Dec 16, 2012


Once again Tess intrigues our Muse with this photograph by Andy Magee

My folks said "Let's go for a run!"
But a run in the rain?- that's no fun.
Now they've left me alone
and I've no mobile phone
and I'm wondering when
I will see them again
or will a big tow-truck come,
fix a chain to my bum
haul me off to the pound
where I'll just lie around
till I'm turned all to rust.
That would be most unjust!
A car is for life, not for Christmas!

For more responses to the prompt follow this link.

Dec 9, 2012

Mappa Mundi

For Mag 147, Tess prompts us via her rear-view mirror . . .

The lady is looking her best
dressed in her cartographer's vest.
If her haute couture map
is an all-around wrap -
imagine her American Midwest!

Many more Mag entries, most of which have considerably more literary merit, are to be found HERE.


Dec 2, 2012

Mercy! Mercy!

        "Object to be Destroyed" by Man Ray

I'm a beat-keeper still in my prime.
Destroying me would be a crime!
Here'e a much better way
to honour Man Ray -
Call me "Keeping One Eye on the Time."

Tess urges us to "Keep up with the band, you lot" with her prompt for Mag 146.

Nov 30, 2012

Brrrr . . and Baa . .

G-Man asks for 55 words.  I offer this thought for a wintry evening.

UK weather has turned cold so I'm wearing my fleece. It's blue with elastic at the wrists. It has no pockets. Hardly surprising. Whoever saw a sheep with pockets? It has a zipp, although I for one have never seen a sheep with a zipp even though they'd be easier to shear.  What do you think?


Nov 25, 2012


A Homage to Our Other National Poet, and another Vote of Thanks to the unquenchable Tess Kincaid who has raided the lumber room of Willow Manor to bring us this week's prompt.

(To be sung to a well known Ayrshire Air)

I used to love this old red chair 
till it snapped a spring last June.
And when I sat me down today,
it twanged a Scottish tune.
I punctured am where most it hurts, 
and wounded to the quick.
My butt's now like a red, red rose -
Oh what was a horrid trick!

Chorus: -
That was a horrid trick, dear chair,
That was a horrid trick.
I'll post you on FreeCycle's site
dispose of you real quick.

But no one came to take my chair -
maybe they had no van.
And so I stood me up to think (*)
of a new disposal plan.
Well, soon to he who wrote this song
I found that my thought turns.
I dragged my chair out to the yard - 
Just see how well it burns!

Just see how well it Burrrrns, my dears
Just see how well it Burrrrns.
The Bard of Ayrshire helped me out,
So thank you Rabbie Burrrrrns. (**)

(*)    Can't sit down, remember?
(**)  The Scots roll their Rrrrr's on the least provocation.  Mine still hurts too much.

Sung by the lovely EDDI READER it doesn't hurt a bit . . .


Nov 22, 2012

Isadora Gruye from the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads challenges poets to explore their guilty pleasure for the shivery delectation of fellow bloggers.  Here goes

Sweet Nothings are my Guilty Pleasure,
soft, succulent and in good measure
I drip them in reluctant ears.
It soothes their minds and dulls their fears.
My honeyed tones excite the Birds
and Bees. They fall for sugared words
Alright for you out there to scoff -
They help me get the wrappers off.


Nov 17, 2012

Noises Off.

Wow! Jeez! Kersplatt!  Biff!  Bang!  Shazam!
Kerplunk! and Zapp! are just a few.
Yuck! Yechh! Blecchh! Barf! Zounds! Ee By Gum!
Gosh!  Golly!  and The Same To You!
Owww! Ouch! and Aaarrggh! mean someone's hurt
Stop Thief! means someone's lost his shirt.
There are many more, but I prefer
the consternation in Ooooerrrr!

Nov 16, 2012

55 . . is a "triangular" number! (*)

Here's a joke that my optician told me. It's an example of the "Professionally Contiguous" joke -  for instance, a joke about meat told by a butcher.  It's terrible.

"Heard the one about the man who wore a monocle in both eyes?"
"I know you're going to slay me with the answer. Proceed!"
"He made a spectacle of himself."

Thanks to G-Man for setting us his weekly 55 word task.

(*) Clue . . so is the number of red balls in a snooker set.

