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 
                            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.’


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.  


‘Hi, Neil Parish? Boris here; please hand your resignation and phone in. Now.’ Another stupid Tory MP brazenly seen to be doing the wrong thing.

Screen All Calls, Neil.

The fine folk of Teviton and Hoviton, down in Devon
Thought they lived in a slice of pure Southern heaven,
A quiet place where the salt of the earth simply dwell-
Now Neil Parish has blown the sweet illusion all to Hell.

For twelve years he'd toiled in the House to little regard,
A hack back bencher doing House work but doin' it hard,
Few call on him, rare are the times Neil's moved to stand,
He's usually left to ruminate on his phone, rapt in his hand.

He was found out in the House of Commons, watching porn,
Not alone, in the Roxy, in the dark with a box of hot popcorn?
Why, once again we see another Tory sat sad and contrite,
Offering up the best rushed apology he had time to write,
He knows he must live with this act for the rest of his life...
Which mightn't be long, once he's in the grip of his wife.

Once hubby is resigned and restrained within her four walls
Wifey might whip him a flip-top so he can answer his calls,
For hubby now a no-frills no-thrills Nokia surely suffices;
Not-so-smart Neil cannot be left to his phone (de)vices.

Come the Election, if Boris's Party Time culminates in a rout
Will House breeches help to get Blue members tossed out?

‘I seem to have an unhealthy attraction towards tractors. And I hope my trembling hand ain’t shaking too much.’
‘Now this, Sir, is a proper Pleasure Palace. Sit down, and PLEASE turn your phone OFF.’


A couple of nursery rhyme-style offerings about some p(r)etty beautiful people.

(For Chel Owens Terrible Poetry Comp/ Nursery Rhyme parody.)

Giving Chris a Hand.

Will, he had a little slap,
Rock reeled back from the blow,
Will wouldn't say 'Chris, shut your trap;'
To no more Oscars Will he go.

‘Will Smith ironically rockin’ out the peace sign.’

Jack And Ill Will.

It was ON
'Tween Amber and John,
Their freakshow-biz deal Deppinitely over.

After many years,
Crossed words, crocodile tears
Their lawyers settled, finally in the clover.

‘He said, Heard said- sounds like a Horror show.’

(After a further painful five minute watch of this farcical court room dramedy, I was less inspired than in despair. So why not spit out another one?)

Poorly Playing Out.

Jack Sparrow and ex-wife had a spat, 
'Twas nasty, vicious, mendacious and mean,
Between 'em both I swear on my oath
I've ne'er seen anything so X-Ratedly obscene.


More football angst. Why does another heartfelt loss feel more like a kick in the- head?

(Newcastle 1, Crystal Palace a big fat zero.)

Out Of The Cup And Out Of Sorts.

At Crystal Palace, now our FA Cup bid's but a dream
Will that painful bitter loss hangover the fragile team?
...Proud Palace trot out at St James,
A win would boost our top ten claims...
But come half-time, and lucky to be but one goal behind
Cleary a Crystal win's the the furthest thing in my mind.

Hell, it's not as if Newcastle even played all that great-
More Palace spending all the half in a vegetative state,
After half-time our game improved,
Now the torpid midfield felt moved-
Either our eleven shuffling zombies had woken up
Or down in the dressing room Pat *had spoken up?

Now our red'n'blue wonkily striped crew began to press,
The bibulous baying Tyneside crowd heard less and less,
Aye, the loud Toon** crowd, deathly quiet
In expectations of our Zaha running riot,
But, like aimless Anderson did twice*** the game before 
Today Zaha missed- mishit- shit, couldn't hit a barn door.

*Patrick Vieira, Manager of Palace.
** Local name For Newcastle Town. You gotta use the accent, man.
***One snap-shot off the post is understandable Jo. That free header over the top against Chelsea though Jo?  No, no excuses.



Boris Johnson is resigned to have to apologise. A simple resignation would be… just better.

Party Time.

Boris knows he has to admit to his mistake,
Never been a thing he felt obligated  to make,
But given there's principles a PM's future at stake
He'll make his sad and sorry apology, for pity's sake.

