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Russell Hall.

Russell - corporate magician, actor, excellent cook etc. has no shame. He wouldn't choose his poems, but handed me a disc filled to the brim. The following, therefore, is what I chose, which leaves him with the kudos, and me with the guilt.

You can contact Russell at:

Rusell J. Hall
Magick Enterprises
82 Broad Street Sheffield
S2 5TG
Tel: 0114 276 0482
Fax: 0114 272 6420
Web: www.magick2go.com


Dedication: To the muse

Questions to a Muse

Some of these poems might be rubbish
Some might even be art.
The problem that I always have, though,
Is how do you tell them apart?

She said, it doesn't matter
If they're the former or the latter.
Just make sure they're all true.
So that's what I do.

I don't mind if these poems may be rubbish,
Yet however much I try,
I dislike some of those that are truthful
And prefer one or two that lie.


As the full moon rides
She leans over the balcony
Light catches the waves

Observing the clouds
Slipping away from the moon
Suddenly she blushed

Capturing moments

Clearing Out

Piles of photographs --
We should never throw away
Moments someone loved

'The Real Africa'

A road in Zaire
Mirrored in the muddy pools
Clouds of butterflies

Moving On

Ready for the move.
Household packed
and loaded. The last act,
a look around.

Eye caught by
one more box lying there
cornered in a bare
room. He opened it.

Letters written home
a box of dreams:
maps and schemes
and forgotten journeys.

Old photographs:
he recalls them together,
hot sun and heather
catching the memory.

He slams the door
on twenty years
clatters down the empty stairs,
moving on.

Strangers finding it next day,
threw the empty box away.

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Staying In Bed

Today I stayed in bed
I didn't feel ill
I rummaged through my head
Counting memories of you
Thinking at least I've still
Got someone to write love letters to

The Writer's Morality

He no longer has her in his bed
So he uses her in his poems instead

Religious Questions

Would bishops, priests and vergers
Still eschew their sexual urges
Had immaculate conception
Necessitated an erection?

The Heartless Poet

I went to this woman's for tea
It was just as I hoped it would be
My poems that I read her
Helped me to bed her
'Cos she thought they were all about me

A Question of Timing

Tonight he wishes to be tender;
She wants him to bend her
And rip the flimsy cotton
From her bottom.

How much louder she'd have cursed
Had the situation been reversed.

Thursday, Half-Past Four

You can tell us by
the way we sit, attendant
on the dangling hours.
Caught between each morning's
recognition of our state,
and the hard-won sleep
that relieves us from
the circling thoughts.

Recalling then
the morning when
the dentist's card
slipped through the door:

Your next
Thursday week
at half-past four."

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"Serious Things Are Best Dealt With In Poems Which Don't Rhyme"

[Statement by a friend]

Are serious things best dealt with in poems which don't rhyme?
Is a question that's bothered me time after time.
In matters emotional
The form may seem notional;
It's the words that are crass or sublime.

A problem that Marshall McLuhan
Would have a most definite view on:
Is the message affected
By the form you've selected?
That's something for critics to chew on.

Yet when to a loved one appealing,
And emotions sincerely revealing,
An image surreal
May only conceal
What it is you're undoubtedly feeling.

A Reader's Thoughts on Modern Poetry

Some of it is prose
Just written down in rows

To a Thoughtless Lover

If you'd left me in June
I'd have written about the moon

If you'd left me in December
I'd have fanned the dying ember

If you'd left me in May
I'd still have rued the day

If you'd left me in October
I'd just be getting sober

If you'd left me in April
I could almost be unfaithful

But you left me in January
And nothing rhymes with that

Wrong Numbers

I tried to ring the girl next door
And invite her round for tea
But long-distance information
Gave me Memphis, Tennessee.

Now I get reversed charge phone calls
From some woman called Marie.

Getting On The Mobile

Whether I'm pulling off a deal,
Or putting on a wheel,
You can get me on my mobile any time.

Like jet-setters and go-getters,
You don't have to write me letters,
You can get me on my mobile any time.

If you like me, or adore me,
You don't have to semaphore me,
You can get me on my mobile any time.

You can call me when I'm in the street
And talk of this and that.
I'd prefer it if you didn't, though;
It makes me look a prat.

