Friday, August 10, 2007

A Familiar Refrain

The eyes of my teddy have fallen out,
My brand new football is flat.
My clockwork tractor is up the spout,
And my Smarties were robbed by the cat.
I’ve lost my Subbuteo football fan,
My Jordan sweatshirt got torn,
Daddy trod on my Action Man
And it’s still only Christmas morn.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Who Killed Cock Robin?

“I,” said the Stork.
“I popped his cork.
I killed Cock Robin.”

“I,” said the Owl.
“With my little towel,
I killed Cock Robin.”

“I,” said the Jay.
“I made him pay.
I killed Cock Robin.”

“I,” said the gannet.
“With a large piece of granite.
I killed Cock Robin.”

“I,” said the Crow.
“I broke his toe.
I killed Cock Robin.”

“I,” said the Finch.
“It was a cinch.
I killed Cock Robin.”

“I,” said the Chough.
“He thought he was tough.
I killed Cock Robin.”

“I,” said the Coot.
“I stuck in the boot.
I killed Cock Robin.”

“I,” said the pheasant.
“Though it was unpleasant.
I killed Cock Robin.”

“I,” said the wren.
“And I’d do it again.
I killed Cock Robin.”

“Enough!” said the Quail.
“You’re all going to jail
For killing Cock Robin.”

Whatever Happened to the Millennium Clock?

The Millennium Clock. Now, does that ring a bell?
The unfortunate “Time in the Slime”?
Oh, spare me a moment in which I will tell
Of a wicked and dastardly crime.

A long time ago, back in old ninety nine,
The people of Dublin were reckoned
To warrant a timepiece encrusted with brine
That counted down each shagging second.

What joy! What happiness! What ecstatic bliss!
What wonderful cause for elation!
A bloody great clock in a river of piss,
All thanks to the brave Corporation.

At O’Connell Bridge people queued up for days
To watch the red seconds descending,
And, though it was viewed through a yellowy haze,
The queues for it seemed never-ending.

Problems and troubles were all washed away,
When faced with this wondrous invention,
And as the big numbers got smaller each day,
We got pre-millennial tension.

But then, one fine morn, the damn thing wasn’t there,
The Liffey was no longer ticking,
Though people continued to look down and stare
And Japanese cameras kept clicking.

Oh, well I remember that terrible day
That Dublin’s proud timepiece was taken.
Grown men found it tricky to keep tears at bay,
So lost and forlorn and forsaken.

Old men hugged each other, and little girls wept,
With consummate grief and self-pity,
And all through the afternoon, dark rumours swept
Through the north and the south of the city.

The media circus surrounded Wood Quay,
Demanding immediate answers,
And, scenting a story, reported with glee
That the men in the Corpo were chancers.

At length came a spokesman, along with a brief,
Imploring us all not to panic.
The clock hadn’t sunk; there was no need for grief –
It was hardly the shagging Titanic.

The Liffey was manky, he went on to say,
Exceedingly grubby and dirty.
It needed some purification but they
Didn’t get enough money from Bertie.

The Millennium Clock, he imparted with force,
Had been subject to regular screening,
And, due to the slime, as a matter of course,
They had taken it off for a cleaning.

The people all breathed a huge sigh of relief
That everything seemed as it oughta.
And all throughout Dublin, there was the belief
That this explanation held water.

The Millennium Clock never surfaced again,
The people forgot all about it.
The story went round that they’d cleaned it in vain,
And no-one had reason to doubt it.

But now is the time for the truth to be sold,
No need for misrepresentation.
For it was a pup that the city was sold,
With meticulous prevarication.

Two men, late at night, from the edge of the quays,
Pushed a dinghy out into the river.
The cold, icy breeze made the older man sneeze,
And the younger one gave a sharp shiver.

They paddled away by the light of the moon,
Though both of them chattered and trembled.
They worked very carefully, and very soon
The Millennium Clock was dissembled.

They floated downstream to the Custom House Dock
Where a black hi-ace van with a skylight
Stood waiting to whisk the two men and the clock
Away into Dublin’s bleak twilight.

