Madness, madness: a poem of last lines

My poem (which remains nameless, as I can’t think of a title) is a response to the D’Verse MTB: in my end is my beginning prompt. The prompt is to write a poem using the very last, final lines of my previous, and most recent, poems. Choose from at least 12 poems. Then re-write them, creating a new poem.

Reviewing my most recent poems is an interesting exercise. It makes one realise how important the last lines are! I’ve always loved the last line of a film. Remember, it is the ultimate line that you will leave the cinema with. A favourite film of mine is The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) starring Sir Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, William Holden and James Donald. Actor James Donald spoke the last line “Madness, madness.

Since I can’t think of a title for my poetic collage of last lines. I shall call the poem Madness, madness in tribute to the great final iconic line of the Oscar winning film Bridge on the River Kwai. Delivered by the actor James Donald.

Madness, madness | Digital art | Abstract: Lesley Scoble

Madness, madness

From Beachy Head
Under the verde tree, I heard red
No time to listen to a scream
Floating round your dream
Swayin’ in the wind
Dead

I am dead
Of course.
Banished to the basement
“Let me out, Let me out!”
Like the other kids did?
No.
Said the cat.

There’s sunken treasure
it’s true—
Where small wonders are found
The eye of the Kalamatrix opened wide and stared at me.

Too late. She took off her stilettos. And waited. 
To her, death is quite romantic
Lithe fingers making musical rippling arpeggios upon her ancestors.



L. S. December 2022

Index of Poems and their Last Lines

My last lines of recent published poems written in the months of August through to November 2022.
*(NS in brackets, indicates the last lines that were not selected for my poem, Madness, madness)

  1. Somewhere Under the Rainbow — “There’s sunken treasure”
  2. The Plough and the Stars — “and imbibed too much Wine.” (NS)
  3. The Gray Scarf — “I am dead.”
  4. Screams and Squeaks — “Squeak” (NS)
  5. No — “No”
  6. Why the Wild Jailbird Sang — “Let me out, Let me out!”
  7. All the World’s a Stage — “Of course.”
  8. Street Walker — “Too late. She took off her stilettos. And waited.”
  9. November — “Round your dream”
  10. Scaredy Cat — “Said the cat”
  11. The Walled Garden Gate is Open — “Like the other kids did?”
  12. Dawn Comes Through an Open Window — “Banished to the basement.”
  13. Beware the Stare of the Midwich Cuckoos — (2 poems) “We want you to do.” and “It takes to end us.” (NS)
  14. Oh, Hunters Moon Dim Thy Light! — “No time to listen to a scream.”
  15. The Shadow Man — “The Shadow Man” (NS)
  16. A Fair Lady Looks Out of the Window in Self-Isolation Row — “To her, death is quite romantic.”
  17. The White Beach Hut of Normans Bay — “It’s true— ”
  18. Where Are You?—Oh, Great and Mighty Choo-Choo — “of a train” (NS)
  19. The Acorn Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree — “In wax.” (NS)
  20. Ode to the Sea and the Butterfly — “From Beachy Head”
  21. Under the Verd Tree I Heard Red — “Under the verde tree, I heard red”
  22. Mr Punch and the Hangman — “dead.”
  23. The Eye of the Kalamatrix — “The eye of the Kalamatrix opened wide and stared at me”
  24. The Ivory Tower — “Lithe fingers making musical rippling arpeggios upon her ancestors.”
  25. The Lily of the Field — “Swayin’ in the wind”
  26. A Cup of Coffee Please? It’s a Matter of Choice — “All I wanted was a coffee” (NS)
  27. A Time to Sit and Stare — “Where small wonders are found.”
My thanks to d’Verse, David, The Skeptic’s Kaddish, and all the poetry prompters. (I would not write these poems without them). 

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