Bland On Bland – The BookThe theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Ring“.

Ring? OK JVG? Ring like in a phone call? Or in a piece of jewellery? Or as in a an imaginary ( but no less expensive) fence around a major urban centre in a southern state?

He really can make it difficult some weeks. In the end I went with jewellery, I had an idea and it was “gold” as they say.

Ed Bates provided the music backing and sound effects. Thatch provided the audio production, have a listen to how it went below…

To play this poem directly in your browser – just click the “play” button below:


Phyllis married Fred at the end of World War Two
They met at Leggett’s Ballroom; Fred spied her in the queue

He danced like Fred Astaire and swept Phyllis off her feet
He proposed New Year’s Day at the top of Arthur’s Seat

He surprised her with a golden ring, though not to be outdone
Phyllis surprised Fred nine months later with a son

He arrived two weeks late; a laid back little boy
In honour of their suburb they named the lad Glen Roy

He had to be induced, a sign of things to come
Because fifty years later he still lived with his mum

Fred had long gone to heaven or so Phyllis claimed at least
In fact he’d run off with a ‘connie’ and shacked up in Brunswick East

Phyllis still wore her wedding ring, her one prized possession
And what was to become of it became an absolute obsession

She was worried it would end up in a pawn shop when she died
She longed for Glen to marry so she could gift it to his bride

But Glen was a bachelor; a bachelor, confirmed
When his mum mentioned marriage, he rolled his eyes and squirmed

Romance for Glen was fishing; in the surf or in a weir
He liked fishing in his tinnie, he liked fishing from a pier

Fishing was his passion; the only love he’d ever had
His aversion to marriage used to drive poor Phyllis mad

He wasn’t getting married no matter what his mother said
He’d gladly rub her bunions but he wasn’t going to wed

Sadly Phyllis had a stroke and as she lingered close to death
Placed the ring into her son’s hand as she drew her final breath

Entrusted with the golden ring his mother proudly wore
It seemed a travesty to leave it at the bottom of a drawer

To pawn or sell his mother’s ring would have been profane
So he hung it round his neck, fixed to a silver chain

He was fishing off Altona, not a bite and gave up hope
He leaned to haul the anchor up and his chain caught on the rope

It snapped, the ring fell off and quickly sank into the brine
Glen thought he heard his mother’s voice, perhaps it was a sign

For barely two weeks later Glen caught a fair sized mullet
And found his mother’s ring lodged halfway down its gullet

By chance or spectral influence he’d fulfilled his mother’s wish
Though I doubt she’d have envisaged her ring worn by a fish

Glen cast it back into the deep and finally felt free
A bachelor no more for he was married to the sea

© Copyright 2020 Ian Bland

Also have a listen to “Everything or Nothing

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