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Step into The Rhyming Room

Poetry on typewriter

Would you prefer to write your comments as a poem? Then The Rhyming Room is exactly where you want to be. Take inspiration from our weekly themes or wax lyrical on current consumer concerns…

The Which? Conversation community is fortunate to have many budding poets in its midst who frequently put their thoughts into verse.

On the odd occasion, we’ve even had dedicated conversations encouraging you to show off your creative talents and command of couplets and stanzas, such as those community member Ian led on National Poetry Day last year and at Christmas.

Poets’ corner

Concerned that some of the odes may get buried and forgotten in the depths of Which? Conversation, a number of you have requested a permanent poetry convo.

The space you envisaged was somewhere to store your topical verses so you could easily access them for further enjoyment – and even contribute more when you’re feeling inspired.

So, without further ado: welcome to The Rhyming Room.

On song

Of course, the main idea here is to write poems about your thoughts on current consumer issues.

But for added inspiration, each week, we’ll also be suggesting themes. These could be based on a mixture of world, international and national days, and even dubious celebratory days – so be sure to check back regularly.

Naturally, if you come up with your own celebratory occasion and want to write a poem, that’s OK, too.

Your musings can also be serious or amusing.

The only rules are that the poems must be your own work and it would be helpful to others to mention the subject. You should also always keep our Community Guidelines in mind.

To kick things off, Alfa’s kindly put pen to paper.

Did you ever dream of being a poet
But never quite sure just how to show it?
Let thoughts in your head turn to words that flow
And watch a poem start to grow

Each week there will be a new set of themes
Inspiration may come to you in your dreams
The end of lines don’t have to rhyme
Just come back and share with us in due time

This week’s themes:

Any current issues on Which? Conversation, plus:

Notable upcoming dates:

Fri 26 May: Don’t Fry Day, Dracula Day, Paper Airplane Day, Heat Awareness Day
Sat 27 May: Cellophane Tape Day, Sun Screen Day,
Sun 28 May: Brisket Day, Amnesty International Day, Hamburger Day, World Hunger Day
Mon 29 May: Biscuit Day, Paper Clip Day, Learn About Composting Day, Coq Au Vin Day
Tue 30 May: Water a Flower Day, Loomis Day, My Bucket’s Got A Hole Day
Wed 31 May: No Tobacco Day, Macaroon Day, Senior Health & Fitness Day, Speak in Sentences Day
Thu 1 Jun: Say Something Nice Day, Go Barefoot Day, Olive Day, Heimlich Manoeuvre Day, Penpal Day
Fri 2 Jun: Doughnut Day, Rocky Road Day, Leave The Office Early Day,
Sat 3 Jun: Repeat Day, Insect Repellent Awareness Day, Egg Day
Sun 4 Jun: Hug Your Cat Day, Tailors Day, Old Maid’s Day, Cancer Survivors Day, Cheese Day, Cognac Day

Please check back regularly for themes of the week.

We look forward to reading your compositions!

With special thanks to Which? Conversation community member, Alfa, who assisted with this conversation and came up with the inspired name of The Rhyming Room.

Comments

Appro-pros the current difficulty on Which? Conversation and those struggling to rectify it.

When Our Electronic World Fails.
The fragility of the microchip
Is seen when things go wrong
It’s when logic starts to slip
Our computers go off song.

The computer has its structure plan
Components joined and wired.
These interactions made by man
Now work by pulses fired.

When running well and up to task
These circuits make work lightning fast.
Instructions that we humans ask
Are actioned ere a second’s past.

Thus we use our techno skills
To make things hard be easy.
To interact, buy, pay the bills,
And chat, all bright and breezy.

Then one day a microdot,
A connecting strip or chip,
Finds it’s getting rather hot
And makes a circuit blip.

This in turn makes changes to
The way the messages run.
A new instruction list to do
And chaos just begun.

As if this were not bad enough
Our loyal servant on the table
Obeys who ever inputs stuff.
Hackers can disable.

Computers seem to cause us strife
When software makes the rules.
For now there is no easy life
When every process fools.

Good luck to all who circuits search
To find where things malfunction.
Sorrow to those left in lurch,
No help and no injunction.

Where then is our back up plan?
Where our pen and paper?
Or complex world is down the pan
When micro-circuits caper.

OUR complex world is down the pan
When micro-circuits caper.

Sorry.

The Morning After.

There was a party late last night.
The marquee was full inside and tight.
Drinks flowed and the party food
Added to the festive mood.

