/ 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.


A Non-mathematician’s View Of Pi.

It’s pi, it’s unusual, catch it, you can try.
Elusive, peculiar, it’ll make you really cry.
A number “irrational” in mathematics dry,
Yet useful in circles – r squared will tell you why.

Three – point one four – starts up all the fun,
Then just watch all those numbers form as they run
Form computer and calculator, their task never done,
Their endless stream of digits, a victory never won.

Pi- r- squared takes circles we know that are round
And tells us how big they are when placed on the ground.
Yet pi is laughing at us, playing us around,
For really pi is endless, so areas can’t be found!

Pi is also funny, in a peculiar kind of way,
For an illegitimate number is named for us to say.
The sign -just like pagoda – but Grecian if you may,
Is written mathematically – no pi is on display.

Pi goes on for ever, a never ending seam.
Its digits pushing onward, outward as they stream.
Modifying those before, strange as it may seem.
A philosopher’s conundrum, a number in a dream.


World poetry day and World Down’s day too. How could I resist the challenge?

Becky’s Story.

I’m a human, I’m a person. Who called me just a Down?
I’m vivacious – an assertion – I like to go to town.
My fingers may be podgy and my eyes quite big and round,
But My smile isn’t stodgy and my love is always found.

I have a kind of syndrome that others know about.
There isn’t any mystery and no one needs to shout.
My classmates are no different, they love to come to school
And when we act upon the stage we think we’re rather cool.

My mummy and my daddy, were worried for a bit,
But I didn’t know about it, I was just born with it.
My brother likes to play with me and takes me in his car
And I love my puppy and my goldfish in his jar.

My teacher works quite hard with me when I am told to read.
And counting up with numbers is very hard indeed.
But I just love the dancing and times we use the gym.
My boyfriend, Tim, is very shy and I look after him.

When I leave my school next year I’ve got a job to do.
My headmistress has fixed it up and given me a clue
Of what I need to learn and say when working in the shop.
I know just where the papers go and when to start and stop.

So, though I might look different and talk with thickened speech,
I have my hair done nicely and my nails painted peach.
I don’t care about the news and stupid men just talking
But l love to watch Eastenders and take my puppy walking.

My mummy and my daddy have found a home for me.
I’m moving in with Bill and Fred and Kate and Emily.
Mrs Smith will be the boss and keep us out of harm
And when it’s time to go to work I’ll set my big alarm.



So alone and unloved,
This site sits ungloved.
Silent and ghostly
Where echoes sound mostly.

The poet, so saddened
By things that had gladdened,
Taken in a moment
By strife and much foment.

A beacon held high
As a star in the sky
Fell earthwards in tatters
As it lost all that matters.

No principled stance,
No backwards of glance,
No thought of the shame
Of defacing its name.

No worry of ruing
Things it condemned doing
When others took sleight
Of their consumer’s right.

So Which lost its mantle
In the sudden dismantle-
In that cruel sever
Of members for ever.

Oh, how Which once sighted
The wrongs that had blighted
Commerce and service, intent upon greed.
That was its creed.

Now others are looking
At Which – now forsooking
Is as guilty as they
Who devious games play.

No “Sorry” for those
Whose mails it must close.
No time for a chat,
No warning – not that!

So this poet is bereft,
And nothing is left.
This page like a rose,
Will wither and close.


Having just written my epilogue I fell to thinking. Why spite myself just because Which has fallen from grace and landed up in the same territory as those it chooses to criticise? I get enjoyment from poetry writing and here is a place where I can inflict it on others for free. Sod the conflict it’s good to be creative, though I shall have great difficulty in reaching the standard set by Ian in recent months. Now there is a poet –and a half. So, reviving from being all bitter and twisted and sulking because Which has let us down, I’ll jot a few lines here now and then, just to water the roses so they won’t wither and die. Of course others can do so too.
This comes from a recent encounter with Tewkesbury.

A Stroll Through Tewkesbury.

You can’t buy a radio in Tewkesbury.
You can buy fine wine
And there’s places to dine
But you can’t buy a radio in Tewkesbury.

You can’t buy a tele in Tewkesbury.
You can buy cooking pots
And of nick-knacks there’s lots,
But you can’t buy a tele in Tewkesbury.

You can’t buy a laptop in Tewkesbury.
A camera’s just fine
With lenses sublime,
But you can’t buy a laptop in Tewkesbury.

You can’t buy a cooker in Tewksbury.
A headstone or two
Can be bought shining, new,
But you can’t buy a cooker in Tewkesbury.

