Saturday, 7 November 2015


The November Pub Poet's poetry theme was "I want to be in that number", intended to be a "When the Saints come marching in" reference, it being around All Saints Day. I decided to interpret the word "number" differently. As in numb. So inspired, I wrote the following.


I want to be in that number state
that stops me getting so irate
at news reports I read on-line,
events that seek to undermine
the way of life we now expect,
injustices and disrespect
that make me mutter, shake my head
and read beneath what others said
and find the comments that concur
with what I feel, make my heart stir,
but then I see a few replies
by people blinded by the lies,
and I despair how this can be,
and then I wonder, is it me?

I want to be in that number state
where one ignores the sorry fate
of all those people who have lost
their homes because the extra cost
of payments banks so sorely need
outweigh compassion, didn’t concede
that when they lent the money out
(smiling sweetly without doubt)
they didn’t care that markets change
and now refuse to rearrange
repayments to traverse this blip.
Instead they say “abandon ship”.
Is this the Big Society?
I doubt it though – perhaps that’s me.

I want to be in that number  state
where stomachs do not ulcerate
from worry prompted by the news
and over-dramatic interviews
with talking heads who talk too much
exacerbating such and such
to vilify minorities
and bring them firmly to their knees,
discrimination to ignore
until there’s change within the law
to move us to another phase
as done with women, race and gays.
But for now we cannot tolerate.
So tell me, is it right to hate?

I want to be in that number  group
That will accept the bovine poop
as spoken by that Minister
and not see all the sinister
decisions and precise incisions
cutting us in fine divisions,
whilst reducing key resources
“competition” – this of course is
divide and conquer, tried and true,
diverting us from what they do;
manipulation of the press:
a new pariah to address.
Surely other folk must see?
I wonder then, perhaps just me?

But apathy is wearing thin;
More people discarded in the bin,
It’s tempting to avoid the strife –
I don’t like conflict in my life –
but maybe we’ve not long to wait
to break free from the maiden aunt
I want to be in that number state –
but conscience says, “Me? No I can’t.”

Sunday, 18 October 2015

If You Were A Pirate

Some friends and I have just started rehearsals to learn some Sea Shanties that we're intending to perform for charity at one or more local festivals next year. 

This poem comprises the lyrics for a shanty I wrote today, given a modern day slant. 

The parts in italics are sung by the entire group, the rest being for the soloist. Please forgive the inexact rhyme in verse four

If You Were A Pirate

I spend my life behind a desk and do the work of three
    (That’s not the life for you, me boy – There’s things that you can do)
The management ignore us yet they will not let us be
    (Just leave that life behind, me boy – Come join us in our crew.)

CHORUS 1:    For if you were a pirate
    We’d make ‘em walk the plank
    You’d watch ‘em sink beneath the waves
    And we would watch your flank.

REFRAIN:    Yes, if you were a pirate
     You'd do just what you please
    We'd raise the Jolly Roger
    And we'd sail the seven seas.

They change their minds incessantly and then they change ‘em back
    (That’s not the life for you, me boy – There’s things that you can do)
And we are left to clear their mess and cope with all the flack.
    (Just leave that life behind, me boy – Come join us in our crew.)

CHORUS 2:    For if you were a pirate
    We’d hang ‘em from the mast
    You’d watch ‘em swing and leave behind
    That old life in your past.


The figures that they say they want increase from week to week
    (That’s not the life for you, me boy – There’s things that you can do)
And yet they never use the stats but say the future’s bleak.
    (Just leave that life behind, me boy – Come join us in our crew.)
CHORUS 3:    For if you were a pirate
    A cutlass in your hand
    You’d lay ‘em waste before your blade
    And leave this stinkin’ land.


They hint at new redundancies to keep us all in line
    (That’s not the life for you, me boy – There’s things that you can do)
And want us to work extra hours but won’t pay overtime
    (Just leave that life behind, me boy – Come join us in our crew.)

CHORUS 4:    For if you were a pirate
    We’d haul ‘em ‘neath the keel
    And as they scraped the barnacles
    Just think of how you’d feel.


