/ Travel & Leisure

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.


Ian tells us it is the day when X rays were discovered. This triggered a childhood memory. How many of us are old enough to have done this?

The Magical Shoe Machine.

Do you remember the shop,
With a sign spread over the top,
Telling those in the High Street
To look at their feet,
And come in to see
How smart they could be?

For mum, it was a matter of need.
Our feet grew faster than seed,
And shoes that once fitted
Were small – playground pitted.
Scant housekeeping money
Making rainy days sunny.

So, into the shop we would go
And sit while they measured our toe.
The smell of the leather
To protect from the weather
And lacing or sandal type shoes
A choice for my mother to choose.

Now on with a pair stiff and strange,
And “definitely top of the range”.
Then the moment of magic
With no thoughts so tragic
Of harm that was done
By a cathode ray gun.

A cabinet wooden and square.
A footplate to stand on right there.
Toes tucked in the gap
And a screen like a map
To look in and see through the shoe
Our toe bones all skeletal blue.

The fitting confirmed and shoes bought.
The lessons of care and wear taught.
So off we would trot
And worry, not a jot
About radiation damage from rays.
How innocent we were in those days!


A few pastiches on “White Christmas” after our choir performed it once too often.

The sun is shining the lenses gleam,
The actors and actresses play.
There’s never been such a day
At Warner Brothers L.A.
But it’s not December the 24th
And no one’s longing to go up North.

They’re screening up a White Christmas,
Just like the script says for the show.
Where mink coats glisten
And sound men listen
To cue the sleigh bells in the snow.
They’re beaming in this White Christmas
With every phoney smile on cue
May the stars croon sweetly and light
To make all their Christmases just right.

That’s all for tonight!


The pool is shining, the sun tans gleam,
The breeze makes my hammock sway.
There’s never been such a day
In the hotel at Sunset Bay.
But it’s December the 24th,
And they’re all shivering up north,

I’m beaming at this bright Christmas,
Warm sun and sea and breezes blow.
And the palm leaves glisten
As cicadas listen
To hear the birds sing high and low.
I’m gleaming from the sun this Christmas,
On every sandy beach in sight.
May the sun stay golden and bright
On this Christmas hotel package flight.

To party all the night.



The snow is falling, my ear lobes Freeze.
The wind makes me stagger and sway,
There’s never been such a day
On my southern windswept bay
Now it’s December the 24th,
And it couldn’t be worse up North.

I’m freezing From an iced Christmas,
With every snow flake in my hair.
My ear tips glisten and I can’t listen
To hear the snow chains skidding by.
I’m sneezing on this white Christmas,
With every snowball down my neck.
May the electric come back on tonight
And may all the snow melt From my sight.

Please turn on the light


The stable’s open, the star’s in sight
And Mary and Joseph pray.
There’s never been such a day
In Bethlehem Judae.
Now it’s December the 24th,
And Kings are travelling From the North.

Mary’s dreaming of a child this Christmas,
With every movement ‘neath her chest.
And the Angels listen with eyes that misten
For they know he’ll be above the rest.
Star light’s streaming with the news this Christmas,
To every shepherd in the field.
May they all gain blessing tonight,
And may they journey forth towards the light.

Bethlehem’s in sight.



The shops are shining, the trees are green,
The santas and snow men play,
There’s never been such display
In the shopping mall today.
But it’s the money that makes me balk,
With salesmen full of their festive talk.

I’m steaming from a trite Christmas,
Unlike the ones we used to know,
With mince pies dishing
And good will wishing,
With children playing in the snow.
I’m dreaming of a bright Christmas,
With every tree bedecked with light.
May our shops for customers fight,
I’ll just keep my money out of sight.

And my wallet tight.


The sun is shining, the brasses gleam
Santa and reindeer sway.
There’s never been such a sleigh
In Lapland near the bay.
But it’s December the 24th
And it’s too late to be up North.

Santa’s dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones when there was snow.
When the white flakes glistened and Rudolph listened,
To hear when it was time to go.
Santa’s praying for a snow white Christmas.
Just enough to make his sleigh take flight.
Now the ozone’s vanished from sight
And Santa’s grounded for the night.

