Odd odes

Our boys dunn good on Wembly nite And gev them uvver lads wot for. O cors they neely spoild the game Wi’ all that silens just befor.

Oo wonts to fink about Man U, An sum ole plane crash years ago? Or niteclub deaths or Bobby Mor? We came ere for the game – dint you?

Our Jack and Theo shode the way – The Gunners – we noe oo we are! So stuff them Chelsea mob and Spurs. Av you got sumfin els to say?


Look at ‘im, as proud as Punch Wi’ ‘is brand new ‘at an’ all! But ‘is Judy’s always moody When ‘e takes ‘er to the ball, ‘Cos Darcy’s very classy And Wembley ain’t quite Pemberley – So will ‘is pride precede a fall? Who knows? ‘E’s out to lunch.


Sometimes I’ll go a-musing Seeking Æther’s inspiration On paths not of my choosing To an unknown destination.

But ‘Pride’? Some lions, a hero, Or an anagram of di’per? And Prejudice? (Don’t jeer, O Muse! You know I get quite hyper.)

So back to sleep, still musing On my quest to find a vision; Too proud to dream of losing! And too old to get religion.

A longed-for pint, another half; A break from endless rain. A finished job, a grandchild’s laugh; A car that starts again.

The Beaujolais, the Stilton’s tang; The orange evening sea. The days when fruits abundant hang From every plant and tree.

A place we know, a new one too; A gentle hill to climb. A welcome bed, a stunning view; A shared remembered time.

Some talk of family values, Of blood’s viscosity, While spilling it with relish And animosity.

And others look to Heaven For help with excrement. “I checked upstairs, so trust me; I’m clean, I’m innocent.”

But discomknockeration* Obliterates all pain, With freshly-mined jam butties Served with laughter in the rain.                    * Ken Dodd, Scouse comedian, coined the adjectival form



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Guy Fawkes stuff

Ode to a sparkler

O slender wand, what pleasure looms As Dad ignites your bulbous head!

That burst of light and hiss that comes With flying sparks so quickly dead.

We practice chants and magic spells – Abracadabra. Let’s play swords!

‘Til ‘one of us’, my sister tells, Is writing all the rudest words.

And then, you’re gone. It’s dark once more. Just wiry junk left on the floor.


My teacher says Guy was a terrorist – and The Government practised rendition back then. Is it true that this is a protestantfest? No. (And please don’t breathe the smoke, dear.)

My mate and his dad made this really cool Guy, To burn at the stake on November the fifth. So can we have one of our own next year? No. (And please don’t breathe the smoke, dear.)


My name is Fookes, Guy Fookes, the spook.          Yes, Doubl’-O-K, so spell it right! Licensed to kill, I am, and look! I’m all tooled up and fit to fight.

You’ll want to know who runs my show. A British ‘M’? A Euro-cell? The Mossad? CIA? Er, no. Thing is, I actually don’t know.

My nameless boss sends a ‘device’ To plug into my wrist PC. (Don’t ask! You must take my advice – Don’t question my technology.)

My latest tasks you’ll recognise. They’ve made the headlines, loud and clear. My special skill’s well honed, disguised In ‘truthful’ reportage. Oh dear!

My  modus (in a word or two) Is bringing chaos to the lives Of pow’rful men – and women – who Abuse the workers in their hives.

You want some names, I realise, To ‘verify’ my exposèe.* But if my files were for your eyes I’d lose my credibilitè.*

But just for fun I will reveal Two clues betrayed by project name: The first one’s ‘Bunga’ – yes, for real! And ‘Auntie’ who’s still in the frame!

Now eat this page. My cover’s blown! I’m ready with a new ID. My world is weird. My life has shown That sharing is a luxury.

* My wrist PC has no ‘accent acute’



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Impressions of a holiday

Waking to stillness Wide-open windows Whiff of seaweed and spindrift

Buses the wrong colour Wires to drive them People speaking so strangely

Sand in my sandals Sand with the picnic Wash it off in the sea, dear

Waitress brings tea things Sit nicely please Wait until it’s our turn, dear

Time for the train now Steam hiss, slammed doors Cheeks still sun-warm, home too soon.

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Holiday pome

“It’s a nice class o’ sand ‘ere at Scarb’rough,” Said me Dad as he marked out the pitch. “Uncle Silas likes Brid for ‘is cutters; But I really can’t tell which is which.”

“Cos it’s all about catching the tide right. Y’can only turn t’ball when it’s out. Yon dry stuff’s no good, where yer Mam’s sat. Now give that off-stump a good clout.”

