Christmas Bells



Christmas Bells

The churches used to ring-in Christmas Day,
With peels that rolled across the shires,
And towns with out-competing spires.
They may chime still, but who’s to say ?
Amid our busy, noisy lives,
The traffic and the nine-to-fives,
We’ve little use for summonses to pray.
For all the bells may toll the blues,
We never come to fill the pews –
But if we hear them chiming, that’s okay.
And if we don’t, well, never fear,
There’s plenty other bells to hear:
On doors and tills and phones, they ring away.
And even though we see no snow,
And even though we see no deer,
We cannot help but hear the ever-tinkle of the sleigh.



Commuter Without Portfolio

photo of suitcase on leaves
Photo by fotografierende on


Commuter Without Portfolio

Where’s my briefcase ?  What a caper,
What a stupid thing to lose.
Therein lay my evening paper,
Now I cannot read the news.
Whoops, there goes my blue Bic biro,
Gosh, there goes my travel card;
Not much pickings here, I know,
It’s not a case for Scotland Yard.

So who are you, thief or finder ?
Did I cast a wealthy look ?
Could you post my gas reminder
And return my library book ?
Just ignore my works’ outpouring
Bureaucratic paperchase.
So, you see, I’m pretty boring,
Pretty much an average case.

A Norse Discourse



A Norse Discourse

What shall we get for London, Ingrid,
Now that the Yuletide’s near ?
What shall we get for London, Ingrid ?
We’re almost out of year.

What do they want in London, Ingmar,
The city that has it all ?
What do they need in London, Ingmar ?
Can’t we give them a call ?

We want it to be a surprise, dear Ingrid,
We want it to impress.
We want to surprise old London, Ingrid,
We don’t want them to guess.

What did we get them last year, Ingmar ?
What did we get them then ?
What did we think of last year, Ingmar,
And can’t we get that agen ?

Last year we gave them a pine-tree, Ingrid,
Last year we gave them a spruce.
They’re surely expecting a pine-tree, Ingrid,
We can’t this year, by deuce !

But surely they loved our pine-tree, Ingmar,
Surely they loved our spruce ?
And won’t they need a new tree, Ingmar ?
It only has one use !

It’s true, they loved our pine-tree, Ingrid,
It’s true they loved it there.
They proudly placed our pine-tree, Ingrid,
In Trafalgar Square.

Then let’s give a tree to London, Ingmar,
A symbol of our rebirth.
Then let’s give a tree to London, Ingmar:
From Oslo – peace on Earth !



Fear & Statistics



Fear & Statistics

Have you heard how crime is falling,
Muggings at an all-time low ?
Murders, rapes, are miniscule
Compared with fifty years ago.
So when you’re walking back tonight,
The odds are very much in favour
Of you getting home alright.

So when the shadows rustle
And your heartbeats dance a jitterbug,
You’re almost surely not about
To face a psycho or a thug.
The cold wind sighs, the lone fox yelps,
But rest assured you’re probably okay –
I hope that helps.




several gift cards
Photo by Markus Spiske on



Berlin – City of the english Language,
All Thanks to Hollywood and Touristdollars –
With bilingual Signs to ease our Angst and Anguish,
And fluent Secondtonguers and subconscious Scholars.
From Burntborough Square to Prince Elector Way
Welcome to Berlinnington-on-Spray.



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.



So Many Locks, So Few Keys

door handle key keyhole
Photo by Pixabay on


So Many Locks, So Few Keys

Locksmithing looks like a lonely profession –
You get out to meet with the public, for sure,
But only the once, on your knees at their door.
You wrestle my barrel with little progression –
I’d naively pictured a surgeon-like skill:
Lockpicks and skeletons – rather than chisel and drill.

You work with me watching you over your shoulder,
Incase your tools gives my lockplate a nick –
What else can I do as we wait for the click ?
The drizzle picks up and your fingers grow colder,
Still trying to jiggle and jostle and jolt –
My whole life is trapped by a quarter-inch tamper-proof bolt.

And as for my neighbours – despite all your racket
While drilling-out, hammering, jemmying, screwing,
There’s none of them come by to check what you’re doing.
I s’pose I’ll take solace in how you must whack it !
I guess my old lock kept me truly secure –
A pity you must rip this hero from off of my door.

Finally !
You swing the door open to grant re-admittance,
My castle is taken – besieged, though benign –
And all my possessions are once again mine !
Though looking around, it feels like a housebreaker’s pittance –
My lack of ’lectronics and marble and chrome
Was probably all this time keeping me safe in my home.

You offer me three diff’rent grades of replacement,
With some anti-bump, anti-snap – and you grin:
“With this one, not even a locksmith could win !”
Though all this is pointless if I haven’t locks on each casement –
No-one will sweat on the strongest-held link
If the toplight’s ajar once again by the sink.

At last, I’m shaking your hand and writing your cheque.
Despite the assault on my fraught liquidity,
I have been saved from my own stupidity.
I show you at last to the door, which you brought back to spec.
“We shan’t meet again, I pray !”  Your expression
Makes me think locksmithing looks like a lonely profession.