Lasting Impressions

First impressions are really important 

Always being at the very forefront 

Of all that we ever think about

envision, imagine, or sometimes doubt

Will they actually be impressed with me?

or am I obsessed with the fears of failing 

Like a boat in the breeze I’m sailing

But water leaks in and I’m bailing

to stay afloat as I need to survive

make an impression and show I’m a...

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The Difference a Day Makes

A day in the life, twenty four hours

In that time you can fly to Australia 

But in the same period things can

drain you I’m telling you.


Power you had but it disappeared 

Trying to look back but it feels like years

How did it happen? What can it be?

Everything seemed good but now 

It’s surreal


what were the causes

     where did time go?


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The boy in short trousers

Boy stands in a rowdy frantic playground 

Feeling the cold in more ways than one

Shoes letting in water, nose dripping

Wiping dew away on the back of coat sleeves

too long for his skinny wiry arms


Mind wondering, cravings for recognition 

will fall again on closed ears, as others have already categorised him as poor, pale and insignificant, no opposition 

A pushover and e...

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Acts of Human Kindness

Tears, fears, pain and distain

Confusion, intrusion, apportion of blame

Like sunshine coming after the rain

Is an act of human kindness

Make someone happy, make someone sad, upset somebody, even a tad

Feelings are hurt but now they are glad

For an act of human kindness

How does one know when

they’ve gone too far it’s like leaving

a door completely ajar but from a dark sk...

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We want so much for snow to fall
But through it all, nature predominates
Many signs though of festive proof
even though no snow appears on roof

Berries protuberant, and holly too
Ice forming amidst the water blue
of lake or pond and a stream or two
As the signs of winter transpire and ensue

Carpets of golden leaves still show
But alas no emergence of sleet or snow
Checking weather ap...

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The Loneliness of the long distance shopping trolley


It lies forlornly in a shallow murky stream

Rust particles starting to show on its mesh structure

and a soggy till receipt hugs against its side

 together with a crumpled Mars bar wrapper.


Bread, milk, cream cakes and mushy peas, will have long been transferred

from this receptacle to fridge, pantry or stomach, after which a short

but violently rocky trip to the local w...

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My 12 Days of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas my girlfriend promised me:

12 Chicken drumsticks and

some stuffing for the turkey


12 Chicken drumsticks

    11 Pipers smoking

        10 Drunks a drinking

           9 neighbours fighting, over...

               8 Tins of chocolates

                  7 Bottles of Brandy

                      6 crates of Stella


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Remember and Respect

Respect is little to ask for
To remember is to respect
To respect is to remember
Those who paid an ultimate debt

When generations come together
To acknowledge not to mourn
It gives out a special feeling
That’s calm sincere and warm

Hats off to those who turn out
In rain or wind or snow
In aid of those who cared so much
They joined up and decided to go

They went to different place...

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Can you hear me Mother?


    Can you hear me Mother?
Since you've been gone I just can't cope
Looking after this place is a flamin' joke
I miss your apple pie with a glass of gin
It's no picnic keep living out of a tin
         Can you hear me Mother?
Why did you have to up and die?
In all your life you never hurt a fly
It doesn't seem fair that you have gone
And did you know that Eileen woman
has ...

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Under the Gun

Amidst the streets and avenues

Where every track and trail

hear children cry and  babies wail

And lead you to a crime or two


Many local folk scurry along 

Oblivious to the shades of darkness

The covert meeting and exchange points

In dim light, twilight or even broad daylight


Capital of culture or capital of crime?

Is now a line used to describe suburbia 


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The Blue World below

Forests of kelp flourish in shallow waters
in warm turquoise sea bed villages
Giant fronds rising up to heady heights
creating crowded thickets of life that
fight for food and space to survive

However the enemy in the shape
of sharp spiky sea urchins, descend quickly, feeding endlessly off this
life sustaining plant in seemingly endless bristly armies in full flow

Golden coloured garib...

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Anecdotal Attributes

A fair exchange is no robbery

There’s no excuse for snobbery

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth

A chocolate fire guard is of no use


He’s no use nor ornament 

Two slices short of a loaf

If she had brains she’d be dangerous

But could make you as warm as toast


As deaf as a door post

As blind as a bat

Two short planks are thick

But he’s thicker than th...

