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Tough on Rhyme

We’re locking up the poets

And throwing them in cells

They’re dissidents and show it

Via odes and villanelles

 

Collected incantations 

Against the status quo 

Acerbic observations 

Couplets in full flow

 

We’re exiling the muses 

To be banished somewhere grim

With Terza Rima that confuses

And volumes that are slim

 

Wokey right-on anarchists

Who kid...

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political satiresatireperformance poetry

If Dogs Were Made World Leaders

If dogs were made world leaders

There would be no futile wars

And laws and treaties would be signed

With inky prints of paws

 

Chihuahuas and Alsatians

Would respect each other’s space

There’d be no United Nations

Just a favourite sniffing place

 

Summit sessions would be held

In playing fields or parks

With flashing collars de rigeur

For meetings after dar...

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humoursatireSocial Observationspolitical satiredogs

Three Short Words

We needed Nelson Mandela

They gave us Elizabeth Truss

A crushing disappointment for all the rest of us

We needed Mahatma Gandhi

They gave us Elizabeth Truss

Which was seriously worrying

When her judgement is so sus

We needed Angela Merkel

They gave us Elizabeth Truss

Stick a three-word slogan on a big red bus

Liz our Healer, our Leader our Giver

Chosen to Deliver...

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political satiresatirepolitics humourComedy Poetry

Parish Councillor

Parish Councillor (after Betjeman)

 

I am a Parish Councillor; no job’s too small for me

From facilitating Bonfire Night to lighting up the tree

In every avenue and byway of our village small and neat

You’ll find me surveying the highway and examining the street.

 

Who’s that? people say as I stride along the lanes

Frowning, nodding, peering down to investigate the drains

...

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english countrysidesatireJohn Betjeman

Six Nations Time

Six Nations wake from slumber

As winter turns to Spring

For tribal warfare on the pitch

It’s a Celts and Saxons thing

 

They’ll be singing hymns and arias

From the Tiber to the Tay

And the week feels that much longer

As we wait for Saturday

 

And the squads are called together

From places far and wide

There will be sunshine and foul weather

There will be shir...

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rugbysix nationsnostalgiaWALESirelandscotlandenglandFranceItaly

The Prefab Garden at St Paul's

We said goodbye to my sister yesterday, a teacher for 34 years at St Paul's C of E Primary School in Manchester. She was a brilliant actor as well as being a great teacher, bringing every story to life. Her classroom, outside the main Victorian school building was simply known as "The Prefab". She also loved her garden and Spring was her favourite time of year. Writing this poem has helped bring s...

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Childhood memoriesPrimary Schoolteachersstorytelling

Time Travellers - 1775

Tread gently beneath the fragile fanlight

With its curving carved ribs

framing rippling glass

 

Glance up to the Venetian arch with its Canaletto morning sky

And the uncoiled mahogany staircase

Treads echoing to the creak and clatter of murmurous ghosts

 

Peel the plaster skin from the wall

Withies within, woven by dead fingers

Stiff reeds droop with the stilled pro...

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historyNaturearchitecturegeorgiantime passes

The VIP Fast Lane

Hello Michael, Michelle here, are you free?

I understand you need a hand with Covid PPE

We’ve got factories in Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Laos

And if you help us get the contract

We can build a nice new house

 

It isn’t complicated, just a straightforward import shipment

For the rapid expedition of personal protective equipment 

The kind of gear you need - masks and gowns an...

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Covid lockdowncovid capitalism. covid-19political satirehumour. politics

They Sent Santa to Rwanda

Breaking News ...

 

They sent Santa to Rwanda

He didn’t want to go

The reindeer got deported too

That’s the last they’ll see of snow

In attempting to circumvent border control

It was deemed an illegal immigration 

Caught in the lights of the aerial patrol

With no proof of destination 

Now he’s in a detention place

The subject of arrest

They’ve digitised (and 3D ...

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SatireChristmasimmigration

Red stilettos on the bowling green

This is for my dear sister Carole, whom we lost on Monday. She was a member of a very traditional and, dare I say it, quite mysoginistic suburban tennis and bowling club. She played neither, but was by far the best actor in the amateur dramatics section, which sadly folded years ago. She was a brilliant and inspirational primary school teacher, who loved telling stories, especially in verse. She a...

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humourlight versejenny josephsatireeulogylife after death

The Tough Gig

The invitation came from an anonymous source

With a hint of menace in a note of force

A resolution has been passed

By our High Command

For festive entertainment we want your band

This is not optional, there’s no way out 

We’re ready and waiting so don’t hang about

Be at the Village Hall on the Thirteenth of December

And prepare to deliver an event to remember

There’ll be...

