The Ambitious Drifter

Words, Images and The Occasional Noise


A Fine Line Between Clever And Stupid.

Too clever by half today, I think. An Anglo Saxon saga  prompted by a panel on a building in Sydney, Australia. I passed it on the way to work every day, but it took me weeks to work out what it was. The movie rights to the poem are up for grabs.

The post title is from ‘This Is Spinal Tap’. It’s about the funniest and cleverest film I know.

A Daily Prompt musing.


Ydran Ooste sleeps here
Tomb of a great one, who, low born,
Seemed set to clean stables,
Pitch soiled hay into the street.
Saw songs as he slept, tongued well
Enough to tell such tunes
To his own kind, then others quick
Flocked to hear. Fire words warm
On winter’s night, set alight
Even a court, where lords repose
A dozing king enthralled.

Awakening princess held fast,
First by words, then eager arms
Where gloom gathers
The odd star smiles.
A raging father little could
Dissuade daughter of his same hot
Blood, that she might not keep
Her singing prize, as even then
Their child stirs live within.

So spared and richly dressed he sits
Toward the better end of table,
Hears and learns. Turns words
To hand, rises without malice
To the highest seat.
No force of arms he needed
Save his encircling own,
Wrapping that word struck girl
In a friendly blanket of stars.

ydran ooste


First Contact

The New York Times is going to feature your blog on its home page, and you’ve been asked to publish a new post — it’ll be the first thing tens of thousands of new readers see. Write it.                 Photographers, artists, poets: show us FIRST.

…….. the world should be told at once……

First Contact.

Spaceships in the shrubbery
Galactic UFOs
Hiding in our pot plants
While setting up their probes.

The martian fleet has landed
But they’re really very small,
Really very pretty
But milimetres tall

What massive forces built these,
Such symmetry and grace?
The aliens have arrived at last
To meet the human race.


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The cherries are very tempting,
I can see them from where I sit
At my window by the heater.
It’s been cold despite the spring.
They’re glowing in the sunshine,
Little prizes to be won.
I doubt if I’ll taste any,
The birds will have the best.
They’ll tax us over half of them
My neighbour gets the rest.
To get the glowing memory
Is mine. I wont complain.
Thinking I might see no more,
I get my spring again.

Img_2480Img_2704 Img_2703Img_2907Img_2482

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My neighbour is out digging
I can smell the soil from here
From the damp winter’s darkness
He pulls mould and last year’s leaves.
He’s out in the field
But the air is clean
The scent comes in on
The wind in my window.
He plants every year
But it’s under the trees,
Not enough sun
To make a prize of these.
Myself, I’ve grown
Better beans.
It makes a calendar for his life
And probably now for me
With my vast new kitchen garden,
A single pot of parsely seeds.


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2 Poems, 2 Photos.

Cold Soldiers.

I’m three colours blue, minding,
Do you mind,
Not my own business.
Unknown now, this dead guy here
Was once a friend of mine.

We waited in the cold, turned blue,
Becoming single stones.
The serious business of death,
Your head a hat of snow.

Not my business, but for my town.
In turn we went down there.
Turned to stone,in neat rows,
A retreat in perfect order.

Inconvenient for your freeways
And business parks, we keep
Neat file, rank, name and number
In the middle of your fields.
Well, some not name nor number,
Known but to God, if He recalls.

Still a damp business, believe me,
Our cold forgotten sleep.
But our world is gone away now
And no one left to weep.
I wish you now to leave unknown
The story of our pain.
Best left like last year’s snow,
Or a freezing Monday’s rain.

We fell quietly like snowflakes,
No two of us quite the same.
As if they checked,
Although they tried
To ask the name of this dead guy.


Monument to the Belgian Infantry., Brussels,Belgium..


It would be useful, I think
To be buried close by
– still in the town
near the river maybe
to have the next-doors neighbourly
on the odd off chance
of a resurrection
in the classical sense
we can huddle with friends
while shading our eyes
and gaze in confusion
and sleepy surprise
‘those were our children,
–  and those theirs’
see of our neighbours
who makes it Upstairs.

blue door1 Blue door, Montmartre cemetery,Paris,France.

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This was to be my castle

Built from such ancient stones,

I wondered in my childish way

If this old house had ghosts.

Not knowing then that soon enough

I’d haunt this place myself.

Being not quite real, not quite here,

The quietest of quiet lives.

Rarely seen, sometimes heard

My presence barely felt

Watching their world through the window

My neighbours and their lives.

Their ghosts are all around them

In these old family homes,

Living still in memories

While I drift here alone.



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Barcelona November 2011

Crack and stack

From a Guinness truck

The sight has caught my ear

There’s Picasso with a trolley

Another load of beer.

He thinks

How square my head is

The straight lines of my nose

I’ll paint a cubic portrait

As soon as I get home.


My girlfriend’s very pretty

I’ll put an end to that

I’ll paint her with a wonky nose

And a really silly hat.


Sagrada Familia.  Gaudi made the pond especially for the reflection.




There’s a leopard in the pond today

Crouching in the shiny weeds.

Just below the surface waits

To catch the kids who misbehave.

Dont think of skimming slinky stones

Across his shiny patterned back

And never ever try to catch

A ride upon his stripey hide.

Even when the ice is thick

The leopard waits to do his trick

To grab the kids who fool around

Catch them quick and drag them down.


This photo was taken with my original HP digital camera. It weighed a lot and had a 4meg memory chip. No screen at the back to show you what you had got. The pond is in the Petit Sablon in Brussels. I dont think I’ve ever captured a better water pattern, try as I might.