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Do they really want what’s best?

When you’re a baby they want you

to grow, when you grow they want you

to show, the traits and habits of someone

who’s good, and behaves in a way

that everyone should


They want the best for you

The best for you, what’s best for you

you see, what’s good for them is right

for them, so it’s right for you and me


You start to walk and they want you to run

And lear...

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Is there a coffee in the house?

Steam rising and sounds of foaming milk
permeate the atmosphere 
Background music forces itself 
into the foreground, competing with
contrived conversations, babies wailing
and a workman swearing abusively 

The Baristas carry on without a whisper
They could even be sisters in the way
that they stick together, talking about
the weather again with the customers 
Working in unison like a ...

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Political Correctness

PC gone mad?

PC seems sad

Things that are correct

and those that aren’t 

What you can say

and what you can’t

Regard somehow

it seems quite scant

We admit to being wrong

Even in the words of songs

People mocked, derided, upset

But what you see is what you get

Wolf whistling and winks

Advertising of drinks

Saying what you really think

Are all hovering on ...

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Truth and Lies

Truth and lies can make you cry

like pie in the sky as you cast the die

Truth and hate when you stay up late

To watch the news and see them berate

The state of politics of fear and hate

And Brexit served up on a plate

Of truth and lies when all the while

Their doom and gloom is a sonic boom

Of cheats and liars mixed with smoke and fire Spinning yarns with two faced charm


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I only work for the Council

In the chamber of the council

Where all the decisions are made

On roads and drains and sewers

And how much we all get paid


Now some of us are gardeners

And others empty bins

There's also the unlucky ones

Who rod grids and pipes and things


Well me I'm in the office

Delivering all the mail

Compared to the Chief Executive 

Into insignificance I do pale



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Have you heard the latest rumour

About the Vicar and his Wife?

They got stuck in the crypt

no one there to assist

And it changed their whole outlook on life


You see with no one there to help them

And Devine intervention not seen

The Vicar chose not to pray to God 

But sought solace in a few G and Ts


So the moral of this story

As you amble along in life's rac...

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Families at War

Sit tight, keep quiet

keep still, no lights

No emotions, no tears

no rows, no fights

Avoid confrontations

in a tin pot shelter

As hearts are beating



A belief in the mask

around necks to protect

but in reality a token

of advice misguided

and broken

with instructions

to lessen the panic

amid all the destruction 


Blacked out, s...

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The Place of Dreams?

As I am dreaming of spirit or demon

Driving me on to confusion of mind


Vivid then hazy my eyelids feel lazy

Limbs feeling heavy and fingers entwined 


Floating, show boating because I can fly

Let’s drink as I sink in this place in my sky


I go there, I cry there, not die there, not yet

Tossing and turning, mind churning a lie?


A place that seems tranquil, ...

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Vicious Cycle

Suburban life awakens in a
super output area of deprivation
According to the statisticians index
this place has to be the pits
of the earth in isolation 

Children void of early morning food
plead with parents
to get them to school
but know that they
will again fail to be heard
above the noise of the wind
rain and someone taking the blame
for how things remain
in a grey and black wor...

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Bright colours

on pastel shades

Telling black and 

white stories

Of purple tinted

jelly beans

And brown and

greenish flora


Indigo banners

are now unfurled 

Showing yellow

violet and green

Rainbow trout

with purple mouths

Swimming in

a colourless stream


Oh show me the colours of life

To see it's light and shade

Through God'...

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By Fred Varden

Oh I wish I could hide away

And live every single day

With no interference 

From those close or near us

I wish I could hide away


I could do with a break you know

And get covered from head to toe

In them massage oils

And be wrapped in tin foil

To take all me stresses away


Oh I wish I lived by the sea

Take in the sun and the br...

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Talking Eyes


By Fred Varden


Each time those sparkling emeralds are observed a different story

unfolds before me.

  Unfolding before me a different story.


A tale of intrigue today perhaps

or mystery tomorrow?

Brow furled or unfurled, eyeliner or eye

shadow, to disguise truths hidden within?

     Disguised within are hidden truths  


There are days when t...

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Friends Prominent


By Fred Varden 


Stevie, Gary, Peter and me

Simon, Jude and John times three

Mike, Geoff, Dave and friends

Frank and Denis never did made amends


These are all me mates you see

At least that's what they pretended to be

The reality is that they gave me strife 

I'm convinced they all fancied me wife


Always planning, plotting, being pruden...

