Satirical verse: Honourable

This verse satirises the recent car-crash interview given by Prince Andrew, in which he attempted to justify his friendship with a convicted sex offender Jeffery Epstein. The interview attracted widespread incredulity and ridicule – and with good reason.

Copyright © Anna Nolan, 2019

 

Cripes, what an imponderable

That one oh-so honourable

Should be subject of such panning;

This is not what one’d been planning.

 

One is simply flabbergasted

To have been put down, lambasted;

Where’s the nation’s gratitude

For one’s famous aptitude?

 

You must feel, deep down within:

One can’t stay at Premier Inn –

A mansion is what one does need

(One must be mindful of one’s breed).

 

It may be full of household staff,

But one would never make a gaffe

Of giving them a fleeting glance;

They were all naked? Quite by chance!

 

Maybe Jeff was “unbecoming”,

But one never saw it coming;

To one, he was just a chum,

And one never has been dumb,

 

Neither has one been a drip,

Always showing leadership:

One is, clearly, quite aware

How to ditch a billionaire.

 

One’s weekends are spent a-shooting,

Why should this now need refuting?

And one’s vivid recollection

Is of showing no affection.

 

Woking does a decent pizza,

But it’s not exactly Ritz – a?

And so one remembers well

All the details – can’t you tell?

 

One had let one’s side, um, down,

But they really went to town –

British media (damn the lot):

They are like a juggernaut.

It’s a most horrific whammy,

But a ride with one’s own mammy

Might just soften them a tad,

After all, one’s not a cad:

 

Au contraire: one’s virtue – pure;

And to think one must endure

Such appalling balderdash

And give up a birthday bash!

 

How did it all go so awry?

One has to face the FBI;

It is as bad as it can get,

And one can’t even break a sweat!

 

 

 

Satirical verse: Eco warrior

Most important of your missions?

Cutting CO2 emissions;

Your ideals are exalted:

Global warming must be halted.

 

Therefore, in your eco war,

You will fly to Singapore

For a summit aiming to

Figure out just what to do.

 

Boeing really is the best:

It has wings and all the rest

And will, in no time at all,

Fly you anywhere long haul.

 

(Intercontinental jaunts

Are not what, quite frankly, daunts

Eco warriors of your kind,

With grave matters on their mind.)

 

On return (you’ve just touched down),

There are rallies round your town,

So you jump into your car;

Walk a mile? That’s way too far!

 

Then there’s* sit-ins, so that you

Can affix yourself with glue

To the pavement – with the call:

“Save the Planet, one and all!”

 

Thus you toil, without a break,

So you do deserve a steak,

Thick and juicy – just the thing:

All this iron boosts your zing.

 

You do feel some guilt (a smidge)

Looking at your walk-in fridge;

You would ditch it if you could,

But it serves a greater good.

 

As for your wood-burner – it

Looks so cosy when it’s lit,

So you settle with your plate,

Quite contented, feeling great,

 

For, with pride within your heart,

You believe you’ve played a part

In (though this might seem quite strange)

Just averting climate change.

 

*Well, it should be there are, of course, but if the lovely natives freely indulge in the likes of there’s us, so can an alien – particularly on the grounds of poetic scanning (though poetic may be stretching it a tad in verses such as this)

 

Copyright © Anna Nolan, 2019

 

Verse: Flowers

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Snowdrops, delicate and pale,

Carpet the entire vale

As the winter, now apace,

Loosens its robust embrace.

 

Milder weather drawing near,

Crocuses will soon appear –

Purple, lilac, orange, white,

They are an enchanting sight;

 

And when daffs erupt, we’ll all

Watch their gleeful dance – in thrall;

May means bluebells, and their hue,

Often called electric blue,

 

Will entrance you, make you swoon

As they drape their fine festoon

Right across sun-dappled glades,

Where they vie with verdant blades.

 

Later, summer blooms galore

Will delight you even more,

Their sweet scent (beyond compare)

Wafting gently in the air.

 

All this riot, day by day,

Simply takes one’s breath away;

It’s a wildly joyous fest:

Mother Nature at her best!

