Morning-Glory Plume Moth by Anita Gould


Tell me, rectilinear thing,
If you’re a moth then where’s your wing ?
When not in ragged, fraying flight
It’s held-out straight and rolled-up tight.
You’re crucified in upper case,
And dressed in brightest white and beige –
No camouflage for any place,
Except, perhaps, the printed page.


Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com


How long should we leave the Lego built
Before we break it down ?
How long will the sandcastle stand
Before its turrets drown ?
How long should we sit back and admire
The finished jigsaw puzzle,
Till it’s taking up the table space
Where other things could bustle ?
Time then to embrace the entropy,
Disrupt the orthodox,
And smash the status quo with relish
Back into its box.



What ho !  I’m Ali,
Born in Cairo –
True-blue British, doncha know ?
Like squire Sanjay –
As English as a phone box red.
And then there’s Chang,
From County Down,
By bowler hat and Chinatown.
And Elzbieta,
Glasgow gal,
As fish-and-chips as any pal,
And Welsh Pierre
Of Montreal,
So fluent in the bat-and-ball.
The best of British,
Tweeds and cap –
As much as any other chap.

Fads & Fangles

H393 Old Grammophone by Ben Paul

Fads & Fangles

It started with vinyl,
Then moved to cassettes –
Now cameras use film,
And our watches use springs.
For all we progress,
So we harbour regrets –
The world has gone wireless,
But we long for strings.

We’re too young to ever
Remember those days,
But we switch-out the hoover
For artisan brooms.
I wonder what’s next ?
A typewriter craze ?
A love for old diesels,
Because of their fumes ?

We’re questioning science
Like never before –
We’re leery of vaccines,
We’re losing our spark.
I hope it’s a fetish,
And not something more –
We’ve no use for luddites,
Or Ages of Dark.

It started with vinyl,
Then moved to 5G –
It used to be fun,
Till the humour was gone.
But if it’s just fashion,
Then let’s let it be –
Be retro today,
And tomorrow move on.


Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com


The Nazis used to be quite rare,
With few who earned the name –
But now it seems they’re ev’rywhere
And free speech is to blame !
These random people on the net
Who think they get a say –
I call them out as fascists, yet
Their views leap by the day
I put them down, but still them come,
Replete with facts and stats.
I can’t believe how many scum
Are lurking in the chats.
They should be rounded up, the lot,
And left to rot in Hell –
And if you disagree, a spot
Gets found for you, as well…

Lying in State

Photo by Krizjohn Rosales on Pexels.com

Lying in State

I fully admit, I don’t understand
This waiting in line.
Hours and hours, as if it’s a test,
Come rain or shine,
To be a part of history, they say,
To mark the moment –
To prove themselves her loyal subjects ?,
Or maybe beg atonement ?

I fully admit, I don’t understand,
As the World looks on  –
We’re not all doing this !, I cry,
Till my voice has gone.
I scoff and rant and pity them,
But I’m one of a very few –
And nobody’s lis’ning to me, of course,
They’re all watching the queue.

I fully admit, I don’t understand,
And I never will.
I hope this brings about a change –
No more standing still.
But right now, the status is in the quo,
The ink won’t leave the pen.
I’ve never felt so alien
To my fellow countrymen.

Qwerty Sonata

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Qwerty Sonata

I can hear her fingers dancing, dancing,
Over the keyboard, rat-a-tat-tat.
The tempo always five-to-a-heartbeat –
I can tell her typing, wherever she’s sat.
Her fingernails, a little too long,
A tambourine of bracelets, an octave higher,
Grounded by the bass of the spacebar,
And the leak of her headphones bringing the choir.
I can hear our fingers dancing, dancing,
Stretching for shift, then back to home –
The double-letter quavers, the patter of delete,
And the rhythm of return as a metronome.
But not all keyboards are tuned the same,
Staccato or reverb in stroke-length and gauge.
I like it the most when we harmonise together –
An orchestra of typists, filling up the page.

God save the Queen (but the Devil take the Plebs)

Google in sackcloth and ashes – Me Too or FOMO ?

God save the Queen (but the Devil take the Plebs)

And so it begins, the Toady Race,
The public performance of grief –
Saccharine and suffocating,
Preaching your True Belief !
Posters declaiming official tears,
Tributes gushing with pomp.
Change the stamps and coins and anthem –
Such a jolly romp !
Get that sobbing good and loud,
And really have a bawl !
Hope your knees are in good shape
For the curtsy and the crawl.
Show yourself sufficiently sad
For ev’ry arse-licked toast –
Bow and scrape and bob and tug
Till the knighthood’s in the post.

Vive la République !

In other news, I see we’re going to get a bank holiday for the funeral. But we will continue not to receive a bank holiday for Election Day. Priorities, I guess…


Brick for Brick

Recreations of Hadrian’s Wall and The Great Wall, by artists alas unknown.

Brick for Brick

I grew up with castles and churches and manors,
Their architecture feels like home –
While Indian temples and Chinese pagodas
Were glorious aliens in stone.
It all made sense that Kublai Khan
Had not one dome in his Pleasure Dome

But when I saw the Great Ming Wall,
It all felt too familiar –
It looked like something the Romans might have built,
Had they reached this far
Rounded arches, crenellations, arrow loops –
All quite bizarre.

The only telltale signs were in the watchtowers,
And their roofs –
Simple saddelbacks, slightly concave,
They were hard-hill-hatted booths.
Not like the four-square hips of the Romans –
Projections providing proofs.

Except…on many of the towers we see,
These structures are robbed away.
And we’re left with familiarity
That’s out-of-place, astray.
Was it built-up piecemeal, really ?
At this point, who can say ?

From what I can see in images, the watchtowers had roofs that were a mix of hard-hill and hanging-hill, the difference being that the latter had slightly overhanging eaves as in the image below.

Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

To be clear, saddleback roofs (aka gable roofs) were not unknown to Romans, but not I think used atop their watchtowers.

Arbeia Gate by Michael Kooiman and Limes WP 3/26 by Carole Raddato, both showing recreations of what is believed to have stood.

Breezeblock & Plasterboard

Photo by IKRAM shaari on Pexels.com

Breezeblock & Plasterboard

I live in the suburbs
In a box made of ticky-tacky –
It’s small and it’s samey,
And won no award.
It’s not to conform,
And it’s not to be strange or wacky,
I live here because here
Is all I can afford.

I grew up around here,
Then I went to the university
And I came out with a large debt
And I found my first job.
And it paid not a lot,
Except for in uncertainty,
So I tried for a mortgage
For a key on a fob.

There’s a Barratt, there’s a Redrow
There’s a Wimpey, there’s a Jubilee.
Where’s the woodland, where’s the meadow ?
Oh, please don’t ask me.

But all they would give me
Was a box made of ticky-tacky,
But it’s dry and it’s plumbed-in,
If no pleasure-dome.
I raised up my children
And worked as a gopher-lacky,
Trying to get by
And make it a home.

So spare me your distaste
How I went to the university –
And spare me your prejudice
Of me and my peers.
I don’t have your millions
Or a co-operative nursery,
Yet I struggled and I made it
Despite all your sneers.

Blame the council, blame the builder,
Blame the bubble, blame the rising-sea.
If it all seems out of kilter,
Then please don’t blame me.

This is a response to the song Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds.