The children back down the path, in dispute.
“I won”. “No, I won, as I got there first.”
The case for both of them made. Neither mute.
In who was the victor, or not, conversed.

Felt like going back and intervening.
Declaring myself – self-appointed – judge.
And in giving my judgment, proceeding
to announce result; no bias or grudge.

I would then say that it was a dead-heat.
And what that meant was, they were both winners.
Not that it also meant they shared defeat.
No! Victory taste for these beginners.

But, it not for me to participate.
For mum … to decide … to adjudicate.


How quickly it’s been reinterpreted,
the phrase used as part of the escape plan
from lockdown, that recently asserted
by the Prime Minister, to lift the ‘ban’

on single and vulnerable people,
so can meet another household ‘safely’.
The name he gave this was “support bubble”.
Good news for the lonely and elderly.

I’ve heard, though, how the language been re-used.
Man told me of the offer put to him,
which he thanked for, but quietly refused.
Perhaps it was just him imagining.

She surprised him, he said, apparently,
asking “ like to share a bubble with me?”


Old joke telling of a man’s ignorance
in relation to the child birth process,
around the woman, in all innocence.
I think mild enough not to give offence.

In late labour, she says “fetch the lamp, please”.
With that assistance, see baby emerge.
With the success, both parents put at ease,
until she, again, feels labour pain surge,

whereupon she says, “fetch the lamp husband”.
And shortly after she delivers twins.
Respite, but the labour begins again.
“Fetch the lamp, please”, once more she’s then asking.

But the man thinking there’s yet more, takes fright.
Says, ‘No’. They are attracted by the light.


I cuddled my slender wife. Our embrace,
my ‘flesh on the bone’ on her ‘skin and bone’.
My bulk there taking up most of the space.
Together, quadruple her on her own.

Her comment, while we hugged, had me puzzled.
I almost did not hear what she murmured.
Took a moment before I understood.
Humorous aside, was what she inferred.

‘We are ten. We are a ten, standing here.’
What did that mean? What did she mean by that?
A perfect ten’s a slim model. She’s near.
But me, could say I’m straight-forwardly fat.

‘Round’ more appropriate, I’ll have you know.
Then she whispered, “I’m the 1, you’re the O”.

“I AM A …”

“I Am A …” printed black across the top
of the girl’s tee-shirt, with a square below.
As approached, I asked “what are you?” She stopped
and gave, for me, a mini picture show.

“A unicorn. I am a unicorn.”
Rubbing the square down, creature’s head came clear.
Quite apparent, horse-like head with its horn.
Then, to my surprise, made it disappear.

By rubbing the square from the bottom up,
She again said who she was, with candour,
as different image was bringing up.
“A panda”, she said, “I am a panda.”

I said it was fun. Looked fun to be worn.
It just shows you, “I am a …” can transform.


Canada Geese, in perfect formation,
fly over. Could well call it ‘a fly-past’.
With accompanying orchestration,
their croak, cackle, gurgle sound, airborne cast.

The Swans on the lake, I can see them now,
float imperiously, their white gleaming.
They can snarl if they mean to. They know how.
Can take-off, and come-down, water ski-ing.

The congregation of crows that gather,
have a look-out, could almost say ‘a guard’.
Will report about the bread I scatter.
Then, all converge on the site, tweeting hard.

Is this where men got some ideas from,
to form military battalions?


Nothing to say? Has the cat got your tongue?
Where were you? What were you doing? Speak up.
We know you were involved in the job done.
If you tell me lies, I will interrupt.

So you think you can get away with it,
by silence, or a cock and bull story.
Well, take my word, that won’t enable it.
You will be exposed, in all your glory.

So admit you took part. What was your role?
Tell me the names of your partners in crime.
Who was the mastermind planning the goal?
Tell me now, I would rather not waste time.

What’s that? You’re innocent. How typical.
But won’t wash. The words of a criminal.


