/ Community, 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.


Hi everyone, today is National Poetry Day!


We’d love to see some more of your efforts. I’m hoping @adam-gillett can come up with something for us, too 🙂

Did anyone notify the muse? It hasn’t caught up with me yet.

Dear George,

I missed your message here.
Was not on line, that’s clear.
I made a brief response
To Ian, for the nonce.
My words to ‘Lobby’ went,
And now I am content.

More Ducks.

Three ducks swim purposefully,
Pulsing through the water,
Straight in line.
I wonder if they know where they are going?

Their two legs paddle,
Pushing through the water,
All in one direction,
But I wonder where are they going?

A flap of wings on river.
The ducks rise up as one,
Flap to the sky, flap up high,
But do they know where to go?

Just distant specs now in the sky,
Flying straight so swift away.
Heading where?
Do they know when they get there?

Two days ago our Lobby archivist, who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of special days, actually overlooked the fact that it was International Album day. There being so many such days in the calendar year, it is not surprising that this one slipped past unnoticed. It did trigger this response from yours truly, which has been waiting for the time available to type it up. So two days late, I give you….

Music, Memories and Mementos.

Let’s make an album.
Small parts to make the sum,
Let’s take an anthem.
Many here to find a gem.
Handel, Bach and Purcell,
These together gel,
Themed, devised to sell.
Let’s make an album.

Let’s make an album,
Our songs to play and hum.
Let’s take some problems,
Write lyric that condemns
The world we live in
And those who create sin-
Rejecting others, thrive and win.
Let’s make an album.

Let’s make an album,
Hope they’ll all succumb.
Let’s copy all the styles that sold
A million discs, minted gold.
Let’s plagiarise those sounds and beats
That once before brought in receipts,
A disc just full of false deceits.
Let’s make an album.

Let’s make an album.
A feast of music sweet and plum.
Let’s make an intelligent choice,
A challenging mix of chord and voice.
Let’s make the effort to research,
To reach out toward a broader church,
And never listeners to besmirch.
Let’s make an album.

Let’s make an album.
Faces that are deaf and dumb.
Let’s take press cuttings, now so old,
Faded headlines, once quite bold.
Making themes of past events,
All that drama, those laments-
Deeds that history cements.
Let’s make an album.

Let’s make an album soon
To send to Aunty June.
Let’s fill it full of hearts and rings,
Those greetings cards the postman brings.
Let’s make it pink and oh so rosy,
Wrapped in tissue, candy cosy,
Finally finished with a paper posy.
Let’s make an album soon.

Let’s make an album.
A book reflecting dad and mum.
Let’s place within that family treasure
Triumphs and sadness in equal measure,
Those scenes that meant, for us, so much,
Medals, certificates, cups and such
Though to strangers double Dutch.
Let’s make an album.

Let’s make an album,
Put together- all at random.
Penny Blacks and early franks,
Worthless copies, costly blanks,
Series, some in threes and fours,
Assorted countries, supported cause,
Searching always to find rare flaws.
Let’s make an album.

Let’s make an album.
Collect the rare and rake the rum.
Snippets, jokes and great ideas,
Inspirations through the years.
Let’s collect them just for fun
To later browse when day is done.
Reflecting how our thoughts have run.
Let’s make an album.

Our life is an album partly filled,
With all those pastures we have tilled.
All those entries awaiting glue,
Floating round our personal zoo.
How to stick them in our book,
In a way for others to look?
That book is there for all to see
A written part of our family tree.
Obituary part-scribed upon our tomb
Begun at the beginning from out the womb.
Our life is an album partly filled………

Bridge Day.

Bridge day,
Hip hooray!
Partners paired,
Trumps declared.
Bidding won,
Now the fun.
Cards placed,
Queen aced.
Intelligent guess,
Smart finesse.
Brand new deck,
Scores check.
Tables move,
More to prove.
Four spades bid,
Dummy hid.
“Double that!”
What a prat!
Rubbers played,
Contracts made.
Points arrayed,
Victory parade.
Clap and cheer,
Cheese and beer.
Bridge day past,
Home at last.

