Previously unpublished work by Martin Hall.

Content warning: may contain words.
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Larkin

Larkin

They did their best, my mom and dad.
It's not their fault I turned out mad.
So shut up, Larkin. Hold your tongue.
This be my verse. This be my song.

octopus

My Octopus Days

It was a very simple plan. I would persuade the octopus to go home with me, and then we would learn each other's language. With hindsight, I see that the very simple plan had a very simple flaw. The learning part should have come first. No amount of my incoherent persuasion could cross that language barrier. The octopus seemed quite patient with me, although I began to think it was smiling. I went back the next day to try mime. This time the octopus definitely wasn't smiling.

They were not long, my octopus days.
owl

Owl

I rang 2820 and an owl answered.
poem

This is the Way We Write a Poem

This is the way we write a poem
write a poem
write a poem
This is the way we write a poem
On a cold and frosty morning.

This is the way we press delete
press delete
press delete
This is the way we press delete
On a cold and frosty morning.

This is the way we start again
start again
start again
This is the way we start again
On a cold and frosty morning.

This is the way we eat some crisps
eat some crisps
eat some crisps
This is the way we eat some crisps
On a cold and frosty morning.

This is the way we watch tv
watch tv
watch tv
This is the way we watch tv
On a cold and frosty morning.

This is the way we write a poem
no we don't
no we don't
This is the way we write a poem
On a cold and frosty morning.

robot

Robot

How long until
our computers
want us to prove
we ARE a robot?

sadness

The Sadness

Perhaps when next the sadness comes,
I might pretend I'm out.
The sadness knocks distinctively,
I'll recognise its clout.

I'll hide inside a panda suit,
And wait with bated breath.
Perhaps I'll try the same approach
When visited by death.

snow

Snow

The snow bear sang his song of snow
From far away, and long ago.
With every note, from last to first,
He sang as if his heart would burst.

He sang his loss, his grief, his pain,
His snow that would not come again.
His song was done, his vigil kept;
And afterwards the silence wept.

This poem is presently on display at the headquarters of the World Wildlife Fund UK.

therapy

Therapy

I'm back in therapy again.
That's where I try
to find out why
I'm back in therapy again.

Tuesday

Apparently It Wasn't Tuesday After All

Phew!

unclerihews

Joan of Arc
Found nowhere to park
When touring Montmartre
By horse and cartre

Winnie the Pooh
Smelled as sweet as the dew
But wherever King Kong went
A terrible pong went

Sir Isaac Newton
Had a tooth filled in Luton
It was only a small cavity
But he viewed it with gravity

Noah's Ark had set sail
In the teeth of a gale
Unicorns were bereft
To find they'd been left

Some people write "grizzly"
When the context needs "grisly"
I don't think it's Freudian
And it makes me annoyedian

Blood
Is good
Generally speaking
Unless it's leaking

vicar

The Vicar Came To See Us, But My Mother Stayed Dead

We sat around the living room
I think he said a prayer
Or did he do a magic trick
I really couldn't care

We sat around the living room
Our futures having fled
The vicar came to see us
But my mother
Stayed
Dead

whale

Whale

The whale came round the corner like a bendy bus, accelerating past the schoolhouse and on along Granville Street towards the Summers. I stood on the pavement outside number three, where the whale slowed to negotiate the junction with Temple Road. For a moment I thought I saw a teardrop fall from its eye. Then the great beast was gone in a twist and a flurry, leaving the air churning in its wake.

Remembering the whale after all these years, I sometimes feel I'm almost within reach of a fierce and vast new knowledge, while a strange pressure builds inside me until I can scarcely breathe and I want to cry out in fear until at last my heart bursts open and suddenly there I am, accelerating past the schoolhouse and on towards the Summers.

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