Happy World Poetry Day 2014!

21 03 2014

Happy World Poetry Day one and all!

Blimey, it’s been a while since I posted – doesn’t time fly?!

In honour of World Poetry Day I decided to do one of my Crazy Rhymey Challenges. I was given a veritable feast of words from the good folks of Twitter:

@M_Z_Harrison Crepuscular
@modflowers Plinth
@Mr_Pie Meander
@Mr_Pie Slither (rather weirdly, two people sent in “meander” so one sent another word, then t’other sent another too which fitted in with the emerging theme so I just had to use it!)
@mooseandmouse Excruciating
@ADsaxist Harpsichord
@kaye_sedgwick Soporific
@cathy_maclennan Sliver
@PermaPaula Discombobulated

And this is the resulting rhyme. Oh, if you’d like to know where the lizard’s name came from, have a read of this – What else could I have possibly called him?! πŸ™‚

Graham Steals The Show

The sun was slowly setting
As the moon began to rise,
And in the jungle, on a leaf
A lizard yawned and sighed.

The lizard’s name was Graham,
And you’d see him every eve
Doing push-ups and contortions
That were quite hard to believe.

This wasn’t out of choice –
You see, poor Graham was crepuscular
(And ‘though he hated excercise
It made him very muscular.)

But in his heart of hearts
He felt so lonely and ignored –
For no-one new his talent
On the humble harpsichord.

At twilight every evening
In the jungle concert hall,
All kinds of creatures gathered
To perform and give their all.

And poor old Graham, on his twig
A-stretching and vibrating,
Had to miss the concerts –
Which he found excruciating.

One evening as he exercised
Upon his leafy plinth,
A monkey, swinging from a branch,
Fell off dropped his synth.

It crashed upon the ground
With a distressing little clatter,
And monkey howled in sorrow
As he watched his keyboard shatter.

“Oh woe is me!” poor monkey cried,
“Oh most unhappy day!
My instrument’s quite ruined,
Now I have nothing to play!”

Then Graham had a massive thought
That set him all a-quiver
Dare he? Should he? Would it work?
There was a chance – a sliver!

He cleared his throat politely
And addressed the monkey thus:
“Dear monkey, I can help you out –
But only after dusk,”

“I have a lovely harpischord
And borrow it you may,
And in return, I wondered
If you’d kindly let me play?”

The monkey leapt for joy
And cried “Oh, wond’rous salamander*!
I’ll wait until you’re finished,
Then we’ll to the show meander!”

So monkey watched in awe
As Graham twisted and gyrated –
The lizard’s dextrous antics
Left him discombobulated.

And as the twilight ended
Graham off his leaf did slither,
And hand in hand they set off
To the concert, with his zither.**

The monkey’s band had gone down well,
The concert hall was packed;
Then Graham stepped up to the stage –
He was the final act.

He felt a little nervous
But as soon as he began
He lost himself in music
As along the keys he ran.

And after he had finished
Came a stunned and silent pause –
Then the concert hall exploded
With loud cheering and applause!

Some thought those dulcit tones
Would prove a little soporific
But Graham made the harpsichord
Sound totally terrific!

These days in the jungle
It’s a very well known fact
That Graham and his harpsichord
Is THE BEST final act!

Ta daaaaa! Hope you liked it, and big thanks to everyone that joined in the challenge by tweeting me random words!

Oh, and if you’d like to read the rhyme I wrote for last year’s World Poetry Day, it’s here… πŸ™‚

* Graham was a little hurt at being called a salamander when he was quite obviously a lizard, but he decided to let it pass.

** I know. I know, okay? Yes, I know there’s a big difference between a harpsichord and a zither, but I liked the rhyme. So there. πŸ™‚


Millie and the bird…

15 01 2014

What-ho readers!

It’s the first Crazy Rhymey Challenge of 2014, hurrah!

Well, sort of…

A couple of weeks back my good friend Cat posted a picture of her lovely Bedlington terrior Millie with her new toy box, which rather resembles a piratey treasure chest. We bantered a bit about doggy-piratical things and she suggested I pen a rhyme on the subject…

Cut to today, and I had a little train commute so decided to do a Rhymey Challenge. After receiving only one word (thank you Susan Sharpe for supplying “bird”!), I thought “Hmmmm… Millie… Pirates…” and this is what popped out…

Millie and the bird…

Millie was a pirate,
She had a wooden paw;
But every time she tried to run
It skidded on the floor.

