At Westonbirt Arboretum

The “could-be-anywhere-ness”,
Organised chaos, 
The well-maintained mess
Of leaves intertwined with leaves intertwined with leaves.

Civilised picnic, hide and seek,
Superfluous trees;
A hundred different shades of green,
And yellow,
And red. 
Bimbling paths and dappled tracks,
Shadey spots,
Sunny traps. 
Take the footbridge ad-Libitum,

The handsome, timeless arboretum.


I Don’t Want Breakfast in Bed, Dear

No, I don’t want breakfast in bed, Dear,
And I’ll tell you the reason why... 
if I have to clean the sheets again,
It will surely make me cry. 

No, I don’t want an “indoor picnic”,
A T.V dinner on the settee..
Because who is the one who’ll vacuum the crumbs?!
Me!! It’s always me!!! 

I want you to take the baby, Dear, 
So I can get some sodding sleep 
Or offer to wash the dishes,
Or give the floors a sweep! 

Or offer to do the laundry,
And tidy your clothes away,
Or take the baby for a walk,
For an hour... or half a day! 

I want you to dust the cobwebs,
Pick toys up off the floor,
Let me have a bubble bath,
And promise that you’ll never snore! 

I don’t want flowers or chocolates,
Although roses are quite sweet.
I just want you to help me...

And I just need some sleep!!! 


45th President of the United States

In this modern Post-factual age
Every newspaper, every page,
Is covered with the promises made
And broken
By the showman.
Bucking tradition of the Big Top Tent,
He forwent the Top Hat,
Favouring instead the inflammatory Red
Of the mop on top of his head,
A potent mix of fact and fallacy.
The definition of Democracy:
A State governed by the majority.
Or 46.5% apparently. 

"Friends, Romans, Countrymen,
(Of specific race and creed)
Lend me your ears, indeed...
I am one of you; I understand your need,
Yes I am full of dollars and greed,
But I share your thoughts, your deepest feelings,
I understand your want to keep glass ceilings,
Your casual racism, Your need to build walls
Your need for more malls,
Your chauvinistic, 
materialistic minds.
Your preference for reality TV,
Your preference for ME! 
You voted, you chose this, Q.E.D!
Let me tell you something about,
How lucky it is for you that I'm rich,
That nasty woman, Hilary, what a..” 
Way to win an election;
Just rhetoric and mis-direction.

The first 100 days in Office,
For the veteran novice,
Still wet behind the ears,
Young in wisdom, not in years.
The star spangled slogan,
Is vacuously re-spoken,
Repeated and re-tweeted,
A punchy add-on token.

Let’s Make America Great Again.


Armistice Day

I woke up this morning to listen to the news.
Hearing people’s views
on whether footballers should wear a poppy on their arm.
The Welsh team said no,
They said the penalty imposed would do them harm…
Imagine what the World would be like if one of our regiments refused to fight,
refused to risk their lives
for the lives of people they don’t even know…
but for a game, 
a game,
a team said no…
So it goes.

Dulce et decorum est. 
It is sweet and glorious.
Is it sweet and glorious to be swamped in mud,
or coughing up dust,
watching the blood dry?
A soldier doesn’t cry.
Marches on. Saves someone.
Gets injured trying.
Returns home to half the nation decrying
the need for a military.
Arguing the war was illegal, why can’t we just
discuss over tea.

Opium is a drug to forget.
To float in to a dream detached from reality,
Opium is a drug to forget,
It is found within the head of the poppy.
A poppy is worn for remembrance,
For respect. Not to forget.
Dulce et decorum est



Never grow up as Peter Pan said,
Or was it Taylor Swift? 
Whichever, it means the same; 
If you grow up you become boring, old and lame
In every sense; no more running in rain
Or jumping in puddles, or laughing at jokes
That are silly and innocent and full of fun and Sun,
No more swings or slides, or beach donkey rides...
Just insomniacs,taxes, credit card maxes.

It's not all like that; it's not a trap. 

Yes it's hard. Yes you have to work at it,
Sometimes you just have to smile and grit,
And hold on tight and hope you're alright. 
I've had my share of knocks and set backs,
And morally ambiguous attacks
On my character or way of life, 
I've had my share of toil and strife.

