Category: humourous


It’s a pity Otis Cutbush
wasn’t here to see the frog
that came leaping through the window
and landed on the dog.

Such a sight is rare indeed,
a Frog and Dog Alignment.
Otis could have used it
for his poetry assignment.

Poetry is full of frogs
and dogs are ten-a-penny,
but poems that combine the two?
I can’t think of any.

— ’Scuse me, Mr Poet,
but I simply can’t agree:
there’s a new one out by Twemlow,
called ‘Originality’.



Morning call

Morning, like a burglar,
crept into my head.
He shone his torch about a bit
and then he stood and said:

‘Get up, you lazy bastard,
and feel the joy of life!
Grab it by the twemlows
as if it was your wife!’

But unbeknownst to Morning,
I had a better plan:
I kicked him in the pilbeams
as if he was a man.

With Morning doubled up in pain,
I slunk back into bed.
I’ve got all the life I’ll ever need,
right here in my head.


Journey’s end

‘Are we there yet?’ said the twins,
as we drove through Macclesfield.

‘Are we there yet?’ said the twins,
as we reached North Weald.

‘Are we there yet?’ said the twins,
as we neared the old airfield.

I stopped the car and dug a hole,
big enough for two:
‘Not quite there yet,
but soon.’


Let’s see if Dieter Drummond
has the gall to stake a claim,
after spending all the petty cash
on Rita What’s-her-name.

Dieter treated Rita
to a holiday in Nice,
then he bought her dainty frillies
from La Maison Caprice.

And all the while the petty cash
lay empty as the void:
not a cent to pay the rent
or feed a hungry boid.

Oh Dieter, must you treat her
like the Queen of Andrapash,
when the boids and Dale the landlord
are relying on the cash?


In the detail

I was taking tea with Twemlow
when the ceiling collapsed.
We were both uninjured,
cos the ceiling was in France.

Why would I be taking tea
with Twemlow in France?
Don’t jump to rash conclusions
till you know the circumstance.

Be mindful, gentle reader,
not to misconstrue my words
by juxtaposing details
that belong to different worlds.

Ask Dad

Today is the birthday of Solomon (Sol) Meldew, born in 1915 to poor immigrant parents in Twemlow, West Virginia. He studied engineering at college, but dropped out after only one year, and headed to New York. Aged just 20, he had little experience of city life and soon fell in with the wrong crowd: poets, novelists, and artists — what his father used to call ‘the scum of the scum of the earth’.

But scum seemed to suit Sol, and his first collection of poems, Wherefore the Vision? was published in 1937. While giving a poetry reading at Columbia University, he was attacked by a hothead in the audience (a fan of Eliot, apparently), and was seriously injured. While recovering in hospital, Sol fell in love with his nurse, Mary Ellen Rosetti. They married in 1946.  Sol wrote: ‘Mary Ellen meant the world to me, and I think she gave my poetry a whole new depth. A woman can do that, you know.’

His next collection, Storm over Twemlow (1948) was gritty, hard-hitting, and seethed with anger about his childhood, his family, and small-town America. It won the National Book Award, and Sol’s reputation as a poet was secured.

From then on, he wrote nothing. He became what his father called ‘a lousy stinkin’ bum who couldn’t write to save a dog from drownin’.’ Which is exactly what happened: in 1956, Mary Ellen’s beloved dog, Spangles, was drowned in the East River, while Sol stood by, his inkhorn dry, writing nothing. The couple were divorced shortly after, and Sol moved to a trailer park in Pilbeam, Missouri. His National Book Award was officially withdrawn, and was given instead to his father, for his ‘prophetic vision that looks unflinchingly into the hearts of men’.

Today, Sol is best remembered for being forgotten. He died alone in 1960 and was buried at Mount Oblivion. It was said that Mary Ellen visited his grave once a year, to spit. Sol’s father went on to host his own radio talkshow, Meldew Moments (1961-66), where he made famous the catchphrase Aaaask Daddy!


The rebel

Come now, Master Shadbolt,
that isn’t what I meant,
when I said ‘Stand up for freedom
and defy the government’.

What good is stealing pennies
from old beldams in the street,
and terrorizing kiddies
when you pinch their bags of sweets?

You gotta shoot the beldams first,
then string up all the kids.
That’s the only way they’ll ever learn
what true rebellion is.