One day out on the foredeck
Millie sat alone and sighed;
Pirating was difficult
When all you did was slide.

She gave a mournful woof
And looked down sadly at her feet,
Then heard a little flutter
And a tiny cheerful tweet.

Something flew right past her nose
So quickly that it blurred;
Then there upon the rigging
Sat a tiny bright green bird.

“Hello!” it said, and fluttered down
To perch upon the floor,
“I have to say, I love the carving
On your wooden paw.”

Millie smiled quite sadly
And her big eyes went all drippy,
“Thank you bird,” she said,
“It’s just a shame that it’s so slippy.”

“Slippy?” said the little bird,
“Well maybe I can help,”
And Millie looked down at the bird
And gave a hopeful yelp.

The bird produced a rucksack
And pulled out a shiny box,
And after a short rummage
It held up a pair of socks.

“They’re made from special wool,” it said,
“It’s guaranteed to grip –
With one of these upon your paw
You’ll never, ever slip!”

Millie took the proffered sock
And put it on her paw,
Then stood up and began to run
Around the wooden floor.

Back and forth she scampered
And the bird looked on with pride –
No matter how fast Millie ran
Her paw refused to slide!

Millie is a pirate
And when her ship doth dock
People come from miles around
To see her non-slip sock.

And here’s the picture of Millie, in her posh socks, with her pirate’s trunk (no, she doesn’t really have a wooden paw!) – ain’t she cute?!


Thanks to Susan for joining in, to Cat for the idea and for letting me use her photo here, and to Millie for being Millie!

Water, water everywhere…

3 10 2013


In honour of National Poetry Day 2013, I decided to do another Crazy Rhymey Challenge. Twitter provided a record-breaking 20 (mainly) watery words, which I’ve built into a rather dubious rhyme…! You can find out more about National Poetry Day here – take a look, maybe there’s something in your area you could go along to! The theme this year is “water, water everywhere” in homage to… well, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you!

Here are the words the lovely folk of Twitter sent me to include:

@LimeyLimericks: cheese
@LewBearMusic: jirble
@moggyminor: ripple
@mooseandmouse: hydrant, gush (or gushing), cistern
@KeninSpoons: droplet, rain, drain fountain
@shaggydogyarns: piscean, water wings, submariner, lavatorial, Thomas Crapper
@Giddyasfuck: trickle
@ofTheTimesShop: aqueduct
@ThisIsBinghamUK: splish splash splosh

Oh, a final thing before launching into today’s rhyme – this Crazy Rhymey Challenge often throws up some interesting words, or sends me off on a quest and I end up learning a new one. Today I discovered the word “chagul“. Look it up if you don’t know it!

Right, now hang on to your hats, here we go!

Graham’s watery wanderings…

Graham sighed aloud
And gave his chagul one more squeeze
He hadn’t anything to drink –
He only had some cheese.

He’d wandered day and night
Of his location not a clue
And just to make things worse
He had a big hole in one shoe.

The sun beat down upon his head
As he longed for a tipple
Then squinting hard he gave a yell –
He thought he’d seen a ripple!

He stared again, and yes!
There in the distance was a hydrant
Surrounded by a pool and trees
In colours bright and vibrant.

As Graham ran towards it
He could hear the water gushing
He very nearly tripped
What with the speed of all his rushing.

But just as he approached it –
As he reached out with his hand,
The pool and hydrant disappeared
And all there was was sand.

Graham started howling
Why were deserts all so fickle?
Then suddenly he paused –
And thought “I’m sure I heard a trickle!”

He turned his head and listened hard
And then said “Oh my gosh!
That ain’t no aural mirage
That’s a real-life proper splosh!”

And turning round again
He saw a humble wooden hut
Looking lavatorial
And with door firmly shut.

Then with a noisy rattle
Said shut door was flung a-wide
And out came a submariner,
A seagull by his side.

“Hello!” said he, and doffed his cap
(He really looked quite dapper)
“Are you another tourist
Here to see the Thomas Crapper?”

“Or are you with that other group?
If so you’ve sadly missed ’em –
But step inside, I’ll demonstrate
Our famous antique cistern.”

“Water!” Graham croaked
“Oh please sir, say you have a drink!
I’ve gone so long without it now
That I can hardly think!”

