Monday, 30 June 2014

Essex and Clubs and Roxanne's Role

Where do you go when presented with a poetry theme of "Essex Girls"? Not having watched TOWIE or any of the other supposed reality dramas (or whatever they are supposed to be), you have to rely on the stereotypes as portrayed in the press. So any miffed young women from the county can lay the blame there...

That said, I must admit the short time I spent researching on YouTube was an eye opener! 

The resultant poem is below - with an Ian Dury inspired title. 

Essex and Clubs and Roxanne's Role

I’m Roxanne and I’m Essex born and bred.
I’m ready to go clubbing with my friends.
“I’ll meet you there at ten,” – that’s what I said,
So can I speak to you? Well, that depends.

Like, are you goin’ta try to pick me up?
Don’t worry – I’m not goin’ta rule it out.
You only want an interview? Shut up!
So watcha want to talk to me about?

The Essex look? You need the proper clothes
And jewellery in just the proper place.
My new stilettos: worth the squashed-up toes.
My hair extensions: just to frame my face.

Yeah, looking good’s important to my crowd:
I like the streaks of blonde; they look so good.
Fake tan? Well yes, because I always vowed
I’d never look like I was drained of blood.

So yes, my make-ups got to be just right:
You gotta make an effort with the slap
‘Cause when you’re going clubbing every night,
Your photo might be taken by a pap.

Besides, the other girls make up as well.
We all expect it though the rule’s unsaid,
And – stands to reason – I would be well jel
If all the lads paired up with them instead.

We have a laugh, we put the world to rights.
Like who to vote for when we’ve had enough.
Evictions and the conflicts and the fights.
Iraq? Do you mean silicon and stuff?

A boob job? Maybe somewhere down the line,
And botox? Well, you gotta look your best,
‘Cause basic’ly the guys don’t want to dine
With girls who don’t – they’re simply not impressed.

Hey, Essex rhymes with “yes sex”. That’s so reem.
That surely proves that God exists, I say.
What makes you think I’m trying to blaspheme?
Whatevah. That’s so clever. Anyway.

We’re meeting at a bar – “the Zodiac”.
It’s sociable to drink cocktails and wine.
Did someone say the clocks are going back?
Does that mean that I should be there by nine?

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Cat's Breakfast

What do cats like? Whatever they want to. But the odds are that 'food' is fairly high up the list.

So when I was writing a poem actually on the theme of Cats (rather than using cats to illustrate another theme), food was the inspiration. But [Newsflash] cats can also be fussy...

The Cat's Breakfast

Now that I've stretched
It's time you fetched
Another meal
For me, I feel.

The sky was light,
No longer night,
This morning, when
At Oh-Four-Ten,
I came to you
(I always do)
But still you slept
Although I kept
Reminding you
With the odd "mew"
I need to eat
My breakfast meat.

For goodness sake
Why don't you wake?
Don't be a slob.
Come -- do your job.

But still you dozed
With your eyes closed.
As time went by
I thought that I
Would jump upon
Your duvet, gone
This holding back,
Instead "attack"
Thus, this achieved
My aim, so peeved
You left your bed
To see me fed.

Miaow miaow.
I don't know how
You can be so
Humanly slow.

Oh how I wish
You'd get my dish
And take that tin
With my food in
And open it
And take a bit
Or maybe more
Just to be sure
And spoon it out;
No need to shout --
I'm by your side

I do not beg,
Just tup your leg
To let you know
That you are slow.

Oh why do you
Take so long? Few
Would wait like me
So patiently
As you delay
This way each day.
I don't think that
Another cat
Would tolerate
This lengthy wait
Here in my home:
Their mouths would foam.

Oh have you done?
Is not required:
You are rehired.

There in your hand
My dish, as planned.
My last miaow:
I'm purring now.
Can't wait to eat
That juicy meat
Approaching me:
I soon will be
Devouring it --
A meal to fit
The royalty:
Of course, that's me.

And at long last
There! My repast:
Dish on the floor
Who could want more?

But wait: a sniff,
My back goes stiff.
The smell reveals
This rotten meal's
I won't eat that
As I'm a cat
Who knows his mind;
Views well defined.
That food's been in
The wrong sized tin.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Tales of Wales

The latest poetic theme is "Wales", presumably because Dylan Thomas will be the featured poet on the forthcoming "A Poetry Show" broadcast. Now, anyone knowing me might think I'd write a poem about whales, but even that is a bit too obvious for me. I had a number of thoughts in different areas, but they didn't always relate to each other that well. Accordingly, I decided upon three "tales of Wales" with a connecting rhyming narrative. So here it is.

Tales of Wales

The trio of tales I intend to present
are some aspects of Wales with a varied intent.
I’ll mention some names that you may recognise,
And later a tale with some overseas ties,
But first I will start with a short overview:
I doubt that from this you’ll learn anything new.

The Union flag on which Wales does not feature,
They’ve got the dragon, a mythical creature,
They’ve got the daffodil, they’ve got the leek,
They’ve got a language that few of them speak.
They’ve got a thing about singing in choirs
And rugby’s a sport that they love, it transpires.
They’ve got that town with a very long name
I won’t list it here, despite its acclaim.
They’ve got four sheep to each man in the land
I’m just talking numbers here, you understand.
Snowdon and mountains and Anglesey too.
Finally, it’s where they film Doctor Who.

As promised, here’s a second tale
That lists some Welsh celebrities, they’ll
Not be ones who practice sport
As in these poems, space is short;
And there’s enough of sport elsewhere,
So “arty”/“singy” types I’ll share.