The Corpo decided, Jack Nicholson-wise,
That the truth was too awful to handle,
And so they concocted a tissue of lies
In order to stifle a scandal.

The mood of the mob was uncertain to gauge.
Imagine the wild accusations!
Far better the lie that would dissipate rage,
And so, the mundane explanations.

But, hold on a minute, I hear you butt in,
How come only you know the truth?
Well, that’s not quite true, I reply with a grin –
There’s my son, a remarkable youth.

We live in a semi in Dublin’s North Wall,
I oftentimes wish it was bigger.
But when we admire our big clock on the wall,
I find it so hard not to snigger.

New Year

New Year,
New fear,
New resolutions,
New dissolutions,
New aspirations,
New complications,
New ambitions,
New conditions,
New relations,
New temptations,
New impressions,
New repressions,
New expressions,
New depressions,
New salvation,
New damnation,
New rapport,
New clear war.

Newgrange Me Arse!

The winter solstice night was nearly finished,
The sun was making signals in the east,
The power of the darkness was diminished,
The terror of the longest night decreased.

I sat there in the kitchen eating cornflakes,
The kitchen drapes were parted just a crack,
I vaguely heard the rasping cry of corncrakes
Heralding the dawning out the back.

Then suddenly the sun’s first rays appeared
Over Paige’s ironmonger’s store,
And something happened that was really weird,
Something I had never seen before.

A shaft of light shot through the parted curtain,
And hit my mural of three ducks in flight,
I turned the light off, for I was quite certain
Darkness would augment this wondrous sight.

The first green duck was all illuminated,
A leading light in each and every sense,
I bit my lip, transfixed and fascinated,
The atmosphere electrified and tense.

Then, as the sun peeped higher over Paige’s,
The light did seem to travel down and right,
Inch by inch it crept in tiny stages
Until the second duck came into sight.

I barely breathed in hope and expectation,
For nature still had not revealed her all,
Not satisfied with this illumination,
Remorselessly it travelled down the wall.

I sensed the third and final duck get nearer.
Excited, I could hardly bear to look.
At first, a beak and then a head grew clearer,
And then the soaring body of the duck.

Three ducks shone forth from out the inky blackness,
Haloed in the winter solstice sun.
And though they stayed quite stationary and quackless,
They shouted that the longest night was done.

The next few days, just as the sun was dawning,
I waited for the sight to reappear.
But the only time it happened was that morning
Of the Druids’ ending of the year.

What men were these who built this humble dwelling
Way back in August nineteen ninety three?
What astronomic secrets were they telling,
These fabled architects of destiny?

The First Noel

Noel, Noel,
Noel, Noel.
Born is the King of Israe.

The Reverse of the Coin

On Christmas Day, the tension ceased,
Brown faces into cackles creased,
And trenches deep disgorged their band
Of soldiers into no-man’s land.
And as they through the dank mist peered,
Brown faces with broad smiles appeared,
And clambered out to meet their foe,
With metaphorical mistletoe.
And cigarettes were handed round,
With photographs, dry, crunched and browned,
And when a football was produced,
The enmity again reduced,
And laughter, talent and fair play
Became the order of the day,
As human jetsam, urged to kill,
United in the common thrill
Of boot and leather, crosses, passes,
Loved by all the working classes.

Nigh on ninety years have passed
Since all those men were shot or gassed,
And I sit in my easy chair
Too far removed to really share
In those emotions that prevailed
When men against the system railed.
It seems an instinct born of good.
Humanity crawled out of mud
And shook his killer by the hand –
Thus far can I understand.

But I, so hypocritically racked,
Can’t comprehend the simple fact,
That on the next morn, war resumed
For men once more with death consumed.

St. Peter Saves Christmas

God wasn’t thrilled by the presents received.
They hadn’t been as good as he’d believed.
No quad bikes, games or fancy clocks,
Just packets and packets of novelty socks.
Of course, he didn’t envy his only Son,
Who had Christmas and birthday all rolled into one,

But just when he thought the presents were over,
He heard St. Peter crying “Jehovah!”
And there, hobbling up from the Heavenly Gate,
Came the very first Pope with a massive crate.
“Happy Christmas God,” said the archetypal
Fisherman who became disciple.

