Are things booking up for the Transylvanian Tourist Board at last?

Dark Days, Black Nights.

It's no fun trying to shake off my family's dark legacy,
My bad name and face ain't one good folk wanna see,
It's a grand old artistocratic name, yet one most detest,
Hereabouts my Vlad name's more cursed than blessed.

Beneath the shadow of Castle Dracula change comes slow,
The villagers and I warily co-exist in an uneasy ebb and flow,
The wild accounts they tell of Count Dracula never get old-
Yet there's a drop o' truth to the hoary horror story Stoker told.

My bad reputation remains preserved deserved I do admit,
The peasants don't welcome my presence one little bit,
Slowly, over time, any mutual good will has been lost,
But once my blood's up I'm a bad Count to be crossed.

I've quite the cad's reputation here in our quiet backwater,
I've been the ruination of many a fine farmers daughter,
Stoker said I've a cool dark and damned handsome look,
But you'll find no photographic evidence in Bram's book.

For a soul who's seen so much in his lifetime
I believe I look like a man still well in his prime,
Of course, I could be accused of gross vanity-
I can truly say that doesn't reflect the real me.

Tales of my gross misdeeds have hung around for ages,
Fathers and nuns still twist and turn over my back pages,
'Tis true, I'm out and about, prowling these moonlit streets
As good God fearin' folk hide, shiverin' 'neath their sheets.

Legend says I'm most likely to be seen at night,
True again- dawn demands I be tucked up tight,
I'll happily snore the day away till late afternoon,
Sleep the damned day away, rise with the moon.

There's not many locals left who call me friend,
Most who did tended to come to a sticky end,
The Hotelier won't let me step over his threshold-
To be denied a warm pint makes my blood run cold.

He knows full well some nights I'd murder for a sip,
His problem is the bar empties out should I request a nip,
The toast my name elicits here is 'Cheers, to Drac's death!'
And I can't face that toxic wave of Bitter and garlic breath.

My  problem is, here on my old vamping ground
Fresh blood is a commodity too rarely found,
So when I heard rumours of tourists in town
You could Count on me to chase 'em down.

Far too few city folk come approach the Castle door
Though the breathtaking view sure is one to die for-
A new-wed couple booking in here's something rare,
And an appreciative nose twitched up in my dank lair.

The happy couple arrived, wreathed in smiles,
Brought in by horse and cart for the last five miles;
Around these parts that means riding in First Class,
Third Class is by two feet, Second is on one's ass.

All about the cheery locals called out 'Willkommen,'
The jolly Innkeeper took their cash and booked 'em Inn,
Said, 'my good son Slobodan will be your guiding light,
He's as honest as the day is long, just... not that bright.'

All day long, accompanied by their watchful guide
The honeymooners delighted in the countryside,
But once the sun touched the tip o' the mountain top
Slobodan's guided tour screeched to an abrupt stop.

The guide looked at his unwound watch in dismay,
Slobodan feared he might wind up rueing this day,
He turned for home, shadows darkening his face,
Setting off through the trees at a reckless pace.

As long shadows turned the forest ominously black
The three staggered out of the claustrophobic track,
Slobodan turned and squinted up at the setting sun,
Gulped, and set off for the village at a shambling run.

The unhappy couple watched his broad rear disappear;
For a provincial yokel Slobodan could get his ass in gear,
They caught the sweaty Slob panting on the village gate
Whereon Slob explained why we don't wander out late.

He told a tale of a bloodthirsty Carpathian Count,
A ghoul who haunts the Castle up on yon Mount,
A beast no one here wants to cross paths with,
What a modern couple dismiss as a foolish myth.

They laughed at Slobodan and his warning
And his advice to stay indoors till morning,
Dismissing every word the misguided fool said,
Still, being on honeymoon, why not early to bed?

So, upstairs they made haste;
Now, in the bounds of good taste
Since this is not a saucy R18 rated tale
Now it's time to discretely draw the veil... 

So later, but after not quite as long as she had hoped
The wide eyed bride lifted the duvet and blindly groped,
A quick tug of a curtain cord and in the moonlight spilled,
She stepped o'er to the window, feeling oddly unfulfilled. 

Outside the latched window, clad in a coal black cloak
The very image of he of whom their guide had spoke-
Slowly, devilishly, he looked up and their eyes locked,
His lip twisted up, and an enquiring eyebrow cocked...

Helpless as his darkly mesmerising eyes bore into hers,
Marriage vows evaporate as something within her stirs,
Window opened wide, she dreamily invites him inside,
And by dawn the groom is set to leave his bloody bride.

As if emerging from a nightmare she swayed, pale, woozy, 
A livid bruise on her neck the mark of Drac's two bit floozy!
The groom strode up to my Castle, he knocked down my door,
Such a crazy cross-eyed look his wild and red eyes wore!

