Can’t- cannot- forget Remembrance Day.

Old Wounds.

Canny Generals and clever Chiefs Of Staff
Set out their boy soldiers on their bloody stage,
So sure of victory, with Right and God on their side,
All to please some President, Princeling, King or Kaiser.

Then the winds of war blow away the chaff;
Them old Field Marshalls live to a grand old age,
To think back on service and sacrifice with due pride,
Mind full of their many medals, yet still none the wiser.


                  'Life is an all-too fragile thing'


Song for this post is 'Mama Bake A Pie (Daddy Kill A Chicken') by the Drive-By Truckers.


©Obbverse.

Our holiday accomodation was largely commodious; pity about the itty-bitsy bathroom.

(Part Three of the 'Tripping Up In Scotland Tales.')

Haunted By Our Uninvited Pest.

Our historic ground floor Edinburgh Airbnb was a joy to behold,
All the modern conveniences of now fused with the charms of the old,
As a guy raised in an archaic house it seemed a second homecoming-
Hardwood heated floors, re-enameled old bath, antiquated plumbing.

As I turned the front door key
I felt with a stone cold certainty
the ghastly pestilential presence an old house oft retains
Lurkin' deep 'neath a twisted maze of dank and clanking drains.

First night there came a scream as Aunt Kath stepped into the bath,
What cellar dweller caused conniptions in Aunt 'Scaredy' Kath?
Out of the plug hole Doris the Spider proceeded to calmly crawl,
Her arrival saw highly strung Aunt Kath climb straight up the wall.

You should have heard her shriek
At that Daddy of an eight legged freak,
Be it rare exotic tarantula or common house spider
Whatever Doris is, our Kath couldn't bear or abide her.

Poor petrified Kath couldn't stand to see a creepy arachnid,
Petting freaky creepy crawlies wasn't something our Katie did,
Two days on, Kath remained skittish 'bout using the bathroom,
Only when Doris is flushed away can normal service resume.

Before stepping into bath, shower or toilet stall
Wary Aunt Kath gives each and all the hairy eyeball,
Don't want an arachnophobe Aunt to totally bug out?
Then don't leave that ol' big-ass bath with the plug out.


                 'Aunt Kath's bath night eight legged freak out.'


(The theme song is, predictably, the Who's 'Boris The Spider.')


©Obbverse.

At Old Trafford the stage is set; the first act is a catastrophe but the poor show must go on. Sadly.

Same Old Trafford Same Old.
(Man U 1, Brighton 2.)

After last years disastrous run at Manchester Disunited
We had every expectation old wrongs would be righted,
Given the change of season, of luck, a change of boss
I had every reason to think we'd not kick off with a loss.

Oh, but NO, this year the boys start much like the year before,
Fu Flubbing two great chances my great gran could score,
But we saw defence, midfield, attack, three working as one-
What a crying shame 'twas Brighton showing us how it's done.

Old Trafford was our Theatre of Dreams just a decade ago,
Slowly it has become a regular Saturday shit Horror show,
Already another tough watch, with the whole season remaining,
Only fans of tragedy or farce will find this shoddy lot entertaining. 

‘Pull the curtain. Please draw the curtain. PLEASE.’

©Obbverse.

The view from the top of the Royal balcony must get dizzying at times. Or so one wonders.

Smiling Through The Jubilee.

Seventy years she's sat on the throne
And still Mizz Liz refuses to stand down,
Poor patient Prince Chuck has always known
Mum won't willingly deign to hand him her crown.

The crusty ol' crown has lost its sheen,
The ol' Royal family has started to unravel,
All this bitching and bickering behind the Queen;
Who told Harry and Meg 'it's time for sex and travel?'*

They're relegated to the second pew,
Tucked away even behind Chuck's consort,
Their poor American Reality Show, in her dim view
Proves class walks out the door when cash runs short.

Things have changed since back in the day-
If a Princess played up the Press weren't alerted,
Skeletons emerging out of the closet- fast locked away,
Allegations about a randy Prince rarely (barely?) asserted.

Supporting her Church for seventy long years
Sure as hell is beginning to grate on Her Majesty,
Upholding the Faith brings forth less joy than tears;
All her genuflecting is causing her Housemaids Knee.

Her seventy year regime won't be ever repeated,
Seventy years she's kept ties on the Windsor knot;
She won't be retiring till her work to rule is completed,
Then Ma'am can look down on her happy family. Or not.

*Or, in the parlance of the common 
people this advice is roughly shortened
to 'f~<k off.'

‘Happy families- they’re all relative.’

©Obbverse.

Your first car; who doesn’t fondly recall that first taste of freedom?(Gotta say I know a couple who still love the ol’ Love Bug.)

Riding Shotgun.