Coda. No presents tonight.



The lights are shining the tinsels gleam,
My stocking is furry and gay.
There’s never been such a day,
For me to run around and play.
But it’s December the 24th
And I must sleep or He’ll stay up North.

I’m dreaming of a bright Christmas,
Just like the one a year ago.
When Santa listened and presents glistened
And there were sleigh bells in the snow.
I’m dreaming of a trike this Christmas.
All red and shiny – set to go.
May our stockings be full up and tight
And I hope my brother doesn’t fight.

Coda. Party tonight!


The sea is shining, the glass is clear,
The waves on the water sway.
There’s never been such a day
At chart setting 3 L.A.
But I remember the 24th.
Who could forget all those storms up North.

I’m dreaming of a wide isthmus,
Just like the one we used to row.
When boats all glistened and waters mistened
As paddles surged against the flow.
I’m steering for that wide isthmus,
With every sail to catch the blow.
May the winds keep steady and light,
So that land is always just in sight.

Coda. Fresh fish tonight.


Nice, and it’s rare to find anyone who actually knows White Christmas has verses as well as the chorus, Vynor.


As it’s World Toilet Day I have moved this here, written when Patrick Steen was in Australia.

Wee Willie Winkie and Winnie the Pooh
Argued over the name for a loo
Pooh says it must begin with a P
Willie says W don’t you see

Hush!! Its driving me potty says Piglet
While Eeyore sighs it’s only a toilet
As Patrick wraps his hand round a tinny
Moans it ain’t funny, I need the dunny

Kaa said stop iss giving me constipation
So old King Louie passed a motion
A throne is what I now augment
When one shakes hands with the president

Whatever you call it really doesn’t matter
Just be grateful to Thomas Crapper
And make sure to make its acquaintance
It’s only there for your convenience


My dad recalls his village days. I, too, have been up the garden as a child, when visiting relatives, though never without an inside bathroom at home. He says that when the door of his privy was open, he could sit and look at the people going to the chapel opposite.
A hut in the garden in lieu of a loo.
No expense of a navvy constructing a lavvy.
Just a bucket to soil it, in place of a toilet.
The house had its water from a leat in the street.
And a tank and a boiler just higher than the fire,
For cooking and washing the meat and the feet.
Upstairs in the bedroom a pot for the bot’
And ewer and basin for washing the face in.
A tin bath and scrubber to use as a ‘tubber’
And newspaper squares for the necessary cares.

No one complained, it was life -man and wife.
Children accepted the way of their day.
So be thankful that porcelain flushes our blushes
And every new home has a throne of its own.


Short Cuts and Depravity.

They were mean with the corn in my pack.
Of carrots and peas, sure, no lack,
But the searcher for corn
Would just have to mourn.
They were mean with the corn in my pack.

They were mean with the meat in my pie.
To lose it could make a man sigh.
When I’m looking for steak
I expect chunks in the bake.
They were mean with the meat in my pie.

They were mean with the apple in my crumble.
The fruit was so small, just a jumble.
On the packet it raved
About the apple I craved.
They were mean with the apple in my crumble.

They were mean with the helping of bacon
My breakfast had liberties taken.
Just a rasher so thin
Oh what a sin!
They were mean with the helping of bacon.

They were mean when they cut out the cream
That made those ices a dream.
Now the cone is just milk
Not creamy and silk,
They were mean when they cut out the cream.

They were mean when they cut round the biscuit.
They thought that they’d quietly risk it.
But now just one crunch
Is the end of my lunch.
They were mean when they cut round the biscuit.

They were mean when they shrunk my bottle of juice.
It was obvious even to a monk in recluse.
The bottle was pinched.
And my drink was “half inched”.
They were mean when they shrunk my bottle of juice.

They were mean when they made a box so big
The chocolates inside were dancing a jig.
Half full of air
But they didn’t care.
They were mean when they made a box so big.

Am I mean when I write and start to complain?
Do I really expect a reply to explain?
Does it matter?
Just chatter?
Am I mean when I write and start to complain?


Something a little different, using the same format.
Relative Values.

