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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

A Sideways Look At National Poetry Day.

Hmm, national poetry?
National day for poetry?
A day for the nation to write poetry?
A day for the nation to write national poetry?

Thus:
This part of earth where we roam,
Our land that we always call home,
Has lakes and has mountains
Has pastures and fountains
And sea-scapes that pleasure the brain.

We challenge with urban extrusions,
We pollute with our foolish delusions.
We queue and we travel
And watch worlds unravel,
But it’s special to us just the same.

Enough of our small sceptre isle.
Many verses have eulogised in style.
While some have the art to beguile.
Some set our nation on trial,
But it’s ours, all ours, every mile.

National poetry day?
A day to define what poets say.
Thus:
The essence of poetry true,
Is the way that the words can construe.
Economy of phrase,
Alliterative plays,
Meaning, passion, deeper thought
Ideas encapsulated, briefly wrought.

While prose expands and fills the page,
Poetry concentrates the sage.
Parodies and humours in its lines-
Speaks to hearts, its heart combines
To reach inside those inner minds.

Rhythm, too, is part of verse,
It ebbs and flows in this converse.
Rhyme is something more abstruse.
For some it’s trite a mere abuse.
Others use it as excuse
For want of better forms and use.
It has its place, though verse that’s blank
Often rises to a higher rank.

Poetry is special in its grace,
Read with emphasis and with grace.
Long syllables stretched to lengthen line,
Sibilants spoken; soft sounds of salient sobriety.
Verisimilitude and veracity for propriety
Short sharp sabre stabs – invective too;
The poet’s skill, the power of words renew.

So:
Hail to poets who write and play,
Sharing our National Poetry Day.

A “Natural” Discourse.

The ducks sit on the deck
Or swim around and peck.
The geese fly noisily overhead,
Going somewhere, some new bed.
The dogs, they bark in wild cavort.
The rabbits, nervous lest they’re caught.
Swans, those graceful birds in white,
Glide and wander day and night.
Pigeons, jackdaws, crows and shank,
Noisy on their tree lined bank.
Nature doing what it pleases,
Rain and sun and Autumn breezes.

Though we mortals change these things;
Our living choices: all that brings-
The world of dirt and waste and pillage,
Be it city, town or village.
Nature cares not our survival
With time on its side to make revival.
When we take and move our “tents”,
It just waits, takes stock and reinvents.

Deadly nature has no morals,
Features not in human quarrels.
Viruses and poison plants
Are not for it the thing of taunts.
We must lockdown, change our ways,
Nature bred us and it slays
With no compassion – a human state,
Just cause and effect, that’s nature’s trait.

Humans think they rule the world.
Nature sees that lie unfurled.
Humans think and plan and worry,
Life is busy, people scurry.
Nature just evolves and changes,
Takes advantage, its order arranges.
Invades and inserts itself into cracks.
Goes where human progress lacks.

Beaten sometimes by our acts,
Nature changes and reacts.
Nature always gets its way
Whatever you or I might say.
We are guests here now on earth
(Nature hosted us at our birth.)
We might grow and tend our crops,
Garden flowers and fill our shops.

We might bend the natural earth.
We might inhabit its rounded girth.
But though we carve our human path,
Nature warms our human hearth.
Nature gives us air and water,
Earth to grow and fish to slaughter.
We repay this with increased greed.
The debt is called and we now bleed.

Attitudes Change Things.

It’s hard to be esoteric when the experts are always on view.
It’s hard to be philosophic when the prospects are all askew.
It’s hard to be airy-fairy when the mind keeps track of facts
It’s hard to indulge in fantasy when reality just impacts.
It’s hard to write in eloquent terms when hard times knock the muse,
But it’s easy to write an elegy to mourn and to accuse.

Elegies are, it’s sad to say,
Easy to think of here today.
We mourn the loss of life too soon;
We mourn our need to hide, cocoon.
We mourn the changing life we lead.
We mourn the helplessness of deed
When all our efforts don’t succeed.

