A trip down automotive Memory Lane, recalling the time the Ford Explorer exploded onto the scene.

Breaking Down The Expense.

(Part three of the misguided and maligned The Flawed Concept trilogy.)

My brother bought hisself a brand new four x four,
A big fat-ass fossil fuel driven automotive dinosaur,
He'd avoided Fords for years but now, faith restored
Dave was ready to Explore all options offered by Ford.

Tall as a schoolbus, wide as a truck, black as night,
This high riding heavyweight was a fearsome sight,
All black upholstery, windows tinted so deeply dark
This mega-sized Mothership was some bitch to park.

Thank God he'd just moved out of Los Angeles,
Moved on from Santa Monica's summer breeze,
A black car do look good tooling down the street
But it do attract the cops attention, and the Heat.

But 'twas time for a new job and a bright new start
So Dave lit out of LA with heavy foot and light heart;
And he put the sun behind him and hot-footed it East
But mile by mile, by slow degrees his unease increased.

Driving into Phoenix it came as Surprise Surprise!
Picking a black truck up as a first move was not wise,
LA to Phoenix is right out of the frying pan into the fire
And stuck within a black box he didn't desire or require.

Now his fu fickle Ford didn't help his disposition
By being selective with its defective transmission,
Dave waved Fords tragic wand in hopes to hit First,
On some Select times, contrarily, he found it Reversed.

Hearing rumblings from where the rubber meets the road 
Dave found his f Firestone treads all ready and set to explode,
Soon at his local Ford front office Dave became a familiar face;
Out back Jesús soon gave Dave his Permanently Reserved space.

As the 'winter' days shortened and his warranty ran short
The cost of upkeeping his ol' hoss caused pause for thought,
His never-trusty Black Beauty was becoming a broken hack
Only fit for sitting up on cinder-blocks in the paddock out back.

'Twas on midwinters day, down to a chilly 80 degrees,
The sun burning his eyes, slanting through the Olive trees,
As the speedo clicked over 60,000 miles Dave gave a groan,
Driving out of his limited warranty and into the Twilight Zone.

Soon came the day his Exploder's air-con turned to steam,
This was one miracle fu fix beyond even Jesús and his team,
So, like Ford's lousy warranty, we'll cut short Dave's sorry tale-
Out back went the boiling Ford, part garage project, part fire sale.

‘Exploring a better Ford option than the current ones?’


The road to ruin- as well as these mean streets- are paved with good intentions.

Faith, Hope And Charity. (And more innocent than you would believe.)

It's amazing how many friendly faces you'll meet
On walking up the business end of Manchester Street,
But in these grim city streets every girl has her position,
Remember, the hard fact is these are gals with a mission.

Just once I'd like to take a stroll down town
Without returning home feeling brung down,
Having not been waylaid by some sharp-eyed girl
Offering you a deal that should make your hair curl.

But she'll rarely be alone, she's one of many
And each want to take you for a pretty penny,
All eyes looking for some flush fool to be played,
Best not chance a glance lest eye contact be made.

With batted eye and oh so practiced smile
One is sure to invite you to stop and chat awhile,
Any offer to engage in conversation- don't indulge
Even should her eye linger long on your trouser bulge.

Alas, this happened to me again today,
A new girl accosted me, embarrassing to say,
Kim approached, name tag pinned bold on chest,
I wanted none of her but... she pressed and pressed.

She wouldn't take 'No' for an answer from me,
These gals keep taking me for some kind of charity,
Every week the girls change, but the game's the same,
If you don't hand over your change you feel their shame.

Gals, why am I the Saint selected to fix Society's ills?
The mug from whom the milk of human kindness spills?
Gals, the way you reach out to me in the street is a crime,
Every week, faithfully I find you've taken me for my last dime!

See, Kim, I'm loose with my money, a fool I say!
Pater cut off my account, ordered me to stay away,
In my wealthy family I've always been the black sheep,
But he pays me a pitiful stipend, so my distance I'll keep.

