Occasional Verse

Occasional verse is defined as poetry written for a specific occasion. However, my occasional verse is not poetry, but then I only do it occasionally. Does that count?


Advice To Holidaymakers In Greece

In Greece, there’s freedom in the air,
Their attitude is ‘laisez faire’.
There’s just three things you mustn’t do:
You can’t put paper down the loo.
(Their plumbing’s not built for the stuff,
So that seems reasonable enough.)
The second may seem arbitrary;
Don’t photograph their military.
The jovial Greeks can get quite tense
About their Places of Defence.
So, when you see the sign, obey,
And put your camera away.
You take this seriously, now,
Or you’ll get in all kinds of row,
And kindly Mr Karamanlis
Will say “You can’t come back to Greece!”
The Greeks are such a splendid breed,
So generous in word and deed,
We should not mind, it seems to me,
This one slight eccentricity.
It’s not for us to wonder why
Their servicemen are camera-shy.
So if you try to ‘spot’ their planes,
You’ll find yourself conveyed, in chains,
To jail (where all the felon gets
Is plates and plates of boiled courgettes)
And if they throw away the key,
You’ll get no sympathy from me.
I reckon that it serves you right,
Because you’ve been so impolite…
The last rule: Don’t be glum, this place
Is fun, so wear a cheerful face.
Out here, it doesn’t do to be
Too much upon your dignity.
It’s good to give the Greeks a laugh,
They work quite hard on your behalf.


On Spiritual Teachers

Eckhart Tolle?
Off his trolley!
Dalai Llama?
Too much Karma!
Adi Da?
Just blah, blah, blah!
Diana Cooper?
I’m in a stupor!
Louise Hay?
Oh go away!
Depak Chopra?
Belongs on ‘Oprah’!
Stuart Wilde?
Gets me riled!
Anthony de Mello?
    Now that’s the fellow!


Lines On Viewing The Memorial Of A Lieutenant-Governor Of The Isle Of Mann

Poor Colonel Cornelius Smelt,
What a cruel hand this man was dealt.
In the pub, every drinker
Would shout “Hello Stinker!”
Imagine the way that he felt…


Valentine Posies


Though I wield my brush with care
When I’m painting life’s design
Still the paint gets everywhere.
Please will you be my Turpentine?

If I lose my head and heart,
If I monstrously decline,
If I need the odd spare part,
Please will you be my Frankenstein?

My verses leave you unconvinced?
No more poetic monkeyshine!
Ms Lindsay, on the 14th inst.
Please will you be my Valentine?


The perfect act of love,
I was startled to discover,
Comes when the Lover frees
The Beloved from the Lover.


I need you like
Flowers need rain,
And rain needs a drain,
Like Spaniards need Spain,
And a sadist needs pain…

I love you like
Madam Marcos loves shoes,
Howling Wolf loves the Blues,
And Jehovah loves Jews
And gays love to cruise…

I’d give you
The wax off my skis,
The leaves off my trees,
The rind off my cheese
And the skin off my knees…


Lines In An Italian Recording Studio’s Visitors Book

One day I shall return to Nogaredo,
And the studio that is halfway to the sky,
Where the people make you feel you’re not a stranger,
And the local male-voice choir can make you cry,
Where the food could make you burst out of your trousers,
And the coffee makes you jump out of your skin,
And the care and expertise they give your music
Isn’t equalled from Brindisi to Turin.
One day I shall return to Nogaredo,
To the studio that is known as L.O.L.
But until then, I must say ‘Arrivederci!’
(A word I can pronounce, but cannot spell.)


Lines On a Town In Lesvos

We all went to Mesotopos
To eat the boiled octopus
And there was such a lot of us
We went there in a motorbus
We all enjoyed the octopus
Which was, quite simply, ‘nostimos’*
But one of us got hot and cross
And thought that he should be the boss
And kicked up such a dreadful fuss
That we all jumped back on the bus
And left him in Mesotopos…

* νόστιμος – delicious


Lines About A Dog I Knew

The dog has frolicked in the mud
And makes a dreadful mess.
Her wet and filthy footprints
Cause particular distress.
But once they’re dry, they all brush off
That is, perhaps, apart
From that single muddy paw-print
In the middle of my heart.

The dog is shedding hairs again,
They fall on every side,
And drift across the carpet
In a never-ending tide.
They are clogging up the hoover
That we ply in vain each day
And are wound around my heartstrings
In a most annoying way.

The dog has had an accident
And peed upon the floor,
An accident I fear she’s had
A dozen times before.
A sponging down will make the carpet
Look alright again,
But the damp patch in one corner
Of my heart will leave a stain.

The dog has stolen half a loaf
And gobbled it complete.
The dog is munching week-old
Fish and chips dropped in the street.
I gave the dog her dinner,
And I thought that she had done,
But the bad dog went and stole my heart
And swallowed it in one.


A Printable Limerick

That Therapist I go to in Ely
Has become far too touchy-and-feely.
His hugging and squeezing
Is no longer pleasing
And as for the fondling,
Well, Reely!