He pushed loyal Ygor aside, he could not be contained!
Now, after a long night of necking I felt tired and drained,
In the light of day my denials wouldn't do me much good,
So I lay silent in my chamber, fearing his knock on wood.

How dare some vengeful mortal man ruin my rest?
How dare some retributive husband bare my breast?
He looked Hellbent on blaming me for his divorce,
And he had a point to hammer home, of course.

                  - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + -  

The bride and groom departed in the horse and cart,
Who knew they'd reconcile over my broken heart? 
As o'er the dark Castle the ashen clouds blow away 
It grieves my soul knowing I've years of Hell to pay.

Those two still talk up their trip to our quaint paradise,
(Though he ain't apt to mention his bloody sacrifice,)
Thanks to word of mouth we're now a destination of note 
(Though at times her endorsement catches in her throat.)

Now in the busy tavern the sad old narrative's shifted,
Tourists keep local tale tellers elbows and spirits lifted,
From this village's life I have gone, and none too soon;
But one dead Count has turned their bane into a boon.


After the earthquake moved and rocked our world, the main street through our red light district now has more red lights than a poor cab driver can deal with.

Red Light Spells Danger.

Before the coming of the great shuddering quake
Manchester Street was the infamous site
For the slow cruising driver to ease on the brake
If waved down by a lady of the night.

For a young semi-professional gal on the make
That sedan creeping along just might
Mean the guys wife said she had a pounding headache
And she's home, snoring in bed, tucked up tight.

And if that louse of a husband is up and awake
A night drive may offer a handy respite?
If a gal's willing and able, his lust she will slake
So long as the price is right.

              - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Now cruising through Manchester Street's a big mistake,
Down the revamped street, not a walker in sight,
Still cars crawl slowly along as if in a funeral's wake,
On every street corner flashes a red- traffic- light.

Good God, how long should a main drag drive take?
Our new city planners ain't proved overbright,
As I sit, stalled, I slowly give my frustrated head a shake-
Now Manky Street's no Uber transport of delight.

(The trusty driver in this story is a fictional character, obviously. Really!)



The lying cheating Ponzi scheming Bernie Madoff passes on, still stuck in the slammer. But what of his long term futures?

Rich Man, Ponzi Man, Bernie Madoff, Thief.

Bernie Madoff, that ball of slime
Has done spending time in jail,
He's hardly started serving his time
For fraud on a madly massive scale.

But Bernie's sentence is at expiration.

He ripped people off for his own ends,
He left a trail of Madoff bad debts behind,
He bilked clients and milked dear friends,
Every one a poor rube to be robbed blind.

So much for his trustworthy reputation.

He was sentenced to three lifetimes in clink,
Judged deserving of serving 150 years,
Time enough to take stock, stop and think...
What fresh Hell awaits as Eternity nears? 

It's time for a soul-searching conversation.

Alas, poor Bernie, did he did try to cut a deal?
Offer Satan up his soul, or a majority share?
But in certain cases that offer holds no appeal,
A peep into some hearts shows... nothing there.

Any ex-client knows that's no Revelation. 

As Bernie breathes his last in his lonely cell
Does he pray St. Pete swallows his sob story?
The ol' silver tongued devil tells a tale so well;
Or will Bernie be the richest soul in Purgatory?

So ends Bernie's short incarceration.

Bernie lived the rich Ponzi scheme dream
Now life in a pokey cell is a poor way to live,
The debt he owes he knows he'll never redeem,
What a pity bankrupt Bernie had only life to give.

It's back to the bottom for Bernie if you're into reincarnation.


A Writers Tale- or, a downward spiral leading to a crash pad.

The Buck Stops Here.

In our family tree
Few entertain writing poetry,
But my Great Aunt
Handed me a grant.

To College I went,
Her talents I misspent,
One thing was clear-
I'm a poor Shakespeare.

So, like 'Paradise  Lost'
Out I was tossed-
No safe havenly dorm
Thanks to D-grade form.

Such is the curse
Of purveyors of verse,
Down to last buck
Till a stroke struck.


With Great Aunt dead
Good will was read,
My unexpected little dividend
Cheered me no end.

Time wasted at home
I'd lavish on poem,
I strutted up town,
Laid my deposit down.

No stairs to climb,
I'd take my time,
My musings, tediously glacial
Echoing round rooms palatial.

I liked to compose
My rich redolent prose,
Pure black 'pon white-
Like, Old School, write?

Fine paper, finer pen...
Increasingly, now and then,
As poor circumstances demand,
Whatever comes to hand.

My talent, beyond doubt?
Amazingly quickly run out,
Who'd ever have thought
I'd be caught short?

