Friday, December 18, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe says Thank You

My unsuccessful entry in Martin Parker's light verse competition for Issue 8 of Lighten up Online. The theme was to have a famous writer in history respond to receiving a modern gadget as a present - maximum 16 lines. - for the winning entries.

I thank you for this mobile phone, sir,
With its dreary ringing tone, sir,
Though ‘tis true, I have to own, sir,
That I know not what it’s for.

Despite its self-proclaimed mobility,
Sadly, it lacks real agility,
Sitting silent in tranquility
In the shadows ‘pon the floor.

Can one use it in a duel?
Or is’t a type of fossil fuel?
Or maybe some strange-lustred jewel
Hewn from Lethe’s darkened shore?

Was it cast o’erboard by seamen
For it housed some deathly demon
That, when mortal souls were dreamin’,
Crept forth with a ghastly claw?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Diana Ross

Diana Ross was at a loss
To what she should do next.
She hadn’t thought her day in court
Would leave her so perplexed.
In her denial, she said the trial
Was one almighty fudge.
She said “I feel I must appeal
To the Supreme Court judge.”


The mother of Thackeray Ponsonby-Twyst
Suffered repetitive strain to the wrist
She got it, she claimed, to Judge Rory O’Carroll,
Through writing his name out on his school apparel

Saturday, December 5, 2009

On arriving at Philadelphia airport

Down the steps of the plane we descended
But tarmac was not what we found.
Cream cheese! Oh, delicious and splendid,
Was spread two feet thick on the ground.

Flight US792

The flight was very long and very boring,
The screaming child was getting on my goat.
The large, obese man next to me was snoring.
I had a sudden urge to slit his throat.

I tried to go to sleep through self-hypnosis
After spending forty minutes counting sheep.
But all I got was slight deep-vein thrombosis
When just my feet and legs were put to sleep.

Voice from the grave

Here I lie beneath this stone,
Quite unattended and alone.
No-one’s ever shed a tear
Since they first interred me here.
The wood surround that marks this plot
Long, long ago began to rot
And now lies broken, badly splintered.

Yes, two hundred years I’ve wintered
In this corner ‘neath the yew
That blocks the morning sunlight’s view.
The clay is cold, the weeds like thick,
The autumn comes around too quick.
How many long-forgotten bones
Rot silently beneath these stones?

I do not have for company
The wife and children dear to me
For, victim of tradition’s slave,
They occupy another grave,
Where still they moan and bitch and bawl,
Because I murdered one and all.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I turned a blind eye

I turned a blind eye to her smoking,
I turned a blind eye to her men.
I turned a blind eye
When she drank the bar dry
Again and again and again.

I turned a blind eye to her spending
Though the bills came to more than I earned,
And when she slipped in the rain
Right in front of that train,
I kept my blind eye roundly turned.

(Not submitted to BAFFLE - see post below!)

The Ballad of Isaiah Turner

Pretty thrilled about this one. I actually won the Baffle Bard festival organised by those wonderfully hospitable people down in Loughrea. A brilliant competition, highly recommended to all! The theme for this year's competition was Turn a Blind Eye

Isaiah Turner’s dead and buried,
Across the Styx his soul’s been ferried,
With his glass eye in its socket,
Hidd’n by neither patch nor pad.
He’d take it out, dear friends and mourners,
And claim that he could see round corners,
And sometimes put it in his pocket
Just to see what change he had.

When he was but a tiny sparrow-
-Fart, a kid with bow and arrow
Struck him square as he was playing
In his garden with his brother.
When he came home, glass eye staring,
Local kids, with wit and daring,
Nicknamed him Isaiah, saying
“One Isaiah’s than the other.”

But in time, he found that gettin’ a-
-Long with but a single retina
Wasn’t half as bad as being
Short an arm or leg or head.
And though his zero: twenty vision
Occasionally invoked derision,
Still, it didn’t stop him seeing
The funny side of what they said.