Music played in to the night,
Some were dancing, some not quite.
Gradually the throng departed,
Leaving just the late, stout hearted.

Now the dawn has come and gone.
The tenting doors flap in upon
The empty space where merry crowd
Partied late and partied loud.

There is a sadness to behold
An empty marquee in the cold.
Its purpose now a purpose past
Just standing lifeless, white and vast.

Above, the blue flags on their stays
Blow and flutter, catch the gaze.
Their welcome now a useless ploy
In cold grey sky where none enjoy.

Inside the cavern, now in silent state,
Sides suck and blow as winds dictate.
The stains of drink and food remain
And cans and bottles, dregs retain.

The tables round the window sides.
White plastic chairs where no one bides.
The coloured bunting draped and spread
And pretty lanterns overhead.

The empty stage with mike and amps,
The set of flashing, lifeless lamps.
The bar with crates, just boxes now
And glasses stacked, no drinks allow.

The party smell that lingers still
The cold and dampness of the chill.
The ghosts of all the many who
Danced and revelled, courted too.

Soon the grass will grow once more
Canvas, poles and wooden floor
Banished from this place outdoor.
Just a memory left to explore.

Something Missing.

When Shaw wrote his Pygmalion play,
It ended in an ambiguous way.
Did she marry the doting Fred,
Or return to her Wimpole Street bed?

Shaw equivocates purposely
And all who act it must agree
Which ending makes the better plot
Which man is the greater clot.

When the curtain falls at last
All the action is then past.
But what if someone by a deed
Changes all that might succeed?

Indeed this happened to a play,
Comedy was meant to sway
The final act from tragic gloom
As lovers met across a room.

Sadly for the first night crowd,
The curtain fell, a crimson shroud,
Before the lovers final kiss,
So they believed alas, amiss…

That never would the lovers meet
For ever parted in defeat.
Thus tragedy from a hasty curtain
Made their doom for ever certain.

Such a small and simple act
Could, in life make us react.
Something missed or left unsaid
Something sent and left unread.

We must care when curtain’s drawn
All our actions clear are bourn,
Everything said and clear on page,
Ere we bow and leave the stage.

Being forced on to the Bank Holiday roads to play at a carnival and being stuck in the inevitable queue, this began to take shape as different cars tried to be clever and gain a few yards. I have seen all these things on my journeys, though not this one.
Slow At Seventy.

The busy road is just a turn
The third on roundabout I learn.
The start of journey stage to come
With many miles there in sum
Before its time to turn away
As early dawn has turned to day.

I take the turn and as I do,
Two bikes appear out of the blue.
They twist their throttles hard around
And howl in rage, a mournful sound.
This wail as tortured engines sear
Fades and lowers as gear climbs gear.

They’re gone and with their speeding scream.
No thought of safety, life a dream.
The roads are queueing far ahead
Will they see before they’re dead?

My steady pace is also slow
For those who always think they know
That laws and limits don’t apply
To roads where cameras seldom lie.
They sail past in high distain
And only slow when police detain.

These speeders come in many guises
The little ones who cause surprises,
Hammering their compact shells
Foot hard down in their tiny hells.
No margin for a fault or flat
No thought for anything quite like that.

The limousines and the four by fours
Flashing past with their darkened doors.
Heedless of the speed they reach
Careless of the laws they breach.
High in their heavens they care for none
The law’s an ass, they’re having fun.

Some just have a car that’s fast
And as it’s quick they hurtle past.
No restraint, they’ve paid for speed
So speed is what they seek and need.
Flashy paint and tail pipes -four
Says, ”Look at me and hear the roar.”

White van man, his reputation,
As the hooligan of the nation.
Rattles past in reckless haste
His poor engine over raced.
Cares he not, for he just drives
Others see his van survives.

Family hacks are at it too
Sailing past with wife and crew.
Chatting merrily as they waft
Ignoring dashboard dials daft.
Flitting thus from lane to lane
Or in the middle and there remain.

As I wend my lawful track
I glance at cars the people hack.
Rear car windows fascinate
Shapes to like and those to hate.
Curved and ugly, squat and sour
Tiny bevels, those that glower.

Tail lights, flamboyant types.
Frontal lights with stupid stripes
Exhausts all squashed and shaped within
Funny rears all sharp and thin.
Look at Me’s all badged and chrome
Humble hacks from a second home.

Then the names and letters loose,
Each a boast or bright excuse
For lesser models, so to hide
The basic trim and bare inside.
TD this and iX that,
Kadjar Polo, Ford, Fiat.