Wider spreading thoughts then stray,
To those abroad who weep and pray.
Are shelled and beaten, forced to flee
Are homeless for the world to see.
Are drowned in boats and thrust in camps
Simple humans, lights without lamps.

We see the wicked deeds of those
Who care for none, and none depose.
We see the malice of the brains
Of those who hack and spread refrains
With falsehoods fakery that remains
To taint and tarnish with its stains.

We see the climate going wrong
Storms and fires, floods along.
The icecaps melting, ecology too
Changing patterns to worrying new.
Reluctant to adapt our ways
We fail to do so –just word plays.

The wake up callers are much admired
Their messages are quite inspired.
We clap and cheer and nod our glance
As the simple teenage shames our stance.
And then return and carry on
Life’s too hard to dwell upon.

Elegies abound and sadden as each problem adds its weight.
It’s right to mourn the wo-begotten especially when it seems too late.
But were we to just mourn and mope, wringing hands at this and that,
Nothing bright and good and cheering would feature in this churning vat.
Praise the joys of being human, children’s laughter, flowers and friends.
Decide to help and be a partner right those wrongs and make amends.

Duck Tape.

Ducks, observed from afar in Autumn airs,
Sitting on narrow jetties in groups and pairs.
A pecking order, though less defined in rank
And more peaceable now that mating is less frank.
Yet the mallard with his fluorescent green of brow
Protects the browner companion next in line just now
From other mallards similarly perched among the flock
Whose mates rest, heads in wing and body on the dock.

Now and then the peace is broken in dramatic style.
Always, typically, it is the female looking to beguile.
She lets rip with a raucous rasp of sound
And calls attention to every bird around.
Why, is not quite clear to humans watching near at hand,
But her noise has its effect upon this passive band,
Which shuffles, shifts and settles once this tirade ends
To peaceful slumbers which, duck-like, their contentment lends.

The flock is not without its chatter all around.
Subdued muttering from the males, a continuous ground.
No one pauses in this gentle quacking parley that
Might hear another’s answer, if such is reason for their chat.
It’s more a friendly group in harmony at last
When Spring and Summer’s pecking beaks are things of past
And female rivalry is memory no more
As Winter plumage grows to counter weather raw.

The watcher moves along the decking by the bank
From which the jetties protrude in serried rank.
At his approach the ducks are stirred to life.
Heads go up and look and bodies raise for strife.
The irony is that, should the human break the rules
And throw bread in the direction of these fools,
The reaction might well move the flock en-bloc
To gather to the feeder with his stock.

As it is, though humans travel round their haunts,
Regularly passing by on quests with no duck taunts,
The ducks regard us with a wary eye,
Would rather move with wings to fly.
At our approach they shuffle to the jetty rim.
Some splash into the water, there to swim.
Some stand and look poised to do the same,
A few stay still and play a waiting game.

The human passes and looks back upon the hoards.
The ducks are back in places settling on the boards.
Noisy chatter to the others walking up the deck,
Beaks are poised and, now and then, they peck.
One might think that by their time out there
These ducks would worry less about the home they share.
For humans come and go and never will molest
These nervous ducks, in whose company they are blessed.

If the quacking becomes too early and too much I can think of a new application for Duck Tape. Only kidding, and geese are worse.

Twenty-Twenty-One.

Welcome, welcome twenty, twenty one
A year where changes are begun.
A year where vaccines might prevail
Or yet, perhaps there’s more travail.

Our mutant enemy wrecks our lives.
In winter months it spreads and thrives
It’s currently on the winning side
Beating health care we provide.

Promises of a future bright
Always that bit out of sight.
Another wave and crisis measures
Banning all our needs and pleasures.

Struggling medics and leaders try
To work out ways to get us by.
Success a grasp or two away
Failure present every day.

Glass half full and Spring will bring
Tidings that will make us sing.
Enough of us have had the jab
To send the virus to the lab.

Our skeleton economy rattles its bones.
Paying back our debts and loans
Must begin, no wished delay
These are not just washed away.

Spent in months, these huge amounts
Take years and years to clear accounts.
Now the reckoning is there to face
Cuts to living from every place.

