Saturday 25 November 2017


Jeannie my closest friend and I
were forever making our teachers cry.
It's what we always did in school
by encouraging each other to play the fool.

Oh how we disrupted every class,
reducing each lesson to childish farce
just so our teachers would throw us out
then - yippee - we'd once more go walkabout.

It was hide-and-seek we loved to play
in the endless corridors of North Block A,
but then one day we strayed further afield
way out across the downland weald.

Then as we slunk home long after tea
I was terrified of how cross my mother would be.
And I wasn't wrong - she screamed and shouted.
I'd be grounded for weeks now, I never doubted.

Ah, such loss of liberty conjured in me
images of my parent as the enemy.
So, egged on by Jeannie, I sought out my mother
and gave her a piece of my mind - oh brother -

did I get into major trouble that day!
All of my privileges were taken away,
and when my father was duly informed
to improve my behavour I was gravely warned.

So I crept away on the verge of tears,
inwardly besieged by nameless fears
and sought out Jeannie for some friendly advice
and she sympathized with my plight, her eyes cold as ice.

"Now what you must do is run away -
show a little spirit and disobey!
Pack your bags after school tomorrow
and take your revenge in their bitter sorrow.

We'll meet up in the dead of night
outside your gate in the bright moonlight."
"But where will we go?" I nervously inquired.
"We'll decide in the taxi that I'll have hired."

So all next day I was deep in thought,
barely took in a thing I was taught.
And I closed my ears and eyes to Jeannie,
whom I was coming to regard a bit of a meanie.

I mean, how could I treat my parents like that?
Was I becoming a spiteful brat?
And so I told Jeannie I was calling it off,
but all she did was berate me and scoff:

"Oh you're such a coward, a weak little thing -
no better than a puppet on your parents' string.
Stand up for yourself for once and be free
or you'll no longer find a friend in me!"

Ouch! That really hurt and for the rest of the day
I sobbed and cried the hours away.
But then to my senses I finally came:
"Jeannie," I said, "This isn't a game!

You've bossed me around and controlled my life
and brought down upon me too much strife.
Well now I've decided it's going to end -
I no longer need an imaginary friend!"

Thursday 16 November 2017

GIRL POWER, circa 2017

Attention all males: please avert your eyes
from women in low-cut tops. And when using public transport
for goodness' sake make sure
you never inadvertently brush against a female,
or the consequences for you could well be dire.
Be careful, also, to avoid verbalizing your thoughts
when you find a woman attractive. Oh no,
never actually tell her she looks good in tight jeans,
or they'll label you a pervert, lock you up and throw away the key.
Remember, "abuse" is the latest battle-cry of pugilistic feminism!

If, however, you are still brave enough to ask her out,
then do proceed with extreme caution
and frame your request very carefully. It must be
free of even the slightest degree of innuendo, and
mentioning her weight, body shape, looks or hairstyle
is strictly off limits. And if buying her a drink,
make absolutely certain that she witnesses the glass being filled
or, sure as hell, you'll be accused of lacing it with rohypnol
by next morning. Oh yes, you must tread very carefully, guys.
Girl power, circa 2017, is fast becoming the deadliest of all plagues...

and now, it seems, the boys are joining in too...;)

Thursday 9 November 2017


Look beyond your perfect rooms,
through false pride and see
my Mother's red-raw hands
and worn-out knees from scrubbing
and polishing brass and crystal glass,
and sweeping rugs, plumping cushions,
laying fires and black-leading grates.
Always on duty. Long before my birth,
yet I see it all - feel it, in fact:
just fourteen and already broken,
emaciated and underfed;
berated for grubby apron and cap
that she'd had no time to change.
And all this toil for what?
So you can impress your snobby guests!
What right have you to act so haughtily,
with all your shallow hypocrisy
and idle lily white hands?
Aah...scathing disrespect was all you bestowed
upon one who enabled you to live
in the lap of luxury-loving laziness -
the one who gave me life.
Oh now she's gone, but the legacy lives on:
the ignorant rich are the pits.

Friday 3 November 2017


Wish I could unpick my life
like an unloved sweater
to the very last stitch
then let it fall
into nothingness
I could
no longer witness
such inhumanity...

In deepest empathy with all those affected by the latest terrorist atrocity in New York.