He eyed a neighbour of his uncle
And sang to her like Art Garfunkel,
Crooning in a soft voice that he
Only had one eye for her.
And then, when he’d been merely blinking,
She had thought that he’d been winking,
Which led to himself and Hattie
Having an affaire de coeur.

On honeymoon, above in Norway,
Hattie got stuck in a doorway
And only after hours of shoving,
Did he force his wife outside.
Breathlessly, he gave a snigger,
Eying her quite ample figure,
Adding, with a lot of loving,
“It doesn’t pay to be too wide.” (two-eyed)

Back home, alas, he had to pull back
From his job as rugby fullback
When the opposition spotted
He was merely single-eyed.
For every time he kept his eyeball
On each tantalising high ball,
The other team, with great guile, plotted
To take him out on his blind side.

Forgoing sport, Isaiah Turner
Got a handy little earner
As nightwatchman on a really
Come-and-get-me building site.
In his hut, he sat there sleeping
Till the daylight hours came creeping,
One eye shut and one eye steely,
Gazing out into the night.

People used to slip him money,
Which he thought was really funny,
As they could have simply purloined
Anything they liked for free.
“Turner Blind Eye” someone called him,
Which, he knew well, should have galled him,
But he liked his rump steak surloined
And he favoured Earl Grey tea.

At length, although he was indicted,
His plea of being semi-sighted,
So impressed the judge and jury
They bade him go with God’s good grace.
His former boss, beset by creditors,
Telephoned the tabloid editors,
Berating with almighty fury
The “cock-eyed verdict” in this case.

He turned a blind eye when his Hattie
Met a man with Maserati,
Not caring to uphold her honour
As most husbands tend to do.
And as she crossed the street one morning,
Did he yell a frantic warning
As the truck bore down upon her?
No, he turned a blind eye too.

But Isaiah grew despondent,
Told the Reuters correspondent
That he prayed to heaven nightly
To release him from this strife.
He felt the stigma, felt disfigured,
Hurt when silly schoolboys sniggered
At his glass eye, so unsightly.
Thus in pain, he took his life.

And if, in Paradise, St. Peter
Has to go and check the meter,
Let’s hope he does not choose Isaiah
To watch o’er those Pearly Gates.
For “Turner Blind Eye’s” bound to let in
Every foul or hare-brained cretin
Who was destined for the fire
But can pay the going rates.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


It was an old deserted mansion
That had undergone expansion,
Since it first had been constructed years ago.
On the now-abandoned stable,
Ivy hung down from the gable,
But why she killed herself, we’ll never know.

The Mountains of Thrude

It’s considered quite rude
In the Mountains of Thrude
To dip your chest into the soup.
Some bores raise guffaws,
But the strict social laws
Say it’s not the done thing in a group.

Soup-dipping’s a no-no
For chests. Men cry “Oh no!
Please get your chest out of the broth!
For up here in Thrude,
It’s considered quite rude
And has often engendered much wrath.”

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Marie Antoinette

“Let them eat cake,”
Was a dreadful mistake,
When the peasants were pleading for bread.
But much worse, by far,
Was the fashion faux pas
On the day that they cut off her head.

‘Pon the feared guillotine,
The sartorial queen
Didn’t take her black dress to her grave.
Instead, she wore white,
An incongruous sight
That the peasantry never forgave.

My country and western song

You didn’t rinse your wine glass; you just left it by the sink,
The bright magenta lipstick stains the rim.
You gulped the wine down quickly when I offered you a drink
And then rushed out the door to be with him.

Somewhere I imagine you are sipping your champagne,
His large hand resting lightly on your knee.
Your laughter flows like bubbles and dispels the summer rain,
The way it did when you would drink with me.

The vineyard has been ravaged by the worm of discontent,
The grapes lie small and withered on the vine.
I stand among the blackened leaves and wonder where it went
And why the sun decided not to shine.

So now I sit here sadly with the semblance of a frown,
Self-pity and great sorrow unconfined.
The wine has turned to vinegar but still I gulp it down
And hope that it will drive you from my mind.