I enjoyed that and thought it had the right degree of snap thus complementing the card game.

Celebrating apple day.

An Apple History.

Wandering through the ancient wood,
A place that time forgot,
The apple trees, once ordered stood,
Their ripe, grown fruit begot.

As seed and intermingled seed there fell,
The new growth bore a different crop
And apples strange within this dell
Changed substance with each drop.

Now these strange apples grow and sport
New b a s t a r d s from the bough.
Nature’s wonders ever wrought
No human taught it how.

Silent as the seasons pass
This fruit appears and grows from bud.
Falling unseen, unpicked, alas,
To wither groundward in the mud.

Perhaps a bird or insect pauses,
Stops to peck or bore the skin.
Small injury to the crop this causes
As marauders bore within.

A hand to reach and pluck to land
This abandoned bounty from a tree.
A turn to feel the shape in hand
The skin and colour there to see.

Teeth a tentative bite to taste.
Sour, sweet or in-between?
Chew and ponder, there’s no haste,
No judge to comment on the scene.

A few more in the pocket go
And onward through the wood.
This nameless fruit is good to grow,
And name it? Perhaps we could.

Wonderful. Thank you, Vynor.

Travelling Blues.

Let’s all stay at home!
Travel by train
Is just a pain,
With queues at stations
And fraught relations
In crowded carriage
Which many disparage.
Let’s all stay at home.

Let’s all stay at home.
No toilets that work,
Cancelled trains lurk
In sidings and sheds
While sleepers in beds
Are wakened at dawn
Just tired and drawn.
Let’s all stay at home.

Let’s all stay at home.
Going on cruises
With bumps and bruises
As seas cut rough
And bugs so tough
They sweep the ship
Spreading their gip.
Let’s all stay at home.

Let’s all stay at home.
The crowded ships pool
No deck space to cool.
Trips cost the earth
And not what they’re worth.
Merchants who pester
A beach-time siesta.
Let’s all stay at home.

Let’s all stay at home.
The airport race
For the check in place.
The customs forbid
Those items we hid
And charges unseen
Drain credit cards clean.
Let’s all stay at home.

Let’s all stay at home.
Once in the air,
The turbulence there
Bounces and shakes
And tranquillity breaks.
Then children might cry
And parents just sigh.
Let’s all stay at home.

Let’s all stay at home.
The motorway crowd
With turns not allowed,
And jams all the while
Which crawl single file.
Rip offs in stations
And driver irritations.
Let’s all stay at home.

Let’s all stay at home.
Hotels with thin walls
To hear all those calls.
Doors slamming at night
Heating to fight.
Footsteps traverse
And then they reverse.
Let’s all stay at home.

Let’s all get away.
To hell with the queues,
And those travelling blues
Ignore all the strife
Get out and see life.
Travel the world
Experiences unfurled
Let’s all get away.

So, where do you stand?
Along with the band
Who travel and see
Or those who would be
Content with the park
And a trip after dark
To join in and sing
Or crafting skills bring,
With scissors in hand?
So where do you stand?

In Response To Check-List Day.

That to-do list – really quite impressive,
But it can make one a manic depressive.
It grows quite exponentially
Until a time, eventually,
When the task, at top of score,
Is the one to be done once more.

Clean the car, sweep the floor,
Mend the catch, fix the door.
Buy more soap and hair shampoo,
And there’s curtain washing to do.
Sew that seam that ripped last week,
Find the washer for dripping tap leak.

Book the dentist and find time
To rid the windows of their grease and grime.
Write a letter to cousin Phil,
And don’t forget the credit card bill.
Insurance due and card to send
To hope Fred’s arm is soon to mend.

And so it seems, as weeks on go,
The list gets longer -that we know!
A tick at one end, job complete,
Two more added to compete.
Check-lists may remind the mind,
But sorting them is just a bind.

Why can’t check-lists look like this?
Book that holiday, sunshine bliss.
Tickets for a show in town,
Restaurant’s reservation down.
Trip to buy that smart new phone.
And those shoes in golden tone.
Spa and beauty next weekend,
Out for coffee with a friend.

