Category Archives: humour

The Poet’s Circle on Zoom

Another great poem from Jim Feeney at Stopdraggingthepanda. Enjoy!

Stopdraggingthepanda

The Poet’s Circle on Zoom

Way back when, in the time before Covid,
the Poet’s Circle would meet once a month
at The Post-Coital Beetle
for an evening of mixing metaphors.
Last week after much discussion
we had our first session on Zoom
and I don’t mind telling you
it was a white horse of a different kettle
a whole other crap shoot.
There were problems of course,
some of our members
had difficulties with the technology
and that was just the tip of the molehill,
as one of the poets observed
you can lead a leopard to water
but you can’t make him change his tricks;
but when The Academic Poet suggested
that metaphor has no place in modern poetry
that was when the spittle really hit the screen
it all went to hell in a hand basket
and that’s an idiom not a metaphor.
I tried to cool…

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Friday poem: The Book of my Enemy Has Been Remaindered

The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am pleased.
In vast quantities it has been remaindered
Like a van-load of counterfeit that has been seized
And sits in piles in a police warehouse,
My enemy’s much-prized effort sits in piles
In the kind of bookshop where remaindering occurs.
Great, square stacks of rejected books and, between them, aisles
One passes down reflecting on life’s vanities,
Pausing to remember all those thoughtful reviews
Lavished to no avail upon one’s enemy’s book –
For behold, here is that book
Among these ranks and banks of duds,
These ponderous and seeminly irreducible cairns
Of complete stiffs.

The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I rejoice.
It has gone with bowed head like a defeated legion
Beneath the yoke.
What avail him now his awards and prizes,
The praise expended upon his meticulous technique,
His individual new voice?
Knocked into the middle of next week
His brainchild now consorts with the bad buys
The sinker, clinkers, dogs and dregs,
The Edsels of the world of moveable type,
The bummers that no amount of hype could shift,
The unbudgeable turkeys.

Yea, his slim volume with its understated wrapper
Bathes in the blare of the brightly jacketed Hitler’s War Machine,
His unmistakably individual new voice
Shares the same scrapyart with a forlorn skyscraper
Of The Kung-Fu Cookbook,
His honesty, proclaimed by himself and believed by others,
His renowned abhorrence of all posturing and pretense,
Is there with Pertwee’s Promenades and Pierrots –
One Hundred Years of Seaside Entertainment,
And (oh, this above all) his sensibility,
His sensibility and its hair-like filaments,
His delicate, quivering sensibility is now as one
With Barbara Windsor’s Book of Boobs,
A volume graced by the descriptive rubric
“My boobs will give everyone hours of fun.”

Soon now a book of mine could be remaindered also,
Though not to the monumental extent
In which the chastisement of remaindering has been meted out
To the book of my enemy,
Since in the case of my own book it will be due
To a miscalculated print run, a marketing error –
Nothing to do with merit.
But just supposing that such an event should hold
Some slight element of sadness, it will be offset
By the memory of this sweet moment.
Chill the champagne and polish the crystal goblets!
The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am glad.

by Clive James

Peering into the Kitchen

It’s Christmas Eve and the kitchen is a mess
everything crusted with flour as more pastry is made
because someone has eaten all the mince pies already.

The jelly stuffed full of Rum soaked sponges has finally set
providing a foundation for our Christmas Trifle
and the Christmas Cake has been iced
with red rocketships rather than holly.

Meanwhile someone is melting dark chocolate
to make a Yule Log the way Grandad used to
and not looking guilty at all.

I smile and close the door on my adult sons as
their chocolate fuelled laughter resounds in my ears.
Christmas is finally here!

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem appeared yesterday on Sarah Connors Advent Calendar, but I couldn’t help but blog it again today, as it is about our own little Christmas Eve tradition.

Many years ago, I would leave the bulk of the Christmas baking until Christmas Eve, and have an all day marathon with my two little boys. By the time Daddy came home from work, they were happy and above all tired. Not over excited at all, so sleep came easy to them and Father Christmas could drink his Calvados, eat his mince pie and fill those stockings.

The mess is a family joke –when they were young, somehow the house on Christmas Eve was littered with floury handprints…

As they grew up, the lads decided to do all the baking (and a lot of eating) on thier own. They make the Christmas Cake (a traditional fruit cake), mince pies, a chocolate Yule Log cake, and a Trifle. And yes, extra batches of pies are made, as the first batch always vanishes.

They cook the main meal on Christmas Day too, so we are very lucky parents!

Poetry meeting minutes

The committee agrees
That poetry should be heard and not seen
The hearing impaired will be given the poem
Realised in interpretative dance in lieu
Of sign language translation.

The committee decrees
That all the stuff about whether Instagram
And Landmark poems are actually poetry
Is taking more time to sort out than expected
So it all will be on next months agenda
The chair is looking forward to being on holiday then

The committee is resolved
That rhyming shall be a crime best dealt with
By poetic justice. In fact rhythm is also suspect
As is meaning.

 

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

The Network Engineers

Me and my lads in the office
We like to chat and to call
Laugh at how shiny Nicks head is
And tell Andy he’s not very tall

It’s a big open plan sort of office
With desks jammed in several rows
We laugh and we joke and we banter
And everyone shares what they know

The boss really don’t like to come here
Looks down his nose on our fun
Says our chat is inappropriate
But without us his Network won’t run

We configure, programme and monitor
Run a network no one will believe
Complex, fast and enormous
We are proud of what we achieve

Whilst fingers dance over keyboards
And engineers cable in floors
I manage them and also I love them
For the jokes they put up on the doors

So my lads and I sit in that office
If we aren’t out mending the kit
Share pictures of Katy’s new baby
And tell David he’s not very fit.

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

This poem is a hymn to the team of Network Engineers that I had the pleasure to manage several years ago.  It was written in response to Jim Feeney’s Lads Poetry Project. His poems are a lot better than this one, here’s an excellent example :

https://stopdraggingthepanda.com/2020/07/08/rob-the-lads-poetry-project-3/

This poem is also part of the dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night:  https://dversepoets.com/

 

There are never enough photos of Pico

There are never enough photos of Pico
Says he, as he takes yet one more
The light has changed again
And the mountain looks about to roar
We’ve flown over and around her
Driven along her lower slopes
But the best view is away from her
From little Horta’s shore

The mountain slumbers on
Fuji slopes gracefully curving down
She glows rose in the dawns light
By midday she can glower and frown
Clouds drape her and embrace her
Shadowing scree and walled-in grapevine
However far we travel away from her
Somehow that volcano is always mine

Copyright © 2015 Kim Whysall-Hammond

And so we end our Virtual Holiday in the Azores with a poem about my favourite volcano.  The first line is a quote from my  Cheeseseller, as the mountain changed once more and he took yet another photo!

I hope you enjoyed your trip. The photo below was taken  just after dawn, from our hotel balcony on the isaland of Faial, as we prepared to return to England.

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