Friday 28 February 2014

The alphabet backwards

Welcome to our new viewers from Macau. Your flag has been added to the "Hello World" post of April 2013.

When I was a very small person,
Great Grandma was old, but alive.
(She was then very nearly a hundred,
And I was a long way off five.)

We visited her fairly often,
Whenever we travelled up north.
She recited the alphabet backwards,
As she rocked in her chair back and forth.

"ZYX..." and the rest she repeated.
"ABC..." I'd not learnt, but instead
I heard the reverse way so often,
That it solidly stuck in my head.

This, for many a year, has caused problems:
I must think very hard to this day.
I struggle to get the right order
In the region of "H K I J"!

Friday 21 February 2014

Gregory's Girl

One's "first" is always special,
It's something girls remember,
And so it was with Greg and I.
We hooked up one November.

Good looking, slightly scruffy,
He set my heart alight.
I adored him from the outset,
It was true love at first sight.

This was in the sixties.
All was "fab" and "in the groove".
Mum assessed him as 'reliable'.
And did not disapprove.

I was young and inexperienced;
You might say quite naive.
I thought he'd never let me down,
A mad thing to believe.

He needed more attention.
He needed much more care.
I denied him these essentials:
Things were soon beyond repair.

He'd been my staunch companion.
We'd travelled near and far.
Then his engine over-heated,
And I cursed the wretched car.

My first car was a green and black Austin A40, whom I called 'Gregory' because of his "PEX" number plate.

Tuesday 18 February 2014

A poem for football addicks (updated team nicknames 2013-2014 season)

Welcome to our new viewers from Austria, Qatar and Macedonia (FYROM).
Your flags have been added to the "Hello World" blog (April 2013).

The nicknames of the teams that play in England's football league,
Are sometimes very obvious, and sometimes may intrigue.
Each one of them is mentioned in these rhyming acrobatics,
We'll start with one that mystifies - just what the hech are latics?

There is a range of colours, mostly patriotic hues,
Sky blues*, whites and lilywhites*, one red, two more plain blues.

Toffees...cherries...tangerines don't make for balanced dinners,
Though to fend off indigestion, those fine clarets may prove winners.
No "shots" now of the stronger stuff - so tempting for a few -
But guess the vast majority drink what the brewers brew.

When it comes to animals, enough for sev'ral zoos...
Stags, shrews...sheep aplenty, for the rams have got two "U"s.
Black cats, lions, tigers all fit into feline boxes,
Whilst the terriers are canine types, along with wolves and foxes.
There are shrimps and a cod army, which in water all survive,
(Though they wouldn't if they couldn't breathe: their gills keep them alive.)

For budding ornithologists are lots of birds to pluck,
To start a brace of magpies (for just one would bring bad luck).
We have sharp-clawed eagles, which have preying on their minds,
Whilst swans and gulls and seagulls are all webbed or swimming kinds.
Next canaries, bluebirds, bantams, three robins and the owls:
We'll add flying bees and hornets, though they're insects and not fowls.

We can classify the workers, who perform their chosen task,
The millers mill, the potters pot, the cottagers - don't ask.
We've tractor boys and railwaymen, we have the awesome gunners,
And as "goffers", we have trotters and three rovers but no runners.
Another pair of craftsmen both relate to types of seating,
Though the chairboys and the saddlers won't for custom be competing.

Of seasiders, a handful, as befits an island nation,
The pirates buckle swash, and shrimpers nab the odd crustacean,
The mariners have sadly sunk to where the fish get caught,
Though Pompey must mean something of a nautical import.

And if the right accessory's the sort of thing that matters,
We've cobblers, glovers, baggies (but we've now lost both the hatters.)
The royals can afford such things (and mansions with a pool,)
And the posh with dosh go shopping just to make themselves look cool.
Through forest, dale and boro they will sport their trendy clothes:
Silkmen used to make their stockings (whilst the poor man dons* plain "O"s).