 

Verse: Tenth anniversary of my mountain rescue

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January, ten years back*:

I received a lot of flak

When I blundered – went astray –

On a cold and dismal day.

Gale was howling, snow was deep,

Skiddaw’s** slopes rose white and steep,

With its summit in the cloud,

But I planned my climb, unbowed,

Pining for the lofty top

With no image of a flop.

I was soon, despite the freeze,

Crawling on my hands and knees

Yet still sinking in the snow,

With my progress very slow;

But, regardless, on I pressed,

Which (in case you haven’t guessed)

Was a reckless thing to do

Given that nobody knew

Where I was on this vast slope;

Yep, I acted like a dope:

Upwards, higher, then – a fright:

The world went completely white!

There was nothing I could see:

Clouds, the ground, my boots, my knee …

Nothing, so I grabbed my phone

And, in panic-stricken tone,

Called the mountain rescue, who

Mobilised our Keswick crew;

Cockermouth went out as well,

And they got me off the fell,

Now, in darkness – ‘t was pitch-black***,

With no trace of any track.

I was, clearly, in those days

Still in my immortal phase;

Now, with whiteout on the tops,

I stay low and hit the shops!

 

*To be precise, on 29th January 2009

**Skiddaw is a mountain of over 3,000 feet which towers over my small town of Keswick

***I called the mountain rescue at about 3.30pm, and the Cockermouth team reached me at roughly 7pm, albeit in complete darkness because I had found myself on the eastern flank of Skiddaw and thus away from Keswick’s lights. My having ended up there was lucky because, if I had strayed onto its precipitous western slopes, I might not be here now. The rescuers managed to locate me because I was shining two torches (head and hand). Needless to say, I didn’t see anybody else on the fell that day – not that I could see much …

Humorous verse: Confessions of a walk leader

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With the time just whizzing past,

What I’ve had was – yes – a blast,

Clocking (fancy!) fifty walks

With my team, which simply rocks.

 

Roamers they are called, and they

Are first-class in every way:

They’re intrepid, brave and bold

Yet, with that, as good as gold.

 

We have rambled far and wide,

With me acting as a guide,

So it’s truly on my head

If the group’s not safely led.

 

But it was, I fear, a dud

When I dragged them through the mud,

Made them brave almighty gales,

Led them down precarious trails

 

And up rocks all glazed by frost,

Covered up when we got lost

(Aiming east but heading west,

Feigning nonchalance and zest) …

 

That, and stuff along those lines,

Fails to meet with gripes or whines;

As I’ve said, they are top drawer:

They keep coming back for more!

 

Humorous verse: Twenty one years in Keswick!

Years ago, we settled down

In this lovely little town,

Which, and that’s beyond dispute,

Is as pretty as it’s cute.

 

There is something here for all:

Lots of shops, both big and small,

Nice old church and (yes, you’ve guessed)

Pubs for that deserved, hmmm … rest.

 

What is more, in all those places

We see lots of friendly faces,

So we think – and think we do

It’s a real dream-come-true.

 

And our eyes can feast and binge

On the fells that Keswick* fringe –

Sparkling jewels in the crown

Of this lovely little town.

 

*At the heart of England’s beautiful Lake District, which is now a World Heritage Site2014 - ESK PIKE AND BOWFELL WITH BOBBY 034.JPG

Humorous verse: Our Christmas

‘Tis a magic time of year,

Time of gladness, joy and cheer,

When folk love to have a fete,

Eat and drink and celebrate.

 

In our house, we too, as one,

Had a most tremendous fun,

Though there was, I do declare,

The odd hiccup here and there,

 

Such as all the rigmarole

With the toad in his wee hole*;

Turkey? Raw inside (oh, drat!),

So we gave it to the cat;

 

Roast potatoes, I must say,

Went a rather different way:

Badly burnt and hard as rock

(Not that we would ever squawk);

 

Veggies having turned to slime,

Guests jumped up: “Is this the time!?!”

“Nonsense!” we’d then gaily shout,

“Won’t you have another sprout?”