God looked hard at the old apostle,
Standing beside the crate colossal.
“It’s not full of socks?” he asked with alarm,
Feeling a shiver running down his arm.
But Peter just smiled and stood quite still,
Proffering God the cordless drill.

In ten seconds flat, the screws were out,
And the Lord let out a mighty shout.
“Holy Smoke! Great Balls of Fire!
I’ve got my very own tumble drier!”
And he jigged around the new machine
That would dry the clothes once they were clean.

“Oh thanks, old pal, old buddy, old mate!”
He yelled to the Keeper of the Heavenly Gate.
“Its just the thing I’d hoped to get.
Old friend, I’m forever in your debt.”
And he heaved the machine up onto his back
And hurried away to the utility shack.

The rest of the angels watched him depart
And said, “Dear Peter, please do impart
How you should know that special gift
Would give the Lord above a lift.
Did he drop hints how much he loathes
The time it takes to dry his clothes?”

St. Peter smiled and shook his head.
“No, not a bit of it,” he said.
“There were no clues, as I recall,
Nor hints of any kind at all.
But wherefore do you all enquire?
Sure, don’t you know? God loves a drier.”

Silent Night Part II

See! The blackbird sits and warbles
On the glintzy Christmas baubles.
Hark! The turtle doves are calling
Through the flurries gently falling.
Lo! The robin redbreast singing,
Choir to joyous church bells ringing.
Holy Night, as clear as crystal,
Someone hand me my air pistol.

Silent Night?

Silent Night, Holy Night,
Kids soon put sleep to flight.
Who’s that clattering my front door?
I can’t stand “Silent Night” any more.
Leave me in heavenly peace,
Leave me in heavenly peace.

Silent Night, Holy Night,
Chamber pot from a height.
Soon told them little brats where to go,
Standing there in the yellowing snow,
Christ, roll on Christmas morn,
Christ, roll on Christmas morn.

Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht,
Sie sind jetzt Nummer acht.
Warum kommen Sie zu diesem Haus?
Schein ich mir wie Sankte Niklaus?
Ich habe jetzt kein mehr Geld,
Ich habe jetzt kein mehr Geld.

Post Christmas Miracle

The turkey meat was at an end,
The ham had been devoured,
The stuffing now was history,
The trifle-cream had soured.

The mince-pie box was full of crumbs,
The tangerines were black,
I looked inside our empty fridge,
Just longing for a snack.

“There’s not a thing to eat in here,”
I called out to my wife.
“It’s time we did a shop again,
It’s back to real life.”

She looked inside the fridge and said,
“Now that I don’t believe!
Did someone eat the cheeses that
I bought on Christmas Eve?”

“Not me!” said I. “Not me!” said Neil.
“Not me!” said our Louise.
“It must have been the Holy Ghost –
He’s awful fond of cheese.”

“Three small cheeses fat and round,”
She furrowed up her brow.
“But did I put them in the fridge?
I’m not so certain now.”

We looked beneath the Christmas tree,
The wreath upon the wall.
The cards upon the mantelpiece,
We checked them one and all.

We hunted high, we hunted low,
We hunted in between,
But the roundy cheeses, small and fat,
Were nowhere to be seen.

I searched our room, I searched our Neil’s,
I even searched Louise’s.
Then, peering in the crib, I yelled,
“Ah, look! The baby cheeses!”

Ollie Byrne – A Christmas Tale

That legend of Shelbourne, one Oliver Byrne,
Did suffer one advent a bit of a turn.
His eyesight went hazy, his vision was spent,
So down to the local opticians he went.

Well, they did loads of tests and they checked out his pupils,
Giving the notion they’d lots of fine scruples.
They discovered that Ollie was badly shortsighted,
And glasses were needed for this to be righted.

The footballing maestro then tried on the masses
Of tortoise-shell, tinted and rose-coloured glasses.
He picked out a pair and was happy until
He took out his wallet to settle the bill.

