Fit as a Fiddle

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Fit as a Fiddle

Violins are slim and light
To perch upon the shoulder so –
They mustn’t pile on extra wood,
Or lose their cinched-in waist for good.
For no-one wants to see the sight
Of a bloated bridge beneath the bow –
Don’t let the fretboard become baggy,
Stop the strings from slouching saggy.
Play less heavy, play more bright,
And never let the tension go –
Work those quavers through their paces,
Else they’ll end up double-basses.

Shipshape

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Shipshape

Stage right is my right,
But my right ain’t your right,
So my right is your wrong,
And your long is my height.
But ships have got it sorted out,
No matter which way turned about.

I’m upstage left of down,
I’m out-bound and in-town,
So my step is your kerb,
And your verb is my noun.
But ships have got it followed-through,
Where starboards start and end on cue.

Stage right is my right
To see things through my sight,
So my late is your soon,
With high noon at midnight.
But ships have got it fair and square,
Where port is port, and over there.

Black Fives

Time Transfixed by Uli Mayer, after René Magritte

Black Fives

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.

Mockingbirds

Mockingbirds

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.

Sons of Milka

The First Discord by De Scott Evans – I’m showing Cain & Abel here because Uz & Buz are inexplicably much overlooked by painters

Sons of Milka

Uz and Buz were brothers,
Way back in the Bible-time,
Who rightly cursed their mother
For her blatant naming-crime.

Uz was older, but Buz was bigger –
“The whole of you is held in me,
Yet I am more than your slight figure,
For you shall never be my B.”

“Not so !” said Uz, “For in the lore
Of old King James, I’ve letters three –
I have an H that stands before,
So they dub me Huz in the KJV !”

So, Uzz and Buzz, or Ooze and Booze ?
Or maybe one of each, who knows ?
And in the end, they got to choose,
But never told us what they chose.

Portals

Some example wares of the London Door Company.

Portals

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.

Epeira

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Epeira

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 !

Footloose

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Footloose

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 ?

Future Habitual

Future Habitual

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.

Succession

Succession

The President is dead.
Who gets the nuclear code ?

“I” said the Vice,
“I am the next in line,
For the order is precise
And this is my time to shine
A cool head and a steady load.”

But now the Vice is dead.
Who gets the nuclear code ?

“I” said the Speaker,
“I am the next in line.
All other claims are weaker
And are junior to mine.
I get to tread the royal road.”

But now the Speaker’s dead.
Who gets the nuclear code ?

“I” said the head of the Senate,
“I am the next in line.
For that’s how the framers pen it –
And their penmanship is fine.
Let it be said, I am bestowed.”

So now the matter’s put to bed,
He gets the nuclear code.

“Wait !” said the new head of state
“Who now is next in line ?
I must appoint a running mate,
A brand new Vice to guard the shrine,
To rule instead if I explode.”

“But hang on, boss” the new Vice said,
“Hand over the nuclear code.

For you are still a Senator,
And only acting next-in-line.
I’m number two, you’re number four –
I clear outrank you, so resign !,
Before the Feds reach panic mode.”

So, now all logic’s fled,
Best hide the nuclear code.