Twenty Seconds

washing hands


Twenty Seconds

Eeny meeny, counted Queenie,
Fingers one two three and four –
A fish alive and thumb makes five,
And on the other hand there’s more.
So rub-a-dub and squeeze and scrub,
And this little piggie wee wee wee
Index middle ring and little,
Pinkie perky owe-you-tee.

Queenie went to market
To buy a bar of soap
She went to Deal and Margate,
And Cape Town on the Hope,
But a laundry-maid from Washington
Had bought up ev’ry crate,
So Queenie had to wash with none
But ashes from the grate.

Queenie on her lone and only,
All her friends are all indoors –
All down with spots and chicken pox,
And tummy-aches and sores.
Queenie finds the streets are empty,
Like the swings and slides and stores –
They cannot come and play today,
They’ve all been through the wars.



Urban Spiritual

telegraph pole
Wires by Tom Lantaff


Urban Spiritual

If the bells ring out from the crossing tower,
I’ll meet my love upon the hour;
I’ll meet my love, and we shall stroll
From the old gas works to the new may-pole.

If they call to prayer from the minaret,
I’ll meet my love on the High Street yet;
I’ll meet my love, and we shall wend
From the old canal to the new bridge-end.

If the trumpets bray the sabbath’s start,
I’ll meet my love in the Hounds & Hart;
I’ll meet my love and we shall roam
From the old duck pond to the new dogs’ home.

If chanting comes from the temple door,
I’ll meet my love by the superstore;
I’ll meet my love and we shall stray
From the old sheep track to the new free way.



Don’t be a Steve

Young Boys Playing Dice by Bartolomé Murillo


Don’t be a Steve

Some are Mikes and some are Harrys,
Some are Davids, some are Barrys,
Some are even Lens and Larrys,
So I do believe.
Some are Gavins, Grants and Garys
Some are Dustins, some are Carys,
As they live and breathe.

Not all children must be Steven,
Some are Karl or Keith or Keven,
Some of them are daughters, even !,
Nora, Nell and Neve.
V or PH ?  Stop deceiving !
Pick a name for high achieving !
Not all kids are Steve.


Incidentally, Bartolomé Murillo’s middle name was Esteban.



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.”



Little Miss Pinball

Sorry, I can’t find any details about the artist.  And it doesn’t directly realte to the poem, and the girl depicted is older…but it’s just too cool not to.


Little Miss Pinball

I know a young lady named Scatterfoot Sadie
Who cannot sit still for a second –
She hustles and bustles and flexes her muscles,
And scuttles whenever she’s beckoned.
Perhaps all her fidgets in feet, knees and digits
Are gyroscopes keeping her poise –
Or maybe it serves as a mask for her nerves
With her tremors all lost in the noise.

Here she comes Sadie, she buzzes and hums,
            As she zig-zags from thither to yon.
            Here she comes Sadie, and Sadie she comes,
And Sadie she goes, and she’s gone.

I know a young petal who never does settle,
Since bouncing in booties and bonnet.
I know a young rhino who wears out the lino
By clomping and pomping upon it.
I know a pied piper who’s more than just hyper –
She’s mega and giga and terra.
She’s magnitudes faster, with energies vaster
In both her success and her error.

            Here she comes Sadie, with whistles and drums,
Both skylark and trumpeter swan.
Here she comes Sadie, and Sadie she comes,
And Sadie she goes, and she’s gone.

I know a young poppet who just cannot stop it,
And never has recourse to brake.
With swings and trapezes, she’s blown on the breezes,
And whips up the wind in her wake.
There’s some folk who mention her roving attention
That points to some point of attraction,
And some folk who think that’s she’s too scared to blink
Just in case she should miss any action.

            Here she comes Sadie, all peaches and plums,
As her sweetness must sugar-rush on.
Here she comes Sadie, and Sadie she comes,
And Sadie she goes, and she’s gone.

I know a young girl who is always a-whirl,
Like her timbers are tossed on the ocean –
She dashes and darts as she stutters and starts,
And when even at rest, she’s in motion.
Her larynx is thrumming, her fingers are drumming,
Her eyeballs are to-ing and fro-ing –
Her atoms are spinning, her neurons are singing,
Her bramble-patch hair-thatch is growing.

            Here she comes Sadie, all fingers and thumbs,
As she fiddles and tinkers anon.
Here she comes Sadie, and Sadie she comes,
And Sadie she goes, and she’s gone.

I know a young missy who’s terribly busy
Upon some endeavour or other –
Her hoardings and strewings and feverish doings
Are lost upon even her mother.
She’s so all-commanding she just leaves us standing,
Awash in the glow of her starlet –
For we who are left are the warp and the weft
All throughout which she’s threading her scarlet.

            Here she comes Sadie, dispelling the glums –
She dazzles where sunlight is shone.
Here she comes Sadie, and Sadie she comes,
And Sadie she goes, and she’s gone.





sleeping girl
A Sleeping Girl by Edward Baily



She did not wake this morning, nor this afternoon, nor eve,
And all this week she’s spawning ev’ry dream she can conceive,
And the daylight still she’s scorning for the visions she shall weave,
Till her health begins its pawning for the means to stall her leave.



The poem is not about a statue, but I do like this sculpture.



Salad Days

clean eating cuisine delicious dinner
Photo by Lisa Fotios on


Salad Days

The radish is too ladish
To attract the carrot strips,
But tomatoes dream of celery
And blush down to their pips,
And the spring that’s in the onions
Send cucumbers a-twist,
So the feta beds the lettuce,
But the garlic stays unkissed.