Oct 28, 2012

Meanwhile, in the Willow Ball Annexe . . .

out o' the sight o' daycent God-fearing fowk, tae the skirrrrrrl o' the pipes, the mair darin' o' Tess's guests cast caution tae the winds an' their claes inti yon big beskit agin the doooooor. Well, wid ye look at that! A' they hussies a' wearin' the exact same dress . . . 

. . . and horror upon horrors!  Wan o' they buirdly lads tellt me yon dance is called "Strip the Willow"

Tess . . . thanks again for the invitation to the 2012 Willow Manor Ball and for all the work you put into organising the weekly Magpies and your comments on our efforts, and please don't let the hoots and halloos from the Annexe spoil the party.

Oct 14, 2012

Midnight Snack

Tess Kincaid asks us to write about Midnight Feasts, prompted by Curtis Wilson Costs's 1984 picture "Midnight Snack"

"I Told Them They Were Out of Garlic!"

It dropped from its perch on the rafter
when slumber had silenced their laughter.
It sank in its fangs
to ease hunger's pangs
saying "Mmmm! This is GOOD!
Fresh, warm human blood!"
Then  it gorged on some lamb chops for afters.

Many more^ responses to the prompt can be found HERE.


Oct 9, 2012

Quack Quack

Tess at Willow Manor offers Jan Steen's 1665 picture "The Sick Woman" for our prompt this week.

The Doctor came.  The Doctor said
"Madam, I think you're quick, not dead.
Are you breathless? How's your heart?
Is it noisy when you fart?
What's the colour of your rheum?
Have you something in your womb?
Does your hair grow straight or curly?
Do you go to bed quite early?
Is there scurf behind your ears?
Do you suffer midnight fears?"

"None of these" replied the wench.
"I've given my left wrist a wrench."

"Schimples!(*) Let's even up your plight!
I'll sprain the one left on the right."

He gave her other wrist a whack,
a truly unprovoked attack.
"Now both sides match you'll feel at ease.
And that's a hundred schillings(*), please."

(*) The Doctor was Austrian, but this fact is not strictly relevant.

Many worthier Magpies can be enjoyed here.

Oct 1, 2012

Grumble, Grumble.

Tess calls up one of Francesca Woodman's oddball photographs for our prompt this week.

It Must Be Time For Lunch Now, 1979, by Francesca Woodman

"So is this one the fork you say you just dropped?  There's loads of them . . and I'm getting cramp under here.  Look for yer own forks, why not?  Besides, I want me lunch. Some people . . "


Sep 24, 2012

A Mile High Tale

Another colourful prompt from Tess at Willow Manor encourages more flights of fancy

Flying Down, 2006, by David Salle

"Do you really need the magnifying glass, Simpleforth?"
"This painting is not as random as if might seem at first sight, sir."
"Really?  Is that Simpleforth's view, or did you read it in Gombrich."
"Gombrich was dead before Salle painted this . . er . . painting, sir."
(Sotto voce) "I never learn!" (Aloud)  "I asked you about the magnifying glass . . "
"Notice the title, sir. "Flying Down"  The title is surely highly relevant to the central feature of the picture.  Or vice-versa."
"The spiral?  You or I can do things like that with the 'Twist' effect in Photoshop."
"Look carefully, sir, and you can see not one but two terrified faces, albeit upside down.  Salle has not only twisted the doomed passengers into a spiral of fear as the Cessna . .  "
"The little white plane about to attempt an emergency landing in the fireplace . . as the doomed Cessna spirals into the flames - " (He breaks off.)
(After a pause) "Proceed, Simpleforth. I daresay we have to hear a lot more of your commentary before we get round to the magnifying glass."
"It's not about a Cessna crashing, sir! It's the stack over Heathrow Airport!"
"It's the what?"
"See, sir.  You can't just stop a 757 or whatever in mid-air. They tend to plummet. So if there's no landing-slot available, ATC sends them round and round above the airport in a slow descending spiral, separation about 500 feet. It's called 'the stack'. Now, a plane going round in a circle leans over to one side. And the ground is looming closer every time round the stack. That, and the grinding noise of the flaps  . ."
"ATC? Stacks? Flaps? What are you talking about?"
" . .  of the flaps going down make the passengers think one of the wings has fallen off." (He pauses again) "That probably explains the little crane thing. Looks like a wing-section it's lifting, don't you think, sir?"
"Perhaps. But you don't need a magnifying glass to see the little crane thing -"
"Then again, sir, maybe it is a Cessna crashing after a mid-air collision with the goose that sheared off its propellor.  The goose looks out of control, sir.  But the Cessna's missing propellor is harder to spot."
"Ah!  So that's why you needed the magnifying glass.  You were looking for a propellor."
"No sir.  See that passenger with the bare bum? Maybe she was in the loo when the 'Please Fasten Seatbelts' light came on . . .
"Enough Simpleforth!"
". . in which case she'd be showing a panty-line don't you think, sir?"
(Longer pause, then -) "Pass me your maginfying glass for a minute, there's a good lad . .  "