Tragically under financial collapse
I'm reduced to scraps,
My outlook's growing darker-
Newsprint and Magic Marker.

My so rosy outlook
Decimated my cheque book,
Past goodwill rarely counts-
Good cheques don't bounce.

From my bottom floor
Was shown the door,
What problems it poses
When one's door closes?

For half the rent
Upstairs I went, bent-
My heavy rent cheapened
As the stairs steepened.

From canopied four-poster bed
To attic inches overhead,
Like Lizzie Barrett Browning
Fiscally and literature-lly drowning.

Rent a month overdue-
Girlfriends says she's two-
All the money's gone-
A moonlight flit's on.

I'm up at midnight
'Neath moon and skylight,
Sadly I'm not above
Running out on love.

Press the dormer window,
Peer waaaaay down below,
Put aside my vertigo-
Hey, way to go!

I'd knot some sheets
And hit the  streets,
But I've some pride-
And a humungous backside.

The rent cheque submitten 
I've  left woefully underwritten,
Whoever's rattling my door
I'm writing no more!

Giving Writers credit- fiction!
I'm facing cold eviction,
Pen mightier than sword?
Tell my pernicious Landlord.

Image = Banksy.


There’s no place like home for the wandering prodigal son.

Slack Off Gets The Brush Off.

I told Mother Dear I'd drop in on Christmas Day,
What I neglected to say is 'Ma, I'm home to stay,'
Would she welcome a son broke, busted, divorced and thirty
Whose spouse has locked him out 'cause he'd done the dirty?

She listened silently to my sad well-worn tribulatory tale,
It's my Christmas tradition, regular as the Sears Roebuck sale,
And I expect she understands I've arrived here empty-handed-
She'd get her present when my unemployment cheque landed.

Mother knows her misbegotten son is a low-down louse
So she laid down the heavy ground rules of the house,
'You better keep more than just your nose clean, Buster,'
I guess her once Golden boy has lost his old lustre.

When the whole family came over I enjoyed Ma's fine meal,
Those many brandy and port toasts I savoured, a great deal,
I farewelled the family with air kisses and best wishes 
Then went for a power nap while Ma did the dishes.

I lay abed, my heavy head dizzied by all the drink
But ears not dulled enough to not hear the distant clink
As Mother stacked up the multitude of dishes to dry,
Then hear 'Oh my son, my son,' and she began to cry.

Staying sat at home with Ma proved tryingly  hard,
She said I'd best sweep up the shed, out in the back yard 
Since she won't open the door should I invite in the guys
Nor if I should try staggering in sometime after sunrise .

Ma's nagging kept dragging on all through New Year's day,
'My son, my son, get up and haul that dry old tree away,'
She'd taken down the old fading blinking lights
That had lit up a litany of past Christmas nights.

She'd unwound the twisted tinselled trappings of old,
The fraying strands of tarnished silver and dusty gold,
Boxed up the tree top angel, so well past her prime-
She's seen in far too many parties o'er Christmas time.

'Place those precious decorations in the Santa sack,
Put it up in your wardrobe, in place of your backpack,'
I'd say she made her New Year resolution perfectly clear,
'My son, my son, come Valentines Day, you're outta here.'

I drugged out the tree, both of us destined for the chop;
Did the carpet of needles make her sorrowful eyes drop?
Sighing, she began to run around the littered living room
Muttering over her venerable over-the-hill whining vacuum.

My burning ears faintly discerned 'Oh my son, oh my son,
Next Christmas please just present me with a nice new Dyson,
Or a Hoover, Electrolux, Roomba or Miele, I really don't care-
My son, who don't pick up a thing, just sucks and blows hot air.'


(Based NOT on myself but very loosely on the Stephen King ‘character’ Larry Underwood in ‘The Stand,’ which I’m gamely re-reading after the Covid year?!?)

Don and Rudy spend 3 million bucks looking for votes and come up with zero return. Bad business, Don, a bad deal.

A Tilt At The Scales.

When Don- sadly!- came up seven million votes short-
The Base line is he's reliant on truly deplorable support-
It was time to go for recounts in every State he'd lost,
Saying to Rudy 'To hell with Democracy, and the cost.'

 Don found he was not just Greatly disappointed
To emerge from the big game Hugely outpointed,
It was a pain in the butt seeing he's drooping behind,
Getting a spanking really put his panties in a bind.

In Milwaukee County a recount brought forth the retort
That Donald's three million spend-up was all for naught,
Yet Don's Supremely confident post votes will be tossed,
Rudy agrees, but behind his back it's all fingers crossed.

Even an Amy-able Republican judge, someone Don anointed
Finds following Rudy's pretzel logic requires being triple-jointed,
She might praise Don to high Heaven but Justice must be blind 
And any  fool can see he's lost the big election, and his tiny mind.