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Parenting for Dummies


By Fred Varden 

"Mummy I want some tasty sweets"

"Oh no you've had enough of treats"

"Ok I will cry, cry and cry"

"Well alright but it's the last I buy"

"You said that same thing yesterday"

"Well yesterday is not today"

"Granted but I now want milk"

"No chance of that you're getting zilch"

"But natural feeding's the best they say"

"On this you...

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Is there a nurse in the house? (Audio)

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Your gonna have to pay

For a bill you don’t remember 

They wanted all your details

even asked about your gender


At first it all seemed kosher 

Or perhaps it was a joke

If you leave it any longer 

There’s a chance you’ll end up broke


Driving home your bum was twitchin’

checked your bank balance in the kitchen

The cash was all still there

But for how long w...

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Pine needles

  Fine needles 

      Sewing needles 

          Knitting needles

Hat pins

   Straight pins

     Ten pins

        And tie pins

Syringe needles 

   Thread needles 

       Record needles

           Haystack needles

Ear pins

   Nose pins

      Hair pins

         And rolling pins

My needles 

    Your pins

         Sewing boxes 


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Split Personalities

Innumerable characteristics 

Lots of quirks and traits

Moods, feelings, personas

Too many to contemplate 


Those pan faced and stoic

Straight laced and serious

Po faced but laid back

Expressionless and curious


The gregarious, outrageous 

Unreserved but shy

Intriguing and mysterious

Easy on the eye


Bubbly and extravagant

Conscientious but neuroti...

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Ode to a Toad

To you oh amphibious one do I write this tribute most deserving
To he who is either frog or toad depending on exactly what mode
A human being classifies your mysterious and bulbous eyes
Depending on the shape or size
The scaly skin you wear like a mink coat 
You are the aristocracy of the moat
The pond or lake with green and slimy frill
Where your peers and servants can be found
Before it'...

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Social Media pat-a-cake

Facebook Facebook give me a poke

Send me a message from a handsome bloke

Make all my friends like my new lovely picture

Even the one tagging my ugly sister


Messenger Messenger help me survive

With one click may I now go live

Face to face with the lady of my dreams

On second thoughts make it someone in their late teens


From my profile she can clearly see


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Divisions of Joy

Raw sounds of electrified emotion 

Driving an arrow straight at the heart

Of those who listen and observe the motion of he with deep souled voice

A haunting yet so captivating a beat

Sets the tone again to dance hall feet

That try to emulate the quirky moves

Of a struggling genius in giants shoes

Bass lines throb with treble up high

With beats and rolls from skins on tins


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Wigan Pier

Eh well we were driving along, driving along, driving along near Wigan

I was eating a pie, eating a pie and I had to make a decision

We were lost you see, lost you see, we were lost you see near Wigan.

The Pier was where we needed to be, to be, or not to be.

So I stopped a bloke, stopped a bloke, but nearly choked on me pie.  As he poked me in, as he poked me in, as he poked me in the ...

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Random Rhyme

Movie stars: 
           Aston Martin Cars
Footballers wives:
            Liposuction lives
Mediterranean diets:
             Sunday fry ups
Angela Merkel:
               Vicious circle
European Union:
                  Unstable communion 
Sense of Politics:
                  Nonsense of Heretics
Mad Scientist:
                   Sane Psychiatrist
White collar worker:

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The Builders Yard

An eerie icy builders yard
tools, equipment and materials
do forlornly lie 
A barrow with a squeaky
wonky wheel
Caked with cement
bruised with grit

Planks of un-plained
knotted wood rest
amidst rusted terracotta
scaffolding clamps
A thousand screws and nails
some misshapen, aged
extracted, used,
deemed useless
caress bags of unused
carpet tacks and masonry bolts

Creosote in a ...

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Life in Shades

 Shades of grey describe the times
When explanations are in short supply
No answer can be found at once
so things hang in the distant beyond

Nearer to home there's shades of green
where rhyme and reason can be seen
Feelings of safety and security in rooms
that don't present as doom and gloom

They don't present as doom and gloom
we're safe and secure in our private rooms

Times we dr...

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