They want our corp’rate loyalty and yet it’s all one-way
    (That’s not the life for you, me boy – There’s things that you can do)
Regrade our jobs so we do more but want to cut our pay
    (Just leave that life behind, me boy – Come join us in our crew.)

CHORUS 5:    For if you were a pirate
    You’d gut ‘em with your knife
    You’d spill their innards on the deck
    And make the sea your wife.


They don’t think they’re responsible for any of this mess
    (That’s not the life for you, me boy – There’s things that you can do)
If only we could find a way so they’d pay for such stress
    (Just leave that life behind, me boy – Come join us in our crew.)

FINAL CHORUS:    Well, if you were a pirate
    We’d make ‘em walk the plank,
    We’d hang ‘em from the mast,
    A cutlass in your hand,
    We’d haul ‘em ‘neath the keel,
    You’d gut ‘em with your knife…
    …Just leave that life behind, me boy
    And make the sea your wife.

Monday, 5 October 2015

The Case Against Elmer Fudd

Another Pub Poets event, and this time the theme is "Legless". From this I used the phrase "Haven't a leg to stand on" to inspire the following. I'm not exactly sure when the Looney Tunes characters came into the mix, but Warner Bros cartoons were always on TV in my childhood. Perhaps it was the Family Guy skit with Elmer offing Bugs Bunny. Anyway. No copyright infringement is intended - and I thought I'd include an allusion to #Piggate for good measure.

The Case Against Elmer Fudd

That day Elmer Fudd was brought up from the cells
he’d lost hope that he’d ever go free.
But the man that he met in that small dingy room
made him think “that’s the lawyer for me.”
The lawyer oozed confidence out of each pore
saying “This is a case they’ll abandon.
It’s all circumstantial and built upon sand.
There isn’t a leg it can stand on.”

When faced with such confidence, Elmer relaxed
but then he remembered his gun.
“The wabbit was shot,” he said, “what about that?”
but the lawyer smiled, saying “Point One.
Ballistics had nothing to give the police.
They were calling the wound through-and-through.
If the bullet is lost in the lake as they say,
they can’t tie the shooting to you.”

“Point Two is your gun was illegally seized.
The warrant was just for your shack.
It did not extend to the trunk of your car
The cops will be facing some flak.
So don’t give a thought to the gun the cops took
It’s lost to the District Attorney.
They’re not very pleased but they’ve now come to terms 
Adopting a different journey.

They’ve given up looking for Porky the Pig,
a character witness they wanted to use
They thought he would highlight obsessions you had
Regarding the victim, and trigger new clues.
He went overseas in the Eighties, I hear,
much to the DA’s anxiety
They found out he disappeared round about then
In an Oxford based secret society.

On balance, that’s good news, although I had hoped
We could use him as reas’nable doubt.
He hunted the bunny as well, you recall,
but that option we have to rule out.
Don’t worry, there’s plenty of others out there
The rabbit had enemies – many.
I have checked where they were when the victim was shot
And alibis? No. There aren’t any.

The rabbit’s main rival was Daffy the Duck.
As crazed as a loon, and with greed he can’t quench.
The xenophobe’s choice is one Pepe le Pew:
His love was rejected. A stalker. And French.
The psychopath known as the Tasman’ian Devil
Just wanted to eat him. That’s known far and wide.
Yosemite Sam - that gun-totin’ bandit
wants Bugs full of slugs. He just loves homicide.”

A thought came to Elmer. His shoulders slumped down.
He said, “I appweciate all that you’ve done,
but Warners were filming the hunting that day.
They have it on wecord just who fired the gun.”
The lawyer sighed, “Mister Fudd – pay that no heed.
I know you are worried and feeling quite tense,
but there is no reason for worrying, man.
Who d’ya think's paying me for your defence?

The film is destroyed and the cam’raman paid
So there’s only you they don’t want to neglect
They didn’t want snuff films – it was a mistake
Having Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall there to direct.
So - as long as you don’t say that ‘you hate that wabbit’
where folk for the state’s prosecution may hear,
I repeat that they haven’t a leg they can stand on
and you’ll leave this jailhouse; your name in the clear.”