Sep 16, 2012

Magpie 135

From the ballroom at Willow Manor comes Tess's engaging prompt . .

Slow, Slow, Quick Quick Slow.

A flat-footed sailor called Lancing
was thrown out of "Strictly Come Dancing."
" 'Cos your footwork," cried Venus
"is borderline heinous!
 Sort of rum-sodden hornpiper prancing!"

(Venus and The Sailor, 1925, by Salvador Dali)
Many more writers will be found tripping the light fantastic if you go here


Sep 9, 2012

Magpie Tales 134

Tess's Magpie prompt this week is the picture "Breakfast" by Fernand Leger, to whom we raise our egg-cosies.

Naughty Little Bear

The Baby Bear, weary but steadfast
came down very late for his breakfast.
Ma Bear said, "Now, Bruin,
what have you been doin'
upstairs?  You've left Goldilocks bedfast."

Breakfast, 1921, Fernand Leger


Aug 13, 2012

A Haiku in Praise oF Art

Tess Kincaid's picture prompt for Magpie#130 inspired this . . er . . bean-feast.

Who Was That?

It was not Granny!
Nor was it the dog! It was
her inside's insides.


Aug 3, 2012

Does the Dept. of Homeland Security Know About This?

"That's gotta be an exploding cigarette. Gotta be! Detonator hidden in the cane! These f***ing Limey stockbroker suicide bombers are up to all sorts of tricks like that.  Go-Go-Go Swat Team!  Get a head shot.  Not the hat though!  Not the f***ing hat!  The hat's gotta be an IED.  Full of firecrackers, wanna bet!" 

Offered for G-Man's FFF55.  (This walking-cane with built in lighter, produced by Ronson, was featured in a British Industries Exhibition in 1930's.    Not to be outdone, America produced something similar.  Is there no end to human ingenuity?)

Jul 29, 2012

There's Sadness  at the Heart of Things . . .

Said the Man to the Dawg "Walkies, freak.
It's time you went out for a leak."
The Dawg said "No rush!
See that poor dying bush?
I've been watering it for a week."


(Image by Zelko Nedic)
Inspired by Tess's picture prompt and by Frances Garrood's Magpie No. 27
Thank you Tess. Thank you Frances.

Jul 28, 2012

Olympic Events You Never Knew About

The Three-Legged Bike Race.  MARK CAVENDISH is certain to take GOLD. He's Manx and doesn't need a co-rider.   All Manxmen have three legs, (see flag.)

Synchronised SpoilSporting.   Put your money on ADA TRELLIS, North Wales's sourpuss, for GOLD. 

And for SILVER . . GEORGE OSBORNE, Chancellor of the Exchequer. He's filled British households with misery and emptied their piggy-banks.

Hide and Seek.    The skeletal remains of the 1896 Olympic Champion, discovered in a tin trunk in a remote cottage in Auchterturragh, Scotland, were posthumourously awarded GOLD in absentia at the Beijing Games, 2008.

Jul 23, 2012

Magpie No. 127

A True Story, that Almost Passes Belief.

(This memory from my daughter's early days at school was jogged by Jane Healy's Magpie - No.36 - this week,  following Tess Kincaid's picture prompt.  Thank you Jane. Thank you Tess.)

