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


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


Northern Sole

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


A Midsummer's Ice Cream

The course of true love never did run smooth
For Gary and Kaz on the van.
She was the sprinkles on his 99
And he was her ice cream man.

In the towns of the North, they had ruled uncontested
And everyone knew theirs was best.
But things were to change in that long hot July
When their love faced the ultimate test.

Italian vans were always a threat
With their opera and exotic ices.
And expensive shades and smiles from the Med
And frustratingly reasonable prices.

But people round here, they knew what they liked -
Not flash with the money they made.
And this latest Romantic to challenge poor Gaz
Had his eye on more than his trade.

Luigi it was, with his tan and gelato
And eyes that lit up the street.
And try as she might, Kaz fell under his spell
And they quickly made plans to meet.

But no screwball was Gaz, he knew what was what
So he followed them into the forest.
Of her love, he was sure, so he took a detour
And bought her some daffs from the florist.

Then there in a clearing, against the low sun,
In the scent of Italian cologne,
Kaz, in the twilight, stared at her new man
And Luigi held out a cone.

“Don't take that ice cream! He's a trickster,” yelled Gaz,
As he sped through the brambles and trees.
And armed with some lollies, he jumped from the van
As cool as a blue Mr Freeze.

Kaz ran for cover; she knew what came next
As our hero reached for his pocket.
And poised like a fighter, he drew back his arm
And launched his first raspberry rocket.

Luigi just laughed when the second one came,
Amused by the Englishman’s folly.
But Gaz with his pride and some back up munitions,
Took aim with a strawberry lolly.

He caught the italian right on his nose
And knocked him straight onto the floor.
Blood drizzled down his Armani apron
And he staggered in through his van door.

The forest grew still as the sun disappeared.
Had the visitor now met his match?
But the scene burst to life and when Gaz turned to look,
Luigi jumped down through his hatch.

Cornets of every size flew through the air -
A rainbow of Napoli’s best
Limone, pistachio, tiramisu -
Granola, caffe and the rest.

A cider from Gaz with a choc ice to follow,
A blackcurrant Fab and a flake
But Luigi replied with a stracciatella,
And frozen italian cake.

Deep into the night, the warriors fought,
Until both nothing more they could stand.
But Gaz rose to his feet and faced up to his foe
With an icy grenade in his hand.

The Jubbly of Orange. The four-pointed bomb.
The deadliest ice in the van.
The corners of steel and the razor-sharp edges -
Not one you'd take home to your gran.

And in the dawn’s light as the dew kissed the ground
Gaz hurled his last chance at the clown.
Then there in the distance, beyond the trees
He saw the Italian fall down.

Kaz looked at Gaz and Gaz met her eyes
Then they watched ‘til Luigi was gone
Then like fallen ice creams on a street in the sun
They melted together as one.

Published 28th Aug 2016 | Just for Fun


Life in the Fast Lane

Life in the Fast Lane

The man in the farm on the M62
In pyjamas in morning dew, sipping his brew,
What goes through his mind as he takes in the view
Of the sunrise over the M62?

The plans that they drew and the money they threw:
Does the farmer regret not thinking it through?
And after the chaos and hullabaloo,
Does he think that he's bitten more than he chew?

Or, as you're crawling to Leeds in the queue,
To the heat of the office you'll never get to,
Does he smirk at the traffic that trundles askew
Round his triumphant farm on the M62?

So, is it for me? Or is it for you?
If the hard hats came calling out of the blue
And threw down the same issue, what would you do
With your farm in the middle of the M62

Published 8th Apr 2017 | Just for Fun


Another One Bites the Crust

Another One Bites the Crust

They do things different in Wigan
Of that you can't deny.
Rugby, chips and bingo
Are the things that get them high.
But the icing on the cake is -
And I'm not one to lie -
A round or square, not to share,
Galloways crusty pie.

They'd kill you for a pie,
Yes they'd kill you for a pie.
For pudding, chips and gravy
They would poke you in the eye;
For a can of fizzy Vimto,
It's a compass in your thigh.
But cross my heart and hope to die,
They'd kill you for a pie.

I walked through Wigan's centre
Forlorn and uninspired.
I'd caught the bus from Ince
So I was feeling very tired.
So I trudged to Galloways
And bought a pasty for a treat,
But three lads tooled with plastic forks
Chased me through the street.