The sailor took his flask and cup
And jirbled out a dram
Then passing it to Graham he asked
“Have you walked, or swam?”

“Walked,” said Graham, all refreshed,
“There is no other way!”
The seagull flapped its water-wings
And squawked out “Oh, I say!”

“You mean you didn’t notice
Our stupendous aqueduct?
It’s right behind you, look –
It took us ages to construct.”

Graham turned around
And then he turned around again,
And noticed to his great surprise
The elevated drain.

The submariner proudly glowed
And flourished a large goblet
Then taking out his flask again
He shook out the last droplet.

“Ain’t it fine?” he said,
“And in the words of Brendan Behan,
‘It wouldn’t have been possible
If I were not Piscean’!”

“He never said that!” Graham cried
“That quote is utter trash!”
Before the sailor could reply
They heard a mighty splash.

And from the graceful aqueduct
There rose a mighty mountain
And from its back there spurted
A humongous water fountain.

“It’s Moby Dick!” The seagull said
“Wow, that’s one massive fish!”
Moby frowned and twitched his tail
Which made an angry splish.

“I say, that’s rather harsh,” he said
And eyed them with disdain,
The suddenly to their surprise
Down came the pouring rain.

Graham looked up dismally
Then heard a voice decree,
“Get out that sand-pit, come inside!
It’s nearly time for tea!”

Thank you to everyone who joined in with this Crazy Rhymey Challenge. And now I’m off to go and get ready to head to Cadogan Hall to see Pam Ayres, hurrah!

Kristoph the Rhyming Mule

28 09 2013


It’s been yonks since I did a Crazy Rhymey Challenge, so as I was feeling a tad rhymish I asked the lovely folk of Twitterland for some words, and here’s what I got:

@mooseandmouse: nocturnal, equinox, centenary

@yorkshire_chris: brewery, limerick, snort

@laurothecheerio: jumentous

@thenosuchdisco: mule

@shaggydogyarns: Lancaster bomber

And here’s the rather whiffy resulting rhyme… You can also listen to me reading it here… if you dare!

Kristoph the Rhyming Mule

Kristoph was a rhyming mule
Renowned both far and wide,
He travelled all around the world
His badger by his side.

‘Twas one Autumnal equinox
Our story doth take place,
And Kristoph stood against a tree
A frown upon his face.

“Why so glum?” the badger asked
“It makes you look quite funny!”
And Kristoph sighed and sadly said
“I’ve got a poorly tummy.”

“I have to write a limerick
But rhymes they just won’t come;
I think it’s cos something I ate
Has quite upset my tum.”

The badger said “I’d help you out
If only it were vernal;
But as it stands, this time of year
I’m feeling too nocturnal.”

Poor Kristoph shed a poet’s tear
And shook his muley head,
The badger yawned and curled up tight
“I’ll have a snooze,” he said.

The rhyming mule paced back and forth
Around the shaded glade,
He had to write this limerick
Or he would not get paid.

Desperately he tried to rhyme
As daylight slowly dimmed,
And in his stressed and sorry state
He passed a little wind.

The noise awoke the badger
Who had thought he was a goner –
“I thought that I was being buzzed
By a Lancaster bomber!”

A passing farmer stopped and yelled
“Oi! Stop all this tomfoolery!
That smell’s a million times worse
Than a badger in a brewery!”

Kristoph hung his head in shame
And badger gave a snort
He glared hard at the farmer
And said “I’ll see YOU in court.”

The rhyming mule said “Badger,
He’s not trying to torment us,
You must admit the smell I made
Is really quite jumentous.”

The farmer held his nose
And said “Hang on, I know your face!
You’re that rhyming mule –
What brings you in to this place?”

“I’m trying to write a limerick,
But not having much luck –
It’s for the town’s centenary
But I’m completely stuck.”

He looked up at the farmer
And he did a double take,
“Hang on,’ he said “But isn’t your name
Rural Rhyming Jake?”

The farmer doffed his cap and said
“Yes, at your service mule!
What say you that we split the fee
And make this project dual?”

Kristoph gave a happy cheer
“You turned up just in time!”
And mule and farmer sat down
And they soon began to rhyme.

So all in all things turned out well
They penned a work of art;
But Kristoph never found out
What he’d et to make him fart.

Thank you to those if you that sent in words! You can hear me reading more of my rhymes over on SoundCloud.

Now with added sound…

4 06 2013


I’ve done something rather embarrassing.