Figure Eight, 1952, by Franz Kline

Every day, I go to meet my daughter, 5, coming out of school, to walk home with her. Her school-pal's mother is usually waiting also.  If not, I will take the pal home. This is the understanding.  Let's call my daughter's pal "Denise"

Denise's Mum knows I am in the University. She also knows that education is always spelt with a capital "E" - if you know what I mean. This particular day she is there herself, waiting for Denise. We chat about this and that.  We hear the bell tinkling from inside the school.  The children will be getting their school-hats and coats, and soon they'll come charging out, and soon they do.  It is their first year at school.  No one charges quite like a 5 year old.

My daughter and Denise appear together, and both are holding out at arms' length the paintings they have been doing that morning. Two A5 sheets, both of which are riots of colour, the sort of uninhibited work which is not meant to express anything except the sheer joy of getting paint onto paper, particularly when the paper today was big, big, BIG!  Their little faces are shining with achievement. The way they hold their paintings out, at arms length in front of them says "Look at my super picture!" I imagine their art-work blu-tacked to the kitchen wall, or in my study at the Uni.

And what does Denise's mother say?  (Education with a capital "E" remember!)  She says  "Ahh Denise!  What a mess!"

I don't know if this put-down became one of Denise's life-long memories (she's in her forties now) but it certainly became one of mine. As did the memory of her wee face crumpling into tears. 

Jul 16, 2012

Magpie Tales#126

Jack Vettriano makes a debut appearance in the Magpie prompts, courtesy of Tess Kincaid.

"I Give Up . . .

I  tried this. Twice!

and . . . .

and nearly all of these . . . .

but none of them got me in to see FTSE.  But I'm not a robot. I'm just a poor waif in a slinky black dress with lots of d├ęcolletage and bare shoulders and artfully untidy hair and a pensive little-girl-lost look who needs to consult the good Doctor about her smoker's cough . . . "

Jul 13, 2012

Friday Flash Fiction 55

I so wish this little story was true, but can't believe it really is.


Rachmaninov, pianist extraordinaire, was accompanying a violin recital.
The violinist was playing from memory,  Rachmaninov from score. The duo did not get on well personally. At one point the violinist realised his memory was letting him down. He indicated Rachmaninov’s score with his bow, whispering "Where are we?" Rachmaninov whispered back "We're in the Carnegie Hall!"

Jul 9, 2012

Magpie Tales # 125

Tess at Willow Manor asks us to critique this painting for Magpie 125.

Chilmark Hay, 1951 by Thomas Hart Benton

    "You seem unusually thoughtful today, Simpleforth. Is anything the matter?"
    "I was wondering what Constable would make of it."
    "I can't bring to mind a Constable in the art class?"
    "No sir. John Constable. English painter. 1776 to 1837. Romantic landscapes of an England long vanished, where sturdy yokels and sturdy horses toiled in the fields when they weren't getting their haywains stuck in rivers.  Not like this one, which is certainly more hay than wain where some of the hay seems to be falling off the wain and a horse with an unnaturally long neck is apparently bent on homeward plodding his weary way to a farmhouse with a garage at the side but no door.  I mean look at it, sir! It's a "Haymaking" by David Hockney out of Vincent van Gogh! And the haycocks look like Yorkshire puddings under a plastic sheet."
    "If I may interrupt the flow of your appraisal for a moment, Simpleforth. What's this about a haywain stuck in a river?"
    "That was before the invention of the car-wash, sir.  None of the analyses of Constable's picture mention that.  Maybe the wain isn't stuck in the river. Maybe the yokels pay a groat or two to wash the wain in the river before high-tailing it to the haymeadow to load up. It is empty after all. Maybe they could wash the horses as well. Or maybe they've already sold the hay on the black market and are heading home by river so's to cover their tracks."
    "Have you been smoking something behind the bike-sheds again, Simpleforth?"
    "And have you noticed how beat-up the haywain is?"
    "You can hardly see the haywain . . . "
    "Not that one, sir. Constable's. It looks ready for the bonfire. It's hanging together. It's kindling. The sort of rubbish you  sell to 'We Buy' "
    "I'm afraid I'm not following you at all, Simpleforth. Which I must say is not unusual. Just get on with your appraisal of Benton's painting and hand it in by lunchbreak."
    "Lunchbreak, sir, would be rough cider in leathern bottles and massive hunks of bread and cheese and a snooze under the haystack while the honest sweat dried on their brows and only the milkmaids for company - elements conspicuously absent from Benton's effort."
    "Perhaps that's as well. Um . . er . . would you like to speak to the school Nurse?"
    "Why sir?  Does she paint haywains as well?"

