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Editor's Note



Three Poems
by Bob Nimmo

Personality in Parenthesis

His boots are empty, maws of black
gabardined and galvanised
waiting for the woollen flesh
to tread them into bovine haunts
of peat and pasture, byre and beer.
Stiff-neckt and stubborn-toed
stout-heeled with chunks of wear
where resolution met resistance
and neither came to compromise.
Yet in the surface can be seen a
cragginess which with a whispered
word or stroke melts into rare gentility.

The boots stand just inside the door
a paradigm of modern womanhood, her
world within my own. Calf-length,
lopped over hare-like, stilettos incisor-sharp,
doe-lined and tap’ring to the point though
velvet-smooth; fashioned from calf-belly, a
touch of culture and coffee;
a pied urbanised, aroma of Arabia,
soled and heeled by brush of Bremworth,
parquet’s fing’ring. So much of her is there
I never noticed when she went; I smoothed
and tongued the boots.  


India is a magic land
with cultures rich and buildings grand
but most will never understand
why her poor remain untouched!

The cut of dawn rolled into day;
tang of breakfast on his lips –
crisp bacon, peach plump and ripe-pickt –
he strode beyond the rifles and the suits,
heat-oppressed, target set,
the wet air clung ‘long Embassies’ Walk.
He dived between the taxis and the trikes,
markets spread ahead.

She slipt from out an alley cross his path
a skinny bird more stork than nightingale,
her winsome face implored, wing outstretched;
the tang of breakfast glistening still
he blushed, then flushed her needs away.

On he went, made purchases as planned
for India, tis a magic land
with cultures rich and buildings grand.

Again she crept upon him, was ignored,
a little lighter and with less reserve
but still he left her short.

Suddenly a crow flapped, claws outstretched,
and cawed:

“You think she not so good for you?
Then watch and see what I can do.
I know how to free her charm….”
And with those words she broke her arm.

He watched in horror, mortified;
the taste of breakfast gone.

The girl screamed like a stricken bird.
Such a shriek he’d never heard.
Her arm hung like a broken peg,
a yellow stream coursed down her leg.

He hailed a cab and took her where a
doctor told him not to fear since now
the girl’s career was much improved.

But twas a bitter pill. The markets had no more allure
and he could scarce endure
a stroll down that familiar walk.

Years hence the scene turns dreams
to nightmares still.

Yet India, tis a magic land
with cultures rich and buildings grand
but he will never understand………
No, he will never understand!

Tripping with Coleridge

He takes the honey dew like wine.
Elixir of the distant muses sucks him
round the vortex into caves of dark
desire and intellectual indolence.
He sparks and flares and momentarily
manages a glimpse of genius, a
chance to build that dome in air;
then boards the craft and travels with S.T.
down Alph through caverns far beneath
the slopes of Mount Abora.
Yet ere he hits the sunless sea
or hears the woman’s desperate prayer
he bursts from out the darkened realm:
a demon-lover, wild of eye, unkempt of hair
and finds himself afloat and musing.
Alas, his dulcimer-less damsel has
no vision; unrefined, she cracks
the sunny dome with caves of ice
rasping rough: “Beware! Beware!”
He smiles and muses, does not care
for he on honey-dew has fed,
has lipped the milk of paradise;
now with his pen he’ll pay the price.


Having graduated in Arts and Law,  Bob Nimmo has taught English and creative writing in a number of countries.  He has lectured on aspects of English literature,  has written the book, lyrics and music for two musical comedies and had poetry,  short stories,  essays and books for children published in Singapore,  Britain and America.  He has written published analyses of Shakespeare’s comedies and the Romantics and conducted seminars on synthesizing lyrical and prose poetry.  A member of the New Zealand Society of Authors, he has recently completed a novel set in pre- and post-war Singapore. Bob believes good poetry should not merely describe what is seen but what is there,  and he is a passionate advocate for the "much-maligned" lyrical poem.  He enjoys blending lyrical and free verse,  mixing metrical patterns with prose-poetry and rhyme with blank verse, leading the reader to a point and then sharpening the message,  shattering his/ her comfort zone.  He frequently recites and conducts workshops on the simple lyricism in the works of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost,  two of his favourite poets.

Copyright 2011, Bob Nimmo. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.