But you know what? 
I've had my share of beauty too
I've seen the sunrise on Beacon Hill.
I've felt that chill
That runs down your spine when you see someone fine
When they smile and talk to you.
When the love of your life says "I do"
I've learnt to control my fear, to pick up spiders.. 
(in a glass) but still...
And release them on to the window sill.
I've kissed in the rain, experienced pain, 
I've read all the greats, 
I love Lolita, the Master and Margerita,
Crime and Punishment, and all other stories meant
For philosophising, 
Not just the tale, but the morals there, too.
Don't get me wrong... I'm not bashing "Dear Zoo"

I've dyed my hair, cut my hair, grown my hair, 
(shaved my hair),
I've traveled far and wide, been a bride, felt so much pride,
Loved and been loved and been broken hearted.
Felt pleasure and pain when someone's departed, 
Experienced guilt, and lust and broke or gained trust,
Saved money, spent more,
Been exciting, been a bore,
Learnt music, languages, how to hold a drink,
How to speak, how to laugh, how to swim and not sink.

Yes there are taxes, yes there is stress,
Yes in the end, it all leads to death.

But there is too much 
Far, far too much in this world that is beautiful,
Too much to behold.
Too much to understand.
As a child it's great, but as an adult it's greater.
When you're holding the hand 
of your parent it's nice
Of your husband, it's nicer.

So go ahead. Grow up - not too fast, 
but enough to know
That as you're growing, there's some way to go.
So much to see.
So much to do.
So much to taste and smell and like and hate.
Read that book, eat that oyster, go on that date.
Just enjoy it.
Every single bit.
Every moment 
Of sadness, of badness, 
Of big bawdy gladness.

You only get this once,
No second chance,
In this totally upside down,
Confusing, amusing, incomprehensible
completely nonsensical 

Just laugh and cry and smile and love
Never regret the things you've done.
And grow up.
And have fun.


Rat Race

It's cold, it's drab, it's dark, it's wet, it's either snow or sleet,
I'm waiting for the bus to come and I can't feel my feet,
And seldom on the bus do I find a wretched seat,
And when I do, I feel it is a very welcome treat.

The Beeping of the doors and the ringing of the phones,
And the chatter of the school kids and the smaller childrens' moans,
And the snoring of the business man plugged in to his headphones,
And the rolling of the wheels as the yawning driver groans,

Sticky are the windows, and sticky is the floor, 
Sticky is the stairway, and sticking are the doors,
And eventually they open, like an OAP's old jaws,
And I'm released back to the city and its relentless craw. 

Then Sucked in to the underground, the veins of London Town,
The multicoloured arteries that pump the hoards around, 
I descend in to electric light, "This lift is going down",
And down I go to platform edge, a sea of vacant frowns.

Eye contact is forbidden, please keep well out of my space,
I wish your stinking pits were not so close to my poor face,
And why must that man listen to such excessive bass?!
Counting down the stops 'til I escape this hellish place,

We're held at a red signal, My God I start to Pray,
And this; only the start of my outrageous, hectic day! 
All because I'm slave to a horrendously small pay,
And as I stand I dream of lands that aren't so far away.

The jerking of the brakes on steel, the stench of unwashed hair,
The stomp of boots, stiletto heels, "Lift Broken"; take the stairs,
Soon we'll be set free from the TFL Inhumane Snare,
One more flight of concrete steps and out in to the air.

It's cold, 
it's drab, 
it's dark, 
it's wet,
it's either snow or sleet,

I'm walking to my office and I still can't feel my feet. 


Shorts - a little compendium of "in the works"

There will always be a little bit,
The smallest little slice,
Of me that's forever grateful 
That I have you in my life.
There are reminders every day;
Of you and me & me and you,
In everything I see and touch,
And taste and hear and do.


Bless this man for he is dead,
Because I hit him on the head
And so this soil is now his bed
I'm glad it's him, not me instead.