But maybe….

Set alarm for half past six.
Scrubbing floors with mops on sticks.
Home at five and search the purse,
Empty card for meter, and worse,
Out of bread and milk in fridge,
Two days left and loan to bridge.

Plan the menu, count the change,
Blanket shawl now re-arrange.
Boil the kettle on tea light flame,
Tea that’s black no milk to claim.
Soon to bed and sleep to drown,
Tomorrow morning’s walk to town.

Lucky us with check-list task,
Time and money, that’s all they ask.
We have both and can aspire
To work towards our hearts desire.
Those with none, their list is short,
Within another’s check-list caught.

Responding to Purple Day.

Purple – an infestation of red with some blue
A colour of plastics to use by the loo.
Clothes that no velvet would ever lend abuse,
A sickly shade of pink and even worse than puce.

No worthy ruby this, in regal flowing gown.
No rich Amethyst to wear in a crown.
No shiny aubergine with rich ripe skin
Or dusky Victoria with sweet flesh within.

No mauve fascinator, fashionably worn.
No magenta tint as the light breaks at dawn.
No glowing mulberry that lights through a gin,
No vibrant beetroot to slice thick and thin.

A lavender with perfume is nature’s perfect bloom,
Poor purple stands alone, bereft, a misfit in the room.
Its shade so strong and ugly, is just an aberration,
To conjure up a pigment raw, devoid of good sensation.

In Praise Of Occult Day.

I woke up this morning,
Occult day was here.
I looked out the window
And saw the sunshine clear.

No broomsticks were flying,
No witches on the wing
No Wizards busy trying
To conjure anything.

I watched the tele’ later
And politics was out.
The witches on their broomsticks
Were flying in to shout.

Wizards in their Sunday suits
Were casting spells of doubt
And everyone was negative
And all were bent on rout.

The knockers knocked and jibed away
With nothing more to add
Their cauldrons bubbling with foment,
All seeming very sad.

I looked at this with much dismay
And thought that if a wizard,
I’d rustle up some spell or worse
And consume them in a blizzard.


I’m the slide trombonist who fills in all the gaps,
I’m the merry flautist who plays when others lapse.
I’m the drummer beating before them in the score,
I’m the hearty hornist who blows out with a roar.
I’m in charge of keyboards and play a note or two,
The stops upon the organ –I haven’t got a clue.
I’m the brave conductor, with baton in the hand,
I try to beat politely when I conduct the band.

Our rehearsals are a mixture of confusion and of fun,
But we love to be together, when all is said and done.
We play the lighter classics – a waltz or serenade,
And twice a year, on Sunday, we go out on parade.

Alf, our tuba player, sells vegies on a stall,
Tom, who blows the cornet, is a fireman on call.
Stan, our leading saxophone, works out in a gym,
And Reg can clash the cymbals with his artificial limb.
Peter, our conductor, was once a college don,
But keeps this fact a secret and no one dares let on.

So if you’ve got some time to spare on Tuesdays after tea,
And play the trumpet (more we need) or clarinet maybe,
Then come and make some music and join our happy band,
You’ll find a way to heaven in music’s promised land.

Apropos Our Current Brexit Debate.

You can take a horse to water
Or water to a horse,
But whichever way you water
By tap or water course,
A horse will see the water
And may drink from that resource.

The moral of this saying
Is clear in troubled times,
For hear the MP’s baying
When mocking foreign ‘climes’.
There’s water now on offer
That many will not drink.
No brandy in the coffer
To move them from the brink.

You can bathe “The Deal” in water
But it doesn’t stop the stink.
So all will storm with ‘haughter’
And watch the country sink.

And Following That, Some Nonsense Just Because It’s Friday.

You can take a horse to water
But you cannot make it drink.
You can take a horse to water
And take it to the brink,
You can take a horse to water,
Water black as ink,
You can take a horse to water
And watch his feet there sink.
You can take a horse to water
Spring minerals and Zinc,
You can take a horse to water
To keep it “in the pink.”
You can take a horse to water,
But quick, before you blink,
You are in the water
Faster than a wink.