Some who rush along the track
Have messages displayed in back.
“Baby on board” or “Jesus Saves,”
Jesus wouldn’t drive like slaves
Rowing fearful of the whip
His would be a gentle ship.

And so the turning comes at last,
The merry band come roaring past.
I turn to tranquil ways where hedge
Borders road and green side edge.
Here a slow and solitary car
Bumbles slowly, the road to bar.

Brakes at every corner slight
Thinks he’s driving on the right,
Curves and traffic seem to come
When I might pass this driver rum.
So I sigh and bide my time
Speeding is a heinous crime!

The Curiosity Of Number.

It takes one to know one
It takes two to pair.
Three has the pair undone
But four can take a share.

Five gives a casting vote
Six might make three pairs
Seven septet players note
As eight climb bell tower stairs.

Nine are in a Morris Dance
Ten dance hand in hand.
Eleven players take their chance
Twelve a juror’s band.

Seven days in a week,
Ten commandments Christians seek.
Eight to row a boat in race
Two opinions in a case.

Four for Bridge sit at a table,
Solitaire just one is able.
Fifteen for a Rugby Team
And three the traffic lights to gleam.

Sixty minute hours hale,
Twelve the half notes in a scale.
One the head and point of nail.
Two the chance of being male.

Numbers, numbers everywhere,
Measures, standards, values share.
Two eyes and ears and arms and legs
Two for one the bargain begs.

When we write and while we speak,
Numbers just play hide and seek.
“Second left and then first right
Number ten is by the light.”

We quantify and estimate
We count and keep the score.
Numbers make us prompt or late
They’re in our very core.

Yet like letters on the page
Numbers print in ink.
We see their form and thus engage
They govern what we think.

Radio four tells me it is International Poetry Day today, so I began to write an international poem but it crept closer to home.

A Very British Elegy.

In the beginning.
At the very start,
There was foment,
And that foment had two sides.

The popular side saw.
The popular press said.
The populous thought –
-Their thoughts.

Here were images
Of external control.
Of straightened bananas
And stupid sausages.

Here were images
Of external control.
Of Stupid laws
From stupid foreigners.

Here were images
Of those who couldn’t,
From their far off gatherings,
Understand.

Here were images
Of our ancient artisans-
-Millennially moulded,
Traditionally British

Here were images
Of a culture strong,
Infected, infiltrated,
Imposed upon.

The popular side saw.
The popular press said.
“We are over-run
Our jobs are gone.”

The popular side saw.
The popular press said.
“Where are our dwellings?
Where our jobs?”

The popular side saw.
The popular press asked.
“Where is our culture?
Where our communities?”

In the beginning
The foment stirred.
In the beginning,
Nothing heard,

In the beginning,
There was unrest.
Foreign laws arrived
To impose upon our own.

The broadsheet readers saw.
The broadsheet press said.
“Our membership’s expensive.
Their control is quite extensive.”

After the beginning
There came a Cameron.
And he saw the foment
And he saw that it was bad.

And the Cameron was
Encouraged in his view,
For among his followers,
Feathers flew.

In the beginning,
A story, fabled famous,
Told children of a Genie
Bottled long ago.

In the beginning,
That bottle was well topped.
In the beginning,
All mischief stopped.

The Cameron with his corkscrew,
Withdrew that bottle top
And discontent flowed freely
Out.

Now all the foreign muddle
Could be banished at a stroke.
Freedom from this muddle
Was a ballot paper stroke.

The Genie floated free at last,
Casting side ‘gainst side,
And now as we review the past
Our histories collide.

The Genie with its manic grin
Looks at torture from within.
The weary rage at nothing done.
The angry rage at war begun.

The will of the people touted.
The will of the people doubted.
The will of the people flouted.
Those angry ideas shouted.

In the beginning
At the very start,
There was foment
And that foment had no vote.

At the end,
At the very end,
There is foment.
And that foment has no vote.

Paying A Visit.

I walked into the empty room,
Labelled one might naturally assume
From the purpose on its door
Activities privately performed, for sure.

On a wall, hissing with the flame,
A boiler, from which radiators came
To heat church and rooms that matched.
With pipes to and fro attached.

Beneath a notice typed in red,
Simply wrote and simply read,
“If you smell gas please telephone”
The responsibility yours alone.

My smile broad had now become,
Here the methane might not come
From gas and boiler’s outlet flue,
But from other purposes in this loo!