You Are What You Eat

I quite like eating apples
I had one for my tea
It wasn't very filling so,
I ate a further three.
I even ate all of the pips,
Now I'm an apple tree!

Dearest Headteacher

Dear Headmistress
My little darling, Chardonnay,
Returned to me from school today,
Her report card showed not a single “A”
I hope you see my point.
Chardonnay is a special child,
Gifted, sweet and kind.
She is a veritable genius
But with your teaching, falls behind.
I have read all the online blogs
And been on Mumsnet too,
They agree that Chardonnay is good,
So what are you going to do?
I know that she is “chatty”
And she can’t tie up her shoes
I know that she’s “unruly”
And can’t do her 2x2’s
But really she is very bright
I mean, just the other day,
She saw a picture of the Bard himself
And said “Mummy? Play?”
She can be quite a handful
But that’s easily answered by
A chocolate bar or candy
Or a new toy… or she cries.
I’m sure you understand me,
When I say how good I am;
At parenting, I’m number one!
Have been, since she was in a pram!
So it can’t be me, or my darling girl,
As we’re really trying hard.
Please could you see in your heart,
To change her report card?



And so, with her cigar she sat,
In nothing but a bowler hat,
And nothing in the Frigidaire,
But champagne, and cooler air.
They mocked her for her decadence
But did commend the excellence
Of the vintage that she chose
For it had quite a pungent nose
And such a palate, soft and light,
That's taste was pure and oh so bright.
And so you see, you should not care
What you do and what you wear
But on this advice you must think;
You will be judged by what you drink.

She caught a chill from being nude
Which doctors thought was rather rude
And so they wrote her up for rest
And to cover up her chest
But she died, alack! alas!
That bonnie, bowler-hatted lass.
It was her liver, so they say,
That finally gave up one day.


The Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the town,
Many creatures were buying such poisonous rounds.
Their stockings, with care, were pulled up to their thighs
And offered a treat for wandering eyes.

The children were nestled, all snug in their bars,
With dreams of an iPhone, computers and cars.
And mum in her onesie and I in my cap
Had just finished wrapping up all of the tat.

When out on the drive there arose such a clatter
I sprang to the porch to see what was the matter.
Back to the window I flew like a flash
And closed all the curtains and pulled down the sash.

By the moon behind clouds, I could only just see,
Objects on my driveway, familiar to me,
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But three drunken teens with a plastic reindeer.

With a little ring leader so lively and quick,
I knew in a flash whose reindeer they'd knicked.
More rapid than eagles, my anger soon came,
I whistled and shouted and called them some names.

"Now heathens, now youths, now terrible yobs,
Now ugly and frightening three-person mob!
Leave the reindeer in the drive or on top of my wall,
And dash away, Go away! Get away all!"

As Formula 1 cars race through the track,
They did not retreat, they did not step back,
And up to the house-porch the children soon flew
With tight glinting fists and the reindeer, too

And then, in an instant, I heard at the door,
Them banging and tapping and banging some more.
As I drew back from the window and was turning around,
The gentle twinkle and ringing of smashed glass did sound,

They were dressed all in black from their head to their feet
Through their black balaclavas our eyes they did meet.
The reindeer was bundled on the smallest ones' back,
But for their youth, I guessed they were on crack.

Their eyes, how they twinkled with what was to come,
One smelt distinctly of cheap, nasty rum.
Their chapped little lips were drawn up in a bow,
I was cornered and found I had no where to go.

The stump of a dog end was held in one's teeth,
And the smoke was hypnotic and smelt slightly sweet.
He had a closed little fist and a sparkling knife,
That glinted when he moved; a challenge to life.

They were scrawny and thin, a right sorry lot,
And I remained silent in the hope they would stop.
A wink of an eye and a twist of the head,
Soon gave me to know I had something to dread.

They spoke not a word and went straight to their work,
And filled all their pockets then turned with a jerk.
And putting a finger aside of their lips,
I knew that to make just a peep would mean chips.

They sprang from the house through the broken glass shards,
And ran like the wind through my empty front yard.
But I heard one exclaim, like a sinister sprite;
"Merry Christmas to all! And to all a Good night!"