‘It is not the cough that carries you off.
It’s the coffin, they carry you off in.’
In my youth, that was said to raise a laugh.
On not a great level, operating.

The Sultan’s harem is next brought to mind.
He would say to his eunuch, ‘fetch me one’.
Boss lived a long life; his man a short time.
Running after love’s where the damage done.

Then, but don’t have to be sexist these days.
Remember, ‘woman or man, like a bus’.
Be another one along soon, the phrase.
But to get where want, have to take on trust.

Silly little sayings from memory,
hereby re-positioned in poetry.


Cannot think of a suitable subject,
as the basis for this sonnet-to-be.
A few recent haikus could, though, inject.
“Why don’t you try a haiku?”, this by me.

“You don’t have to change nationality”,
“although it’s a Japanese saying.” Done.

“Catherine …”, the name used for this by me.
“the Afro American”, starts new one,

“goes wild sometimes”. “That black cat is feral”.
A third now, “I like being in good health”.
“I’m on the right road for it”. Then recall,
“here in Well Street”. Think that’s about myself.

And last, “Could become a haiku writer,”
“on long walks”. “Become the Haiku Hiker”.


Her lover boy looks like a Cro-Magnon.
An early homo sapien throwback.
Still, it must be to her satisfaction,
the ‘new her’ and ‘old him’ interaction.

In looks, could be 40,000 years old.
The stage when just gone from monkey to man.
Still attractive to her, though, when all’s told.
Just looks like been around since time began.

She could make out with a Neanderthal,
but suppose that would be a distraction.
70,000 years on, fanciful.
So, she’ll likely stay with her Cro-Magnon.

There’s no telling what makes for attraction,
but here’s this woman with her Cro-Magnon.


Parsing. How complicated can you get?
I have no idea how to apply,
except by placing emphasis, suspect.
Be heard more, as on computers rely.

About linguistics. Could be semantic.
Breaking down a sentence. What words meant what.
Or constructing language, if pedantic,
from code or symbols. This now done a lot.

Computers parsing with trees and forests.
Latest IT block, ‘a parsing problem’.
How to deal with it is anyone’s guess.
Such complexity, though, someone will learn.

Parsifal, ‘pure fool’; Arab source applied.
Think I’ll be ‘parsing’ on the other side.


Have I told it before in a poem?
Maybe. Maybe not, but it’s a fun one.
Dispute which had adrenalin flowing
in the laundry. It caused the police to come.

In the dust-up, washing powder was thrown.
It led to arrests for …’bleach of the police’.
That’s it. In this sonnet, that joke now shown.
Space left over, so another to please.

About the man digging-up horse-manure.
Passer-by asked “what will you do with that?”
“Put it on my rhubarb; that’s what it’s for.”
The other a little taken aback.

“You should come and have rhubarb in my house,
as we prefer to pour custard on ours.”


The internet, nowadays, does disclose
media-related information
as ‘news’ of recent or forthcoming shows.
Obscure programme on some TV station.

One such referred to disastrous first dates.
Catastrophes in the pre-mating scene.
For the odd hoarse laugh, I suppose it rates,
but it is very likely somewhat mean.

Anyway, the report there on the web,
was of the dating guy letting off steam
about the girl he was with, so he said,
farting, and he clearly thought this extreme.

But maybe it a nervous reaction,
or how felt about him. Strange, attraction.


Lear’s verse, ‘There was an old man with a beard’,
for a limerick not have to extend.
Goes next, ‘Who said “It is just as I feared!” ’
A line on its own, ‘Two Owls and a Hen’,

Another one then, ‘four Larks and a Wren’.
Concludes, ‘Have all built their nests in my beard.’
Quoting this, not as you think I intend.
It’s a mechanism I’ve engineered,

to insert here the word ‘pogonophile’.
Lover, studier, of beards, so I’m told.
But if instead, the opposite, revile
facial hair, that one a ‘pogonophobe’.

Limerick to sonnet. Rose to thistle.
Stroke my chin. Can almost hear Lear bristle.

The United States