You can’t buy a fridge here in Tewkesbury.
The bargain pound shops
Sell buckets and mops
But you can’t buy a fridge here in Tewkesbury.

You can buy a toaster in Tewkesbury.
And also a grill, if you so will.
The out of town store has small boxes galore,
With cooking aids meant for the table,
Each with detachable cable.

You can’t buy a washer in Tewkesbury.
Those discs with their holes
Are available in shoals,
But you can’t buy machines types in Tewkesbury.

You (probably) can’t buy a micro in Tewkesbury.
No vacuum – or- induction hob bright,
No coffee machine for latte in sight.
No hi-fi, just discs piled up to the sky.
No dish washer selling in Tewkesbury.

But… traverse the High Street,
In search of a treat,
And suddenly everything shines.
The cafes and Inns
Will cater for sins
In cake, pie and ale;
Their delights never fail.

The Abbey a haven of sanctuary old,
With tea room attached where postcards are sold.
A second-hand bookshop just filled to the brim,
Shelves lined with excitement to suit every whim.
A cook-shop and ironmongers straight from the past,
Where fixtures and fittings are sorted at last.
Charity shops with window displays
And specialist shops with pots wrought from the clays;
Where fabrics just beckon to hang on a wall
And jewellery is gleaming from bangle to ball.

If it stands on the floor with a plug in the wall,
Tewkesbury’s no place to wander and call.
But seekers of shops with a nod to the past
Will find there a haven, their senses to cast.
An old fashioned high street of this and of that,
A mixture surprising from antique to tat.
Hotels so old by the river side banks
And boats on the Avon and Severn in ranks.
A theatre tucked neatly in a road on the side,
And a town with great character….? Come and decide.


Wavechange has asked me for a verse on “topical consumer issues” – not something that comes readily to the pen, since these are more prosaic than artful. However, ever up for the challenge, I submit this for him and anyone else who has time to plough through it all.

The Wicked Web.
It’s a wicked place out in the web-world,
Where scheming and scams are unfurled.
The innocent player
Is trapped by the slayer
And can not believe it’s gone wrong.

In grand terms there’s countries hard at it,
Designing their hardware and kit.
The object of this
Is hard to dismiss,
They wish to destroy rival structure.

The ruin of those other nations,
Who find there is huge degradations,
To computer and file
And life for a while,
Is cheered as success in this race.

A war of ideals and power
Has turned the web world quite sour.
A war won by stealth
Regardless of wealth
Now that’s what these nations desire.

It’s a wicked place out in the web-world,
For all that the righteous has hurled
At the crooks and the scammers
And blackmailing jammers,
Who hide in the backwoods, from sight.

The innocent public who trade there,
Are targeted without a care.
One slip of the mouse
Enables a louse
To steal and profit from error.

Information is traded in masses
And each bit used to make passes
To bank and to store
Where they rob you some more,
Until all of the money is stolen.

The savvy will mock those who suffer,
They wouldn’t be that kind of duffer.
Then their screen is purloined
And their data disjoined.
The rats have struck from the gutter.

Once, long ago, the web was a dream,
A highway of ideas- peaches and cream.
The world was an oyster
To dance and to roister,
With connections just spreading all over.

Then the idea came forth
From the South and the North,
That things could be sold,
For internet gold.
And traders took over our shopping.

Other sat up, they thought and opined,
That virtual money could somehow be mined.
The bit-coin was born
And rose with the dawn,
To confuse and baffle the markets.

Yet others saw cash, and made quite a dash,
To establish their chat rooms with symbol and hash.
So the World and their phone
Were never alone
And the people could argue and play.

The library came to the electronic scene.
An inventers made things that carried a screen.
Phones, pads and lap tops
Fit-bits and app shops
The flow of these gadgets was endless.

So what of the future, the next must have thing.
The connection of everything to dance and sing.
The fridge will remind
While coffee beans grind
And the washing is spinning as dinner is cooked.

Then utopia, as it always has done,
Will falter and leave us all on the run.
Our Web world will scatter
Our illusions will shatter
And we shall be back in the World of the dumb.

We’ll find that our lives will change and evolve,
New science will give us some problems to solve.
And if we don’t fight
And nuke out the light,
A new dawn will rise and we’ll welcome the day.


Excellent Vynor, even philosophically satisfying .


Thanks very much Vynor. That’s pretty comprehensive. It makes me wonder what the future will bring.


The dystopian utopia, I suppose. I see you subscribe to the P K Dick view of the future, Vynor.