I’ve popped a couple of my rhymes on SoundCloud, so now you can listen to my silly voice reading Trying to Rhyme… and Something Nasty in The Bathroom.

I’m not sure if this will become a regular thing, or if I’ll end up deleting them out of shame… But anyway, they’re there if you fancy listening!

*runs off blushing furiously*

Locomotion Love

6 05 2013

Evening all!

Well, today’s Crazy Rhymey Challenge threw up a few co-incidences and a memory-jogger… But first, the rhyme…

Today’s Twitter-submitted words were:

@bostonkas: efficacious
@millieweb: cuckoo
@shaggydogyarns: The Duchess
@yorkshire_chris: Mallard

And here’s what my head made of them…

Locomotion Love…

He sighed and felt so very blue –
“I really don’t know what to do,
I love her more with every day,
But she’s so very far away.”

She shed a silent lonely tear –
“Oh how I wish that he was near,
I can’t bear that we’re kept apart,
I fear that it will break my heart.”

Meanwhile outside in the yard,
There stood an efficacious guard;
He pondered on the lovers’ plight
And wondered how to make things right.

Then suddenly he cried, “Cuckoo!
I know exactly what to do!”
And rushing in to find his boss,
He hoped he’d get his point across.

Late that night the lovers dream
Of people, whistles, shouts, and steam;
Through the clamour and commotion
They both dreamt of locomotion…

Next morning when the lovers woke
From dreams of movement, noise and smoke,
They saw in front of them the guard
His eyes a-twinkling, beaming hard.

The reason for their dreams was proved –
They realised that they’d been moved!
And Mallard gleamed with love and pride
To see The Duchess by his side!

So the co-incidences, obviously, are that two random Tweeters submitted words that also happened to be the names of steam engines… And those two engines are in the same museum… And they were moved a while back to be displayed next to each other – so the rhyme had to be a wee love story…!

Confused? This article may help… πŸ™‚

The memory-jogger was “Cuckoo!” – my Grandpa used to come out with it every now and then for no apparent reason… Always made me smile!

But that’s not all – just as I finished the above rhyme, my train pulled into Newcastle Station. And pulling out a few platforms across were a couple of steam engines…

Toot toot!

ps – You can still see both Mallard and The Duchess of Hamilton at The National Railway Museum in York.

Update: A wee tweet received from The National Railway Museum “Beautiful poem. Unfortunately Mallard is currently in York, with Duchess in Shildon but they’ll be reunited again in Feb!”

Alas, the lovers are now even further apart, cross fingers their hearts don’t break before February! And thanks @railwaymuseum for your kind words!

The Flying Flapper…

30 04 2013


Blimey, it’s all been happening here over the last couple of weeks! A beautiful new nephew, not getting tickets for Glastonbury Festival then suddenly getting them after all, meeting up with a bestest pal, and a jolly twenties-themed wedding!

And a late Crazy Rhymey Challenge. I’d intended to post this last Wednesday, but everything got out of control… in the nicest possible way though!

So. I asked for words, and Twitter provided!

@yorkshire_chris – Grumpy Gorilla
@mooseandmouse – Elastoplast
@shaggydogyarns – Spitfire
@AnnieBC3 – Flapper

And here is the result…

The Flying Flapper

High up in a mountain villa
Lived a grumpy pink gorilla.
All day long she’d sit and sigh –
She longed so much to learn to fly.

Then one day she heard some news
That blew away her grumpy blues –
Jumping up she said, “Oh cool!
A newly-opened flying school!”

So she packed a little case
And down the mountain she did race
In the school she took her place
To learn to be a flying ace.

But climbing in an old spitfire
She had an accident most dire –
As she grabbed a safety rail
Her hand slipped and she broke a nail!

As she wept atop the ladder
People all around did gather.
Said a voice, “Excuse me miss,
I don’t think you’re cut out for this.”

“With your looks and handsome figure,
I think you should aim much bigger –
Flying is all right for some,
But modelling’s where the fame is won!”

With a sigh she said, “Oh blast!”
And asked for an Elastoplast,
Then turning with a heavy heart
She went in search of her new start.

Six months on she’s headline news
In tasseled frock and dainty shoes!
See her pose, so proud and dapper,
Dressed up as a twenties flapper!

Thank you to those who submitted words – hopefully next time I’ll be back to my normal routine of posting the rhyme on the same day!