Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Stamp on the Road

As I was walking last July.
Not far from my august abode,
My eagle eyeballs chanced to spy
A square of paper ‘pon the road.

‘Twas lying there, upon that road
Upon the apex of a ramp.
Instinctively, therefore, I slowed
And saw it was a postage stamp.

I craned my head to better see
This postage stamp upon the road.
It was an old one, priced 4p,
That advertised the Green Cross Code.

I reminisced beside that road
And heard again that old refrain
That sweeping time can ne’er erode –
“Look left, look right, look left again.”

A thirty year old postage stamp
Depicting what? The Green Cross Code?
Why was it lying ‘pon a ramp
Not far from my august abode?

I moved to step onto that road,
As most philatelists would do,
But I forgot my Green Cross Code
And never saw the Subaru.
Homework from the Phoenix Writers Club - do something with a theme of "The Stamp" or "The Road."

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Mirror

For hours as an obsessive teen,
Each pimple was inspected.
An adult, he was wont to preen,
Each wrinkle soon detected.
Besotted by the mirror’s sheen,
This trait was ne’er corrected.
“Oh how I think what might have been,”
He mournfully

(Homework for the Phoenix Writers Group)

The Lady

Behind the mirror quick she stumbled,
Urgent imprecations mumbled,
By this mass of onions humbled,
As they toppled o’er and tumbled
In the barn at Camelot.
But naught could stem that ochre tide,
The mirror crack’d from side to side,
“The curse has come upon me,” cried
The Lady of Shallot.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Garden Tree

The tree I planted years ago
Now measures thirty feet or so.
The trunk is long and smooth and tall
And far outstrips the garden wall.
And on the very top, the fronds
Shade several neighbours’ garden ponds.

Drunk one evening for a lark,
I started writing on the bark.
In felt tip pen I wrote a tale
To make the staunchest reader quail.
From bottom up and round and round,
The story started at the ground,
Then wound itself in spiralled glee
Toward the summit of the tree.

But now this little prank’s backfired,
The writing has been much admired,
And now, to my complete alarm,
Old women come to read my palm.


Away from repression, the wild geese did fly,
Determined expression etched in ev’ry eye.
They sailed from old Ireland to France and to Spain,
Never to see their cruel homeland again.

And then ‘twas the famine drove millions away.
The peasants left, damnin’ the fields of decay
They sailed from old Ireland across the wide main,
Never to see their sad homeland again.

To earn half a living, the migrant set sail,
A land unforgiving set him on the trail.
They sailed from old Ireland to England’s great gain,
Never to see their poor homeland again.

And now ‘tis the weather, the sign of the times.
We’re leaving together for sunnier climes.
We’re flying from old Ireland, away from the rain,
Never to see our cold homeland again.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The State Pathologist

I am the State Pathologist, O’Dwyer is my name.
I am the expert in my field, despite what others claim.
Some say that I’m incompetent or too long in the tooth,
But the reason I’m suspended is I just can’t tell the truth.

I tell such bare-faced whoppers, sprinkled with exaggeration.
A farmer’s wife who choked to death, I called it strangulation.
The farmer was arrested and they sentenced him to life.
He still protests he’s innocent of murdering his wife.

A charred and blackened body in a house burnt to the ground-
I looked the Sergeant in the eye and told him she’d been drowned.
A man found with his throat cut and his feet and hands all tied-
My professional opinion was – a tragic suicide.

The more I practised to deceive, the more my web got tangled.
A nasty airplane accident – I said they’d all been strangled.
“A heart attack,” I ventured, of a man shot in the head.
I wrote down “Death by Hanging” of a man found dead in bed.

I think the final straw came with the body in the wood.
Its head was found a mile away, bathed in a pool of blood.
I gave the time of death around a quarter after five,
Then, kneeling o’er the torso, I exclaimed, “She’s still alive!”

I know that I’m not senile for I’m well within my prime.
So why do I tell all these fibs and waste the Gardai’s time?
It isn’t done maliciously, from badness or from spite.
I try to tell the truth, but then the words don’t turn out right.

The Minister for Justice was quite clearly unimpressed.
He raved and ranted for an hour, as though he were possessed.
He slammed the files shut and yelled “Explain yourself, O’Dwyer!”
“That’s easy, sir,” I countered, “I’m a pathological liar.”

The Eel Poem

When a dirty great eel
Makes you shudder and squeal
That’s a moray.

The Ballad of Artie Brown

Lettuce bow our heads awhile,
And pray for Artie Brown.
He’d bean a gardener till asphyx-
Iation struck him down.

He was a strong, yet peas-ful man,
Gave thanks for what he got.
Often seen down by the stream,
He used to fi-shallot.

He’d often spinach-eery yarn
To folk who’d stop and speak,
And, e’er the Good Samaritan,
He fixed the church roof leek.

We berry him with tearful hearts
And reddened eyes and noses,
And, yes, it would beetroot to say,
He’ll fertilise the roses.

He mint to do more with his thyme,
He didn’t drink or smoke.
A curse upon that herring bone
That made poor Artie choke!


Adonis, bronzed and self-assured,
Stood high upon the diving board.
Feet together, supple-jointed,
Arms outstretched with fingers pointed,
Slicked-back hair and square-cut chin,
Chest stuck out and waist tucked in.

From the children’s paddling-pool,
I felt a most ungainly fool,
Rubber-ringed and lily-white
And overdosed on cellulite.
If only I could be like him!
If only I could learn to swim!

Adonis leapt, without a fault,
And did a backward somersault.
Like an arrow he descended
All his arms and legs extended.
Then, to show life can be sweet,
He missed the pool by several feet.


The boat was plunging up and down,
The sea was pretty choppy.
I never thought we’d get there
In this bockety jalopy.

Everyone on board was sick,
‘Twas pitiful to see.
They did not heed my sound advice
To stand beneath a tree.

Eventually we tethered to
The harbour wall in Sark,
Mightily relieved as we
Queued up to disembark.

“Is this the way?” I asked a man,
A-standing on the quay.
“Not at all,” he countered,
“That there road goes out to sea.”

I stopped another local. “’Scuse me,
Where’s the village, please?”
“No village here,” the man replied,
“We all live in the trees.”

“When does this boat leave again?”
I asked one of the crew.
“In six years time,” he answered me,
And my suspicions grew.

“I’ve had enough of this,” said I,
“I’m tired of this malarkey.
Its plain to see that everyone
Revels in being sarky.”

Sad Story

Grigori moved from Krakow
To the lights of Ballybay.
He wed a girl from Clones
And they had a son called Jay.

Jay then moved to Sydney,
When a sheila stole his heart,
And now Grigori and his son
Are simply Poles apart.

Paddy Duff

We’ve had enough of Paddy Duff
Its time he was migrating.
He’s got the sack,
So have him back
Before he thinks of mating.

Poor Louise insisted,”Please,
My room can’t be untidy.
It must be Neil
Or else that seal.
I fixed it all on Friday!”

Now Neil said he was in bed,
And so we couldn’t blame him
He claimed the seal
Was trying real-
-Ly hard to try and frame him.

But Paddy never answered ever,
Defying us with silence.
The cheeky pup
Would not own up,
Although we threatened violence.

So, no more guff, bold Paddy Duff!
You had your chance to parley.
Your fate is sealed
With Rachel Field
Who might feed you to Charlie.

Paddy Duff, I think, was some cuddly toy belonging to Rachel, that got left in our house one time, but I may be wrong!!

Ode to the Dublin Civic Offices on Wood Quay

With windows lit, and painted white,
They are a most impressive sight.
Tall, to help the people find them,
Blocking that oul’ church behind them.
And though they’re not to all folks’ liking,
I hear no grouse from any Viking.
Built upon a steep incline,
Their architectural design
Attracts the Spanish and the Dutch,
Who seem to like them very much.
The noble folk who work inside
Are filled with fierce, civic pride
And wave with consequential ease
To us poor peasants on the quays.
And we give them a darkened stare
And wish that we could work in there.

Normal Behaviour

I licked the backside of a clown
With eagerness and hope,
Then very firmly pressed it down
Upon the envelope.


In a sordid basement flat
A small cornflake was lying
In a stagnant pool of milk,
His mother softly crying.

On the other side of town
They found a krispie squashed.
Forensic experts all agreed
That she’d been badly coshed.

They found a single breakfast biscuit
Hanging from the bridges,
Either badly decomposed
Or nibbled at by midges.

A bomb inside a kitchen press
Exploded prematurely,
Killing twenty sugar puffs,
While several more are poorly.

The investigating officer,
One Chief Inspector Miller
Is certain that he’s dealing with
A dangerous cereal killer.

Mr. Wippy

Mr. Wippy crashed his van
Just outside “The Glimmerman”
And, as it overturned, it threw
It’s slushy contents out on view.
Broken, fractured orange splits
And lemon crushes smashed to bits.
Funny Feet adorned the ground
And Ninety- Nines were strewn around.

A schoolboy started off the plunder
With a Wibbly Wobbly Wonder
Whilst his best mate cadged a triple
Portion of the raspberry ripple.
Mrs. Gandhi from Soweto
Dived upon a stray Cornetto.
Cowboys from a local fair
Waved their Magnums in the air.
Grannies, grandads stooped to pick
The ice-pops up and have a lick.
Soon everyone had got a fill o’
Strawberry, chocolate and vanilla.

The Gards arrived on motor scooters
To ward off all the ice-cream looters.
In order to protect the load
They placed some cones along the road.

In Praise of Goldfish

Round and round and round and round,
Purposeless, without a sound,
Eyes that never seem to blink,
Heads that never stop to think,
Free from any special features,
God! Aren’t goldfish boring creatures?

Chief Inspector Mulligan

Chief Inspector Mulligan
Was flying off to Crete,
Swapping Dublin drizzle for
Some continental heat.

He’d packed his suitcase carefully,
His helmet and his truncheon ,
And sandwiches [in case the flight
Did not provide a luncheon.]

His boxer shorts and swimming-trunks
Complete with Garda crest ,
And eau-de-Bridewell aftershave –
The girls would be impressed.

His size-twelve boots were polished bright,
His efforts had been ceaseless ,
His shiny-buttoned uniform
Was folded flat and creaseless.

And now he strained and heaved and puffed
To get the suitcase flattened
Down enough to ensure that
The hatches could be battened.

Eventually the catches clicked
And in their locks reposed
“Aha!” cried he, quite breathlessly
“At last, the case is closed.”