There were charges for testing and reading the chart,
And for all of the skills of the optician’s art,
A charge for perusing the specs on the shelves,
Not to mention the charge for the glasses themselves.

So Ollie went mad and said there was no way
On this holy earth he’d be willing to pay.
He stormed to the exit, not deigning to stop
And wish “Merry Christmas” to all in the shop.

Blindly he groped through the packed Christmas crowd
Past where carol singers were singing out loud,
And, as the cold air cut his cheeks like a knife, he
Grimaced as they warbled, “The Ollie and the Eye Fee.”

New Year’s Eve

My mother was the middle child
Of seven very different girls.
I’ve seen her photos, running wild,
Her face a mass of golden curls.

Her sisters are like chalk and cheese,
Three are noisy, three are quiet.
The older three say thanks and please,
The younger set of three runs riot.

On New Year’s Eve, the six aunts come
To see the New Year in chez nous.
Alas, it’s too genteel for some,
And far too loud for one or two.

Last year we made a big mistake,
Did not invite the older three.
The younger three conspired to make
A bonfire of our Christmas tree.

This year, poor mother has been put
With this dilemma on the spot –
The younger aunts are coming but
Should older, quaint aunts be forgot?

Midnight Mass

Every Sunday morning, you
May find us in our usual pew,
Nodding at familiar faces
[Also in their usual places.]
Staunch members of society,
We treat the Mass with piety,
And, though the sermon’s rarely dull,
The church is hardly ever full.

However, on a Christmas Eve,
The change is wondrous to believe,
For, through the church’s open door,
Stream people never seen before.
The old, the young, the smart, the crass –
They all arrive at Midnight Mass,
And fill the church from front to rear,
For the first time in the year.

They chatter through the homily
And fidget inattentively,
And I can never understand
Why they can sit and we must stand,
And, as I look at them, I find
Unchristian thoughts invade my mind,
And, in the season of goodwill,
I wish the bastards only ill.


Some friends sent me a calendar
Of America’s mid-west.
The pictures were spectacular,
We really were impressed.

However something puzzled us.
[We ought to ask our friends]
On Stephen’s Day, “Kwanzaa begins”,
On New Year’s Day, it “ends”.

Now what on earth is Kwanzaa?
We haven’t got a clue.
We don’t know how to say it and
We don’t know what to do.

It seems a strange time of the year
To have a celebration,
When you’re utterly lethargic and
Have little motivation.

When you’re drunk and fat and lazy
And you’re feeling far from perky,
When you’re starting to recoil from
The sight of ham and turkey.

When you’re sick to death of chocolates and
There’s nothing on the telly,
When you really should be jogging, but
You cannot move your belly.

When you’re gradually increasing
Your consumption of strong beer,
Building to a crescendo when
You celebrate New Year.

So who on earth decided that
This Kwanzaa should be held
When energy is minimal
And vigour’s been dispelled?

Perhaps it is a festival
To praise the god of sloth?
Or perhaps the god of drunkenness?
Or maybe even both?

Kenny Cunningham

Ireland’s Kenny Cunningham
Is not a massive spender.
He’ll eat his bread with Tesco’s jam,
Eschewing wealth and splendour.
His teammates’ mansions are top drawer,
They dine on quince and pheasants.
But they envy him at Christmas, for
He has tremendous presence.

Jimmy Johnstone

The Shelbourne oul’ lads tell this tale,
And swear it is the truth.
I heard it first when but a pale
And unattractive youth.

Jimmy Johnstone, Super Celt,
A jewel so brightly lustred,
Had left Parkhead, though it was felt
He still could cut the mustard.

Campanologist supreme
[Extremely fond of Bell’s],
He was the Reds’ accountant’s dream
The day he signed for Shels.

His thirst for knowledge knew no bounds,
He’d limitless voracity.
But when he turned out, football grounds
Were bursting to capacity.

But there was one bizarre match, which
Was played on New Year’s Day,
And Jimmy walked on to the pitch
Quite “gingerly,” let’s say.

He never once called for the ball,
Just stood there on the flanks,
Not showing any urge at all
To join the serried ranks.