But still I see the wine glass and its lipstick bright and red,
Laughing at me from the kitchen sink.
And though my mind is hazy, I can’t drive it from my head,
And so I reach out for another drink.

The theatre loving motor car

The theatre loving motor car buys tickets for the shows,
And can be found at many curtain calls.
The tourists are intrigued and turn round in the front rows
When he goes up to the balcony and stalls.

On Flying

Despite the fact that aeroplane’s keep crashing,
Despite that they keep falling out the sky,
Despite the way the warning lights keep flashing,
Flying’s still the safest way to fly.

The queues for Ryanair

Oh, why is it important to be first upon the plane,
Especially for a fifty minute flight?
Why do people feel the need to go through all that pain?
They really make a very sorry sight.

The moment that the gate’s announced, they start to form a queue,
Not wanting to relax and wait a bit.
They stand there for an hour or more before the plane is due,
Determined that they choose their place to sit.

Perhaps they feel its vital that they get a lovely view
Of all the shagging clouds that line the route?
Or maybe it is simply that they like to form a queue,
Though frankly I would not call it a hoot.

What the hell’s the point in booking short haul flights priority
When everyone is guaranteed a seat?
But more and more, I fell that I am in a small minority,
Although I find the logic incomplete.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another Millennium poem

We stood in the garden as midnight grew nearer,
Some had champagne while me Gran had Madeira.
Not many witness a change of millennia
And so, round the world, from Caracas to Kenya,
In every village and every town,
We waited to count those last ten seconds down.

Then, all of a sudden, Aunt Liz let a scream
(Which fitted in well with the carnival theme)
And started to kick her left foot in the air,
Which caused all our nephews and nieces to stare.
“Is that how you danced,” asked young Will with a smile,
“When Handel and Bach were the top of the pile?”

But ‘twas not a dance that Aunt Liz was performing,
But trying to escape from some black insects swarming
All over her shoes and ascending her tights,
Seemingly fearless of scaling great heights.
“I wouldn’t be in their shoes,” said bold cousin Bert,
On viewing them starting to nose up her skirt.

Where they had appeared from was anyone’s guess
But soon they had doubled Aunt Liz’s distress,
And everyone squeezed in our small plastic torch,
While Dad bathed the garden in light from his torch.
Then Grandad began to scratch at his bald head
“Oh Lord, we are all being eaten!” he said.

Black insects, black insects, we slapped at our trousers
While neighbours peered fearfully out from their houses,
Till Dad got a hosepipe and, in a wild panic,
Shot out more water than sunk the Titanic,
And yes, it worked well for the insects all drowned,
A thousand black corpses strewn cross the green ground.

Alas! We’d forgotten to count down the clock,
But we were all freezing and somewhat in shock,
It seemed as if we’d been caught out in the rain
As we stood around sipping our watery champagne.
Then Mam kicked one slowly and motioned to Doug
“Is this what they call the Millennium bug?”

Friday, July 10, 2009

To the postal assistant in Blanchardstown Post Office

Oh how I wish that I possessed
Your sense of laissez-faire,
That attitude of ‘sod the rest,’
That look of ‘do I care?’

The queue was half a mile long,
The mood was not that great,
A silent, disenchanted throng,
Like cattle at a gate.

Six hatches were not manned at all,
Just three were trying to cope.
The queue was moving at a crawl,
The damned, devoid of hope.

And then we saw ‘Position Closed’
Go up before your face.
‘Toilet break,’ we all supposed.
‘Go swiftly, with God’s grace.’

But no, you reached down to your bag
With most indecent speed,
And, taking out a gossip mag,
You then began to read.

You crunched an apple as you flicked
Right through that magazine
And, using your small finger, picked
Your nose till it was clean.

Meanwhile, evil mutt’rings grew
On our side of the fence
And violent thoughts were hurled at you
With blazing eyes intense.

But no, you carried on as if
You didn’t have a care,
Oblivious to the acrid whiff
Of anarchy in the air.

Every night, my prayers go flying,
Asking, if I may,
That I can come across you, dying,
After some affray.