Ambiguous Endings

Butch and Sundance robbed a bank
In some small peasant town,
But then they fell into a trap
And nearly got shot down.
They dodged and swerved and dived behind
A peasant’s portico,
Surrounded by a hundred men
[Though this they didn’t know.]
They decided they would make a break
With all the loot they’d plundered,
But, as they fell into the sun,
A hundred gunshots thundered.

But then the credits start to roll.
You never see them shot.
You never know if they escaped
Those hundred men or not.
Perhaps those hundred soldiers
Were all in a parlous state,
Hungover from the night before,
Unable to shoot straight.

Louise and Thelma reached the end,
They’d pulled out all the stops.
Ahead, the great Grand Canyon.
Behind them, all the cops.
Louise then put the car in gear
And headed for the drop.
Behind, the good detective
Tried in vain to make them stop.
But, as they fly across the void
To meet their Judgement Day,
The picture freezes in mid-frame
And music starts to play.

What if a sudden gust of wind
Had blown them right across?
Or if they’d landed safely on
Some very bouncy moss?
Directors out in Hollywood
Should finish films with care.
They always seem to leave the viewer
Hanging in mid air.

These Have I Loved

The Damned, the Buzzcocks, the Ramones,
Iggy Pop, the Undertones,
New York Dolls and X-Ray Spex,
The Jam and Generation X,
Eater, Wire and Souxsie Sue,
Subway Sect and Adverts too
Penetration and the Boys
Rezillos and The Stinky Toys
Television, Talking Heads,
Debbie Harry ripped to shreds,
Boomtown Rats and Richard Hell,
Slaughter and the Dogs as well,
The Radiators, SLF,
Tenpole Tudor till I’m deaf
Mick, Paul, Topper and Joe Strummer
Knocked the spots off Donna Summer
David Jansen, Johnny Thunder,
Wiped the smile off Stevie Wonder,
Steve and Paul and Johnny Rotten,
Sid as well, won’t be forgotten.
Though nearly all of them are gone,
The energy still lingers on.

The Wrong Type

The author flopped back in his chair,
His fingers sore and peeling.
He ran his fingers through his hair
And gazed up at the ceiling.
And just before warm sleep o’ertook
This worn out writer of a book,
He thought he heard a click-clack-cluck
Tap-tapping in his brain.

Little r let out a sigh,
“I’d thought he’d never finish,
Though in the last half-hour, I
Could feel his strength diminish.”
“My back is broke,” said little s,
“I’ll have to be repaired, I guess.
My inky curves are just a mess,
My spring has sprung a sprain.”

Said comma to apostrophe,
“How are you feeling brother?
The letters mind themselves, but we
Must watch out for each other.”
“I’m fine” replied apostrophe,
“He hardly ever uses me,
And, when he does, it’s plain to see
His grammar is inane.”

“What’s the story?” called out x
To Daisy Wheel above her.
“I think it’s only sex, sex, sex-
A poor man and his lover.”
“Go on! Go on!” cried exclamation.
“He’s using lots of punctuation,
There must be lots of fornication;
My key is racked with pain!”

Said sixty-six to ninety-nine,
“Hey, sister, how’s it hanging?”
The other gave a little whine,
“I’m tired of all his banging.
This novel will be one hard slog,
He’s always using dialogue,
They’re even yapping when they snog,
Why can’t they just refrain?”

The author woke at half-past two,
And all the keys stopped moaning.
He slowly read the last page through,
Then held his temples, groaning.
He smote the desk with emphasis.
“I can’t believe I wrote all this!
I’d better give this book a miss,
I’m under too much strain.”

The Night of Hallowe'en

Across the moon, black clouds come sweeping,
Tears from heaven gently weeping.
While all mortal folk are sleeping,
Evil stalks the night unseen.
Overhead come witches flying
God’s own natural law defying
Throwing back their heads and crying,
“ ‘Tis the night of Hallowe’en!”

In the graveyard, hands come stealing
Through the hard-packed limestone, feeling,
Groping upwards, then revealing
Anguished skulls with eyes obscene.
Skeletons with bones disjointed
Climb from graves now long- anointed,
Like eerie, bony fingers pointed
At the night of Hallowe’en.

Ghastly ghouls with monstrous faces
Howl across deserted places,
As grim Satan’s rule displaces
What was once a natural scene.
Bats come flapping, swooping, screeching,
Diving downwards, over-reaching,
Like tortured, broken men beseeching,
In the night of Hallowe’en.

Up on high, the scene surveying
With his black cape gently swaying,
Stands the Devil, small smile playing
Round his lips of deathly green.
He summons up his frightful powers
And down on earth his evil showers,
And every soul before him cowers
Upon the night of Hallowe’en.

The Effects of Minor Illnesses upon Certain Indigenous Small Mammals

Winifred, a Wexford weasel
Caught a single German measle.
But, as it was only very measly
She recovered from it easily.

Vincent Vole was feeling off,
Because he’d caught the whooping cough.
And, when he hunted every morning,
He gave the tadpoles loads of warning.

Sammy Stoat came down with mumps,
His back broke out in great big lumps.
“Oh God!” he said “I’m now a camel,
Instead of some cute woodland mammal.”

Seamus Seal from Inisheer
Once got a dose of diarrhoea
He said, “I can’t go fishing here,
Because the water isn’t clear.”

Oliver, the Omagh otter,
Felt his forehead getting hotter.
So, fearing it was chicken-pox,
He rushed back home to change his socks.

On Sandra Walsh leaving Dunnes

A broken leg just needs a cast,
A septic ear will mend quite fast,
There’s medication for neuralgia,
But there’s no cure for nostalgia….

And so we say goodbye to Wally.
It makes us all so melancholy.
She was a source of inspiration
By her total lack of dedication.

She’d sit for hours upon a box,
(Sometimes shirts and sometimes socks)
Thinking, musing, dreaming, dozing,
Until she heard the lift-door closing.

Then, up she’d spring, a brand new Wally,
And throw some jumpers in a trolley

The rest of this, written around 1995? appears to be missing!!

Old Shepherds' Tales

Red sky at night,
Shepherd’s delight
Red sky in morning,
Shepherd’s take warning.
Red sky before Coronation Street starts,
Shepherd farts.

Miracle of nature

The tulips dance in sweet rapport,
Swaying lightly in the breeze.
A miracle of nature, for
I thought I’d sown a row of peas.


Angie lives in at number three
With a man who drives a Ford Capri.
They walk together in the park
And don’t come home till after dark.

I often see her pass our gate
In dark brown coat with head held straight.
She doesn’t look to left or right,
But carries on till out of sight.

Her pale blue eyes and dogged expression
Always leave a marked impression
So elegant, so calm, so chic,
Her perfect bones and body sleek.

I often wish she’d show some sign
That one day, maybe, she’d be mine.
I’d tried to meet her, quite by chance,
But never earned a second glance.

Other men don’t seem to find
It hard to talk to womankind.
I know I needn’t be so lonely,
If I could have dear Angie, only……

Btu then today, through sheer persistence,
Ange acknowledged my existence!
I saw her walking home from town
And deliberately slowed right down.

As she approached, I gave a smile
My heart a-pounding all the while.
And, as my mind began to falter,
Her blank expression seemed to alter.

She beckoned me across the road,
And showed me where she’d left her load.
Surveying it, all brown and soggy,
I whispered “What a clever doggie!”


Acne, acne, burning bright
On my countenance tonight.
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy wretched symmetry?

A Family Historian’s Lament

I’ve been doing my family history for nearly thirty years,
Diligently tracing my illustrious forebears.
From Peterhead to Peterborough, from Pendle to Penzance,
My merry band of ancestors has led me quite a dance.

There’s cooks from Kent and guards from Gwent and chimney-sweeps from Chester.
There’s even one daft fisherman lived all his life in Leicester.
There’s no-one rich nor famous, no, not even well–to-do,
Though a second cousin twice removed once played in goal for Crewe.

I’ve haunted record offices from Gillingham to Jarrow,
The little grey cells of my mind would humble Hercule Poirot.
I’ve deciphered bad handwriting that would shame a three-year-old,
And brought the black sheep of the family back into the fold.

My bride of just three minutes I left standing in the church,
As I nipped out to the graveyard for a spot of quick research.
Eventually I found an uncle sixty years deceased-
It was far more satisfying than a silly wedding feast.

After three whole weeks of wedded bliss, my wife became despondent.
She named the Public Record Office as the co-respondent.
I didn’t even notice when she packed her bags and went-
I was looking for great granddad Dixon’s will in Stoke on Trent.

But now my thirty-year obsession’s lying in the bin.
Last Tuesday week, I heard some news that made me jack it in.
For my darling aged mother, who is not long for this earth,
Casually informed me they’d adopted me at birth!


Trevor sits back in his chair
Beneath his very boring hair
And pontificates about the game
In a voice that always stays the same.
And, as that nasal monotone
Begins to drone and drone and drone,
I feel my eyelids start to drop
And my senses start to shut up shop.

Trevor sits back in his chair
Beneath his very boring hair
And smiles at me from my T.V,
Explaining all that’s plain to see.
I know that Keane deserved to go,
I don’t need Trev to tell me so.
I know the Leed’s back four was flat,
I don’t need Trev to tell me that.

I remember Trev in his West Ham days,
He was useless in so many ways
He looked just like a pregnant yak
When running up to help attack.
He didn’t get stuck in at all,
Shut his eyes to head the ball.
His shooting skills were only crass.
His saving grace-that he could pass.

Trevor sits back in his chair
Beneath his very boring hair
And tells us all about the goal
As I reach for the remote control.
I always have to give a miss
To his expert analysis.
I can’t believe I’d had my fill
Of brilliant, witty Jimmy Hill.

The Nightingale Parts 1 and 2

A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.
But I was in Dublin
So I didn’t care.

I may have been drunk but, my darling I swear,
A nightingale barked in Sangley Square.

The Great Jahore of Katmandu

The Great Jahore of Katmandu
Eats little else but vindaloo.
He dusts his thimbles on the shelf,
Plays games of chess against himself.
He counts his ears and speaks Chinese
To his beloved chimpanzees.

The Great Jahore likes nothing better
Than wearing his new Aran sweater.
(It goes well with his lederhose
And yellow socks with crimson toes)
He really is a style guru,
The Great Jahore of Katmandu.

