Archive for April, 2012

No Flowers for Christine

Silk Flowers

I’ve recently come across some love poetry whilst going through some old and rather yellow files.

The poems in question date from the early 1990’s, when I lived in a Cheshire village and was friends with the former (retired) principal of the local college.

This was at a time when I was busy writing poetry of my own. My friend would often come around to my house to deliver critical analysis over a
bottle of wine.

On occasions, however, he would also send me poems of his own. This one was delivered for my birthday.

No Flowers for Christine

Goodmayes Girls go on for ever.
Essex Man, for love, would never
Breathe a whisper of their age,
For tactfulness is all the rage
In Ilford, Romford or Southend.
Loose-tongued Libertarians just might end
Their days in deep disapprobation
If they revealed that information.
Exposure may provoke a shooting
By hitmen hired in darkest Tooting.

No woman could look less than shifty
If one let on that she was fifty, –
They even wax extremely shirty
Admitting to the age of thirty!
No, I’d be ruled severely naughty
Sending age-ist flowers at f…y.
(I’ll leave it just a few months more
And give you roses you’ll adore)

This wasn’t his first…

Ships not passing in the night

Have you ever been called interesting
Before? An understatement, that.
There were other epithets
Which came to mind:
Warm, giving, don’t forget
Extremely attractive –
How about a port in a storm?
Or, maintaining maritime metaphors,
Another friendly sail in my deep doldrums
Just as I was walking an emotional gangplank.

Thank you for allowing me aboard your welcome
And for plying me with Mozart!
No press-gang necessary.

And then there was this…

Red, Orange, Yellow…..

Today I drove through a brilliant rainbow
(Richard of York gave battle in vain for one)
Whose spectral colours, vibrant through the rain,
Touched both horizons but could not outshine
The involuntary palette in my mind’s eye
Projected there by simply spending time with you.

I may not hype it up (or you!) but
You shall at least perceive hereby
What you from time to time refract
In deep, dark, damp recesses of my brain,
Being, soul, person, call it what you will.

No sweat, this is you just growing on,
Not rampantly climbing all over, me,
A welcome process which I hope to nurture,
While you sustain your giving nature!

All I can say is that I had quite forgotten those days when I could have such an effect on such a nice man.


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New Investment Opportunities For Art Lovers


The art world is in a bit of a tizzy at the moment, as realisation has finally begun to sink in that people like Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin were actually taking the piss all along.

Prices for pickled sharks and unmade beds are accordingly expected to tumble. The smart money is on the look out for new investments.

Dealers are getting excited about a newly discovered talent, whose bold works are expected to command millions of dollars from people with basically more money than sense.

“The colours … the strokework … the intrinsic naiviety of the underlying metaphor … it’s simply genius” enthused one dealer regarding a prime example of a brilliant new artist’s so-called crayola period.

“Testudine Mobilis” (pictured) is expected to set the price level for a new wave of modern art investment when it comes under the hammer in the near future.

The artist’s name is being kept under wraps at present … in a move clearly designed to add to the buzz of speculation. All we have been told is that they are an exciting young find.

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New Performance Scale for Politicians


Voters worried about which politicians to vote for will be assisted by a new performance indicator, which all candidates for political office will need to show on their election literature and ballot forms from April 2014.

Political Probity Ratings are to be introduced following the general success of similarly styled energy performance certificates for homes and domestic appliances.

Prospective candidates will require an independent assessment of their honesty each time they register to stand in an election. Sitting Members of Parliament and local councillors will also need to be reassessed every two years.

Low confidence

The new rating is being introduced as public confidence in the honesty of their politicians reaches an all time low.

Scandals such as ‘cash for questions’, ‘cash for honours’, parliamentary expenses … broken promises over issues such as tuition fees and the NHS … high profile resignations over issues of probity … and the general impression that ‘they’re all the same’ have led voters to increasingly abandon the polls.

It is hoped that when voters can see a simple independent probity rating for all the candidates on their ballot paper they will be able to make more confident and informed voting choices, in the same way as buying a new house or washing machine.


In blind testing with existing politicians the rating system has proven seemingly reliable.

Politicians generally regarded as honest and ethical over the long term, such as Nelson Mandela, were rated as A’s or B’s by assessors who were given anonymised details to scrutinise. Members of the Conservative front bench rated mostly F and G.

Parties and Candidates

The new scheme will apply to parties as well as candidates. Party ratings will be based on an average of their candidates. Indications are that all the present parties can expect ratings between D and G.

The expectation is that, over time, a new form of competitiveness will emerge, with candidates vying to score better than their opponents and colleagues.

It remains to be seen whether the G’s will improve through honesty or bribing the assessors, however.


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