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Monday, 30 September 2013


From a forthcoming book of funny/silly verse..... 

Derek the driver
Had long since decided
That High Streets were no longer funny,
For to park in a town,
He was duty bound
To always have the right money.

Car parking systems
Were akin to a crime,
For all over this land he had driven,
And the three words
He detested the most
Were the words: “No Change Given”.

(Gotta hand it to the bandit!)

Saturday, 28 September 2013


From a forthcoming book of funny and silly verse for kids.....

A comma is a useful curl
To make things crystal clear,
For if you’ve not explained yourself,
Oh dear, oh, dear, oh, dear…….

This sample example
Should be ample:

Let’s eat, Mum.
Let’s eat Mum.

You reddit!
Do you geddit?

Thursday, 26 September 2013


From a forthcoming book of children's silly/funny verse.

Followed an iFad
And bought an iPad
Boy was iGlad
That now iHad
A trendy iPad
Until an iCad
Stole my iPad
Now iMad
And iSad.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


From a forthcoming book of children's funny/silly verse

A donkey
In a police car
Is what
I really saw
And this is
What I heard

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


Too many cooks spoil the soup,
Ends up a mess, a sort of a gloop,
It’s been suggested it looks like poop,
When too many cooks spoil the soup.

Cook 1 decides to boil the water,
Cook 2 throws in a handful of peas,
Cook 3 chops and chucks in the carrots,
Cook 4 is the onion man, if you please,
Cook 5 decides on a bit of curry,
Cook 6 adds leftover sausage and mash,
Cook 7 reckons it needs more salt,
Cook 8 stirs in some corned beef hash,
Cook 9 cracks open several eggs,
Cook 10 squeezes a dollop of mustard
Cook 11 pours in a bottle wine,
Cook 12 fancies a spoonful of custard,
Cook 13 tips in chocolate buttons
Cook 14 includes a teabag or two,
Cook 15 adds some old mouldy bread,
They all give it a stir and say that’ll do.

Out in the restaurant,
Diners aren’t suspicious -
They shout “Compliments to the chef,
this soup’s delicious.”

Monday, 23 September 2013


From Juggling Jelly - book available from

My dog ate my homework,
As blatant as could be,
He set his kennel table
In readiness for tea.

He laid his doggy fork and knife,
His napkin and his sauce,
And while I was distracted
Grabbed my essay as main course.

For dessert he fancied history
And gobbled down the lot,
Then onto maths and geography,
What an appetite he’d got.

He grabbed my homework pages
In his slobbery-gobbery jaws,
Munched and crunched and chewed
Without a breath or pause. 

Now I know what you’re thinking
And the teacher thought it too,
That I made the whole thing up
Because that’s what children do.

But I swear it really happened,
Well, it’s almost, nearly true,
Except the kennel table,
Fork and knife and napkin too.

There’s some exaggeration,
But my dog’s a canine cad,
He really ate my homework
Because he’s barking mad.

Sunday, 22 September 2013



In June 2013, I was invited to the Belfast Book Festival. I was to give a talk on my book Stephen Boyd: From Belfast To Hollywood. The day before the talk Robin Stewart, owner of Robinson’s Shoemakers in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, heard me on BBC Radio Ulster on "The Gerry Kelly Show".  He liked what he heard, got in touch and made his kind offer to make a pair of shoes for me in exchange for a signed copy of the book.  The shoes arrived and are works of art….and a perfect fit.  I know I got the best end of the deal! Thanks Robin.
Check out the site:

Robinson’s shoes,
Robinson’s shoes
Made me an offer
I couldn’t refuse.

In exchange for a copy
Of one of my books,
They’d make me some shoes
To smarten my looks.

I measured the length
And width of each foot,
I sent off the measurements
And a “thank you” to boot.

In a couple of weeks,
The shoes were delivered,
As I laced them up,
In excitement I quivered.

I tried them on
And walked up and down,
The dandiest man
In my little town. 

Oxford semi-brogues
In chestnut calf –
5-star? Top drawer?
Blimey, not ‘alf.

Sometimes an offer
Is not all it might seem,
But hats off to Robin
And his shoemaking team.

So whoever you are
And wherever you’re from,
Check out Robinson’s Shoemakers
Online, dot com.

Saturday, 21 September 2013


From Juggling Jelly - available now from


Reader note: It is strictly forbidden to read the poem on this page out loud.

Friday, 20 September 2013


City of marches,
chanting slogans,
masses on the move
to shout the odds.
Rituals and ceremonies,
bands and banners,
flags and plaques,
clash of gods.
City of heels
dug in and stubborn,
the past dictates
the future's path.
The smallest insult,
the neither-here-nor-there,
unleashes the force
of the demon's wrath.
City of hey boy,
wait a wee minute,
catch yourself on,
we know our rights.
The tunnel is long,
the tunnel is dark
and the only hope
is the bonfire lights.

Creative city
of words and music, 
of stage and screen,
of performing arts.
The bigger picture
shows marvels and wonder,
creative city,
the sum of its parts.