Though well practiced,  Bo knows sincerity's hard to fake.

Oh, Boris Johnson, why don't you just resign?
Your blithe denials about 'a quick birthday wine'
Have resulted in the cops slapping you with a fine-
For you breaking your own rules, you pompous swine.

Your gullible public can't swallow that fatuous lie line.

See Boris front up and 'fess up to a minor mistake,
(Though Bo believes rules are made for him to break)
As a clear and transparent apology his is muddily opaque,
A strained 'sorry' comes as hard for him to say as us to take.

This steamin' hot mess Bo aims to pile on us is no birthday cake. 

Oh, Bonehead Johnson, you know it is just to resign,
Surely, even you must see your star has lost its shine?
Boris, dare you consider- God forbid- you are not divine?
There's talk of you and coups coming down the grapevine.

So go Bo- your Party contains more pricks than a porcupine.

‘Oi, polloi!- Boris Johnson, at your bumbling humble service.’


A quick re-view of the absolute mother of slasher flicks. Oh, the Hitchcockian horror!

Mother And Sonny Boy.

Here's a classic story of a road trip gone sadly wrong,
Set back in those innocent ol' days for which we long,
Let's start with pretty Marion Crane, our bird in flight,
Running from the ugly truth, she's a thief in the night.

She's put behind her an honest life and the Phoenix sun,
Grabbed a golden opportunity to take the money 'n' run.

But for Marion this guilt trip becomes a mental ordeal,
Though she travels alone, second thoughts start to steal,
First, black clouds gather above, deeply darkening her day
Till a shower impels here towards a motel, an overnight stay.

(What rotten luck for a poor sodden waif in dire straits-
Well, she'll get a nice warm reception from Master Bates.)

Marion kindly accepts the door key Norman proffers her,
Dutifully signs an assumed name on the dusty motel register,
Norm's eyes dance when she gazes wide-eyed round the lobby,
Dead birds transfixed everywhere; taxidermy's Norm's hobby.

Norman sees the comely Miss Crane as a most attractive guest,
He dreams of bedding her, she dreams of bed too- only bed rest.

He wonders if the Fates had drawn them to one another,
But is she really the girl he should introduce to Mother?
After some words and a sandwich she retires for a shower,
Norm trudges home, wondering if Ma's still up at this hour?

Are Ma's tight apron strings less a comfort than tether?
Sighs, knows they're stuck together, two birds of a feather.

Marion steps into the shower, for to wash her sins away,
Come morning she'll return, to whatever debt she must pay,
Ready for ten hard years if so harshly judged by the Court,
But not considering capital punishment- perish the thought!

But Norm's Mom won't cut Marion no slack, that's for certain;
Quickly, cut away, wrap up the evidence in the shower curtain.

Norman suspects his dear sweet Mom has gone berserk
Norm loves his Mom, but boy, she makes for hard work,
Now Normie does what any mother loving son would do,
Flipping from motel manager to frenzied clean-up crew.

Norman scrubbed at them bloody tiles with Vim and vigour,
Whatever had possessed Mom he confessed he couldn't figure.

Into Miss Cranes '57 Ford goes Marion's body of evidence,
So, Norm, where to hide a hot Ford and its cooling contents?
A swamp on the property ends Norman's hidden troubles,
The '57 slowly settles in the silt, gently blowing bubbles.

But Marion's Sis, lover, and private eye Arbogast are on her trail-
Norman feels protective of his Mom, so old and mentally fu frail.

Norman feels obliged to tell them he's not seen hide nor hair
Of the missing Miss Crane- truthfully, so far as he's aware,
He'd not seen her face, swears she's not set foot in the place,
'Perhaps only a free spirit could fly off and not leave a trace?'

Eagle-eye private eye Arbogast spies the register's latest name;
Strange, if 'Mary' ain't 'Marion,' why's the handwriting the same?

Now Arbogast sees guilt in Normie's twitchy nervous manner;
Like when he asks if he might speak with the lady of the Manor?
Arbogast sneakily returns, hoping Mother will sing like a bird-
Had Arby never heard, with Norman's Mom, never a bad word?

