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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

There have been a few people who have come and gone over the years and I sometimes wonder what might happen if there was a chance meeting in a public place. Sitting with a mug of tea yesterday in a concert hall foyer, I began to pen this poem. I fear I avoided the question, but the revelation might not have been more than of personal interest so the speculation continues. One day I might have an answer.

What If?

I knew, when she came down the stair,
Who it was.
Though many a year had parted us and our affair,
Then because.
Because, well maybe stupidity had played a part.
Hers- and mine.
Our parting with a meeting – heart to heart.
To refine.
She did not come, and gave no answer.
Left me to pine.

Contact severed thus was clean and clinical.
New address.
Movement too, from work, her action cynical.
No redress.
Of hospitals so many there to choose.
Where to look?
Each with its nurses housing to confuse.
So I forsook.
Took the rebuff as a fate of life.
Closed that book.

Now, how many years? I made a mental guess.
Forty five?
There she was. This sudden strange duress.
To dive?
To seek a hidden pose when there with tea and cake?
As yet unseen.
The steps some distance still from where I sat.
Her coat of green.
That questing step and glance around
Surveying the scene.

An older figure, yes, but viewing from my chair,
That hair,
Once close caressed with fingers through the curls
Greyer there.
Those sweeping arms now balancing her weight.
Descending down.
Then on the flat her brisk attacking gait,
That determined frown.
Pressing on, a date, and short of time.
Scarf -always brown.

She glanced my way and maybe saw me there.
Among the throng.
The tables and the coffee drinkers – unaware.
It wasn’t long.
Perhaps a puzzled glance, but hard to tell
For she was gone.
I could have waved and given out a yell.
Followed her anon?
What for? What gain? What purpose at the end?
I pondered on.

Struggling to get started this morning, so I wrote this instead.

Epitaph – There’s Always Tomorrow.

Procrastination is a thief,
Based entirely upon belief
That what is left until next morn
More easily will the task be bourn.

Sometimes it is truly said,
Schedules are priority led.
One plans the day with that which presses:
Those loudest and most urgent stresses.

Time constraint dictates the pace
And life becomes a constant race
To finish work as through the door
Arrives a schedule needing more.

But while these pressures come and go,
There are others, we all know.
Those jobs that need an hour or so
Hated chores that grow and grow.

Excuses made become inventive.
Motivating our incentive
To rationalise tomorrow’s plan
When today the need began.

More pleasurable work is now quite pressing,
A trip to town is just digressing.
That article, researched and written,
Stringing up that ancient cittern.

Another game of solitaire,
Embroidering a favourite chair.
Cooking up a favourite dish
Going out with line to fish.

And all the time, while having fun,
Those chores remain yet un-begun.
Until at last with reluctant grace
They and we are face to face.

Completed now and set aside
The inner self has inner pride.
How virtuous to have scrubbed and polished.
Tomorrow’s excuse and our pride’s demolished.

I Close My Eyes And..

I close my eyes and I can see
The lakes and mountain’s tumbling scree.
Those heather clad peaks
And curving streaks
Of silver water’s flow
To the greater waters stored below.

I close my eyes and can see
You there, lovely as can be.
Pointing where the ripples round
Had caught your eye, when from the sound
A fish jumped high
A fleeting vision in the sky.

I can see that fresh, bright, honeymoon face
(Mellowed now by years of grace.)
Hear that chuckle deep inside.
A lake, the sunshine and a perfect bride.
My eyes are closed to catch and hold
Those joys that haunt now we are old.
I fold the covers gently round
And kiss the face asleep so sound.

Ian’s broken biscuits triggered this-:

This Just Takes The Biscuit.

Oh for a biscuit now to savour.
But which? And what enticing flavour?
Short bread with butter;
Ginger, the nutter;
Abernethy for size;
Garibaldi’s surprize;
The good old Rich Tea,
Or the humble Marie;
Choc Chip for the nuts,
Or the chocolate in ruts;
Nice which are (um) nice,
Pasticinni – twice the price;
Caramelised with the coffee;
Custard Cream or Toffee;
Malted Milk with that cow;
Bourbon – more high-brow;
Ringed Dodger’s jam to chew;
Digestives with a Yorkshire brew;
Pink iced ones, glazed upon the top;
Almond Thins – one more and stop;
Coconut Cookies crisp and sweet;
Crumbly oat and nut compete.
Such a choice for me to try,
And any here I’d surely buy.
So I end up, pay my dues,
With a box to dip and choose.

The moral of this crumby tale,
When temptations seek to all prevail,
Avoid those biscuit aisle’s addictions
Heed those healthy weight predictions
And feast on fruit and low fat fare.
Healthier then you’ll surely be
But naught to savour with your tea.