The land of song and arts we see
The “Men of Harlech”, S4C.
They proved not to be Elvis clones:
Shakin’ Stevens and Tom Jones.
Charlotte Church and Shirley Bassey:
Famous ladies. Let’s be classy:
Tenors always have appeal:
Burrows, Terfel and O’Neill.
Kath’rine Jenkins has a style a
Diff’rent one to Bonnie Tyler.
Moving to the stage and screen
Burton, Hopkins may be seen
But there’s a rumour we should squelch:
Not from the valleys – Raquel Welch.

The next tale is a sideways view.
Before you ask, the Wales’ not blue;
I would not offer that cliché
Although I think it fair to say
This introduction might just tease:
The killer Wales from overseas…

Renegade soldiers on his farm,
Bluecoats there intending harm,
Killed his wife and killed his child:
No surprise that he went wild.
Vowed revenge though no-one heard;
Out he went and kept his word.
As an outlaw of renown
He was sought out and hunted down.
Misfits followed, tagged along,
With this man they could belong.
Lied to riders on their tails,
“He’s dead, the one called Josey Wales”

Right. That’s your lot: my Tales are done.
I’ve finished typing, had my fun.
I know there’s more to Wales … oh fine.
Creators of the “equals sign”.
It’s time for tea, I’ll have to go.
I think I’ll have Welsh rarebit, though.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Top Cat

Another poem on the theme of "Victory", but also on the theme of "cats". I do like cats - intriguing creatures - unless of course, they leave me presents on the lawn, I'm much more careful with the lawnmower these days. But I digress. This poem's called...

Top Cat

The fur widespread in tufts of white
Like stacks upon a farmer’s field
Left from the skirmish in the night:
My skill in battle thus revealed.

There will be peace the next few days;
A time for reappraisal then
I’ll watch as my opponent weighs
me up and thinks “I’ll try again.”

All gone the feigned indifference;
Forgotten all past minor wars.
He’ll drop the days spent in pretence,
He’ll come at me with unsheathed claws.

He will not win – he never does.
He always thinks he’ll come out best.
But soon, again, he will be puz-
-zl-ing why he’s the one who’s been outguessed.

I don’t know why there’s this bad blood:
To settle some imagined score?
No matter, ‘cause I’m feline good
And victory is mine once more.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


Theme: Victory. That's about it, really.
Not an angry rabbit
after an accident


Beethoven’s Fifth with its da-da-da dah,
Churchill’s two fingers without the cigar,
Admiral Nelson: his ship was named this.
So were the lozenges – Ah, liquorice.
Funny how words can bring thoughts to one’s mind:
So many uses, if one is inclined.
This one can signify things large and small:
A nuclear blast, the kick of a ball.

Victory, victory, battle success.
Winning a war, winning at chess,
Winning at football, winning the vote,
Winning the lottery, winning the tote,
Winning a dial-in, beating the rest,
Winning a race this week being the best,
Winning the X-factor when you can’t sing,
Winning, in fact, almost ev-er-y-thing.

Sometimes in victory, people repress:
Blinkers from over-elation, I guess.
Spare a thought sometimes about those who failed:
Evidence left from the points we’ve detailed.
Not so much scratch cards thrown down on the floor,
Programmes abandoned because of the score.
Think of the conflicts, of all the widespread
chunks of Rubble, the injured, and ALL of the dead.

Friday, 6 June 2014

The Invitation

Okay. A theme of "pretentiousness". No one enjoys this attribute in other people, except when thinking of Frasier Crane, and we laugh with him, don't we? Right. With this in mind, my poem is from the viewpoint of someone who is invited to attend a soiree (!) with their brother-in-law and his condescending wife. Read on.

The Invitation

What’s that you’ve got there in the post?
No – don’t pretend to be engrossed.
It seems addressed to you and me:
An invitation? Let me see.
R.S.V.P.? So who’s it from?
Oh no, Melissa and your Tom
Or “Thomas” as he now prefers –
Unless the choice of name is hers.

All right. Your brother. Yes, I know,
But do we really have to go?
Snobbishness to such excess,
Continual pretentiousness.
When they explain, they condescend:
Advocating each new trend.
And so obscure: that’s so they may
reject all others as “passé.”

I really cannot comprehend
Why anyone would want to spend
Five minutes, let alone a full
five hours list’ning to such bull.
I mean, come on – you must admit
The way they carry on’s a bit
too much with all the names they drop.
Their bedroom’s like a knocking shop.

I see you laughing. You agreed.
They only follow what’s decreed
by Philip, their décor guru.
Abandoned taste, but then, what’s new?
The cloakroom with Egyptian tiles
Looks like a loo for paedophiles.
I don’t think Tom quite understood
my point of view – as if he would.

And have you seen Melissa when
She’s be-ing an air kisser, then
To “mwah” and “mwah” we all succumb;
Her lips: just like a baboon’s bum.
And that reminds me: they have been
to Africa, to sights unseen
by any on the planet earth…
That’s what they’ll say. For what it’s worth.

Have you forgotten New Year’s Eve?
(I thought that we would never leave)
Melissa’s latest weirdo views:
She made us all remove our shoes
And all because she said the ch’i
Would be affected adversely
if we did not, and so I said
“A panda? Watch out where you tread.”

The blindfolds that we wore last time
to watch their operatic mime,
The abstract art from chimpanzees,
The endless new philosophies.
The caterers providing food:
Some looked like it had been pre-chewed.
Cricket’s not a sport I like,
But on the plate? Get on your bike.

Alright, alright. I know that face.
We’re going. Yes, I know my place.
Don’t spare another thought for me
and send off that R.S.V.P.
The final word; I get the gist –
Urinal jokes are off the list.
I’ll try my best; I won’t be rude –
Unless they’re serving insect food.