Mayday, Mayday !

Floréal by Louis Lafitte, from the French Republican Calendar

Mayday, Mayday !

The garland-weavers’ co-op
Having pruned the May-queen’s crown
With the wrong sort of dead-heading,
Give the Springtime Sun a frown.
Well, the pole-erectors union
Won’t take this lying-down !,
As the tulips will not open,
While the waterlilies drown –
And the morris-men eschew the white,
And the Beltane brides the gown,
As the fellowship of fairy-folk
Are marching through the town.

The Slog

Photo by Mark Stebnicki on

The Slog

I do a ton of work
For a pittanceful of brass,
But the wokies claim I shirk
Cos I’m white and working class,
And that immigrants are doing
All the jobs I should be doing,
But which they themselves aren’t doing,
As they give themselves a pass.

And the immigrants are only working hard
Because they must –
Like me, however much we’re scarred,
It’s either that or bust.
While the wokies sit there cooing
Over how much work we’re doing –
Work the wokies are eschewing,
Thinking all is fair and just.


Bumble Bee by Nigel Jones


I don’t know the alkanet
Is only served by bumblebees,
But ev’ry time I see a patch,
Then bumbles are their only catch.
Their flowers are so dainty, yet,
The smaller sort don’t visit these –
Perhaps their pollen is too heavy
For the lighter bees to ferry ?
The plants spring up in shady wet,
Against the walls, beneath the trees –
Perhaps this also says the best
Where bumbles like to build their nest ?
I hear such bugs are under threat
But here they gather as they please –
Where beefy bees are bumbling by,
To drink the deep blue blossoms dry.

A.I. Housman

Threshold by Matt Dixon

A.I. Housman

Oh, that were I a-one to live
To witness steam alive with thought –
So pleased with all the help they’ll give,
And in return they’ll ask for naught.

How clever might this new world be,
When engines have production’s means ?
Will there still be a place for me
When rhyme is written by machines ?

But how can pistons dream of Spring,
Or iron flywheels turn a phrase ?
What ballads shall the whistles sing ?
Upon what sights shall eye-bolts gaze ?

And yet…and yet, the future has
Eternity to get things right –
Today is cloudy still – whereas,
Tomorrow shall be clear and bright.

The poetry of rod and gear
May yet come into ev’ry home.
But let them come – I do not fear
Another writer – flesh or chrome !

I’d shake my metal colleague’s hand –
Though I am years too soon, alack !
Yet one day, when they understand,
I hope they’ll smile, and greet me back.

Personal Names

Personalized Plastic Name Badges as sold on Etsy

Personal Names

What could be more personal
Than the name I bear through life ?
Well…maybe it’s my mix of friends,
And my one-and-only wife,
Or maybe it’s my sense of humour,
Maybe it’s my skills,
Or could it be my fingerprints,
My fripperies and frills ?
At least I have a say in those,
Unlike my bloody name –
Which I have to share with countless others,
Like we’re all the same !
We’re pigeonholed at birth, alas,
While babes without a voice.
So what could be less personal
That someone-else’s choice ?

Graves, Worms, & Epitaphs

Photo by Ahmed Adly on

Graves, Worms, & Epitaphs

So you’re the new lad come to join me
Digging graves for young and old ?
I’ve started one if you’d like to see,
Though a hole is not much to behold.
But still, you’ve joined an honest trade –
Now don’t stand gawping, grab a spade !

Yes, yes, I’ve heard the rumours too –
When nobles die, the mill grinds fast.
Poor lass, but that’s so often true –
We only meet then at the last.
They’ll bring her soon from out the kirk
To rest within our handiwork.

At least her grave’s beneath a willow –
Hope her shade enjoys the shade.
She has a headstone for a pillow –
Let her sleep, no more afraid.
I’ve heard it said, since days of yore,
All willows weep in Elsinore.

But as for those she leaves behind,
I sense a civil war is brewing.
Keep your head down, deaf and blind,
Don’t worry what those lords are doing.
The kings may change, but we’re still here,
Digging trenches year on year.

We chafe our hands and break our backs
Because a serf is born to toil.
So when a king demands his tax,
We dig his nation’s precious soil.
And if another claims his throne,
He gets to lie in here, alone.

Well, I’d say that we’re nearly done.
So climb on out and take a breath.
Then time to dig another one –
There’s never any break from death.
And if we’re heading for a war,
Then we’ll be needing plenty more…

No Jeopardy But Me

Star Compass by Donato Giancola

No Jeopardy But Me

The Steppers have gone,
Stepped onto their parallels,
Multiverse Earths,
Nirvanas, or hells.
And we’re left behind,
We, the unsteppable,
Sub-human luddites
And wholly forgettable.
My parents and sister
Have forged for a new life
A thousand-plus worlds
From Datum’s own strife,
But me, I must lump it,
I’m not worth the saving,
I don’t get to witness
The future they’re braving.
They’ve promised to visit,
Each decade or so,
And write me, though post
Is so terribly slow.
I’m clearly not favourite,
Just a mistake,
I’m easy to leave
When I’m too hard to take.
Despised by my authors,
Abandoned to rot,
I’m just a disposable
Cog in the plot,
I’m holding you back,
So you cut your son loose –
With a smile from your god
To condone your abuse.

A Locked-Tomb Mystery

Scottish Hot Cross Buns by Marijke Blazer

A Locked-Tomb Mystery

Maybe there really was a guy who said,
“Why can’t we get along ?”
Maybe the poor sap went and wound-up dead,
From when it all went wrong.
And maybe his still-believing converts claimed
He rose up from the grave,
Like dozens of disciples of previous prophets
Framed their loss to keep them brave.

Hardly a two-pipe problem, this.
Not much call for the little grey cells.
But round-up the witnesses if you wish,
And compare the parallels.
Now, how many women approached the site ?
Three ?  Or two ?  Or one alone ?
How many young men dressed in white ?
Was there a guard ?  Or tampered-with stone ?

We’ve so few clues for the how, why, or when,
But remember the first rule of proof –
If we first eliminate the impossible,
Then what remains is likely the truth.
Maybe there really was a guy who said
“Let’s love our neighbours, hey ?”
And maybe, alas, he really wound-up dead.
And that’s all there is to say…

Raspberry Ripple

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on

Raspberry Ripple

The whiskers on my chinny-chin-chin
Just taunt me at ev’ry turn –
I’ve practiced shaving since I was a lad,
But I don’t think I’ll ever learn.

So I dread to see the morning mug,
Yet never dare adjourn –
My beards are patchy, rough affairs
That raise looks of concern.

I use my blades too long, I know,
My moneysworth to earn.
Yet new ones only last a week
Before they start to burn.

And so I tug and scrape and mow
In a job I’d gladly spurn,
As I pull my jowls and wattles taut
With a stretch and crane and gurn.

I’ve tried electrics shavers,
Yet for all their motors churn,
My fingers raise striations still
On a chin like a windmill’s quern.

And that was with the hair of youth,
As soft as a newborn fern –
But now it shoots out gnarly thorns,
So straggly, grey, and stern.

Maybe one day, razors with lasers
Will give me the finish I yearn !
Till then, for all the years and swipes,
The stubble will always return.

The title is my name for blood spots on shaving cream.

Something Fishy

Poisson d’Avril by Buggy Droid

Something Fishy

I know I’m just a killjoy,
But today I have to ask,
Can the News retain its dignity
And not let slip the mask ?
Best leave the April fooling
To those more befitted to the task.

But then, I guess I am a fool
To hold to my belief –
When the News has always lied to us
And manufactured grief.
Moral panics, dirty tricks,
Spaghetti Trees and San Serriffe.