Straight shootin' A student Jim and cheerleader Jane-
What winning members of the student body they made,
Jane had forsaken dumb jocks for a guy with a big brain
Since most football heroes cain't pass out of seventh grade.

Sat at the stop-light, newly licensed, in his wheezy Bug so humble
Jim 'n' Jane were left in the dust of a 'Vette as the driver floored it,
Beside her, seeing her eyes and ears followed that lusty V8 rumble
Jim swore he'd have her riding in one, as soon as he could afford it.

So pure and innocent the two had had to remain,
Under Jane's Father's roof his word must be obeyed,
To express love physically, all but impossible to entertain;
Jane's Double-Wide stay-at-home Dad proved hard to evade.

Pop was a party-pooping buzz-killing prissy Budwies-ass scumball-
Now, free to roam 'round Freemount County how quick they explored it,
Zipping down to the Drive-In, after lengthy promises and a quick fumble
Jane felt found rather than restrain his hot passion she'd rather reward it.

She pushed aside her Mothers puritan refrain,
Her promise rings lustre had long begun to fade,
Their growing passions proving too much to contain,
As he held her close to her heart- well, his hand strayed...

But snuggling in a Bug made Jane not passionately groan but grumble,
(The Microbus is VW's Passion Wagon, the front of a Bug fails the audit)
Smoochily they scooched into the back seat for the old traditional tumble,
Just once Jane considered telling Jim to release the clutch- then ignored it.

'Twas virgin territory for sweet Jane and her naive swain,
But James blundered on; 'faint heart never made fair maid,'
Rusted seat springs recoiled and buckled beneath the strain...
For both, coming close to claustrophobia a price happily paid.

In the hot and steamy dark back seat Jane didn't hear Jim sorrily mumble;
Jim had slipped up on his safety gear, but hadn't both so looked toward  it?
Four months on, hopes for Janes traditional white wedding began to crumble,
On the up-side, the flexibility required to love in a Bug deserves special plaudit.

And so, given the fullness of time, and a steady weight gain
It was growing evident more than College plans had been laid...
So 'twas, when before the Reverend stood the radiant rotund Jane
Behind Jim, Pop's shotgun's aim was Jim not escaping his escapade.

  'Love won't be confined: But the VW Bug was never designed to be a transport of delight.'



©Obbverse.

Our common domestic cat has a life of ease; maddening little bast- beast, but I can’t bring myself to say ‘a pet hate.’ Yet.

Curse Of The Cat People.

We own a gorgeous golden-ginger cat,
Oops, sorry, better let me rephrase that;
We, being the select ones who foot the bill
For the Temptation treats that must overspill
From the crystal bowl from which He eats his fill;
Oh, ain't we the lucky ones who he bends to his will?

But just think about the joy we're getting,
He accepts the need for his constant petting,
And all we must do is dumbly bow to his demands,
(Changeable as his fickle choice of cat food brands,)
And show willingness to instantly heed his commands;
Oh, we'd better, or he'll happily bite off our tender hands.

'Why does my manservant blow a gasket
if I do my business in the laundry basket?
I've given him my most magnanimous wink;
By now, he surely knows I don't stop to think;
What's steadily driving him to a morning drink?
Why must my pure natural motions raise a stink?'

For ten snoozy hours he asks for f- sod all,
Then, 'pon waking, to be at his beck and call,
Then to heed his winsome mewling at the door,
For the Prince's day starts prompt at half past four,
And His Royal invocation is not one we dare to ignore.
Yep, our Princeling has us wrapped 'round his little claw.

'I'm quite the curious cat, if I say so myself,
Jumped up to check out the knick-knack shelf,
So, a lifetime of precious souvenirs went flying?
An entire community of Delft figurines lay dying?
Hush now, as high up on sole display I purr, lying;
No point in looking at that crocked collection, crying.'

As the cold of winter comes creeping in
The Golden One has taken to sleeping in,
After dark- and wolfing down his can of Dine
There's one subject to which he's taken a shine,
That armchair he now claims- that's rightfully mine!
But what lowly peasant dare disturb our prized feline?

'Okay, so I have self-focus issues. Bite me.'

Our team leader, our inspirational Captain, Master and Commander- he was admirably suited tell us where to go.

Not A Prayer This Sunday.

Back in the bad old days I worked six nights a week
And so I couldn't pursue my top-class football dream,
So I played Sunday, where the substandard was weak,
But our church dodgers still made a decent drinkin team.

Then came an unholy Sunday I recall till this day,
We turned up imperiously in our Imperial Blue,
Burncastle would be the token opposition we'd put away,
But as we strutted out- in a sudden chill ill-wind blew.

Above, our bright blue sky took on a somber grey cast,
From the deep South storm clouds gathered balefully,
They banked up, then swept darkly in, cold and fast;
Short sleeved and shorts clad lads looked up palefully.

