Thursday 29 April 2010

Off Shoot From Earth Day

Some of your will remember, on Earth Day, I posted a copy of Flanders and Swann's Hippopotamus Song. Now I give you a poem by Arthur Guiterman on the same subject - simply because I like it!

Habits of the Hippopotamus
by Arthur Guiterman

The hippopotamus is strong
and huge of head and broad of bustle;
the limbs on which he rolls along
are big with hippopotomuscle.

He does not greatly care for sweets
like ice cream, apple pie or custard,
but takes to flavour what he eats
a little hippopotomustard.

The hippopotomus is true
to all his principles, and just;
he always trys his best to do
the things one hippopotomust.

He never rides in trucks or trams,
in taxicabs or omnibusses,
and so keeps out of traffic jams
and other hippopotomusses.

Monday 26 April 2010

The Kindness Of Strangers

I never knew an angel could drive a taxi. Today I know it's true; I was in his cab. Let me go back to the beginning.

Last week, my doctor promised to send a prescription to my local Boots Chemist for me to collect. Come Saturday, Boots denied all knowledge of any such thing, and I spent all weekend minus the anti-seasick pills needed to keep me on a even keel, to use an appropriately nautical turn of phrase.

Now, don't get me wrong. I've not been reeling around like a drunken sailor since Saturday, but nevertheless, the deck has not remained as stable as I might like. It's all due to the gyroscope in my head - it can't always be sure which way is up, once its equilibrium has been disturbed.

Anyhow, a 'phone call to the surgery proved the missing prescription was still within its hallowed portals, and I ordered a taxi to transport me thither post haste. I asked the driver to wait outside for the return trip, which he obligingly did.

On the ride back to the town centre, I told him the tale of the mix up, with the result that he offered to take the forms into Boots, so's I'd not have to hang around the dispensary when I called in later today. Bless him. I sat in his car, parked outside of St Faith's Church, while he trotted off to the chemists with them. But when he got back, he told me they'd be ready in 15 minutes and if I was OK waiting, he'd go back and collect them as well! Talk about kind!
He pootled off on a little errand of his own, and reappeared eventually with the bag of pills clutched in his more than helpful fingers.

Like I said, I never knew an angel might be found behind the wheel of a taxi cab...but I bet his wings got awfully crumpled inside that black leather bomber jacket.

Friday 23 April 2010

I Cannot Believe It!

It's now ten to four in the morning. After a couple of hours or so of slumber, the wide awake hat had ensconced my head and eventually I gave up and came down to say "Hi! Blogland!" Like you would. Like I did.
Okay. So I caught up with emails, but decided sleep was still not on the cards, so I let my mind do as it liked to my fingers on the keys. Imagine my surprise, when, after about a quarter of a hour, the following piece sat on my screen notebook. I idly counted, and yes - you guessed - it's fifty five words, and today's Friday! G-Man has a lot to answer for. He even takes over my sleep deprived mind without a by your leave...

I'm Not Counting Sheep

Three o'clock in the morning;
other people sleep,
but I sit at the keyboard.
What strange hours I keep!
I went to bed and nodded off,
but woke up two hours later
and spent a long while fidgeting
and peering down a crater
devoid of dreams or sleep or rest.
Insomnia is such a pest.

Thursday 22 April 2010

And it Is still Earth Day - second edition

After my original fun post today, a serious note crept in, and I've just composed the following lines to maybe make you think about this day in a different way.

Ashes To Ashes

The silent skies, with clouds of high rise ash,
towered above unsuspecting Earth,
causing weary passengers distress
by dashing hopes of speedy journeys home.
Aeroplanes remained forlorn and still,
as stringent measures clipped their eager wings
and ringed these metal birds in safety's cage.
Unpredictable volcanic plumes
held the world to ransom for a time,
while people watched and had to pay the price
of insouciant reliance on the air
to ferry heavy planes from place to place.
Earth's supremacy to Man is very plain;
her rules will govern in the final stages.

Earth Day?