The right tool spurs the will of those in heavy metal trades:
Thus the iron and the hammers and those ever-steely blades
That we put in handy Stanley knives (once opened and rescrewed),
Or the daggers (to be kept away from those in murd'rous mood.)

There is a bunch of villans, crooked spireites and some tykes,
We've a couple of red devils and their mischief-making likes,
But on the side of righteousness, some movers and some shakers:
Pilgrims, saints and minstermen, the valients (no quakers).

Were they settlers? Were they exiles? Did they just dream up the name?
Do the Grecians have connections with a land from whence they came?
The Cumbrians, however, is a very pointed clue.
The superhoops (or sometimes "R"s) complete our ninety-two.

* 2 teams with same nickname

Sunday 16 February 2014


We wanted you with us.
We wanted to know
The person you'd be,
Into whom you would grow.

But there'll be no first smile,
No first step, no first word,
These milestones imagined,
Unseen or unheard.

No sleep-deprived nights
That we all might have shared,
No chances to demonstrate
How much we cared.

No applauding your triumphs,
No wiping your tears,
No helping you learn,
No allaying your fears.

No annual party...
Our child's happy face,
Just a date when you left us
For some other place.

You are loved. You are precious,
Are cherished and yet,
We bade you goodbye
On the day we first met.

You were dreams. You were hopes
Time can never fulfil.
Though our arms cannot hold you,
Our hearts always will.

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Depressed Humboldt penguins

At Sea Life, in Scarborough, they've penguins,
Which need something to lighten their mood.
The problem first came to attention,
When the creatures seemed rather subdued.

When these cute flightless birds lived in Chile,
Of the weather, they never complained.
It was cold there but, unlike in Britain,
The damp and the gloom weren't sustained.

So the keepers administer tablets,
Which are craftily hidden in lunch.
The penguins appear to be cheery,
And are now a much happier bunch.

The treatment, it's said, was essential.
There are risks when a bird is depressed.
The immune system isn't efficient.
It gets ill if it's glum or feels stressed.

The same thing applies to all humans.
We're in need of some Prozac-type fare.
The government can't stop it raining,
But they could at least make us not care.

Pronunciation: the north/south divide

I can rhyme plant with aren't,
Which the northerners can't.
(Here it's plant as in ant,
Or in scant, pant or rant.)

They won't pair laugh with half,
Or with words such as scarf.
Laugh and naff for them work,
But for me they just irk.

I can rhyme farce and glass,
Ditto pass, class and grass.
Crass...lass...mass even so,
In the south would not go....
(And I'd never try sparse,
With "the law is an ass"!)

A southerner's pasta
Rhymes solely with aster.
In the north, there'd be master,
And plaster and faster...

I can rhyme put with foot,
And with soot and caput.
Although but, hut and nut,
Would all have to be cut.

In front of the hearth,
Folk would put their tin bath.
Although - you do the math! -
It's a slippery path.

It would be understood
To pair wood, hood and good.
But mud, flood and blood.
In the south would be dud!

The above is a guide
To the north/south divide.
Must take care when I choose
Which rhymes I might use.

I was brought up south of London and moved north in later life. My southern accent still persists and I need to be aware of the differences in pronunciation when attempting to compose verses.

Tuesday 4 February 2014

What is that German doing?

There's somebody living in Germany,
Who looks at this page once a week
In the very small hours on a Sunday,
When the stats show a rather big peak.

Either that, or large numbers in Deutschland,
All decide they will visit this spot.
I haven't a clue what might prompt this,
An so ever-thickens the plot.

Is it something they're watching on telly,
That suddenly causes the urge
To research or to browse on computers,
And thus cause my figures to surge?

By the time I am happily blogging,
There's no snapshot of what they are doing.
The stats have moved on, so I wonder:
What it is my German's been viewing?

One of these Sundays I'll catch them,
If it means I must sit up all night.
But I'm tired and am feeling quite sleepy,
So it's time now to switch off the light...