Monthly Archives: October 2020

Mock Tutorial Soup – (not a poem!)

We knew it was a Thursday,

by the listing of the menu

pinned upon the notice board.

We had Mock Tutorial on a Thursday.

‘Super!’ we thought, ironically.

Then, we realised that after MTS

we had Double Grumble and Custard –

our spirits dropped even lower;

Thursdays were supposed to be

a warm-up for Fridays,

when we could all wind down

in time for the weekend;

but, MTS for lunch,

and DG&C after,

always left us feeling like we had

little hope of Friday

(and the weekend)

ever arriving.

Three Little Thirds

Three little thirds

flew into a tree,

as one.

Today and the flying leaf.

Today, I was almost concussed by a flying leaf;

it came at me so fast,

it was almost beyond belief;

but, by my ducking, it missed me,

as it passed it almost kissed me,

then it went on its way,

And that is the story of how

I was almost concussed by a flying leaf,


‘The’ Barney Stone (from Ireland… not)

So what is your name?


Barney. And, what is your surname?

It’s Stone.

Barney? Stone?


Barney Stone? And, where are you from? Ireland?


Barney Stone from Ireland?



No. ‘The’ Barney Stone from ‘The’ Ireland.

Oh. Well, that is alright then. Next question.


Do you get kissed a lot?

Define ‘a lot!’

Well, more than twice a day. Once in the morning when you awake, and once at bedtime just before you go to sleep, usually by a person you live with, and love.

My flatmate, Sebastian?


No, he loves me not.

I see. No, I was talking about people that might travel to Ireland and kiss you.

Why would they do that?

Because of your name.

Because of my name?

Yes, many people, men and… ‘not men’, go to Ireland just to kiss ‘The’ Barney Stone.

And why would they do that?

It’s traditional. People have been doing it for thousands, maybe even ‘hundreds’, of years – it’s traditional – as I said before.

I’m not that old.

Well, you do look a bit on the young side.

Thank you. And, anyway, I’ve never been to Ireland.

Never been there! Weren’t you born there?

Oh, yes.

So, you must have been there!

No. I was ‘there’, then I left there, but I’ve have never ‘been’ to Ireland.

Oh. Well, that’s fine to be sure.

And I’m not even Irish.


No. My mother ‘and’ my father were both——

Both, what?

Not Irish.

Not Irish?


Oh. Well, that doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t Irish – it can skip a generation.

Can it? Oh.

Yes. So, is ‘The’ Barney Stone your real name?

No. It’s Brian ‘sTown.

As in ‘Brianstown’ in Ireland.

Is there a Brian ‘sTown in Ireland?


Well, that’s probably not me?

Yes. No.

No. It’s not at all like that, it’s spelt differently.

Oh. So, why are you calling yourself ‘The’ Barney Stone?

It’s after my dog. He’s called Barney, Barney ‘sTown. He’s an Irish wolfhound. Only a puppy – over thirty years old, and still only a puppy.

And does he get kissed a lot?

She. Oh, yes. And everybody’s talking ten, nineteen, or even ‘twenty’ to the dozen about that.


Yes, they are.

SFX Cymbal.

‘The weather today’

It’s dry for five minutes,

so what can I say?

Well, apart from the rain, the storms,

the hail, the thunder and lightning,

the frost, the mist, the drizzle –

and I wasn’t surprised

not to see you out

in the midst of the Cornish mizzle.

However, I must just say,

it’s really been

such a nice day.

Oh, my darling, Clementine.

Oh, my darling,

oh, my darling,

oh, my darling, Clementine,

they say our love’s immoral,

but, I believe that it’s fine;

when you wrap your segments tight around me,

the feeling, is divine.

‘An orange is not a Satsuma’

An orange is not a Satsuma;

but, a Satsuma is orange all the same,

Identical they are, apart from their size,

and except for the sound of their name.

There once was a rumour

that a wayward satsuma

‘peared up’ with an orange from Spain,

but, when the details were sought,

there was evidence nought,

and the story was held in distain.

Liza with a Zee

Liza with a Zee,

Liza went to sea,

to sail the oceans blue:

in a boat of crimson hue;

she travelled ‘cross the waves,

had close and distant shaves,

met mernaids by the score,

and washed up on a distant shore

many leagues away

from when she set out that day.

An island she had found,

not quite but sort of round,

with fruit upon the trees,

she lived a life of ease;

for many, many years,

she dwelt, now her ending nears.

Liza lay upon the sand,

a smile on her face,

that only she’d understand.

The Proliferation of the Veneration of Alliteration in Moderation in this Generation… is Not a Thing.

The proliferation of the veneration of Alliteration…

blah blah

blah blah


… is not a thing…

… and, do you want to know why?

No, I didn’t think you did.

Which leads me to write,

‘What sad state of affairs

has led to this sort of thing?’


‘aren’t rhetorical questions annoying?’

No, you don’t have to answer that–

you really don’t.

LWG 10-minute exercise: The Bookshop Was Closed

‘LWG 10-minute exercise: The Bookshop Was Closed’

There was a note Blu-Tacked to the door, ‘Back in 10-minutes’, but, was that 10-minutes nearly up, or had that 10-minutes only recently started? Would 10-minutes see me inside the sanctuary of books, or would 10 become 20… or forever? I know that sometimes a note written to let people know when you’ll be back (in the case of Bookshop proprietors) should be literally the maximum time that you are going to be away – it should have a built-in allowance for delays and distractions – but, I am all too aware that life, being what it is, can put paid to the best laid plans of mice and people that run bookshops.

I made a decision. I would wait until twenty past (it being ten past now) based upon the premise that the note was freshly scribed and someone would be unlocking those doors any minute now.

People approached and passed me as I stood nervously upon the threshold of the haven of hallowed hardbacks (and, to be honest, a larger number of paperbacks) twiddling my thumbs (and flexing my index fingers – in the hope that they would be tracing down the spines all too soon).

There was a call from across the street, ‘I’ll be with you in a tick, sir.’ The lady from the bookshop! ‘Huzzah!’ I would soon be reunited with the papery stories and inky words.

I looked back at the note, ‘10-minutes!’ I had been right to wait.

There was a long screech of brakes. A thud. * A cry of pain.

I turned. ‘Oh, no!’ I howled dejectedly.


*This was where my 10-minutes ran out – which is quite ironic really.