They'd kill you for a pie
Yes they'd kill you for a pie.
For a quarter bag of cola cubes
They'd whip you with their tie;
For a clutch of penny chews
They'd find a way to make you cry;
They will hunt you down
In Wigan town
And kill you for a pie.

I ran from these three heavies
Through the lights and up to Whelley.
I could sense them getting closer:
It were just like on the telly.
So I legged it up the road
Past the shops and through New Springs,
I jumped a barge to Haigh Hall park
And hid behind the swings.

They'll kill you for a pie,
Oh they'll kill you for a pie.
When it comes to law and order,
Hungry Wiganers don't comply.
If you flaunt the flakey pastry
Then you surely qualify
For a lunchtime filled with fear
Because they'd kill you for a pie.

Unwrapped my greaseproof bag,
All soggy now and torn.
But thankfully, despite the chase,
My pasty was still warm.
But as I went to take a bite
They came and grabbed my arm
Screaming: “You can't eat that pie mate,
It's not in a bloody barm!”

And from his jacket pocket
(And I thought this could turn nasty)
He pulled a crusty barmcake
And snatched my cooling pasty.
Then calmly, with a look of steel,
He slipped it in the bread,
And before he'd even finished it,
I knew that I'd be dead.
He threw the bag into the woods
And bound my hands and legs.
And just for laughs he gagged me
With a sausage roll from Greggs.

They'll kill you for a pie,
Yes they'll kill you for a pie.
For a tin of Uncle Joe’s
They'd simply hang you out to dry.
For a plastic tray of cockles,
They would trip you on the sly.
But I really just can't tell you why
In Wigan senses go awry
When desperate for a new supply
They'd kill you for your pie

Published 8th Apr 2017 | Just for Fun


Eyes Down

Eyes Down

Barbara keeps her head down at the bingo here tonight.
Three wins on the spin suggests that something isn't right.
A line, a house last weekend and the jackpot week before
Has left her friends from Slimming Club questioning the score.

So when the tension mounts on the evening’s opening card,
And the women from the salon grip their dibbers extra hard.
As the caller takes his place, he knows precisely what's at stake:
Another win for Barbara would be difficult to take.

The house lights dim as Alan draws the mike up to his lips;
Our hero sits with Val and helps her finish off her chips.
And as the numbers tumble, Barbara senses waiting knives
From the pie shop girls across the room, dibbing for their lives.

But Barbara isn't one to let some scallies from the town
Bully her and make her put that purple marker down.
She's worshipped at these tables for all her working years;
No painted lady cafe girls can bring this one to tears.

But seriously, what will she do if Alan calls her number?
Shout ‘house’ and claim the win and find a table to climb under?
Or will she take the easy way when finding she was near it?
Delve in her bag? Nip to the loo? Pretend she didn't hear it?

Poor Barbara starts to shiver as her card gets down to one:
Her pen poised on the button to release the atom bomb.
Kelly’s Eye to win the game and set off World War III,
Or keep her mouth shut, let it pass and and hold some dignity.

In silence everybody knows that something bad is hatching,
As the smell of danger hovers over lager and pork scratchings.
But when Barbara looks at Alan and gives a little cough,
Alan gets the signal and things totally kick off.

“I knew it,” bellows Angie, “I knew you'd bloody cheated!
I won't come here again,” she yells, “I've never been worse treated.”
Then others join the chaos and some wine glasses are thrown,
And Donna says she'll strangle Alan with that microphone.

Cheryl flips a table and Sharon throws a chair
And Pauline from the betting shop grabs hold of Vicky’s hair.
Maureen puts the boot in on Karen from the Spar,
While Andrea the owner pulls the shutters on the bar.

In the violence and the brawling, Al and Barbara seize their moment;
Disinterested in coming clean, confessions or atonement.
As women, booze and blood and hair pour through the fire exit,
Babs hoists Alan in the air, grabs the cash and legs it

Published 8th Apr 2017 | Just for Fun


No Woman, No Pie

No Woman, No Pie

A moment on the lips, Dawn;
Don't forget your goals.
You know that you'll regret it
If you have those sausage rolls.

Forget the cakes and flapjacks,
They're no good for your health.
And take your greedy eyes
Off them pasties on the shelf.

Put the Fanta down, Dawn,
Unless you need the pounds;
The bakewell and the brownie
And the doughnut’s out of bounds.

A week away from Greggs, Dawn,
Won't mean you'll fade away.
You've got the wrong idea, Dawn,
About this five a day.

Published 8th May 2017 | Just for Fun