Tree's a crowd

As we were wandering through a forest full of ancient trees,
my alter ego said he wanted
to turn over a new leaf.
As there was a lot of mulch about, the two of us made a squelching noise.

Curious, I asked, ‘Why a new one?’

For all we could see were old leaves, which I suggested
might be due to a raiding party of new-age gardeners from
commune called Leaf Us Alone.

‘Shush,’ he cautio...

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Under a fading moon

Lament for a fading moon
The British Royal family have gone, 
and reality TV has died a death,
my charity-shop clothes are too dusty 
even for a misanthropic moth, 
who flickers as the moon is set to rise,
while that well-travelled Monty Python,
whose surname rhymes with fading,
wonders what will become of Planet Earth.

Meanwhile, two lovers under a fading moon 
annoy the romantics by...

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Lover on vanishing island of dreams is not what she seems

She was possessed of a creeping sexuality which
slowly unmasked the innocent – this mysterious
woman I met while travelling to Fortopollathrills,
that newly-discovered island with connections to a canary.

I listened entranced as she reminisced about her studies
at a revered university I’d never heard of,
where she was nicknamed Mathematical Millicent.

But she look perplexed when I quipp...

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Dracula is pain in the neck for island’s sea mammals

Wandering along the beach I mused to myself,
‘What a funny place is this island in The
Canaries called Feurteventura, with its volcanic
rock and crashing surf, not to mention my eccentric host,
Señorita Marmaduke, who puts garlic outside her door.’

Maybe she thinks we’re in that country where a
bloodsucking count preyed on young maidens.’
Of course, I was thinking of Transylvania,

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Poo! Dung deal for price of a Farthing

Lucinda Make-Piece Farthing lived in India
and loved to ride an elephant,
but one day fell off into a pile of dung,
only to be consoled by a little man in a loin cloth.

He’d looked at her intensely, then declared, 
‘I have watched you at close quarters.
When our children approach, you do not, l
ike a cavalry rider on parade,
show them your hind quarters.

‘Indeed, you are respectful wh...

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A ripping yarn

‘I say, it’s Flinty!’ Shouted ‘Timmers’,
otherwise known as 
Flying Officer Timothy Tamford-Tittimus,
his voice ringing round Mandevilles’ Gentleman’s Club,
where I, Flinty Flood-Flanners 
was celebratinge the 1918 Armistice.

I was relieved to see my pals hadn’t noticed my embarrassment, 
engrossed as they were in re-enacting the Eton Wall game.
You see, back in 1915 Tim had rescued me in

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A father for us all

‘You’ve got a bum and a tum now!’ Remarked an old flame,
who’d changed her profession from social worker to children’s magician.

‘You might be greyer of hair,’ she said with a wink,
‘but I remember when you were as thin as a lath,
and though your raggedy existence has aged you somewhat,
you’re now strong, like a put-out-to-grass ox, 
if you’ll forgive my back-handed compliment.’

She lau...

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A truly Christian daughter

Mary Delahinch was often seen with Pappeety,
her short-haired, long-legged Patterdale terrier who,
possessed of a powerful nose, was sometimes used by Colonel
Buntingdon-Blythe to discover a rebel band’s hidden gunpowder.

For this cruel man knew her secret – that she was the illegitimate
daughter of Fletcher Christian, the notorious mutineer,

hunted on the high seas after he’d left his tyr...

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Young Dan

Young Dan
Grandad Flanagan sat on his stool to tell the children a tale he called,
‘Where there’s a walrus there is a way’.

‘Young Dan from Ireland’s lovely Dingle was always in trouble at school.
But it all changed when he found Wally, an amphibian mammal,
who, due to pollution, wouldn’t enter Mallybotton bay,
and so found herself in some distress.

But a cruising dolphin asked a seagu...

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What makes us human?

Well do I recall the day my wife and I
visited a bar called The Misfiring Musket, 

nestling on the banks of Ireland’s river Boyne.

I, being a leading literati in the world of fictional adventure, groaned,
when at every alcoholic pit stop, 
she would boast about my latest comedy,
Love On The Little Big Horn,
about a couple obsessed with General Custer
and his demise at that battle of the s...