He only issues travel permits
To ardent fans of Herman’s Hermits,
He cuts his toenails every day
To keep the evil gods away.
He puts the clippings on his hat
Or on the matted welcome mat.

The Great Jahore of Katmandu
Has placed a tax on wearing blue,
He made his favourite Pekinese
The Minister for Sniffing Cheese.
He paints his teeth with white emulsion
For toothpaste causes him revulsion.

How he bemoans the lack of snow
When ski-ing down Mount Angelo!
He only likes pineapples canned
And ordered all the fresh ones banned.
He papers all his ceilings too,
The Great Jahore of Katmandu.

Some people say that he is mad,
But, then, you should have seen his dad.

The Fallen Nun

The nun came tumbling down the stairs,
After tripping o’er the cat.
No angel heard her frantic prayers,
What do you make out of that?

Steam Days

When I was a lad, just a slip of a child,
Way back in the evergreen Poulton-le-Fylde,
I often spent many a tireless day
Down at the rec. where the kids used to play.
I spent many hours on the old wooden fence,
Watching the signal with rapture intense.
And, when that old metal rectangle would rise,
I’d know that a train would materialise.
Out of sight, round the bend with the hawthorns cut back,
I’d hear the chuff-chuffing resound down the track,
And the billowing black plumes of smoke in the sky
Would tell me a steam train would shortly pass by.

Here it comes, here it comes, with it’s pistons a-pumping,
And I, with my rye-grass in mouth up and jumping.
The driver with peaked cap stares out through his hole,
While the dirty black fireman shovels up coal.
The train has a name and a number as well
And the smoky black plumage a wonderful smell.
The Master rolls by with his tender attending,
A ritual walk down the aisle never ending.
And then come the carriages, people and faces
Going to Preston or other far places.
I’d jump on the fence and I’d wave my arms high
And sometimes I’d get a salute in reply.
How many carriages trundling along?
I’d count them all out like reciting a song.
And then comes the Guards Van, a short stumpy tail,
The guard may be standing and holding the rail.
And as I stare after this stately procession
The black musty smell leaves a life-long impression.
I went back there once on a day bright and mild,
And sat on the fence like I had as a child.
And down round the bend with the hawthorns cut back
A new Intercity approached down the track
It whooshed by so fast I could not see the name
And I knew in my heart that it wasn’t the same.
The people still travel from station to station,
No longer a journey, but just transportation.
I lifted an arm, waved mechanically,
But the ashen-stone faces just stared back at me.
And as the pale bullet sped by sleek and fast,
I knew that the dreams of my childhood had past.


Why did Gilbert O’ Sullivan swear,
The moment he met you,
Oh Clare?

On Strike Again

Sitting on this hard, cold floor,
My mind is blank, my arse is sore.
Playing patience till I’m bored,
Smoking fags I can’t afford.
Shoppers look with knowing eyes,
Some come up and sympathise.
Kindly words sincerely stated
Are very much appreciated.
Five days stubble on my chin
Clearly shows the state I’m in.
I’ve read my books, my eyes are bleary,
The non-stop muzak makes me weary.
Perhaps I ought to take up Russian?
I wish to God I’d brought a cushion.
Smoke another cigarette
To pass the time and help forget,
Trying hard to tell myself
There’s people who don’t have their health-
Child-abuse and gun attacks,
People paying income-tax
Men and women on the dole
Who can’t put sugar in their bowl.
So I’m not too bad in my ennui
But I wish I’d win the Lottery.
I’d fly away to the Bahamas
Lie in the sun and eat bananas
Crack a coconut, drink the milk
While listening to Acker Bilk…
But then I open up my eyes
And very swiftly realise
I’d get more fun from watching cricket,
For I’m part of the Dunnes Stores picket.

Lame Excuse

As I burst through the toilet door,
My bladder aching from the cold,
A yellow notice said “Wet Floor,”
And so I did as I was told.


Blank sheet of paper,
What shall I write?
Will it be beautiful?
Will it be shite?

Full sheet of paper.
Thank God Almighty!
Well, was it beautiful?
No, it was shitey.

Immobile Phone

I bought a mobile phone today,
I think that it’s a dud.
I brought it home excitedly,
Feeling pretty good

I placed it on the table and
I hung it on the wall.
But, though I watched it constantly,
It didn’t move at all.

Billy’s Questions

“Why can’t we have wings,” said Billy to God,
“The freedom to soar through the air?
It takes oh, so long when you’re walking along,
It takes ages to get anywhere.”

“ Why can’t we have screws,” said Billy to God,
“To open our chests when we please?
If we could look inside, it would be a great stride
In the fight against pain and disease.”

“Why can’t we have fur,” said Billy to God,
“It would help to protect us from cold.
Just think of the cost of the body heat lost
For the poor and the sick and the old.”

“Just think of the time,” said Billy to God,
“That we humans spend sleeping and dozing.
Think what we could do if we did not have to
Waste hours inert and reposing.”

“Why must we have teeth,” said Billy to God,
“That hurt us from cradle to grave?
Were they made of steel, how much better we’d feel
Just think of the toothaches we’d save.”

“Why don’t we have minds,” said Billy to God,
“To remember the things that we learn?
Not to have to go look up some paper or book
Would really do us a good turn.”

At length came a moan like a roaring cyclone,
And God gave his answer to Billy:-
“I’ve heard all your questions and clever suggestions.
Now, push off, and don’t be so silly.”

Astral Microscope

There they live in mild hysteria,
Petri dish full of bacteria.
Single cells and colonies
Spreading sickness and disease,
Defying all their natural forces,
Devouring all their world’s resources,
Like a cancer slowly creeping
Through the body while it’s sleeping.
Amoeba-like they reproduce,
Replace the old cells of no use.
Obviously they’re far too small
To have a living soul at all.

But as they spread their poison slowly
Over everything that’s holy,
We keep the sample locked away
At the centre of the Milky Way.
Some say they ought to be destroyed,
Vaporised throughout the void.
But the government has shown defiance,
Preserved them in the name of science.
Seemingly it has no fear
They might escape their atmosphere
I wonder, would it give them hope
To know they’re under a microscope?

A Spot of Literary Criticism

T.S.Eliot’s poetry
Is vitally important
To show poems what they ought to be,
And also what they oughtn’t.

“Macavity the Railway Cat”-
His finest poem ever.
I wish that I could write like that,
But then, I’m not that clever.

The rhythm beats prodigiously,
It’s full of perfect rhyming,
Each line scans religiously-
The secret’s in the timing.

“The Four Quartets” is for the birds,
It’s full of double-dutch.
He doesn’t bother rhyming words,
At least, not very much.

It doesn’t go “da-dum-di-dum,”
Nor even “dum-da-di,”
So he can shove it up his bum
You call that poetry?


Trrrruck!” he shouted.
“Trrrruck!” he stated.
“Trrrruck!” he loudly

The Regular

A night when ancient war-gods vented
All their anger in the weather,
Bracken shook like ghouls demented,
Earth and heaven fused together.

The gale had never once abated,
Never once had it looked back,
And lightning shafts illuminated
The Scottish moorlands clothed in black.

The driving rain in fury poured
Like waves of vengeful Ostermen,
And mighty Thor and Odin roared
In savage echoes round the glen.

Jim McPherson stumbled gamely
Through the dank and sodden heather,
Cold and soaking, cursing lamely
At the unrelenting weather.

Down the hillside, slowly sinking,
Ancient wisdom, bowed, forlorn,
Granite boulders stared unblinking,
Eyes through grassy carpet worn.

Until, at last, his sturdy boot
Felt tarmacadam ‘neath his feet,
And, pausing to arrange his suit,
He marched off quickly down the street.

Down the long dark road he pressed,
Skirting round Ben Tanzie’s girth,
Like an ant around the breast
Of ever-watchful Mother Earth.

Soon he came upon a white house
The object of his lonely trek,
Shining brightly like a lighthouse,
Close beside a glassy beck.

He pushed his way in through the door
And paused upon the woven mat,
Water pouring on the floor
A-leaping from his brimming hat.

He spied the owner by the fire,
In his shirtsleeves pristine white.
“How’re ye, Bull?” he did enquire,
“Business awful bad tonight?”

Billy said, “There’s no-one here,
There won’t be much a-washin’ delph.
And, but I knew that you’d appear,
I’d mebbe stayed upstairs meself.”

McPherson squelched up to the bar,
And sat down in his normal spot.
“I willna ha’ ma usual jar,
I’m sore in need o’ sumtin’ hot.”

“Mebbe ye’ll ha’ a cup o’ tay?”
Said Billy, rising with a smile.
He placed a teapot on a tray,
A-grinning broadly all the while.

“’Tis not for tay me mouth’s bin achin’!”
Came McPherson’s sharp retort.
“Sumtin’ strong teh stop me shakin’,
Sumtin’ like a glass o’ port.”

“Port is it?” came back the banter,
“Wha’ sort o’ port does sir require?
Shall I fetch ma best decanter
An’ serve it t’ye by the fire?”

McPherson smiled, “Now don’ be sully,
Jes’ gi’e’s a glass t’mek me warm.
An’ I dinna care wha’ sort now, Bully,
‘Tis any port, sure, in a storm.”

The Obstructionist

My name is Michael Millington,
Professor of Obstruction,
I’d better point out what that means,
By way of introduction.

I’ll set the scene – its Christmas Eve,
And town is black with shoppers,
Tobacco sellers dodge and duck,
Evading nosy coppers.

Carol singers block the street
In festive celebration,
You barge your way into the crowd
In quiet desperation.

You have to get some soap for Mam,
A shirt for Uncle Billy,
And don’t forget the sheep-dip for
Your mad old Auntie Millie.

You’re weaving here, you’re swerving there,
Avoiding a collision,
When, coming out of HMV,
You make the wrong decision.

For you step left when he steps right –
You’re in the same position!
Like Sumo wrestlers squaring up
Before a competition.

So you step right and he steps left –
You can’t make the correction,
As if you’re looking in a mirror
At your own reflection.

After two or three attempts,
You’re starting to get harassed.
And so he stops and waves you on,
Bright-blushing and embarrassed.

You giggle lightly, walk on by,
And all your cares are banished.
You turn around to watch him go,
But magically, he’s vanished.

‘Twas me, the great obstructionist,
From mundane matters plucked,
To put a smile upon the face
Of those whom I obstruct.

It is a service I provide,
My standards are improving,
Just fax me in a photograph
Of whom you want stopped moving.

