You try to write

6BDF702C-8DF9-41C5-B41E-14441D91CC39Modelled on Wendy Cope’s poem ‘Some More Light Verse’

You have to try. You try to write.

Your writing’s trite. You drink, get tight.

You struggle to improve your books.

You post a poem. It gets no looks.

You eat some food. You post some junk

You drink some more. You’re slightly drunk.

You read a bit, you walk, you dream.

But nothing works. You want to scream.

You don’t know what to do, you cry.

You’re running out of things to try.


You scratch your head. You try to write.

You try to eat and drink what’s right.

You fidget lots. You make a plan.

You long to write. You know you can.

But nothing works. You want to scream.

You walk some more. You read, you dream.

You eat, you drink. Still no one looks

You struggle to improve your books.

You can not see the point. You sigh.

You try to write. You have to try.


A rivulet of sweat

A rivulet of sweat

Ran down the author’s brow

Had to write a poem

But wasn’t sure just how.


The sweat trickled down his forehead

The sweat trickled off his nose

Where would he find a poem?

Heaven only knows!


The sweat gathered in a puddle

It gathered on the floor

He found his inspiration was

Not stuck any more.


By the sweat of his brow

He found it, found a new idea

When inspiration’s needed

You’ll often find it near.


Via Rivulet

The Poet’s Muse


She’s a delicate flower the poet’s muse.

She can really inspire but will always refuse

To do menial tasks or help with chores.

She will take your hand, help you find new heights

And will gladly unveil her supreme delights.

But the humbler tasks she’ll blithely ignore.

For muses won’t work nine to five you know.

They’re not always ready or  ‘good to go’.


She may not deliver every day.

Too delicate in her temperament.

You can hector her but she won’t relent.

She can’t work like that. It’s not her way.

The poet’s muse is a sensitive flower.

If you treat her badly she’ll sulk and glower.

She’ll punish you, leave your head in hands



A poem a day’s not really her style.

She alas can’t inspire you all the while.

She loves to delight but not to plan.

So treat her kindly, don’t push her too hard

Respect how she’s made. The way that she’s wired.

Treat her gently, don’t let her get tired.

For a poet can’t work if he’s not inspired.


Give three cheers for doggerel
The lowest form of verse.
At least it keeps us off the streets.
We could be doing worse.

There is no rhyme or reason
For writing stuff like this.
If you want proper poetry
Best give this a miss.

I’d love to be a poet
But doggrel’s kind of good
You simply write the way you want
And not the way you should.

You just keep writing nonsense
Whatever may present
It doesn’t have to mean that much
Just kind of make some sense.

They say that poetry changes things
That words can make a difference
But people seem to like this stuff
Is that a fair defence?

Nothing ever changes much
What ever we may do
So just churn out the rubbish stuff
Whatever pleases you.

There’ll be no revolution
And revolutions hurt
So just pretend; do make belief
And maybe get the shirt.

There is no point to any of this
It just goes on and on
Poetry comes of passion
But doggrel don’t need none.

Give three cheers for doggerel
The lowest form of verse
There’s not much point in any of this
But we could be doing worse.

No daffodils

I never see a daffodil
Or anything as wonderful.
I’m stuck inside a metal box
And all I really see is lots
Of traffic; other passing cars
Same tarmac road for miles and miles.

We cut the country we pass through
Our passage like a gaping wound
And yet the road has brought me here
To gaze upon those rolling hills.
And is there poetry to catch
When stuck within a metal box?

So much for all the nature Poets
I can’t be one and don’t I know it!
Stuck here instead on tarmac road
That stretches on for miles and miles
Frustrations of a modern life
Instead of golden daffodils.

And yet the road has brought me here
To see in passing what I’ve lost
And gaze in passing through a screen
At nature as she might have been.
I gaze upon the rolling hills
Yet leave a scar where I have been.