Sorry, Kim, I cannot hope to fill your financial need;
Good luck in all your endeavours, I hope you succeed;
But after paying for my one poky room I'm mostly spent;
Ain't it a pity I was never extended my fathers endowment?

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

It's UNICEF this week, next week Leprosy Mission,
Donating to everyone is putting me in a poor position,
So, please, you gals with good intentions, should we meet
My charity stays at home, or you'll see me out in the street.

(On my being cheekily and cheerily- but legally- solicited by a well-dressed well-groomed well-meaning well-intentioned most engaging slick and professional young woman representing yet another needy charity yet again. I noticed that UNICEF was Kim and todays featured sad act. (What is it with all these peppy perky presumptuous lasses? I must just have the kind of face every girl preys for.)
Still, on turning 'em down I'm left feeling so cheap. Oh, I'd love to be able to willingly toss my hard-earned cash about but I just can't afford to sillily splash out willy-nilly.)

‘Remember, don’t hang a left down Hooker Street.’


Just a small story, buried in the back pages, nothing newsworthy- but I’m still on a quest for answers!

Letters To The Discredited.

Dear Esteemed Editor:

I'll still enjoy perusing your paper most every day,
I'll still have your old paper delivered in the old way,
I amble down the long driveway, and nine times out of ten
There I'll see todays paper- unless it landed next door again.

Or flung up in the beech tree, or deep in the prickly hedge,
On a chilly winters day his lousy arm puts my teeth on edge,
Still, your paperboy does deliver me bad news, rain snow or hail;
So I won't add a note of complaint to the cheque, that's 'in the mail.'

No, Dear Editor, believe me I'm not one to bitchily gripe,
I'm not one to write in complaint (nor two-fingerdly type)
But today, Dear Editor, your weird way with words enrages-
At least your imbroglio looks most at home in the funny pages.

I rarely miss attempting your ten question word quiz,
But this day, my Dear Editor, my question for you  is;
How come there are ten answers but only nine queries?
I've counted, all fingers and thumbs and I'm out of theories.

Me answering ten questions right is too much of an ask!
But keeping it one question short doesn't simplify my task,
So, in the future, Dear Editor, heed your readers suggestions,
If you say you have all the answers, don't forget the questions.

Yours ruefully, SubScriber.

(Another true and unfaked story. It's a sad and puzzling day when the press is short on or lost for words. Someone oughta get their shit quiz together!)


The family that plays together stays together?

In Perfect Harmony.

When I was but a little lad
I believed my dear old Dad
Could turn his hand to anything
Except whistle, dance, play or sing.

When I'd been but a babe in arms
Dad had tried music's soothing charms
By crooning out a lullaby,
But all it caused was more hugh and cry.

One thing rang out crystal clear-
Song-wise, Dad could blow it out his rear,
My screaming revealed I was unhappy,
As did my steaming nappy.

Mother upraised me from the cot
Over which I'd done piddly squat,
My debut as Fathers music critic
Was luke-warm and rather acidic.

As a kid, helping out in his workshop
I learned a lot listening to my old Pop,
Father possessed in him, I fear
An adenoidal drawl and a tin ear.

Even in church his hymn-singing
Had the pastor's hands and ears wringing,
And so the pastor had a quiet word
And no more of hymn was heard.

Poor musically maligned Dad-
Being told he's Godawfully bad,
Meanwhile his kids and spouse
Raised the roof on Gods house.

For the choir Dad was not required,
Much less was his grate voice desired,
The choirmaster loved her and her boys,
Sadly Daddy was mere annoying noise.

So Dad would never rock the Hippodrome;
Poor Pa, even in the privacy of his home
If Mom spontaneously burst into song
Dad felt resigned to just hum along.

So Father bit held his tongue
As cheerily his wife and offspring sung,
But Dad continued to stay dumb
For sake of harmony and keeping mum.

At school some new teacher suggested
Music lessons for those so interested,
My brother yearned to play guitar-
Chet favoured Lennon, not Ringo Starr.