I tour around the country
Giving lectures on obstruction,
And anyone attending can
Avail of a reduction.

The population’s going up,
Despite the world recession,
In busy streets, there’ll be a need
For men of my profession.

The overheads are very small,
It only takes a minute.
The only disadvantage is
There’s not much money in it.

So, next time that your path is blocked,
Remember it’s my job,
Just reach your hand into your purse,
And slip me a few bob.

The Etang de Sandun

The Etang de Sandun lives perchance
In Southern Brittany in France.
He loves to sing and loves to dance
While only wearing underpants.

Slightly north of St. Nazaire,
In earshot of La Grande Briere,
You’ll find him singing in the square,
Or waltzing in his underwear.

He’s often found on sunny days.,
Sporting just a pair of stays,
And dancing to the latest craze,
While warbling “La Marseillaise.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Chicken and the Egg

Let me introduce myself, I’m Jimmy Gregg of Gort.
They call me a small farmer for I’m only five foot nought.
My missus, Rita, and myself, we own a hundred sheep,
Ten cows, some chickens and a sow, enough to earn our keep.
She’s the brains and I’m the brawn, we never have a worry,
She does all the paperwork, while I’m knee-deep in slurry.
We haven’t any children, for I’m much too tired at night,
Besides, the wife won’t let me, for I always smell quite badly.

A week ago, I met a man who had a wooden leg.
“Which came first?” he questioned me, “the chicken or the egg?”
I thought awhile, I thought some more, in fact I thought all day,
And, by the time I made to speak, the sod had limped away.
I rushed back home to ask the wife, but Rita only laughed,
She told me to take off my boots and not to be so daft.
And, as my puzzled countenance caused her great merriment,
The idea suddenly came to me – the great experiment.

Next morning, I milked all the cows and counted all the sheep,
Then took the brush into my hand and gave the yard a sweep.
I got a tub of whitewash and marked out a running track –
It started at the barn and ended at the chicken shack.
The local press arrived at ten, a pimply-looking youth,
Accompanied by a camera-man, a bit long in the tooth.
I bade them both to park themselves upon a bale of hay,
Then gave a small dissertion on this most historic day.

“Socrates and Aristotle grappled with the question,
But all these sages came up with was chronic indigestion.
Newton didn’t know, and he was one of our great thinkers,
And even Albert Einstein bluffed he couldn’t give a tinker’s.
Victor Hugo, Sigmund Freud both pondered it in vain,
Franz Kafka shrugged his shoulders twice and then became insane.
But now all our philosophies will have to be reversed,
For I will prove conclusively which of the two came first.”

Upon the starting-line, I placed an egg quite newly laid.
You’ve no idea of the effect that this production made.
The youth appeared to have been smitten by a thunderbolt,
He nudged the ageing camera-man, who woke up with a jolt.
I then retrieved a chicken, which I’d tethered up with twine,
And solemnly I placed it down upon the starting line.
I could hear the two men guessing as to what would happen next,
And could see from their expressions they were mightily perplexed.

I got the shotgun from the barn and shouted, “On your marks!”
Then fired a blast into the air and downed a pair of larks.
The chicken gave a startled squawk, surprised by the commotion,
But in her greatest rival, there was ne’er a sign of motion.
The feathered one ran merrily towards the chicken shack,
But the egg seemed strongly disinclined to follow down the track.
And, as the race approached its end, my pulse began to quicken,
And, when the winning-tape was breached, I shouted, “It’s the chicken!”

The pimply youth and camera man jumped quickly to their feet,
Talking animatedly of deadlines they’d to meet.
And, as they climbed into their car, the old one tapped his head,
Obviously impressed by everything I’d done and said.
So, now you know the answer, all of ye who search for knowledge,
Whether travelling ‘round the world, or smoking hash in college,
If you’re ever posed the question of the chicken and the egg,
You tell them it’s the chicken, and who told you – Jimmy Gregg.

Sound Advice

If you should be plotting
To go off globe-trotting,
There’s two things you shouldn’t forget –
The land is as hard
As your mother’s back yard,
While the sea is exceedingly wet.


If your mind has been muddled
By drink, or befuddled
By thoughts of the emperor’s daughter,
Don’t forget you can stand
On a nice piece of land
But the sea’s always full up with water.

Smart Answer

You can’t have your cake and eat it,
The pompous teacher snorted.
“So what’s the point in having it,
The stubborn boy retorted.


He didn’t care for postmen,
He thought they should be banned.
He used to write his letters and
Deliver them by hand.

He only writes to locals now,
For he could not afford
The soaring cost of airfare when
He had to write abroad.

Occupational Therapy [ How Do I Love Thee? ]

If I were a steeplejack, I would walk tall,
Were I a town crier, I’d give you a call,
If I were a gardener, our love would so bloom,
If I were a builder, I’d give you more room,
If I were a soldier, I’d capture your heart,
If I were a baker, I’d make you a tart,
If I were a sailor, I’d give you a wave,
If I were a sexton, I’d act awful grave,
If I were a fisherman, I’d drop you a line,
If I worked on the pit face, then I’d make you mine,
Were I a speech therapist, what could I say?
If I were a barber, there’d be hell toupee,
If I were a chef, I would relish your smile,
If I had been shipwrecked, I’d walk down the isle,
If I were a carpenter, I’d try a new tack,
Were I a masseur, I’d exclaim, “Good, your back.”If I were an astronaut, I’d give you some space,
If I were a priest, I would worship your face,
Were I a gamekeeper, I’d hold you so deer,
Were I a mechanic, I’d help change your gear,
If I bungi-jumped, I would fall for you madly,
If I were a servant, I’d slave for you gladly,
Were I a greengrocer, would they lettuce play?
Were I a birdwatcher, I’d ring you each day,
If I were a dancer, about you I’d rave,
If I were a goalie, I’d work hard and save,
If I were a doctor, would I love you in vein?
If I read the weather, then long may you rain,
Were I a sign-writer, I’d write you a letter,
If I were a poet, I’d rhyme this verse better.

Mr. Proverb

He never ran before he walked, he looked before he leapt,
And if he ever spilt some milk, he never ever wept.

He always took good care to look a gift horse in the eye,
And always checked the water long before the well ran dry.

He left the stable door ajar, on seeing the horse departed,
And knew he had to sink or swim and finish what he’d started.

“Pride doth come before a fall,” you’d often hear him muttering,
He carefully eschewed fine words, if parsnips needed buttering.

He lead his horse to water but he couldn’t make him drink,
And always used two pence of tar, in case the ship might sink.

He made a point to eat an apple each and every day.
[He got appendicitis but the doctor kept away.]

When he was making broth, he never used too many cooks,
And covers couldn’t sway his mind if he was judging books.

He tried hard not to spare the rod, in case the child was spoiled,
And stoically resisted watching pots until they’d boiled.

He never had a faint heart, so he won a lady fair,
And saved nine stitches sewing up his worn out underwear.

When he purchased eggs, he bought a basket and a trolley,
And never tried to teach new tricks to his old faithful collie.

He minded all the pennies and so left the pounds alone,
And gathered loads of moss because he was no rolling stone.

He never counted chickens if the shells were still intact –
Some say he was a character,
But I think he was cracked.

Motorist’s Nightmare

Other drivers fit to burn-
Can anything be worse
When, halfway through a three point turn,
You cannot find reverse?

Mad Cow

Buttercup, the Guernsey cow,
Sauntered slowly down the lane.
Deep in thought, she wondered how
She’d ever find her way to Spain.

A hen approached from up ahead,
Before she’d gone a half a mile.
“Is this the way to Spain?” she said.
The hen just gave a nervous smile.

Further on, she met a horse,
“I’m heading off for Spain!” she cried,
“Can you say if I’m on course?”
But the nag passed on the other side.

She hollered, “Where’s the road to Spain?”
To a boxer, chained and muzzled.
“Perhaps I ought to take the train?”
But the dog just raised an eyebrow, puzzled.

“Oh, sheep!” she called, “Can you help please
And kindly tell me as to whether
I’m on course for the Pyrennees?”
But the sheep just trundled off together.

The sun sank lower in the sky
And Buttercup began to shiver.
A lonely tear escaped her eye,
As she stood sadly by a river.

“Oh, what am I to do?” sobbed she,
“I’ve had no help from anywhere.
In Spain they’re free from BSE
And they don’t cull us chickens there.”


A young cockatoo they called Garret,
Once swallowed a whole piece of carrot.
He sipped on some Coke,
And then started to choke,
And exclaimed, “I’m as sick as a parrot.”

There once was a worried old woman,
Who ended her sentences hummin’,
The doctor said, “Jaysus!
That’s highly contagious!
You’d better not hmmm hmm hmm hmmm hmm.”

A young vegan from Polynesia
Once suffered a dose of amnesia,
But he came to grief
When he ate some roast beef
And then died of a terrible seizure.

Rudolph the Reindeer was moody,
So he went for a swim in the nudie,
As he clambered out,
He heard Santa shout,
“God help us! I’m certain that’s Rudie.”

There once was a caring Croatian,
Who wrote books about conservation,
A critic said, “Hey!
They’re marvellous, but they
Accelerate deforestation.”

There was a young poet from Gort,
Who left all his limericks short.
He never could end
All the lines that he penned.

If Only…..

If only I’d got to the shop one hour later,
If only I’d used the correct escalator,
If only I’d spotted that huge alligator,
If only, if only, if only.

If only old Adolf had been a Hispanic,
Or sailed to America on the Titanic,
Or worked all his life as a motor mechanic,
If only, if only, if only.

If only our marking had been watertight,
If only our Packie had punched it that night,
If only Schillachi had been on the right,
If only, if only, if only.

If only my Dad had worked harder in life,
And taken a millionairess for a wife,
I wouldn’t have all of this trouble and strife,
If only, if only, if only.

If only – two words so pathetically small
Can make a sane man bang his head off a wall,
But, if you look closely, they mean bugger all,
If only, if only, if only.


Jesus spluttered into Dublin on a motorbike,
The people lined the Navan Road, saying, “Jaysus, what’s he like?”

We rode with Him that perfect day, performing escort duty,
Like flies that hover all around a rose of wondrous beauty.

At the GPO he gave a speech so clear and graphic,
Until the Gardai moved him on for blocking up the traffic.

Throughout the week, he drove around the confines of the city,
Blessing those who came to Him, exuding love and pity.