“C’mon Amy, be a devil.”


Slowly the lights go on in the dim and gloomy White House.

Something's Going Off.

When the early election votes rolled in
Vainglorious Donald could not hold off,
It was a result he alone had no doubt in
So he prematurely started to spout off.

He'd felt a winner, right from the run in,
He'd never seen his term as just a one-off
And when Don's on a roll, don't dare butt in,
Like the polls Don has no automatic shut off. 

Oh, but what a dark day Don did waken in,
In the wee wee hours Sleepy Joe had taken off,
Since those blue post-its have begun to weigh in
Don demanded those accountable take the day off.

Now Don tossed every (ill)legal appeal in-
Forget due process, Don wants this deal off,
His base vote's left a hole big enough to piss in
And suddenly he's getting a democratic kiss off.

In Arizona and Nevada, states he gets flipped in
Don is sweating, steaming and feeling ripped off,
He'd been hoping for a red-hot Southwestern love-in,
Now even Sweet  Jesus Georgia's telling him to shove off.

From right to left, the tide and vote drifts in
Till Don's glowering towering rhetoric lifts off,
Language a drunken sailor would take delight in-
Don's script writers hear a screw up, a total write off.

Donald is in the White House and he's staying in-
It looks like finding that ol' safe room's paying off-
Ain't no better hidey-hole to hold out and obstruct in
Though millions have told him it's time he fucked off.

Where’s Whacky?




How being a two-faced cocksure two-timing bastard can come back to bite you in the assets. Yep, there is a moral to this common story, it’s deep in the fine print.

Girl With A Problem.

There I sat, silently sipping in a darkened corner booth
Drinking in the boastings of the Big Man loudly holding court-
Into every bucket-full of bull-spit he’d toss in one grain of truth,
Oh, how I wished he would cut his overlong stories short.

Lewd tales of eyes meeting across a crowded bar-room,
Of another conquest in another cheap motel room tryst,
That heady mix of sweat, cheap wine and cheaper perfume-
All to tap another false first name on his ever-growing list.

How he craves to be his Locals centaur of attention,
Soaking in the adulation while his cronies toast to his excess,
His sweet wife innocently sat at home alone, she he doesn’t mention!
The times he’s deceived her would take him an eternity to confess!

He has those blue eyes and blond locks all the ladies like,
A bit of the bad boy’s readily displayed in his eyes, and pants,
His antenna’s always up for whenever any opportunity might strike,
He’s not the kind of nice guy to pass up a passing glance.

All the young dudes look up admiringly at their heroic stud
As the leopard-skin skirted cougar offers him her cocked eyebrow,
That lascivious look, that sultry smile guarantees that rush of blood,
They leave, his excitement as contained as skin-tight Levis allow…

…Dawn, and heavily hungover even as the day grows lighter
He clambers from the King-Size as his queen snoringly slumbers,
First, he sends a text to his wife truly saying he’s pulling an all-nighter,
Second, a tote up on his notebook proves he’s piling up the numbers.

Another night of cut and thrust has run its course
So he slides out the door, slips on his wedding band,
Returning to find his wife welcoming him home with a divorce
And a trusted friend there, offering her his guiding hand.

Didn’t you know she knew how little you thought of her?
Did you never stop and think, before swinging into action
That her fine up-standing friend and loyal family lawyer-come-lover
Found your affairs afforded us both relief and mutual satisfaction?

My free advice, should you be indiscrete
Is to keep your affairs quietly hushed up,
You’ll find it doesn’t come cheap when you cheat
If her lawyer didn’t disclose you signed a pre-nup.


What a treat to see Boris up and about, all dewy-eyed over the latest addition to the Johnson legacy! Makes you love the lovable rogue even more, don’t it?

Daddy Issues.

‘Born to Bo and Carrie, a thick-thatched boy child,’
Styled much in the manner of his Poppa, carefree and wild,
Boris’s sixth, joining three daughters and two brothers
Selectively spread over three decades and three mothers.

After his brush with mortality can Bo be a changed man?
Rigidly stick to Carrie’s ‘Keep Johnson In-His-Pants Family Plan?
Carrie, just trust Bo to not carry on, Carrie, try to keep calm,
Bo’s put two partners behind him, so… third mom’s the charm?



Boris Johnson’s Diary: A lady’s man laid low.

Boris’s Bed-time Story.

Boris is in our prayers and in our thoughts,
I do  so hope Boris recovers from his nasty scare,
He’s feverishly chatting away, according to reports,
Swearing he’ll somehow survive National Health care.

Boris doesn’t like being in bed when he’s out of sorts,
Whether he’s feeling up or better is not the public’s affair,
Boy, Bojo has been a bit of a wag when it comes to bed sports
But now is the time to change his wayward ways- and underwear.