There could be a hole in my humble bowl.
It’s empty from what all the mercenaries stole.
My empty container
Is my only sustainer.
There could be a hole in my humble bowl.

There could be supplies dropped from the skies.
Not just rockets and bombs that surprise.
I’ll look up and pray
For that wonderful day.
There could be supplies dropped from the skies.

There could be some care for the people out there.
The fighting and killing of those in despair.
Yet hatred and strife
Take over their life.
There could be some care for the people out there.

The governments posture and justify creed
Stirring up anger in others of breed.
This tribal foment
Breeds more discontent.
The governments posture and justify creed.

When will the powerful forces at play,
Come all together and call it a day?
When will the leaders
Become famine feeders
When will the powerful forces stop play?


All At Sea? Maybe There’s a Twist To This Tail.

The whole point of mythical mermaids,
Those golden tressed sea shades,
Is that for the humble sailor,
At sea, with s e x a jailor,
They tantalise upon their rocks,
Combing out their flowing locks.

The observer from the deck afar,
Hears the song sung to the tar,
But rocks whereon these maidens sit,
Would quickly wooden timbers split.
The sailors dream and pass them by
Ignoring thus the maiden’s cry.

So, of the mermaids sitting there,
Impervious to the sea they share,
The sailors in their passing ships
Imagine that below their hips.
The maids themselves must wonder too
What close liaisons might ensue.

Let’s assume that at the top,
A mermaid’s brain beneath her mop.
And so, her unrequited call
To sailors short and sailors tall
Leads in this enlightened day
To mermaids who together play.


The View Of A Humble Potato.

A spud woke up one fine morning
With a mission all wacky and wild.
For within its roots there was dawning
A story that ought to be filed.

His patch of ground it was said
Was due to be dug up and covered
With houses and roads all wide spread.
Spud wondered at what it discovered.

But how to broadcast or tweet
The plans from this building dictator?
Well, everyone knows when they eat
We need ground for this brave common-tater.


The Washing Machine With The Ding.

There once was a washing machine found
Which was passed as mechanically sound.
And lo, it was checked from the top to the base
For damage, without any trace.

To the warehouse it travelled in crate.
Arrived in immaculate state.
An order arrived for its use,
It was then that it suffered abuse.

The delivery man was sub-contract,
A man with a van they could contact.
A man and a youth, to tell you the truth
And their truck was quite long in the tooth.

Their schedule was tedious and long.
Their payment was thought to be wrong.
So, they loaded the van in great haste
And the washing machine was defaced.

The ding it had suffered was low in the case
And it wasn’t an obvious place.
When the customer found the dented surround
The men and the van were off to new ground.

The customer tutted and thought,
Was it worth the fuss to report?
To wait for another and disconnect all?
He decided to give them a call.

In due course the machine was replaced
And this time no damage or haste.
So the other machine now back at the base
Was carefully wrapped in its case.

An order came through for another machine
And this was the only one ready and clean.
So off to the van once more it was sent,
Delivered quite quickly and, off they went.

Once more the damage was spotted too late.
Once more the customer got in a state.
Once more the machine came back to the base
Once more it was wrapped up, back in its case.

The third time it travelled, they ordered “install.”
The ding on the case was close to the wall.
The owner has used it for many a year
And the warehouse continues to move damaged gear.


Having had a slightly damaged freezer delivered last year and decided to have it replaced rather than accept a discount and then gone through the trauma of dealing with customer services, I can relate to your tale, Vynor. I wonder what happened to the one that was taken away.


If the damage is only cosmetic, and does not show when in place, then i’d photograph it and negotiate a price reduction with the retailer as an alternative to having it replaced. I had a piece of furniture delivered with a “dent” in one side that was going against a wall. No problem to me, but I was not prepared to pay full price. The retailer willingly offered a generous discount.


Rhythm’s not too good, Malcolm, and the rhyme could stand a little scrutiny… 🙂


Free form poetry, Ian. Sorry you can’t appreciate it 🙂 Splodges of paint randomly applied to a bit of canvas aren’t my cup of tea.