At the base of any relation-
ship is good communication . . .
You can get me on my mobile any time.

So don't weep or get the fidgets,
Just tap those little digits;
And get me on my mobile any time.

Even though I love you true,
I won't write you billets-doux,
'Cos I can get you on my mobile any time.

I'm at everybody's beck and call,
It's become my little keeper;
I think I'll take it back next week
And swap it for a bleeper.

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How can he plan
Who to spend his life with
When he wants to be the man
His wife's with?

Fashionable Phrases

Her friends all used to say,
"Pull yourself together."
But she'd have done that
Had she known the way.

Now when she needs a crutch
They snap, "Get a life."
She's got one, thanks. She just
Doesn't like it very much.

The Selfish Lover

The things that you do
That you do just for me
I want you to do them for you

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Sea Fever 2

I must go down to the seas again,
To the lonely sea and the sky
I tried to get there last Sunday, but
Got stuck in some traffic near Rye.

[With apologies to John Masefield.]

Looking for Love

He's been looking for love
It must be hiding somewhere
He closed his eyes and counted to ten
And when he opened them
It had gone

He checked the cupboard under stairs
Found some old photos
He looked in the wardrobe
There were just a few clothes
And some shoes

He went up to the bedroom
It definitely wasn't there
Sometimes he thinks he catches glimpses
But they're just shadows
In the corners

He's been all through the house
He can see traces of it everywhere
But he still can't find it
Should he keep trying
Or give up?

He's tired of this game now
Come out, come out
Wherever you are

Safe Sex

In seven years or more,
Though he's not been keeping score,
He's run through every type of sexual act.
There was Jane who loved French kissing,
Marie with morals missing,
And Caroline who used to like her bottom smacked.

Candy was much stricter.
(Though that wasn't why he picked her;
The handcuffs always used to chafe his wrists.)
Then in London there was Mary,
Who dressed up like a fairy
And waved her wand o'er bits she wanted kissed.

If you're nineteen or you're forty,
Want to be a little naughty,
All you have to do is make your meaning plain.
You can lose your inhibitions
In lots of new positions.
And twenty minutes later, start again.

There was Julie, there was Mandy,
Perpetually randy.
(He kept her number handy by the phone.)
He cured Belinda's stutter
With a tub of Danish butter
He'd been keeping in the fridge for Beth and Joan.

He kissed ankles, he kissed wrists,
And any bit he missed
He'd take care of on his second time around.
So come on Sharon, come on Tracy,
Drop your knickers, plain or lacy,
In the bedroom, in the lounge, or on the ground.

In top gear, or in neutral,
In positions Kama Sutral,
He always claims his aim is just to please.
He's even got a new addition
To the missionary position,
Involving cornflakes and a lot of cottage cheese.

He realised Fiona's dream
Of being covered in whipped cream.
Though it took some time to get it off the sheet.
And don't forget the red-head
Who wanted tying to the bed-head,
(She thought his knots particularly neat).

Then there was Anita,
Who wanted him to beat her
With a rolled up copy of last week's Sunday Times.
And before aiming his erection
In the usual direction,
He had to read bits from a book of dirty rhymes.

He thought he was a stallion.
(He wore a gold medallion
And a top unzipped to show his hairy chest.)
If you want to act your fantasy
He's definitely the man to see,
Unless you're contemplating second-best.

In turn he serviced Mabel
And Kate across a table.
Their squeals of joy were heard three streets away.
He's got a hundred different ways
Employing Hellman's Mayonnaise;
He learns a new one nearly every day.

He may think that you're a fool, girl,
If you pretend that you're a schoolgirl,
Though he won't be able to resist a passing fling.
But soon the stimulation
Of each exotic variation
Palls, and seems to be just like the same old thing.

Till Mary-Anne began confessing,
Just as she was undressing,
Exactly what it was she wanted from a man.
She needed lots of sharing,
And tenderness and caring.
He really couldn't hack it, so he ran.

So all this sexual largesse
Has left him in a mess --
A permanent state of post-coital tristesse.
He'd like to contact Mandy,
Julie, Kate or even Candy,
But fears that he no longer can impress.