Maybe now our lives are changed
Our priorities are rearranged.
A simpler outlook, less demand
A thoughtful check and reprimand.

All those travel miles we took
All those luxuries to book.
All the must have items which
Came from far to salve the rich.

Perhaps now with climate danger
The virus has hit- a rearranger.
Folk are sober, more inclined
To heed the warnings to mankind.

The shock of being uncontrolled,
The misery and death untold,
Has made for a sadder train of thought
Our feelings raw and overwrought.

Now perhaps we might accept,
Repay nature’s overdrawn debt.
Think consumption in terms of use
Think extravagance as some abuse.

Politics? Well the world remains cruel.
Stupid fighting and the cyber duel.
Brexit, now our country severs.
Nations sabre rattling endeavours.

Uniformed dictators, power mad,
Refugees flee the homes they had.
Countries seeking world domain
History repeating its old refrain.

Among all this our climate storms
Oceans rise as water warms.
One nation cannot work alone
We need the world to pick this bone.

Messages, mixed, emerge this year.
Still a great amount to fear.
Still the old life there to remind
Still the future there to find.

Human culture, craft and art
Music, theatre, choir are part
Of what makes us a special race
Occupying this time and space.

Inventions that will save our race,
Use less energy, greed replace.
Ingenuity is there to feed
Our struggle to get what we need.

If nations could just think alike
And put aside the need to strike;
If common sense began to tell
The world it’s heading close to hell,
Then we might just accept our duty
Return our world to former beauty.

Thanks Vynor.

You are on the same track as David Attenborough regarding consumption and greed, Vynor.

Perhaps it’s time to recognise that less is more.

Pancake Day.

Whipping with a steady hand,
Whipping batter- understand.
It coats the spoon and runs and falls,
That creamy reservoir that calls.

Resting for a while it thickens
While the appetite so quickens,
And the pancake pan is sought,
That special one, especially bought.

Now the heat is on the job,
The pan is ready for the hob.
It’s the time to stir and wait,
Warm the oven, fetch the plate.

The noise: a sizzling gushing sound,
The batter swirling coats around.
Adjustment to the heat to cook,
A careful judgement in one’s look.

Now a challenge, now a dare,
Toss the pan with nonchalant flair?
Or flip with spatula smooth and flat,
Brave, or safe from messy splat.

A toss, and high the pancake rises,
Spins and lands without surprises.
Applause and casual wave of hand.
“Nothing to it, had it planned!”

Prepare the table to create,
Anointing that which fills the plate.
Lemon squeezed with iron grip,
Sugar, brown on which to drip.

Knives and forks are poised to dive,
Ere more pancakes will arrive.
The cook awaits his turn with grace,
And fries and tries to keep the pace.

At last he pauses, work is won.
Appetites sated pancakes done.
His fork is heading to his lips,
A slice no heaven dare eclipse.

This started out as a game to while-away a wait for an expected phone call – which I am still waiting for.
I believe it is possible to add many more things to this list, but it gets a bit manic after a while, so I’m quitting before anyone decides to call in a shrink to cart me off.

Additives.

War – and peace.
Quick – release.

Escape – clause.
Sanity – clause.
Santa – Clause.
Dramatic -pause.
Nature’s- laws.
All – fours.
Diana- Dors.

Keep abreast – of the times.
Nursery – rhymes.
Big Ben – chimes.

Dong – with the luminous nose.
Which way the wind- blows.
Fore- close
Yellow- Rose (of Texas)
Red- nose (day)
Here- goes.
Who- knows?
Come to – blows.
Emperor’s new – clothes
C**k- crows.
Ribbons and- Bows.

Bow and – Arrow.
Straight and – narrow.
Great and – small.
Cat – call.
Cater – waul.

Tall – stories.
Morning – glories.

Cash – cow.
Here and- now.
Take a – bow.
Knowing – how.
Furrowed – brow.

Take the- P…..
Hit and – miss.
Steal a- kiss.
Married- bliss.
Dark – abyss.
Boo and- hiss.

