Thanks for the invitation.

It’s really very kind.

But there’s this thing I have to do

I hope that you don’t mind.

Of course, I’d love to do the thing,

That’s where I’d want to be.

It’s really so unfortunate

That I just can’t be free.


Thanks for the invitation.

I wish that I could go.

It’s just that I’ll be busy

So, it’s a solid “no”.

I’ve got to hem my curtains.

I have to wash my dog.

I’m pretty sure that that’s when I’m

Upholstering a log.


Thanks for the invitation.

I’ll see what I can do.

I absolutely really want

To spend some time with you.

I’ll definitely be there

If I can find my shoes

And if there’s nothing vital

That’s breaking on the news.


Thanks for the invitation.

I wish I had the time.

The second week in August

Is when I take up mime.

But please feel free to visit,

Just text me on the day.

In case by some coincidence.

I’ve had to go away.


You can tell when the weather is pleasant

By the horrible presence of knees.

And the definite lack of deodorant

In the scents that waft in on the breeze.

There’s a ban against using your hosepipe,

The heat causes rail delays.

The weather man tells us it’s scorching

And predicts it will swelter for days.

There are photos of girls in bikinis

In the newspapers and on TV.

Everyone’s saying it’s hotter

Than the mainland of Spain’s going to be.

You can tell when the weather is warmer

‘Cause the shops have all run out of Coke,

And the neighbours are out in the garden

And you’re smelling their sausagey smoke.

You can tell when the Brits have a heatwave

As they’re telling you how they can’t sleep.

How the air in their room isn’t moving

It’s enough to make anyone weep.

It’s not that it’s much of a problem,

At least, not one that’s likely to stay,

Since glorious weather in Britain

Rarely lasts past the end of the day.

My Cat

I bought my cat a cushion,

As soft as cotton wool.

Yet, now she’s in the laundry bag,

Despite it being full.

I fill her bowl with water

That’s clear, fresh and cool,

Then see her in the garden,

Drinking from a muddy pool.

I get the food she’s fond of,

The flavour she likes most.

But suddenly, she hates it

And prefers to lick my toast.

I built my cat a scratch post,

It’s many layers high.

Yet still she claws my furniture

With no good reason why.

I gave my cat a tickle,

She made a soothing purr.

Till suddenly, she scratched me,

Her claws a scary blur.

I give my cat affection,

I love my little mog.

But sometimes I’m so sorry

I didn’t get a dog.

Controlling the Weather

I’ve started controlling the weather.

I know that it sounds quite absurd,

But wait till you hear why I say this

And then you’ll believe every word.

Last weekend I made a decision

To work on the garden, you see,

As long as the weather was pleasant

As the forecasters said it would be.

I got out my gloves and my wellies,

My trowel, my rake and my hoe.

I dug out the key to the back door,

So, then I was ready to go.

As soon as I walked through the doorway,

I felt something land on my face.

The raindrops got bigger and colder

And rapidly picked up their pace.

I looked at the grass and the soil,

And faced a stark fact there and then;

There’d be no useful work I could do there

Until it was dry once again.

The very next day, there was sunshine.

Once more I collected my tools.

But right the way over my garden,

The rainfall had gathered in pools.

It needed a few hours longer,

Enough time to clear up and dry.

I honestly felt really hopeful

When I looked at the cloudless blue sky.

I busied myself somewhere inside

Till I felt that it must be okay,

Then picked up my bundle of goodies

To work through the rest of the day.

But as I set foot on the threshold,

I couldn’t believe what I saw.

The sky was now full of bad omens

And it soon began raining once more.

But now, I know how I can trick it

Into being the dry day I’d love.

I’m buying a brand new umbrella

And I’ll shout to the heavens above:

“Just look at my brand new umbrella.

To try it out would be so good.

It’s lucky for me that it’s raining,

So I can go out in the flood.”

I’m telling you now what will happen;

The rain will just dwindle and die,

The clouds will grow smaller, then vanish

Leaving nothing but blue in the sky.

You see, I’m controlling the weather

It’s quite an incredible knack.

So, I can get digging and mowing

And wishing the rain would come back.

Fake News

I read it in the paper;

It’s definitely true.

Those guys are proper journalists,

The truth is what they do.

They’ve done extensive research;

There’s no way they can fail.

You know that you can trust the Daily Mail.


