One written for a well-known DIY superstore!

Stop for a flapjack, a teacake, a brew.
The aroma of coffee and toast is the cue.
Step out of the chaos and hullabaloo.
Our bright orange aprons are waiting for you.

What will it be sir? A table for two?
Chillax in the corner; take in the view.
See there in the distance the filler, the glue -
The foreground adorned by the nail and the screw.

Comprehensive selection of carpet shampoo.
Beyond there, the compost - John Innes number two.
There's the pipe that you carelessly put a nail through
And the bathroom displays: 10% off a loo.

And the rivers of paint: the turquoise, the blue,
Complimentary colour chart one can leaf through.
Kaleidoscope colours, a bespoke Xanadu.
As you sip at your latte, would you write a review?

Whilst assessing the Do It Yourself you can do
Our romance-filled cafe will make you feel new.
Find us on Facebook, in Wigan or Crewe -
We're next to the gents, at your B and Q.

Published 31st Jul 2016 | Just for Fun

It's Only a Wasp

A poem written for all teachers who have ever had their lesson destroyed by a wasp in the classroom.

It’s only a wasp, or a bee – I’m just guessing.
It could be a monster, the way they’re all stressing.
If it was, it might eat one, which could be a blessing.
But there’s no way of resurrecting my lesson.

It flew in through the window around half-past ten.
There’s been no meaningful work since then;
When a wasp’s in the room, they can’t use a pen –
To be honest, they only write scraps now and then.

At 10.31 my class were advised
To keep writing, stay calm – but I wasn’t surprised
That by 10.32 they were all hypnotised –
And not by the lesson that I had devised.

There’d be less of a stir if it was an alsatian –
A black-widow spider. A drunken relation.
I’ve tried all I can, but they’ve no inclination
To tackle this crucial exam preparation.

This miniscule demon. This pain in the neck.
This trespassing, murderous, venomous speck
(Only slightly more fun than an hour of Food Tech)
Has predictably left my classroom a wreck.

This beast in the room is causing real tension
At break they’ll all exaggerate its dimensions
But one thing’s for certain, I feel I must mention -
It can do what I can’t – and hold their attention.

Published 1st Aug 2016 | Just for Fun

Below Par

A poem written for a golfing enthusiast friend:

How straight it flew. How long it flew.
A heaven sent drive on the third.
Past windmill, o’er bridge
Full cresting the ridge
Green eyes gazing on, without word.

Three inches from hole it decided to rest;
Strikes of such style are few.
Casual but sturdy,
With a smile for the birdie,
I caressed it straight home for a two.

On subsequent holes, the same story.
Dream approaches, then in for the kill.
Then a selfie to tweet
‘Cos there's nothing to beat
Crazy golf on the seafront at Rhyl.

Published 1st Aug 2016 | Just for Fun

School Librarian

Bow down low, doff your cap.
Central point on the laminated map.
Tuck your shirt in; hush your voice.
Read the blurbs; make your choice.
Queen bee, bookworm; she's no fool.
Got your Dewey number, this shelf-styled jewel.
Make an appointment on her multi-coloured chart;
Researching for history; bunking off art.
Glasses on a chain; chunky-knit jumpers;
The school's Willy Wonka with her team of Oompa-Loompas.

The keeper of the classics for you to get lost in:
Steinbeck, Dickens, Joyce, Jane Austen.
Lord of the Rings, she's got a first edition.
Misspent youth by her own admission.
Up to her knees in Jacqueline Wilson,
Expert in Dante, Shelley and Milton.
There's nothing about Shakespeare that she can't teach -
And she sells pens too, for twenty pence each.

Published 1st Aug 2016 | Just for Fun

Gift Shops

Quite like castles and stately homes,
Old buildings throughout the land.
Museums make me feel dead smart,
But it's the gift shops I can't stand.

Shelves of shortbread, tartan tins,
Books on keeping bees.
Embroidered cushion covers,
Alan Titchmarsh DVDs.
Christmas jigsaws, painted eggs,
Coasters by the crate
Volunteers with homely names,
Mugs of Princess Kate.

So when I'm lost in cookbooks
And CDs from World War One
It takes all my nerve and strength
To keep calm and carry on.

Published 1st Aug 2016 | Just for Fun

B&Q Blues

She said,
“Pick a blue, something light
That goes with the blind but not too bright.
Something morning, something cool,
Something hotel swimming pool.
Something simple, something plain,
Like your shirt but not the same.
That colour we looked at once, you know,
In Homes and Gardens years ago.
A touch of aquamarine, no more -
A bit more chic than her’s next door.
Bluish blue - look, it’s time I was gone.
Anything really, you choose one.”

