A man once said ‘Football is not a matter of life and death- it’s much more than that.’ In these Covid spreading times, all too true.

Cruel Britannia.

The Home fans had flocked here from miles around,
To Englands green and present Premier football ground,
All set to see England play winningly at Wembley,
All so happy together, in a gloriously riotous assembly.

All through the first half the crowd stood, up and singing,
By late on in the second half, down and hand-wringing,
Still hopefully singing- this time the lads would be victorious,
Ringing proud round the ground, loud if ultimately vainglorious.

Once more, as oft before, England failed the test,
Again, fair England, penalised into being second best,
As per tradition, opportunity and spot kicks missed,
But this national tragedy came with an extra kick twist.

The stunned crowd streamed from Wembley, sad, deflated,
Not singing 'Land Of Hope And Glory' as much anticipated,
Herded into their British Rail carriages, to sit in silent ponder;
Emptiness carried up to Goole, Hull, Halfwhistle and yonder.

Or to East or West,
But, everywhere, depressed,
Even in the Beautiful South-
Deeply down in the mouth.

Later, be it in the Albion, the Crown, Anchor or the Rising Sun,
Fans shared rounds with old mates, gathered in commiseration,
Next morning, wondering upon waking, shaking, with sore head
How much viral disappointment could they possibly have spread? 

   

‘Want a beer when you’ve got nowt to cheer about- fancy a Corona?’

©Obbverse

Digging up a few facts on those sweet sentimental romantic poets and writers; And you and I thought romance was dead!?!

Love In Vain- Or, Vein.

Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein
Watched her hubby from the shoreline,
Alas, for the wild and stormy poet of note
'Twas not the time to be paddling a leaky boat.

It devastated his distraught young wife
When Percy Shelley sunk and lost his life,
So before Mary cremated her sweetheart
She took hold, held close that cold cold part.

A little large for a silver locket,
A bit too big for a wee dress pocket,
And far too gross to hold in her hand-
Best placed underneath the nightstand?

She kept his heart in her bedside drawer,
Not for her brief grief, no, it remained raw,
She kept it locked inside a heart-shaped box
Amongst her dainty hankies, smalls and socks.

At first this act of sweet spousal devotion
Seemed an endearingly darkly Romantic notion,
Till for even the hanky-dabbing Widow Mary Shelley
Percy became less lingering memory, more simply smelly.

(I commented on a blog, and that comment twisted its way into this... odd offering.)

©Obbverse

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.' 



©Obbverse

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.)

©Obbverse

Wanna be a teen screen idol? A bit of advice; Don’t waste your time.

Beverly Hills Cast Off.
Jimmy was a plain and simple dreamer,
A teen who wanted to star big in Hollywood,
To us, his few friends, there never seemed a 
Snowballs chance in Hell he would or could.

Who, he the cool suave leading man?
Pure Jackass, sure not Hugh Jackman.

Our Jim imagined he might be Elvis's twin,
Peering into the cracked mirror he thought
'Same jet hair, long sideburns, same twisted grin,'
In looks talent and stature he was woefully short.

He presumed he'd make a fine James Bond
In the dark days before Craig went blond.

'I wanna be up there with Jimmy Dean
Or a mean moody and broody Marlon Brando,
Or a Triumphantly rampant Steve McQueen
Full of mucho macho testosteroned bravado.'

Then he wanted to become like Clint-
Bit of a stretch, 'cept for the squint.

No, he wasn't destined to be the next Dirty Harry,
James met a friendly obliging girl one fine day,
Who, six months on he felt obliged to marry;
Trust mean old Mother Nature to find a way.

But I guess he we all make mistakes;
That's the way the condom breaks.

Suddenly James Taylor was no happy go-lucky-guy,
His acting plans shrank as her waist began spreading,
How now he regretted that come-hither look in her eye 
Seein' he's lookin' down the barrel of a shotgun wedding.

There's a price to pay after the fun and games,
And twins ran in the family of Sweet Baby James.

So dreams of Hollywood gave way to fatherhood
But his star-struck fantastical belief never waned,
So when Peter Jackson started shooting in yon wood
Hopes of a late season comeback were entertained.

Time to audition for the weather-beaten hero?
Nah, now Jim's even more De Vito than De Niro. 

Jim could see himself in 'Lord Of The Rings,'
Now not as a lead, but a solid supporting role...
Years and a bad marriage ravage all good things
And on bad boy Jim time had taken a savage toll.

He mightn't now look a fair maids desire,
But, bless Jim, God does love a trier.

He'd wracked racked up a fair am-dram record
So he rushed out and sent in his tatty résumé-
A video of his sad Caesar being put to the sword-
Reviews on his evisceration of the Scottish play...

The casting director saw something in our has-been;
Vaguely like a shrunken less drunken Charlie Sheen?

And so James lived the dream, be it ever so brief;
He's seen in the battle scene in 'The Two Towers,'
Second Orc on the left, he swiftly comes to grief,
But mention his bit part and he'll declaim for hours.

To deny him his Ring screen credit would be wrong,
But, like that Eternal Trilogy he goes on way too long.

 'Who needs make-up?'




©obbverse

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.




©Obbverse

Derek Chauvin’s legal team are bleating on and on about HIM being the victim- of a mistrial!

Lawyers Never Lack In Appeal.