He thought we'd start up a band-
But I dismissed guitar out of hand,
I soon settled on a compromise,
The Ukulele was more me, size wise.

Friday Chet hurried down to the music store,
Bought the cheap-assed Yamaha you ever saw,
The clerk took pity on him and poor tag-along me,
Tossed in a Uke for free and a no strings guarantee.

Call it fate, call it coincidence
But when he saw our instruments
We saw Barca-lounger bound Dad sit up,
And the sad eyes he clapped on us lit up.

I soon gave up my lousy practice-
Indolence and bloody fingers two factors,
Chet played blissfully on and on and on
Unaware his accompanist had gone.

But Dad had seen the Light and the Way,
If he couldn't sing, surely he could play?
And so Dad brought home a Banjo Mandolin,
Plucked up courage to release the music within.

We already knew Dad could not sing a note,
As he 'tuned up' a lump rose in my throat,
All through that long atonal afternoon
Dad vainly chased some elusive tune.

Soon my bro was practicing next door,
He, me and Mom knew the score;
If Dad didn't hear Chet fretfully play
The Mandolin might stay tucked away.

Whenever Dad felt his muses call 
And reached for that thing strung on the wall
Mom would reach for the gin and lime,
Sup on the porch swing till twilight time.

My brother and I would slink outside,
Hop on the Schwinns, take a long long ride
And not return till silence reigned
With Mom insensible and the Gilbeys drained.

By the time I was set to fly the coop
Chet was off touring with some grungy group,
Dads piss-poor playing had not improved one whit
But Dad had Moms AA sponsor begging him to quit.

On my last night at home I lay, still concerned,
Their soon departing son tossed and turned,
Then, while Dad snored and Mom slept tight
Did anyone hear that bump in the night?

The morning found Dad in despair,
The Mandolin had fallen- into disrepair,
How had the nail on which it hung failed
When Dad hisself had had it six inch nailed?

So this is what the disquieting price of peace is;
The busted Banjo Mandolin, like Dad, lay in pieces,
The worst assault on a blunt instrument I'd ever seen-
Far worse than any Pete Townshend axe wielding scene.

Now I don't regret doing what had to be done,
And, yes, I still consider myself a father loving son,
Yes, Dads busted Banjo came as a hammer blow
With a three pound sledge- believe me, I know.

(If you got this far, there's a couple of song titles hidden in the mess mix.)

(Oh, you want a hint?- ok; one by The Band, one by Shawn Mullins.)


A little exercise does you good. A long run is something to stop and think about.

 (for those  unfamiliar wi' the Scottish lingo, this means 'to stay, to linger, to tarry, to take pause, take a wee little moment.)

When out on an easy backwoods jog
Far from the home comforts of a bog,
With a bladder fully stirred and shaken
A private easement must surely be taken.

When time runs short
Don't get caught.
Time to break stride
And step aside.

Find a fine quiet upstanding privet hedge,
Towards a wee private dark corner slyly edge,
With cool careful precision flash and splash-
Careful, that touch of poison ivy- rather rash.

Don't be cocky, silly-
Spraying nilly-willy- 
And it's downright folly
Dousing near holly.


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.


This struggling old school writer uses whatever bargain basement tools that fall to hand. All too evidently.

Cheap Penny Dreadfuls.

One fine day this dime-store writer will wise up,
Suss out as to why his buck-a-10 pack pen dries up,
Why do I persist in keeping my escritoire ill-equiped?
But I'm no gold-nibbed rich man, more... felt tipped.

In richer days I plucked up the flighty quill,
From its tip the Master's words must surely spill,
My manuscript was literally beyond description,
Illegible as my shaky trick Doc's prescription.

I've been advised to splurge out on a Scripto
But I'm too tight to sign up on that tip though,
That's one big cheque I'll personally leave blank,
I'd rather snip me a bargain... down at the bank.

At least no more notebooks I'll have to buy,
I've a wardrobe of A3s stacked five feet high,
When my old firm laid off their stationery clerk
They knew I've always taken home my paperwork.