Thursday, 19 September 2013


I have to close my eyes to sharpen the edges of him.

I hold his hand and am impressed by the hard skin, his roughness.

This weatherbeaten man who doesn't come home enough.

This adventurer who goes away for months on end
to fill up on experiences and stories to be told seriatim.


They called him Teapot Kelly,
he was always drinking tea,
he was a merchant sailor
and he sailed the seven seas...........

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


It has been eight days since the gift
Of flowers arrived from someone
Who chose to remain anonymous.

Eight long days of wondering who
The mystery flower-sender is,
Eight days dreaming, ridiculous,

Time-wasting, probably a prank - 
Emptying the dead daffodils
With no one obvious to thank.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


You with the wowser body and kissable lips
are as addictive as guacamole and tortilla chips.
You with a front and back on arousing display
are as tempting as steak and kidney any day.

Monday, 16 September 2013


We had the pup for only a few days before Sammy drowned it.
To this day, nearly fifty years on, I don't know why he killed
the innocent creature.  Pup versus man-off-the-rails is no match
of fairness or reason.  But Sammy was an unpredictable git.

He had been in trouble with the police for petty offences
and so was not shy in coming forward to stir things up for laughs,
playing the outlaw, pouring fear into our hearts, menace into our lives
and disbelief into the big, sad, struggling eyes of a young dog.

After the murder, he loped off down Bearnagh Drive,
laughing, effing and blinding, swaggering like a lummox,
shrugging, water-off-a-duck's-back act of violence.
Only moments before, our pup was still alive.

Inches long, it's body lay on the path with us kids around it.
To poke it, to leave it alone, to think of excitement or sin,
to chuck it in the long grass or to bury it like human dead,
choices to ponder.  Yes, Sammy was an unpredictable git.

Friday, 13 September 2013


Hey you,
Yes you,
You who tossed away
The carrier bag,
The cigarette end,
The leaflet,
The receipt,
The free newspaper,
The can,
The bottle,
The sausage roll wrapper,
Pick up your litter, scruff,
Or I’ll flush you
down the crapper.

Thursday, 12 September 2013


Based on a true comment from my OU mentor.....

Years ago my weary Open University tutor,
when asked to elaborate on the class struggle,
pondered a while, looked profound
raised his head, closed his book,
gave us his professorial look,
stood up, took a deep breath and sighed:
"All I can say on the class-crass debate,
in all my teaching years I've found,
no matter how we argue the toss,
what the fuck, the world still goes round."

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


I was there when 
the Minoans emerged in Crete,
the Mycenaeans arrived in Greece,

civilisation collapsed,

the Dorians invaded,

the colonies were founded,

Athens entered its golden age,
and the Hellenistic era 
only to fall when the Romans came.

My table weighs heavy with myths

as I ponder another Bushmills tumbler.

I look at Plato, Saucero, Knifeo, Forko, Spoono,
and bang my head in boredom slumber.

Monday, 9 September 2013


I like to light candles in churches,
to enjoy new flames,
to pause for silence,
for private thoughts,
for personal memories,
to pray for someone,
to wish for something,
to ask forgiveness,
to restore faith and hope,
to reflect on questions,
any sign or flicker
in never ending searches.

I like to light candles in churches.

Friday, 6 September 2013


From the book "Juggling Jelly" - (copy &
paste to browser to se more

He practised drums for hours,
Morning noon and night,
Banging away at his drum kit
With all his blessed might.

No time for any breakfast,
No lunch, no dinner, no treats,
No time for tea or coffee,
Just boom-tish-boom-tish beats

But things eventually took a turn,
Just after a paradiddle,
Three days after this session began,
He was bursting for a piddle.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013


In the too-high-to-reach cupboard,
in the always-busy kitchen,
the liquid bullion that was 
Tate & Lyle's Golden Syrup,
next to it's nemesis,
Tate & Lyle's Black Treacle,
one a spoonful of sweet heaven,
the other a spoonful of wicked hell,
and next to those opposing tins,
the great leveler after a couple of hefty swigs,
the unblocker for inner-tube plumbing,
California Syrup of Figs.


I take my spade
to dig the ground,
to graft the roots,
to ladle the soil,
to shovel the dung
to slice the turf
to tool God’s earth
to break up the clods
to cultivate the land
to poke
to prod
to turn over the clay
to earn my pittance
each working day.

But one other use it has
when I want to skive a bit,
as soon as the boss goes away,
I’ll lean on it.

Sunday, 1 September 2013


This fun poem was written during a very boring stage in my young life when I was an office clerk - sometimes time dragged and imagination headed towards the surreal.  One day I stared at a calculator and...........

0, 1 and 9
decided on the plan
to make the great escape
but they need helping hands

3, 6 and 8
were happy to connive
and they managed to convince
2, 4 and 5

After much discussion
with a serious harangue
7 with reluctance
joined the numbers gang

In the office lunch hour
from a crack under the plus
the digits made their getaway
minus any fuss