Monthly Archives: March 2021

They say…

They say…

that ‘poetry’ cannot kill;

but, I believe,

that, though not (usually) being fatal,

it ‘can’ make you very, very ill.

Sick to the stomach,

nauseous, with the fear of vomiting,

and with a hint of acidic sourness

that pervades the nostrils,

coats the throat,

and, omitting nothing,

causes an imbalance

to the binary system.

Not that I write ‘that’ sort of poem;

no, there is no hint of cyanide in my words;

no deadly nightshade laced metaphor

that looks like a jelly sweet,

in my metrical feet.

My poetry is pure

and holy,

and wholly lacking

in anything likely

to raise the pressure

of the blood by a tad –

but, sometimes, I wish,

my poetry ‘was’

that bad.

Out of Context

When I saw you

you were out of context,

which is why

I never said, ‘Hi!’

Harriet in her Chariot

Harriet sat in her chariot

considering her options;

because her chariot had broken down.

Should she carry it back

to where she came from?

or should she await rescue

from a roadside chariot recovery service?

She waited like a clown.

Harriet, checked the weight

of the vehicle – it was very heavy indeed –

and, for that, the strength of Hercules

she would quite probably need.

If she left it there,

it would soon be gone,

stolen by a thief;

but, to stay, and wait

for some possible help;

aroused her disbelief.

None would come;

they might be fierce;

crooks and rapists;

or despicable Papists;

louts, who could barely stand up;

and, worst of all,

no one with the correct spanner,

an appropriate manner,

and a banana bandana

to keep away the Sun.

Harriet slowly counted up to X –

well, she was a Roman woman,

and that is what you counted up to then.

For all I know,

she may still be there,

Harriet, and her chariot,

both, now, well beyond repair.

‘The Man in the Moon’ & ‘Troll sat alone on his seat of stone’ – by JRR Tolkien.

‘The Man in the Moon’ – JRR Tolkien

There is an inn, a merry old inn

beneath an old grey hill,

And there they brew a beer so brown

That the Man in the Moon himself came down

One night to drink his fill.

The ostler has a tipsy cat

that plays a five-stringed fiddle;

And up and down he runs his bow,

Now squeaking high, now purring low,

Now sawing in the middle.

The landlord keeps a little dog

that is mighty fond of jokes;

When there’s good cheer among the guests,

He cocks an ear at all the jests

And laughs until he chokes.

They also keep a hornéd cow

as proud as any queen;

But music turns her head like ale,

And makes her wave her tufted tail

and dance upon the green.

And O! the rows of silver dishes

and the store of silver spoons!

For Sunday there’s a special pair,

And these they polish up with care

on Saturday afternoons.

The Man in the Moon was drinking deep,

and the cat began to wail;

A dish and a spoon on the table danced,

The cow in the garden madly pranced,

and the little dog chased his tail.

The Man in the Moon took another mug,

and then rolled beneath his chair;

And there he dozed and dreamed of ale,

Till in the sky the stars were pale,

and dawn was in the air.

Then the ostler said to his tipsy cat:

‘The white horses of the Moon,

They neigh and champ their silver bits;

But their master’s been and drowned his wits,

and the Sun’ll be rising soon!’

So the cat on his fiddle played hey-diddle-diddle,

a jig that would wake the dead:

He squeaked and sawed and quickened the tune,

While the landlord shook the Man in the Moon:

‘It’s after three!’ he said.

They rolled the Man slowly up the hill

and bundled him into the Moon,

While his horses galloped up in rear,

And the cow came capering like a deer,

and a dish ran up with the spoon.

Now quicker the fiddle went deedle-dum-diddle;

the dog began to roar,

The cow and the horses stood on their heads;

The guests all bounded from their beds

and danced upon the floor.

With a ping and a pong the fiddle-strings broke!

the cow jumped over the Moon,

And the little dog laughed to see such fun,

And the Saturday dish went off at a run

with the silver Sunday spoon.

The round Moon rolled behind the hill

as the Sun raised up her head.

She hardly believed her fiery eyes;

For though it was day, to her surprise

they all went back to bed!

