Thursday, 15 January 2009


Ha! Thought that would make you read further - who dares to admit that what they are about to write is rubbish? No, not even me, hopefully. The actual underlying subject is a serious one. On the BBC breakfast programme yesterday, they had a feature on the amount of litter to be found on our streets, especially in city centers where fast food outlets abound. In one small town, an army of volunteers collected (by hand) all this detritus for one day, then worked out percentages to find the worst offenders. Bottom in this unenviable poll came Subway and top, unsurprisingly, was McDonald's. There was talk of a national campaign being launched to bring the problem into a more widespread awareness of how it needed to be addressed by the public at large.
England had one of those campaigns several years back, with advertisements on TV, billboards, newspapers or magazines urging Joe Public to 'Beware the Litterbugs', gruesome little blighters invented by some spin doctor. For all the good it did, they might as well have spent their money on a few more old fashioned trash carts and sweepers. So all day yesterday, news bulletins on BBC or ITV, as well as radio, tended to include a mention of the growing problem of thoughtless untidiness, bye product of the nation's habit of 'eating on the hoof'.

The rubbish factor had reared its ugly head before this week; on Tuesday, the Trackword ( a nine holed square which offers a jumbled up word for puzzlers to to see how many words can be made from it by tracking from one letter to the next, up, down or sideways) in my Radio Times magazine had the following layout:-

Top line, left to right T T L
Next line, left to right E U I
Last line, left to right B R G

Get the connection?

What better place to air the following, then, as I add my pennyworth to the moaning millions who find such desecration of the planet a subject for wrath.

Gutter Mess

The gutter's overflowing
on this dark, dank winter's morn
and the rubbish heap is growing
as a junk mountain is born.

McDonald's cups and paper bags,
polystyrene packing;
amongst the general public
there's a sense of order lacking.

Crisp packets gape their silver jaws;
the tinfoil doesn't rumple
but springs back into pseudo life,
instead of staying crumpled.

There's a yellow burger box, four-square
and a red, 'phone Top-up card;
There's a Coca-Cola empty tin,
to ignore it would be hard.

The wind's gust move it slowly on,
uneven, tinny sound
disturbing early morning hush,
it echoes all around.

The Litterbugs have passed this way,
it really is a sin
when they don't make sure their rubbish
is put in the nearest bin.


  1. How I identify with this blog Jinksy!!
    Love your poem on rubbish. I would add to that "Dog Poo". Because we live in a lonely lane people think they do not have to clear up after their dogs. One chap walks with seven gun dogs!! When i walk with Tess I am constantly appalled by the great mounds of poo which owners have failed to clean up. We do also get plastic bottles, cigarette wrappers etc. which the odd car driver throws out of the window as he drives past. And then there is the bother of plastic bags blowing from farm to farm. We collect them up and burn them but would you believe, if you are a farmer you have to have a licence to burn even the twigs which fall from the trees.

  2. Perhaps I should think of a rhyme entitled 'Up With Poo' as a reminder to dog walkers to put their 'litter' in the nearest bin, too! Might have a go in an odd moment, next time I feel one of those coming on...

  3. There was a fine Brit with the scoop
    Knew all about pets and their poop
    With quill pen in hand
    She covered the land
    With poems saying pick up your goop

  4. I love the word rubbish!! You sounds so English (lol) and I love the roll and dip of all your words!

  5. Sounds like a red-litter day to me, Jinksy!!

  6. Angie- you saved me the trouble! Ta! Hope the dentist visit was happy as possible...

    Terri- lol yourself! in my mind, you all speak the same language as me anyway!

    David- every day is a red-litter day for me since I started blogging and left a trail of it behind me...

  7. This kind of disdain for others, the environment and aesthetics really bothers me. For example: we always take our refillable coffee mugs to Tim's (Tim Hortons -- where most Canadians get their coffee fix), but I seldom, very seldom, almost never see any others there. We once purchased one for a gift to a neighbour who was a Tim's regular, and I don't think he ever used it.

  8. I like the thought of taking your own mug to get a coffee AC - it's one up on our local superparket that keeps trying to persuade people to tke their owm shopping bags, to cut down on the plastic ones. Personally, I'm a trolley dolly. This in not as cute as it sounds, as said trolley is a marathon pantechnicon on four wheels, and serves as a prop for grannies like me, when queuing looses its lustre.

  9. Think green prose...if you save a little spot on the planet, well done!

  10. It's such a joy to visit here, Jinksy (got the spelling right this time). I'm trying to catch up on my blog visits, having been occupied with other things of late.
    I enjoyed reading your Rubbish poem. Unfortunately, my home state has a high population of litter bugs. McDonald wrappings, cups and the like seem to be the trash of choice these days, and I find the stuff blowing around my yard or caught in the fence almost weekly. Ugh!

  11. Howdy from Texas! I love how things are spelled and how words are used so differently "across the pond." Your rubbish poem is delightful, especially the stanza about the "crisp packets" and their seemingly living state!

  12. Muse- it's not the thinking green that will do it - it's the making others do the green thing we need!

    Pat - great to have you call -perhaps your McDonald's trash blew all the way from UK?! It's been quite windy here lately!

    Old Dame Penniwig? What a wonderful name to choose. But never take my spelling as anything to go by - might be my own version! Howdy from here to you too.

  13. Congratulations, Jinksy. This post made mention on authorblog's Post of the Day; a well deserved honor!

  14. Pat - Goodness me, I'd never have known but for you, as I've been busy wielding a crochet hook nearly all day today, rather than a mouse!

  15. I truly hear the tone of the tin can tip-toe-ing tinnily through the town. (I have no earthly idea how to spell tip-toe-ing.) Anywho, love to talk trash when I'm down in the dumps. Cheers.

  16. clever you!! and your first POTD from David!!!

  17. I love your blog. Like Pooh said, "Because Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you." Your poetry found me today.

  18. Good posting luv the poetry. Happy you dropped by my blog and left yohr hyperlink



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