Are you an unsung poet?

Clive James is a wordsmith of the first order. For example:

And he strikes a familiar chord for me, fascinated as I am by the spoken and written word, its etymology, philology and sheer existence in this otherwise technological world.

Continue reading “Are you an unsung poet?”

Christmas for Monty and Robin

Christmas for Monty and Robin

(With apologies to Amarinta)


And while the critters were all hob-nobbin’;

The field mice and the red-breast robin,

A squeal went up, ‘what, pray, was that?

‘I think it is the farmyard cat.’

‘Oh my sweet holy Jesus

I think she means to come and seize us.’ Continue reading “Christmas for Monty and Robin”

September poetry result

A big thanks to the five contributors to the Animals competition. All the entries were first class.

Peter Alliss wouldn’t have liked the Latin speaking parrot in the poem by Janus but that’s golfers for you. I thought the piece was eximius.

Gazoopi put down in rhyme what he told us before about the stewing of his pet rabbit. Fifty years on it’s time the rabbit police thumped at his door.

Pseu’s dangerous moment in the life of a snail was captivating. Well-paced, the time was not crawling.

Bilby’s sausage dog was a sad tale but brilliantly written. My German’s not what it used to be so I had to use my German phrasebook (Stuff your Google) to translate. Great patter in the thread as well.

Congratulations on becoming a grandmother, Araminta. A mouse poem with a happy ending. Charming.

It was a shoot-out between Janus and Bilby. A very difficult decision but by the width of a gnat’s eyelash the winner is… Continue reading “September poetry result”

Animals (September poetry competition)

One of the problems of winning the poetry competition is racking the brain cells to come up with an interesting theme for the next one. I’m surprised no one has done a George C Scott and declined the award. But by Stanley, I suppose we all like wearing a little Laurel round our necks.

Down to business. I’m not sure if this is a duplicate (BEEP) from a past tournament but the subject is Animals. You can ode about ones you love, dislike, fear, respect, whatever. The choice is yours. I might even make a contribution myself. The only other rule is that you must include a foreign phrase in your poem. Something like dolce vita or achtung. This is just a little extra to make it harder and more interesting.

Closing date last minute of September (I forget how many days in it). Go for it- Quack, Woof, Baa, ROAR, oo-oo-at-at-at-at, Wrille.

Poetry Competition – ‘A Musical Turn’


Cherished colleagues I invite you to submit entries for the August poetry competition on the subject heading “A Musical Turn”.  This may relate to a dance, a musical instrument,  a phrase in a song, even an unusual musical chord (go on Jason you can make one up).  You can even write a song which I may put to music.

I realise that this subject may fall on deaf ears but anything on “sound” or ” noise” will be accepted. Please use your imagination but I have to say that musicality will win bonus points. Closing date 31 August – midnight GMT.


Winner of June Poetry Competition

Many thanks to those Charioteers who entered the June Competition; you are STARS, every one of you!

Thanks also to Janus, for scattering lines of topical interest and amusement throughout the thread, and to PapaG for his enigmatic second pome which may (or may not) be a message to (or from) the stars.


Araminta: Good Heavens!
Short and sweet; a little dream of a poem, with great scansion. Another stanza would have been nice.

Janus: 28th April 1949
Another Slacky Bottom Classic; atmospheric and beautifully composed.

JW: More than a Rainbow
A reliably outré poem from JW, with marvellously clever splashes of wordplay.” An exciting and hilarious entry.

Continue reading “Winner of June Poetry Competition”

Poetry Competition: June 2014

The theme for this month’s poetry competition is:

Celestial Bodies

“I’ve tried the new moon tilted in the air
Above a hazy tree-and-farmhouse cluster
As you might try a jewel in your hair.
I’ve tried it fine with little breadth of luster,
Alone, or in one ornament combining
With one first-water start almost shining.”

The Freedom of the Moon by Robert Frost

Do I hear a collective groan?

Fear not! Anything vaguely related to the theme will be welcome, from Red Dwarfs to the Moon in June, and multitudinous things in between.

Let your imaginations expand into the Universe. This should be easy for those Cherished Colleagues with brains as big as planets (thank you, Marvin and Douglas Adams).

Entries by midnight on 30 June.

Rote learning

Before the 11 plus our primary school classroom would be full of the sound of children’s voices chanting their times tables, and other important facts, such as length from inches up to miles, depths in fathoms, areas in hectares and acres, weights up to tons….but most of these facts are lost to me, partly I suppose because of decimalisation, negating the need to know in so much detail. I didn’t find rote learning a useful tool, quite often finding myself speaking the ‘Nine eights are…’ then mumbling the rest. I do know of course now know my most of my times tables and have strategies for checking my memory! What I remember from those classroom days are random things like the texture of the speckled paint, the smells, the anxieties, the friendship inconsistencies, the risk of having one’s head knocked sideways for not knowing the value of a minim….

I wonder if any of the Charioteers can remember the wordings for rest of these classroom chants…. this is to do with a poetry project I’m working on. Interweb searching has not yielded results!

And just to prettify the post, here is a picture. Continue reading “Rote learning”

Spring poetry results

As stimulus packages go, I would like to thank Christopher for reigniting the fun challenges that we set from time to time, his timely coup during February and subsequent quantitative (t)easing has done much to spark renewed activity on these pages.

The March poetry challenge was a simple one, Spring. (entries here)

I would like to thank the cast for their efforts who, in order of appearance are Janus, Low Wattage, Four-eyed English Genius and gazoopi.

There can of course only be one winner, gazoopi for his interesting take on growing old ~ Time

I leave it for ‘Gaz’ to set our next one.


March Poetry competition – “Spring”


     I know it ‘aint Spring down here
But with most of you in the Northern Hemisphere
Slowly coming out of hibernation
I thought “why not”
Let’s give it another shot
I await your entries in anticipation

So there you have it, a poem about your new dawn, new beginnings, Spring.

As usual put your entries here as a comment or write a post and link it here.

Closing date March 25, 2014