Going shopping in a cramped supermarket? You’re game.

Still Rankling.

In passing, on my way to the tennis court
'I'll quickly pop into the shop,' so I thought,
I slid smoothly into Kroger's parking lot
Not knowing I'd be dealt a passing shot.

There they were, cluttering up Kroger's entrance aisle,
Proud Mom with stopped shopping cart and fixed smile,
There she was, a cute munchkin with her pretty dolly
Mimicking Mommy with her lilliputian shopping trolley.

I politely asked Mom if she might move it to let me pass,
I could've- should've- just told her to move her ass,
But I was raised by my mother to be nice and kind
And not to say what was foremost in my mind.

She clutched her trolly, a hard look in her eye
And I knew this madam wouldn't let this go by,
Grimly she pushed the trolly challengingly in my path-
Seems I'd provoked this Mother of all Karen's wrath.

Behind me my following shoppers grew pushy, restive,
It clearly wasn't me that said something suggestive,
But in a flash her eyes and trolly met mine
And it was she, not I who crossed the line.

It was a classic case of push cart goes to shove
But petty-minded petulance I can rise above,
So I asked her, once more, I asked her pretty please
If she might allow me free access to the deep freeze?

She told me to move my basket- or so I thought she said,
As it transpired she'd call me a by-product of the unwed,
That's a downright dirty lie, I know this for sure,
Though Ma says I was four months premature.

Some spoilt sweet kids are just hard to get through to
But for this progeny it was 'see Mommy do, kiddy do,'
And this wee precious poppet, bless her heart
Tried to smash my ankle with her kiddy cart.

I looked down, pained, at the little moppet
Awaiting Mommy to say 'Sweetie, stop it,'
But Treasure looked neither tearful or fearful
And Mommy Dearest gave me a right earful.

I did my best to quietly ride out the damned pain
But then the wee Kikamora rammed me again!
I'd love to say I civilly held my tongue, but gosh, by golly
Everyone behind me loudly cheered my serve and volley.


Every new day, finding new ways to be a better morning person.


I'm a guy who needs his beauty sleep,
So if on my good sight side you wish to keep*
Just let me be, laid out, counting sheep,
Do Not Disturb and I won't raise a peep.

Lately my set routine's getting upset,
Our cat won't sleep once sun has set,
I'm lying in bed, smoking- sans cigarette;
He's a prize king-size pain in the ass pet.

Hark, I hear some cock crowing in the dark;
Rousing me at dawn shall leave its mark,
Who wants to see me, up with the lark
Slug gun in hand, prowling Peacock Park?

I've never been a sparkly-dewy-eyed early riser,
Now I meet the bright new day masked in a sun visor,
After ten I'll wearily start in at my usual appetizer,
A Starbucking black coffee, one strong tranquilizer.

*See Mr Muses comment below… I had to leave the evidence…

(I do love me a lie-in. But. This last week we have had the cat at the vet, and he’s been up at night, and since misery loves company he thinks we should share in his too. Nightly. So we- and our excreble adorable little Prince are all now just a tad shitty scratchy.)


Donald Trump runs his mouth off on being denied his free speech. Yet on and on and QAnon he talks.

Won't Go Quietly.

Don's taking his well-worn case to court again-
He simply wants to give his grievances full rein,
He's gonna sue Google, Twitter and Facebook,
A Great voice rendered mute we can't overlook.

He wants his rights to his free speech protected,
He wants his lines of communication reconnected,
For 'them' to hush his mouth sounds grossly unfair,
The fact his every word's a lie is neither here nor there.

It deeply pains him that he is so conspired against,
For his hurt feelings he must be heavily recompensed,
To be cut off from his huge audience leaves him cut up,
And the last Great President can't bear to be shut up. 

Donald loudly champions his idea of hate free speech,
But others he know might also feel free to over-reach,
As far as loose talk from ex-lawyers and business friends?
Right there's where Don's talk on free speech promptly ends.

                                                 ‘speak of the devil.’


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 studio is setting up ‘Scream 5’ for release soon, so I thought I’d review the first ‘Scream.’ Oh, dear Drew, the horror.

Lessons From Watching 'Scream' Again.

For the fans of the gory horror flick
Sick of the perennial hoary old tropes
'Scream' played out a slick new trick
To raise any Millennial's bloody hopes.

'Scream' kicks off with a sick new twist-
But first I ought to offer a 'Spoiler Alert!' 
If you loved Drew in 'Never Been Kissed'
Her getting the kiss-off here is gonna hurt.

See, the pretty blonde nubile teen-
Her part's played by Drew Barrymore,
She's scarcely finished the first scene
When- so suddenly! Drew is no more.

What, the Star gets cut in the first act?
Drew winds up axed before Act Two?
Spoke a few lines, then gets whacked?
So, what advice might've saved Drew?

Don't mention you'll be at home alone
With no one close to share the popcorn,
Drew, definitely do not answer the phone 
Drew, if you want to live to see the dawn.

Don't let anyone outside in if they ask,
Or scream when a ghastly face appears,
Who knows who is behind that mask?
Face it Drew, this will all end in tears.