In the Park, ten thousand people watched without a sound,
As Jesus grasped the Papal Cross and tore it from the ground.

We hand-plucked band of followers did hang on every word,
Marvelling at things we saw, and everything we heard.

A travelling man lay dying in his roadside caravan,
Jesus kissed his forehead and he woke, a healthy man.

He spoke with love and friendliness to everyone He’d meet,
Until, that is, he went to Mass up in Whitefriars Street.

He pulled the ranks of Mass cards down, thus causing their disbandment,
While yelling fiercely, “Don’t ye know the second great Commandment?”

Eyes ablaze, He threw a punch at the Virgin Mary’s head-
It shattered on the cold, stone floor – the congregation fled.

St. Matthew too came tumbling down, St. Francis and St. Paul,
The plaster statue of Himself, He smashed against the wall.

The Gards rushed in, but Jesus knelt in silent adoration,
They waited till He’d finished and then brought Him to the station.

For five long hours, He answered all their idiotic questions,
And smiled at their frustration and their often-lewd suggestions.

Outside, some people knelt and prayed, and called Him the Redeemer,
While others howled out for His blood and called Him a blasphemer.

The networks tried to analyse His mesmeric effect,
Some claimed He was a charlatan, the leader of a sect.

Inspector Brady then hit on the easiest solution,
And sent Him up to Dundrum to the mental institution.

There they gave Him one small shot, and brought Him to His bed,
But, when they checked Him in the night, sweet Jesus lay there dead.

The pathologist came scurrying, red-faced and out of breath,
But, though he tried, he could not find the reason for His death.

They brought Him to the mortuary, and locked him in a drawer,
Then read a brief press statement to a hundred hacks or more.

On Sunday, when they let us in, we were horrified to find
The body missing from the drawer, the blankets left behind.

They questioned each of us, of course, until the early morning,
But in the end, they freed us with a not-so-friendly warning.

The papers all conjectured on the plot that we were hatching,
Accusing us of trickery, deceit and body-snatching.

They nailed His memory to the cross, suspecting grand collusion,
While we laid low, as best we could, amid the mass confusion.

We all met up in Mulligan’s and, in an upstairs room,
We railed against injustice in an atmosphere of gloom.

Then suddenly, a ball appeared, a huge and fiery sun,
It settled on our heads in turn, baptised us one by one.

And when it left, our spirits rose and our resolve was greater,
We’d spread the Word throughout the world, we’d witnessed the Creator.

I got a phone-call yesterday from Kate in Skibbereen,
She said, “Hey, Pete, I bet you’ll never guess who I’ve just seen…”

Flip and Flop

Flip and Flop, the bunny rabbits,
Scrambled through the hedge.
Playfully, they nipped each other
At the field’s edge.

Flip was grey with specks of white,
While Flop was golden brown.
They played together all day long
Until the sun went down.

They frollicked gaily up the mounds
And tumbled down each furrow.
They hadn’t left each other’s side
Since they were in the burrow.

Flip tried to chase a butterfly
That flickered all around him,
And Flop pawed wildly at the flies
That always did surround him.

This happy picture cannot last,
For both of them got shot.
Now Flip is in the freezer
And poor Flop is in the pot.

Children’s Rhyme

Pinch and a punch
For the first of the month.
Bang on the ear
For the first of the year.
Dig in the eye
For the first of July.
Kick up the bottom,
First day of Autumn.
Gouge and dismember,
The first of November.

Achilles Heel

I swotted hard, got my degree,
Reading anthropology.
Students still ask for my thesis
On the origin of species.
I’ve taken part in excavations
In a myriad of nations.
Homo erectus, Neanderthal –
I’ve written books about them all.

Yet, though my brain-cells are unreal,
I have a large Achilles heel.
My life, I feel, would be complete
If I could fold a fitted sheet.
I work myself into a state
Trying to get the corners straight.
I cannot get them flat at all,
They always end up in a ball.

Cotton, linen or percale,
I always know I’m going to fail.
Single sheets are bad, but double
Cause me unrelenting trouble.
And, though I tuck the elastic in,
Fate decrees I’ll never win.
The greatest story never told
Is how a fitted sheet should fold.

A Suggestion

Why do they hold the eclipse of the moon
When all decent folk are in bed?
It ought to be held in the mid-afternoon
Or just after dinner instead.

A Matter of Principal

I was on the board of my old school, when the Principal dropped dead,
And so we had to advertise to get another Head.
Our school is quite notorious, so very few applied,
And when we held the interviews, just three Heads sat outside.

The first of our three applicants was miserable and sour,
Perhaps we caught him in a mood or in his weakest hour,
At any rate, he railed against the system as a whole,
And argued that strong discipline should be the final goal.

The second person that we met just didn’t seem to care.
She didn’t like the coffee-set, she didn’t like my hair.
She told us a head teacher’s life was not a bowl of cherries,
And that she’d nearly had enough of her old school in Skerries.

The third and final candidate appeared a thoughtful man,
His name was Daniel Kelly and I soon became a fan,
He outlined his achievements with a modesty so rare,
It really was no contest so we told him then and there.

We summoned in the national press to tell of our decision,
It wasn’t hard for them to guess ‘twas Dan, the man with vision.
The next day someone opened up a copy of the Sun,
And there in big bold letters –
“Two Heads are Bitter – Dan Won!”

Your Roving Reporter

“I’m in a town called Dublin in the Northern Hemisphere,
Observing the religion of the people living here.
Their secular beliefs appear uncivilised and tribal,
I think that I can say that without any fear of libel.

Once a week, their God descends from heaven, without warning,
His grotesque machinations give the people ample warning.
And, when they hear him roaring, people keep their kids indoors,
Doubtless fearing that they might get snapped up in His jaws.

In order to appease him, every house must pay a price,
And offer up an animal in gruesome sacrifice,
The animal is kept out in the yard or in the shed,
And scraps of food and household waste are all that it is fed.

It’s commonly referred to as the Jumbo Refuse Sack.
The poor dumb creature has a skin that’s smooth and shiny black,
Its molecular metabolism’s similar to plastic,
But the speed it grows within a week is really quite fantastic.

And, when the Sack is bloated so it can’t move from the spot,
Its ears are taken savagely and tied into a knot,
And then its left outside the door, or maybe at the gate,
So full and fat it can’t escape its grim, predestined fate.

And then the God comes snarling with His faithful old and thin men,
Expressionless executioners, colloquially called Bin Men,
The God’s cruel mouth is in its arse, He opens it up wide,
And the poor defenceless animals are flung with force inside.

What thoughts must flicker through the Sack’s pathetic, tiny mind,
Awaiting the mad deity-with-terrible-behind?
How must it feel to watch his fellow creatures lightly thrown
Into the gaping, crunching mouth, abandoned and alone?

These Dubliners should play no part upon their planet’s stage!
To think there’s still such barbarism in this day and age.
Perhaps its something in the genes, passed on to them at birth –
This is R-J-6-11, Astral TV, Planet Earth.”

Wishful Thinking

The sky is painted perfect blue,
The cliffs are rusty brown.
Bold Wile E. Coyote waits
To run Roadrunner down.
The ACME jet-skis are turned on,
The catapult is primed,
And every single detail has
Been tested out and timed.
The seeds are scattered on the ground
[“Especially for Birds.”]
And very soon we’ll cease to hear
Those most annoying words.
“Beep! Beep!” Here comes the flying cloud,
A-speeding down the track.
Coyote deftly lights the fuse
And takes a last look back.
“Beep! Beep!” Roadrunner flashes by,
Coyote’s in the rear.
He’s gaining on him, yard by yard,
The end is surely near!
The cocky bird espies the seed
And stops to take a feed,
Our hero’s fast approaching, God!
He’s very close indeed!
Wile whips out a sharpened axe
And severs R R’s head,
Not even time for one “Beep! Beep!”
Before the bastard’s dead.
In every house around the world,
The children dance with glee.
No more to hear that damned “Beep! Beep!”
Roadrunner’s ceased to be.


I passed a stationary shop today,
It didn’t move, I’m glad to say.

The Wino

Old and dirty and stinking of wine,
He shuffled along the bus queue line.
His blackened face was scarred and worn,
His ragged trousers badly torn.
Not a single one was willing
To give the poor old sod a shilling.
Ne’er a kindly word was spoken,
Stony silence dragged unbroken.
Uncomfortable at being harassed,
They turned their eyes away, embarrassed.
His vacant eyes did not express
The slightest trace of bitterness.
So when he reached me in the queue,
I knew just what I ought to do.
I cleared my throat and gave a cough,
And muttered to him, “No, sod off!”

The Story of Mou-Mou

Mou-Mou was a Hottentot, in Africa he dwelt,
He was the greatest hunter in the whole wide world, he felt.
His hearing powers were acute, as was his sense of smell,
Enabling him to take his pick of warthog and gazelle.

Once he crossed the prairie lands, to hunt the great white rhino,
He brought it home triumphantly and dumped it on the lino.
His wife surveyed it thoughtfully, and then she ventured, “He’s a
Little big to eat just now, I’ll put him in the freezer.”

Mou-Mou woke one morning in his compact wooden hut,
And, jumping lightly out of bed, he left behind his foot.
This was quite unnerving and he gave a little cough,
The force of which did cause his little finger to fall off.

To say that he was troubled was to put it rather mildly,
He hopped around in great distress, gesticulating wildly,
And, pulling back the bedclothes, he was horrified to find
Two kneecaps and an earhole and a piece of his behind.

His wife was fast asleep when the manure hit the fan,
But, waking up, she cried, “We’d better see the medicine man!”
The medicine man examined Mou-Mou, eyes awash with sorrow,
And said, “I’ll run some simple tests, so please come back tomorrow.”

Mou-Mou dutifully returned, just as the doctor said,
His nipples gone, his bulbous nostrils hanging by a thread.
His faithful wife was there as well to give her man support,
And also so that she could hear the medicine man’s report.

The doctor said, “Now, my old friend, please do not go to pieces,
I’ve looked into your urine and I’ve analysed your faeces.
I’m afraid that you’ve got leprosy, it’s in its early stages,
And, Mrs. Mou-Mou, please beware, it’s desperately contagious.”

When they got home, his loving wife got out the Mister Sheen,
And sprayed and polished everywhere that Mou-Mou’d ever been.
She threw the bedclothes out the back and threw them on the fire,
And then the contents of the wardrobe helped the flames fly higher.