I read it in the paper;

I’m certain that it’s real.

There’s something to cause cancer

In every single meal.

They only want to keep us well

So good sense should prevail.

You know that you can trust the Daily Mail.


I read it in the paper;

I know it for a fact.

We really ought to stop it;

The government should act.

Those migrants are invading

On such a massive scale.

You know that you can trust the Daily Mail.


I read it in the paper;

It’s positively right.

Don’t say they didn’t warn you

About the country’s plight.

The left will eat your babies;

They’re quite beyond the pale.

You know that you can trust the Daily Mail.


I read it in the paper;

I can’t believe my eyes.

I have a vague suspicion

I might be reading lies.

They have a vile agenda

But they print a catchy tale.

For pity’s sake, don’t trust the Daily Mail.



My memory seems to be going.

You might even say that it’s gone.

It’s taken things that were worth knowing.

Where I left my glasses is one.

Sometimes I might go to my bedroom

Then wonder what I’m doing there.

Recollection just doesn’t have headroom.

This travesty hardly seems fair.

I look in my bag for my tissues

Instead I find packets of cheese.

You could definitely say I have issues

But dealing with them is no breeze.

My recall is quite enigmatic.

There seems little reason or rhyme.

Why my memory is so erratic,

Unrelated to passing of time.

I remember my first favourite teddy;

I remember his look and his name.

But I stand in the middle of Tesco

Trying to work out why I came.

Remembering can be a battle,

But one that I have to keep fighting.

I’ll keep doing poems, as long as

I never forget what I’m


Sing me no songs of love and light,

Of laughter, friends and summers bright.

No lilting lyrics tinged with bliss,

Sing me instead a song of this:

Salah, coming down the wing,

Dodging round and letting swing,

He strikes the ball and lets it fly,

The goalie sees it whistle by.

Your “moon and June” means nought to me.

Nor tea for two and two for tea.

I have no use for songs of flowers,

Of couples lost in tender hours.

Don’t think I’ll wait while someone sings

Of wedding vows and golden rings.

If you would melt my heart of stone

Sing me “You’ll never walk alone.”

Hidden Talent

I must have a hidden talent,

Everybody’s got one.

Why would all the rest be whizz-kids

If yours truly’s not one?

Maybe I’m a secret artist,

Like a second Dali.

All attempts so far have made me

Look a proper Charlie.

It’s unlikely there’s a dancer

Bursting to get out.

Pretty sure I’d blow a gasket,

Jiggling about.

I could be a great soprano,

But for one small thing:

If I do remember rightly

They know how to sing.

Is my flair more academic?

Somewhat intellectual?

Doubtful, since my power of reasoning

Is so ineffectual.

Should I try my hand at writing?

Other people do it.

But I tried to write this poem

And I clearly blew it.


I’ve got 99 problems and the fridge is one,

It won’t keep things cold because the motor’s gone.

I can’t buy myself my yoghurt in a family pack

Unless I’m going to eat the lot of them as soon as I get back.


I’ve got 99 problems and the cats are two,

As I’m sifting through the litter for a shovelful of poo.

There’s an ex-mouse in the kitchen that’s been scraped and squashed

And a hairball on a cushion that I’ve only just washed.


I’ve got 99 problems and my job is three,

‘Cause the boss needs a scapegoat and he’s looking at me.

A client sent instructions that don’t make any sense

And my wages for the week are twenty pounds and seven pence.


I’ve got 99 problems and this poem is one.

I started it five hours ago and still it isn’t done.

If it’s still like this by midnight, I’ll give up and go to bed.

I wish to God I’d tried to write a Limerick instead.

Before Twitter

Before Twitter

I didn’t lose hours each day.

Before Twitter

I could watch films with subtitles.

Before Twitter

My laundry pile was smaller.

Before Twitter

I’d hear what my kids would say.

Before Twitter

I sometimes saw the sun.

Before Twitter

I wrote more than short lines.

Before Twitter

I’d often read a book.

Before Twitter

I got my housework done.

Before Twitter

I drank tea that was hot.

Before Twitter

I sometimes stretched my legs.

Before Twitter

I think I went to work.

Before Twitter

I don’t remember what …

Before Twitter

I rarely shared a joke.

Before Twitter

I rarely wrote a poem.

Before Twitter

Nobody saw my cats.

Before Twitter

I shied from other folk.