Ten Year Wedding Anniversary Poem

Karen Anne you are divine

Finer than The finest wine

In the bar did you think

When we met for that drink

In a scruffy Irish place

Where you wouldn’t normally show your face

That you had fallen very far

Maybe followed the wrong guiding star?

And from where you’d set out to be

Thinking of Brad Pitt and getting me

But you decided to stick around

Talking of family, sport and sounds

From there we accelerated things

Love’s eternal but we added wings

When I flew back from NY

You followed to a place you cannot deny

Is Gods Own County, HG2

Where you can only live if you earn a few

We sold our flats and bought West End

But the house had issues we couldn’t mend

Like a bathroom right at the top

By the time you got there you were ready to pop

But we were happy and gave things a go

When I got a rebate we went to Mexico

Then wedding bells were in the air

The finest party, you had to be there

The Cleaver performed the wedding vows

Swinton Park gave rise to “Wows”

Our families and friends altogether

Everyone we loved; never felt better

Then married bliss nothing altered

But life as we knew it suddenly halted

The day our beautiful boys arrived

I’ve still no idea how we survived

Well actually we had fantastic Dads

And Mums so special we got them both iPads

Karen and a Mum did the night feed

I woke each morning and to God I’d plead

That the boys were still alive and OK

As I rose early for another day

But with the aforementioned help we made it through

A challenging time and something new

A dark and cruel addition to our family

Something which afflicted me

But with your love and companionship

We’re still moving forward despite that dip

With James and Harry, the Famous Four

France and Spain, Sewell’s on tour

We moved to Wheatlands for a song

One that’s expensive and very long

And when some bits were looking nice

You changed the lot for a significant price

The extension never came to pass

A good job really as I was out of gas

By the time the garden was done

But now we can football in rain, snow or sun

By this point you had left AG behind

With WSP providing an alternative grind

So when work is getting a drag

And your spirits are starting to sag

Think of the time you took a chance

And met a guy who refused to dance

And after the first bar we found one more

And negotiated with the bouncers on the door

And the following day we watched Marky Mark

In a hopeless American action lark

And you bought me chocolate Easter fun

You chased away the darkness and brought back the sun

It was way more than ten years ago

That we went together to see that show

And you still blow me away and bring back the sun

Chase away the darkness with cuddles and fun

So that’s it – how you ended up with me

Thank you

I love you

Happy anniversary


Life isn’t always a terribly fun place

When you’re a lap behind in the human race

The paucity of your life’s work you can clearly adduce

If monkeys with typewriters could reproduce

Whatever it was you thought you’d created

Only to find its been misappropriated

By a simian secretarial typing pool

Leaving you feeling like a fool

As the best you can do to stand out from the crowd

Is produce something of which an ape would be proud.

As the storm clouds encircle you

And people say “you look miserable, you really do”

It’s not always easy to explain

That you fear whether you will remain

Capable of parenting like others can.

Playing games, Dad the superman.

But never, ever, ever give up

There’s many a slip tween the lip and the cup

And I’m not done yet so let’s be clear

I’ll keep moving forward, crush the fear

Crush and squeeze it way down deep

Where the monster lies asleep

So onwards, upwards and if the inevitable darkness descends

At least the monkeys’ typing ends

The Carpet Burns

When Mrs Donovan knocked on my door

I admit I expected a little more

Than the offensive tirade she let fly

Most of which passed me by

The genesis of which I was aghast to learn

Related to a serious looking carpet burn

Which spanned the area above her eyes

Resulting in a constant look of surprise

Where her eyebrows used to be

Was nothing and it seemed to me

That she appeared startled by an event

Or so my skewed logic went

As if someone had quietly crept

Up behind her and then leapt

Out in front of the old bird

But what she told me seemed absurd:

she reckoned she had been minding her own

When someone called her on the phone

Which she answered with an abrupt “hello”

But suddenly she really really had to go

Her stomach did not feel great

Presumably something bad she ate

So she rushed directly to the loo

And after she felt better she wondered who

Had called her before she rushed away

And what is was they wanted to say

By this point she had done a courtesy flush

But remained in situ, no need to rush

And as Mrs Donovan lived alone

The toilet door was open and she could see the phone

So she waddled across to wear it lay

Pants round ankles she returned with it to the bidet

The voice said “I’m from the water board

There’s a build up of pressure which is untoward

The pressurised water needs somewhere to go

So we’re warning residents there’s a risk it may blow.”