Reader's as puzzled as was the art teacher by Simpleforth's discourse are referred to the picture below: -

Part of "The Haywain" by John Constable.

Jul 1, 2012

Magpie #124

Tess asks us this week to versify Ophelia's unhappy fate.  The Coroner's verdict is sadly not in the public domain, but here is the police pathologist's photograph.

Redon Odilon "Ophelia"

Don't Blame Yourself, Sweet Prince.

Ophelia set off for the nunnery
thinking "I won't have much funnery."
She left by the door
of Old Elsinore
but not far beyond
she fell in a pond -
By the time he came round
Hamlet saw she had drowned
and lamented "Oh! What have I dunnery?"


May 16, 2012


My Very Silly Autobiography.
(Atishoo of Falsehoods)
Leviticus P. Simpleforth

Chapter 1. The First Weeks. Me -v- my Food Taster.

   I do not remember the rigours of the birth canal and my shrink says this is probably a good thing.  But I do remember being hungry and being unable to do anything about it except flail my arms and legs a bit, and wail.  Wailing was the nearest I could get to "I don't want that slop in the little tins that the fat person keeps tasting, cooing 'Yummy for ickle bitty baby Leviticoocoo. It's yummy choccy puddy.'  No it wasn't. It was pap. And I didn't like it coming at me on a spoon the size of a shovel with "Open the tunnel for the foodtrain to choo choo in, little Leviticoocoo." You wonder I aimed it all back at the person again? Neither did I want the bottles both fat persons kept offering me. My shrink says this has resulted in a disturbing fixation (*) which we will come to in Chapter 23, see below.  (Sorry! Sorry! Above! This is a blog, where the first post is always the last.) No. I wanted egg and bacon. I wanted spaggers bologgers with fine chopped chicken livers and a big glass of the red stuff that the big persons swigged out of even bigger glasses, that made them flail their arms and legs and sometimes fall over the furniture. But the penny never dropped. They both seemed determined I should end up a milksop and the infanticidal mush kept coming. I soon hit on a revenge strategy. By day I would accept their warm bottles and slobbery goo and bide my time until the tall hall clock where someone called Grandfather lived, chimed three. Then I would roar till the snoring stopped and the swearing began and the "Sooner that little brat . . " and "Now then, Dad. He's just a little baby." "He's just a little asshole, more like.  That's all babies are. A mouth one end and an asshole at the other."  In later life this idea interested me; that we are mere tubes through which all must pass until we pass away. Yes, interested me a good deal but worried my shrink even more. There's not much doesn't give my shrink pause, and quite frankly I think her problems far outweigh mine, but we'll come to that in Chapter 23, et seq  "Me -v- my Analyst"
   Folk don't go for long reads in blogs, so until next time . . .

   (*) For the shrink, not for me.  I'm quite happy with it.

Tess Kincaid at WIllow Manor prompted Simpleforth to write the above post, with this picture of 3 foodies.

Paul Gaugin The Meal 1891


Apr 30, 2012

Are you over 18?

Tess at Willow Manor has trawled the www again, and come up with a picture prompt which you can see at Magpie#115 along with many worthwhile responses.  A skilled manipulator of images has doctored it for me here, as you see . . .

In his bath sat a webgeek called Brindle
downloading soft porn to his Kindle.
Has he never been told
as the water gets cold
he'll find that his interest will dwindle?


Apr 18, 2012

Friday Flash Fiction 20th. April

Any speculation, story, poem, recipe, memoir or song delights the G-Man as long as it is expressed in 55 words.

Has Anyone Told Charles Darwin?

Horses did not evolve to be house pets. They cannot get upstairs. To do so their forelegs would need to be shorter than their hind legs. But to get downstairs their hind legs should be shorter. Sadly, horses' legs are all the same length. Nevertheless horses are useful when you can't find your step-ladder and need to change a light bulb.


Apr 6, 2012

Good Friday Flash Fiction

Once again, the Rev. G-Man offers us 55 words to retell an old, old story.

