Monday, October 31, 2011

Where's The Inspector?

We're asked to base our writing on the word 'gadget'

(An Acrostic)

Gadgets of every conceivable kind,
Always presented to dazzle the mind.
Designed to be accurate, colourful, neat,
Greatly delighting the man in the street.
Ever more growing in intricacy
They completely befuddle old ladies like me!
Sometimes I feel like a gadget myself
But one that's left gathering dust on the shelf.


I wandered lonely, as a cloud,
A puff-ball in the sky,
Feeling left-out by the crowd,
Dispirited and shy.
The sky around was vacant blue,
No other soul was near,
I thought 'To thine own self be true',
But I didn't feel sincere.
I blew this way and then blew that
But the people on the ground
Didn't feel I was worth looking at;
So I just blew around.
Finally, I was overcome
By the pathos of my fate.
A lonely life without a chum
I could not contemplate.
And so I cried enormous tears
I simply couldn't stop!
Even I, with my whispy ears,
Could hear them go plop, plop!
A human being down below,
Felt a tear fall on his head,
But all I heard was a gruff  'Oh no!
It's raining again!' he said!
Reality dawned! I couldn't win!
I was incapacitated!
I felt myself growing weak and thin.....
Then I just evaporated.

The Final Paragraph



He had sat all night in his study,
His Great Work almost done.
He knew it would be successful!
This was the superlative one!
The words had been rich as treacle,
The plot quite beyond compare,
The characterisation was perfect;
He knew he was almost there!
Now for the final paragraph,
The wonderful tour de force
The words that would make him famous,
And complete the whole discourse.
He wrestled with the syntax,
The words just wouldn't come,
Jemima, his wonderful heroine
Was suddenly struck dumb!
And then, in an icy moment,
He knew he was a jerk....
The plot, the plot, the wonderful plot
It simply didn't work!
Right back at the beginning,
Right back on page three,
He'd made a simple statement
That simply could not be!
The premise of the whole tale
Had fallen into bits!
He gazed in horror and disbelief.
He simply lost his wits!
If Jemima didn't do this and that
She couldn't be here and there!
Suddenly the plot was futile;
His literary cupboard was bare!
He crumpled a sheet of paper
And threw it at the wall,
Where an old ink-blot from earlier times
Seemed grinning at it all.
He staggered away from the table,
A defeated and broken man.
If you want to write a best-seller
Please make sure that you can!


'What a funny little car!' he chortled! 'It's so small!'
I don't think he considered it a 'grown-up' car at all!
He's still too young to be impressed by badges and the like.
This car is no more special than his vehicle....his trike!
But it wont be long before he notes the power of advertising!
He'll be spooked, like the rest of us, by labels , names and sizing!
He'll be brainwashed to value 'stuff', the same as you and me!
Maybe he'll scrimp and save, one day, to buy his own MG!

At Odds With the Day

asks for dark thoughts


Oh fiend! You nestle in my brain,
With thoughts of uselessness and pain;
With scenes of sadness and distress
And every foul unhappiness.
No, not because it's Halloween
And ghosts and ghouls are on the scene,
But because my silly human mind,
Likes to leave pleasant things behind
And concentrate on all things foul;
The curt remark, the telling scowl,
The what has been, the what might be,
The dreadful possibility,
The illness that may yet appear,
The shock, the ugliness the fear.
The items on the morning news,
Men that murder, rape, abuse.
Wars and pestilence and death;
How I'll take my final breath.........
The morning sun is in the sky
I should feel lively, bright and spry.
By now I think you may have guessed
That I have woken up depressed!



Are you feeling sad and lonely?
Is your lover far away?
Do you need a little comfort
At the ending of the day?
Dress up in your yellow nightdress!
Rush off to your cosy bed!
Men! Why, ladies! Do without them!
Try this alternative instead!
Grab your handy little pillow
With it's almost manly form!
Feel encircled by its comfort;
Sleep night-through secure and warm.
Dream erotic dreams of romance,
Wake, fulfilled, with starry eyes.
Find a 'stuffed shirt' there beside you!
It doesn't pay to fantasise!