Though 'just do it' was his motto,
Now he's very often blotto,
And fantasising every moment that he can.
This unwanted evolution
Seems to have no neat solution:
His dreams are all involving Mary-Anne.

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Pints of View

The remarkable thing about beer,
Which drunkards and lovers both bless so,
It makes our words sound sincere --
The meanings, unfortunately, less so.

The drinker who enjoys a fine Rhone,
Believing it engenders much lust,
Tends to turn from the housewife's dull moan,
"Don't jump on the bed, it makes dust."

On Reading

Cider with Rosie
Just makes me feel dozy

As You Reap . . .

What sorrows do you daily reap
That makes you drink so long and deep?
"We do it 'cos it soothes our hearts
(Or other equally private parts)"

I made a list
Of how often he got pissed
Then wondered how many I'd missed

But I'd never want him changed
One jot
Just rearranged
A lot

New Year Resolution

I shall be sober
In October

(If I remember
By September)

A Little Whine

In vino veritas?
You bet your ass
But when he's in a daze
He says
It's the truths I tell
That make him unwell

If he could write a little ditty
Each time he felt this shitty
It'd end up as a saga
About lager

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O lover whisper to me
Of plans and hopes and schemes
Tell me, as you woo me,
Of all your favourite dreams

You expect me to listen
When I'm on the piss 'n'
To tell me of my day in
Detail when I'm swayin'
Don't you know it's hard to talk
When it takes all your time to walk?

But if you so
Need to know . . .
A Black Bush
Would do, at a push.


You can't expect a lot'll
Come out of a bottle
Quite the reverse
So don't mind when he prefers
His hand on a glass
To your ass

Thinkers and Drinkers

Would Dylan Thomas have written finer
If he'd not been drinking wine or
Just a thought . . .

Coleridge wrote Kubla Khan
When high on laudanum and coke
But if you're an ordinary man
The average working bloke
Your legs go all rubbery
And you're sick in the shrubbery

But I never let it affect my verse
Though sometimes I curse
When I can't get the last line
To rhyme or scan the way I intended to when I started

The Lover's Plea

Please don't reject
My expectations
Your touch has come
To mean so much
If you can't like me
At least strike me

Just don't ignore
Me I implore
I'm trying to aid you
Not evade you
If you can't thank me
At least spank me

Even if it sounds absurd
Silence is worse than any word
It isn't weak
To want to speak
Don't be tough with me
Just get rough with me

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In Memoriam

You say you drink just to forget
But have you not forgotten yet?
And do you want to know or not
Just what it is you have forgot?

God's Will

He made the grape, He made the grain
And blessed them with His gentle rain
He brought to me someone like you
That must have been God's purpose too
He punishes and brings us bliss
What have I done to deserve all this?

Needs Must

I don't need a drink
I just don't want to say
When I rise in the morning, I think
This is the best I'll feel all day.

Finally dropping

I'm feeling fine,
The pains are easing.
The flow of wine --
Bottle, glass to lip -- unceasing.
Drink it to the final drop.
No need to stop.

I'm feeling great
I've even drunk the dregs
No fit state
To use my arms or legs
I know I ought to stop. . . .
Just one more drop.

I'm having a ball,
Stopped feeling anything at all,
Except a little tight.
So that's it for tonight. . . .
My round? Just another drop
And then I'll definitely stop.

Come Landlord fill the flowing bowl
Until it doth run over,
With what I spend here every night
You'll find yourself in clover.

Love song

You're here before me,
Obedient, silent, waiting.
My lips cover your cool mouth,
My desire rises,
Passion unabating,
I must have you now.

As I possess you
It is as if you
Possess me too . . .
I can't help it. See,
My love grows,
Embracing you,
As what you have for me

Now my fingers caress
Your slender neck
Then grasp you firmly,
Taking your measure,
Lifting you to me,
Up-ending you to take my pleasure
Until you lie, drained, beneath me.

Sometimes I shake you
To get every last drop
Before going to the bar
For another.
But I won't forget
You yet.
My first drink,
and the night
we met.

Fantasy Figure or Getting What You Want

They say that women change their men
To suit their selfish schemes
But I never tried to do that
Not even in my dreams

But I fancied a tight little bum
And that's what you've become

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