Rattle and- roll
On a- roll.
Take a- stroll
Flowing- bowl.
Heap the- coal.
On the- dole.
Own- goal.
Spy or- mole.
Up the- pole.
Poor- soul.
Takes a- toll.

Gentle- giant.
Willing- client.
Robin- Reliant.

Day and – night.
Out of- sight.
Potato- blight
Take a- bite.
Fly a- kite.
Sleep- tight.
You- might.
Slender and – slight.
About medium- height.
Breezy and- bright.
Let there be – light.
Spoiling for a- fight.
Just for- spite.
Whiter than – white.
You are quite- right.

No- end.
Round the- bend
God – send.
Phone a – friend.
Mix and- blend.
Heaven – forefend.
Lease and- lend.
Make and- mend.

Fun and- games.
Home- James.

Wrack your brain.
Down the- drain.
Let me- explain.
Not – again!
Make it- plain.
Right as- rain.
Window- pane.
Take the – strain
Against the- grain.

Vynor, when your thoughts start racing out of control, watch the following video.

youtube.com – Eckhart Tolle – Freedom from thought and excessive thinking.

Interesting and amusing Beryl. I’m afraid I don’t work like that, life is too busy and interesting. When someone drops a plate, I am polite enough to ignore it, but if someone is having an interesting conversation I might eves-drop a little and include it in future writing. I don’t believe I am the slave to electronic devices, except, perhaps the telephone, which still demands an immediate response to the ring tone. Meditation has to have a purpose, and, for me, focusing on a candle flame is a waste of time. I do “switch off” from time to time in order to refocus on what I am trying to do at that moment. I think they call that attention span. My school is working on “mindfulness” and for the pupils within it, it achieves calmness and the ability to work better as a result. We don’t have such a crammed curriculum as other schools and personal well being is more important, since life is a struggle for many of our children who can not rationalise so well.
As you can probably guess , I find that writing things is an enjoyable cerebral exercise. Whether the end product is worth the effort is for others to judge. I sometimes give myself a pat on the back, but never believe I could rival Shakespeare or Keats. My poetry usually has to have a theme and line to it. Many really good poets just meander and gain goodness by choice of words and abstract thoughts. Do I want to do that? Not sure.

Vynor, candle flames and falling plates are just analogous metaphors used to relieve the continuous thoughts in your head when in your own words ”it gets a bit manic after a while, so I’m quitting before anyone decides to call a shrink to cart me off.” Thinking can be very addictive and overthinking can drive you to more addiction through alcohol or other addictive substances or as you say “a shrink” if you can’t switch off.

You may not want to turn off your phone, especially when expecting a call, but you can calm your thoughts about it by looking at something you find calming and pleasant Most people only visit a psychiatrist after a breakdown, but prevention is usually preferable and much better than a cure.

Eves-Dropping.

She said: “I don’t know what is best.”
He said: “He’s someone I detest”
She said: “But he’s got the upper hand
Where can I find just over ten grand?”
He said: “Don’t pay him off just yet.”
She shrugged: “He’ll not forget”

The waiter brought the rosé wine
And asked them “Are you ready now to dine?”
I’ll have a steak that’s medium rare
And a bowl of chips for us to share.”
The waiter turned, his pen was raised.
She said: “I’ll have the cutlet lightly braised.”

The waiter gone she held her glass,
“I knew all this would come to pass.”
“He has to prove that you agreed.
That might take the time you need”
She shook her head and sipped some wine.
“He saw me take a pen and sign.”

Eating finished I took my coat
And looked inside to find a note.
Moving to the till to pay,
I passed the couple on the way.
Her nails painted orange red,
His hair uncombed as if from bed.

Her hands were raised in gesture plain,
He was looking on with pain.
“If I can help…” was all I caught
As I paid for what I’d bought.
Then outside to the rainy clouds
Bustling shoppers and busy crowds.

Walking round the supermarket the other day I came to the tea aisle and noticed, with some amusement, that there were many national brands of tea on the shelf. One could buy Scottish, Yorkshire and Welsh. Since most tea comes from India and China this set me wondering what the difference might be between these various blends.
In this tongue in cheek poem, I have used a few comic, and untrue, stereotypes, widely adopted by the comedians of my youth. Like mother-in-law jokes they are not P.C. today, but I hope no one will take a-fence (every garden needs one.) .
A Tea Bag Conspiracy.

