Saturday, 26 July 2014


This week's theme is "Cages".

I wondered where to go with this one, then decided that the cages don't have to be physical objects. After all, Pink Floyd managed okay with the wall metaphor, didn't they?

So I wondered, what tends to restrict people these days - how have things changed over the years? And that was my starting point.


Conventions of society,
the edicts of propriety,
The manners taught us through our lives to mould the way we act;
a conscience forged from common sense,
to understand the consequence
of words and deeds before they’re said and done; the use of tact.

With chalk lines drawn inside the mind,
we did not really feel confined
as tolerance and empathy were something we were taught.
We understood the lines were there
to guide us and we were aware
that we should only cross them if our reasons were well thought.

Some years ago, society
was told that this “propriety”
was something in the way when loads of money could be made.
It didn’t really count as greed
to profit from those folk in need.
Self-help evolved to selfishness as ethics were mislaid.

Self-centredness soon took its toll:
With such a lack of self-control
we all became a victim when we chose to sacrifice
our own responsibility
to those in our community;
The lines of chalk within our minds would simply not suffice.

With grumblings from the populace
The nanny state could do no less
than bring in laws enforcing what we used to self-impose.
But these laws were intractable
(though lawyers were contactable)
And now the list of petty laws, it grows and grows and grows.

Political correctness, and
the pressure to expect less, and
Curtailing rights with “Human Rights”, the irony’s not lost.
Imposing “Health and Safety” aims
to reduce compensation claims,
defining all the penalties, that boundaries aren’t crossed.

With all this mad protective zeal
our minds construct these bars of steel
preventing us from venturing where once we’d risk to tread.
The lines of chalk that once were there
are scuffed away to our despair,
and in our mind we’ll find that there are cages there instead.

Thursday, 17 July 2014


Murder! Well, that's the "A Poetry Show" theme this week. So let's have a multiple homicide to make things interesting.

Let's put it from the murderer's point of view, and make it so he doesn't feel he's really done anything wrong.

So we'll set it in a prison cell where he's awaiting arrest, whilst the police are out there seeking the damning evidence against him.

And that is the point where he'll start thinking about his current situation.

Yeah, that sounds alright.


I’m sitting in a holding cell
that has a disinfectant smell
and wond’ring how I came to be
suspected of a killing spree.
They came to get me yesterday;
They have their reasons – so they say.
They hold their cards close to their chest,
thereby delaying my arrest.
Now surely they must be aware
I don’t do drugs, I drive with care,
I pay my bills ahead of time,
So why imply there’s been a crime?

They think that I have killed my wife –
The woman who has changed my life
so I don’t waste it watching sport
when I could give her full support
in all she does, in all she says:
Of course I love her little ways.
The structure she brings with her rules;
I know she calls my friends all fools.
Whilst that may sound unkind, agreed,
there simply isn’t any need
to worry ‘bout my missing wife –
And missing rug – and kitchen knife.

And now they’re looking for her dad,
as they are thinking something bad
has happened to him, though it seems
to me they’re going to extremes
with mind games hoping I will crack;
To guide me down a cul-de-sac.
It beats me why they think that I
Know what has happened to that guy.
I will say this, though, knowing him,
intrusive at the slightest whim,
he may have drowned and lost his life –
The same way as his lady wife.

Her mother: they’ve not mentioned yet,
Nor brother, but they will, I bet.
Though I’m surprised they have the time
To spend on me, you’d think that I’m
The only case they have to work,
At least by that detective’s smirk.
But I suspect that things will change
as, soon, they’ll have to rearrange
resources in the station when
the night shift starts at half past ten,
‘cause then they’ll have to substitute   
for corpses in that squad car boot.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

New Homes

This week's theme "New Homes" brings to mind the experiences of moving house.

Whilst the end result may be enjoyable, the process does not always seem that way. And yet some people do it almost as often as they change their socks. Perhaps it's the adrenaline, perhaps its the masochism, perhaps... oh, I don't know.

New Homes

It must be in the chromosomes:
Why some folk get off changing homes.
You must have met those people who,
No sooner have they been right through
the house to decorate each room
to leave their stamp, so I assume,
they have to leave the place behind;
I’m simply not that way inclined.

There’s other reasons people move.
Their circumstances may improve
and families may grow in size;
Their job might make them mobilise,
They may have gained a brand new spouse
and want to leave their parents’ house,
Or maybe they cannot keep pace
with all the costs at their old place.

All valid reasons for a change,
But then they have to re-arrange
their lives to find the extra time
to fit in with the paradigm
that states the steps they need to take:
To meet with people on the make,
Each wanting just that bit more cash
And once they’ve got it, off they’ll dash.

I’m not just talking real estate:
The agents who can navigate
the English language with such skill
convincing you how this house will
fulfil your needs in ev’ry way –
But you must sign without delay
as someone else is sniffing round
this perfect place that they have found.

The government want their cut, too –
That’s nothing new, they always do –
Solicitors don’t work for free
And bankers rub their hands with glee.
Int’rest rates, foreclosure too,
Some ways they can grab cash from you.
And I’ve not touched the admin side,
Ensuring all are notified.

But if you can traverse this path
and find a peaceful aftermath,
No motorway or aerodrome
to spoil the peace of your new home,
With luck your neighbours will be nice
and then you can, despite the price,
Relax so you can contemplate
which room you first will decorate.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Trug Thief

I wasn't very happy last Tuesday when I discovered that someone had been in my garden and stolen the trugs I use when I'm weeding and pruning. Why, I don't know; they are not worth selling on, and the plastic is ripped on a couple. 

One of my friends suggested I write a poem, probably in jest. I thought the challenge was worth a limerick.

The Trug Thief

There once was a tea-leaf in Marton
Who nicked all the trugs from my garden
I hope that their fingers
Go green and it lingers
Until they sprout leaves and then harden.