Then someone played the ball out wide,
Towards where Jim was standing.
He lifted his red head and eyed
The full back so commanding.

And ‘ere said full back got to him
And his pale, death-like pallor,
To many raucous laughs, chose Jim
Discretion over valour.

Collapsing quickly on the ground
Before he could be booted,
The cheers were heard for miles around,
When he was substituted.

There’s madness rife around us all,
But surely it’s the worst
To make a Scotsman play football
On January the First?

In Dublin We Get Useless Snow

In South Mayo,
Great drifts of snow
Adorn the gorse and heathers,
In Cavan town
It sashays down,
A mass of floating feathers.
It’s good and thick
In Ballylick
Where snowball fights are legion,
Across the land,
The snow is grand
Except in one small region.

In Dublin we get useless snow.
It always turns to slush.
It rots your boots
And soils your suits
And turns your socks to mush.
The kids look out the windows
And can’t wait to go and play.
But it won’t set,
It’s far too wet,
And quickly melts away.

In Dublin we get useless snow.
It’s more like frozen rain.
It hits the ground,
Then looks around
And scuttles down the drain.
It’s never thick and crunchy,
Always watery and dirty,
But what a fuss
When Dublin Bus
Knocks off at seven thirty.

In Dublin we get useless snow.
It’s blamed on global warming.
Some greenhouse gas
Collects en masse
To stop the drifts from forming.
The old lads talk about the days
When snowdrifts covered hedging,
When glaciers flowed
Down Rathmines Road
And everyone went sledging.

In Dublin we get useless snow.
The kids all think it’s silly,
There’s not enough
White solid stuff
To build a snowman’s willy.
The scattering, though pitiful,
Is always a sensation.
It just creates
And dominates
Each lunchtime conversation.

In Dublin we get useless snow,
Not what the kids are after.
An Eskimo
Would see our snow
And wet himself with laughter.
The hot Saharan sun beats down
On ancient Akahidu.
And yet I bet
The natives get
Much better snow than we do.

In Dublin we get useless snow,
Though elsewhere there is plenty.
Our cup of woe
Doth overflow
Although it’s minus twenty.
Bobsleigh teams are unimpressed,
Tobogganists get shirty.
We have to know –
Where is the snow?
Hey, what’s the story, Bertie?

Four Tree Two One

He tried a simple pass, but several twigs got in the way,
A header quickly gobbled up by Santa on his sleigh.
Tinsel strewn across the pitch conspired to make him wary,
And then he was up-ended by a self-effacing fairy.

A silver ball with glinting lights connected with his jaw.
For him this festive fecklessness became the final straw.
“Tactics, boss!” he shouted to the sideline in frustration,
“How should we be dealing with this Christmas tree formation?”

For Children on Christmas Eve

Santa’s dead, he died last May,
I’m sorry, girls and boys.
What will you do on Christmas Day
Without your precious toys?

Apparently he had a stroke,
Whilst shouting at his elves,
I always said that those who smoke
Can only blame themselves.

They buried him beneath the ice
The service was quite tasteful.
A simple headstone did suffice
For fear of being wasteful.

The elves then gathered in the hall,
To organise a meeting.
They passed a motion first of all
To reignite the heating.

And then they had a tête-à-tête
To sort out as to whether
It would be better to forget
‘Bout Christmas altogether.

The upshot of the meeting was
They voted for strike action.
No sign of any money ‘cos
Of Santa’s gross inaction.

Tonight is the first Christmas Eve
When reindeer won’t be flying.
I know that it’s hard to believe,
But what’s the point in crying?

So hush, my darlings, close your eyes,
Forget about your sorrow
And please don’t look for a surprise
When you get up tomorrow.


It’s an image that should be inspiring,
Restoring our faith in humanity,
When the cannon and guns ceased their firing
And goodwill overpowered the insanity.

When the mud-spattered fodder came crawling
O’er trenches so cold and decaying,
Sweet respite from murderous brawling,
Repose from the maiming and slaying.

When the Christmas Day truce stopped the slaughter
With its thoughts of a faraway manger,
And wine was dispensed as if water,
And no-one considered a stranger.

