Poetry Blog by John Coopey


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(Afficianados of the soft porn mags of the 70's will recall the Letters to the Editor pages. Letters were quite formulaic You pretended they hadn't been cobbled together by a roomful of middle aged hacks as you spanked your monkey but always had the phrase halfway through the story, "Imagine my surprise..."   Fiona Richmond was Men Only's shagnasty but I wrote this away from any research material ...

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(If you don't know who Lev Yashin is you soon will.  He is the "poster boy" for this year's World Cup. As a schoolboy who played in goal I wanted to be him. Everyone did)



It’s commonly known a group’s drummer is never quite right in the head

And likewise a football team’s goalie, of which something similar is said.

And it’s opport...

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We sat in our garden – that’s Our Gert and me

And took home-made tiffin with cups of black tea;

The sun barely showed – a bright haze at the most

But its heat was pervading and cloying and close;

The breeze did its best to bring cooling chill

But the leaves on the cherries stayed stubbornly still.

A day to enjoy though the prospect might irk

Those who are younger and all out a...

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Don’t know why

You would think I would lie ‘bout

Stormy Daniels;

She just gave me oral and manual.

A big mistake of mine.


First finger pie

And then I’d supply

Stormy Daniels

With a snorter or two of white granules;

A big mistake of mine.


She drained me dry

With kinky sex I would try with

Stormy Daniels,

Her sister and two cocker spaniels;

A big m...

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Several of the formative experiences of my earlier years took place on Friday afternoons in the Admiral Duncan, Hyson Green, Nottingham.  The place would be crowded with blokes awaiting the arrival and subsequent deshabille of the day’s stripper.

A particular favourite of mine and many of the others was a woman in her late 20’s I’d guess, whose name has faded into the mists of my youth but whos...

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(Actually, we did both finish.  But you can't let the facts get in the way of a good yarn)


We did the Selby Bike Ride, Flatfoot Sam and me;

We thought we’d raise a bob or two for children’s charity.

It’s called the Candlelighters and worthy of our quids,

Supporting those with cancer – a horrid thing for kids.


The other cyclists looked real pro in Spandex they’d all have


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When I was made redundant after twenty years in the mining industry, I became a self-employed interim manager and did this for a further twenty years.

Interim management is, as the name suggests, what Rafa Benitez did at Chelsea – taking on a managerial role on a short-term basis.

The disadvantage of this is that there is no security.  After your contracts up, or even before sometimes, ...

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My eye was taken by a post about “Subversive Verse –

A Night of Edgy Poetry”; I thought I could do worse.

I found the place, I got a drink and paid the entrance fee

Then settled down to listen to this edgy poetry.

A bloke got up to waft his arms and thus began his rants

And followed up his diatribe with more that’s just as pants.

A second poet took the stage.  Let’s see what...

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Jojo was a man who thought himself as English

Despite his Caribbean past;

Jojo left his home in Kingston, Jamaica

And married a Tottenham lass.

Jojo paid in full his fare to board the Windrush

In June of 1948;

Jojo was invited by the Mother Country

Jojo simply couldn’t wait.

Jojo worked for 30 years on London buses –

A grafter he would never shirk

Jojo took a pride i...

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(I’ve always thought that literature lacked a fusion poem marrying a certain country and western singer with the achievements of Admiral Nelson and my Hampton.  This is my attempt to address this.)


I have a certain body part to which I’m quite attached

And as a Rear Admiral I think he can’t be matched;

So to this country singer this tribute I apply

So I call my willy Nelson cos he...

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Let me say from the off that I hadn’t paid for a haircut in thirty years.  Our Gert had always cut mine with a Remington set to No 3 all over.  The downside has been that I missed some young bint pushing her baps in my ears while asking me about my holidays.  There’s not quite the same frisson with the wife.  But the upside has been that it’s free, albeit a little vigorous and my head resembled a ...

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Our Gert’s and my combined age is about 120. I would reckon, though, that puts us about 30 years light of the average combined age of couples on this Caravan Club site. You can see in their faces what they’re thinking when we ride our bikes. “Young hooligans!”

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You say that we spun it (say we spun it)

That’s poppycock

We know that you done it (know you done it)

With your Novichok (your Novichok)

Cos it reeks of

Vlad All Over

It’s got

Vlad All Over

No, it’s not Sharapova

Of the Eastern bloc.


You authorised Skripal (Sergei Skripal)

But she got in the way

Assad gassed his people (gassed his people)

He’s your proté...

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(A reminiscence from my time as Verger at Selby Abbey)


Since I’ve been verger at Selby Abbey I’ve encountered, as with any new job, a bewildering volume of jargon.