"Come on, pal. No rough sleepers! Haul ass. Tomb's reserved.”
"But . . but  . . "
"No buts. Just get yer butt outa here. And take them raggitty clothes."
"But I wasn't sleeping."
"Oh I geddit. Not sleeping but corpsing."
"Well . . yes. Sort of."
"Well now yer resurrected. So sling yer freakin’ hook." 


Apr 1, 2012

Magpie Tales#111

Tess from Willow Manor gives us a picture of someone lost in thought. Or maybe merely lost, for her Magpie prompt this week.

Stretching Your Credulity, and the Limerick.

A keen poultry breeder called Beggs
wondered if he could incubate eggs.
He put this to the test
in a bald eagle's nest.
But the big bird said "Look, do
you think you're a cuckoo?
And I sure mean no harm
but you've got such thin arms!
Those spindly things
seem useless for wings.
And you took off your shoes -
which leads me to muse
that maybe you fly with your legs?"


Mar 26, 2012

Magpie Tales#110

This week Tess at Willow Manor gives us something to reflect upon

Don't Try This at Home if You're a Scaredypants.

You all can pass through mirrors.  Yes. You. CAN!
With patience, faith and practise, and a plan.
Start with your tallest. Hand-mirrors are a squeeze,
but the long one in your wardrobe is a breeze!
Take a good look to make sure that is you.
Now then - I'm gonna tell you what to do.
"Refractive Index" is the magic word
(Don't quibble 'That is TWO.' Don't be absurd.)
Repeat three times.  Oh, something I forgot.
Your clothes get in the way. Discard the lot.
Now!  Flex your muscles and prepare to dive
into the glassy pool. You will survive.
The mirror sees you coming and liquefies.
(The scaredypants might choose to close their eyes)
There now!  You're through!  Easy-peasy was it not?
Oh drat!  There's something else that I forgot!
Forgot to say, "Unlock your wardrobe door
before you . . . .

I don't know, I really don't!  You came here to read another dumb Magpie and you end up starkers inside a locked wardrobe, tangled up in last season's dresses and/or suits and pongin' of mothballs. Some people. Really!

Mar 24, 2012

Flash Friday Fiction, 23rd.March

G-Man's picture this week raises disturbing issues.

Ain't got no words. Black trash is all. Went to help
the girl. Dude sliced her, he ran out.  Fit me up
with blade, her blouse, her blood.  So now you
fry me. My scalp smoke, mouth fill up with hot foam.
I die for him, man, Jesus die for me.  So do this thing
So end it.


Mar 19, 2012

"And the World is Like an Apple Whirling Silently in Space"

Tess's prompt for Magpie Tales 109 is this image by Robert and Shana Parke Harrison of someone who should know better . . .

A keen archeologist called Pound
dug down to some cogs in the ground.
He thought, "Folk should see 'em
In the British Museum."
So he heaved on his spanner
in prompt Magpie manner
till his face turned quite puce.
At last one cog came loose -

"Oh Drat! I've stopped Earth going round."


Mar 17, 2012

Friday Flash Fiction 16th.March

G-Man's picture sparked no spark this week, so I was inspired by this one, shot through an East Window.

I know a young student called Boon
who'll be in the slammer till June
for baring his ass
in the Astronomy class
'cos he didn't understand "a full moon"

I am much indebted to another blogger of full moons for the third and fourth lines, who, reading this, will know who I mean.

(Makes 55 words including the anonymous attribution, hehe!)

Mar 9, 2012

The Ides of March

G-Man made a brave attempt at a Friday Flash Fiction 55 synopsis, but the truth is far different . . .

Julius, Mayor of Casterbridge is in the Forum. A guy called Mark Anthony shouts he wants to borrow ears. “I’ll sell you my wife Elizabeth’s ears for V denarii” says Julius.  The crowd doesn’t like this. They stab him XXIII times.  “Oh, you brutes” he cries, expiring.  Anthony marries Elizabeth, played in the film by Cleopatra Taylor.


Mar 4, 2012


Horrid Haiku

Meet my gaze full square!
Timidity won't get you
anywhere. My eyes . .

 . . hold rapture, dearest,
true. But . . ain't that a cockroach
crawling from your hair?

Feb 29, 2012

Ladies! Have you noticed the date!

Love Lorn and Alone . . .