Sad to report, you ain't safe with old friends,
Two once-best buds now ain't right in the head,
Sad, by the time this twisted tale grislily ends
Our cut-in-the-first-act heroine is long dead.

‘Soon, Blondie, just hangin’ on the telephone.’

(Ok, slightly sick humour in the captions but what the hell…)

Learning to live with your eccentricities without getting weirded out.

( Inspired by Chel Owens A Mused poetry competition on 'Eccentrics' and the movie 'Shock Corridor.')

An Eccentrics Guide To Lightening Up.

A rare precious few view me as being one of a kind,
Far more as possessed of a most peculiar singular mind,
One gloomy psychiatrist classified me as slightly neurotic,
A better one called me, far more politely, simply quixotic.

Some call me eccentric, but that ain't fair,
I prefer to think I think outside the square,
Others say my view on reality is a tad murky,
They say I'm 'way out there,' I'd say 'quirky.'

The true eccentric is hard to define,
The clued-up eccentric rides a fine line,
You best keep your eccentricities on the down low,
So I tone it down- Bellvue's nowhere I wanna go.

Some admit they think outside the box,
I don't... wish to submit to electric shocks,
So, Doctor, if eccentricity is in the eye of the beholder
Call me quietly eccentric- I don't want to smoulder.


In Texas Governor ‘Big Gun’ Abbott reckons it’s time to change a few laws- trust the Republicans to know what’s right for you- and them.

(You wanna gun in Texas ? Write a cheque and it’s yours, no questions asked. You wanna vote? Whoa there- now Governor Abbott wants to cross-check you.)

Texas Hold 'em.

'We don't take kindly to restrictions here, Son,
Soon here in Texas ya'll can carry round a gun,
And then, Son, ya'll won't need no licence or permit,
Son, we cain't wait for Governor Abbott to confirm it.'

'Soon, Son, strapped to your hip-
A Colt for your personal protection
Within it, a lawfully fully loaded clip
Thanks to Governor Abbotts election.'

'Son, the Second 'Mendment is our God given Right,
Us rebels Republicans chafe against restrictive oversight,
Soon, Son ya'll be free to pack a pistol without a Doctors note-
Shoot, Son, in Texas it's easier gettin' a gun than gettin' to vote!' 

'Son, once Abbot's doozy legislation's passed
Then he's on to checkin' out Voters Rights Time,
Then, Boy- if ya'll aim to cast your Democrat vote fast
Ya'll be stuck in lines longer than at Disney, Anaheim.' 


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.)


Who’d be a sailor, with all those evil winds, sandy bottoms and ships bent out of shape? No thanks.

See Ya Later Navigator. 

If you're cruising down the Suez
Take this old sea dog's seasoned tip,
The last thing a good Captain should do is
Beach your bloody big barge of a container ship.
                       _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _                     

The Cap'n stood on the burning deck
A'peering but not seeing ten feet ahead,
Sweat ran in rivulets down his outstretched neck,
This desert storm filled his a'salted eyes with dread.

From up front came a graunching sound
And a judder ran through from bow to rudder,
The bold Cap'n knew in a trice he'd run aground,
From deep amidships the Captain felt that shudder.

'O Captain! My Captain! What have you done?'
Chorused the crew from First Mate to low deckhand,
But the Captain had fled the bridge, Cap was on the run
Because when Mother Nature bursts forth you sit, not stand.

Oh, ship.

(Sorry, all you fans of Walt Whitman or Felicia Hemans. Someone’s already weighed in and called me an anchor about this. At least I think thats what she said.)


Running a Mom-and-Pop store can be boom or bust.

Bad Business.

We've expanded your ol' local Seven-Eleven,
Now we're ready for action twenty-four-seven,
We're here for your beer'n'snacks and cigarettes
But we won't extend you a tab or hold your debts.

'Sir, if you don't see what you want, just ask
But inside I'd rather you not wear that mask-
Oh; in light of your sideways Glock I now recall
In special circumstances we extend credit to all!'

My very first night of working dusk till dawn
And I'm already lookin' deathly pale and drawn,
In all my long days of working the seven till three
The one denying charging daylight robbery was me.

 I called it in... eventually the cops rolled out,
That consistent diet of donuts helps, no doubt,
They began the sit-down-at-the counter interview,
They had free coffee, a whole jelly roll, but not a clue.

The jelly rolls quick demise cut the interview short,
Perhaps they'd had their fill of filling in their report? 
They departed, snagging some Snickers without paying-
A five-fingered discount or more evidence in the weighing?

As my little corner of the world turns dark
I glare out at the shadily deserted car park,
Torn between leaving out the Welcome mat
And standing by the door with a baseball bat.

I used to spend all my given days a'waiting to serve
But that empty cash register shows I've lost my nerve,
My faith in customer relations- blown away, I can't deny,
Hoping every rattly banged-up ol' Cutlass quietly drives by.

I must just admit my shopkeeping days are done
If I can't trust the driver, or the dude riding shotgun,
This prime retail location looked fine in the light of day
Now here, due to Saturday Night Specials, crime does pay.

(‘Inspired’ by another news report on, yes, yet another armed robbery. Call it ‘Kim’s Convenience Store’ for the morbidly cynical and gun-shy.)