Who Is My Neighbour?

The trouble with old people is

that they expect too much of us:

food, drink, warmth and light,

companionship, care and comfort.


My neighbour, Eileen, housebound

I promised that each day

I’d visit after work. But work

was forty miles away, by bus

and train, and back again.


Just once, exhausted, didn’t go.

Next day was chided. ‘Where were you?’

She’d had her half rice pudding tin

For dinner, as per usual, left

the other half on radiator

warming up for breakfast.


That son of hers! He’d burgled her

when husband was alive. He thought

that I should get her up each morning.

I, of course, said, ‘No.’ Her sister

sometimes came to clean and tidy;

she was old herself. One day

the ambulance was waiting. Sis

had found her, blackened, painful legs

and Eileen went to home, poor dear!


One time she said to me, ‘I dreamed

that I had died, and no-one played

‘The Old Rugged Cross.’ I wanted so

to hear it sung, but told myself

that Eleanor would put them straight.

Again, I let her down. You see

I had to work. I hope someone


My Way or the Highway

And now the end is near

And I must face the consequences

But, oh! I feel so weak

You must be my amanuensis.

I planned the party well

I met them all upon the stairway

But, once they were inside,

They did it my way.

Replies, I had a few,

But I invited more than forty.

When only half turned up

The words I used were rather naughty!

Poor hubby nearly choked-

A peanut trapped inside his airway.

He coughed it up at last

And fired it my way.

But what’s in this drink? It tastes like snot

And that Madras is far too hot!

You need to go; I’ve had enough

And, if you lot don’t like it, tough!

You’ve had your scoff, now bugger off

And hit the highway!

First published in ‘Star Tips for Writers’

Life’s Little Pleasures

The first teabag from a brand new box

Finding a pair of matching socks

A cut and colour on your greying locks

A great big latte in your favourite caff

Meeting friends and having a laugh

Skimming stones on the river Taff

Apple pie with custard hot

Scraping the last of the chutney pot

Counting how much change you’ve got

Singing with the Sunday choir

Snuggling up before the fire

Trying on some new attire

Going to see your favourite band

Holidays for so long planned

Waiting for the plane to land

A new book from your favourite scribe

Still some wine left to imbibe

Finished poems to transcribe

Chocolate as a Friday treat

Fluffy slippers on your feet

Cupboard full of food to eat

Scented candles in each room

Lamplight low to chase the gloom

Chasing spiders with a broom

Telly on and curtains drawn

Crocuses invade the lawn

First light of a summer dawn

Family is reunited

Easter, children so excited

Ringo Starr has just been knighted.

Poetry magazines sent by post

Marmalade on buttered toast

A refund when you need it most

Plenty of money in your purse

Feeling at one with the universe

Signing off on the final verse

First published in ‘Star Tips For Writers,’

Friday Night Picture Show

Typical Good Friday weather, the end of the world,

and darkness covers the land. The boy has a birthday

so haste we hence to Showcase Nantgarw,emporium

of enchantment and purveyor of pleasures and popcorn.

Thanksgiving dinner, sunshine breakfast, buttery salted

insubstantial delight, toffee poppets in breathtakingly

bigly bucket. Pop and the Chocs for we, smuggled

in deep, dark, linty pockets, capacious handbags

to make a lady Bracknell proud. ‘Three adults

for Black Panther.’ Silly moo that I am

forgot the discount card! That’s six quid wasted!

Ah, so what? Minted millionaires (not) are we.

Suck it up, move on. Tickets clipped, shuffle along

blue, purple, golden patchwork quilted carpet.

The chamber of son et lumière is inside number 9.

Blimey, mister! It’s dark in here! We feel our way

upon that gentle incline, and thence to shallow stairway

to Heaven, argue about who gets the aisle, and who

gets to sit by Number One Son, so seldom here.

I lose. Whatever. Phone on silent, cola, chocs and

hankies in position. Then ‘Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba

ba ba ba,ba ba ba ba ba ba ba baaaaaa BA!’

The ads are almost as good

as the filum. ‘For future presentation.’ I’ll give that one

a miss, and that, and that, Oh! That looks good!

A hush descends, except for munching mandibles

and we beam up, Scottie, to Moons of Magic

at the last Friday Night Picture Show

in wet and windy Wales.

Her Birthday

It’s time we went

To Oxford where our daughter lives.

It’s time we went.

We’ve something special to present.

I hope she’ll like the gift we give.

Departure is imperative;

It’s time we went!


First published in Star Tips For Writers

His Birthday

It falls on Good Friday this year

But fasting is not in our plan

To celebrate with the young man.

We want to have fun while he’s here

Eat heartily, drink lots of beer

And scoff as much cake as we can.

It falls on Good Friday this year

But fasting is not in our plan.

We always have fun when he’s here

And like to go out every night

(As long as the money’s not tight

And the present he wants not too dear.)

It falls on Good Friday this year

But fasting is not in our plan.