The Twemlow cycle

Twemlow’s laser bicycle
has been an online hit;
you can buy it pre-assembled
or build it from a kit.

Not for Twemlow clanking gears
or pedals that rotate;
not for him the oily chain
that tends to irritate.

Twemlow’s novel concept
of velocipedal motion
involves the use of lasers
and a red-hot fiery lotion.

Just apply the lotion
to your nether parts each day,
then let the laser action
whisk you briskly on your way.

No need for frame or saddle,
cos you won’t have time to sit:
you’ll be at your destination
before you’ve thought of it.


Eastern wisdom

Let’s see if Captain Tandy
has anything to add
to the testimony given
by the Prince of Ishfahad:

Did you see a camel
steaming through the souk,
like ‘a bolt of lightning’
or, as some say, ‘a truck’?

— There are no words that can describe
the mysteries of the East:
a camel steaming through a souk
must rank among the least.

I can’t deny I saw it,
though I’m not sure that I did.
Some things out East are quite opaque
while others are quite hid.

— But come now, Captain Tandy,
you must help the court decide:
‘truck ‘or ‘bolt of lightning’
— which simile applies?

I have no truck with similes,
and lightning’s just as bad,
but a wise man doesn’t contradict
the Prince of Ishfahad.


The good ship

An Adriatic brigantine
is beetling round the coast,
graceful as the moonlight
and silent as a ghost.

Is she bent on brigandage
beneath the bright new moon,
or is she just a bugaboo,
some fleeting Brigadoon?

— No, that’s the good ship Twemlow,
that’s beetling o’er the main,
bringing bent bananas
from Brindisi to Belmain.

And so….brimful of bananas,
the brigantine floats by,
graceful as the moonlight
that fills the midnight sky.


A horse of a woman

— Dash it all, Fidelma,
what’s a man to do,
when you’re standing in the paddock
and blocking all the view?

Could you be more circumspect,
a little less pronounced,
when we’re trying to observe
how the jockeys hold their mounts?

“It’s not my fault that I’m big-boned;
I’ve had a lousy life.
Ever since I married you,
I’ve been a slave to strife.”

— Just shift yer butt, Fidelma,
we don’t need your tales of woe,
but the jockeys must be ready
for the race at Neuf Château.

“You care more for your horses
than you ever did for me!
Is it any wonder
that beyond me you can’t see.”

— Now the jockeys are confused
by your equine weight:
if you don’t shift, Fidelma,
you’ll be at the starter’s gate.


The modality of digestive angst

Can Cardew’s Creamy Custard
cause a cardiac arrest?
Could Conway’s Crunchy Corn Cobs
cause a cancer to infest?

Do Delmar’s Dinky Donuts
deal a duodenal blow?
May Manning’s Mellow Muffins
melt the intestinal flow?

Must Moran’s Meaty Morsels
mean that measles must ensue?
Might Maxi’s Mega Melons
maim a mindless ingenue?

Should Sheldon’s Sugared Shellfish
shrink the shellfish devotee?
Will Wilma’s Waxy Wafers
wilt your willy when you wee?

Would that I could answer these
and many other questions,
but I’m just a ragged rhymester,
not a doctor of digestion.

For grandad

‘Never tease a weasel
while you’re slicing homemade bread,
and never shave your navel
while you’re standing on your head.’

Even after all these years
I still hear grandad’s words:
wild demented ravings
from the depths of the absurd.

He’s been dead for over thirty years,
but still his lesson’s plain:
there’s nothing so absurd
as a man who thinks he’s sane.

Trip advisor

I think I might stay overnight
at Delmar’s B & B,
then start early in the morning
for the plains of Picardie.

His place is well located,
near the sawmill that burned down,
between the church and Cardew’s,
right on the edge of town.

Delmar does a tasty toast
and coffee by the pot,
each room has blackout curtains
and a handy folding cot.

So if you’re bound for Picardie
(or anywhere out west)
let Delmar’s be a staging post
where you can find some rest.


Staying put

Just because I often curse you
from the bottom of my heart
doesn’t mean that I don’t love you
as the bullseye loves the dart.

Just because I’d like to slap you
in the belly with a fish
doesn’t mean that loving you
is not my dearest wish.

Just because I’d like to kill you
with a bullet in the head
doesn’t mean that I’m not staying
in your gently scented bed.

Peas of mind

I was shelling peas this morning
when a thought bewrought my brain:
I wonder if old Twemlow
ever bonks his old beldame.

Such fearful scenes the mind can raise
when dreamers least expect it:
Twemlow and his beldame
trying to get re-connected.

The very thought alarmed me,
and put me to the blush:
a pair of rancid badgers
fumbling in a bush.

Then lo! the very plate of peas
went skidding ‘cross the floor,
for even peas are never pleased
to see such scenes of gore.

Twemlow at the Tate

It’s called an ‘installation’
(not a ‘piece of crap’)
just opened at Tate Modern,
putting Twemlow on the map.

It’s a moving meditation
(not a pile of old tin cans)
on the spiritual vacuum
that bedevils modern man.

It looks to you like old tin cans
cos you’re not sophisticated,
but to devotees of Twemlow,
it’s modern angst narrated.

You must see this installation
through the artist’s clever eyes:
this pile of utter garbage
could win the Turner Prize.

Moving on

I learned a lot at Lambert’s
including greasing plugs,
but now it’s time to raise my skills
to splicing carbon lugs.

Oh the splicer’s life is the life for me,
a life of high adventure,
with my top hat and my twemlow
and my Captain Tandy trencher.

No more I’ll sport the fustian
of Lambert’s hallowed halls,
no more the fusty fug
of those greasy overalls.

A man who splices carbon lugs
should always look the part:
I’ll wear the splicer’s twemlow
like a badge above my heart.