The sparse black and white scarfed 'Castle crowd
Looked sourly at us, then dourly up at the squall,
Then- a flash of lightning- a thunderclap LOUD!
From heaven, an antediluvian deluge began to fall.

The ref raised his arm, blew his whistle and play began,
The tempest fair whistled through me as I set off on a run,
Our technically gifted team played with panache and elan
But our game plan and hopes faded, like the dimming sun.

The Recreation Ground is no warm or welcoming place,
It's not green, it's not pristine, it's a rutted mud-filled field,
With the raw wind at my back, the sun hiding its fickle face? 
Running up a tab down at the Crown increasingly appealed.

So much for slick play full of feints, dribbles and stepovers,
Now the best we could hope for was to stay on our feet,
Not losing a boot was a feat worthy of 'Roy Of The Rover's,'
The weather levelled the field 'tween the low and the elite.

God, why say sun day if you overfill every Sunday with rain? 
Still, if we could not outskill 'em we could run around 'em,
We tipped 'n' ran, passed 'n' ran, ran and kicked on again,
Left gasping in our wake, our fluid feet all but drowned 'em. 

Our Captain roared his blue crew forward in wave after wave,
'Aye aye Sir!' And yet my cocksure confidence began to waver,
Every kick saw their 'keeper making another miraculous save,
On this ghastly Sunday good God was showing us no favour.

At the half-time whistle we drudged to the dressing sheds,
Our fresh-bought new bright blue kit now a shi uniform brown,
On the wooden benches we saturated, shaking puzzled heads,
Then the Captain stood up and gave us a right dressing down.

Never had I seen our noble Captain look so sorely pained,
Our Great Leader By Example made us all feel we be little,
As down upon us, his dripping team, his displeasure rained,
And none were spared his excoriating appraisal, nor spittle.

The ref blew on his blue hands, then for the last half to start,
The blue team looked on High, confident Good would prevail,
Were we not strong, long of limb, brave and stout of  heart?
But some felt a lapse of faith as we faced the incoming hail.

From that cursed moment, whatever could go wrong, did;
My best mate Mike, our best dribbler, stomped on the ball,
Oh, hear our Cap'n, rock of our defence, now almost rabid,
Standing firm as all about him could but slip and pratt-fall.

And what a bucketful of possession our damned team had-
I- I must've had a hatful of chances to stick one in the net-
But try as I may my aim was off a tad (sorry Skip, my bad!)
I daren't find the eye of my Cap'n; no wish to see him upset.

Then came the dreaded moment, his our calamitous mistake,
The ball wibble-wobbled off a stray boot, fell to one of Them,
Our two defenders, stuck in the mud- such an unlucky break,
Yet our Cap'n stood firm, calm and cool 'mongst the mayhem.

Their goal-bound striker gave the slippery ball a heavy touch,
The ball slithered towards the one to whom we're all beholden,
Our hero, our Captain, the lauded oracle we listen to too so much 
Slid,
       slipped,
                     fell, 
                            but just before he swore...silence was golden. 

Lightning flashed, thunder crashed, down the sleet slashed,
Our slip-shod Captain lay flat on his back, feet up in the air,
After the heavy ball that lucky Burncastle lad lightly splashed
And blasted the ball in our goal, off of our Cap'ns ample rear.

...There are some days, some games you cain't never win...
Losing by the odd goal, sat in the gloomy shed, glum, numb...
But nowadays Mike and I can still raise a pint and a silly grin
Then laugh like drains recalling the goal scored by the big bum. 

Then comes the sobering moment; aye, then the laughter dies;
Our loquacious leader had left us, without a word, so to speak,
He felt he had lost face in front of his team, at least in his eyes-
Silently he'd limped away, swiping an eye, rubbing a red cheek. 

And since our Captain has cast himself away
Still we meet, every blessed Sunday afternoon,
Have a tot in salute to our lost cap'n, and pray,
'Bon Voyage, safe return,' but never too soon. 


‘That shi- sinking feeling.’

©Obbverse.

It’s time to kick one of the Classics; Poe’s heavy-on-the-dread ‘The Raven’ is overdue a take-off. Or a piss-take.

(Written for Chel Owen's Terrible poetry contest- easy rules; basically use the first line of a well known poem and then put your twisted spin on it.)

The Rottenest Ever Hangover. 

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
After many a gin sunken I'm found slumpen 'pon the floor,
Dryly heaving, stomach clenching, regretting my night out wenching,
'Twas all quite gut-wrenching but I've known of its ilk before,
Muttered I, 'I'll go out and get pissed- pie-eyed no more,'
Murmuringly, for my skull be ever sore.