But that wasn’t always so easy, Gettin’ t’stumps to stand plumb upright there. We’d get two lined up straight but then t’other Would strike rock! So we’d just move the square.

Me Dad liked to open at t’Pier End Wi’ ‘is milit’ry medium; our Pam Were posted to field by the deckchairs And ward off me shots from me Mam.

There were laws about battin’ and bowlin’ That Dad said Len Hutton had made. No body-line stuff and no run-outs*! No sixes that reached t’promenade!

We always played limited overs – ‘Cos of tide and occasional rain. But in mem’ry I play on forever, Cricket heaven, again and again.

*owing to the tendency of our wayward returns from the deep (!) to land back in the drink or in the sandwiches.

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Olympic pomes

They know the price of everything (Don’t they just, don’t they just!) They carp about the air we breathe (Don’t they just, don’t they just!) Our celebration of the rings Our vict’ries and our winners’ wreaths D’you wonder why we make them seethe? They envy what we all achieve! (Don’t they just, don’t they just!)

We use the talents they all lack (Don’t we just, don’t we just!) To gain the height, the strength, the speed (Don’t we just, don’t we just!) To match our skills, to beat the pack To make the vital surge we need To reach the line or take the lead With something others can’t exceed! (Don’t we just, don’t we just!)

Coe save our spacious lanes – Only for famous names – Coe save our lanes. Help us drive citius, Too fast for cab or bus – Why all the bloomin’ fuss? Coe save our lanes.

Save us from G4S, Clean up their noisome mess – Stuff G4S. Draft in the warriors – They’ll do the job for us Live rounds and Scimitars. Stuff G4S.

Boris’s weather chaps Promise more thunderclaps – Try harder, chaps! It will rain over us – Even Pistorius Might be victorious! Try harder, chaps!

Coe save our spacious lanes – Only for famous names – Coe save our lanes. Help us drive citius, Too fast for cab or bus – Why all the bloomin’ fuss? Coe save our lanes.


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There once was a nondescript swift
(Try this after several glasses)
Whose antics left other swifts miffed,
In partic’lar the swift upper classes.

Problem was: he didn’t do swooping
Or hanging round roof-eaves or gables.
And nest-boxes left his wings drooping,
Like the corners of cloths on fine tables.

In fact, our swift’s favourite pastime,
Which he’d practised for fortnights on end,
Was mimicking pigeons. The last time
A hen pigeon begged to be friends.

But he found that his slovenly habits
Didn’t give the swift ladies much pleasure.
And they nested and bred much like rabbits
As he watched with disdain at his leisure.

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In misty childhood days I yearned

To cast a clout ere May was out.

And also asked but never learned

Why England suffered from a drought.


As mem’ries of those days inform,

It always rained when, armed with spades,

We took a sandy beach by storm

And sheltered in between our raids.


Or home again we often fought

To win the Ashes; I’d be Len

And you’d be Don bowled out for nought

Until the rain stopped play again.


And all too soon I’d go to bed

In darkness, happy to forget

Those sleepless Summer hours; my head

Now filled with school and no regret.

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“I know a bank,” old Ob’ron versed

In that well-trod wood near Athens.

Well, don’t we all? And mine’s being nursed

For a scary list of pathogens.

Among its favourite proclivities

Are Hellenic sovereign bonds;

And pois’nous clutches of derivatives

Entangled in its green-back fronds.

I only wanted an annuity

To smooth the path of advancing Age.

But the bank needs help with its pituitary –

So please excuse my badinage.



What a drag! You can’t get a reefer

Unless you’re a Dutchman, I see.

‘Cos in Amsterdam so many tourists

(As many as one out of three)

Only go to get high. You can see for

Yourself – but you’ll go without me!

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At Fortnums all the upper classes

(Like the three monarchic lasses)

Go along for the freebies.

I get heebie jeebies!

Give them to the starving masses!



Continue reading

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Reflections on a theme

Reflection 1

The lady’s not for burning. ‘Heck!

Witch lady?’ you might think.

The Captain’s wife of course, you fool!

So chuck her in the drink.

Reflection 2

A logo’s meant for kerning. ‘Heck!

Is that to do with sweaters?’

Creative minds spend hours and hours

On spaces ‘tween the letters.

Reflection 3

The Russians were for spurning Lech

Walesa, Poland’s hero.

He played them at their lethal game:

Lech 10 – The Russians zero!

Reflection 4

The Gen’ral stood before Quebec,

His orders came from Pitt:

‘Go get them Frogs, young James,’ he said,

And prove that you’re a Brit.’

Reflection 5

Quite diff’rent from a turning track

That sends both teams awry,

This wicket suits their quicks it seems

But never ours. Dubai.



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