The Bug

The Bug

I’ve always been an early adopter,
Picking-up the latest cold or spot,
Then spreading it round by helicopter
To fam’ly and colleagues, the whole poor lot.
Always running ahead of the doctor,
Bringing the buzz – if they want it or not.
And just when the viral trend infects –
That’s so last month, I’m on to the next.

Ev’rybody blames me for giving them hives,
For breaching their unhip sterile zone.
The slightest sniffle and out come the knives,
But it ain’t my fault their frightened and alone –
If they only led more varied lives
They’d catch some int’resting strains of their own.
Sure, this world is dirty and rife,
But nobody’s ever immune to life.

I should point out that I wrote this piece years ago, and as the third line says it is talking about colds and such and nothing worse…


Photo by Pixabay on


I heard you have a show needs stopping,
Heard you have a house needs bringing down –
Heard you have a shoe needs dropping,
And a tin or paint that needs a town.
Huzzah !  Hurray !
Hear hear, I say !
Woof woof, ring ring,
Aye-aye, chin-chin.
I heard you have a boat needs rocking,
Joint needs jumping, hell needs breaking loose –
Got a buster that needs blocking ?
Call me in a jiffy at the deuce !


Photo by Dimitry Anikin on


There’s some folks like the opera,
And some who dig that jazz.
There’s people whooping bluegrass,
Or the brazen rasp of brass.
But whatever rocks your socks
Is cool with me.

Some days it seems my likings
Are by ev’ryone despised –
I’m unmoved by their pref’rences
So eulogized and prized.
But whatever dials your smiles
Is cool with me.

There’s some folks like the one thing,
And others love the other.
Too rare we coincide, but slide
To discord with our brother.
But whatever peps your steps
Is cool with me.


Vertumnus by Giuseppe Arcimboldo


Hey, have you seen this ?  Chillis give us allergies !,
I watched it on The One Show and I read it in The Mail.
Never mind the experts – they claim our claims are fallacies,
Yet we know how we feel – and we’re feeling rather frail.

Hey, have you caught this ?  Cucumbers cause impotence !,
I found it on the internet – it’s all there if you dig.
So much for ‘mostly water’ !  That’s Big Salad’s influence,
They pump them full of chemicals – that’s how they grow so big !

Hey, have you scoped this ?  Sweetcorn gives us cancer !
I heard it at a coffee-shop, and in a waiting room.
So sure, go ahead, if you want to be a chancer,
But know I told you so when those yellow lumps bring doom.

Hey, have you shared this, at Waitrose or Pilates?
Let’s spread the word and spread the fad, and let our bodies heal.
Let’s get some trendy diets at the nation’s dinner parties,
Then maybe I won’t have to taste those bastards ev’ry meal !

The Root of Necessary Evil

Photo by Anthony on

The Root of Necessary Evil

Whenever someone is keen to stress
That money can’t buy happiness,
Just take a look at their mode of dress:
Are they all stained and dishevelled and reeking,
Threadbare of t-shirt and rumpled of slacks,
And sporting the Houses of Primark and T K Maxx ?
Or are they rather more sharp and bespoke in their speaking,
Voices cracked, but never broke.

The fact is that we all of us can sleep a little better
When we never have to fret about just where we’re gonna sleep,
Or we have to listen-out at ev’ry daybreak for that letter
That we need to hide away before our kids can catch a peep,
Or pretending that we cannot hear the scritching of the mice,
Or the buzzing of mosquiots, or the growing of the mould,
Or the dripping from the ceiling that we’ve told the landlord twice,
Or the asthma of our children, or their shivers in the cold,
Or the mischief of the local youths that’s more than just a lark,
Or another bloody car alarm, or couple’s blazing row,
Or the rumours of a stalker whose been seen about the park,
Or the…wasn’t that a gunshot that I dreamt I heard just now ?
Or just dreading ev’ry time when there is someone comes a-knocking
That it’s possibly the bailiffs or the summons to the court.
Or perhaps it’s just the thought that we no longer find this shocking,
Or that were the worst to happen, then we’ve next-to-no support.

I suppose they’re right, down deep,
That money and greed can lead to excess,
And it sometimes becomes a trap, I guess.
But enough for a good night’s sleep ?
I’d call that happiness.

The Joy of Misery

The Desperate Man by Gustave Courbet

The Joy of Misery

On some days, or so it would seem,
All the world can do is complain
At the lateness of the train,
Or persistence of the rain,
Or the throbbing of the pain,
Or the losings of the team.

Living is a thankless task
I know, cos whingers tell me so –
The world conspires to bring them woe.
A captive ear is all they ask
And selflessly, they moan for free,
Afraid they might miss out on misery.

