Archive for May, 2014

May 26, 2014

The Farmyard Poll (or Why Voting Matters)

‘Come and vote’, said the goat to the field full of sheep.

But ‘Naaaah’ they all baaed, and ‘We’d rather just sleep’.

‘We need a new farmer’, the goat said, ‘come on!’

But the sheep said ‘Don’t care’, and ‘So what?’ and ‘Be gone!’

And they sneered at the goat and said ‘Don’t make a fuss!

Whoever’s the farmer, it’s not about us!’

The goat cast its vote with a stamp of its hoof

And it cried ‘Well I tried, and right there is the proof!’

The votes were all counted; a wolf was the winner,

And he ate all those sheep (and the goat) for his dinner.

May 25, 2014

Stories for Tories

(A response to the decision by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, to focus the new English GCSE syllabus on dead, white, male British authors)

Some books are better than others.

We have to all get this quite right:

You have to read books that were written by men,

Ones who are dead and were white.

You say you want books made by women?

No need to fuss, dear, there, there.

I’ll throw in a few to placate you.

You can, I suppose, have Jane Eyre.

Books by American authors?

Of course they’re not actually banned,

But none of this killing a mockingbird stuff,

Or your dear little brains might expand.

Stuff from elsewhere? Why should you care!

Works by Adichie, Soyinka?

You’re sitting exams here, not widening your minds!

Do you want to turn into a thinker?

There are so many books that are bad for your brains

And are likely to make you defiant.

Of course, being Tories, we only want stories

That make you all good and compliant.

Children are delicate creatures,

And Gove knows exactly what’s best.

You can all be like me – simply narrow your minds!

And then you’ll do well in your test.










May 23, 2014

The Spider’s Phobia

You know what I hate? People!

Legs – too few (they’ve just got two)

And the way they scuttle is odd.

They can’t even crawl, or not up a wall,

And their feet go plod, plod, plod.

They’re ever so big, they’re ever so hairy,

They lurk in the bath and they’re ever so scary,

And when the water’s all run out

They stare, they scream, and then they shout

‘AAAAAAARGH! A spider!’

You know – they’re such a nasty pain

That I wish they’d all creep down the drain

And never come into the room again.

You know what I hate? People!


May 20, 2014

The Visitor

A little departure here – this one’s not silly and it doesn’t rhyme.


The sun came in, a honeyed blur,

And wound itself around my legs,

Nudged me with its warm nose.

The room hummed with its purr.

And then it sat, flat, on the floor,

Curled up and went to sleep on the carpet,

The air rising and falling with its warm breath,

And it seemed the sun would never leave.

It did, of course.

It stretched and went, without so much as a by-your-leave,

And all that remained was the fading shadow of warmth,

Where it had lain, that morning.

‘Sun! Sun!’ I called (I could see the tail end of it on the garden wall).

But if it knew or even heard its name it chose to ignore it,

And hid, aloof, behind a cloud.

The sun keeps its own consul.





May 19, 2014

Yo Ho Ho

There once was a posse of pirates

Who swaggered around on seas.

Their daggers were keen, their swords were mean,

They made navies go weak at the knees.

They slashed and clashed, they smashed and trashed,

Leaving billows of blood in their wake.

And they cried ‘Oo, arr, we’re the best, by far!

We’re horrid and no mistake!’

But then those pestilent pirates

All said to each other ‘Now come!

Let’s raise a cup, and we’ll all drink up!’

And they opened a barrel of rum.

From the decks a boy cried ‘Land ahoy!

Look out and steer clear of those rocks!’

But the captain sneered (as he wiped his beard)

And slurred ‘Go wash your socks!’

Bump! went the ship, and wham! bam! slam!

But the pirates all were drunk.

The ship dropped fast, and down went the mast,

And soon the whole vessel was sunk.

Now they say that the ghosts of those pirates

Are prowling around on the loose.

As the waves wish-wash they call ‘Orange squash!

And oh for a carton of juice!’

‘If only we knew!’, wail the ghosts of the crew

That drinking so much would be risky!’

Then they gaze at the wreck and they cry ‘What the heck!’

And they glug a whole gallon of whisky.






May 16, 2014

Gran’s New Hip(po)

When grandmother fell and she wasn’t too well

And she stayed for a year in her bed,

She cried ‘A new hip!’ but the docs made a blip

And they gave her a hippo instead.

Oh what a most dreadful colossal calamity!

What an almighty mistake!

Our gran gave a scream, but she fed it some cream

And some crumbs from the top of her cake.

Then she climbed on its back (it was slippery and black)

And she gave it a honky old hooter.

‘See this hippo!’ she said, as she patted its head,

‘It’s my marvellous mobility scooter!’

She rode up! She rode down! She rode all through the town!

She said ‘This is so jolly, by jingo!’

She took it out strolling, to whist drives and bowling;

It proved a big hit at the bingo.

‘Oh dear!’ said the doctors (afraid that they’d shocked her)

‘We made a mistake with the op!’

But Gran said ‘No fears! I feel younger by years!’

And now Gran and that hippo won’t stop.

May 12, 2014

Just a Simple Cuppa

My sister’s a barista.

Have you seen? You can’t have missed her.

She makes black Americano for a waiter from Milano.

She makes latte (very skinny) for a girl who drives a Mini.

She makes marvellous ice-cold mocha for the team who wins at soccer.

She makes many macchiatos for a bloke who grows tomatoes.

She makes cups of cappuccino for a man from San Merino.

And just the other night she made whole vats of tall flat white.

But when I go for supper and I say I want a cuppa

She says ‘What?’

I say ‘Hot’

She says ‘Tea?’

‘Yes, for me’

She says ‘Really? Oh my god! Don’t you know you’re really odd?

I’ve got frappawappadunkedinpumpkincreamysteamyskinnyminimediumroastedgoldentoastedhotespresso

yes oh yes oh!


But tea?

Forget it!’



May 9, 2014


Slyly sliding, slowly, slung,

Upside-down it slumber-hung.

Other creatures looped and leapt,

But slouching slackly, sloth slept.

May 5, 2014

The Supply Teacher

You at the back – be quiet!

You over there – sit straight!

You in the middle – stop picking your nose!

You coming in – you’re late!

You in the blue – no headphones!

You in the orange – don’t yawn!

You – can you please not make faces?

You – tell me, what’s that you’ve drawn?

You in the corner – no whistling!

You with the necklace – no gum!

You in the red, please don’t stand on your head!

You – oh just sit on your bum!

You with the crew-cut – no dancing!

You with that football – no throwing!

You – don’t you dare pull that girl’s curly hair!

You – tell me, where are you going?

You in that jumper – no fighting!

You with the bracelet – no cheating!

You – I have TOLD you to put that away!

You – is that popcorn you’re eating?

You at the side there – no jumping!

You – will you just pay attention!

You – no, you’re not a cool ninja!

You – right that’s it class – DETENTION!