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

I Don't Need An Education (In This)

Wow. I didn't realise it was so long since I last posted anything here. To remedy this omission, here is a poem that I wrote for the September open mic event for the Pub Poets group. On the theme of "We Don't Need No Education", presumably because a new school term was due, I forced myself not to write something with lots of Pink Floyd puns. Instead I thought about subjects in which I definitely DO NOT want an education.

I Don't Need An Education (In This)

Now ev’ryone knows David Beckham
with his perfumes, his wife and tattoos;
Gary Linneker’s seen
with his crisps on the screen,
and Cantona’s marketing booze.

But after those three are discounted
there’s not many others, although
Vinnie’s one of the lads
in his films, and in ads
there’s that French bloke whose name I don’t know.

It isn’t just football I’m vague on:
all sports are the same in my view.
There are some folk whose fame
lifts them clear of their game,
but their history? Haven’t a clue.

So.    I don’t need an education
in who plays what for who and where
at home, away, from other lands:
it makes no diff’rence – I don’t care.

We’ve had several years of X-Factor;
the wisdom of Cowell and co,
but for all of those years
and the crocodile tears:
who has won? Well I don’t really know.

When it comes to those numpties in jungles,
the ones mocked by Ant and by Dec,
I don’t know who’s playing,
who’s going, who’s staying,
who’s shoving some bugs down their neck.

And what can I say of Big Brother?
Contestants? When all’s said and done
I cannot identify
any. Makes sense if I
put them in Room 1 0 1.

So.    I don’t need an education
in those with transitory fame.
The mayfly’s dead within one day:
I don’t need to know their name.

Sunday, 9 August 2015


For this poem, I think a passing Facebook post started me thinking. Sometimes the appropriate insult or concise description isn't instantly available. We either need assistance at the relevant time, or be prepared to do some decent work beforehand to have those words at our instant beck and call.


We are blessed with a wonderful language
with words that are varied and deep.
Some just roll of the tongue, ...
some are short, some are long
and some that a censor may bleep.

But there are those times when the right word won’t come,
when you’re faced with new kind of fool.
You don’t get results
with the usual insults;
You need something diff’rent - a tool.

A tool that assesses the object of note
Assessing the faults it portrays,
choosing each syllable,
something distillable,
making a word or a phrase.

It could start by defining some attributes
And forming a phrase or a clause
then, using synonyms
It could form acronyms –
a way to condense all their flaws.

Until there’s a unit out there we can use
we’ll need to do prep on our own.
Take some time; be reflective
for future invective.
And prepare to enjoy a good moan.

Examples (no doubt you can do better)
GUDANSOR: Grammatically Unsound, Derivative And No Sense Of Rhythm
SCRIT: Supposed Celebrity Requiring Immediate Termination
TWACS: Totally Without Any Common Sense
PEFAHB: Poor Excuse For A Human Being
OMARIJ: Opens Mouth And Rectum Is Jealous
VATCH: Vindictive Acid-Tongued Corrupt Hag/Heel

Saturday, 1 August 2015

My Favourite Holiday

The most recent "Pub Poets" open mic gathering had a dual theme of "We're all going on a summer holiday" and "Holidays from hell."

I had written one poem, but I wanted something a little more upbeat, so wrote this on the day of the gathering, finishing it half an hour before I left home.

Oh, and it's not a true story!

My Favourite Holiday

I would not argue with my wife
as she was one to hold a grudge.
It simply was not worth the strife
for when proved wrong she would not budge.
Facts did not matter in her view
and when they contradicted her
a stubbornness inflicted her;
you saw her eyes and then you knew.
And that is why I let things slide
and let my darling have her way,
and it worked fine, ‘cept when my bride
would come back from our holiday.

She’d leaf beforehand through brochures
to find the place where we would go;
the final choice was always hers
and when she’d made it I would know.
Some naff resort, hotel she’d choose
and each year it would be the same
and each year I would take the blame;
it wasn’t worth it to refuse.
I’d take it with a pinch of salt
and marvel how her mem’ry blurs.
Of course it had to be my fault
because, of course, it wasn’t hers.

Eventually I’d had enough –
that Chinese water torture thing;
incessantly that slagging off,
the prospect next year’s trip would bring.
I’d need to bring it to an end;
this annual apology –
I’d need to use psychology
to get my way and not offend.
By chance I found a magazine
that fit in with her fantasy
as Johnny Depp upon the screen,
he was her fav’rite man to see.