No connection with birthday, just a plea for folks to be aware of how they can help stop the Earth ending up as one huge landfill of rubbish. But in the Jinksy mind, where thoughts seldom stray too far away from the Piscean love of water, Earth soon becomes equated with Mud.
So for my Earth Day Post, I call upon the brilliant Flanders and Swann team to provide the words which will allow you to sing their poetic rendition of the famous 'Mud, mud glorious mud' verses... look on YouTube if you want to hear them singing - the title is:-

The Hippopotamus Song

A bold hippopotamus was standing one day
On the banks of the cool Shalimar
He gazed at the bottom as he peacefully lay
By the light of the evening star
Away on the hilltop sat combing her hair
His fair hippopotami maid
The hippopotamus was no ignoramus
And sang her this sweet serenade

Mud, mud, glorious mud
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood
So follow me follow, down to the hollow
And there let me wallow in glorious mud

The fair hippopotama he aimed to entice
From her seat on that hilltop above
As she hadn't got a ma to give her advice
Came tiptoeing down to her love
Like thunder the forest re-echoed the sound
Of the song that they sang when they met
His inamorata adjusted her garter
And lifted her voice in duet


Now more hippopotami began to convene
On the banks of that river so wide
I wonder now what am I to say of the scene
That ensued by the Shalimar side
They dived all at once with an ear-splitting sposh
Then rose to the surface again
A regular army of hippopotami
All singing this haunting refrain


(Extra verse:)
The amorous hippopotamus whose love song we know
Is now married and father of ten,
He murmurs, "God rot 'em!" as he watches them grow,
And he longs to be single again!
He'll gambol no more on the banks of the Nile,
Which Naser is flooding next spring,
With hippopotamas in silken pyjamas
No more will he teach them to sing...


Wednesday 21 April 2010

Nosey Parkers

...The lot of you! Wanting to see me in war paint? Nary a one sparing a thought for poor little me having to maybe suffer the consequences of itchy eyes, bright red rash or itchy skin!! Me and make up have a long history of incompatibility, so pardon me if I decline to satisfy your curiosity, dear Bloglanders. And as for Suldog and his body butter hint - well! Enough said! Mind you, if Hilary were a close enough neighbour to drop by with her camera, it might be a different story - I'm sure I'd trust her to take an elegant photo of me in any circumstances - buttered up or not.
I shall leave you to fantasise over that horrific prospect for the rest of today, while I go away to contemplate organising lunch for one of my real life pals. Don't let your imaginations run away with you too much...

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Human Error

This can be quite endearing, in an odd sort of way; a kind of unspoken battle between man and machine. Fast thinking computers may still be outwitted by a human being's input, though perhaps I mean undermined, rather than outwitted.

Let me explain how I came to choose this subject today. Last Wednesday, I placed an online order for - wait for it- some Body Shop Body Butter (their description, not mine - I'd have called it simply a creme moisturiser) in - wait for it again - cherry blossom flavour! Okay, I'm currently obsessed with cherry blossom.

So yesterday, when I was upstairs deep in the process of attempting to restore order in one of the bedrooms, 'Bang, bang' rapped somebody's knuckles on my front door (they ignored my dangling bell rope), and I had to quickly rush to the window so's they'd realise I was at home, even if no where near said door. Too often, parcel deliveries end up being undelivered, because the man with the van is too impatient to await my answer, and I get to the door in time to see their tyres squealing away in a cloud of dust. (Do they imagine people in houses are always no more than two steps from the door handle?)

Man in brown uniform waits patiently until I get downstairs to receive small packet and sign on his little machine screen. At this point, I could tell it wasn't my Body Butter, but thought it might be another purchase expected from Amazon.

After the usual fight with super strong glue on the padded brown envelope, I finally reached the contents: one pot Mineral Cheek Pink Quartz: one pot Eye Shimmer Silver: one tube Mascara Super Volume and one delivery note, purporting to be for a person living in Templars Avenue, London. Unless I had been transported by aliens in the night, I was still in Havant, and not in the least interested in silver eye shadow, mineral rouge or black mascara. Yes, it was from The Body Shop; but that, and the label printed with my name and address, was the limit of its correctness.
There is obviously opportunity for many a slip twixt printer and parcel, thanks to Human Error...which is where this post began.

A swift telephone call resulted in apologies, permission to keep the items in question, and an assurance of another delivery as per original request. If there are continuing mistakes, I might be opening a Free Body Shop branch in my living room before very long... Mascara, anybody?

Monday 19 April 2010

Monday Lack Of Memory

Over the weekend, I've wandered
Blogland paths and discovered, round more than one corner, glorious photos of cherry blossom. I should have made a note of where I've been, then I could have put links to this morning's post. It's a piece I wrote some time ago, and one that I've emailed to several Blogpals 'behind the scenes', as I call it. However, it dawned on me this morning I might just a well post it here for the second time, as it remains as true now as at its first appearance.
I can direct you to some of the blogs where you will find appropriate images - MaggieGem, TSannie, and Merisi - but know there were more whose names escape me! Sorry! However, if any of you others would like a link put in, email me, and I'll be delighted to oblige. Here's the action replay of my words...

