The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

It was unbearable, watching the boy,
wearily wearing his stripes.
Furtive, frightened, despairing.
Watching him, his friend and his brief ray of hope,
extinguished in an instant by an incomprehensible evil.
It cut so deep.
It left such a mark.
Indelible. Insistently shocking.
Laid bare the obvious and timeless truth.
It’s the Children who really matter.
We owe them their childhood.
We owe them their innocence.
We owe them our protection.
Always.  No questions. No excuses.

Jogging On (Two-Finger Exercise)

Two fingers to the lot of you.
You looking for a fight?
Two fingers to the lot of you.
I bring my kid up right.

He stands up on his own two feet
and argues with his teachers.
He knows I’ll always back him up
by threatening those preachers.

I let him play on X Box
with the really violent games
and if the coppers come around
I help him call them names.

My grandfather fought two world wars
so I could have the right
to lie here on the sofa
whilst my kid runs wild at night.

Two fingers to the lot of you.
My kid is not a yob.
I have no brain but you can see
I have a lethal gob.

My kid is a survivor
and I’ve taught him all the tricks.
He’s swearing like a trooper
even though he’s only six.

My legacy will live through him
when you are all long gone.
Two fingers to the lot of you.
Why don’t you just “jog on”?


Beach Ed Wail

Eddie Spade loved sandcastles. He built them all the time.
He entered competitions whilst young, and in his prime.
He cruised the beach-art circuit, Skegness to St Malo.
He revelled in a contest. He always had a go.

He won rosettes and trophies, had accolades galore.
In sand-based architecture, his skills were to the fore.
But then as he grew older, he started slowing down.
He was no longer happy, and sculpted with a frown.

He noticed as he shoveled, his joints were giving pain.
His work was less than perfect and it went against the grain.
Although he kept on trying, his labours were less fecund,
and though his standards were still high he hated coming second.

At last, one day at Brighton, he muttered “what’s the use”,
set off towards the sunset and lived as a recluse.
They missed him on the circuit. His “Venus” was superb.
His “Sleeping Dragon’s” body formed a really lifelike curve.

No one could match his “Triton” or his “Elephants at Bay”.
And nobody could understand just why he’d gone away.
And so they tried to find him, and pulled out all the stops.
They looked for him on Facebook and put notices in shops.
But this was all to no avail, he’d simply disappeared.
Lost and gone forever, at least that’s what they feared.

Until that day in Cleethorpes. The mightiest of tussles,
was scheduled to be taking place (organized through Brussels),
against our continental friends, the Germans, French and Spanish,
but because of a catastrophe, our hopes just seemed to vanish.

Our plucky star performer, a Whitby lad called Shaun,
just couldn’t go, he’d been laid low. He ate a “dodgy prawn”.
The gun went off to start the dig, the foreign types got going,
but suddenly there came a cry, a hubbub that was growing.

A ragged man had quietly appeared upon the beach.
“It’s Ed” They cried. “Our hero, Ed, he has returned to teach…
‘em all how sculpting should be done and save our reputation”.
Though he was twenty minutes late they gave him an ovation.

The French worked on a giant snail, the Germans on an Audi.
The Spaniards simply cheated with imported sand from Saudi.
Their chap was in the lead with an enormous sand paella,
which really was remarkable for such a little feller.

But Ed worked like a Trojan, and soon there could be seen
a mighty towering statue of her Majesty the Queen.
But suddenly a vicious squall caused widespread perturbation.
The others fled but Ed stood firm and worked on his creation.

He knew he had to finish it to win within the rules.
“On, on “he cried above the din, “flee, flee, you gutless fools”!
“Leave it Ed!” spectators cried, “don’t be a King Canute,
The waves are high, look at the sky, the sea can be a brute”.

Their words were lost upon the gale and fearless Ed worked on.
The giant snail, the Audi, the paella, all were gone.
At last he placed the final touch – a crab shell on the crown.
But, roaring in, a giant wave just knocked the whole thing down.

And Ed was gone, this time for good. He had not been afraid.
His mates, bereft, found what was left. A crab shell and his spade.
They kept these precious artifacts, exhibited with pride,
for Ed, who for his country’s sake, committed suseaside.