So, doodling paper, I have oodles, I have screeds,
It's the piss-poor pens that don't serve my needs;
How many times I've pounded 'pon my poor desk top
When my cursive calligraphy decides to- fuc Full stop. 

I do not advise going in ever-increasing scribbles
Until the paper thins and/or a drop of ink dribbles,
Then my penned-up words emerge when hard pressed-
Less a messy plot, yet more blots on my Rorschach test.



When asked to rave, to rant about these dark days, who needs a second invitation?

Firing Up.

As far as finances go
I'm in a proper pickle,
My once flush cash flow
Has dribbled to a trickle.

The bills endlessly wash in,
Only my heart goes out,
My means are paper thin,
My prayers never more devout.

No assets left to seize,
All my boom's gone bust,
I'm down, on my knees,
Not one 'In God We Trust.'

Pacing the floor, by the door,
Going postal for that relief cheque
To pay off Bill's Convenience Store
Before he wrings my scrawny neck.

No last post for me today,
No welcome postman's knock,
The room's turning Arctic Grey,
I'm freezing and in hock.

I gather together every letter
In shivering mittened hands,
One time I'm a real go-getter,
Now holding only final demands.

Grab the largest pot
In the stone cold kitchen,
Dump in the miserable lot;
Got troubles? I'll pitch in.

All those weighty dispatches,
Gone up in a stroke,
Thanks to Safety matches-
Hello hellfire sulphur and smoke.

The letters dutifully brought
By the conscientious postman
Though warming, were too short,
More a flash in the pan.

I fear Bill knows my place,
I fear an after-hours surprise,
Afraid he won't leave this cold case,
Bill's got fire in his eyes.

Will Bill come by torchlight,
Say 'pay 200 bucks or go to jail?' 
Cold comfort on a cold night?
Bill, bring a molotov cocktail.

Written for Chel Owens A Mused poetry contest, subject; 'a rant.' (Join in, jump in, its fun!) 


A frosty Fall day chills the cold empty echoing floors of the White House. Perfect for Happy Feet!

Last Do-si-doh! For Don.

My old Grampap used to dance up a storm,
Pops needed no invitation to get up and perform,
A proper Yankee Doodle dandy life-long Democrat,
He'd be on his twinkling toes at the drop of a top hat.

It was only after Trump waltzed in four years back
Pappy hung his tuxedo, hat and cane on the hat rack,
Grampa knew he'd not be smiling or singin' in the rain
Till that bull in a china shop slipped down the porcelain.

No more doin' the Hand Jive complete with back flip,
No more twistin' by the pool, risking poppin' out a hip,
The best moon walker I'd seen besides Michael Jackson-
Pretty damn fly for a white-haired geriatric Anglo Saxon.

Pops thought his tap shoes and he were past their best,
Now was the time to reminisce and wait for eternal rest,
He set his La-Z-Boy to decline, settled down to Fred Astaire;
Seeing Trump's goose miss-steps made his bed a pit of despair.

Old Granpop wasn't up to doing the Hustle any more,
More of a desperate shuffle towards the bathroom door,
Nothing outside an atom bomb can get him up and about,
He was just like Michael Flatley, all crapped and tapped out.

For four long years poor Pop barely busted a move at all;
Purely pitiful to watch a once Great Man's decline and fall,
It pained Pop seeing Dancing Star Don waltz tango and foxtrot
Effortlessly over democracy, to the stirring soundtrack of Fox rot.

But, come a day of judgement, and before a live audience-
Which star duo would win... Joe/Kam or Dunce/Subservience?
Till on the fifth day of drama, before which Pop avidly sat glued
Finally the vote was in, and left Donny feeling lost- and screwed .

Gramps lifted up his blanket, sat on the edge of his seat
Smiled, seeing Don getting his numb ass kicked by two left feet
As Don rants and starts filling in injunctions (and his underpants)
We're truly privileged to see Granpa's gleefully exuberant Riverdance.

(Check out the odd tired musical reference in there? I'm exhausted, but still dancing on air.)