A very-public service from each self-appointed martyr
And dammit !, now I’ve gone and joined their ranks !
Carping about carpers when I thought I was much smarter,
I thought myself the sharper who was winding-up the cranks !
Oh Irony, you tricked my brain –
But dammit, there I go again !

Ground Control

Waiting by Rajasekharan

Ground Control

I guess you’re still alive,
Somewhere out there,
Somewhere new.
I guess you’re busy busy,
In your never-ending rush.
I know that you’ll survive
You’re latest dare –
You always do.
I guess that you don’t miss me,
You were never one to gush.

You love to do it all,
To paint your skin
In polychrome –
You’ll find another place to stay,
And then you’ll disappear.
I know that when I call,
You won’t be in,
You won’t be home.
I’ll leave a message anyway
I know you’ll never hear.

But then, from out the blue,
An absent ring,
A sudden voice,
And down a noisy line
I hear your Sunday morning walk.
I know before you speak it’s you –
I’m listening,
I have no choice –
I just pretend I’m fine
As I let you talk and talk.

The Fork in the Road

The Fork in the Road

Sometimes, we shall come to a junction
We’re sure we’ve taken before –
The fingerpost fulfils its function,
But we need it to tell us more:

Did we pass this way in our youth,
Rounding the bend to find the familiar ?
Can we trust mem’ry to tell the truth
When it says the way was hillier ?

I guess the world’s a globe, and feet are curved,
And arcs are circles over time,
And anyone who’s life has swerved
Must one day find they’ve made a rhyme.

And so, this junction has crossed our path,
And forced a choice of way –
And still we live in the aftermath
Of the road we took that day.

This time, let’s take the other of three,
The road untook, the life unspent –
Except, for all we try to see,
We can’t recall which way we went…

Be Fruitful, and Multiply

Scenes from the Chapter House at Salisbury Cathedral depicting Noah, c.1284.

Be Fruitful, and Multiply

The rain comes down and the flood breaks free
And ev’ryone dies, from Atlas to Russia
In the year 2348 BC –
Or so says Bishop Ussher.
And after the waters dissipate
Noah and sons and wives make eight.

The empty land is beckoning them –
Europe to Japheth, Egypt to Ham –
And Asia becomes the realm Shem,
From Turkey to Vietnam.
So now that the land’s no longer wet,
Just how many kin will they beget ?

Well see, the Bible clearly lists out
Sixteen grandsons, twenty-seven greats –
And these all boys (the girls are missed out),
To found the known-world’s states.
But such expansion cannot last long
Till plague and war and famine are strong.

So let’s say from here, things settle down
And nat’ral attrition soon appears,
And the time it takes to double a town
Is a hundred-and-fifty years –
In Ussher’s time, with coal and machine,
That’s the highest the world has ever seen.

So, taking his dating of when things happen
And taking that girls are as common as boys,
So fifty years later we’ll start our mapping
And tease some facts from the noise –
We’ve roughly a hundred, in all events,
And spread across three continents.

A century post-flood, or so James willed it,
The Tower of Babel raises its steeple –
But only forty-odd folks can build it –
That’s all of Asia’s people,
Including elders and babes-in-arms,
With no-one fishing or tending the farms.

Then Abraham hears God Almighty,
Telling him that he is chosen
Out of a pool of a hundred and ninety –
And yet his wife is frozen…
The Lord, though, promises a son
To make it a hundred and ninety-one.

In time, when Jacob’s family go
To Egypt – well, the dates allow
For Asia to have two-thirty-or-so
(Though down a dozen now.)
See, that’s how exponentials grow –
They end up big but they start off low.

Exodus – 1491,
(A shorter sojourn than modern lights),
As a third of the world is on the run –
Fourteen-hundred Israelites.
A count of six-hundred-thousand men ?
I think you’d better check it agen.

A Nonny Mouse

A Nonny Mouse

We all of us
Are branded and defined –
So that must make me…
If you catch my name
Then all the better,
But I won’t be the one
To drop it, not a letter.
Cos if I’m any good,
Then you’ll suss it in the end –
It’ll beam through the ether,
It’ll come round the bend.
But in the meantime
Go easy on the fame,
Cos my ego can take it
If you don’t know my name.

If you really wanna know
You can learn it –
But honestly,
I think I gotta earn it.
And all the folks
Who helped me along,
They’re worth a hand,
They’re worth a whole-damn song –
But they’re more then gabbled names,
They’re more than anecdotes –
And since you’ve never heard of them,
Best save it for the liner-notes.
But if you leave here
With a head full of fun,
Then whatever my name,
My work is done.