So my wife made me a poetry scrap book – inspirational titles collaged into a notebook. I’m planning to investigate a different poetry form each day, and try to produce something vauely relevant to the titles she has proposed. So this offering is not an indication of my current state of mind…

The poetry form is a Glose, or Glosa – a Spanish form which takes a famous quatrain, and uses each line as the end line in a 10-line stanza, traditionally with four such stanzas. Oh, and alternating line rhymes and rhyming ending couplets…

My prompt was ‘Pain’ and the quatrain I’m quoting is by W.H.Auden, from ‘Funeral Blues’:

"The stars are not wanted now; put out every one
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood
For nothing now can come to any good."

So with apologies to any purists out there, here goes…

Investing in ultimately impossible dreams
Grasping at any likely-looking hand-hold
But nothing is quite what it seems
Solid ground and certainties get old
To get back up and sportingly finish the race
Brush off broken bones and worse
A smile worn in deceit upon my face
Too bone-tired to even utter a curse
There's nothing left, the will is gone
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one

This joyride careers to its inevitable end
How likely that I choose to ride again?
No dusting off now, it's too broken to mend
Walk away and refuse to play, what then?
Melancholy drains the colour from flowers
Insipid greyness pervades every corner
Climbing down from crumbling ivory towers
The spirit and demeanor of a mourner
Nowhere now to hide, nowhere to run
Pack up the stars and dismantle the sun

The sweetest melody transcribes to dirge
The simplest plan failing at birth
No desire, no hope, no future, no urge
Unimaginable that anything could have worth
This is beyond defeat and giving up
A withdrawal from a reality too hard
Take from me this bitter cup
Pluck from me this broken shard
Nothing can change this, and nothing should
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood

Slowly dawning consciousness reveals its trick
Here again this never-ending now
The joke's not a good one; the joke is sick
This has to stop, but I can't see how
Another pointless drawing of breath
For what purpose do I fuel this soul?
No solution offers less permanent than death
Nothing matters, existence an empty whole
I wouldn't stop this now, even if I could
For nothing now can come to any good