It's Leap Year’s Day, the 29th of Feb,
the once-in-four-years day when on-the-shelf
ladies chase hunky swains with cries of "Wed
me, you gorgeous lunk!"  
                                       I’ve missed the bus!
Each Leap Year Day I dress in my best suit,
use tons of brylcreem and stroll up and down
our High Street. See with what nonchalance I swing,
my walking cane and twirrrrllll my waxed moustache,
giving each passing lass a beaming smile,
a knowing wink and handing them my flyers
saying "Surely you know what day it is?
How can you let a prize like me pass by?"

In all the years I’ve had but one response.
Mostly they swerve aside and hurry on –
save once! A redhead, beauty unsurpassed,
stopped me, and with her kind hand on my arm
said "Are you alright, Grandad? Where do you live?
You’ve come out wearing carpet slippers, dearie!"

Posted in response to this week's d'verse invitation - Open Link Night Week 33

Feb 26, 2012

Magpie Tales#106

25 years ago last week, we said Farewell to a leading protagonist of "pop" art. Now Tess  at Willow Manor gives us this memento picture.

It's Mr. Warhol himself, I do declare.  Is he looking for cans of his favourite model?

In Wal-Mart an artist called Andy
thought "Two pairs of hands would be handy.
Seems that I'm doomed to fail
in my search for oxtail,
'cos each one of these is tomayto!" (*)

(*) I have spelled it as it is pronounced in the USA.  Otherwise it wouldn't rhyme properly.  Someone, somewhere will understand . . . 

Feb 24, 2012

Friday Flash Fiction 24th. February

Friday keeps on coming around, and with it comes G-Man's picture  - and a stingy allowance of 55 words.   (The Mad Axeman, far right, plays no part in the story)

Philosophy Rules, O.K?

"He's not lookin' good, guys."
"I'm thinkin' the same myself."
"Philosophically speakin', what's wrong with the old gasbag?"
Socrates, gasping his last.  "What's wrong, you gormless half-wits is, I asked for dandelion and burdock. Brown. Fizzy. You gave me hemlock.  Plaudite amici! Comedia finita est."
"In Greek, you old fart! You think we're educated or sumfink?"


Feb 20, 2012

Magpie Tales#105

Tess at Willow Manor gives us an environmentally friendly picture this week -

"Is that Tour de France Race Control?
Please help. I am in a real hole.
I got lost on Stage Three.
When I stopped for a pee
they forgot about  me.
Now I'm stranded, I fear . . .
What?!!  Hang around here
until this time next year?
When the riders whizz past
I can catch up real fast
and back into Paris I'll roll?

"This guy must be out of his tiny little mind."

More unlikely biking stories can be found here.


Feb 17, 2012

Friday Flash Fiction 17th.February

Friday comes around again, and with it comes G-Man, demanding 55 words . . or else!

"Oooh, Agrippina, you don't want to eat too many of those!"
"Who said that?"
"That's a Magic Mushroom. It'll wreck your head, duckie."
"Am I hearing voices or what?"
"Next thing you know you'll be hallucinating lions."
"Just shut up! They're yummy. I've eaten truckloads."
"I've eaten so many I'm hallucinating yummy Roman ladies in pink."

Feb 16, 2012

Mary at Poetry Jam  asks for poems dealing with seasonings. 


Give me a girl with garlic on her breath!
Fragrance of warmer air and jugs of wine.
Oh, such a one I'd love half way to death!
Not all the way, I could not spare the time

from thinking of her mediterranean hair,
falling about her shoulders and the wood-
en chopping board, the cloves of garlic there
blithe to be squidged to make her lips taste good.

Sometimes she'll munch mouthfuls of allium raw –
pungent disulphides plating pearly teeth,
promising scented lungfuls and much more.
Ah now I live and breathe, while underneath

the cooker-hood the pasta rolls and boils
as drops of garlic essence she drips in.
Not too much in case the penne spoils
nor so little her perfumed burps seem thin.

As aniseed is to the hunting hound
so hints of garlic urge my manly pride
and when she smoothes the garlic butter round
her person - she can run but she can’t hide.

Keep, if you please, your "Blue Grass" and "Chanel,"
witches' brews that all real ladies scorn.
Let me inhale the aroma I love well -
garlic sweet as sunlight each new dawn.

(Posted previously on August 26th. 2011)