Excerpts from The Wrong Ancient Mariner


from Christopher Robin's Party Animals

There are bottles and fag ends and litter 
          and thistles and owl pellets too:
the house is in need of a clean up 
          which Nanny refuses to do.
And Piglet is still feeling fragile 
          while Pooh’s in a comatose snooze.
So it’s me who is stuck with the housework 
          after the party at Pooh’s. . . .


from A Very Model of a Conway Stewart Fountain Pen
         (after W.S. Gilbert)

 . . . Its filling mechanism was a lever made depressible,
A method most effective, though for ten-year-olds quite messible;
Responsible too often for ink spillage and the dreaded sound
Of parents getting angry when they found Royal Blue ink spreaded round. . . .

from To Mrs. Kipling from Rudyard

. . . If you could bake a rock bun, not a boulder,
And make mince pies from fruit and not raw meat.
If you could manage ‘flambé’ not just ‘smoulder’,
And make a sponge less like a thick foam seat . . .



from Now is the Springtime of My Discontent

      (after 'The Bloody Orkneys' by Capt. Hamish Blair)

, , , Bloody catalogues all lied,
Bloody plants all bloody died.
Bloody frame of greenhouse rotted,
Bloody knotweed bloody knotted . . . 


from Maud Rejects Tennyson's Invitation
        (to “Come into the garden”)

On the last of our joint horticultural trips
I contracted, I'm sorry to tell,
both black spot and mildew plus rose-mite and thrips
and you laddered my stockings as well . . . 


from Small Ads. from Shakespeare

For Sale :--
Egyptian asp now back in basket after much travail.
Late owner now in casket. Hence Executors' Sale.


from Pam Ayres, Still Worrying About Her Teeth

. . . Mea culpa, Domine,
With dental hygiene gone astray
I stand before your Judgement throne,
My gums eroded to the bone,
Repentant dental dust and ashes
With scarce one tooth which truly gnashes . . .