Spare a penny


A poet bleeds and breaks his heart
Spills it out on paper
The reader spares a passing glance
And treats it like a favour.

All the anxt and heartbreak there
The intellectual labour
Keep your troubles to yourself
Or share them with a neighbour.

Spare a penny if you’re kind
Spare it for a busker.
Nothing for the poet though
Empty words and bluster.

Skip around the mulberry bush,
Dance and skip and caper.
Another poem in the book
Isn’t worth the paper.

Must I bleed?

4533DEF0-984E-4629-8C1B-69419645F189A poet has to get to work.
A stanza here; the odd few lines.
Just get it down. What’s on your mind?
Find a rhythm, maybe rhyme.

There’s worse work for a man to do.
There’s some-must earn their corn you know.
Just get it down. Don’t think it through.
The words are there but how’d they go?

Does rhyme need reason, conscious thought?
Don’t stop to think who’ll want to read?
Unconscious scribbles, last resort.
Will this suffice or must I bleed?

Hands Off



HanNone ds Off

This week copyright is uppermost in my mind with the news that my son’s you tube series Dave Green’s Street View Show where he interviews comedians using Google Street View has been ripped off without acknowledgement by another comedian Geoff Lloyd who is doing a radio version on Radio Union Jack. There is more about this on the comedy website Chortle.

Meanwhile in case anyone is eyeing my stuff for similar treatment:

Hands Off

None of my work is any good
You needn’t read; but if you should
Remember not to copy it.
It’s all my own, stuff what I wrote.

Everything is copyright
So no one has a legal right
To copy or to steal my stuff
I’m really fearful that you might!

If you achieve celebrity
Stealing stuff what’s written by me
It really won’t be very fair.
So leave my stuff. Just don’t you dare!

You may think that I’m paranoid
But steal my stuff I’ll get annoyed!
I’d hate if you got rich and famous.
Stealing my stuff; that’s really heinous!

Please like or leave a comment if you enjoy reading my work but DON’T  under any circumstances copy. It’s rubbish and spreading it across the internet would be a public disservice.

Do not alight here

Among my favourite examples of over complicated English are the signs of the platform of what was an international station saying, ‘Do not alight here’.

Do not alight here

There’s a sign as you pull into the station
It says,’do not alight here’.
No need for an explanation
You’re sure to know what it means?

We don’t want you planning to set it alight
We don’t want it set on fire
Be careful with your matches
Don’ set the place ablaze.

Or could they have kept it simpler
Said what they meant to say?
If they don’t want us getting off the train
Why don’t they just say?

Say what you mean
Mean what you say
Use much simpler words.
So confusing for foreigners
When you use such arcane words
You don’t need to say
‘Do not alight’
When you just mean
‘Don’t get off’!



Sarcastic or something else?

I’ve laid claim to writing in clear plain English and saying what I mean but there is an important qualification. I’m British and have a very British sense of humour. Irony is a key weapon in our armoury.  We will often say the opposite of what we mean to mock the ideas we are pretending to hold so, when I talk in All Fall Down about the answer to all the killing being more good men with guns, I rely on the reader to understand I mean the exact opposite.

This is very British. If you doubt that check out Quora and the habitual way the British respond to what they regard as stupid questions from Americans about the UK.

Some people have referred to the way I write in comments as ‘sarcastic’. I get quite hurt by that. I think of it as gentle mocking irony while ‘sarcasm’ in my book is something quite different.

I wrote the poem sarcasm to explain what I see as the difference.


You say my work’s sarcastic
But I don’t really like that word.
Sarcasm comes with a caustic bite
It stings, it’s meant to hurt.

I may say the opposite of what I think
But I say it for humorous effect.
It’s gentle, mocking irony
Not really meant to hurt.

It’s a very English humour
The kind that we do best
It’s almost force of habit
A gentle mocking jest.

Please don’t be offended
Or even worse confused
I only hope you get it and
You know it’s not meant to hurt.