You can take a horse to water
But you’ll be getting wet.
You can take a horse to water
But you still will need a vet.
You can take a horse to water
But there’s always feed to find.
You can take a horse to water
And treat it like a pet.
You can take a horse to water
Or hose it with a jet.
You can take a horse to water
Before you place a bet.
You can take a horse to water
But that doesn’t pay the debt.
You can take a horse to water
While you fish with line and net.

You can take a horse to water
Or water to a horse,
But whichever way you water,
By tap or water course,
The horse will see the water
And may drink from that resource.
Offer man some water
And the gin he’ll surely source.

Old Threads Never Die.

Someone asked for information, in the ‘topic for today’
And when this topic came to life a new thread came into play.
A thread created for its time or topical for discussion
Be it crafty scams, a food that shrinks or Caviar –not Russian.

A few threads then just grew and grew as public aired their views,
And slowly, as the tide subsided they moved to other news.
These thread became as threads – thread bare – and sank into the mist,
But in the place where the old threads go they keep a tally list.

Now and then, perhaps a year or more, someone finds a thread.
Someone finds a thread that lingers with a bit that’s left unsaid.
From the archive deep and dark this thread is brought to light
And up it pops like a perennial flower revived for a further fight.

Just think of the thousands of topics that, have threaded the years from this pen,
The gamut of consumer issues, discussed since two thousand and ten.
The first in the archive wanted to know if our broadband was slower than rated.
Half were unhappy and said that is was, and wanted the suppliers castigated.

Some threads were so popular they took over the site and the world and his wife had their say.
Others, presented with helpful advice, had responses from a handful, and then had their day.
Six of us thought that an app to call help would be something to which they’d reply.
Only five were concerned about spending and saving and Black Friday’s pie in the sky.

But these myriad of threads are just dormant, stored in files and clouds in the ether.
Sooner or later, it doesn’t matter which, or it could be either or neither,
Someone will think an idea new: “Now what make a sausage that’s filled to perfection?”
And the thread from the past will emerge from the cloud and take its own resurrection.

The Secrets Within A Good Walk.

Today I enjoyed a good walk in the wild
And one I’d repeat, gladly, tomorrow.
But while the experience was ever so bracing,
The route set my poet’s thoughts merrily racing.

You see, on this walk, as so many,
The secrets unfold on the way.
The walk lies in wait beyond an innocent gate,
To cajole and tempt with its bait.

To begin in the car park,
There’s boots to put on.
Rucksack to check for the day.
Perhaps with no loo, a discrete penny to pay.

Now map at the ready and bobble hats on
The car is bidden goodbye.
A lane to the end and just round the bend
Our gate that I spoke of, my friend.

A few yards along and the roadman gave up.
The tarmac is lumpy and missing.
A broad welcome track stretches before
And we follow just hoping for more.

Soon it is clear that the track is now narrow,
And puddles are dotted around.
We jump and we dodge and squelch just a little,
But enjoy snapping twigs that are brittle.

Another gate here and while it will open,
The ground is all pock marked and sodden.
A slip and a slide to the opening side
And a field where some cattle abide.

Right in the middle is one that is male,
He looks at the walkers with interest.
Someone in joke says entrance is free,
The bull charges any with outstanding fee.

Docile thank goodness and we step apace,
One eye on the herd and the gate ever hence.
So after the field the track does a turn
And boulders are strewn as it crosses a burn.

Stepping with care the water washes by,
A loose rock in the middle and balances fly.
At last all are over and then it begins
To climb up and over with rocks cutting shins.

Atop of the plateau the marshy stuff starts.
A glance at the map and the track is unclear.
This way looks better but where is the beck?
And where is the crossing, where is it, by heck?

The tussocks are squashy and wet to the knees
The puddles are bigger and deeper one sees.
At last there’s the crossing though river in flood,
And a leap at the end to avoid the deep mud.

Back to the boulders and a down slope that’s steep.
A field without cattle and sheep that don’t bleat.
A track with some tyre marks tractors have made,
And a gate with the beginnings of tarmac once laid.