She threw out all the cutlery, the dishes and the jugs,
Electric kettle, rhino horn and souvenir mugs.
Mou-Mou sat dejected in the middle of the floor,
As everything he’d ever owned went hurtling out the door.

Finally, he stood up, as she emptied out the room-
His stainless steel cooking pots, a family heirloom,
He said, “Just bleach them thoroughly, that should be quite sufficient.
They’re priceless in their value and remarkably efficient.”

“Efficient, pah!” his wife exclaimed, “They’re probably infected.”
She would have said a whole lot more but Mou-Mou interjected:
“If those pots go, then so do I, I don’t need to remind you!”
“Okay, my love,” the answer came, “And shut the door behind you!”

But then, dear friend, a happy end, for Mou-Mou did recover,
And took his pots along when he did move in with his lover.
So if you’re out in Africa and visit Hottentots,
Remember you can never make a leper change his pots.

The Snake’s Legs

After Adam and Eve had gone,
God turned to the snake to say,
“You’ll crawl on your belly from this day on,
I’m taking your legs away.”

I’ve often been troubled by this idea,
While praying or singing hymns,
This pre-leg status is quite unclear-
What did a snake have for limbs?

Two at the front and two at the back?
Were they rigid or could they bend?
Hundreds of small ones, all flimsy and black?
Or did it have one at each end?

What was a snake like, the question begs,
Ere God donned His surgeon’s mask?
It’s hard to imagine a snake with legs –
Is there anyone I could ask?

The Owl and the Pussycat [updated]

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat.
They took some hash and plenty of cash,
Then the Owl slit the Pussycat’s throat.
The Owl pushed the body over the side,
And sang to a small guitar,
“Oh, former Pussy, oh Pussy’s that’s dead,
What a lifeless ex-Pussy you are,
you are,
you are,
What a lifeless ex-Pussy you are.

He used his syringe when he felt a twinge,
And he had an amazing dream,
Where marzipan flies had saucer-shaped eyes,
And supported a football team.
He sailed away for a year and a day
To the land where the ganja grows,
And there, in a wood, a Piggy-wig stood
With some coke on the end of his nose,
his nose,
his nose,
With some coke on the end of his nose.

“Hey, man, how’s tricks? Will you get me a fix?”
Said the laid-back Piggy, I will.
As he rolled a fat joint, he did lazily point
To the Turkey who lived on the hill.
They tried some smack and Colombian crack,
Which they sniffed off a runcible spoon,
And, hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They tripped by the light of the moon,
the moon,
the moon,
They tripped by the light of the moon.

The Novice Fisherman

He sat alone upon the bank, his fishing rod in hand.
Why he hadn’t caught a fish, he couldn’t understand.
He’d been fishing there all morning and he hadn’t caught a bite,
So he unwrapped his sandwiches and eased his appetite.
He’d bunched the maggots on his hook with optimistic air,
He’d even cleaned his tackle, but that’s neither here nor there.
Eventually a barrister called Nigel came along.
An expert fisherman himself, he spotted what was wrong.
Standing on the pavement, he looked up at him and said,
“Why don’t you go and sit upon the river bank instead?”

The Mighty King of Phutaan

The mighty King of Phutaan bakes
The most delicious fairy cakes.
He gets his sugar, maize and flour
And whips them up in half an hour.
And then, to make them more enticing,
Adds a layer of chocolate icing.

Whenever passing royalty
Drop in for some confectionery,
He’ll grab his apron from the hook,
And open up his recipe book,
And start to roll and sieve and mix,
And other culinary tricks.

And, after roughly half an hour,
He’ll reappear, awash with flour.
Then solemnly he will display
A dozen cakes on silver tray.
Expectantly, he’ll watch them take
A chocolate-covered fairy cake.

And woe betide to those who pass
Upon the royal coup-de-grace.
Refusal, even kindly meant
Provokes a nasty incident.
So, Kings and Princes, please don’t quibble.
You’re better off to have a nibble.

The mighty King of Phutaan bakes
The most delicious fairy cakes.

The Insect Man

Flies in the bathroom and ants on the stairs,
Big daddylonglegs all over the chairs,
Spiders abseiling from lampshade to door,
Red-spotted earwigs inhabit the floor.

His home is a haven for myriad kinds
Of minuscule creatures with minuscule minds.
He tiptoes around, out of fear he might tread
On some poor unfortunate centipede’s head.

He cares for them deeply and knows all their names,
And challenges termites to cute insect games.
He once took a bronchial gnat to the vet,
An event that the latter will scarcely forget.

He says they’re God’s creatures, in spite of their size,
A point that most normal folk don’t realise.
And keeping large animals isn’t the wisest,
And cat and dog owners are just being sizist.

The last thing you’d say of his home is it’s clean,
His new vacuum cleaner has never been seen.
The dust mites play merrily over the shelves,
Splashing around and enjoying themselves.

His poor next door neighbour went round to complain,
When hordes of grey beetles came up through the drain.
He said that his family was living in fear,
But he got sent away with a flea in his ear.

The Great Escape

The council were putting in new phones
In the middle of our town.
They were digging up some paving stones
To put their cables down.
They’d just gone round an old gnarled tree,
When they heard a voice call out with glee,
“Hurray! I’ve got my liberty!
I’m free! I’m free! I’m free!”

“Observa-tree, Conserva-tree,
I’ve been living in Purga-tree.
Thirty years of misery,
Now I’m free, you won’t catch me.”

There came a booming, creaking sound,
A magnified drum-roll.
The tree’s roots heaved out of the ground,
And hopped out of the hole.
The workmen watched amazedly,
As it shook its twigs excitedly,
And in a high voice cried, “Yippee!
I’m free! I’m free! I’m free!”

“Poe-tree, Bandi-tree,
Freedom should be Manda-tree.
Thirty years of misery,
Now I’m free, you won’t catch me.”

The tree went shuffling down the street,
Accompanied by a terrier.
The tree exclaimed, “Revenge is sweet!”
And kicked it up the derriere.
“Dogs belong in the cemetery,
I’m not a canine lavatory,
Now you’ve barked up this wrong tree,
I’m free! I’m free! I’m free!”

“Symma-tree, Geome-tree,
Add some Trigonome-tree,
Thirty years of misery,
Now I’m free, you won’t catch me.”

He took to the dual carriageway
Which caused a great commotion.
Motorists were heard to say,
“Oh, a tree in motion.”
He overtook a JCB,
And then a stolen Ford Capri,
Then yelled out unashamedly,
“I’m free! I’m free! I’m free!”

“Accusa-tree, Liga-tree,
Clean air should be Obliga-tree,
Thirty years of misery,
Now I’m free, you won’t catch me.”

The Gards set out in hot pursuit,
Patrol cars by the dozens,
And so the tree put down the boot
To see his country cousins.
And in a copse in Offaly
He vanished for eternity,
No more to suffer bronchially,
He’s free, he’s free, he’s free.

“Carpen-tree, Idola-tree,
I’m no longer in Soli-tree,
Thirty years of misery,
Now I’m free, you won’t catch me.”

Monday, August 13, 2007

The First Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell
Invented the first phone.
It didn’t really work too well
‘Cos it was all alone.

It sat there mute, with ne’er a cheep,
Just inside the hall.
Alexander counted sheep
While waiting for a call.

Alexander Graham Bell
Consulted his big brother,
Who told him, that to make it sell,
He’d have to make another.

The Class of 79

At our class reunion,
We all swapped anecdotes,
And talked about how we’ve all fared
[I wrote down detailed notes.]

Sue is a solicitor,
She works alongside Will.
When their clients have to pay,
They always send out Bill.

Jack is selling motor parts,
While Sean became a barber,
Sandy is a lifeguard on
The beach beside the harbour.

Jean’s a trouser presser,
While Frank is a T.D.
P.J. does the night shift while
Old Don’s in UCD.

Annette goes out on trawlers
For a week, or maybe more.
Sometimes she runs into Cliff
When she comes back to shore.

Gayle works for the BBC,
[She’s reading out the weather],
While Heather, Rose and Lily
Run a garden shop together.

Bridget works in Egypt,
Where she came across her Niall,
Mike is a comedian
[He always made us smile.]

Ita does reporting for
The Egon Ronay Guide,
And people walk all over Matt,
No matter how he tried.

Poor old Ruth did choke to death,
While scoffing down her lunch.
We laughed a lot when we heard that –
We are a ruthless bunch.

Olive’s in the oil trade,
While Luke examines files,
Wanda roams around the world-
She sees a lot of Myles.

Carol sings occasionally,
While Lisa hires out cars,
Pat still herds his dairy cows,
And Lena’s found in bars.

Pete works long hours in the bog,
While Neil became a priest,
Mona is a critic now,
But sadly Di’s deceased.

Breda has eleven kids,
Flo’s on the water board,
While Faith and Joy and Charity
Are working for the Lord.

Bet works in a bookie shop,
While Marge works in the dairy,
Bob’s a ballet dancer [well,
He always was a fairy.]

Rob and Nick are both in jail,
Though Christian’s a preacher,
Stella’s an astronomer,
And Mark became a teacher.

I didn’t tell them what I did,
In case it made them sick.
I merely smiled when someone asked,
“Well, how’s it going, Dick?”


I was walking home from town one night a little worse for wear,
A little rain was falling but I didn’t really care.
I was walking down the white lines in the middle of the street,
Wishing I’d the money to buy something nice to eat.

I was howling at the moon about the town I loved so well,
As, all around me, dogs were captivated by my spell.
When, from the shadow of a hedge appeared a callow youth,
Who looked to me a bit intimidating, tell the truth.

There were earrings in his eyebrows, there were earrings in his cheek,
So many in his upper lip, I doubted he could speak.
His hair was shaved down either side, and, tattooed on his hand,
Was a picture of the lead guitarist from the Glitter Band.

“You got any cigarettes?” he gave a husky croak,
I told him I was sorry but I didn’t even smoke.
“Cigarettes are bad for you,” he added with a curse,
“But having none at all, old son, might turn out even worse.”

From deep within his pocket, he drew out a nasty blade.
I’d sobered up considerably and now was quite afraid.
He took a step towards me and I backed away in fear,
Perfectly aware there was no other person near.

Suddenly a whooshing sound came whistling through the sky
And then there came a crash and I suspected I might die
And, when the smoke had cleared a bit, and I surveyed the scene,
I only saw a crater where the callow youth had been.

