How to Count the Years

multicolored abacus photography
Photo by Skitterphoto on


How to Count the Years

Some folks say that the decades run
From one to oh.
You know, cos there was no Year Zero and all
Oh, how they made the wrong call.
They assume we give a toss
About the loss of a year.
Oh dear oh dear.
Listen, all you smug alecs,
Fetishising factoids from the abstract void
Of cleverer-than-you.
Speaking in italics with mouths askew,
While ignoring common sense –
Stop classifying speech by pounds and pence !
For the only thing that matters by far
Are the numbers on the calendar.



Grammers & Spammers



Grammers & Spammers

These days, I can’t say nothing
Till the trolls beneath my bridge
Begin their bellyache and huffing
At my languer-bloody-widge.
Not the swearing…
Well, yes, the swearing,
But worse – the grammar I’m spewing and tearing
And giving a right royal chuffing.

Now typos, sure, my fingers sometimes slip –
Though maybe not, I spell as I think best,
And damn the wets who need to get a grip,
And suss to why we’re unimpressed.
Ev’ry hissy, prissy luddite
Seems to think they have the right
To rule my mother tongue and give me lip.

To ev’ry whinger of the ritten word,
To ev’ry pedant waiting just to pounce,
To ev’ry queen with an itch to flounce,
To ev’ry bullshitter who’s talking turd:
Just who the fuck do you think you are
To lecture me what I may say ?
To lecture me, a superstar,
You constipated popinjay !
These words are mine, and I shall play !
They are my servants, friends and tools
With which to wrench the buggers’ rules.




Map showing which countries are masculine (green) or feminine (purple) in French



I’m sure it’s because of my English tongue and my English ears,
That it always sounds most odd to me
To talk of it as he or she.
We haven’t had such talk round here these thousand years –
We stopped such arbitrary splits
And brought all hes and shes to its.

But were we ever minded to go back to where
We see the world as him or her,
Then which for each should we prefer ?
Is this or that a manly or a feminine affair ?
Are dogs all girls and cats all boys ?
Who cares ?  It’s arbitrary noise !

Like Adam naming ev’ry beast,
We then must wander through the earth
From brother West to sister East,
As if the rocks are giving birth,
And sex the sexless mule and yeast,
And war and peace and speed and girth –
And love…?  Now there’s a viper’s nest !
Let’s stick to neuter, that’s the best !

A Masculine Rhyme

bowl of candies
Photo by Ivan J. Long on

A Masculine Rhyme

Positive charges
And negative spin,
Strong verbs and weak verbs
With preference baked-in.
Group B and Group 2
Subconsciously mocked –
Pejorative adjectives,
Loaded and cocked.
We’re judging the diff’rence
From concept to mouth,
And neutral assessment
Is all heading South.





‘Irregardless’ – I love it !
It drives the pedants wild !
A double-neg that disses regs –
A blithe, unruly child.
You know just what it means, admit it !,
For all you raise a stink –
And so we’re never gonna quit it,
Irregardless what you think.



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.”