 

Christmas pud would have been handy,

But we’d guzzled all the brandy**;

As for pies – this makes me wince –

Uncle’d eaten all the mince.

 

Radio playing Silent Night,

Both grandfathers had a fight,

Kids got into awful scraps

Tearing off their present wraps,

 

And our dearest auntie Lyn

Sat there swigging rum and gin

With a rather mournful gaze:

“It was different in them days”;

 

Our granny, though, was merry,

Having finished all the sherry,

Then she swayed and, with a slouch,

Was now snoring on the couch.

 

All in all, as you can guess,

Christmas was a great success,

Though the fairy on the top

Shut her eyes and shouted “Stop!”

 

But the day, this much is clear,

Is the highlight of our year,

So we cry, with joyous glow,

“Only fifty*** weeks to go!”

 

*How the lovely natives manage to squeeze the animal into a small hole is beyond me: my repeated attempts ended in abject failure, though, mercifully, the creature survived …

**Way back in July, when we started our Christmas preparations in earnest

***Well, maybe fifty two, but who is counting after all this prosecco – pardon me, champagne

Humorous verse: Vinnie’s new shed

So as to enhance his street cred,
My Vin got himself a new shed:
Defence shutting out the world’s strife,
Life’s irritations – and the wife …
He beamed with elation and glee,
Then grabbed his transistor*, made tea
And, with the cry: “The match is on,
The Spurs are playing!”, he was gone.
And then for hours, from within,
There issued most enormous din
As Vinnie whooped and wailed and yelped,
Oh how I wished I could have helped
But did not enter (not that brave):
The sign that guards the shed? Man Cave!

*Radio

Humorous verse: An alien’s lament

British passport – what a prize!
It’s your birthright, lucky guys,
But, to aliens such as me,
It’s as precious as can be,
So I greatly cherish mine,
Which does make me feel so fine
(More so as I am quite skittish),
I’m thus loving being British;
This is why I, with great pride,
Share my status far and wide
Half-expecting a huge cheer;
Enter Ian*, who’d appear
On my walks from time to time
Undertaking the odd climb
(You remember? He’s the guy
Who has rubbished my mince pie);
Ian, hearing me thus boast,
Looked as if he’d seen a ghost:
“British passport? You?? How come???”
What a bummer – and then some:
His demeanour was so shocked
That my world just shook and rocked;
How much more of toil, sweat, grit
Till they see me as a Brit????

 

*I am very fond of Ian, by the way. He has a fabulous sense of humour and is great fun to be around. Although we tease each other, it’s all done in a friendly and playful manner. I’m saying this because he thought he had offended me by his incredulity; in fact, I found his reaction absolutely hilarious. No hard feelings, Ian, I hope.

Humorous verse: Anna’s mishap

A keen fellwalker having the good fortune to be surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful mountains, I lead a fabulous walking group called the Roamers. Well, at least I try to lead them – but sometimes I do manage to lose some of them. As on that infamous occasion at Easter when traffic was heavy, our parking spot had been unexpectedly blocked and my mobile decided to die on me. Unable to communicate with the drivers of several other cars in our group, I contrived to lose one vehicle with its precious cargo of four Roamers. So much for my being a leader …

 

If you heard my moans and groans,

They were all about the cones,

Traffic cones – I kid you not –

Blocking our parking spot;

With no parking to be found,

We drove round and round and round,

All five cars – and all spread out –

Nightmare, without any doubt;

With my mobile on the blink,

I was flustered, couldn’t think

(You go into panic mode

When you’re missing a car-load);

We then started our hike

Without John, Rose, Pam and Mike;

You could not – not if you tried –

Find a soul as mortified

As I was, but I must say

It was John who saved the day!

Sage and with a brilliant mind,

Our John’s one of a kind:

On his gizmo, also smart,

Our route he did – yes! – chart

And, with deftness and no fuss,

Led his party straight to us!

Dearest John, believe you me:

In your debt I’ll always be;

Your computing expertise

Has now put my mind at ease

‘Cos I know that, with your aid,

Roamers cannot get mislaid!