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Christmashumoursatirevillage lifelittle englandnorthern townlight versebands

Cold Meat

I had Toulouse my little sausage

From the Parma of my hand

My Mortadella’s got a new fella

Plays bass in a rock and roll band

 

She prefers his chipolata

He’s got Bellotta charms

And he’s carried off my baby

In his hairy, ham-like arms

 

Though his prosciutto’s strictly crudo

And he lacks any social grace

She’s Salsiccia of me

So she’s moved in to his place

...

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An Old Etonian’s advice to his son

Privilege smells of wet dog

And grouse moor fog

And Jacob Rees Mogg

It’s an enduring trait

 

Gravy stained Old School ties

Pink chinos, button flies

Entitlement never dies

If delivered on a plate

 

Never reveal any distress

Got something wrong? don’t confess

Embrace chaos, the Eton Mess

Deny, deflect, obfuscate

 

Surround yourself with old school chums

...

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A Good Innings

It was fun while it lasted

Now it’s time to leave the crease

Take the plaudits, raise your bat

Let the innings cease

 

No need to hang around for tea

Just take your bag and shuffle off

And please, don’t go near the cakes

With that painful, hacking cough

 

Looks like rain, did you check the covers?

And coil up the boundary rope

Without proper preparation 

I’m ...

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Boris Johnsoncovid-19

Rewilding the golf club

They’ve identified our golf club

for returning to the wild

It’s to become a verdant Eden 

For every adult, dog and child

A place of natural splendour

Where no groundsmen smoke or hunker

Sheltering from the elements in the deeper fairway bunkers

 

No more Pringle sweaters in pink and blue and grey

No more Captain’s Prize and no more Ladies’ Day

No more midweek medals o...

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GolfBetjemannostalgiaNaturesport pastimesocial satire

Once upon a time in a vest

There’s a shoot-out on the bowling green

The pianola’s full of holes

The Man with No Name’s

Got a Zimmer frame 

And a tray of sausage rolls

He’s a High Plains drifter 

Not from round here

The strong and silent type

Got a dance partner, can’t lift her

They practice moves on Skype

At the monthly hoedown 

At the nursing home 

He wears a felt ten-gallon hat

It’s ...

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black humourhumoursatireparodyCowboygrowing old

Urinal View

It is our extreme pleasure

To cast open our doors for you

And present for your lifestyle and leisure

The incomparable Urinal View

Imagine yourself on summer days

On your balcony facing the strand

Absorbing ultraviolet rays

Where the lavatories stand

Twenty-two exclusive apartments

Designed for the fortunate few

With an open Northerly aspect

Overhanging the public l...

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humourparodythe seanorthern ireland

Dave's Back

When all around is crumbling

And there’s nothing left to save

And the economy is tumbling

It’s time to call for Dave

 

He’s super and he’s Tory

His haircut is so smart

He would be great on Jackanory

He just looks and sounds the part

 

He once called a referendum

That left us lonely and bereft

Wrote a memoir, an addendum

To a career lacking heft

 

He sat...

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political satirehumourhumorous versepolitics humourtories

Walking into the light

The morning sun silvered the poplar leaves

Somewhere others lay in the cut clay 

waiting

And I smelt the sea’s dead things

As I walked. 

Kelp, razor shells, crabs, limpets

School friends swam and laughed in sandy craters

And there I was walking

By Goat's Water, the Old Man looking down

As he had for all my life 

And all those other lives before

The smell of wet bra...

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Remembrance Daythe sommefamilyLake DistrictUlverston

Love on the Allotment

Their love on the allotment bloomed in early Spring

This was a lasting passion, no fleeting seasonal fling

The seeds of it were scattered in an afternoon of planting

Which concluded in Myfanwy’s shed with groans and furtive panting

 

While Carwyn sowed his sunflower seeds she tended to his plums

They shared a packet of McVities best, nibbling on the crumbs

When Spring turned i...

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humourhumourous poemsgardeningallotments poemlove poems

Neighbour's got a new hot tub

Neighbour’s got a new hot tub

Cost six grand from B and Q

It came with white robes, a fridge and a sub

They’re for the chosen few

 

Neighbour’s got a new hot tub

It completely fills his deck

It’s superior to a back rub

And it’s sorted out his neck

 

It’s both rigid and inflatable

With blue lights in LED

It’s necessity’s debatable 

It’s an al fresco luxury

...