So here I am, in B&Q
Staring at a million types of blue:
Snorkeling Trip, December Solstice,
Blue Bolero- who knows what this is?
Windswept Clouds, Parrot Flight,
Cool Box, Journey into Night,
Coastal Waters, Easy Breeze -
How much are they paid to come up with these?
Frosty Snowcap, Dover Shore,
Summer Rain, Ocean Floor,
Arctic Sunrise, Fairy Cup,
God’s Toothpaste - no, I made that up.
Midnight Magic, Moroccan Sky,
Seize the Day, Flying High.
I'm on a roller now, try stop me.
More shades of blue than types of coffee.
Enough to put you in a trance.
Paint the bathroom? I've got no chance.

So empty-handed I drove home.
Praying that she wouldn't phone
To check on progress, colour, sheen.
A quick update, know what I mean?
I staggered in and made a brew
And surveyed the scene from on the loo.
For me, our bathroom looked alright
Why the change? What's wrong with white?

All afternoon the floor I'm pacing,
Cold sweats while I'm watching racing.
How would it go? What would she say
About my unproductive day?

And then at six: the drive, her car.
My hand flew to my jugular
As she flew up to check the room
And descended stoney-faced too soon.
Her piercing eyes said it all
(I feared I'd end up on the wall.)

“Darling, there were just too many.
I froze, I panicked and didn't choose any.”

She brushed me off with just one stare
And left me standing lonely there.
My colour drained; I started itching
As she summoned me into the kitchen.
By then, my legs were quite unstable
And spread before me on the table
Rows and rows of colour charts.
“This is where your nightmare starts,”
She said without a hint of fun.
“By 3am , we'll have the one.”

So ahead a night of paint fatigue.
No feet up, crisps and Champions League.
I fained interest but she could tell
I wasn't feeling very well.
But then beneath the kitchen light
Bizarrely, no blue card in sight.
She chirped, when asked what did it mean:
“I've changed my mind. We're having green.”

Published 15th Aug 2016 | Just for Fun

Remember Me?


Stop all the clocks, come with me back in time
To a page before swipe or touchscreen.
When an hour to spare
Spent in WHSmiths
Had us gazing at Staedtlers
And testing the Bics
Before buying a gel one
(And four bags of crisps)
In silver or aquamarine.

Years in the depths of the cupboard by the stairs,
Weeks in the pit of your bag.
Under the telly,
Top drawer in the kitchen:
They wait for their moment
When fingers are itching
To give up this scrolling
And Internet twitching
And virtually wave a white flag.

Back in the day we pinched them from Argos,
High Street badges of honour.
We took them to school
In our case for impressing.
The sign of high cool
In the chemistry lesson.
One in dad’s pocket
For bingo or betting -
A constant when tired of the flick.
Give me Staedtlers or Sheaffers or Bics:
This is how we got our clicks.

Published 20th Aug 2016 | Just for Fun

Rays of Sunshine

Is it Carol Kirkwood that makes your sun come out?
Or the prophet Peter Gibbs who gives your weather forecast clout?
Perhaps Professor Susan Powell can chase those threatening clouds away,
Or is it ice-cool Alex Deakin you need to brighten up your day?

Is it Hammond, Lear or Darren Bett that makes your garden grow?
And when you're tired of the sun, can Ms Keith-Lucas make it snow?
Are Matt Taylor or Jay Wynne the greatest post-news superstars?
Or can a calming Helen Willetts dispel those isobars?

So who’s the weather boffin that you'd never want to lose?
If you could save one from the floods, which ray of sunshine would you choose?
So clap like thunder, cause a storm, you know this guy’s a cracker:
For me, the one with most hot air is Tomasz Schafernaker.

Published 20th Aug 2016 | Just for Fun

Shoes on the Dual Carriageway

How did you get there oh size 13 Clarks
On the road between Scarborough and York?
From where did you come?
Were you dropped from up high
Were you thrown from a bridge?
Did you walk?

Tell of your journey oh hard shoulder shoes
As I slow to a queue in the lane.
Were you flung from the window?
Or sun-roof ejected?
Was it anger that made
Feet become disconnected?
And now on your side
You're exposed, unprotected.
Outcasts, alone in the rain.

How long will you kick around lost in the gutter
Oh mystical shoes in a pair?
Off duty coach drivers
Time on their hands,
Three abreast workmen
In Volkswagen vans
Children on backseats
Three hours from gran's
Amazed and dumbfounded
At roadside footwear
(Abandoned, rejected,
Resisting repair)
Will mumble the question
That hangs in the air:
How the hell did those size 13 Clarks
End up there?

Published 23rd Aug 2016 | Just for Fun

Smooth Operator

Once you took the spotlight, True -
Funny how it seems.
From the cherry ice-cream smile
To the Caribbean Queens.
Shiny suit - Smooth Operator,
No need to ask, you're there to schmooze
Through Dire Straits and Spandau Ballet,
Huey Lewis and the News.

But it's Only When You Leave
That we come to miss you sadly
There's a saxophone-shaped shadow
Standing next to Tony Hadley
And not even a Careless Whisper
About our eighties anchormen
Without whom, I’ve got no rhythm -
So I'm never gonna dance again.

Published 27th Aug 2016 | Just for Fun

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