All that remains is a walk to the car.
The lane stretches onward a mile or more.
Our walk has just one more joker to deal.
The rain that begins from a sky coloured steel.

The rucksack is raided and anoraks found.
We walk with our heads mostly facing the ground.
The torrent is brief with the sun shining through,
A rainbow appears and sun sparkles the dew.

Back at the car and the walk we have beaten.
Sandwiches out and pork pies to be eaten.
Though nature is laughing at the tricks it has played
We are delighted at the journey now made.

Look After Your Body This Winter.

Always be kind to your head,
When the inside just feels like a shed.
Analgesics that fizz
Will help do the ‘bis’
Plus an hour or two on the bed.

Always be kind to your throat
When it’s sore and all quite remote.
A lozenge or two
Hot drinks- quite a few
And try not to sing -not a note.

Always be kind to your chest,
When coughs and wheezes infest.
Take hot drinks quite often
The mucus to soften
And warm the outside with a vest.

Always be kind to your tum’,
When the inside is feeling quite rum.
A day without booze
Might just cure those blues
And leave you not feeling so glum.

Always be kind to your a n u s,
When haemorrhoid itching’s quite heinous.
Don’t scratch at the veins
Use cream where it pains
Made for complaints that might pain us.

Always be kind to your knees
When pain seems to make them just seize.
A bandage elastic
Is sometimes fantastic
Gentle exercise helps by degrees.

Always be kind to your feet,
When boots have made blisters complete.
A pad or a plaster
With correct this disaster
And make a repair quite discrete.

So always be kind to your body,
Heed its advice -it’s not shoddy.
It tells you what’s wrong
And when its on song,
Celebrate, have a hot toddy.

Thank you very much Vynor! A great poem – a cold traveled around the full team here, so we should have heeded this advice sooner

Take half a pound of cholesterol, say,
Four ounces of obesity and tooth decay.
Half a pound of carbohydrate extract
A little more to be quite exact.
A few spices added to the mix,
Almonds too if ground to fix.
The result, irresistible when baked
Healthy options can’t be faked.

See the conundrum posed above
Abandoned food we know and love.
Forbidden delights for those who steer
A course for fitness this new year.
Is misery the food of virtue
When diet ends in lentil stew?

Of course, I talk of self-deniers,
Those who cook without the fryers.
There are others, sadly, sadly who
Must diet strictly to live through.
The choice for them is clear and set
Careful measurement dry or wet.

For those of us who have the choice.
Will power is our reasoned voice.
Indulgence helps the spirit rise
Limiting it is always wise.
Balance pleasure with holistic life,
Be yourself without the strife.

I didn’t spot Ian’s exhortation to verse until today, being somewhat ‘marineally’ occupied.

Poetry At Work

The day began at half past five,
I struggled out of bed, became alive.
Breakfast the usual coffee and toast,
(Of healthy breakfasts I don’t boast).
Train was crowded, yet again
No seats, no toilet, what a pain.
Walked to work in the pouring rain.

Shaking the drops from umbrella and coat
I entered the building to a cloakroom remote.
Checked in the mirror, washed with a splash
And walked to the office with ideas quite rash.
First to arrive, I sat and looked round.
Here Chairs and computers, empty abound.
And fans in the ducts gently blowing their sound.

Computer alive, fingers typed out a message.
I sat and considered its terms and its presage.
Then sent it and turned to the work plan that day,
Contracts and contacts to hook and to play.
An hour or two later all busy and humming,
Two men entered; no word of their coming.
Dark suits and demeanour their manner thus summing.

Through office and on to the inner door where,
Secretary guarded the manager’s lair.
No guard to these men who entered at will
Keeping their mission a secret until
Requests for some papers and boxes of file
Stirred all and sundry to guess and to smile
Though nothing was heard for what seemed a while.

Eventually, coated and downcast of feature,
Walking as if he were led by a preacher,
The manager left in wordless procession
His escorts following in silent progression.
The leader of projects then stood and addressed
And mentioned the crime that might be redressed.
He wondered how this deed had now been confessed.