Got a dent?
Handle bent?
Don’t accept
Just reject

If not appalled
When Installed
Cause a ruction
Get deduction


This tale is, in part, true.
I ordered a washing machine new.
The delivery cowboys were surly and swift,
And it was getting near to the end of their shift.

I went to the shop with some snaps
Of the damage, perhaps, by these chaps.
To be fair they didn’t object to my claim
And readily accepted, taking the blame.

A new one arrived with men, so polite
And nothing but helpfulness, they did it right.
But I wondered how many had seen my machine
How many journeys and where it had been.


Sadly neglected while I’ve been absent. The muse has not struck since Ian produced his Christmas masterpiece in another place. It’s time to dust off the cobwebs, draw the curtains and look through the window onto the world outside. Not that I’m claiming ownership of this particular dwelling, or any just cause to inhabit it. The fire is lit and the kettle’s on.

A Waiting Game.

With the envelope off in the post,
The deed, our part, is complete.
Then waiting concerns us the most,
To see if there’s concord, or maybe defeat.

We know that our personal script
Is just one more paper to scan.
The people who work and decrypt
Care little for those in our clan.

They have thousands of these to process
And each is a matter of fact.
The emotion of those who address
Is lost as the numbers impact.

A month, perhaps, or then two,
Is nothing uncommon to wait.
Their job is there daily to do.
Our form just one more to collate.

And so it is true with many a task
A form is the start of the road.
And though it may urgently ask,
The reader must manage his load.

The job interview, the hospital check
The timely report for committee.
The planning to renew an old wreck.
The wait for reply’s without pity.

For some, life pauses in motion
As the clock and calendar move.
The officers haven’t a notion
They just need to bar or approve.


I liked that very much, Vynor. An ode to bureaucratic plankton everywhere.


Yes – I’ve been missing Vynor’s contributions.


Adroit, Vynor; and good to see you back in here. The place has been getting dusty 🙂


It’s good to see a glimmer of light emerging Vynor. Keep the momentum going. Unlike the officers, we definitely approve.


My thanks to you all. I won’t hurry the muse just to amuse, but hope again to converse, in verse, for better – or worse.


Star Gazing.

I lay in bed last evening, late,
The curtains were undrawn,
And out upon the world outside
I saw the sky, ornate.
The darkened hours before the dawn
When moon and stars their places bide.

The clear and cloudless frosty air
An unseen, transparent layer-less layer.
Above, beyond the mosaic vast
Spots of light reflected there,
Lit by many a ray purveyor,
Glowing radiance from the distant past.

It would be hard to see this huge expanse,
This carpet of dots that cover us all,
Without some wonderment and awe.
Easy then to stare in trance
At each and every silvery ball
And gaze to count how many more.

One thought remains as minutes pass,
The light from those celestial globes
Travels unhindered through the space,
Reflections bouncing from each mass
Are seen by us and by our probes.
Clear line of sight from place to place.

Nothing stops us viewing them,
Nothing stops them viewing here.
Each has space to glow and shine,
Each a separate diadem.
All in place both far and near,
To each a straight and simple line.


For now we see through a glass-darkly , but then face to face . Now I know in part but then shall I know even as also I am known. We see in limited vision in this life fearing the future but when we depart all will be known for our bodies are corruptible and our vision limited by life itself and the struggles thereof but once out of that body we obtain the Universal Self and the struggle of the Spirit to be perfect .


Apropos CPW (in a conversation elsewhere)

WRT Acronyms in frequent use,
SCNR A verse on this abuse.
IMHO These coded letter blocks,
AKA Internet jargon stocks,
AFK Have no point or rhyme
IDK Of use, except on line.

IOW Their invention served an end,
B/C Busy life styles caught the trend.
DGMW They saved on time and space,
OTOH They excluded half our race.
NOYB Perhaps if you, like me,
KIT Using language as it ought to be.

ICYMI, BTW, Much of this shorthand is today
AAMOF Very much a dying trait.
MMW As years go past
IMO These acronyms will never last.
EOM, End of Verse.
NNTR – You’ll make it worse!


That was hard work, Vynor. I had to look up half of them. FWIW I don’t think that these internet acronyms are used as much as they were in the early days on online discussion.