And I’d produce a magazine
While you lie comatose,
And sit and read it, as I clean
The inside of my nose.

A lucky escape

The doctor’s letter fell upon the table.
I couldn’t comprehend the words I read.
Although my situation was quite stable,
I’d only one month left to live, it said.

Oh bother, I swore loudly with some feeling,
I suppose its time I took myself to bed.
And, shrugging, I stared upwards at the ceiling
That hid my deathbed lying overhead.

But then I read again that dreadful letter
And let a whoop that filled my wife with dread.
Suddenly I started feeling better,
As I saw the note was for my son instead.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

They're dissecting my poo on the telly

Post temporarily withdrawn - entered for competition

New car

There’s a new make of car on the market,
Like a Fiesta but shorter and sweeter.
It’s easy to drive and to park it
And it does fifteen miles to the litre.

On Top Gear they praised it most highly
And Jeremy Clarkson was drooling
‘Bout handling and ‘oomph,’ he said drily
And the time on the road ‘tween refuelling.

But between twelve and four, there’s no power,
According to Ford’s senior tester.
So you must keep an eye on the hour
When driving the new Ford Siesta.

Joan of Arc

As the flames lit the dark
All around Joan of Arc,
She saw a large man start to mutter.
She strained to make out
What he whispered about –
Was he catholic priest or a nutter?

“Are you talking ‘bout me?”
Came her gut-wrenching plea,
For he looked like a man of great learning.
“Whatever you’re saying,
Say it loud, please, I’m praying,
But hurry up, for my ears are burning.”

My Porterstown queen

My Porterstown queen
Had a face so serene
She could launch a flotilla of ships.
She had curves where she should
(Which were awfully good)
And a pair of fine child-bearing hips.
I looked into her eyes
Open wide with surprise
As she lay on the silk-sheeted bed.
But I knew, her and me,
It was never to be,
For sadly, Elvira was dead.

There’s a very dapper wizard

There’s a very dapper wizard
Who lives down in Chapelizod
And is known throughout the valley and beyond.
His hair, in rain or blizzard,
Is immaculately scissored,
Though he leaves his nasal grooming to his wand.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


May your charms and your guile
Serve you well for a while
But then fail like the blossoms of May.
May your hamstring grow taut
May your nose grow a wart,
May your teeth slowly start to decay.

May mistakes stay unlearnt,
May your dinner taste burnt
May your tyres attract nails on the street.
May you often, by chance,
Tuck your skirt in your pants,
May your flatulence not be discreet.

May your midriff expand,
May your legs stay untanned,
May your facial hair grow strong and thick.
May your perfume cause rashes,
May you lose your eyelashes,
May one glass of red wine make you sick.

Oh there’s nothing to fear –
I’m not bitter, my dear.
Sure we parted upon best of terms.
I just wish you good luck
When you find yourself stuck
With a terrible dose of the worms.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The poor little squid

The poor little squid woke up suddenly
While all was still dark in the pool.
“I do not feel well,” he said woodenly.
“I don’t think I’ll make it to school.”

His dad, who was always suspicious,
Regarded his offspring in bed.
He always suspected sick fishes
Were experts at swinging the lead.

“You don’t look too bad,” he said dolefully.
“Perhaps you just had a bad dream?”
His son stared back up at him woefully,
His look of distress quite extreme.

“Just look at his skin,” said his mother.
“Those spots have come up overnight.
I think that we should get another
Opinion on our young son’s plight.”

“The doctor’s a waste of good money,”
Said his father with growing distaste.
“Just smear him with fish oil and honey –
Your sense of alarm is misplaced.

“Six pound to come out for a visit?
How does he expect us to pay?
It’s not worth the money now, is it?
Those measles will soon fade away.”

“Shut up!” she replied, in a lather.
“Just look at the poor little kid!
By God, you’re a miserly father
Begrudging a measly six squid.”