Exhorted to continue and work as the norm,
The office re-settled and weathered the storm.
I sighed at the weeks of research now at end
And wondered if secrets would arise and offend.
The purpose of making the workplace more pure,
Was to raise up the business, increasing allure.
That poetic justice, the afflatus to cure.

More Poetry At Work.

Epitaphs on tomb,
Marriages in bloom.
Sagas of doom
Pervading the gloom.
For all there is room.

Limerick for fun
Sonnets when done
Strict formats run.
Odes first begun
To lovers- the sun.

Descriptions of fames,
Those lighting flames.
Time playing games
Preserving their names
In praises or blames.

Nature’s wide world.
Autumn unfurled
Golden leaves swirled.
Feathers uncurled,
Volcano rocks hurled.

Political jibe,
Corruption and bribe.
The world and its tribe.
All this we describe
Its knowledge imbibe.

Carol or tune
Melodies croon.
Arias balloon,
Hymns to the moon,
From verses all hewn.

Poetry at work
No subjects shirk.
Pleasure and murk,
Secular or Kirk,
Here poets lurk!

This came about from a desire to write something to set to music. As it developed, It was clear that this was not going to be it!

A Stormy Voyage.

For each and every sea to reach
One must traverse the rocks or beach.
The interaction ‘tween shore and wave
Is the first of contests we must brave.
Sand so soft it sucks us down,
Rocks so hard to hit and drown.
Cliffs so steep, water pounds below,
Dunes so mobile as wind and water blow.

Here a beach, benign, reposed,
Low tide, waves quietly composed.
Here the same, the water closed,
Turmoiled foam from wind exposed.
Here the land reclaims its silt and sand,
Here a landslide, by the water’s hand,
Takes a field, house or road,
Where once the traffic freely flowed.

Waves that lap contented on the shore,
Capable of weight, height and so much more;
Introduce us to the depths beyond,
Where shallows shelve and fish respond.
Where the gentle swell of pubescent wave,
Gathers strength to mature on shoreline pave.
This pave and building structure near the strand
Is parting point for those who wish to leave the land.

From port the liner, majestic in its height,
Parts from dock and from the land takes flight.
The harbour wall where cranes and capstans sit,
Moves gracefully past the windows, bit by bit.
A bay full yachted with crowded mast,
Marina, rocks and buoys then gliding past.
And to the pincer of the bay;
Open claws that give the liner way.

Now the land, an outline fading,
Water’s kingdom new laws bading.
Here the ship will plough the dell,
At the behest of wind and swell;
Will roll and pitch as water moves,
Cutting furrows, carving grooves.
With prow awash from waves that loom,
Their menace careless to subsume.

The sea, itself, no master of its fate.
Its rulers: moon and tides, its spate
Controlled by wind and storm clouds overhead.
They blow to stir the liquid in its bed,
Or lapse and let it calm to flat,
So sun or moonlight (as the day is at),
Shimmer in dancing shards of light
Reflecting ripples, making seascapes bright.

One day a blue sky, sun and calm,
Sailing cruise passengers to charm.
Perhaps a breeze to ruffle surface, still,
And blow the hair while yachting sails fill.
And then, a fleck of white,
To decorate the sight.
New hollows in the sea appear
Live tussocks in the meadow here.

The wind noise now a constant thrum,
As ropes and fittings flap and drum.
Waves now fill the hollows in the chops,
Forming water walls with foaming curly tops.
Sheeting rain, accompaniment to the wailing wind
With percussive spatter, nature’s wakening underpinned.
Ships caught as the elements arouse
Lift and crash and bury forward prows.

Tons of water cascading from the deck
And every wave a threaten of a wreck.
Internal fixtures creak and shift about
The passengers must hold and voices shout.
Staggering to their cabins in distress
Seeking comfort of a bed’s caress.
While those, so iron sailor nerved,
Watch bold nature’s chaos served.

The captain, bridge-bound through the storm,
Must plan his course and chart re-form.
While stresses on the ship are felt
And vision forward seems to melt
In spray and water lashing down,
As if old Neptune, with his frown,
Desires these mariners to drown
To keep his regal power with its crown.