A Caribbean cruising ship
set up to have a pirate theme,
and when she caught sight of this trip
I’d got it right, it was her dream.
Last minute I said “I can’t go,
as Work has this emergency.”
“I’ll go there on my own,” said she,
whilst giving me the old heave-ho.
It’s been two years since off she sailed
Towards the Car-ib-be-an Sea
It isn’t that our marriage failed
The ship sank there. It wasn’t me.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Too Much?

A quick poem reflecting on my recent television viewing.

Too Much?

I've known it for a fair few weeks:
I'm watching far too much TV.
The weekday broadcasts shown by Pick,
their shows have dominated me.
Stargate had ten seasons.
It's sequel had some more.
Andromeda followed after these
(What did I watch that for?)
Eureka supplemented this -
that's two hours ev'ry night -
and yet I didn't miss the soaps;
there's video and catch-up, right?
I watched some other dramas too,
like Gotham and the one 'bout SHIELD,
and Law & Order SVU
and still I was not forced to yield.
When Breaking Bad began on Spike
I wondered how I'd manage it,
but yes, I did, with some late nights
and later breakfasts, I admit.
But now their runs have reached their ends;
two weekly shows, so no more moans.
I've now got time for other things:
those DVDs of Game of Thrones.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Dixie Rixie

This character piece started out as a Saraband with a single verse but I expanded it for a Facebook poetry challenge. I hasten to mention it isn't based upon anyone I know...

Dixie Rixie

Dixie Rixie is a pixie
who’s a klepto and so tricksy.
You should see the things he nicks; he
sneaks inside and steals your undies
from the dresser late on Mondays,
steals from elves in the environs
whilst avoiding police sirens.

Dixie had a problem drinking –
not so much with muddled thinking –
inobtrusive? Not when stinking.
Escaping capture by a fluke,
he realised that trails of puke
don’t help the perfect getaway.
He gave up nettle wine that day.

Now Dixie’s sober you will find
he leaves no evidence behind,
this cheeky sneaky mastermind;
leaves no proof that he was there, his
alibi is with the fairies.
Truth is that one couldn’t pick a
slicker quicker knickers nicker.

One Journey

I have been participating in a "5-day poetry challenge" on Facebook, where a nominee posts a daily poem (original or a favourite by someone else). For one of the days I wrote the following poem - not because I was thinking of rain so much; more because I was playing about with alliteration and one particular phrase set me off.

One Journey

Sky-sourced silver slivers sent splish-splashing,
streaming past the shingles, cross the flashing,
surging, gurgling along the gutter,
descending drainpipes with a splutter,
dropping down drains to discharge through a
secretive subterranean sewer,
through swirling, whirling watercourses,
into the sea, ‘neath wild white horses,
to join the tides, to travel to the land,
sinusoidal shifting through the sand.
One journey out of many more,
from sky to stream to sea to shore.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

It's Not What You Say

This was a follow-up to a writing exercise where we had to write a canzonetta. Note the refrain line.

It's Not What You Say
I listen, the music brings pleasure to me;
an aria sung by Domingo,
but as for the words? Well I don’t need to be
au fait with Italian lingo.
It could be the music that Puccini wrote,
it could be the voice, I’ll allow.
Whatever the reason, there’s one thing I note:
It’s not what you say, it is how.

In politics, candidates now realise
that questions are not such a risk.
Diverting the point, unrelated replies,
making jokes, shifting blame, being brisk.
I guess they need training to manage this skill –
an air of trust they can endow;
a paragon hiding a con, if you will:
it’s not what you say, it is how.

The second poem was the result of the exercise itself, with the them "contract". Naturally, I thought of a contract killer. Who wouldn't?

The Contract
He crouched behind the marble wall;
the shadows kept him out of view.
He waited, watching in the mall.
He had no nerves, ‘twas nothing new.
The crowds were held back, yet to come,
still waiting for the op’ning time.
He stroked the gun stock with his thumb.
This killing really was no crime.

