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?!?)

My unexpected unreciprocated and totally unwanted little Christmas gift; Awww, you shouldn’t have!

Claustrophobic Christmas.

We two stood together apart for five minutes or more,
Waiting on an (American) elevator or (British) lift,
No way was I considering walking up to the top floor;
That exercise in futility received lightning short shrift.

Finally Otis arrived, and I stepped towards the door
Only to be, first, left standing, secondly, left miffed
As she swept past me, and with raised red painted claw
Jabbed her button first, cementing our yawning social rift.

She looked down upon the funky grungy garb I wore,
This high-end consumer looked to be no fan of my thrift,
Lifting a perfectly plucked eyebrow at this walking eyesore,
Pointedly tilted up her snooty aristocratic nose as if I whiffed.

Soon an unpleasant presence appeared neither could ignore,
Stuck in the close confines I retchedly gagged while she sniffed
Before showily reaching into her Gucci and spritzing more Dior,
But she wouldn't catch my watering eye, if  you catch my drift.


‘Tis the season of jolly carols and yo-ho-ho’s. Oh, but there’s more. The highs and lows of Christmas

Thirteen Days Till Christmas.

(Two people close to my heart
Departed twenty-four hours apart,
So now come every thirteenth of December
I take a shot or two to help me not remember.)

With but a dozen lousy sleeps before Christmas Day
I can count on reminders of two who have passed away,
Today Carey's heart-wringing singing leaves me unenamoured
So I'll  flip Mariah's seasonal CD off and carry on getting hammered.

There's not a solitary sodden year I've let pass
Without solemnly raising my twice charged glass,
Sure, tomorrow todays toasts will leave me sorely troubled;
Now my efforts to forget todays regrets demand to be redoubled. 

(To Chet and Barb. Cheers.)


Learnings to take from Electoral College; Some remain a little late on the uptake.

Punch That Ticket.

Well kiddies, school has played out at last,
These past four foolish years have painfully passed,
Now it's time for you dummies to wise up fast
Before you're forever classed amongst the dumb-assed.

The class clown has run out of time to run amok,
The idea of not being centre stage causing a nasty shock,
The ol' bone spurs have slowed down the cocky Jock?
Now not even his full Court press can stop the official clock.

Now that the leader of that MAGA hatter band
Must try to understand he is losing all sole command,
Perhaps a few will rise, principles cupped in hand
Stepping from the silent shadows to take a belated stand?

Agin a guy whose self beliefs lie towards the compulsive?
Whose vile denials truly do border on the sickly revulsive?
Why stay and placate a man so childishly impulsive?
Surely not all clad in Republican red are that repulsive?

Even as the road to reality continues to widen
Any fool  would concede the trail leads back to Biden...
If you must be part of the wreck Democracy died in
Buckle in, Bub- the Pity Party Bus will get rough to ride in.

‘And Mar-a-Lago is lovely this time of year, Melania says.’



The final send-off. Diego Maradona goes on his way; No arm, no foul.

Head In Our Hands.

At sixty years God has substituted Maradona,
No more muddy fields, he's off to a higher honour,
No dribbling then blowing past defenders any more-
He always had a nose for goal- and a damn good score.

For the true unblinkered unbiased football fan
There was no finer player than the wee Argentinian,
It's only the red white and blue 'uns of Old Eng-er-land
Who'll still send you off on your way with a heavy hand.

(one for the football fans. Some still recall the infamous 'Hand of God'. Don't we?)
Speak to the hand…


Ah, the romance of a Route 66 road trip. Why bother overnighting at some manky Motel 6?

That Holiday Air.

We breezed into the Brunswick, followed our noses to the dining room,
'Twas a romantic hideaway boutiquey newly tarted-up historic hotel,
But when in authentic 30s Kingman hot young lovers cannot assume
Their Arizonan night of heavenly pleasures won't come -or go- to hell.

The owners had been penny wise when fitting out the Brunswick,
True to its history they'd turned to every possible cheap trick,
An attempt to retain all original features, all part of the plan;
So, creaking bedsprings and no air-con 'cept for the ol' ceiling fan.