The noise of all that beats from hell,
Echoes through the inner shell.
The ship now plunges headlong in,
The screws rotate in air so thin
Racing with no resistance felt
Until the base a blow is dealt
And all inside just hear the crash
As water and the metal clash.

From the deep and downward slide
The prow appears from its watery glide.
Cascading flows are shed from ports
As upwards tipped, the wave supports
The liner skyward to its crest;
Holding this unwilling guest.
A momentary meeting, as passing on
The angle changes, the wave is gone.

And so the motion tips and tumbles
Furniture and fittings into jumbles.
Water close and washing wave
Then up and over this curling grave;
To fall again as wind gives power
To water onward, hour by hour.
Through this bleak and violent rage
The ship, a capsule, on this stage.

At length, too long for many waiting,
The sign of storm and wind abating.
Here the billows shrink their size
And passengers with prayers and sighs,
Thank God for cease of staggering drifts;
The hurling force of sideways shifts;
Corridors where wall to wall
Unwary folk might stumble, fall.

They curse the upset seas that bicker,
No food to eat and getting sicker.
No shows the theatre now performs,
Poor comfort that the news informs.
No deck to air the stifled soul
No pool to swim and film cajole.
All is locked, a twisting maze
A roller coaster where no one pays.

Slow, these things are never swift,
The weather calms and spirits lift.
Decks are open once again,
Glistening from the recent rain.
A restaurant opens, tidying chairs,
Crews are busy washing stairs;
Finding far flung upturned things
Chaos that such conflict brings.

The foamy chop, disturbed, awry,
Breaks and forms ‘neath sunny sky.
The liner ploughing steadily through,
Its wake, twin screwed, turns white and blue.
A day or more without event,
The crew and passengers more content.
The recompense from this distress,
Free drinks with evening’s formal dress.

Then a line, so faint and thin
Is spotted by some folks within.
The captain, radar and his compass set,
Has ‘seen’ this coming for some time, yet,
His mind is now on port and berth,
The waiting workers to prove their worth.
His ship with pilot soon on board
Taken in slowly, safely moored.

Damage from the storm repaired,
Passengers with their luggage shared.
Cleaning cabins, stocking food,
Laundry cleaned and fuel renewed.
Features now are clearly seen,
The pilot’s boat on radar screen,
Slow ahead as port draws near,
Quietly, gently, approach the pier.

This came from a comment in ‘The Lobby’ about Mozart’s thoughts on women, or perhaps his librettist’s.

Corrections In Time.

Isn’t it funny how debauchery and sex-
-Those acts that many a marriage wrecks-
How rude words, often used to swear;
How a plain word might currently glare;
How ideas, once the simple norm;
Might all just cause an indignant storm.

Not all at once maybe, perhaps,
But as the morals sometimes lapse
In one particular part or place,
So they tighten and replace
Those accepted yester-year,
When they were common usage here.

Consider now our condemnation
Of names for race of other nation;
Coloured skin and offhand slang,
Of which our grandsires gaily sang.
Those words for sex, we did not use
Now heard daily in the bus line queues.

Consider too those children’s tales,
Bed time favourites –popular sales,
Innocent of malice thought,
The child’s imagination caught.
Now a slur on other races,
Banished, gone, and left no traces.

We must not talk of those who choose,
To wear a ‘similar pair of shoes’,
And yet don’t have the feet for these.
Their choices once could folk displease.
But now we sympathise, empathise, greet
These differences as a need to treat.

Enlightened now in many ways
But touchy of those golden days
When all was simple, without malice.
From the Victorian’s ‘virtuous’ chalice
To the world where war had changed
Our morals; ideas re-arranged.

On, and from another war
New features as a guiding core.
Escaping from the world so dark
To flowers and freedom in the park.
Now a stern reality grips
And with its scissors our gaiety snips.

Save the planet, clean the air,
Stop our pleasures, replace with care.
All those things for centuries past,
We blithely forward drove our cast,
Now suddenly must go away,
Mammon’s progress has had its day.