Church jargon, though, borrows from centuries of history and is therefore richer still.

Today, for instance, I laid and relaid the Eucharist tray with its chalice, paten, purificators, corporal and ciborium.

The first s...

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He surely must now feel the heat

Or is he just in self-deceit

He’s under pressure that’s a fact

And yet continues not to act.


For example, Livingstone

It’s been two years with nothing done

Even Momentum pressed

He’s facing such unrest.


Has he lost touch?

He never does much:

Is he just a

Bag of bluster

Is he in a

Frightened fluster

He does nothin...

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We’ve got a brand new gadget, a proper Budget Beater

That’s saving us a fortune – a fitted water meter.

We don’t waste any these days, as once, I guess, we did;

The bill’s now not eight hundred pounds but just two hundred quid.


My garden’s watered sparingly from outside water butts

With rainfall I’ve collected from rooves on sheds and huts.

When once Our Gert would take a ba...

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Catch a cheating star who’s hiding in his pocket tape;

He thought he’d be OK;

He scratched a little scar on the ball you bowl in cricket

To help its flight to swing away.

But TV cameras caught his little con tricks,

To his surprise;

But if your ancestors descend from convicts

You just can’t help but cheat and tell lies.

Catch a cheating star who’s hiding in his pocket tape;


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(My daughter, the intrepid Samantha Coopey, and yours truly will be doing the Selby Bike Ride on May 13 to raise funds for Candlelighters, an organisation supporting youngsters with cancer. If anyone would like to contribute to this worthy cause I have opened a Just Giving page.)


Sammy, Sammy, we’re pedalling, me and you

The Selby Bike Ride and raising a bob or two;

The charity that ...

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A short Iron Age story


The mark was as sure a sign from the Gods as ever they gave.  It hung like a purple fruit from beneath the child’s eye to its jawbone.  When its mother saw it she screamed in anguish.  The father turned his back in shame and left the hut.


But whilst the signs of the Gods may be clear for all to see their meaning is not and as the Priest extended his hands to ...

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When wear and tear determines that your old belt’s days are done

(Perhaps the holes have widened or the buckle pin has gone)

So when you walk for twenty yards they drop down past your bum

Then obligation places

A need on sturdy braces,


But if you’re quite an active chap or handy just like me

You’ll find that when you bend and stretch the snap-ons just snap free;

One nearl...

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(Nothing on the page but a Nine Freight in performance)


Slowly - ever so slowly - inching on our way;

Destination Whitby, vivid Autumn day.

Scenery magnificent, weather matching too,

Clouds of alto cirrus, sky of china blue.


Picking up momentum now, further down the line,

Engine snorting like a mare in steady 4/4 time.

Leaning from a window, moorland coasting by,


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(In support of the sisters)


Raise your voices; sisters speak!

International Women’s Week.

Banish weakness.  Let’s be strong.

Time to right what has been wrong.

Linking arms in sisterhood,

Pledged to Justice, pledged to Good.

Standing proud and standing tall,

The worth of one the strength of all

Yellow, brown or black or white

Joined together in the fight.


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I won a brand new jig saw in a raffle at a “do”;

I couldn’t wait to use it to see what it could do.

Then came the opportunity – we laid a hardwood floor

With planks to fit round obstacles – a chance to use my saw.

I made some silly errors but of a minor sort;

I gave myself 9 out of 10 to cut the story short.


But when the floor was finished it’s then that Our Gert saw

A th...

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(An oldie but a topical goldie)


As we crunched through snow together

In inclement Arctic weather,

I thought I’d bring to mind an Old Icelandic song;

There’s a saga of the Viking

That you need to heed when hiking

That “Pissing in His Boots -

Keeps No Man Warm for Long”.


In Nordic runes it’s written

That if your foot’s frost-bitten

Don’t fumble with your flaps...

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(And Who Forced Them To Get On It?)


“Come join me on my casting couch; come sit by me, m’dear;

I’m really quite avuncular; there’s nothing you need fear”.


“Oh, please sir, I remain unsure; I fear that isn’t so.

My mother always cautioned me, ‘The casting couch? Say No!’”


"You have no need to think I’ll hurt or harm you. Lordy Lord!

It’s just a game of dice we’ll pl...

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It's for The Gun we speak

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“We’ve tears still to be cried at night; we’ve hands still to be wrung;

The pain is now and ever for the grieving of our young

Your talk of “thoughts and prayers” sticks like bile on our tongue.”


As every white boy redneck in a truck or on a farm

Brandishes a metal penis nary care nor qualm

And bellows his assertion on his right to carry arms.


“Try not to be so sel...

