Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night has come when some say ill-luck
will come to some souls and go running amok
if their baubles and candles still hang, and bright tinsel
and such dingle-dangles which they’re saying long since will
have lost their immediacy, attracting the spite,
malevolence and such-like of brownie and sprite.

So take down the décor, the fairy, the lights
which shine there from Advent to Christmas; Twelfth Night’s
the end of the season — or so it is said.
But what says one Herrick,* a poet long dead?

DOWN with the rosemary, and so
Down with the bays and misletoe;
Down with the holly, ivy, all,
Wherewith ye dress’d the Christmas Hall:
That so the superstitious find
No one least branch there left behind :
For look, how many leaves there be
Neglected, there (maids, trust to me)
So many goblins you shall see.

Then let us follow Herrick, who knew what must be known,
and keep our Yuletide greenery up till darkness has all flown.

* Robert Herrick (1591-1674): Ceremony upon Candlemas Eve.

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Happy new cheer

It’s New Year’s Eve. So long, and thanks
for all the luscious puns and games,
for health reports, and news of pranks
you’ve played, and all the names
you’ve called your other half,
old whatsit… It’s been quite a laugh.
And so, as we see out this year,
it’s cheers to you! And mine’s a beer.

Drone

Credit: WordPress Free Photo Library

My cat Florrie was flattened by a lorry.
My old pa was run over by a car.

My mate Mike met quietus with a bike.
My pal Ron fought a red pantechnicon.

Poor old Sue claimed that nothing ever stopped her — until, one day, she took on a helicopter.

Now I’m all alone …

Do I really hear a drone?


Inspired by this post from Colin McQueen

Sucking the colour from a puffin’s bill

WordPress Free Photo Library

Waking up this morning with an earworm in my head,
Sucking the colour from a puffin’s bill,
Waking from a dream wondering why on earth I’d said
“Sucking the colour from a puffin’s bill.”
I was sitting on a train — Puffing Billy was its name —
When rising from my seat as I leapt up to my feet
Out the window then I flew as an arrow straight and true
All the while sucking colour from a puffin’s bill.

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Actualités

To the unjust, one trusts, just desserts come their way,
if it’s true, as they say, every dog has its day.

A plague and a pest on corrupt politicians:
it’s time they considered their ill-gained positions.

We used to have in olden times the desolation blues;
Now it’s masks and distancing and isolation news.


More verses with the Twitter tag #CoupletsForBreakfast

Edward III

Image credit WordPress Free Photo Library

Christopher Robin is saying his prayers,
Asking his Maker for good names for bears.
He doesn’t like Edward, or Teddy, but dares
Winnie, or Pooh.

When he’s mounting the stairs
Or wandering in woods and digging out lairs
Pooh — say it loud! — is a good name for bears.


Edmund Bentley‘s rhymes for clerihew must be very few,
As the task’s quite hairy, do at least make them merry too!


There once was an Edward called Lear
Writing nonsense but, just to be clear,
He also did artwork
(and this was the perk)
Got to travel and not stay just here.

Telling tails

Once upon a tern three birds went into a pub.

Said the landlord, Godwit you three, pelican I help you?

Are you raven mad? they crowed, Of course you toucan, a nightjar of your finest!

Wren they were served they were swift to reach out. Suddenly sniped the landlord: Hoopoe do you think you are, pay the bill before you swallow, or you’ll egret it!

Puffin out their cheeks they craned their heads this way and that and tried to stork the stork but the landlord began to owl: Stop swanning about, you bustards, or flamingo away before I skua you all!

They groused but they had to empty their pochards for change, eider that or duck.

Then, Cuckoo, said one, this ain’t half bad, what a lark!

You know, you’re twite, said the second, I’m really choughed!

Think gull avocet, quailed the third, I woodpecker another, let’s have some moorhen! Ptarmigan, landlord!

After they’d wrynecked their pints, Good heavens a dove, came a shrike, Look at the time! Good nightingale, we must pipit! And off they flew.

The Ant and the Elephant

or, Tony and Lofty

Tony the Ant 🐜
he just wanted to rant,
so he climbed up the plant 🌿
to talk to an elephant 🐘
whose first name was Lofty,
and ever and oft he
was seen as a softy
till one day he coughed. He
said, “Don’t underest-
imate me, ’cause it’s best
you don’t.” Then he confessed
“I’m not wearing a vest.
This skin is my own,
I don’t want to moan
but it’s not mine to loan.”
Then he hung up the phone.
Poor Tony the Ant 🐜
then climbed down the plant. 🌿
He sighed, “You just can’t
ever rant to an elephant.”

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