I stared down at the hole and then I stared up at the night,
Marvelling at the timing of that blessed meteorite,
And then I shrugged my shoulders and continued on my way,
Happy I was still alive to see another day.

Speech Therapy

I went to the sp-sp-speech therapist,
When my st-st-st-stammer got worse.
She asked loads of qu-qu-qu-questions,
To which I’m a-ver-ver-ver-verse.
I had to f-fill out some forms-
She said that she found it exciting
That though I st-stammered while speaking,
I di-didn’t do it when writing.
She asked if I’d always st-stammered.
I looked at her, head ob-oblique.
“N-n-n-no,” I said, deadpan.
“Just since I st-started to speak.”

Saved by the Dodo

The animals were worried, they were shivering with the cold,
As they all tumultuously assembled in the hold.
The makeshift candles threw an eerie shadow in the dark,
While giant waves did toss and turn the flimsy, fragile Ark.
The chimpanzees and gibbons were arranging all the seating,
The ocelots were trying hard to stop the sheep from bleating.
The mice and rats were frantically avoiding paw and hoof,
And all the birds precariously were perched up on the roof.
The lion lay upon a crate, surveying the confusion,
“Could we have a bit of hush?” he called with great effusion.
The general clamour died away, the sheep gave up their bleating.
The lion cleared his throat again and then addressed the meeting.
“Twenty days and twenty nights, it hasn’t once stopped raining.
I’ve listened to you wittering and endlessly complaining.
You’re frightened that you’ll never more set foot on terra firma.”
From somewhere in the darkness came a weak assenting murmur.
“Should we trust this Noah?” asked the lion, with a glare,
“When all he’s done has brought us into darkness and despair.
There’s two of every kind of us, each lizard, beast and fowl…”
“There’s sixty of the rabbits!” called out ever-watchful Owl.
The lion let the tittering pervade across the floor,
Then, tossing back his fiery mane, he held up his right paw.
“There’s two of every kind of us,” he carefully repeated,
“And only eight poor human beings,” he cunningly completed.
Silence fell upon the crowd, the parakeets stopped preening,
As everybody present tried to grasp the lion’s meaning.
Not a squawk or twittering was heard among the birds,
Who knit their brows in puzzlement at these rebellious words.
At length the crafty vixen broke my claustrophobic silence,
“Am I correct in thinking that you’re advocating violence?”
The lion gazed around the room and not a creature stirred,
“I think you know exactly what I’m getting at,” he purred.
“Ever since the world began, these humans have been masters,
Responsible for all the ecological disasters.
He hunts us with barbarity, and not alone for food,
But also for amusement, which is bestial and crude.
The food chain has slipped from the cog, and all because of Man.
It’s been this way the very day that humankind began.
The time is sorely out of joint, if anyone needs proof,
Just climb the stairs onto the deck and sit upon the roof.
There’s water, water everywhere, too much for us to measure.
Could there be a surer, clearer sign of God’s displeasure?
The only real way for Nature’s Law to be restored,
Is if we throw the eight remaining humans overboard!”
The animals were mesmerised, and even Tiger blinked
At the thought that they should wilfully make humankind extinct.
The ostrich thrust his head down through a knothole in the wood
But then withdrew it quickly, lest he perished in the flood.
“But Noah is a gentle man,” the nervous donkey frowned,
“If he had not have brought us in, then surely we’d have drowned.”
“I agree,” the panda called, “This man has saved our lives.
Without him, we’d be feeding sharks, along with our dear wives.”
“Point taken,” said the lion with grace, “Old Noah’s not too bad,
And Shem and Ham and Japheth seem to take after their dad.
But think upon the future now, and all of our descendants.
Can any of us guarantee our children’s independence?
For Mankind is a fickle being, he acts in desperation.
He’ll swing from good to bad within a single generation.
This is the opportunity to safeguard our survival!
It’s for our children’s sakes that we must kill our greatest rival!”
And so, into the wee small hours, continued the debate,
Which might have had the consequence of sealing mankind’s fate.
The animals all spoke in turn, for each one had a view
On what, on balance, was the proper thing for them to do.
The lion had a valid point, the tiger did concede,
And, by and large, the majority of animals agreed.
But, as the morning light appeared, the dodo took the chair,
And faced the mutineers with a simple, thoughtful air.
“I see your instincts faltering, I see your thirst for blood.
I see you’re going to kill this man who saved you from the flood.
I see you’re out for vengeance and I won’t stand in your way,
But, ‘ere you do the dirty deed, just hear what I’ve to say.
The lion’s right, I can’t deny that humans treat us rotten.
Their evil acts of savagery can never be forgotten.
They’ve brutalised our fathers in the not-too-distant past,
And, under their cruel sovereignty, there’s few of us can last.
But if we do this dreadful act, what do we stand to gain?
Our innocence will vanish and we’ll bear the mark of Cain.
If mankind drowns, then rest assured that things won’t be the same,
For evermore our guilty hearts will harden with the shame.
For we will be no better than these humans we despise,
And when we see each other, we’ll see murder in our eyes.
The strong will rule in mankind’s place, the weak will disappear,
And all the creatures of the world will live their lives in fear.
And yes, if we let humans live, we may expect the worst.
Some species might well be destroyed, and mine might be the first.
Those who follow after us might well have cause to grieve,
But we will die with dignity, which Man can ne’er achieve.”
And as the dodo mournfully stepped down onto the floor,
The animals all rose as one and gave a mighty roar.
The noise was such it caused young Shem to glance into the hold,
“Those poor dumb beasts,” he sadly sighed and shivered with the cold.

Immobile phone 2

i bought a mbl ph 2day
i tink dat it’s a dud
i tuk it home xitedly
feeln pretty gud.

i plcd it on d table &
i hung it on d wall
but tho I watchtit constntly
It never moved at all.

Cast a Cold Eye

The local rec, where we all played, lies desolate and bare,
Thistles, gorse and concrete blocks lie scattered everywhere,
The Eye and Ear Hospital has bought the land, we hear.
It will be really handy to have such a building near.
They’ve told us that the work will start on Wednesday afternoon,
And we’re informed it’s going to be a site for sore eyes soon.

Blowing in the Wind

What would you call trying to cool your chips
While the storm is uprooting the trees?
And what would you call getting breathalysed
In the midst of a very stiff breeze?
What would you call inflating balloons
In the teeth of a hurricane?
And how’d you describe someone shaping glass
While watching the whirling weather vane?

The answer my friend is “Blowing in the wind,”
The answer is “Blowing in the wind.”


The veggies will soon wrest control,
An ecological putz,
United in the one desire
To rid the world of nuts.

Not only nuts, but artichokes
And timid runner beans,
Cannibalistic genocide,
The greens are eating greens.

No-one speaks up for the plants,
They suffer it in silence,
Cultivated just to feed
Vegetarian violence.

In years to come, the situation
Only can get scarier.
I bet that half of them have never
Been to Vegetaria.


Swift of limb and fair of face,
Poised and winsome, full of grace,
Confident and always witty,
Perfect-boned and awful pretty.
In tune with everything I said,
Gymnastically adroit in bed,
Kind to animals and trees –
Alas! Siobhan was none of these.

The Mona Lisa – a Critical Appreciation

The ugly old bint, although well feted,
Looks as though she’s constipated.

The First Busker

Nero fiddled while Rome burned.
I wonder just how much he earned.

The Bungling Mongol

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a pleasuredome erect,
But there were no electrics, so the dodgem cars were fecked.
The green baize snooker tables were all built upon a slant,
And so he had to change his name to poor oul’ Kubla Khan’t.

Sweet Maeve Price

Sweet Maeve Price was very nice,
She didn’t have a single vice.
She didn’t drink, she didn’t smoke,
She never told a dirty joke.
In wintertime she fed the birds
So lovingly with kindly words.
To down-and-outs, she was kind-hearted,
In church, she hardly ever farted.
Ne’er a one for dirty tricks,
She never mentioned politics.
She always was in bed by ten
[With teddy, not with gentlemen.]
She’d smile at people in the street
With gleaming teeth so white and neat,
And patted children on the head.
“They’re all adorable,” she said.

Which is why, when poor Maeve died,
Nobody mourned at her graveside.

Street Trader 2020

“Electricity! Electricity!
Get your lovely ‘Lectricity!
A pound a bag,
Two pound for three!
Guaranteed by the E.S.B.
Two hundred and forty
Volts D.C.!
Recommended by the EEC!
As sure as me name’s Felicity,
‘Tis the very best

The End of the Creedon Show’s Nearing

Oh brothers and sisters across this fair land,
From the valleys of Antrim on down to Inch strand,
The moment of darkness is now close at hand
With the afternoon sun disappearing.
There’s no point in touching that radio band
For the end of the Creedon Show’s nearing.

They told us the news and we shivered with shock-
We’d always tune in around half three o’clock.
The ship would pull smoothly away from the dock,
With Margaret there gallantly steering,
Avoiding the reef and the deep submerged rock.
Now the end of the Creedon Show’s nearing.

It whitened our hair like a bolt from the blue,
And grown men declared that it couldn’t be true
That they undertook such an extensive review
Of the programme we’d all been revering.
Soon only enjoyed by a fortunate few
Now the end of the Creedon Show’s nearing.

A change for the better, or so they believe,
Though thousands of listeners are left here to grieve.
The wrong heads have rolled in this radio heave
If everything’s true that we’re hearing.
It just takes one phone call to earn a reprieve
For the end of the Creedon Show’s nearing.

It gave us a fillip, it gave us a lift,
We went with the flow and we flowed with the drift
Yes, we always tuned in for the afternoon shift
For the humour and great balladeering.
And now we are seriously, grievously miffed
That the end of the Creedon Show’s nearing.

The off-the-wall humour, the int’resting tracks,
The soft, lilting voice that can make you relax
When he asks you to text in or phone in or fax
In a way that is strangely endearing.
Driving home in the car with the sound turned to max.
Now the end of the Creedon Show’s nearing.

Our must-listen radio programme of choice,
The arguments over the Mystery Voice,
The summer is over, no cause to rejoice,
Oh no, there’ll be nobody cheering.
For midnight was always the home of Val Joyce,
And the end of the Creedon Show’s nearing.

Insomniacs everywhere jump with delight,
That lilting Cork accent will soon see them right
And will help them to get through the still of the night
And to banish the things they are fearing,
While the early morn risers will curse from a height
That the end of the Creedon Show’s nearing.