The doors slid open. In he came,
the quarry that the man had sought.
He walked in like he had no shame;
the misery that he had brought.
The gunsight centred on his head.
He did not have too long a time;
before too long he would be dead.
This killing really was no crime.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Not to Fail and to Show Some Spine

The latest Pub Poets meeting had the theme "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine". My memory of Laurel and Hardy performing this goes back to 1975 when the song was released as a single in the UK. It reached number two in the charts, and was only held off the top spot by Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. For a song popularised in the 1937 film Way Out West, I remember thinking that it was unusual for a 38 year old song to enter the charts.

When I came to write this poem, my thoughts were "what 38 year old film today in 2015 could inspire a song?" I then felt very old when the obvious film was "Star Wars". I wrote the poem so that (at a pinch) it could be sung to the melody of "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine". So here goes:

Not to Fail and to Show Some Spine
On a planet – name of Tatooine
was a boy called Luke.
Came a-cross a secret message – in
Re-tro-spect it was a fluke –
An R 2 droid was beeping, quite annoyed
as Luke heard what was said
by a girl with Danish pastries
stuck upon her head:

She – was – pleading for Obi wan Kenobi
Not to fail and to show some spine.
Luke decided then, to find old Ben;
They went to a place where they sold some wine
And there – was a bloke with a ship
They engaged – for a res-cue trip.
Han – joined – Luke and Obi wan Kenobi
Not to fail and to show some spine.

They set off for Planet Alderan
but all was not well.
They found Leia on an Empire ship;
broke her out a prison cell.
A brief spell in a waste compressor,
and then they got away
But Kenobi wasn’t one of them –
Naughty protégée.

Now – they – had no Obi Wan Kenobi
with them facing a tight deadline.
Though they’d found a way – to save the day,
the chance of success was borderline,
then Luke – found an extra resource;
he tapped in – to the mystical Force.
With the help of the spirit of Kenobi
he was able to show some spine.


The Pub Poets Working group now have a periodic poetry challenge. Today's was to write something on the theme of "alien conspiracy", possibly using the "triolet" poetic form. 


The truth is hidden, can’t you see?
It’s covered up by governments
whilst blaming eccentricity.
The truth is hidden, can’t you see?
Subverted, skirted constantly.
They won’t accept our evidence;
the truth is hidden, can’t you see?
It’s covered up by governments.

If we could show the truth of it,
I wonder what they’d try to do?
We wouldn’t see the benefit,
if we could show the truth of it.
They’d twist the lies to make them fit,
and Black Ops might be called in, too.
If we could show the truth of it,
I wonder what they’d try to do?

Monday, 25 May 2015

The Joy of Text

Perhaps I should feel a bit guilty at not having posted for a while, but I'm not really. Nevertheless, I need to maintain some degree of momentum  - so here's one I wrote recently for my writing class. It's an example of a Collin's Stanza.

The Joy of Text
The English language is a joy to use
So many words, it’s easy to effuse.
The thesaurus and dictionary thrill,
but sometimes words from these don’t fit the bill.
Embusic, thrumble, droofy – ev’ry one’s
a word that I invented just for fun.

Some words sound like they should be in a song,
Mellifluously flowing ‘cross the tongue.
Severe words like ‘tenebrous’ set the tone,
weird ones like ‘malarkey’ and ‘trombone’.
But nupic, gendenephry – ev’ry one’s
a word that I invented just for fun.

The little words that act as sentence glue
Can help build lines of beauty, clear and true.
Finding complex ones that you can learn’ll
Help you read a scientific journal,
Though diactic nephrulation  – ev’ry one’s
a word that I invented just for fun.

I know that it sounds crazy but it’s true.
I like the sound and feel of words – I do!
Like arblaitry cendric endulation
and predistental teps in agrimation,
Sometimes I give them meanings – ev’ry one’s
a word that I invented just for fun.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Avon Calling

Whilst I appreciate the heritage of William Shakespeare, it would take some time to actually read his books. It's a question of priorities, and I'll let you ascertain if deciphering the Bard's language is likely to be (or not to be) a worthwhile calling for me. This collection of limericks may help if you're still unsure of my decision despite this introduction....

Avon Calling

I find it incredibly hard –
enjoying the works of the Bard.
No matter the sonnet,
won’t waste my time on it;
his plays held in high disregard.

