Monthly Archives: June 2014

Partner Schmartner! (a poem)

A poem that expresses a view I’ve held for quite a while.

I was out at a party one evening,

Greeting strangers and old friends alike,

When I met an acquaintance named Sally,

Who said, “This is my partner, Mike.”


I was struck by the noun that she’d chosen;

With its use I just couldn’t agree.

Being her, I’d have said, “Mike’s my boyfriend;”

‘Partner’ didn’t quite sit comfortably.


To me, whom you love’s not your ‘partner’;

If you’re married it’s ‘husband’ or ‘wife’,

And if not then it’s ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’;

Saying ‘partner’ just shouldn’t be rife.


If I say ‘partner’, I mean a colleague,

Like my co-worker Harry McGurk,

Who I call on if I’m out of staples,

Or fancy a drink after work.


The word ‘partner’ belongs in a ballroom,

Where well-dressed folk whirl round in pairs,

Or it’s what a cowboy calls his buddy

While they’re out hunting bison or bears.


“But it’s difficult these days!” you’d argue;

“Sally might prefer women to men!

“What if you’d assumed she’s heterosexual

“And you called Mike her ‘boyfriend’; what then?”


Well then, Sally could simply correct me.

It’s OK; it’s not breaking the law.

It’s not like I deny their existence;

To assume shouldn’t cause a furore.


I’d be right nineteen times out of twenty

Saying ‘boy’ or ‘girlfriend’ any rate.

And why should Sally call men her ‘partners’?

Is she somehow ashamed to be straight?


I say, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

Saying ‘partner’ just leaves things confused.

If you like gender neutral, say ‘lover’,

Then not even my feelings are bruised.



Sonnet 18 for Shakespeare Cynics (a poem)

Is it fair to compare you to a summer’s day?
Of course not; you’re better by a long, long way!
Your beauty is greater, consistently so.
You see sometimes, in summer, the wind starts to blow;
A beach-goer must sunbathe in what time’s allowed;
The sun might shine too hot, or be covered by cloud;
The day may become chill where it once had been warm
And the clearest of skies might just bring forth a storm.
But your summer-like beauty, to me, will not fade.
Although roses may wilt, it will never degrade.
Any number of fair or foul summers may pass,
With their beds of bright flowers and lush, verdant grass,
But through all those long years, you’ll stay beautiful still.
(Thanks for the inspiration, Will.)


Dexter (a poem)

Written in honour of my colleague’s beloved Goldendoodle!


When company’s there, adoration abounds

For this warmest and most effervescent of hounds.

Two eyes, dark as onyx, will glitter and shine,

As all those who pet him think; “Wish he was mine!”

His coat is luxurious; a rich amber-yellow,

And its curls, seeming coarse, are as soft as marshmallow.

From this ocean of wisps peeps a puce-tawny nose,

While his tail expounds pleasure in strong, carefree throes.

Though I’m told his jaws’ power could shame a hyena,

In a contest of character, cherubs are meaner.

He may not be obsequious, squandering passion,

And welcome your love in a calm, patient fashion,

But although his firm friendship is won cautiously,

I’m hoping that time brings him closer to me.



Music Puzzle

Music history is full of great songs, but sometimes two very different songs can have the same title. The object of this puzzle is to find the title of a song that links both the stated artists. The numbers in brackets give you the number of letters in each of the title’s words in sequence. For example, both Billy Joel and Eurythmics released a song entitled Don’t Ask Me Why, so their entry would be written as follows.

Billy Joel, Eurythmics (4, 3, 2, 3)

Got that? Why not have a go at these then…

1. U2, Linkin Park (4)
2. Mariah Carey, Enrique Iglesias (4)
3. Kiki Dee, Primal Scream (4)
4. John Miles, Madonna (5)
5. Roxy Music, Wet Wet Wet (5, 4)
6. Jimi Hendrix, Rogue Traders (6, 5)
7. Blur, Good Charlotte (5, 3, 4)
8. Jefferson Airplane, Queen (8, 2, 4)
9. Bananarama, N Sync (1, 4, 3, 4)
10. Debarge, Corona (6, 2, 3, 5)
11. Michael Jackson, Anastacia (3, 3, 2, 4, 4)
12. Billy Joel, Bruno Mars (4, 3, 3, 3, 3)

World Cup 2010

The football World Cup has come round again, so here’s another spur-of-the-moment piece I wrote at the time of the last World Cup.

See the flags stuck to the boot of the car. There they lie, testament to national pride and hope for victory.
They’ve faded now. The logical would say it was the weather; wear and tear imposed by the implacable elements. Others would say more superstitious things. Why are they doing so badly? Is it fate? Are those stickers augers of disaster? They could be oracles of that tournament, a testament to how unsuccessful we’re destined to be.
Only time will tell the truth of their suspicions.

The Red Kite

Red kites have recently been introduced to Hertfordshire, where I live, and appear to be doing very well.  This is just a short piece I wrote on the spur of the moment after my first encounter with one.

There it was, above me, caressing the air currents and defying the ground.  Its primary feathers were spread out from its wing-tips, blazing russet just like its breast.  A flash of white burst form the dark expanse of its wings.  It wheeled lazily about the sky, circling for its prey.  A swallow passed beneath it and I braced myself for a confrontation.  But it showed no interest and moved away towards the north.  I watched until it had shrunk down below the limits of my vision.