The Singing Butler


introduces me to a novel form, the waltz
which requires the following syllabification. 


Wet sand.
Fred the Butler.
Of love.
You and I
In my


As the train drew in she said 'Oh hell!
I've left my tickets at the hotel!'
This was, for her, the grand finale.
She never ever got to Bali!

Not the Danube

                                       Cockle Creek Australia



I saw the Danube one fine day
When I chanced to be on a holiday.
Dreams of romance were in my mind;
Who knew what I would chance to find
Strolling along by the river-side
Blue and sparkling, clear and wide?
'The Blue Danube' echoed in my heart
And strains of Strauss began to start.
I knew that I'd be swept away
To another age, another day.
Now, maybe the dull day was to blame,
But the river did not live up to its name.
I apologise to my Austrian friends
But I feel that they should make amends.
All that publicity led me to
A river which was quite un-blue!
Donkey-brown and not a glimmer
Of sparkles that could have made it shimmer!
Strauss cancelled his concert in my brain
When he saw the Danube was under rain.
Now, please take note of the illustration
With which I began this conversation.
Here is a river that makes no claim
To having a world-wide remembered name.
Here is a modest little stream
That meanders on and would never dream
Of dabbling in publicity
Or of being more than it's meant to be.
Behold the Blue River of which I speak.
Here, on the map, is Cockle Creek!

(An Acrostic)

Questions arise about this phrase!
Unless they’re answered I’m in a daze!
Is the meaning 'tit-for-tat'?
'Do this for me and I’ll do that?'
Perhaps the Latin suits it better
Revealing the meaning in each letter.
Or do we use Latin just to be clever?
Queries just go on for ever.
Useless to explain the reason
Out goes Latin till next season!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nightmare Scenario

The Wordle


We are asked to use the above words in a poem or story.


The light was flickering as the rain fell;
I heard the water gurgle down the drain.
I was caught in a trap of my own making;
I twitched in the gutter in great pain.
I sat with a thump down on the sidewalk 
The broken bottle bloody from my blood.
I had carved a jagged line in my own flesh
The crooked mark was dripping in the mud.
Oh what a terrible nightmare!
I woke with a half-muffled scream.
The vision vanished with the daylight.
Thank goodness it was only a dream.



Before there was mascara, the Egyptians had their kohl.
This was to keep evil spirits from entering the soul!
They believed these spirits entered through the orifice of the eye
And if they let them in then it was certain they would die.
Children's eyes were 'protected' with a mixture, partly soot,
And thickly round the eyelids this 'medicine' was put.
This practice is still existing as the picture below reveals.
I'd love to ask the baby exactly how it feels!

Well, obviously the ladies found it increased their allure!
Their rich dark lashes made their eyes seem bold and bright for sure!
In BC 100 meagre eye-lashes pointed to
Very immoral behaviour! Men thought this was true!
It was said that a woman's lashes fell out if she misbehaved,
And utterly virginal women were what the husbands craved!
So, even more kohl was administered, to keep the record straight!
'Black and bushy' was the way to go when looking for a mate.
Elizabeth Taylor depicted Cleopatra of the Nile;
The blackened eyes were certainly part of her seductive style!

In the Victorian era, dark lashes were admired.
Ash and berries were mixed to make quite sure a girl was squired!
Then along came Eugene Rimmel, using soot and vaseline!
Yes, the king of modern cosmetics was now on the mascara scene.
But 1933 caused quite a downturn in its use,
Lash Allure caused blindness; it was treated as abuse.

Darkened eyes are still admired, and safety is assured,
Though careful work with brush and cream has to be endured.
So, when applying mascara, (and looking quite sublime),
Remember that lash-enhancing's been around a long, long time.

Just Wait!



A woman who just let it slip
That she didn't give waiters a tip,
Got a hot coffee (large)
Down her decolletage
And was crowned by a great big egg-flip!