Perhaps it’s the archaic style
that makes reading Shakespeare a trial.
I don’t have the leaning
to work out the meaning.
I leave his books closed with a smile.

If you like him then bully for you.
(I understand some people do.)
You have my respect
for your deep intellect
with all of those books to go through.

Convince me to follow your lead?
Don’t bother as I won’t concede
‘cause I’d find it silly
to spend time on Billy
with so much else out there to read.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

No Poet Reckons On It

I wrote this cake baking poem in November 2013 but forgot to put it on my blog. The reason for the poem? It was in response to a friends' comment about another of my poems:

I think we now need five Petrarchan sonnets about the five cakes with each cake being a step t’ward enlightenment and the filling representing man's quest for meaning in a Godless universe, not that rubbish you churned out the other day about a couple's first kiss.

I thought, "There's a challenge," and off I went. However, despite the rhyme scheme and fourteen lines, they didn't quite qualify as Petrarchan sonnets - hence the title of the poem. 

So there you go, Neil.

No Poet Reckons On It

  The kitchen cupboard’s sliding door
I reached toward with steady hand
And as I pushed with fingers spanned
I was surprised at what I saw.
I was not shaken to the core
But there they stood – the Home Pride brand:
Two packs self-raising to demand
That they are used, not left in store.
  No need for flowery words to know
I should not let them go to waste
(In austere times it’s in bad taste).
Regarding taste – what should I make?
Mince pies or scones? I don’t think so –
Perhaps it’s time to bake a cake.

  One cake’s good – but why not two?
Cool them on a baking tray,
Freeze one for another day.
But butter? Better check that, too.
Ah yes, the fridge confirms it’s true;
Six packets there in neat array.
Plenty there to take and weigh,
Plenty there to see me through.
  As it stands they are too cold.
The butter’s hard – it won’t behave.
I’ll have to use the microwave
To soften it for Kenwood’s sake.
The creaminess will then unfold
And I can start to make my cake.

  Two cakes? Good – but why not three?
Count the eggs, and check by rote
Discarding ones that stay afloat.
Break them, check them separately
(Bad ones spoil the rest, you see;
You don’t want eggshell in your throat).
Weigh them without shells and note
Flour, eggs and fat weigh equally.
  Get out the whisk and start to beat
We want it smooth, so whisk away
Remove the snotty bits, okay?
We’re nearly there: make no mistake
What we have – almost complete
Ingredients to bake my cake.

  Three cakes? Good – but why not four?
Sugar next, I’m out of Castor!
Blitz my own, it will be faster.
Blitz it so it’s fine to pour.
How much to process, less or more?
Equal weights. Avoid disaster.
Don’t forget that you’re the master
And that you’ve done this before.
  Vanilla extract’s what we’ll use:
Perking up the general mix.
Grease the tins preventing sticks –
Another measure I must take.
Oven on, so I can choose
A temperature to bake my cake.

  Four cakes? Good. But let’s make five.
Add the sugar to the fat
Add the whisked eggs after that
Time is short so that why I’ve
Mixed this up in overdrive.
Next, the flour; a caveat:
Added cocoa? Chocolate.
Slam tins so bubbles don’t survive.
  Baked, cooled on trays, but then: what filling?
Do not suffer undue strife.
Variety’s the spice of life
No need for you to bother gleaning
What the Universe is willing.
Cake itself gives life its meaning.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

No Longer a Lark

The theme for the March 29th open-mic night for the "Pub Poets" was Early Bird. I wasn't sure what to write for this theme, neither being an ornithologist nor suffering from worms(!)

Consequently, I had to think back. When was I an early bird?

Getting up early for work was always a needed rather than a wanted. The fact that my timetable is my own gave me the inspiration for the poem.

No Longer a Lark 
I’ve never been what one would call an early bird.
The attraction isn’t something that appeals.
I really have to query
why one gets up whilst still weary
when one thinks how warm and soft a duvet feels.

I under-stand if you’ve not got the option.
I’ve had my share of rising in the gloom.
Not the clock’s fault and you know it
but it’s tempting just to throw it
so it ends up at the far side of the room.

