Wednesday, 24 September 2014

CYANIDE is my favourite

I'm usually so respectable, right?  Nah, not even my kids believe that.  In the 1990s, when I was writing stand-up and other comedy, I was also a regular in the underground poetry world of Toronto and Hamilton.  Ironically, most of my publications were in England and the US. 

Here is a sample of published poetry.  Some is subversive.  Some is sweet. 

In another post, I'll talk about the deconstruction a U of Toronto class did of SAILAWAY.  I was...admittedly...astounded at how profound they thought I had been (when I actually hadn't.  Irony alert here.)

Schools are free to copy these, with appropriate credit given.

by Melodie Campbell

(Published in Parnasus Literary Journal)

She has
Eight-hundred dollar business suits
A nifty Japanese sports car
Trips to Europe
And twenty-seven different outfits for just the
Right Occasion.

I have
A closet full of Fleece
A beat-up station wagon
Trips to the Pediatrician
And twenty-seven different cleaners for getting
grass stains out of corduroy.

She has
A charge account at Sak's
A heavy date for Saturday night
An off-white living room you could go blind in
And several friends of the 'Beautiful' variety
you can take anywhere and maintain your credibility.

I have
A charge account at Walmart
A laundry date for Saturday night
A kid-approved family room you could go deaf in
And several off-spring of the 'exhuberant' variety
you can't take anywhere and maintain your sanity.

She says she'd give anything for my life.
I say she's nuts.


by Melodie Campbell

(Published in The Lyric. Studied in the University of Toronto post-graduate English program.)

Come with me on a sail at sea
Across the tide and away
Where foreign shores and yachting chores
Shall mark the close of day.

Come with me on a sail at sea
To the dawn of time and back
Through calm of night and morning light
Our sails will take the slack

Come with me on a sail at sea
The Main is a briny bower
We'll climb to heights of seafull flight
And soar on waves for hours.

Come with me on a sail at sea
We'll ride out the roughest weather
Then you'll be mine till the end of time
And I'll be yours forever.


by Melodie Campbell

(Winner of the Poetry division of the Murder, Mayhem and Macabre Literary Award)

You say my cooking's ghastly
I'm useless on my back
I never read a paper
And besides, I'm getting fat.

You call this match unequal
On that, I must agree
For now you're dead upon the floor
And I am finally free.


by Melodie Campbell

(Published in Candelabrum Poetry Magazine, under a different title)

Coliseum cat
Streak of silver in sun
Walks the ruins, with
Caesar's ghost.


by Melodie Campbell

(Published in The Lyric)

Leaves, leaves!
Dance in the breeze
Whispering secrets to neighbouring trees
(Scandalous bits on the birds and the bees.)



  1. Cyanide is great, of course, but I think my favourite is the more whimsical Forest Grapevine.

    But then my idea of great poetry is The Walrus and the Carpenter.

  2. I love W and C! And The Highwayman. And The Cremation of Sam Magee (I bet that doesn't surprise you.) A lot of great poetry these days is in song lyrics.