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humoursocial satiresuburban delightssuburbia

The Georgian Quarter

From stately Georgian houses 

The summer evening fills

With Georgian ladies’ laughter

As they meet to dance Quadrilles

Their laughter tinkles down the years

From Hope and Rodney Street

On wreaths of smoke it gently steers

Their tiny Georgian feet

 

So delicate the tracery 

Of plastered ceiling coves

Fanlights warmly candlelit

And Palladian porticoes

The city ...

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Liverpool poetryhistorical areachildren of albionslavery

Somewhere close to Westminster Bridge, October 2023, lines written on hearing of a new presenter on GB News.

Earth has not anything to show more shit

Mad would she be of soul who could watch it

A sight so tragic, such a travesty 

This chancer now doth, like a varmint wear

The mask of a presenter, barefaced stare

Scandal, pandemic, the litany of lies

Indifferent, callous, let bodies pile high

Wittering trivia to the poisoned air  

Never did one so manifestly seep

Self important ...

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Wordsworthparodysatirepolitical satireBoris Johnson

DIY Man

There’s a Viking Warrior around the back

With a multi-tool and a Power Pack

Keeps nuts and bolts in a padlocked sack

He’s a DIY Man, he’s building a shack

 

With his manic ScrewFix lust

He’ll transform that hedge into dust

It makes no odds, he’s not fussed

He’s a DIY Man, born to rust

 

He wears a John Deere branded shirt

Recharges himself when he feels inert

Wa...

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DIYsuburbiahumourblack humoursatirejohn cooper clarke

Kidnap in Venice - Here comes the W.I.

On the Grand Canal in Venice

where bridges span and sigh

There’s a rising sense of menace

Here comes the W.I.

 

They’re oblivious to the sandbags

Stacked against an inundation

As they wield their leather handbags

And march in tight formation

 

At the head of them is Norah

The bravest and the best 

The other girls adore her

In their phalanx, ten abreast

 

...

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humourlight verseEnglandvillage life

The Barge

It’ll take 500.

in cabins with twin bunks

It’s not a Cunard liner

No need to bring your trunks

There is no captain’s table

Nor cocktails on the deck

No space for any loungers

On this brutal prefab wreck

It’s a worry for the fire brigade

Whose natural concern

Is how to evacuate the inmates

Should it ignite, and burn

Did I say inmates? A Freudian slip

But this ...

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politicsrefugeesasylum seeker

A Kangaroo at the Barbecue

There’s a Kangaroo at the barbecue

She’s not supposed to be here

There’s a kangaroo at the barbecue

Snaffling snags and necking beer

She just hopped off with a chicken thigh

That thigh has never been so high

It was a bit of a shock, I’m not gonna lie

 

She’s a chargrill kleptomaniac

A high flying ‘roo with a view

Get Superman, call Brainiac

She’s bit off more than ...

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humourlight verseSurreal poetry

The Dreadnought Suffragette

Norah Smyth was brought up in Great Barrow, the small Cheshire village where I live. Her father was a wealthy corn merchant originally from Ireland & their home, Barrowmore Hall, destroyed by a stray German bomb in WW2 was one of the county's finest Victorian country houses.  She was an activist for social change and a close friend of (and chauffeur to) the Pankhursts, using most of her £30,000 in...

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Suffragettephotographywomens rightswomans issuesparliamentary reform

Ghost Train

Ghost Train

 

This is the ghost train that won’t make the Border, 

Bringing chaos and transport disorder

More cash for the rich, no help to the poor

Closed shops on the corner, all empty next door

Pulling up in Brum, the end of the line

Well over budget, stopped in time

No cotton grass or moorland boulder

No fast trains til we’re all a lot older

No student railcards o...

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HS2Trainshumour. politicsAudennorth to southnorthern town

The Mariner’s Home

As the mariner sinks softly beneath the white tipped foam

He dreams of shadowed woodlands 

In his County Antrim home

Where gulls rise in the sunlight echoing and free 

And bluebell glens descend in silver ribbons to the sea

And he smiles a gentle smile that lights up the space around

And recalls the love that once was lost but now is surely found

For the one who stayed beside ...

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lovelife and deathseamemorial

What is the point of a Poinsettia?

They rarely stay red for long

Holly in a pot would be better

And makes a superior Christmas song

but every year they appear in their glory

Doomed to an early demise

Every year a familiar story

Gone faster than a plate of mince pies

They come from the central American plain

Where it’s hot and it’s dusty and dry

Where you hardly ever get caught in the rain

And snow does...

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Christmas Poemshumourous poemshumorous verse

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