Outside, a high desert wind buffeted the shuttered window pane,
Inside, an ill wind blew no good, thanks to a lousy hotels buffet,
Dawn saw the leaving of two wretches who will not return again,
Now neither of us talk of, much less wish to repeat that sorry day.

(Written for Chel Owens A Mused poetry competition. Slightly modified from her PG13 requirement.) This less than top rank effort contains a touch of poetically licensed exaggeration yet embarrassingly retains more than a whiff of pure unadulterated truth.

Halloween; is it a crime against inhumanity? Food for thought.

What A Hollow Halloween.

Being the prize pick of the pumpkin patch
Come November comes with a nasty catch,
Being soft and tender, sweet as pumpkin pie
Don't mean Jack when Halloween is nigh.

Once the father came to weigh up his choice
Being top o' the crop gave me no cause to rejoice
But 'twas only when the mother cut me from the vine
This prime pumpkin knew it was the end of the line.

So this orange squash's future's turned to soup,
It cuts me up to see me reduced, scoop by scoop
Until I'm left, a grinning rictus of an empty shell;
Does my tasteless tale turn your insides as well?
Pure pulp fiction.

Halloween- Hey kids, aren’t some older people so mean spirited?

Night Of The Gibbering Dread.

We're fast approaching October thirty-first
When once again good folk will be cursed
By that gnawing feeling of impending dread
As the spirit of gluttony raises its ugly head.

'Twill be the night of Halloween
When every pre-adolescent 'tween
Comes, unbidden, a'rapping at your door-
That ain't the kinda rap you can ignore.

They'll demand a trick or treat,
The trick is- give 'em all they can eat,
So dole out the candies from the bowl,
Better being poor than have an empty soul.

Robotically dish it out and don't dare ask
What sweet child is hiding 'neath that mask?
Just kindly smile while puttin' on your happy face
And pray the overladen urchins don't egg your place.

Watch those impish wee scamps stagger to the gate
Arms trembling to contain the confectionery's weight,
Shake my head and muse 'that fifty bucks didn't go far,'
Damn kids took a bowl full of sugar but left the gate ajar.

Prompt at midnight switch off the porch light-
Witching hour is done, Children Of The Night,
So, all good but poor souls, sit back and enjoy the hush,
Soon 'nough you'll hear some sick kids full-on sugar rush flush.
This started as an entry for Chel Owens A Mused poetry contest but went waaay over 
the word limit.  


President, Professor and statesman Donald J. Trump, an actual medical marvel.

President Trump, Resident Shaman. 

Donald's re-election plans were looking sick
So he drugged out his old tired but trusty trick,
Doctor Don's patented cure is downright cruel;
Donny decides Doctor Fauci must play the fool.

He don't mince words with his double dealings,
Don sure don't believe in masking his feelings,
Good Doctor Fauci has been hung out to dry,
Guess who Donny's designated as his fall guy?

Now Don says all Doctor Fauci's sick talk is phony?
Great Medicine Man Don knows better than Tony?
Tony's just another discarded discredited Trump minion?
Would you stake your your life on witch doctors opinion?

Going write off. The latest merry message in the old Email has suggested a writing sabbatical is in order. Funnily enough, I agree.

Well Run Dry.

I used to thrill
To raise the quill,
Words gambolled on and on;
I guess that thrill is gone.

Dyspraxic digits clubbed the keyboard,
Typos and good grammar ignored,
Ideas tumbled happily from the mind
As fingers fumbled, sentences behind.

I’d thought I had something to say,
An amusing pun, bandy some wordplay,
Double entendres, two-fingered typed fun,
Now it’s two thumbs down for this tragic one.

Joie de vivre weighs heavy in my head,
Even my black humour is all but dead,
Trying to dredge up some light flight of fancy
Would mean a lift of spirit worthy of necromancy.

To raise the odd smile was my glad intent,
Sad, all my good humour’s gone off and went,
Perhaps it’s for the best to to stay quietly depressed?
So I’ll do as weary old readers have and give it a rest.

(Just a touch of burn-out showing? Obviously. Overtly melodramatic? Yep. Self-pitying? Yessiree Bob. Maudlin? Yes indeedy.  So, time for a little time out? Fuck yes.)