When a football was kicked about freely
Where the blood of lost comrades lay frozen,
Concentration so earnest and steely
On the brows of the players thus chosen.

And the smiles brought some warmth and some colour
To the endless expanse, brown and dreary,
And the flush, sweating faces seemed fuller,
Though the eyes remained ghostly and weary.

It’s an image that should be inspiring,
Restoring our faith in humanity,
But the next day the guns started firing
And the world sank once more to insanity.

Christmas Presence of Mind

‘Twas Christmas Eve and all the kids
Awaited Santa’s coming,
Although the rain was bouncing down
Like fifty drummers drumming.
Mrs. Claus said to her husband,
Prefaced with a kiss,
“You wouldn’t send a reindeer out
Upon a night like this.

When you were packing Action Men,
I swore I heard you wheezing,
And, as you stacked the Lego, I
Distinctly heard you sneezing.”
She felt his brow and said,
[Together with another kiss]
“I think you’re coming down with flu,
You’d best give it a miss.”

Santa pushed his chair back and
He stood up with a frown,
“Oh, no!” he cried, “There’s no way I
Could let the children down!
Imagine in the morning,” he cried,
In a tone that shocked her,
“Instead of toys they only found
A sick note from my doctor.”

“Okay, okay,” his wife exclaimed,
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
But when you’re six feet underground,
I will not come to mourn you.
To go outside on such a night
Is frankly quite insane, dear.
So, take the Merc or Jag, but please
Don’t go out in the rain, dear.”

Blowing in the Millennium

I put my fist up to my head in classic contemplation,
Trying hard to work out how to mark this celebration.
The end of one millennium, the starting of the next,
But, how to act historically did have me all perplexed.

I pondered it for months on end, from March until November,
A special feat that future generations would remember.
Eventually it came to me, a plan at last unfurled,
So brazen it would send reverberations round the world.

Forget your Abba tribute bands, your fireworks and your porter,
This plan of mine would blow all other schemes out of the water.
The echoes of it would be felt from Jordan to Jakarta,
And I’d gain immortality as “The Millennium-Spanning Farter.”

My notion was to summon up my inner-body forces,
I’d place my hands upon my knees and gather my resources,
And, as the final seconds chimed, I would let loose a blast
That ceased in one millennium, but started in the last.

I practiced nearly every night, the timing was essential
If I were to realize the daring plot’s potential.
I took a course in Farting at my local evening classes
And tested different foodstuffs for to maximize my gases.

My technique worked and I could soon produce a fart to last,
And easily could let fly with a seven-second blast.
And as the big day dawned, I almost shook with trepidation,
As I prepared to mark it with this act of flatulation.

The family had all arrived by quarter after eight,
[I had been somewhat nervous in case someone should be late]
The Guinness Records man was there to validate my claim,
In case some sneering cynics tried to rob me of my fame.

The Outside Broadcast Unit of the R.T.E. was there,
Competing with the man from Sky to get my fart on air.
The BBC strapped tiny microphones all round my bum,
Which Dad thought quite amusing but which horrified my Mum.

For me, the last few hours came and went without a worry
I scoffed a dozen boiled eggs and one hot, spicy curry,
Four tins of beans and seven cans of cheapo Tesco beer,
My confidence increasing as my destiny grew near.

And, as the countdown started, everybody gave me space.
To much applause, my father even started to say grace.
My hands upon my knees, I held on tightly to my load,
Feeling all the while as if my stomach would explode.

“SIX-FIVE-FOUR…” I heard them yell and tightened up my belly,
Which, up till then, had been cavorting like a toxic jelly.
But, as I clenched my buttocks tight, there came a mighty roar,
The like of which all history had never heard before.

It lasted for a full eleven seconds, even longer,
And took the wind out of my sails as it grew ever stronger.
And everybody turned and stared at dear old Auntie Gin,
Who was sitting on the sofa saying “Better out than in.”

The Guinness Records man announced there was no ambiguity-
The true millennia-spanning fart was there for perpetuity.
They hoisted Auntie Gin on high in cheering hero poses,
Then quickly put her down again and held on to their noses.