When using public transport you leave sooner.
with time to see the beauty of the dawn.
But I don’t know what the fuss is;
You don’t care when you’re on buses
‘cause the train you meant to catch has been withdrawn.

The jolly morning people try to tell you
how the clouds at dawn are beauti-fully lit
but they’re similar at sunset
if not better, knowing you’ll get
one or two hours long-er snuggled in your pit.

“But the air is fresher; there’s no roar of traffic!
The sense of sol-i-tude’s beyond compare!”
So the early birds will tell you
And you think that they’d do well to
breathe the nectar that the night-time has to share.

I’m an afternoon and eve’ning sort of person.
Let the birds enjoy their mornings full of song.
Those that think that I’ll U-turn’ll
waste their time – ‘cause I’m nocturnal
and to change my ways feels well and truly wrong.

They can stuff their anti-social breakfast meetings.
There are better things to do when you retire.
There’s no need to hurry when you
read the early-bird lunch menu,
It’s your schedule – plan your time as you desire.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

All Through The Night (A Parody)

The latest open mic meeting of the Pub Poets was on St David's Day. Accordingly, the theme chosen was "Wales Tales", or "Whale's Tails" for those of a more nautical nature.

I'd already written something of that ilk last June (or thereabouts) so I wanted something of a different nature. I still had not had any inspiration two days before the event. And then...

"I know. I'll write some different words to that lovely Welsh tune - All through the Night." So here we are.

All Through the Night (A Parody)
Last month I had trouble sleeping – All through the Night.
Smoke alarm had started beeping – All through the Night.
Had to get up, climb a ladder
Change the batt’ry, then I had a––
––nother break to void my bladder – All through the Night.

Did a spot of babysitting – All through the Night.
Wasn’t fun, don’t mind admitting – All through the Night.
Asked to do things, he’s declining,
Fussy eater when he’s dining
Woke me up with all his whining – All through the Night.

Used to work ungodly hours – All through the Night.
for a boss like Austin Powers – All through the Night.
Bloke thought he was oh-so-dashing,
Set the ladies’ teeth a-gnashing,
But then he was done for flashing – All through the Night.

Ev’ry weekend we go boozing – All through the Night.
Finding silly things amusing – All through the Night.
Once I had a dodgy curry;
Was so drunk I could not hurry.
How could there be so much slurry? – All through the Night.

Lately I’ve been sitting, writing – All through the Night.
Though my bed looks quite inviting – All through the Night.
Not just stories; you know when you
Get the in-spir-a-tion then you
Write a po-em for this venue – All through the Night.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Moghul Meeting

I've just been to the Moghul
and had Podina Lamb.
I have the same each time I go:
It's just the way I am.
I had it with the special rice,
Peshwari Naan to share
with chums with whom I used to work;
we thought we'd meet up there.

We didn't have a pudding,
(does anyone partake?)
because we all had starters
(don't want our belts to break).
We chatted from the poppadoms
until we got the bill
and even then we carried on;
surprised we're not there still.

Our lives have gone their diff'rent ways
but still there is that link.
Not regular, these curry meets;
that's not the point, I think.
We worked together many years,
and though that life has gone,
it's like we've never been apart.
That's why we curry on.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Hey Raisin Face

This poetic form is an example of a "hymnal measure". If you feel particularly musical, try singing it to the tune of "Amazing Grace."

Hey Raisin Face

Hey Raisin Face, don’t come around
to make a date with me:
You should get lost, as I have found
that you are out your tree.

Please face the facts and listen here.
You wonder why I’m peeved?
A sense of dread approaching fear;
this is what you’ve achieved.

The teenage changes, boils to spare
and even more to come;
Your face pokes out from greasy hair:
No way that I’ll succumb.

You’ve had no promises from me
to prompt your overtures.
I’ve not concealed my thoughts; I’ll see
no spotty paramours.

I’m not impressed, you’re bound to fail,
your chances won’t increase
and no duress will make me quail:
I simply don’t like grease.

I’m worth it, all my friends say so,
not shallow by design.
They spotted you some weeks ago;
they warned me you would whine.

Should we be here ten thousand years,
my hackneyed, acned one,
God may like one who perseveres
but I don’t, so be gone.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Love and Hate

I wrote this little opus for the second "Pub Poets" open mic meeting that took place on 1 February in the wine bar above the "The Old Town Hall" public house (Poulton). 