“When is this likely to occur” Mrs Donovan enquired

And at that very moment she was fired

Like a rocket out of the WC

The pressure had built up and then was free

It shot Mrs Donovan out of the smallest room

Like a witch missing her broom

And onto the carpet face first

A victim of the water burst

And as she told me about this event

And how that she was sent

Onto the carpet with tremendous power

It dawned on me she looked like she’d had a shower

She was absolutely dripping wet

And from the way her jaw was set

Now was not the time to howl

So I invited her in and gave her a towel

But somehow she actually believed

I was the one who’d got her peeved

By some unspecified evil act

An allegation not supported by fact

Although I had done some DIY plumbing

Resulting in a constant humming

Whenever my toilet was flushed

Which may have result in Mrs Donovan being ambushed

As she sat on a pressure cooker

Which very rapidly took her

On an unscheduled flight

Resulting in her looking quite a sight

Should I come clean and reveal what occurred?

No way, that’s absurd

It’s bad enough Mrs Donovan accusing me

But if she had a confession the end would be


The legend of St George

The knight sat on his horse and sighed

“Come out foul beast, you cannot hide

In your lair. So come and fight

If you have the appetite?”

From the cave there came a snort

“I say old chap” came the retort

“Why are you bothering me?

I’m a peaceful soul, can’t you see?”

The knight was suitably unimpressed

It had taken him ages to get dressed.

His suit of armour was a pain

And he didn’t fancy taking it off again.

His horse was starting to attract flies

And sweat was getting in his eyes.

“I say, you callow beast, come and fight.”

The knight was sweating, quite a sight.

“There’s no need to be rude” the dragon said.

“You’re the one whose face is all red.

“Let’s agree” said the dragon in a conciliatory tone

“That we resolve this by paper, scissors, stone?”

The knight sat and thought this through.

His options were decidedly few.

If the dragon wouldn’t come out

All he could do was hang about.

Which he didn’t want to do.

He had a dental appointment at half past two.

The knight looked down at his feet and sighed again.

His feet were a twelve, his armour a size ten.

“Oh bugger it” he muttered under his breath.

“If you’re not willing to fight to the death,

Rock, paper, scissors will have to do.”

Then the dragon popped out, right on cue.

It was decidedly smaller than the knight had thought.

The teenie, tiny, shrimpy sort.

“Bloody hell” the knight expleted

“There’s not much chance of me being defeated.

In the normal mortal hand to hand.”

“Well you agreed and the agreement stands”

Replied the midget dragon to the knight.

“But I came here for a proper fight.”

“Well if we keep on arguing we’ll be here all day.”

The knight at this point considered walking away.

“Oh alright” said the knight, clearly embarrassed.

He was starting to feel increasingly harassed.

And from such humble beginnings the legend grew

Of St George and the dragon he allegedly slew

Not be sword and shield and lance

But by a silly game of chance

And of course he didn’t slay

The tiny dragon, that or any other day.

So be careful if into a little cave you climb

And hear a tiny voice saying “Oi, that’s mine.”

The President Has An Awkward Afternoon

The Donald would have been the first one to say

That he hadn’t had his very best start to the day.

His struggles with the sheets had left him gasping for air,

And it was only after Ivana adjusted his hair

That the mysterious curtain was lifted

(There really had been a curtain, The Donald insisted).

But now he really need to think

About the alleged Chinese link

To the Russian whack back attack

Which was somehow related to a hack.

A what? It sounded sports related,

Something that The Donald really hated.

It was so confusing this League of Nations

Monitored by CIA listening stations.

And from their embassy came the Chinese

Greeted by The President, apparently pleased.

“Hurrah” he exclaimed “let’s see what we’ve got

Something sweet, something sour, something spicy and hot.”

“No Mr President, I think you’re confused.”

The delegation were impassive despite being abused.

“Mr President, these allegations we fiercely reject.

They’re entirely unfounded, you’ve lost our respect.

And as for the suggestion we’ve brought you a treat,

We’d ask you kindly not to repeat

The expletive filled rant that went on for so long

When you phoned the wrong number, and who’s Mr Wong?

And why were you screeching things not very nice?

And ranting about spare ribs and special fried rice?

You were talking to our Premier, Mr Zedong.

Not some takeaway shopkeeper, you’ve got it all wrong.

So you owe an apology, nothing less will do.”

Th Donald was struggling, trying to think it through.

A Premier? A what? A Mr Ze-who?

Was this fictitious or factitious? Who knew?

The Donald smiled his smile and sank to the ground.

As he slowly turned his wig back around.

Until it covered his face as before,

And he swiftly fell asleep curled up on the floor.

The President’s Difficult Morning

The President had got out of the wrong side of bed.

He should have tried the top end instead.

He actually headed south to the depths of his covers

And was only rescued by the kindness of others.

The maid found him trapped, tangled up in a sheet.

She knew he was there because of his feet,

Which stuck out the top, one adorned with his wig,

While the rest of him thrashed about like a pig

Stuck in a barrel and making a sound

Like a cross between a seagull and an overexcited bloodhound.

When released from his bed he turned on his saviour

And said “don’t for a minute think this has earned you a favour.