One day we'll be dressed in finery,
One day we will hear the applause,
But now, going over and over the lines,
Rehearsing's just one of those chores.
The lines are no longer witty,
The whole thing is feeling quite stale,
Maybe this play is a bit of a drag
And we are all bound to fail.
The room isn't very exciting,
The hours are seeming to drag.
But oh what a thrill when we get on stage
And the play is 'in the bag'!

Too Difficult!


The words in blue are the last words of Beatle George Harrison.


If the concept that you're after is the age-old one of 'Love',
Just try to Google  a picture of what you're thinking of!
You'll find lots of hearts and flowers and Cupids by the score,
As though it's only sexual love that you are looking for.
Romance is very charming, there's just no doubt about it,
And the mating game would be quite dull if we had to live without it.
But the 'Love one another' that's quoted is something else again,
And, in my case, trying to do it goes right against the grain.
I can't love unreservedly, I can't love one and all,
My ability to go overboard is really very small.
'Affection', yes, I do feel that; I'm happy with that word.
But the idea of loving everyone seems crazy and absurd.
Even my nearest and dearest don't get love constantly;
My love comes in spasms, like writing poetry.
Jesus had the right idea.....'Do unto others as you
Would they should do unto you'; words that are very true.
I like the element of selfishness, the looking for a reward;
Just 'being nice' to others; not going overboard.
Act as though you love one another and that will do the trick.
'Loving-kindness', the Buddha's word, is the one that I would pick.
It's too hard to 'love one another'; it requires a lot of passion.
But loving-kindness is something that we never need to ration.
If we want a world of tolerance, respect and mutual care
We must pretend to love one another, and then we may get there.


(A cinquain)

Sparkle, shimmer.
Cascading, arching, curving.
Dividing Spring into droplets.


We are asked to limit our comment to 25 words!


I am in the dark!
Won't someone light a spark.
Disorientation! Wow!
Switch on something now!
Oh! Oh! Oh! 
I have stubbed my blasted toe!
(25 words)


(Inspired by the above illustration. Not a true story!)

I'm completely without sin!
After all, one of us had to win!
Too long I'd been held up to ridicule
By all your beastly friends at school.
'Stupid!' some of them used to hiss;
'What kind of idiot is this?
Got no brains and small and skinny!
Look at him, chaps! The boy's a ninny!'
You were popular, I was not!
Look at all the mates you'd got!
You'd stand on the sidelines with a grin,
Enjoying the predicament I was in!
Your 'followers' used to kick and beat me
Every time they chanced to meet me!
Helpless against your gang's abuses
I was always covered in bruises!
How many years did I endure it!
Nothing could help, no-one could cure it!
You were clever at hiding your tracks;
It was always behind the teachers' backs.
But oh what passion was in my soul!
Revenge ! Revenge became my goal.
I tracked you down today in the street;
Did you think it was chance that made us meet?
Oh no! I'd been stalking you for years,
However chancy today appears.
You looked so smart in your office gear!
You must have been thirty-five this year.
I was dressed in my faded jeans;
Clearly a man of little means.
Of course, you never recognised me!
Or remembered how you once despised me! 
We stood at the crossing, the road was busy.
Suddenly I became rather dizzy!
I lurched and knocked you under a bus!
And didn't the law make an awful fuss!
But I was fully in charge of my wits!
My doctor agreed I had fainting fits.
So now let the rest of my life begin!
As I said
One of us had to win.

Lewis's Laugh



Peter, my friend, is an artist;
He draws for the local press.
He chooses topical themes, of course
As my readers probably guess.
This is for an item
About council over-spending.
I'm sure, where you are living too,
Such topics are never-ending!
I love the golden yellow
In this cartoon depiction;
I'm sure it's much more mellow
Than all that Council friction!


You wouldn't think a simple tree
Would have a desire for symmetry!
When the sun is positioned right
And it's bold and big and bright
I like to pose like a Grecian Urn
So people passing by will turn
And say 'Look at that lovely tree!
Isn't it a novelty!
With it's patterned trunk and it's shade spread out
It's a work of art without a doubt!'
(But there's a fact I just can't hide;
I'll have to work on that left-hand side!)