At the hour of the witches and of the undead,
Where angels are known to be fearful to tread,
He’ll be looking for listeners at nighttime instead,
But I don’t think I’ll be volunteering.
I can’t stay awake when I’m tucked up in bed,
Though the end of the Creedon Show’s nearing.

Those wry observations are running out fast,
Now clever and quirky are things of the past,
Let’s hope the great music goes out with a blast,
And I’m sure that the heat will be searing.
So thanks for the memories to John and the cast,
For the end of the Creedon Show’s nearing.

Nice Bit of Weather We’re Having

The rain batters down
On the country and town,
As we gaze out the window and shiver.
In our bright plastic macs,
Sure, it’s hard to relax
When we notice the height of the river.

The North Wind doth blow
With her promise of snow,
And rampages wherever she pleases,
While we bow our head
And redouble our tread
As we battle those cold, savage breezes.

Each long-waited summer
Turns out quite a bummer,
Dismissed in September’s post-mortem,
For the promise of May
Doesn’t meet us halfway
As we leap straight from Springtime to Autumn.

Pervasive, bland drizzle
Ensures we don’t sizzle,
The clouds rush in from the Atlantic,
And the sun’s golden sheen
Only seldom is seen
In depressions from large to gigantic.

The crap Irish weather
Oft bonds us together
The country unites in frustration,
And black, white or brown
We all bicker and frown
At the cold and the precipitation.

We work up a sweat
When its dismal and wet
And we’re still lighting fires in July,
While in hot, sunny places
They’re creaming their faces,
With ne’er an odd cloud in the sky.

But every so often,
The weather gods soften,
With blue skies and warm sun displayed…

Then we moan ‘bout the heat
And our hot, sweaty feet
And can’t wait to get into the shade.

I’ve Seen the Future of Eurovision

Those manic Finns
With monster grins
And high-watt insurrection,
Have turned the whole of Eurovision
In a new direction.

A lilting song
‘Bout Ding Dang Dong
Or raindrops on a petal
Has now been rendered obsolete
By thumping heavy metal.

From Ballyfree to Roumanie,
From Iceland to Albania,
They’ll grow their hair in homage to
This retro metal mania.

The powerful ballad’s
Last year’s salad,
Banging heads makes winners,
While Iron Maiden records serve
As textbooks for beginners.

Our Daniel oughta
Feel the water,
Get his act together,
Don the knuckledusters and
The whips and chains and leather.

The bonny air
Is far too square,
Oh Dan, give up the preaching,
Grab the mike and give us all
Some high-falsetto screeching.

For Europe’s sweet
On driving beat
And shouted, twisted vocals,
And Mammy’s charms and loved one’s arms
Will not impress the locals.

So, like the Finn,
Let’s all buy in,
And make a bold decision
To swan around in Death’s Head masks
For next year’s Eurovision.

The Month of May

The fair month of May is upon us at last,
The thick woolly jumpers discarded.
The shivering mornings are hopefully past,
Called to one side and red-carded.

My wife loves the warmth of a fine summer’s day,
In winter she’s fractious and narky.
Her favourite month of them all is sweet May,
No longer incessantly parky.

The buds are all darling, the roses unfurl,
As nature has fun at parading,
The barbecue smoke disappears in a swirl,
The smell of cut-grass all pervading.

The hawthorn blooms white by the side of the road,
The dragonflies hover and shiver.
The consummate bark of the natterjack toad
Resounds on the banks of the river.

When April is done and dark evenings contract,
Great peace on warm breezes is carried.
My wife adores Maytime, despite the sad fact
That that was the month we were married.

Wooden It Be Nice?

Let go my palm, my darling girl,
And lay back on your pillow,
And listen to my story ‘bout
The man they knew as Willo.
Jock McWilliams was his name,
A spruce and poplar man,
Tough as teak, he roamed the glens
Around Loch Inverban.
One day he spied a bonny lass
A –rowan ‘cross the loch.
She landed on a stony beech
And sat upon a rock.
“What is your name?” he asked of her.
“Is’t Holly? Hazel? Breda?”
(He knew he was in love with her
The moment that he cedar.)
“I like to carve wood statues,”
She announced out of the blue.
“What’s your fav’rite wood?” he asked.
She answered, “I love yew.”
Poor Jock, though, was quite elder-ly,
And also somewhat plane.
The lassie flew to Cypress and
Was never seen again.
Jock took to the whisky,
(Well, you know the way Scots pine)
Without a woman at the ‘elm,
His boat sank ‘neath the brine.
He didn’t give a fig for life,
He just got sicker more,
And in the end, the wooden box
Was carried from his door.
It was a cold and wintry day,
The women dressed in fir.
They cast his ash-es to the winds,
Their eyes all quite a-blur.

Sweet dreams, now, my darling girl,
Asleep upon the hay.
That story that I redwood make
The devil seem oak-ay.

Whales – a Rant

I must admit
That every bit
Of logic in me fails
When I observe
The massive leurve
That people have for whales.

Men march, unquelled,
A placard held
By each and every walker,
Composing tunes
Against harpoons,
And harvesters of Orca.

“Save the Whale!”
Their shirts regale,
“Expose this foul allegiance
‘Twixt Japanese
Who roam the seas
And murderous Norwegians!”

Thus they protest
And beat their breast,
And cause a great commotion
To save these giant
Bullies of our ocean.

But ask a crab
Or hake or dab
Or…anything with scales,
To please reveal
The way they feel
Towards these ogrish whales.

They will relate
And tell you straight,
That whales are born to put
The fear of God
In squid and cod
And plaice and halibut.

They dive and blow,
Above, below,
In North and South Atlantic.
To hear the squeals
Of baby eels
Does drive their mothers frantic.

“Get out the way!”
Yell skate and ray,
Whene’er a whale is spotted,
And inky cuttle-
-Fish all scuttle
Out the way, besotted.

And here he comes,
All teeth and gums,
With skin as smooth as rubber,
This oversized
And much despised
Great floating vat of blubber.

It’s fine to kill
The poor old krill,
Who never hurt nobody.
Yet we regale
The murd’rous whale
Whose practices are shoddy.

It’s really weird –
It can’t be sheared
Or milked or trained or ridden.
It won’t fetch sticks
Or do cute tricks
Whenever it is bidden.

What use is it,
This outsized git,
That does just as it wishes?
It thinks it’s great
To undulate
And frighten little fishes.

It’s not p.c.
To say that we
Should hunt them, and of course it’s
Quite wrong to say
Out loud that they
Are better off as corsets.

But is our Navy
Really gravy?
Do we have great sailors?
Do we breed
True men indeed
The way they did on whalers?

When rolling seas
Would scour and freeze,
When force elevens gusted,
When he who flinched
Was shot or lynched,
And scabs became encrusted.

When men on bows
Spied bulls and cows
With harpoons at the ready,
And though the swell
Was fierce as hell,
Their aim was true and steady.

So let us rise
With steely eyes
And done our winter woollies.
Let’s rid the seas
Of all of these
Great overvalued bullies.

There’s a Bit of a Nip in New Delhi

There’s a bit of a nip in New Delhi,
The thermometer’s never been lower.
In Bombay, they are shiv’ring like jelly,
And they’re wearing their Arrans in Goa.

There’s been quite a frosty reception,
For most, it’s a bit of a bummer,
For the weatherman made the perception
That they’re having an Irish summer.

There Was a Young Poet from Gort

There was a young poet from Gort,
Who left all his limericks short.
He never could end
All the lines that he penned.

The Strokestown Poetry Festival

The e-mail came out of the blue,
I’d forgotten it completely.
Incredulously, I read it through,
Then gave a smile discreetly.
My mouth hung open, catching flies,
When reading, to my great surprise,
I was in the running for a minor prize
At the Strokestown Poetry Festival.

I called my wife with voicebox hoarse,
And proudly bade her read it.
Although she was impressed, of course
There’s no way she’d concede it!
“My dear,” she said, “I realise
You’re wanting me to eulogise,
But sure, it’s only a minor prize
At the Strokestown Poetry Festival.

“It matters not, dear spouse,” quoth I,
Responding quite athletically.
“The judges have been struck by my
Attempts to wax poetically.
Henceforth I’ll punctuate my cries
With sonnets praising dappled skies.
Gee! In the running for a minor prize
At the Strokestown Poetry Festival!”

“Seamus Heaney’s literary talents,”
(She said) “are rightly famous.
Your verse has neither wit nor balance –
In short, you are no Seamus.
I really must apologise
If I should seem to criticise,
But you only might get a minor prize
At the Strokestown Poetry Festival.”

“I know that you’re made up,” I said,
“Just trying not to show it.
It’s hard to get into your head
That I’m a major poet.
In time, you’ll come to idolise
This wordsmith’s art I exercise,
Nominated for a minor prize
At the Strokestown Poetry Festival.”

At this, my wife collapsed in mirth,
O’ertaken by the giggles,
(A habit she has had from birth
Which sometimes frankly niggles.)
But sure, she’s trying to disguise
The pride betrayed beneath her eyes
That I am up for a minor prize
At the Strokestown Poetry Festival.

The Flash of Orange

Written in response to the oft-quoted remark that nothing rhymes with "orange"

One summer’s day,
I chanced to stray
Below sweet Ballycorringe,
And by the lake,
I took a break,
And paused to peel an orange.

And as I chewed
That luscious food,
My mind began to porringe,
And in the bushes
By the rushes,
I spied a flash of orange.

“This cannot be!”
(Said I to me,
My neck-hairs stiff and lorringe)
“For I have heard
About this bird,
Bright-painted green and orange.”

“It is the famed
And long-acclaimed
Far-fabled Arctic florringe.
There’s no mistaking
It’s breathtaking
Plume of green and orange!”

As though in death,
I held my breath,
And watched it scour and forringe.
From hawthorn twig
To holly sprig,
I watched that flash or orange.

With garbled song,
It hopped along,
Untroubled by disporringe.
Why had it flown
So far from home,
This ball of green and orange?

And then it sighed,
Keeled o’er and died,
No more would it concorringe.
I watched it break
The still glass lake
In one last flash of orange.

And now I’m old,
My heart feels cold,
And shortly I’ll exporringe.
But still my eyes
Peruse the skies
To spot that flash of orange.

And when I go,
Above? Below?
To Paradise or Thorringe,
I hope that I
Once more will spy
That fabled flash of orange.