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t'Monkey - Deliverance Meets Kes

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(A re-post from 4 years ago. After the post I daren't go back)


Nothing prepared me for the gig at “t’Monkey”; not five years of Open Mic-ing, not ten years of living nearby at Penistone.

The first thing I noticed about the place was that it wasn’t there.  Located in the Barnsley Triangle near Thurgoland, land of sheep and Thurgs, it steadfastly refused to acknowledge the Google Map I ha...

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(We shortly embark on a cruise for the second time)


She sailed the sea so serenely,

Resembling an elegant swan;

A cruise run by Saga to Greenland

With thousands of pensioners on.

There’s lotto for the old biddies

And tea dances while they’re at sea;

With nurses attending the toilets

And smells of stewed cabbage and pee.

The night’s entertainment is early -


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(A poem for Valentine's Day.  I framed this and gave it to Our Gert. She hangs it up at the back of the settee where it can't be see.  Cowperthwaite was the irascible old vicar who married us.  He ate enough for three at the reception).


We have a photo stowed away

That’s taken on our wedding day;

In truth it does not flatter us –

My double chin, your mountainous

Bosoms occupyi...

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(Watching the Winter Olympics on telly has prompted me to re-post this little piece of FF)


It started off as mischief in Landers café in Hucknall in the early 1970’s, until the Gods of Comedy got hold of it.  We christened it “Push-the-Pepperpot”.

The idea was to slide the pepperpot across the table so that it stopped exactly over-hanging the other side.  The winner was the first to 3 (...

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(There are so many posts on the BBC website extolling the virtues of women that I thought I had better add my re-post tribute to femininininity.  I can spell it - I just don't know when to stop)


Hey there, Vagina! In my teens I spent my wages

Buying dirty mags with photos of you on those sticky pages,

Some air-brushed

While others were magnificently bushed

On the tush.

Hey t...

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(A poem for any Manchester United fans who missed Spurs's first goal last night because they were still mashing their tea. I wouldn't want you to feel deprived)


Just one touch. That’s all it took, yeah.

Just one touch.


Just one touch

And we scored

We were quick off

From the kick-off;

Just one touch.

You can’t afford

To be napping

Or you’ll find that we’ve sc...

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(A re-post for International Holocaust Day.  In 2011 John Demjanjuk, a retired car-worker in Ohio originally from the Ukraine,  was deported to and convicted in Germany of war crimes he committed while working as a guard for the Nazis at Sobibor concentration camp. It has always struck me that our precious principles are cheap until upholding them comes at a cost).


They took us near Vinnyt...

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(Prompted by one of those unsolicited nuggets of life coaching wisdom you get on Facebook)


I don’t judge the woman or man that’s within

By their race or religion or colour of skin,

Their sexual preference, gender or age

And even cut slack to those wearing beige;

I hold all as equals from whichever nation

But rather I judje you by you’re punctuation,

You’re speling like wh...

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(A re-post plotting the angst of a 16-year old boy dragged on a camping holiday to North Wales by his parents. I know. I was that boy).


Nights in Prestatyn

Two weeks without end

Boring as Latin

Drove me round the bend.

My folks tried to tell me

That this beats Southend

Next year they’ll sell me

The idea of Bridgend.


Dad, how could you?

Mam, how could you?


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(A Greatest Hit from my back catalogue.  An enormous nod to Robert Johnson and Elmore James)


I want a WriteOutLoud woman to do anything in the world for me

I want a WriteOutLoud woman to do anything in the world for me

She could lick my piece into shape; I mean my poetry.


I’d take down her pantoums and jiggle her spondees for fun

She’d mouth both my rondels and my phaleuci...

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“The further west you go, the nearer you get to the Far East”.

A Victor Borge joke.  Not only ironic but, if you think carefully about it, a challenge to our accepted perceptions of cartography.

Consider, for example, if you bought a map of the world in China; where would China be?  On the extreme right (East) as we portray it or in the middle as we portray ourselves?

By that measure, if ...

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(Wendy Cope does a far superior villanelle called A Reading.  But I can't abide rants or "shouting" as it is otherwise known)


We patiently wait on these god-awful rants

Which interest the poet alone,

But rather retreat to our torpor and trance

And patiently wait his belligerent rants

While secretly thinking that this is all pants

And stifle a yawn and a groan,

Resigned to...

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We’ve never ever been beaten fair and square

I pluck excuses out of thin fresh air

And if I’m challenged by the Press I stare

That stare of mine; then whinge and whine.


Just watch the replay; then you yourself decide

If their two goals were clearly both offside;

It’s just the League Cup we never really tried

I whinge and whine, all of the time.


I think the re...

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