Ah, painfully in a head most tender I remember 'twas quite the bender;
E'en as each clang of pain in my brain rings down to its sodden core,
Uneasily recalling that I and that barfly signora put away a plethora
Of gin, oodles of Boodles* resulted in a night of sin worthy of Gomorrah,
Now that fair maid lies sleepily sated, a beauty without flaw,
Yet I shudder at her ev'ry snore.

Oh, the pain, teeth gritting, hard hitting, never quitting, head splitting,
In the mirror, pale and pallid I see the sorriest wretch you ever saw,
Aye, red rimmed eyes a' gleaming, the mind silently screaming-
I, a drunk with liver past redeeming, 'twill take a miracle to restore,
Oooh, but I'll drag myself to that familiar door-
One I've slammed behind me a time or two afore-
And retake the AA pledge once more.

*Boodles, a fine old English gin, one I'm still quick to recommend - but best take it slooowly, in moderation.  

©Obbverse.

Early this autumnal morning I was privileged to see Manchester United’s ‘diss-play’ against Leicester City- a hard watch. (Man U 1, Leicester 1.)

Effortless At Old Trafford.

Well, I just quietly put down the Sky remote,
Choked back the primeval cry from my throat,
I didn't curse at God or kick the dog, nor the cat-
Whenever I watch Man U on TV at night they all scat.

Oh, believe me, I feel like wildly ranting and raving,
But I consider the kids, and a marriage worth saving,
I don't wish to raucously rouse my sleeping household,
And why get Noise Control or divorce lawyers involved?

So rather than screaming, I decided to silently vent,
Now over my keyboard I'm pounding, displeasure bent,
Spewing, spouting out all my frustrations over the season-
The way soddin' United have failed to play I've many a reason.

Man U have so easily blown away two recent bosses,
(Less two sharing the glory, more halving their losses,)
But I watched as our torpid crew drew to Leicester today
And most couldn't muster the energy to even fester away.

I saw our wonky backline, Mag, Luke Unsure, Dalot,*
Outside of Varane- as defenders they don't offer a lot,
Did Cap'n Maguire bellow out his directions from the deep?
Barely a peep, seeing his fellow defenders keep falling asleep.

Given our toothless attack, Rangnick gave Rashford a run,
After a jog or two, he parked up out wide, enjoying the sun,
McTominay kept manfully back-tackling, not easily shaken off
Till a bad tackle meant someones kneecap or he'd be next taken off.

'Tis a sad day indeed when Man U only score via Fred,
Hearing that would've had Cristiano giggling in his sick bed,
Sad to know Bruno hadn't turned up with his shooting boots on;
Signing a juicy new three-year deal means that's one target down?

We're grateful we can rely on Pogba long as he's here,
Happy are we he's not focusing on his future till next year,
Sancho failed but kept trying; (at least my patience was tried.)
Such an asset, consistently smashing every ball high and wide.

Getting stuck with this second-best team,
Table top remains an unattainable dream,
DisUnited display a lot of huff, a lot of puff,
But blood red passion? Not nearly enough.

*Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot.
 

 

©Obbverse.

I’m being a bit distant socially and media-wise lately. Soreeee.

Focus Issues.

Excuse my poor response to all who've posted,
Don't feel lost, abandoned or- God forbid- ghosted,
These last few days I find all my good humor's gone,
I guess I'm just not happy to be entertaining Omicron.

Between my tiresome bellyaches and pains
Short sharp temperament and long migraines,
Red snotty nose, sore ribs through coughing fits
I'm sick as a kicked dog- ain't that the puppyshits?

How hard we'd tried to keep ours a non-toxic household,
So I'll admit then testing positively made my blood run cold-
Masked up religiously, prayed God keep Covid from our door,
A positive outlook? well, no worries about catching it anymore.

Now I'd (better) thank my sweet spouse- best wife ever!
She soothes my fev'red brow, so I hold no ill will whatsoever-
Tho' viral transmissibility from her Nursing Facility brung it home;
(I'm such a shit patient she sez I'm her 'lil' Irritable Bowel Syndrome.')

She scoffs 'basic man flu,'
So I snap 'Sexist and untrue!'
Does it simply never occur?
Obviously I'm sicker than her!

I wake brimful of mucous, with a fuzzy unfocused brain,
My mind tracks back on the same track again and again,
Foggy thoughts goin' round 'n' round on an endless loop...
I'm of half a mind I'm repeatedly stuck on an endless loop...
Was that just deja vu or did I mention a flippin' endless loop?

Moaning in my sick bed, phone slipping 'twixt slick hands,
Cain't comment on fresh posts like a good host demands,
So 'scuse me while I sourly swab away the night's sweat,
Till I'm upright my tired 'Like' is 'bout the best you'll get.

                                 'There's 'under the weather' and then there's 'pretty snotty''             

©Obbverse.