Wednesday, 26 February 2014

What Really Gets My Goat

It's time to have a good old rant. With that in mind, I must have a listen to Ian Hunter's "Rant" album. But I digress. Here's my latest poem.[26 Feb 2014]

What Really Gets My Goat

Politics eroding rights,
TV trying to be “real”,
Cyclists cycling through red lights,
Telesales that spoil your meal,

Smoke alarms that peep at night
To let you know their batts are dead,
Headlights that are far too bright
Just like a drill inside your head,

Morons who don’t seem to care
And drop their litter without thought,
Pavement parkers ev’rywhere,
TV schedules changed by sport,

Engines running in parked cars
That make your windows resonate,
Unknowns claiming to be stars
So conceited, think they’re great,

Inkjet cartridges whose cost
Exceeds the printer’s retail price,
All the music to be lost
As gramophones we sacrifice,

Parents who ignore their sprogs
No matter what they perpetrate,
People who allow their dogs
To drop their goods outside your gate,

Using “culture” as a means
To try and circumvent the law,
“Celeb” mags brainwashing teens –
It’s not cool to be mature,

Lots of things I’ve listed here,
But what really gets my goat:
A government at its nadir –
Why did so many waste their vote?

Saturday, 22 February 2014


In response to the latest Lancashire Dead Good Poets' theme, I came up with the following.


Questions are what makes us “us”;
A search for things to know,
Embodying our train of thought,
Somewhere for us to go.
Just think where we would be today
Had scientists not cared
To question this and question that;
How would we all have fared?

So many questions helped them solve
With Kepler, how the planets move,
With Darwin, theories would evolve,
With Euclid, so much maths to prove;
With Pasteur’s questions about germs,
With Robert Hooke and stretching springs,
With Mendel and inheritance,
With other folk and other things.

Could Newton formulate his laws?
And what of Stephen Hawking?
And Einstein and his theories,
Of them we won’t be talking.
We wouldn’t know Schrodinger’s cat
The telescope of Hubble;
It wouldn’t enter Sigmund’s mind,
All queries – too much trouble.

There was a guy, discovered Pi
(And not the ones Greggs bake),
Invented a hydraulic screw,
And so much more he’d make.
But if he had not thought to ask,
This Archimedes, ancient Greek, a-
-bout the water in his bath,
Then who would yell “Eureka”?

If Galileo had not asked
How pendulums swing constantly,
How could Freddie match the names
Bohemian and Rhapsody.

Without the questions from these chaps
(To them we must provide our thanks),
Though Heisenberg may not be sure,
We’d still be thick as two short Plancks.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

The House of Purple Pro's

The theme for the poetry show to be broadcast on 15 February was "Purple Prose". 

Rather than reflect on flowery language I thought I'd approach it from a different angle. 

Enough said. 

The House of Purple Pro’s

  Violet was an innocent:
She didn’t know what people meant
When they discussed aspects of lust;
Misunderstood the cut and thrust.
  Amusing when she’d misconstrued
The items some consider rude – 
Thought Essen M, a German spy,
And Sixty-Nine a year gone by
  When Armstrong walked upon the moon –
So people thought her so jejune.
Then, wonderment hit these same folk
When she moved to the big bad Smoke.

  But that was then and this is now.
Soon she learned the “what” and “how”;
Became an expert when she chose
To join the House of Purple Pro’s.

  A hidden gem within the town
Set up by one Magenta Brown,
It caters for the upper set
Like high-ups in the London Met,
  Like barristers and some QCs
Bewigged and with a wish to please.
Executives from banks invest
And boxers are there with the rest.
  And politicians, left and right
Have sessions lasting through the night.
It doesn’t matter, big or small:
A civil service for them all.

  Before they leave they will have kissed
Pansy, Violet or Amethyst.
You’d be surprised to see who goes
Inside the House of Purple Pro’s.

Friday, 7 February 2014


This week's Dead Good Poets theme is connections. I briefly considered something in relation to the excellent "Only Connect" TV programme, but the following seemed more natural, considering the way my mind works.

(Not a self portrait!)

I’m up. I’m down. I’m sad. I’m blue.
I’m cold. I’m hot. I am wet through.
I’m soaked. I’m drunk. I’m smashed. I’m broke.
In pieces. Pisces. Haddock. Smoke.
I puff. I wheeze. I flush the loo.
A chain reaction. Follow through.
See to the end. The credits roll.
The cast. The line I throw. I bowl.
The bat. The racquet. Noise I heard.
I saw. I cut. I slice the bird.
The Christmas turkey. Greece. The Greeks.
Olympus. Nevis. Mountain peaks.
The summit – hey, I’m up again!
That’s where I started, way back then,
Before my mind began to leap.
Connecting, as I drift to sleep.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Writing Poems (Terza Rima)

The following was the result of a ten minute class exercise to write a poem with a nod towards the Terza Rima style. I've done a couple of minor edits since so that it reads better.

Writing Poems

Iambic pentameter. Isn't it great?
Its hurdles: they curdle my creative flow;
Tetrameter's better - the rhythm of eight.

I like playing with words to see where rhymes go;
Don't like their arrangement to sound like a sham.
It helps if I write on a subject I know.

And so, when I'm writing, I don't give a damn.
This counting of syllables gets in the way.
I write what I write: iamb, what iamb?

Saturday, 1 February 2014

How Many Apples?

The Lancashire Dead Good Poet's society have a weekly poetic theme. Hence the unusual subject matter.

How Many Apples

How many apples remain in the eyes
Of their lovers some years down the line?
We see that divorces have been on the rise
But don’t be misled by the extra goodbyes:
They’re simply less prone to live with the lies.
It’s still the same cores of decline.

How many apples a day must we eat
To keep our GPs from the door?
Now Granny Smith cannot remain in her seat
With house calls as rare as a rattlesnake’s feet,
She’s given up asking, she used to entreat:
So fruitless – less work for her jaw.

How many apples and pears do we climb
‘Til we finally lay down to rest?
With stair-lifts and bungalows now in their prime,
Less need to ascend, seek their beds, at the time
When the old and infirm hear that Westminster chime.
The fruit count should be re-assessed.

So how many apples? Where would we start,
Maintaining a count, ebb and flow?
With those from the orchard, their taste sweet and tart,
The rotten ones that decompose and depart?
Let’s give it a miss – knock over the cart.
It’s not a thing   we need to know.