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Saturday, 28 December 2013


Saturday mornings* won't be the same 
without Kerry's charm & toons 
but wait a wee minute, all is not lost,
for she's off to the afternoons.

End of an era for Weekend Extra,
Saturday's lose but afternoons gain,
We say roll on 20th of Jan
And good luck to Kerry McLean!

Happy New Year!

*BBC Radio Ulster

Wednesday, 18 December 2013


From my book Only Yules & Verses available here:

Carol Singer, the carol singer
Practiced every night
To keep her voice in top-notch trim,
So clear, so crisp and bright. 

On Christmas Eve the gathered choir
Wished her solo well,
She took a breath but nothing came,
Not a decibel. 

Carol Singer, the carol singer,
Hot lemon drinks and steam,
Lived through the nightmare
That should have been a dream.  

She lost her voice and panic struck,
So many lozenges to suck,
A singer without the vocal touch
Is frankly less than nothing much.

Carol Singer, the carol singer,
Next Christmas looks so bleak,
For will the virus strike again
And make her voice go weak. 

Like all those oldie movies
In creaky black and white,
Her only option left could be
A mime of Silent Night.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


Professor M. R. Ali

The press release that accompanied my copy of "Salute the Word" explains the intentions behind this collection - "....a testimony to the power of words and ideas; a fascinating journey from one language to another and from one culture domain to another, leading us, ultimately, to familiarity....influenced by the diversity and richness of language as the author injects English with an Arabic perspective."

I thought at first that I was in for a challenging time, dealing with obscure and cryptic themes, bogged down by heavy intellectualism and deep analysis.  But, to my surprise and, I must say, relief, from the outset, the poems, varied in theme, are written with a light touch and a love of rhyme.  Sometimes the rhyming, rather like rap music lyrics, is a little overdone but no one can deny the poet's enthusiasm for having fun with words or finding that precise phrase that touches the heart.

The collection opens with The Pen ("The pen is a faithful friend of the human being....."), a kind of "This Is Your Life" of the writing instrument and it's importance in the history of mankind, it's uses and abuses, it's characteristics and personalities.  It is a good opening poem that sets the tone for what's to come.  We read of love, thoughtfulness, giving, endurance, knowledge, family and hope.

I enjoyed The Barber Of Exeter Street because it brought back many memories of going for a haircut when I was a boy, listening to the chatter in the waiting area and talking to the barber as he snipped away. "A silent barber is not usual and cannot function, part of his work is to keep talking from beginning to end."  Modern hairdressers talk away but about banal things. Proper barbers had/have opinions, stories, jokes....a dying breed.

The longer poems are as interesting as they are entertaining.  The Cucumber Epic is a fun ride through the joys of food; Sinjab From Punjab is an amusing romp about squirrels; Human Epic looks at the head, heart and soul of mankind: "We will never fully understand ourselves...."; Lovers Around The World freshens up the age-old themes of romance and human relationships: "Please, don't forget your love brochure as you leave through the door."

The Five Senses In Haiku is a playful sequence towards the end of a book that is funny, touching, considerate and personal.

I enjoyed the "Salute The Word" collection.  Sometimes the rhyming is a little wearing, occasionally forced, but overall the book is uplifting, full of spirit, a testimony to the love of words and, importantly, fun.

Friday, 6 December 2013


Wind of change,
shrug of apathy,
breeze of sighs,
howl of despair....

....the flame wavers,

sways, flickers,
splutters as a door opens
or slams shut.

The flame reacts 

but remains alight
defying the power of darkness,
leading the way,
to a place of the possible.

Thursday, 5 December 2013


The howls, the gusts,
the hedgerow sways,
the tree bends,
the honest truth
that nature sends.....
strong winds and umbrellas
are not the best of friends.......

......and they're not too fond
of fence panels either!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


From my book Only Yules & Verses available here:

Rudolph had a cold,
It might have been the flu,
The reason the Doc suspects
His nose has turned bright blue.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


From my book Only Yules & Verses (Funny poems & silly jokes about Christmas) - available here:

Dasher and
Dancer and
Prancer and
Vixen and
Comet and
Cupid and
Donner and
Blitzen and
Rudolph -

Dear, deer, deer,
Deer, deer, deer,
Deer, deer, deer,
Santa sighs,
For every November and no mistake,
He has to do a stocktake.

Monday, 2 December 2013


From my book Only Yules & Verses (Funny poems & silly jokes about Christmas) - available here:

Christmas shopping,
Christmas shopping,
Really makes me dizzy.
Why can’t Christmas
Be in June
When the shops aren’t quite so busy?

Sunday, 1 December 2013


From my book Only Yules & Verses (available here:

Good King Wenceslas looked out
And did a double take,
Despite all his initial doubt,
He rubbed his eyes awake.
Brightly shone the sun that day,
Sweltering hot and sticky,
He thought as this is Boxing Day,
The forecast’s a bit dicky.

“Bring me shorts Bermuda-style,
Bring me sun tan lotion,
Bring me cola by the crate
And ice cubes by the ocean.
Bring my sunbed by the pool,
I can’t believe this weather,
I can swim around all day
In the altogether.”

Good King Wenceslas’s dream
Ended with a bump,
He fell out of his bed it seems
And bruised his ample rump,
Groggy from his accident
And dazed and half-asleep,
He gaped out through the curtain gap
To see snow six-feet deep.