‘Troll sat alone on his seat of stone’ – JRR Tolkien

Troll sat alone on his seat of stone,

And munched and mumbled a bare old bone;

For many a year he had gnawed it near,

For meat was hard to come by.

Done by! Gum by!

In a cave in the hills he dwelt alone,

And meat was hard to come by.

Up came Tom with his big boots on.

Said he to Troll: ‘Pray, what is yon?

For it looks like the shin o’ my nuncle Tim.

As should be a-lyin’ in the graveyard.

Caveyard! Paveyard!

This many a year has Tim been gone,

And I thought he were lyin’ in the graveyard.’

‘My lad,’ said Troll, ‘this bone I stole.

But what be bones that lie in a hole?

Thy nuncle was dead as a lump o’ lead,

Afore I found his shinbone.

Tinbone! Skinbone!

He can spare a share for a poor old troll,

For he don’t need his shinbone.’

Said Tom: ‘I don’t see why the likes o’ thee

Without axin’ leave should go makin’ free

With the shank or the shin o’ my father’s kin;

So hand the old bone over!

Rover! Trover!

Though dead he be, it belongs to he;

So hand the old bone over!’

‘For a couple o’ pins,’ says Troll, and grins,

‘I’ll eat thee too, and gnaw thy shins.

A bit o’ fresh meat will go down sweet!

I’ll try my teeth on thee now.

Hee now! See now!

I’m tired o’ gnawing old bones and skins;

I’ve a mind to dine on thee now.’

But just as he thought his dinner was caught,

He found his hands had hold of naught.

Before he could mind, Tom slipped behind

And gave him the boot to larn him.

Warn him! Darn him!

A bump o’ the boot on the seat, Tom thought,

Would be the way to larn him.

But harder than stone is the flesh and bone

Of a troll that sits in the hills alone.

As well set your boot to the mountain’s root,

For the seat of a troll don’t feel it.

Peel it! Heal it!

Old Troll laughed, when he heard Tom groan,

And he knew his toes could feel it.

Tom’s leg is game, since home he came,

And his bootless foot is lasting lame;

But Troll don’t care, and he’s still there

With the bone he boned from its owner.

Doner! Boner!

Troll’s old seat is still the same,

And the bone he boned from its owner!

J R R Tolkien

As I was (not) going to St. Ives

As I was (not)

going to St. Ives,

I thought I’d think upon my many lives;

the one where I was just a newt;

that season hanging as a fruit;

the lifetime spent waiting for Godot’s what;

the shortest day, as a Mayfly,

that I’d almost forgot;

the long half-of-an-hour trying vainly to survive;

or the hundred and twenty short years when Moses was alive;

and afternoons drinking gaily with my pals;

or night-time flights with a school of owls;

the briefest tenure as a living thing;

or a long, long, life sowing, then harvesting,

then sowing and harvesting,

as my father and son, wife and daughter,

had, and have, for centuries, done.

Having thought upon my many lives,

I then thought about all the times,

I had actually gone

to St. Ives.


My shoelace has come undone

In the battle

between myself and my shoelaces,

my right shoelace has come undone;

my shoelaces, the battle, seem to have,

temporarily, won.

The gulls did gimbal and gyre

The gulls did gimbal and gyre,

ever higher and higher;

with sky-flight’s desire

beating strong in their hearts.

Looking Out

Looking out

across the fields

from the viewpoint

of a 5-bar gate,

I wish that I was

able to graze the meadows,

rather than merely gaze at them.

Four Minute (Poetry) Warning

Just giving you the nod

that something odd

will be happening

in four minutes time –

a rhyme;

and not only that;

but, a dodgy rhyme at best.

Will you be able to withstand the test?

How will you prepare?

Take cover in your Pamela Anderson shelter;

or go underground with a jar of jam?

I am, it has been said,

the bringer of bad news (and poetry)

and, if I run to form,

the bad poem that is imminently arriving

will adhere to the norm.

Oh, by the way,

there was a four minute delay

on the warning for this tripe –

I should have said before;

but, sorry, I am the forgetful type.

You have been warned!

Amblers Anonymous

“Hello, I am Wanda… and I… tend to walk about quite a lot… very… slowly, in various directions— and, um… I’ve been doing this… since I was about one or so, and I can’t really seem to stop doing it.”