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A dreaming man

‘She doesn’t have a Beyoncé bum, that Miss Too-Good-By-Moonlight,’
my ex-wife said, referring to a woman with an odd pseudonym,
after accusing me of ogling a photograph-laden blog on the world-wide-web,
whose strands were spreading across my chest, saying,
‘What a flighty madame, pontificating on subjects she’s no right to discuss.’

I woke up with a start, then quickly asked for a drink,

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Here's to you, Mary Lou

‘I’m working on my memoirs, dear Mary Lou, recalling several
memorable days spent with yourself,’
I announced, but as usual didn’t receive an answer.

Bemused, I thought back to the day it all started, 

that day in Dublin waiting for the St Kevin’s Bus,
when we both tra la la lallied to a busker who sang, 
I Met My Love On St Stephens Green’.

This turned out to be prophetic, because it ...

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In memory of a misanthropic cleric

Did you go to that place of the timorous tiger,
and look in awe in at an elephant with a very long ear,
which, according to legend was faithfully followed by a cow,
mooing in tune to God Save The Queen,
that wistful sound echoing across those mist-covered hills from the army camp,
I asked the spirit of my great-granddad, regimental Padre Beauchamp,
derided by his family as a 19th century mis...

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Bubbling along

You may wonder why I, a famous actor,
when interviewed on hit US chat show, Late Night With Maclean,

appeared with a mighty lump on my forehead.

It all came about when a producer wanted me to bubble for a TV show,
just to minimize the danger of covid,
but to complicate matters, it turned out to be a passionate scene,
but I had to do it with the ex-wife, bubble, I mean.

We were to play a...

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False teeth distort the truth

As a young man I visited Galway on the island of Ireland,
with its massive bay, so famed in song, and set off on a trip
to visit those remote Aran Islands
under the tutelage of our guide, a comedian called Tommy.

He boasted that he would just shut his eyes and ‘hope for the best’,
while driving a coach which seemed to hover on the edge of a great precipice.

We all laughed, except some Ame...

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A Lancashire Lad Makes Good

I’m a Lancashire lad who raced in spikes and string vest, 
a good athlete on the track and cross-country,
but was a disappointment to my old dad,
who’d dreamt of his only son scoring for the Saints,
that iconic rugby team with the red V.

I said it was just as well, ’cos I would surely have
dropped the ball, being all fingers and thumbs.

‘But being a clever boy, I went up to Oxford, 

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The Spirit Meade

I am interested in the musings of the spirit Meade,
was the random thought that entered my sub conscious.

But it was quickly banished to that no-man’s land lying between
the front-line trenches of reason and despair,
those two enemies constantly at war.

Gathering all my strength, I pushed it away,
though it would, like a schoolboy exploring London’s Soho,
occasionally stray into the low...

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The African Animal National Protection Symposium

The following is a report by BBC Wildlife campaigner Sir David Attenborough,
addressing the Royal Society for The Protection of Wildlife

‘Contrary to popular belief, the magical ostrich Awesome Ozzie possesses a large brain.
and is regarded by naturalists as a freak,

helping drought-stricken villages when the clouds refuse to precipitate.
However, he is outdone in that department by Percy T...

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Little Lucy

Little Lucy was a hit on Guatemala’s shanty-town cabaret,
somersaulting across the stage singing,
‘I was raised in the shadow of Mount Montezuma,
and am proud to call myself by my native name,
Lucian Allamandas, the last remaining Guatemalan Apache Indian.’

‘As a girl,’ she declared to travelling musician Monty Bullingham,
whom she met when they shared a dense thorny bush,
hiding from bat...

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Little Susan

When Susan emerged from the womb, her tiny lips beamed a smile,
ide enough to light up the rain-soaked African plains.

Her mother knew she’d reared a mischievous child,
by the way she winked when sucking her thumb,
attracting envious glances when running through the grass playing skip-along games.

But by morning’s light she was studying her textbooks, in the hut that served as a classroo...

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The Perverted Public School Poltroon

I like to think I’m posh, so like Billy Bunter in those books from my boyhood ,
I always said pater instead of father, mater, instead of mum,
and dreamt of attending an educational institution such as
the fictional Greyfriars whose 'master's educated Bunter Minor.