Given his cards

He worked in an old paper factory,
Like his father, a grizzled old Pole, did.
But things turned out unsatisfactory
When the old paper factory folded.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Modern Man

For thine is the kingdom,
The power and the glory.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Flash of Orange

It's finally here!

100 pages of side-splitting (author's own word) verse (and a few seriouser poems too) all collected under the title "A Flash of Orange." The title poem was written to disprove the theory that nothing rhymes with 'orange.'
From lamenting the demise of greengage jam to solving the age-old conundrum of the chicken and the egg, from the tale of a mendacious state pathologist to the ballad of Roy Keane and Alex Ferguson, Peter Goulding explores the idiosyncrasies of life through the medium of humorous verse. Formerly poet in residence on The Creedon Show, his work has also been read – and even sung – on the BBC and has won awards in Ireland and abroad. Now for the first time, he has assembled some of his finest comic poems in one volume…

Peter Goulding has a remarkable ‘ear’. There is music in his rhyming and melody in his words. He seems to pick words for their musicality and he can spot the humour in a word from a hundred paces.” – John Creedon
Over 65 poems. A miserly €10. Not a swear word in sight, though several of the poems might stray into the territory of 'blacck humour.' Post and packing free to anywhere in the known world (P and p extra to the unknown world) All personally signed too...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


You perch on the rafter
Above the loud laughter
Of young girls who visit
The Kowhai Ke-dang.

Tightly-clenched eyes
That channel each colour,
The bright and the duller,
That meet in the iris
With joyous surprise.

The shadows prevail.
A flutter, unbidden,
Half-heard and half-hidden,
Dies in the dark corners
Behind a thick veil.

The foolish ones sprang,
But you sat there biding
Your time in half-hiding.
Restrain my impulsion,
Oh, Kimberu-sang.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


The tree became sick
When the wind became raw.
And when snow lay thick,
It was sicker more.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Budapest Limerick Competition

There was a young woman from Budapest,
A naturist, proud when folk viewed her chest.
But on the shores of Lough Swilly,
She declared ’twas too chilly,
(As those who stroll there in the nude attest)
Yet another unsuccessful Drivetime competition entry - this time to compose a Limerick based on the first line above but with an Irish theme

Monday, February 9, 2009

Gamla Stan

I’ve travelled all around the globe,
New Delhi to New York.
A great long-stepping claustrophobe,
I’ve walked the rover’s walk.

But no more do I choose to roam
From Cyprus to Saigon
For I have gone and made my home
In dear old Gamla Stan.

Gamla Stan, where the haughty seagull perches.
Gamla Stan, that the Baltic breaks upon.
Gamla Stan, you have snared me,
Gamla Stan, you have spared me,
Now I’ll be yours forever, Gamla Stan.

For there I met a raven lass
With skin as fair as ice.
Her eyes laughed o’er her bubbling glass,
I gladly paid the price.

The blackened clouds soon parted
And the sun in wonder shone
When my engine was re-started
In the heart of Gamla Stan.

Gamla Stan, where the winter’s never bitter,
Gamla Stan, you will take me when I’m gone.
Gamla Stan, your meandering
And cobbled lanes still pandering
To the romance within me, Gamla Stan.

They wanted ten kronor for a wee-wee

They wanted ten kronor for a wee-wee,
A price that I declared a sin.
And so, I sipped my rum and kiwi
And tenaciously I held my wee-wee in.

There’s no way I’d give them the satisfaction
Of getting my ten kronor for a pee.
Their urinals (sad) did not see any action,
At least, not from a stingy sod like me.
10Kr. for a pee in Stockholm's T-Centrale station!

The classic Swedish beauty

There’s a classic Swedish beauty,
Eyes of blue and hear of blonde.
This fair damsel is a cutie
Of which many men are fond.
But in Stockholm I was taken
By another of the race
And in truth I was quite shaken
When I gazed upon her face.