Cherry Blossom

Bunched on slim stalks,
tight-furled buds dangle
puckered, rosy lips,
offering a kiss of welcome.

Canopies blush beauty,
full-blown, short lived
cherry petals. Pink froth
becomes a tidemark
on trim emerald turf,
fallen blossom
marking ebb and flow
of capricious night winds.

Matching ruffle-edged flounce,
adrift alongside wall or path,
extends its gentle glow
to soften harsh perimeters
with flower-strewn finery.

Producing a composition
of pristine clarity,
Spring's light brushstrokes
overlay Winter's canvas.

Saturday 17 April 2010

Silly Me

Um... what can I say? Some mornings life is like that... or this...

Blame It On Saturday

I sense something silly; it is growing from my head!
I knew that it was waiting, soon as I climbed out of bed.
It's not a hat, or hunk of hair
but just a thought that took root there
and wants to end up captured on a page,
despite my somewhat sober writing age.

I think it is a giggle, that's decided 'Now's the time!'.
I can feel it start to wriggle, like washing on a line
that's pegged but longs to travel
(risking falling in the gravel)
for it wants to see what life is like below...
(It's all about the viewpoint, don'tcha know?)

But now it's out and flying free - Look out! There it goes!
It only just missed bopping you on your little nose!
Then no one would be laughing
at such a very daft thing,
so it's just as well it's taken to the road
before it lets its giggling explode.

Beware, beware it's on the loose! Dear reader, have a care;
it may descend upon you, before you know its there.
It will titivate your funny bone,
despite your being all alone,
and gales of laughter may sail on the wind,
until you wish they never had beginned!

Friday 16 April 2010

Another Flash In The Pan

Or at least, a Fifty Five for Friday and the G-Man.

A Morning Moment

Torpid patio,
in enlivening sunlight,
begins to awake:
dandelion discs
raise dense yellow petalled whorls
to the golden sun:
grasses shoot long leaves
rocketing towards the moon
from cracked paving slabs.

All plants sense life sap
rising throughout their beings
and burgeon in joy,
while shy violets
nod heads in welcome.

The Spring has come.

Thursday 15 April 2010

Hand In Hand

As promised in my previous post, here are the results of our handiwork. Until I click the publish post button, I shall be holding my breath that Blogger has joined us in word and deed, and that Hilary and Jinksy are woven together on screen as they have been behind the scenes. Hope you enjoy the partnership, but do pop over anytime and see The Smitten Image in all it's singular glory; it will always be worth the trip, I promise!

the camera's eye
freeze-framed the quizzical glance
of the gliding gull

cereal puff balls
float in a nightmare landscape
of water logged dream

Ghostly echoes of the past
haunt the dried flower heads
as they dream of youth flown
and wait patiently for rebirth.

It's a dog's life standing still,
poised like a statue on the sill,
watching clouds go passing by
with never once the chance to fly
on scudding paws along the street,
free, excited, swift and fleet.
What dreams go racing through his head
at night, inside his doggy bed?

Three polished stones encircled by lace
each with a word carved on its face-
Truth for the seeking,
Faith in the finding,
and Wisdom to grant overall grace.

green pine-needle spray
disguises identity
of two brown mittens

Bright painted shapes protest at their sudden view
of a world tip tilted and stationary,
as the discarded board's metal wheels vibrate
with the hum of remembered movement.

on a glass surface
painted dragon fly hovers

willow branches bow
to greet golden, glow-worm spheres
of lighted windows

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Never Say Never, Folks!

Despite many protestations of wanting to limit napple notes to the written word, I am now giving fair warning that Thursday will be quite some news day. Never being one to write prose when a jolly ditty may speak volumes, this is why I ask you to mark your calendar now for a return visit on April 15th:-

Watch This Space

It's all in the nature
of a tentative experiment;
I was smitten with her images
and she enjoyed my words.
We've amalgamated pages,
not without some merriment,
and hand in hand will launch ourselves
upon the Blogland world...

Hilary the snazzy snapper
mailed me several of her pics
and I set out to rack my brains
for suitable quick quips
or aptly thought out phrases
I could add into the mix
to combine artistic differences -
make togetherness our goal.

For surely, everybody knows
two halves will make one whole!

Having got into the swing of getting ahead of myself, I shall now include an early tribute to mid-week for those of you who still need to keep your noses to the grindstone of gainful employment, while silver haired surfers like me frolic around Blogland's primrose paths.

A Different Kind Of Pedal Power

Wednesday, lovely Wednesday,
the middle of the week.
You've pedalled to it's giddy height
and now will cruise down with delight
towards a level, weekend spot,
when work will intrude not one jot -
until - on Sunday, after lunch,
you'll turn into a gloomy bunch,
as thoughts of Monday morning loom
like elephants, in every room!