These days it always seems as though
The tea which through our waters flow,
Is assigned to various lands
To enhance the sale of these brands.

It set me wondering what’s unique,
What there is for us to speak
About a tea bag from the Dales
Or one specifically brewed in Wales.

Wheel you ken oor Scottish brew,
Makes a tea like heatherrr dew.
And now and then, Och Aye, Och Aye,
We hang oor bags outside to dry.

Our Yorkshire tea ‘as body strong,
By gum you feel just like King Kong.
It works like thunder in th’ pot
Our mugs then serve it nice ‘n hot.

The Welsh just add another spoon,
For company ,look you, and a tune.
The dust and sweepings add the flavour,
Sip it slowly, luv, and savour.

Here in Ireland, sure it is now,
Tea is drunk when spirits allow.
The tea bags maybe inside out,
And leprechauns change it into stout.

Tea bags, madam? Surely not!
Observe the strainer by the pot.
See our silver jug and bowl
Cucumber sandwiches and swiss roll.

The train arriving on platform three…
Hurry up and serve some tea.
We know it’s brewed an hour or more,
And paper cups make litter galore.

The steaming mug’s by computer’s side
As we tap and then decide
What to say and what to hide.
A sip of tea may our answer provide.

Tea, the comforter of the mind,
Brown and fragrant don’t you find?
Who cares where the stuff is made?
Fill the cup,…. desire obeyed.

Shaking the cobwebs here. I’ve just been to a virtual concert and much enjoyed.
I Wonder Who?

From a little south of Gloucester there comes a voice so fair.
With the Severn on the doorstep there is music everywhere.
Here in melodious harmony are musicians of great flair
But the voice that sings and tunes her note is mistress of the air.

She sings of lovers, sailors too and folk from foreign lands.
She sings of days so long gone by, those blowing shifting sands.
She sings of parting sorrows and she sings of holding hands
And she sings of melancholy, of fortune’s fate that brands.

Now and then a cheerful tune will drift around the house.
And with it words of humour, Devonian or Scouse.
Hippos splash and Wilder beasts, though seldom any mouse,
And thus the mood is merry with nought to grump or grouse.

Upon the flute she blows her tunes when words are not required
And sometimes joins with mellow guitar to sing and be inspired.
Duets there are and new writ tunes, nothing old and tired
And now and then the duo plays in concert halls they’ve hired.

So if you chance to wander along the Severn edge
Pause a while and listen as you pass that high green hedge.
Perhaps, if you are lucky, and she’s planting out some veg’,
You’ll hear an angel singing of some solemn lovers’ pledge.

The “muse” is currently working on a new folk song for my sister in law. However I note your request for something in verse and hope you are not averse to my impertinent traverse of your presence here on Which? Conversation.

To Beryl Across The Ether.

Though I know you from afar,
I’m certain, here, you’ve raised the bar.
Your thoughtful comments -psychology too,
Have entertained as you pursue
Ideas that challenge the common view,
Those antics from our worldly zoo.

A thought a day to jog our wits,
Not any old thought, but wisdom sits
Neath phrase and choice
And tone of voice,
To get the morning brain of folk
Awake to ponder curious joke.

Like many here you hide the pain
From ailments that our sympathies gain.
You bravely write about human kind,
Mind over matter, you draw a blind.
You speculate on how minds work,
The spirits that within us lurk.

A post from you is worth a read,
You seem to have the skill you need
To find the nub of what to say
Adding additions along the way.
Though we’ve never met to chat
I’m sure you’d be a person that
Inspires and lights a spirit flat.

It’s good to have you here with us
Garnering thoughts which we discuss.

Thank you Vynor, that was beautifully written and very much appreciated.

This mornings joke was really about red and blue boat paint, but I thought, as it coincided with a current dispute, decided it may be appropriate to change it to diesel!

Socrates said ”I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.”

If only I could add laugh to the great mans declaration………….