Bat box

She asked if I wanted to watch her bat box.
I asked, ‘fly or welterweight classes?’
‘Pine,’ she said, ‘with two roosting rails,’
and she passed me a pair of field glasses.

Bertrand

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Pastels on paper

Telebomb

They took all the money they’d saved up for bombs
and spent it on healthcare instead
then ran “Alms for Arms”, a TV appeal,
full of lingering shots of the dead.

But apparently viewers aren’t so inclined
to chip in ten quid for a warhead,
for almost as one they switched off their sets,
locked up and hurried to bed. *

Many a man slept his best night for years,
content in the thought that no bloodshed,
however so caused, would be staining his hands,
even if strife lay ahead.

* The ratings bombed.

Peterborough, 4pm

‘Let’s imagine a history
in which comet and earth don’t collide
and somehow over the centuries
the dinosaurs have survived.

‘Perhaps it just grazed the atmosphere
cos its fly-by was high by a mile
or maybe it came a bit later that year
and the earth had been gone for a while.

‘Either way, there was no eruption
as it ploughed into our planet
which is why giant lizards are causing disruption
to trains calling in at New Barnet…

‘…Hitchin, Biggleswade and London Kings Cross for at least the next hour. Passengers are advised that tickets will be accepted on alternative routes.’

Buyers' remorse

Buyer’s remorse is fine on a bike
with a money back guarantee,
but not when you’re putting a cross in a box
to settle the fate of the country.

It isn’t a protest if it might win,
nor a weapon of last resort
for pencil and pen will always beat sword
if the outcome’s referred to the court.

Control

Nineteen buttons:
one through zero,
volume up and down,

channel,
power,
source and mute,

EPG and sleep.

I sit here lightly holding it
firmly in its grip.

No laughing matter

I thought it was rather harsh,
locking him up for a century quarter
for having a bit of a laugh.

Until I discovered that wasn’t the crime
for which he was set to serve time.

Autocorrect
(far from perfect)
had softened the facts of the case
and not for man’s laughter
at all but manslaughter
was he confined to this place.

An eye for an eye

Deleted myself today.
Wrote ‘love you’ without saying who.
Not who to… (which was you) …only ‘I’ went astray.
I should have seen then we were through.

Maybe I’d known that to press every key,
would have been to admit my defeat,
and I’d hoped by omission I’d keep myself free –
so left the phrase incomplete.

Who knows?

But somewhere, our messages crossed on the line
and a chime from my inbox announced your reply.
Four fatal words, ‘luv u 2 sugapie’,
summarised all we had lost.

I’ll never explain my silent farewell,
since I know that you’d not understand
why I dragged those nauseous words to the trash,
along with the future you’d planned.

I erased your name and address from my contacts
and swept your books from my shelf;
relieved, truth be told, your detestable syntax
had freed me to refind myself.

I returned as ‘u’ disappeared
and I found myself undeleted.
I logged in again to the site where we’d paired,
and thus the process repeated…

Middle-aged gent with own hair, distinguished;
seeks female companion, long legs and large bust.
Essential you have respect for Queen’s English;
fine spelling and grammar a must.

ALA

Hat

Seated man wearing a hat, from behind

Pastel on paper

May

Our new PM was elected
with fewer than 200 votes.

That’s how politics works these days.
Like it or lump it, folks.