Puffing into Rugby, But this loco’s not a pipe, Shunting on to Inverness, With giant apples, ripe. Rolling out of Derby When the trees are like a fern, Let’s open up the fire-box, And watch the tubas burn. Pulling into Euston, Where the bowler-hatted rain – Then chuffing-up at Templecombe, With clouds above the train She’s right on time, in ivory black, But never bright cerise – The workhorse of the LMS, From Crewe to mantlepiece.
OO is for Curloo, U is for Duv, O is for Swollo and Swon, my love. M is for Emerald – Pretty enough. F is for Fessant and also for Chuff. N is for Natcatcher, K is for Kwail, J is for Pijjon who’s bringing the mail. I is for Ider, R is for Ren, T is for Tarmigan – ta-ta, my hen.
I’ve seen too many doors, And they’re nothing much, just doors – Just as expected. I open them, I close them, Or I pass them by unnoticed, Disconnected. I’ve turned too many knobs And I’ve knocked too many knockers In the gloom, Yet never thought about them Till I find I need a way To leave the room.
I’ve seen too many doors, Be they oaken, deal, or plywood, Or cold steel. I push them and I pull them, Or I sometimes have to slide them With a squeal. I’ve crossed so many thresholds And I’ve stepped on many stoops, Both front and aft, Yet never thought about them Till I find I need a way To stop the draught.
The European Garden Spider Bore a name both accurate and dull. Till some do-gooding Victorian Decided to give the matter a good old mull – And, believing truth must always bow To poetic hyperbole, He grandly named them all orb-weavers And wrote to the Times after tea. Who cares if the webs are as flat as a silk cravat ?, (Of course, monogrammed). Should he have named them all plate-spinners ? Geometry be d-mned !
Where do all my socks go When a fresh set can’t be sourced ? My pairs may start out married, But they always end divorced – Woollen-millers, stocking-fillers, Full-of-holes or reinforced, Longs and shorts and blacks and creams – Like-and-like repel, it seems. Many lonely-socks are sulking Limp and curled-up on their tod – Unloved, unworn, and dresser-skulking, Each one well-and-truly odd.
Where do all my socks go ? Onto other people’s feet ? Too long in drawers they’ve tarried Now they’re keen to up-and-meet – They’re soc-hopping, garter-dropping, – Long-legged jeans keep them discreet. Sock it to ’em, just for kicks, The silk, bamboo and cotton-mix. Whenever mismatched-socks are strutting, Are they going on a date ? And when they’re balled-up, are they rutting, Knitting booties with their mate ?
At some point in the future, I would have laboured ev’ry day – I would have gone to work and back, Is what I would will say. But further in the future, I would have been retired by then (But not yet will have go to God), And I can would be looking back And I will wondered yet agen At how such phrases once will sounded odd.
The Future Habitual aspect is a clause of speech that linguists insist does not exist.
A minister’s office. There is a knock and the Professor enters.
Minister Ah, professor, good afternoon. It’s really very good of you to see me quite so soon.
Professor Oh, no trouble, Minister, no trouble at all. I came the very minute that I first received your call.
Minister Then let me bring you up to speed the problem facing here: Something has been happening, and something very queer. Something has affected quite the very way we speak, It’s spread across the nation within only half a week, It’s very hard to spot, of course, which makes it all the worse – But each and ev’ry citizen has started talking verse.
Professor But surely you don’t mean…
Minister Alas, I rather mean I do.
Professor But what then made you realise ?
Minister (on intercom) Ah, Bridget, tea for two. (to Professor) Oh, little things, just nagging doubts.
Professor You thought you had some pests ?
Minister We wanted to be certain, so we ran a batch of tests. We’ve got our finest boffins out there looking for the source.
Professor But why then did you turn to me ?
Minister It’s time to alter course. We need to find an antidote, we really can’t delay. And that is why I called you in…
Bridget (entering) We’re out of Earl Grey.
Minister Well never mind, well never mind, I’m sure this shall suffice.
Professor I really can’t imagine I could give you sound advice.
Minister But you’re our finest scholar, you must surely have some clue ?
Professor Nothing at the moment, I’m afraid.
Minister One lump, or two ?
Professor But are you really certain that we’re talking all in rhymes ? There hasn’t been a mention in the Telegraph or Times.
Minister We’ve had to keep it hush-hush so as not to cause a panic. Would you like a ginger-nut ? Don’t worry, they’re organic. Of course, it isn’t fatal – no, the country’s not entombed – It’s just so very curious…
Professor We’re doomed, by God, we’re doomed !
Minister Now not to be alarmist, or to overstate things grossly, You’d never even know it’s there unless you listen closely To the steady pitter-patter in the rhythm of each sentence…
Professor We’re doomed, I say ! We must all pray, and beg the Lord’s repentance.
Minister Professor ! Pull yourself together ! I need you now to think; There must be something, anything, to save us from the brink ?
Professor Wait ! There may be something…the problem is systemic.
Minister The problem is we’ve staring at a bloody epidemic !
Professor The problem is within the brain and its linguistic centre Now, usually it’s very good at recognising…
Bridget enters and clears the tea things.
Professor …the diff’rences in how we speak, but something has confused it.
Bridget Shall I clear the paper, too ?
Minister I haven’t yet perused it.
Professor We need to shake it up again, with something quite sublime: By ending ev’ry sentence with a word that doesn’t rhyme ! Now ev’ryone’s aware that there is nothing rhymes with orange…
Bridget I’ve contacted the builders to come and fix the door hinge.
Professor Another word that comes to mind – there’s none to find with chimney.
Bridget That Watkins tries to feel my legs – he said I had a trim knee.
Professor There must be more, there must be more – I’m sure we’re safe with plinth.
Bridget That gift I need to buy your son – was it guitar or synth ? I’ve called the milliners – your wife has found her trilby small. Will there be something else ?
Minister No thanks, I think that will be all.
Professor There’s must be more examples, such as anxious, purple, month…
Minister No rhyme, say you ? That can’t be true ! Why, surely there is… There is… Hah ! You’ve done it ! I’ve stopped rhyming. How can I ever thank you professor ? Your suggestion will save the country. Finally, we can stop the rhyme.