Prior to the event I read it to some friends and relatives, and they wondered if it was about them. It wasn't, honest.

Love and Hate (I Feel It In My Fingers)
There is a couple that I know:
a pair of O A Ps
and at first glance you’d say there’s no
two friends as close as these.
They walk along, their arms entwined
but that’s just here outside.
Indoors that isn’t what you’d find;
your eyes would open wide.

He loves her, he hates her,
He complements and he berates her
It’s been that way for decades now –
so many ups and downs.
He thinks back, the claptrap
that he has heard and said back,
sometimes he cannot figure how
they came to be such clowns.

He feels it in his fingers –
a knife of tempered steel.
His smile – it surely lingers
as she tucks in to her meal.
Rememb’ring when they first were wed
he’d cut her sirloin steak,
but now it’s words that cut instead
with each exchange they make.

She loves him, she hates him,
she knows she irritates him,
she knows the insults that she throws
can cut him to the quick.
But sometimes, at bedtimes,
those “think of what you said” times,
she looks at him and then she knows
he’s loved – despite the stick.

She feels it in her fingers,
Her hands around his neck,
They may be both mudslingers
But their marriage is no wreck.
The stiffness in his shoulder there,
the corns upon her toes;
though both are growing older, care
is given, highs or lows.

She loves him, she hates him,
She elevates and she deflates him,
The arguments on which they dwell
They seem to make them thrive.
He hates her, he loves her,
wonders where his boxing gloves are.
The aggravation serves them well –
it keeps their minds alive.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

A Burns Limerick (and Triolet)

Burns' Limerick

A date for which each Scotsman yearns:
Is it lost in the nation's concerns?
There's no need to worry
as fried haggis curry
can bring back the mem'ry of Burns.

Burns' Triolet

Burns’ Night comes but once a year,
the haggis and the pipes come oot,
Auld Lang Syne and tartan gear.
Burns’ Night comes but once a year,
wee sleekit tim’rous atmosphere,
address the lassies thereaboot.
Burns’ Night comes but once a year
The haggis and the pipes come oot.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Spoiler Alert

A quickie poem that I wrote as I was watching the final few minutes of Arnie in "Total Recall" on TV.

Spoiler Alert

I thought I’d write a little pome
as I was sitting here at home
just watching good old Ronnie Cox
expiring on the telly box
as “Total Recall” nears its end
and Arnie’s starting to descend
to slide upon the Martian soil –
but  do I really want to spoil
the end for those that have not seen
this sci-fi film upon the screen?

Not really, so apologies
If I have spoilt your fun with these
few couplets; that was not my aim,
but really you should share the blame.
I’m sorry if your bubble’s burst:
You should have read the title first.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Old and New

I wrote this poem for recital at a new poetry group (The Pub Poets) who met for the first time on 4th January. The theme for this inaugural meeting was "The Old and The New"

I had recently watched all three of the Batman films directed by Christopher Nolan, which probably accounts for my line of thought when writing this poem.

Old and New 

You’ve probably heard of the saying concerning
the things that are changing and staying the same?
Well, this came to mind when I found myself turning
these thoughts all around in my head, so my aim 
was to highlight some cases – that we could all use:
Holding on to the old so the new is not news.

Reinventing the wheel is the media’s thing,
From Gascoigne to Paxman: no challenge at all,
In X-Factor, so many covers they sing,
and Dallas revamped – with the Oil Baron’s Ball.
The filmmakers know they have nothing to lose 
Taking hold of the old that anew could be news.

Just think about Batman who, ev’ry few years,
Is pulled out of mothballs, the dust shaken off 
for a reboot when some new director appears 
who believes that there’s plenty left there in the trough.
After Keaton and Bale they must carefully choose
Yet they still hold the old so the new is not news.

It may be tradition, and that’s fair enough;
nostalgia’s a powerful thing, to be sure.
But there’s more to contend with – discard all the fluff;
There’s greed and intol’rance; the world needs a cure.
There’s still killing and starving as plenty refuse 
to leave hold of the old. So what’s new? It’s not news