Here's hoping to see you all on Thursday!

Saturday 10 April 2010

Posthumous Reply to Gavin Ewart

On behalf of 21st century women...


Women prefer to have their imagination
cajole, caress, woo them - not rape.
Leave that to misogynistic men,
who overpower tender emotions
with vocabulary more suited to battle
or world domination.

Perhaps, when Ewart wrote, he'd not foreseen
the new breed of emancipated women
who'd take their place on equal terms with men
in poetry, and theatres of war.

Friday 9 April 2010


From the postman, that is; thanks to Friko, I've been introduced to one Gavin Ewart, and thanks to Amazon, his Selected Poems 1933-1988 plopped through my letterbox a while back. Diving straight in, I found this poem on page 13, and in view of my last offering, I decided to let you see it too.

Variation on a Theme of K. Amis
by Gavin Ewart

Sooner or later, most women poets
get locked in a lavatory with God.
Quietly they knit their little poems
receptive, contemplative and sad.

They are seldom raped by imagination
or highly excited or screaming for lovers
or drunk with the mad, leopard-spotted phrases;
Domestic virtues fit them like loose covers.

Perhaps words come to women too easily,
pouring out regardless like coffee or tea
or like the uncritical fountains in Renaissance palaces?
Nobody values what is given away free.

Can't wait to see what the Blogland reactions will be to this less than flattering description of women poets...

Thursday 8 April 2010

Dizzy Days

Literally, a couple of these have kept me from Blogland, as my ears' balance centres went AWOL. This may account for the rather strange offering today. When you are forced to remain horizontal and motionless, the mind wanders at will, and a chance idea can result in something like this:-

Beyond Science

Who can prove that love exists?
Who would want to try?
Are emotions infra dig
‘cause they can make you cry?

If names and dates and numbers
could create a way to prove
intangible emotions
like anger, hate or love,

where would this leave concepts
like happiness or joy;
fear or apprehension
or things that may annoy?

They can’t be proved by numbers.
No records will exist
of when they first were known to Man.
If gone, would they be missed?

Maybe tomorrow, once I finish taking the tablets, I shall have more and better stuff to offer!

Monday 5 April 2010


I've just read Derrick's Monday poem here, where he is following a prompt to give his poetry a name, a gender and a personality. I hope both he and the originators of this intriguing concept, will forgive my horning in on the act as I struggle to give an identity to my Blogland Poetic Personae. Note I did not say Persona - on purpose. Derrick was happy to become George, his alter ego for the day, but when I began endeavouring to carve a name for myself, I found I couldn't fit into one skin, as I've never discovered who I really am. Therefore I decided I am The Terrible Twins, the embodiment of a split personality perhaps... I wonder, Who are You, or rather , Who is your Writing Self?


I'm the Terrible Twins;
one of us makes you cringe
with verse and worse,
though often terse.
Our laughter
follows after.

I'm the Terrible Twins;
one of us, when in serious vein
causes you to read again.
Our simple words
plead to be heard
and pondered upon...

Sunday 4 April 2010

Sometimes The Muse Is Late

For this got written today, but is really about yesterday. I had no intention of writing anything at all, but a magpie's sudden alarm call set my brain turning, and eventually fourteen lines needed to be sent on their travels trough cyberspace.

Easter Saturday

A magpie's shrill staccato chatter
punctuates the stagnant silence,
shattering air dead as unrisen Jesus,
this quiet Easter weekend afternoon.
Our small, deserted corner of the town
holds its indrawn breath in readiness
for tomorrow's hope of renewed life.
Is the eternal wellspring but a myth
that men have fashioned as a sop to wars,
to strife and heedless world pollution?
Will Easter Day fulfil its ancient augur
or will the people stumble blindly on,
gorged on chocolate covered promises
of salvation until the end of time?

Friday 2 April 2010

Obey The Muse

Having woken up at the wonderful hour of three o'clock, the phrase 'doldrums of the night' lodged itself in my brain, and became ever more insistent. There was no hope for it, but to obey its call and come downstairs to allow it to take shape and be born into the world. But it was not satisfied. It pestered me until I had turned it into a Friday 55 for G-Man. So here it is.


Doldrums of the night
when falling rain leads the dance;
time when no birds sing.
Silent motorway
adds occasional murmur
from speeding tyres
of night-owl drivers,
heading towards the new dawn.
They will alert larks,
birds who greet the day
and wake Morpheus from sleep
with gentle calling,
while dreamers nestle in his arms.