So, it was with a heavy heart I walked through the gates of Mulchester Marton,
a public school favoured by those who pursued the...

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Claribel And The Strange Island

Have you heard of my love, cute Claribel,
the singer who, her voice soaring above the chalk Downs,
from Devil’s Dyke to Balham Cove, became known
as The Brighton Belle?

It was she, who when asked where
she was from by a devoted fan,
one Miss Mary MacVeagle, of county Clare,
answered, ‘Hove, a posh district, west of Brighton.’

Mary commented, ‘Oh, I went there on my honeymoon.’
It was ...

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The Little Susans

Those Cumbrian mountains, Glaramara and Scafell,
which stand like mighty sentinels guarding the approaches to Cumbria’s coast,
once echoed to the sound of the Hairy Hipnochroids,
those huge horny cattle, who with their huge teeth,
make a mighty ‘chomp, chomp!’ noise,
chewing tough heather and thistle, then roaring ‘Mac Mullett Moose Maa!’,
meaning ‘Our neighbours prefer us up here, as we’ve ...

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Old Runner's Lament

A TV producer told me I didn’t look like an athlete,
when I was cast as a competitor in the Middington-Fiddle Village Big Mudder race,

in an episode of that corny popular drama, Country Constable,
during which, you’ve guessed it, a murder or two inevitably takes place.

‘But I used to do!’ I protested, to no avail.

So my mind harked back to when I ran through mud so deep, a tractor was use...

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The uncool romantic

I arrived early at the Copper Steampot,
the tea rooms with an authentic olde worlde ambience,
which I’d chosen as ideal for meeting women from that new dating site,
Easy Romance For Little Pence.

An old pal had encouraged me to move on, saying,
‘It’s time you got off the fence, you’ll get a sore ass.’

As I waited I reflected on this sage advice, repeatedly glancing at the clock.
You may...

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The Twiddlewick Tykes

I’m a Lancashire lad who lives in Harrogate,
hat pleasant spa town beloved of Victorian gentry.

I tried to convert the locals to black puddings,
tripe and George Formby, but gave up,’cos unlike my favourite rugby league club,

Twiddlewick Tykes, I know when I’m beat.

They ruled the roost in the Northern Division,
and though he received his share of abuse,
Charles Bunty-Bushworth became ...

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I Am But A Fool For You

One night, nestling in my exotic greenhouse,
with its climbing vines, orchids and tropical 
bougainvillea –
a veritable menagerie of plant life, I remembered a song by some pop star,

inspired after he, in a vain attempt to resurrect her image, stole his lover’s looking glass.

It went, ‘I am but a fool for you,’ and struck a chord with my troubled soul,
brought low by a silly drunken pass to...

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An Old Runner's Lament

An assistant director on a TV series told me I didn’t look like an athlete,
when cast as a competitor in the fictional Middington-Fiddle Village Big Mudder race,
during which, yes, you’ve guessed it, a murder or two inevitably takes place.

‘But I used to do!’ I protested, to no avail.

So my mind harked back to those days I ran through mud so deep,
a JCB was used to extricate many a small ...

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Johnson O’Pouncy, the mysterious Englishman

Those who remember that enigmatic fellow, Johnson O’Pouncy,
were told by those who knew him in the old West,
that, though he appeared to be of limited means,
he’d amassed enough funds to take over a shack
just outside Horsetrough City, in Texas, which wasn’t worth a hill of beans.

Neighbour Jebadiah Jenkinson remembers meeting this tall,
enigmatic man with his dog Cactus, and wondering wha...

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A mountain spirit speaks out

Rising out of the Ulster coast, I, the mountain God Slieve Donard, 
greeted you when you returned as a young man, 
saying, ‘Welcome, the faery sentries below warned me of your approach.'

As a child, you laughed when told magical creatures
inhabit the mountains of Mourne, my mountain land.
You came once before from that torn city, Belfast, 
limping along like a wounded warrior, disillusione...

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Doing your duty

The battle-scarred city walls look on as we march in memory of those killed
by the soldiers who wore the iconic red beret.

But now, the heroes of Arnhem and Pegasus Bridge,
forerunners of these modern-day paratroopers, are stirring in their graves,
at the claim that the killers in British uniforms were only ‘Doing their duty.’