Auntie Gin’s a heroine, no-one has cause to doubt it.
She travelled all around the world and wrote a book about it.
She even sold the movie-rights and moved down to L.A.,
Where, though she’s just a blow-in, she still parties every day.

I know I should feel happy for my dear old Auntie Gin.
Her arse is down in hist’ry , I should take it on the chin.
But, often I relive that day, and cannot help but wonder
What might have been, if she had not stepped in and stole my thunder.

April Fool

We got out the extension lead and ran it out the door
Wondering how come none of us had thought of this before.
We trailed it up the garden path until we reached the shed
“I think this should be far enough,” my darling daughter said.

Going back inside the house, my son, whose name is Peter,
Emerged a while later with the portable fan heater.
We plugged it in and pointed it beneath the garden shed
“I think this should be warm enough,” my darling daughter said.

I took the light from Peter’s bike, ignoring all the static,
And the torch we use when venturing into our pokey attic.
I brought them out and pointed them beneath the garden shed,
“I think that should be light enough,” my darling daughter said.

My wife then came out of the house with radio in hand,
And turned it on full blast when she discovered the right band,
And so the Beach Boys Happy Hour blared out beside the shed
“I think that should be loud enough,” my darling daughter said

And then we stopped and waited on that cold December day
Hoping that our machinations wouldn’t go astray.
At last, beneath the shed, a sleepy hedgehog poked his head,
“April Fool, you silly ass!” my darling daughter said.

All is Quiet on Christmas Eve

At the airport the last plane had landed,
And taxied around to the gate.
Some Christmassy swearwords were bandied
Because it was one hour late.

The Christmas Eve rush was completed.
The airport was being closed down.
Incoming travellers were greeted
And shepherded off into town.

The airport’s air traffic controllers
Were finishing up for two days.
The seasonal greeting extollers
Were quite wearing out that old phrase.

They gathered their hats and their muffles,
Their bags and their overtime dockets,
Stuffed a handful of chocolate truffles
Into their overcoat pockets.

Somebody turned off the lighting,
And everyone trooped out the door,
Playfully jostling and fighting,
With homeward-bound thoughts to the fore.

In darkness the tinsel and banners
Hung limply from pillar to post.
Bright cards stood immobile on scanners,
The Christmas tree loomed like a ghost.

The mistletoe hung down morosely,
No portable fan heaters whirred,
But yet, if you listened quite closely,
A very faint blip could be heard.

The radar detected a presence,
A dot had encroached on the screen.
Was this a flock of wild pheasants,
Above in the darkness unseen?

The light source grew stronger and stronger,
Travelling at hair-raising speed.
The shape of the dot grew much longer,
It resembled an oval-shaped bead.

But no-one was there to discover
If the pilot knew which way to go,
As the reindeer broke through the cloud cover
To the slumbering city below.

A Christmas Story

Santa Claus had no idea
He’d left his list behind him,
Poor Rudolph had gone on the beer
And Santa couldn’t find him.

Then Santa crashed into a door,
And all the toys got muddled,
And, when he ‘woke with head so sore,
His mind had been befuddled.

His sleigh was wrecked beyond repair,
And so he robbed a tandem,
And off he cycled everywhere,
Delivering gifts at random.

He didn’t know whose toys were whose,
He couldn’t quite remember.
Reindeer should stay off the booze
Especially in December.

He dashed around from house to house
As fast as he could scooter,
And so you got a clockwork mouse,
And not a new computer.

50 Cent de Wrapp’n’ Paper

When Christmas comes, both toffs and peasants
Knuckle down to wrap their presents,
For no-one really can escape
The battle with the sellotape,
Which sticks to everything around
Except the present to be bound.
It sticks to fingers, sleeves and thumbs,
Shaggy rugs and hair and gums.
You stick a corner to a shelf
And lo! It’s stuck unto itself.
And you would qualify for Mensa
If you sussed the tape dispenser.

Next year, I have a stratagem –
I’ll invite over Eminem,
And if I find this problem sapping,
He can help me do some wrapping.