Talk Like a Pirate

Long John Silver
Long John Silver by Robert Ingpen


Talk Like a Pirate

Curse ye, Robbie Newton !
Curse your lily-lubbered hide !
For thanks to ye, all pirates be
The yokels o’ the crimson sea !
We used to hail from Luton,
Or from Whitby Bay, or Morningside –
But now it’s said we’re born an’ bred
In Lynmouth, Lyme an’ Lizard Head.

From Foway to Zoyland, thar we blow
From Durdle Door to Westward Ho !

Ye scurvy-livered, timber-shivered blaggard, Robert Newton !
Ye turned us to a joke, to the folk that we be lootin’ !
Ye’d have us be a parody o’ peggy-leg an’ lock-o’-dread
Of parrot-shouldered patchy eyes fore’er a-lookin’ ’skance.
We used-a be the buccaneers o’ Buckin’ham an’ Birkenhead,
But now we’re jus’ the poxy-pillaged pirates o’ Penzance.

From Brizzle Dock to Davey Jones,
We curse your skull an’ cross your bones !



Unparalleled Revival

Tribute to Harnett by Donald Clapper


Unparalleled Revival

in my actions, I shall pinge you well alone –
My manners may be peccable, but ruthfully they’ve grown.
I’ve mantled them from bootsome parts of like and parate form –
Deceitless in intention, with an ert and toothful gorm.

I bunk your valid theory, which has gusted my good taste,
The nocent may be nocuous, but we are praved and based.
My spirit may be delable, my courage may be trepid,
But let my mind combobulate, and once more I am crepit.

Feeling good and gruntled, I was ruly in my care,
And was looking couth and gainly with my kempt and shevelled hair –
“Be mayed by hapfull fortune, and chelant with passion’s thrill –
Be feckfull, wieldy and toward, with ept and bashless skill.”



The Audacious Free Will of the Predestined Chrononaut

Godheads by Donato Giancola


The Audacious Free Will of the Predestined Chrononaut

Into the future we charge,
We travellers in time,
Past all of the past and into the future.
Tachyon trekkers at large,
In our own time,
From marcher to moocher –
But all of us heading in one direction,
Through the temporal intersection:
Into the future we barge our way,
Each and every day.

There’s some say the future already exists
And it does !  We’re in it today.
This is the future, as this is the past,
And the one hold the other in sway.
We may like to think that we’re free how we choose,
But however we choose it, the future arrives.
So best to ignore it and get on with living,
Before we have run out of lives.

We are the eyes of the future,
Spying on history,
Witnessing live the long-dead past.
We are the ones who are there,
And writing it down,
So the future can read it at last.
They pay us with hope, from their endless supply,
Or pay us with dread, if the price is too high.
The eyes of long-ago future will see
All of the past yet-to-be.

There’s some say free will is just an illusion
And lives are determined and fast.
That’s true for the future – their choices are narrowed
By what we do now in the past.
We may like to think that we’re free how we choose,
But however we choose it, we still live our lives.
So best to ignore it and get on with living,
Before all that future arrives.



Hybrid Vigour

light fantastic
The Light Fantastic by Tim White


Hybrid Vigour

English: a right bastard-son of a language –
A teenage two-fingers to logical sense.
With lucky-dip spelling – a standardless gauge,
An anarchist mang’ling our logical cage –
We think that we’ve captured it dry on the page
With pronouns and adverbs and grammars immense,
But this is one battle it’s folly to wage –
It breaks ev’ry rule in the end, so dispense\
With these thoughts we can tame it, or even condense –
There’s no passive mood in its imperfect tense.
It’s waiting to trip us, bamboozle, upstage,
And piss on our tenets in nat’ral defence.

English: a beautiful fluke of a toolkit,
And we are its masters, and never its slaves.
And each time we use it, it’s changed just a little bit,
Changed just a little – but should we permit ?
Yet if we can follow, it must be legit.
So don’t stem the growth and the sparkle it craves,
But keep it adapting, surprising, and fit –
And bring on the jargon and slang that ‘depraves’,
And don’t mourn the umlauts and genders in graves,
For this is precisely how Darwin behaves –
Red in its verbs and its nouns and its wit.
You can’t turn the tide, but you can ride its waves.




school of fish
Photo by Francesco Ungaro on


Language is languid, it’s lazy at heart –
Refusing to change and keeping its calm.
Sometimes it’s hazy and falling apart,
But let’s view its ticks as a charm.
Cos under the surface, its footings keep shifting,
It’s grammar gets shonky, it’s meanings keep drifting,
It’s making it up as it any-old wishes –
Till some fish are fish, but some fish are fishes.

Lingua Inglese

black and gray desk globe
Photo by fotografierende on


Lingua Inglese

It wasn’t a planned or a pre-destined course,
But brought on by conquest and culture and chance.
So half of the ears of the world are in reach,
And so many throats are alive to the word.
They flock to our phonemes that stream from our source,
Our syllables speak and their speakers advance;
For held on our tongues is the honey they teach,
That calls to the world and will always be heard.
But just as it rises, so shall this same force
Then favour another to make their tongues dance.
Our moment must pass – then our ripening peach
Shall sour their lips, with its stones spat and slurred.
Yet now all is golden, yet now they endorse
For all of its failings and spellings askance.
So use it and wisely and sweetly in speech,
For as long as its fluke is the fluke that’s preferred.