Arbogast is one hard-boiled PI, sad he's not sharp as a knife,
(I'd not get Norm's mother mad at me, not on my sweet life.)

Boy, has sweet gentle grey haired ol' Mother Bates changed!
She's gone from quietly truculent to completely deranged!
Alas, poor Arbogast, he feels in his heart, deep in his chest
The killer in this crime is one only Freud could've guessed.

Another poor body down for the count, wrapped for despatch;
Ma's either ridin' the lightnin' or bouncin' in the booby hatch.

With Arbogast gone Sis Lila and lover boy question Norm,
With every shifty Bates evasion Lila's suspicion further form,
Lila slips off to talk to Mother while the two men converse-
Both conversations are bound to go from bad to worse.

Normie ends all the chat by whackin' lover upside the head,*
Wow, if Norm catches Lila with Mom, this conversation's dead.

(Nowadays, in these times of 'Elm Street' 'Scream' and 'Creep'
We know the heroine's gonna end up in shi excrement deep
If she runs upstairs to the attic or down here to the fruit cellar-
But back in 1960, who in their right mind was left to tell her?)

Could a little old lady do a strong young woman much harm?
Ask lil' sister, in an underwater Ford, deep down on the farm.

Lila stepped into the fruit cellar, and into her living nightmare-
Who was that, sat deep in the shadows in a bentback chair?
Seeing Mom off her rotten face left Lila gasping and petrified,
A boys love for Mom ain't enduring when Ma's half mummified.

Yet Momma lives on, or at least lives on as Norman in drag,
In skirt, slip and wig Norm transforms into a wiggy ol' bag.

Norm/Mom's caught by hard headed Sam, lover of Marion;
In 1960 a cross-dresser/killer** was not the normal carry on,
Herr Doktor may well work wonders in fixing Norm's brain
But no-one can ever put Marion Crane back together again.

Now Norm's put away, wouldn't hurt a fly, a gnat he'd not annoy,
But who resides still, stuck in the mind of that crazy mama's boy?

*End of heavy discussion; wake with light concussion.
**Yes, let's say 'cross-dressing slash killer'. Why not?
‘Guess who turns out to be Mothers little helper? Or, like me and Marion, did you not see it coming either?’


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.



When you get sick, sometimes even you just can’t help yourself.

Tweet Pray Loaf; Living Within The Quarantine Staycation.

I'm done quarantining at home, living here in fear,
Today I've not got COVID, my snot runs near clear,
I'm done with home rest,
I've passed my RATS test,
All my systems are 'Go,'
I'm Negative when I blow,
No more sterile swizzle sticks, to get up the nose of;
No gross sticky issues, icky green tissues to dispose of.

For seven long days I've lived no better than a leper,
Avoided social interaction like a Doomsday prepper,
Now I can put aside high anxiety,
Welcome to rejoin our sick society,
Since I dodged the funeral shroud
I wanna stand out in the crowd,
Now I can't bear to be stuck a single day at home alone
In the company of the most miserable bastard I've known.

‘Hey, I’m outta isolation, don’t look at me like I’m some nasty infection.’


Having a baby in the USA don’t come cheap. High Health Insurance costs ensure you’ll have a fit when handed the bill; That should leave you spewing and sobbing like your baby.

Overdue Thanks.

We cain't leave without thanking the Maternity Team-
To those oh so many who helped deliver us our dream
Understand, this poor mother was full of Nitrous Oxide
And an eight-pound boy who wasn't ready to be outside.

Salutations to all in the endlessly rotating parade of staff
Who worked with us as she laboured for a day and a half,
We're sorry, to all those many nurses who came and went,
Believe me, those flippin' curses weren't personally meant.

Untold thanks to the NHS* for giving so freely of their time,
We're blessed to know we can go not owing one thin dime,
Happily we three can leave- scot free- the Royal Infirmary-
If he'd been born in the USA we'd be paying for all eternity.

*The National Health Service, free to all residents in Scotland and the UK.

‘All part of the Service’