For I am The Donald and the best I can do,

Is to send my thoughts and prayers to you”.

With that he dismissed her in a manner most rude

Not helped by the fact he was entirely nude

Except for the wig which now sat on his head.

He had found it as he escaped from his bed

And plonked it on with a curse and a grunt

But hadn’t yet noticed it was on back to front.

At breakfast this mattered not a jot.

He only had coffee with cream, just a spot.

But at his first meeting he became increasingly certain

That someone had erected a blond, horsehair curtain

Somewhere between his desk and his eyes

Which resulted in him having a terrible surprise.

He was scratching his nuts, alone in his chair,

When he heard a small cough, there was somebody there!

He peered through the thick strands blocking his vision.

He could see a blurred figure so he made a decision.

“Who is that?” he shouted feeling all harassed.

“It’s me” came the reply, clearly embarrassed.

While not the quickest, he wasn’t so dense

As to not recognise the Secretary for Defence.

“What do you want Stan, I’m having a bad day.

Can’t you see someone’s hung a curtain in my way?”

Stan was perplexed by the sight of The President

Looking like an enraged Monkey House resident.

“I’m sorry Sir but there’s been a cyber attack.

We think it’s the Russians behind the hack.”

The Donald turned away revealing the back of his head

Which sported a fringe, “errr Mr President” Stan said.

“What’s this cyber nonsense you’re rabbiting about?”

The President spun round, he’d started to shout.

“Those Russians will regret this hack, whack attack.

The only thing for it is to hack, whack them back.”

“So your orders, Mr President” Stan said to the wig

“Will have repercussions, which could be quite big”.

“Get on with it man” came the response.

“I shouldn’t have to say things any more than once.”

Stan looked at the man with his wig over his face,

And thought to himself is this the finest member of the human race

We could have elected to be Commander in Chief?

Who looks like he’d be more comfortable eating a leaf

Or a banana, a plum or peach

We would have been better with something washed up on a beach.

Like a crab or a turd or an old palm tree frond,

Or whatever crawled out of the bottom of a pond.

He sighed to himself and walked out of the room

With his orders provided by a wig wearing buffoon.

And The President sat back down and continued to stare Intently into his back to front hair.

He was sure the liberal elite were behind this diversion. Then he closed his eyes and slept behind his hair curtain.

This time last year we visited New York – this was written intermittently which is why it’s a bit of a mess

New York

Richard and John and Karen and Char

Went by train, taxi and car

Either to York or to dirty Leeds

From where the Virgin Trains proceed

With plenty of banter along the way

(John obviously had nothing to say)

And tonight when the fab four meet

The excitement nearly knocking us off our feet

We’ll chat and laugh and scheme

As soon we’ll be living the American dream

Rich with his leather jacket in tow

Like an ageing 50-year-old Marlon Brando

Karen who under the weight of her bag

Found her body beginning to sag

Pulled extra items from various places

Then stowed them away in other people’s cases

Well Charlotte has been having a good old bitch

As their seats have been moved but she’s still next to Rich

And will John eventually crack a smile?

Rather in contrast to his pallbearer’s style

But things started to swing the Woodworth’s way

When the hotel checkin declared them ‘guests of the day’

But Char found matters a little less funny

Lying awake with a churning tummy

The flight combined loads of TV and some snoring

By the end of the second film it was getting quite boring

Well I hope the pair in front of us had a comfortable flight

As they lay in our laps, the rude sacks of shite

Next we would take the immigration test

Would Richard be stripped to his pants and his vest?

While we three lined up with quite a few

Rich went to the front and wandered straight on through

Without waiting for the 10 minutes or so

Which basically shows what the rest of us know

I would argue the transfer wasn’t so bad

Although the others worried that we had been had

Concerned that the taxi was taking us the long way round

And we all hope the driver doesn’t leave his mobile lying around

The hotel is good and the Mexican was nice

Until Rich tried the guac and then found out the price

Friday was cold like you’ve never known

So Richard made an addition to headwear he owns

Then Richard and Karen went skating in Central Park

Charlotte and John went to the Frick via a very long walk

After sushi, the nightclub doorman showed some real front

John went to bed rather than deal with the gentleman

Richard also decided to retire to his bed

The girls went drinking and dancing and woke with sore heads

The following day three of us breakfasted on eggs

Then wandered in the sunshine, stretching our legs

Sometime later Charlotte joined in the fun

Altogether we went strolling in the bright Autumn sun

But not a morsel passed through her lips

Until she acquired some questionable chips

For tea we swapped Gotham for very loud pasta

But were rescued by burgers, averting dinner disaster

This morning, to Balthazar, for a breakfast treat

Have we actually done anything other than eat?

And as we prepare to return to the UK

Reflecting on the weekend I’d have to say

That I’ve really had the best time in a long while

With Karen and Rich and Char even I occasionally smile