They rise up and march in unison with the souls of
Jack Duddy...

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A country walk

My lady friend and I set out for a walk in the beautiful Trough Of Bowland,
that hidden area popularised in verse by Stan Siddlesox, the bard of Accrington,
whose childhood was spent in dreams of those distant peaks,
as told in his biography, From Cobbles to Stardom,
and whose father, like mine, is said to have exclaimed,

‘Oh, dear wife, I love him dearly, but by ’eck, we’ve reared an an ec...

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Claire And The Flying Carpet

Claire decided to annoy her schoolteacher by swallowing a shoe,
then admitted afterwards that she’d felt a right heel,
’cos Miss Bluemantwit started to panic when Claire’s face turned blue.

However, she was reassured by the naughty pupil,
who, in a muffled voice, said, ‘Don’t worry, it’s only a trick!’

But before the other kids could call for help, out came the undigestable item
which tu...

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Claribella Constance Hits A High Note


As I gaze around that vast music hall, The Palladium,
I shout a fervent ‘Good luck!’ to my favourite singer, Miss Claribella Constance,
and am rewarded with a wave from behind the stage curtain.

I remembered when, as a young girl, a roving gypsy, Ma McDonogool, 
prophesied, ‘Her heart is full of high notes, yet I sense there is unfulfilled passion.’

As a teenager, I’d thought I was i...

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Lockdown Laughs

.As I listened to Don Maclean sing American Pie,
I wondered,
as he sang about those stereotypical
‘Good ole boys’, where they really that good,
when they all seemed to be drinking ‘whisky and rye’?

Well, I mused, it was an improvement on the usual musical fare I had been reared on,
and wondered how the old folks would have coped
with being stuck in the parental home.

They had approved o...

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The Vicar Of Beacon's Bottom

The Reverend Miss P, who for years had cheerfully warded
off the attentions from the men of her parish, invited me on one of her well-organised rambles.

Later I watched her tuck into her lasagne in The Peckish Partridge,
a pub she insisted we go to, rather than that other hostelry, The Feisty Farmer,
which has, as she pointed out, ‘Pictures of busty women admiring a sweaty blacksmith,’

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Soldier Les And His Mighty Fez

The following is an extract from a torn and battered journal,
made by private MacPherson, renowned as a poet, of the Shropshire light Infantry

Corporal Lesley Loveday, known to his mates as Laughing Lez,
had such a reputation when in service of the British Army, he was allowed to wear a fez.

He bought it from a native in a house of ill repute,
who claimed it was blessed by Allah, a claim ...

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Beatrice And Her Good-luck Bracelet

Beatrice And Her Good-Luck Bracelet

The heir to a large fortune, Beatrice Bulford didn’t
really need to push herself academically,

and though she’s always regarded herself as socially conscious,

she still sups £50 bottles of champagne at Glyndebourne Opera,

an event I attended with my wife, who felt these occasions
would help me advance in the world of academia.

However, all I ach...

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It's A Dog's Life

The hounds of Brighton tremble when Marianne walks her dogs,

they call a general meeting and discuss how

to nobble their rivals, who are so sleek and nimble.


For she is the mistress of the doggie world,

a status which was shattered on the day she met Inspector Cuffem,

the chief cop with a reputation for chasing dog owners,

Concern for her charges, Barkalot, Situp and Unbuckl...

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Galway Smile

Galway Smile
The girl with the Galway smile was giving me grief,
she even thought of being my wife,
but a slim body and a penchant for poetry
couldn’t hide her inner cruelty.

She doted on a childhood sweetheart -
a financial adviser in the City,
he’s known as a character in all the pubs.
But little does she know he’s a master thief
who did time in Wormwood Scrubs.

I have trailed her ...

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Billy Bob And The Vibrating Skeleton

I am a hail-fellow-well-met Victorian gent of some renown,
who lost his top hat but was cheered 
when it was located at the lost and found

The topper was handed in by Marvellous Madge,
a contortionist with Freddy Folodop’s Travelling Circus,
led by the impresario Michael O’Flaherty,
who thought up such a mouthful after being
administered a heavy dose of bicarbonate of soda
to combat an e...

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