Derek Chauvin's poor loser of a lawyer is now saying
Many more legal loopholes avenues are worth persuing,
This lifetime sentence is worth spending time on delaying-
(The tricky part remains that nine minutes of painful viewing.)

Monetarily it might cost him- a lot,
And it's bound to take mighty long,
But Derek's lawyer's in a tight spot
So count him in to right your wrong!

The real appeal of our untimely appeal is it will take a pile while,
Buying time to  blame Floyd's death on 'unhappy happenstance?'
'So we, Derek's defence, demand another long drawn-out trial!'
(Say Counsellor, when will George Floyd get a second chance?)

‘Derek, as much as it takes!’

©Obbverse

 

 

A most untimely ‘mistake’ from the boys and girls in Blue. Another mistake? Hard to believe, but true.

Half Cocked Excuse.

A police patrol pulled over Daunte Wright-
For those who Protect and Serve us right-
Well trained long serving front line cops-
The latest of many routine traffic stops.

But this young man tried to break free,
Now, why would a young black man flee?
When Minneapolis's finest uphold the code?
Where George Floyd died, just down the road?

But a long serving cop stopped him!
A quick blast of Taser from Officer Kim!
Umm, somehow she pulled a gun not a Taser,
A mystifying mistake that continues to amaze her.

Now Officer Kim hides behind the scenes, gone on leave,
Daunte is gone too, leaving his family to openly grieve,
Kim's sheltered and protected behind the Blue enclave
But Daunte takes her mistake to his cold lonely grave.


(Little humour in my offering today. Apparently Officers put their Tasers on their less favoured side. So when they whip out their weapons they won't mix up the Taser with the gun. Wouldn't wanna confuse those two, would one? And surely a good cop knows wrong from right, left from right? Or am I naively mistaken in that belief too?)


 

‘Check nut holding trigger before discharging.’

 

 

©Obbverse

Prince Phillip falls, and just short of hitting his century.

Ninety-nine- A Fair Old Innings.

For good old Phil it's the end of the line,
Departing life's game stuck on ninety-nine,
What a long and Commowealthy life it's been
Standing mostly quietly in the shadow of his Queen.

The Duke was at his best standing square-jawed,
Stoic, as Liz spoke and the folk listened in, awed,
On the other hand, when asked to share a thought
Her speech writers advised Phil to just keep it short.

He's stood by, if not silently, steadfast and loyally,
On the odd occasion, dropped himself in it royally,
Liz's Phil has been known for many an un-PC remark
But then the Prince has been 'round as long as the ark.

Leaving just shy of a 100 must cause him some regret,
There's a letter from the Palace he didn't quite get,
After seventy years of living a rich and Royal life
Phil won't get a 100 Club Card from the wife.



Phil said the odd gaffe, spoke his mind, but he was one of a kind.

 

©Obbverse

A peek into the mind-set of the politically ‘fair and balanced.’ All Righty then!

Straight To The Heart.

I've got my rights!!!
To my free speech,
I got my rights
You don't dare breach.

I've got my rights!!!
I don't gotta mask,
I got my rights
So don't dare ask.

I've got my rights!!!
To not be vaccined,
I got my rights-
Freedum won't be quarantined!

I've got my rights!!!
To cling to history,
I got my rights
To love Robert E. Lee.

I've got my rights!!!
They're etched in stone,
I got my rights
Leave my statues alone.

I've got my rights!!!
To wave my flag,
I've got my rights
To salute Braxton Bragg.

I've got my rights!!!
To be anti-vax,
I got my rights
To twist the facts.

I've got my rights!!!
So hold your breath,
I've got my rights,
Defend 'em to the death.

I've got my rights!!!
Let me tell you,
I got my rights
Particularly dear Amendment Two.

I've got my rights!!!
To tote a gun,
I loooooove those rights,
That preciously guarded one.

I've got my rights!!!
I'll use my firearm-
Try taking my rights
You'll buy the the farm.

I've got my rights!!!
To protect my kin
I got my rights-
Don't fence me in.

I've got my rights!!!
Cain't lock me down,
I've got my rights
I'll go right to town.

I've got my rights!!!
To get loose and loud,
I've got my rights
To hang with my crowd. 

We've got our rights!!!
Wanderin' where we please,
We got our rights
To shoot the breeze.

We got our rights!!!
To gather Brotherhoodly together,
We got our rights
To go Hell for leather.

I've got my rights!!!
Rights we fought for,
I got my rights
To spread joy, and more.

I've got my rights!!!
To warn you off,
I got my rights
I'll shoot, I'll cough.

I've got my rights!!!
History's on my side,
I demand my gun rights
For which so many died.

I've got my rights!!!
Guns keep 'Merica Great!
Wanna spike my rights?
Like JFK, too late.

I've got my rights!!!
To smile with malice,
I got my rights
To openly carry in Dallas.

I've got my rights!!!
To roam around freely,
I got my rights 
To scope out Dealey.

I've got my rights!!!
To believe in Holy Don,
I got my rights
To wholly swallow QAnon.

I've got my rights!!!
Too right- I am hypocritical-
You say you've rights?
Wrong! My rights aren't reciprocal. 

I've got my rights!!!
I believe whats fake,
I got my rights
But screw you, Snowflake.

I've got my rights!!!
But if I'm fair
Others having civil rights-
I don't care or share.

Ain’t no arguing with them who shoot their mouths off before thinking.

©Obbverse.