Oh those black-haired girls of Sweden
Made me think that we’ve returned
To the flow’ring shrubs of Eden,
And the apple has been spurned.
They’re as black as any raven
With complexions clear and fair
And the country is a haven
For those girls with jet black hair

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Board

We sit ‘round the table, well-dressed and clean-shaven,
Discussing the business, our aims loud and craven.
The MD presents an array of large figures
And tries to suppress what the warning bell triggers.
We sit around doodling and shuffling papers,
While dreaming of sexual liaisons and capers,
Wasting long hours we can scarcely afford.
Oh, we’re the head honchos, lads,
We are the Bored.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Considering lilies

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; (Matthew 6: 28)
There they hang upon the line,
Ten pairs of homespun knickers.
Some plain, some with a flowered design
And lo! How each pair flickers.
Yes, Lily has her washing out
And it gives me the willies
That Jesus preached that souls devout
Should aye consider Lily’s.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

As the train pulled out the station

As the train pulled out the station
She leaned out to wave goodbye.
‘Twas a sorry situation
And a tear came to my eye.
Oh, she cut a forlorn figure
On that last train to the coast
But I couldn’t help but snigger
When her head smacked off a post.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I miss that old tree

I miss that old tree at the end of the street,
Which afforded us shade in the dull summer heat,
That flung its leaves gaily when autumn did blow
And shivered when branches were laden with snow.

I miss that old tree, where we once carved our names
And hid from each other in long, childhood games.
And sat in the branches and secretly smoked,
The wisps of tobacco so cleverly cloaked.

I miss that old tree, where I’d meet my first love
As sparrows and chaffinches twittered above,
Where night time goodbyes lasted almost till dawn
And sexual awakening was clumsily born.

‘Twas a terrible storm on the night it came down,
The lightning forked wildly o’er this part of town.
The crash was heard widely, we all rushed outside
To witness the moment that tree of ours died.

Beneath its great trunk, my poor, flattened wife lay,
Crushed at the wheel of her Honda Coupé.
Oh yes, ‘twas a terrible moment for me
And still, two years later, I miss that old tree.

Mary Elizabeth (spelt with a zed)

Mary Elizabeth (spelt with a zed)
Was saying her prayers at the foot of the bed,
When under the mattress there came a loud roar
And before she could jump up and run to the door,
She was pulled by the bogeyman under the bed
Poor Mary Elizabeth (spelt with a zed)

A very un-pc P.C.

“Feck and arse!” my PC roared,
Each time I moved the mouse,
Language which my wife abhorred
And banned within the house.

“Sssssshhhhhh!” I whispered frantically
In case my spouse should hear.
“What was that?” she called to me.
I answered, “Nothing, dear.”

“Shite and onions!” cried the screen.
“Oh please shut up!” I pleaded.
“Please do not make such a scene –
Such language isn’t needed.”

“Feckin’ arse!” it called once more.
This time I heard her coming.
She stuck her head around the door,
Me, innocently humming.

“Balls of shite!” it called again
I sat back now, quite broken.
No longer could I truly feign
The words had not been spoken.

“Why is that PC swearing so?”
She asked, quite clearly puzzled.
“That foul-mouthed thing will have to go
Or else, please get it muzzled.”

Her tone was terse, but bravely I
Replied with words much terser.
“Can’t you see?” came the reply.
“It’s just the feckin’ cursor.”

In Venice

In Venice, this singer, in years long gone by
Sang wonderful airs in a voice clear and high.
And in between songs, she’d make wry observations
For which she received many standing ovations.
So remember this girl and her famed heritage
Whenever you’re crossing the Wry Alto Bridge.

Impaled upon the railings

Impaled upon the railings
Like a maggot on a hook,
His raucous high-pitched wailings
Could be heard in Donnybrook.
But although his grave plight made him
Work himself into a tizzy,
Sadly no-one came to aid him
For we all were far too busy.

The joys of Saskatchewan

Young Juan left his dear Costa Brava
And travelled from Jeddah to Java
In search of a land to inspire him,
To hold him, to rouse him, to fire him.
He travelled to Montevideo
And Munich and Moscow and Mayo
But only the wilds of Saskatchewan
Were impressive enough to enrapture Juan.