Max will be five next week and he had his family birthday party yesterday. (Blake, recently 13 shared in the celebration.) I took this portrait of Max and I think it shows his cheeky charm. I think he might be a lady-killer in years to come!

He was thrilled with the Spider Man gear from Auntie Becca

And he very quickly caught his other Grandmother, Caroline, in his web! Malcolm enjoyed the joke.

We were introduced to a new Mallard, Olivia, a lovely baby.

After tea the boys ventured in the pool for the first time this spring. It's obvious that Harry is finding the water rather cold!


Saturday, October 29, 2011


supplies the picture and requires a story of only 140 characters.


Halloween is the perfect time
To dress up and commit a crime.
So far, Sam and Bud are winning.
But, soon, the Cops will stop their grinning.
(140 characters)


Waiting outside the Bank!
A humdrum occupation!
Idly casting glances
As one does in this situation.
Looking up I saw some curves,
And I noted, with elation,
A shadow and a stairwell
In a perfect configuration.

The Change


The drifting down of red and gold
Before the coming of the cold;
The old barn set amongst the corn,
In days before we all were born;
The rustic, rural charming scene
Reminding us of what has been.......
All these in some bucolic haze,
Reminding us of 'better' days,
When life was true and safe and gentle
And human life was elemental.
We can view this scene and sigh
Because such life has gone on by.
But I prefer to take the view
That there is much hope in the new.
The jagged spears of windmill sails
With all that 'renewable' entails,
To me are signs of great endeavour,
Proving that mankind is clever.
Look back! Our skies are brighter, clearer
Than they were in that much earlier era
When there were factories over the hill
Spewing filth to make men ill.
There's every chance that we will cope.
This windmill is a sign of hope.


It was just before the old man died......
'Open the window! Open it wide!'
His breath was shallow, his voice was weak,
But everybody heard him speak.
A look of joy suffused his face
As he gazed, intent, at the open space.
He lay there, smiling a gentle smile
As his family waited for a while.
'Oh look! There I am! The sun is so bright!
Look at me! I'm flying my kite!
And, goodness gracious, there are the trees
From which I'd fall to scrape my knees!
Oh no! They're the trees where I once strolled
With Mary. have and hold.
And look! Look up! There's Joe!
I used to hold him up just so!
I'd toss him up towards the sky
And all he could say was 'Dada! I fly!'
That sky! It has the blue of Spain!
We travelled by car, by boat, by train!
Those trees are in our garden too!
I planted them when they were new!
They're like the ones under which our Joe
Married Elise! So long ago!
Then along came Archie! His big blue eyes
Were just the colour of those bright skies!
A grandson to love, to tend, to teach!
Blue, blue days on the golden beach!
And look!............. ' They heard his voice just cease.
Over his face spread a look of peace.
But one final phrase they heard him say....
'It's been a lovely holiday'.

Candy Floss


Nutritional value? I'd say 'Nil'
Yet eating it is such a thrill.
Spun sugar on a little stick.
Too much of it can make you sick.
Pink and sweet and finger-licky,
Brittle,  bright and sugar-sticky!
Gooey lips and gooey nose,
Tacky pink stains on the clothes!
The tongue makes contact, makes a hole;
You're eating nothing! Bless my soul!
Part of summer in the sun,
Part of happy childhood fun.
Nutritional value? I'd say 'Nil'
Yet eating it is such a thrill.


Blue is a calming colour, as everybody knows.
It's effect is always gentle and serene.
Yet here we see the colour in quite a different guise!
Have you ever seen a more blood-chilling scene?
Clouds, the moon, a deep blue sky;
What could be more benign?
But the hideous face within the clouds
Detracts from the moon's clear shine.
And the clouds themselves are sinuous;
More like hands that clutch and claw!
A true depiction of nightmare;
The 'best' I ever saw.
I have no desire to read the book;
It's not my sort of read.
But I admire the artist's skill
Very much indeed.