Spend and save!

Twemlow’s Fondant Fancies
are now on special offer:
buy some extra packs today
and stash them in your coffer.

Who knows when fate’s rude hammer
will fall upon your toe?
Twemlow’s Fondant Fancies
will help absorb the blow.

Who knows when life’s cold chisel
will slice your heart in two?
Twemlow’s Fondant Fancies
will save you buying glue.

Career advice

Damme, Shadbolt, what’s the matter?
Is your world about to shatter,
and will the sky come crumbling
round your ears?

— It’s not that, Captain Dealish,
I’m just a trifle peevish,
cos my toes is froze
from standing on the pier.

— Then go below, young Shadbolt,
and swig a dram of rum.
You’ll soon be dancing hornpipes
like the Bard of Ardnadrum.

— Thankee, Captain Dealish,
you’re a saint in human guise,
but my mother says I mustn’t drink
until I’m fifty-five.

— Then go ashore, young Shadbolt,
the sea’s no place for thee.
Go home and ask your mother
for a cup of milksop’s tea.

— My mother says I can’t drink tea,
it brings me out in spots,
and plays havoc with my pallor,
of which I’m conscious, lots.

Get off my ship, you painted fop,
a dandiprat in lace!
Don’t let the salt wind catch you
or mar your pretty face!

So ended Shadbolt’ s sea career,
his dreams of high adventure.
He went home to his mother
and spent his life anent her.


The Ballad of Daisy Drew

Did Delmar Dealish dash the dreams
of dainty Daisy Drew?

— Decidedly, the demon did:
he dallied with her dilly,
then despicably withdrew!


How dastardly of Delmar,
to deal in dire deceit,
to daub a dainty beldam
like a hound dog in the street.

Daisy is in deep distress,
her dilly now despised.
Who will drive the darkness
from Daisy’s doleful eyes?

Daisy is in disarray,
despondent and defiled.
Who’ll dismiss the demons
that disorder all her mind?


— Droopy Drudge might have a go,
although he’s at death’s door.
He won’t mind a damaged dilly,
now he’s nearly ninety-four.

— Send for Droopy Drudge then,
and Deacon Vanderdreet.
They’re sure to dry young Daisy’s eyes
(but try to be discreet).

Oh, Delmar dealt in devilry
— a diabolic brew —
the day he danced upon the dreams
of dainty Daisy Drew.

Chorus and fade out.



What’s the news, Contessa,
from the Senate floor?
Can a deal be brokered,
or will we go to war?

— War is coming, have no fear,
the war drums never cease.
The senators want conflict,
and no one talks of peace.

— Oh lackadoo and what to do,
now warlords stalk the land?
We’ll all be murdered in our beds,
who can such force withstand?

— Do what I do, Pilbeam,
and invest in iron and steel.
War’s a broker’s jackpot,
how we keep an even keel.

Let the Twemlows go to war,
but you, I’m sure, know better:
war is how we rich ensure
the Senate is our debtor.


The isolato

In no small wonderment, I gazed at the isolato as he shuffled towards the shore.

‘What?’ I thought. ‘Surely he’s not heading back to sea, after spending twenty years adrift in the Indian Ocean, a stranger to human fellowship and the solace of the hearth!’

Perhaps solitude heightens the senses, for it did seem that he could read my thoughts. He turned to face me and said ’No, I’m just looking for carrageen moss. They say it yields a very calming demulcent jelly when boiled in spring water. If only I’d had it in the Indian Ocean, I mightn’t have become such an isolato.’

‘Oh well, better late than never, I suppose’.

‘What? Better late than never? It’s twenty bloody years too late, for Christ’s sake!’

‘Sorry, I didn’t mean…’

’No no, go ahead, mock the isolato! I’m fair game!’

‘Jeez! I only…’

‘You’re all the same: you see someone a bit different and you think “Oh, let’s have some fun! Let’s laugh at him and bully him and crush him and despise him and never give a thought for what he feels. I do feel, you know!’

‘I hope the moss works.’



Love is complicated,
like a tangled piece of string,
so hand me down those scissors,
and give me back that ring.

What made me think that you and I
could ever make a pair?
I’d rather live with weasels
than breathe your noxious air.

Also bring my sweet pomade
— you’ll find it in my desk —
then comb my fine moustache
into an arabesque.

Honestly, those beldams,
they’re always so demanding!
She’s really very lucky
that I’m so understanding.