New York City, and then it all evaporated and fell apart. People had to find things to do while waiting to die. I guess it was nice to have a choice.”

Charles Bukowski – Women.

And yes I know it’s not Free Verse I don’t expect to win, just had fun writing it