Sunday, 24 January 2016

Going Underground

A new year. A new venue for the Pub Poets open mic events in Blackpool. A new poem from me.

The theme for the poem was "going underground", presumably because the new venue is below ground level. When trying to decide what to write for my poem, I thought of moles, rabbits, Wombles, the Tube in London (discarded, since I've never been there) and Paul Weller (because of the Jam's first UK number one single). Nope. My mind went another way.

Oh, and again for benefit of non-UK readers, some years ago many towns and cities boasted a Littlewoods department store.

Going Underground

This tale is set some years ago
when corner shops were not so rare,
when youngsters thought the Beatles ‘fab’
but parents worried ‘bout their hair.
A time of change, and in one town
they opened a department store –
the only one for miles around
with many wonders on each floor.
An architectural tour de force:
five floors of goods for him and her
from gift shop ‘neath the glass-domed roof
to basement, where staff toilets were.

So now we have the where and when.
The who’s a guy called Jimmy Woods,
a shop assistant in the store
who had a job in “fancy goods”.
He loved his job; he did it well,
enjoying how it went for him
until the bosses saw his skill
and forced promotion on young Jim.
The problem with this change of role,
walking more than he would choose
it filled his bladder quicker but
he couldn’t use the basement loos.

This problem going underground:
the reason why, he did not know.
With Subterranean redbrick loos
the urine simply would not flow.
That first time Jim thought he could use
a bucket in a changing room,
but explanations to the staff?
Beyond the pale – so I assume.
He thought he’d try the alleyway
to ease the pressure down below,
but buskers played there all the day
so that was not the place to go.

He couldn’t find a single place
instead of going underground,
so going here and going there
he thought he’d spread himself around.
First, finding an umbrella stand,
he briefly stopped to wee in that.
And pausing at the milliners
he widdled in a bowler hat.
He widdled in a Grecian Urn,
he widdled in a non-stick pan,
but just a few drops in each place
until he found a better plan.

The pressure off, with time to think
he set himself a simple task:
a method to contain himself.
Solution - buy a Thermos flask.
His claustrophobic bladder then
would have no reason to refuse,
as later he could take his flask
to empty in the basement loos.
And now you know the reason for
this mystery at Littlewoods
They never found the culprit there.
The one who left the widdle: Woods.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

'Tis The Season

It's been a while since I updated the blog. No excuses - I've been dividing my time between doing other things and... doing absolutely nothing. That's not to say I haven't been writing some poetry - primarily for the Pub Poets events - so I'll add the Christmas poem I wrote for the December event. I know that the seasonal hiatus has now passed, but now you have the chance to reminisce without the alcoholic haze.

[Note for non-UK readers - DFS are a company who advertise on TV selling furniture, and it is a running joke that they are forever having new sales]

'tis The Season

‘Tis the season – ivy, holly, Carols playing – very jolly,
Digging out the Christmas tree, Festive adverts on TV,
Watch the new John Lewis ad, Argue if it’s good or bad,
Stores competing for success, Winter sales from DFS.

‘Tis the season to go shopping, Carols playing – never stopping,
Weather starting to go colder, Greetings yelled by Noddy Holder,
Christmas lights appear in trees, Toys invoking children’s pleas,
Will the parents acquiesce? Further sales from DFS.

‘Tis the season to go spending, Carols playing – never ending
Trying hard to disregard – The urge to use the credit card,
Chestnuts, cheeseboards all about, The enigmatic Brussel sprout –
Eaten under some duress. Another sale from DFS.

‘Tis the season to go buying, Carols playing – very trying,
on all those T.V. promos too – Strictly, Sherlock, Doctor Who
Tinsel and Baubles put up then – We’ll shortly take them down again.
The price of stamps: the cards cost less. Yet more sales from DFS. 

‘Tis the season to overspend; Will those carols ever end?
The time of year is certain when, The famous grouse appears again,
But the three drinks inebriant are*: Sherry, Baileys and advocaat.
Alcohol to great excess. Miss a sale from DFS.

‘Tis the season to booze and scoff. I’ve scared the carol singers off.
I’ve locked the door and dimmed the light. I’ll settle for a silent night.
Some box-sets if I change my mind; In case I feel that way inclined.
I call it Dodging Festive Stress – abbreviated – D F S.

* To be read in a manner reminiscent of "We Three Kings of Orient Are"