Dyson With Death

Old Albert was a fairground man.
He had it in his blood.
He always chose the fastest rides
to go on if he could.

But then one day he passed away
whilst whirling on the waltzer,
but if you thought that was the end,
that surmise would be false, sir.

We found a crumpled, grubby note
in Albert’s inside pocket.
A message from beyond the grave,
it was designed to shock. It….
said “When I am dead and gorn,
though I want to be cremated,
that scattering of ashes stuff
is greatly over-rated.

I don’t want chucking off a cliff
On a wet and windy day.
I’ve always been a drifter
and I’d simply blow away.

Just drop my ashes on my rug,
then clean up with my Dyson.
I just want one last Cyclone ride.
No need to ask me why, son”.

And so we did what he had asked,
And it somehow seemed to me,
That out there in the ether,
Old Albert’s voice went “WHEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeee…….!”


Fancy That!

Ah’m from Yorkshire, me,
And Ah reckon’ nowt ta Thee,
With Tha’ fancy shoes and fancy ways,
And Tha’ fancy Earl Grey Tea.
With Tha’ Fancy-Man Th’aren’t na’ better
Than Tha’ ought to be,
But whilst we’re on’t subject Lass,
Does’t Tha’ fancy me?

Easing Up

Life begins at that magical moment in time,
when you know that you’ve peaked, and the whole pantomime
of pushing and shoving you did to get on
is no longer needed, it’s over, it’s gone.
It’s that moment of freedom, you sense in your soul
That you just can’t be bothered with work’s greasy pole.

You no longer strive for promotion and medals.
Sat up in the saddle, your feet off the pedals,
you start to look over those high thorny hedges
that gave your horizons such myopic edges.
You’re still in the race, but not bothered by winning.
You can take it more slowly than at the beginning.

As others sprint past you they’re paying the price,
and you’re suddenly happy to give them advice.
You’ve nothing to prove and it somehow feels right.
For the first time in years you sleep soundly at night.

Then something remarkable happens to you.
The person you were just begins to shine through……
the mask you adopted to match your work culture.
All of a sudden that virtual vulture
of failure that always perched on your shoulder
is no longer there. You are suddenly bolder.

Unfettered by doubt you can talk common sense,
and you no longer feel you must sit on the fence.
You’re prepared to take risks, make drastic suggestions.
You’re never afraid just to ask those hard questions
that everyone else had been wanting to ask.
They’re grateful to you that you took on the task.

But the best bit by far, is that is that now you’re relaxed,
the family and friends whose patience you taxed
when driven by forces much stronger than you,
can all welcome home the soul they once knew.
At last you’re the person you knew you could be.
You can stand up and shout “  This is me!”…………“ This is ME!”


Light Relief

No need to be afraid of the dark.
Without it, how can you really feel the light?
No need to be afraid of the dark.
Under its velvet cloak, you’re safe from scrutiny, secure in silence.
No need to be afraid of the dark.
In your head, you can float in space, or on a silver sea, or just be in bed.
No need to be afraid of the dark.
Just shelter there, knowing that the light will come.


That’s the Spirit

A glass of brandy perks you up,
And whisky makes a warming cup
in coffee. And when you’ve got the gang over,
Vodka’s good (there’s not much hangover).
Whilst Crème de Menthe’s green mint entices,
Drambuie with its secret spices
makes a change from most liqueurs.
When glum, a rum your spirit stirs.
But, if on romance you should ponder,
Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.


Last Dance

Little Larry Lightfoot
Was slightly round the bend.
One night he went out dancing
With Emily, his friend.

But Larry was compulsive
And once the dancing started,
It seemed that Larry and his dance
Could simply not be parted.

He quickly put his left leg in
And then he took it out.
And then he put it in again
And shook it all about.

And as he got the hang of it
Old Larry danced much faster.
With flailing limbs and mighty leaps
He courted a disaster.

On and on he danced for hours,
A little jumping Gnome
Poor Emily was quite distraught.
The band had all gone home.

Although, from his exertions,
He was so pale and thin,
He still attempted one more time
To put his whole self in.

The effort was too much for him.
The outcome was no joke – he
Simply danced himself away…..
….committed Hokey-Cokey.