My poetry skills are woeful so I’ll treat you all the one good poem I have ever written. I was 10 and it got into the school year book. 😉

Little robin sing
Fill the air with your sweet voice
And make my heart warm

I like haikus. 😉

Which? Conversation
About it, what can you say?
Never a dull day

I humbly present the Lacrostimerick:

When seeking a product to buy,
Having doubts can send choices awry,
If you hit this snag,
Consider our mag,
Helping you sort the what from the why
?

In The Beginning.

When it was decided
For those with wealth provided;
Those who were as deity
To members of the laity;
To mark their time as demi-gods
The architects got out their rods.

Ramps constructed, boulders hewn,
And labourers in that sandy dune,
Moved and carried, pulled and rolled,
Following orders they were told.
And lo there came on sandy plains,
Shapely pyramid tomb domains.

Once their purpose was fulfilled,
These tombs now had their openings filled,
And there they stand, though now defiled;
A museum houses that kingly child.
The years have beaten at the walls
And much outside is rough from falls.

But why a pyramid, why that shaped?
Its magic many after aped.
For here perfection clearly lies,
In those great forms – Egyptians wise –
Three sloping walls each triangle set
And pointed where all three have met.

And Afterwards.

Pyramids gave Euclid joy,
But racked the brains of many boy.
Its shape, symbolic in its power,
Shows structure in the corporate tower.
The point, the one place at the top.
Each wall one space for three to stop.

Then widening as the space now grows,
Each side has managers under those.
And finally there right at the base
The workers, toilers of the human race.
Gazing up at those above,
Upwards, down, each nudge and shove.

A pyramid shows one’s ambition,
The lowly start upon the mission.
The climb as skills become refined
Until at some fine point in mind
One reaches destination’s point
That pyramid there you now anoint.

Perhaps your pyramid is just quite small,
Perhaps it’s mighty – amazingly tall.
In life’s pyramid none can say
When the point has found its day.
We keep climbing, as all did,
Pyramid on pyramid.

In Response To Earth Hour Day.

Spend an hour on the earth and see
Lakes and mountains, seas and forest’s tree.
The harmony of nature in the wild
Animals that call and spaces undefiled.

Perhaps the prey and preyer keep their place
And cold winds, snow and blizzards dictate pace.
But here the earth controls itself
And man is distant from this wealth.

Yet spend an hour among the busy rush
That human kind has crammed into a crush,
And smoke from every manner of things
Will mix with noises that the traffic brings.

Folk in every kind of dress
Will gather, move, expand and then compress
Into trams and cars and trains and busses red
Moving to their houses and, at day’s end, to their bed.

Each group and unit with its purpose plan
Each world, its environmental clan.
Spend an hour on the earth to really see
And you will know we have no place to flee.

Our actions on that other world encroaches
Our hour ends with none to make reproaches.
The harmony of nature in the wild
Upset by that wayward human child.

Water Watching.

I sat a-while, just yesterday, and did what poets do:
Contemplating, borrowing time from duty’s sticky glue.
My place, a seat astern the boat,
The water’s placid glossy coat
Within a hand –or two- for finger rippling;
Reflecting images from above, then crippling
Those shapes. Disturbances breaking surface calm
As casual breezes shimmer on that peaceful balm.

Here is another world, living in its own domain;
Alien to those on land, no solid plane
To – Jesus like – walk un-soaked above that
Muddy depth, where yet another habitat
Provides life for those of watery desires,
Where fin and gill swim midst human cast off tyres.
My view, my questing gaze the surface scanned
Not knowing what to watch – nothing planned.

This amazing water-land of life,
Surprises with its harmony and strife.
Each element does its thing by rote.
Each combines to make a living world afloat.
Casual glances show just water brown,
But stare and really see this town.
This busy metropole of deed,
Among the ripples and the floating weed.

Here a water-skater shoots and scoots.
Meniscus pads – six airy sets of boots,
It moves in jerks and stops,
Pushes forward, upward hops,
Landing, splashless, on the water’s top.
Pausing momentarily, post flop,
Then shooting off in sideways twist,
Confusing fish below – a meal missed.

Tiny bugs flit, hover overhead.
I wondered if they land – were dead?
Then one touches down and rises
Instant from its wet surprises.
What’s it found to make it stray?
Food, or drink, might be the play.
Others do the same – so brief,
No time for fishes’ gobbling grief.

A flattened mayfly floats on by.
It flaps its wings but can not fly.
I wondered how it came to land.
Certainly an act unplanned.
It glides along and I await
The moment when this fly is bait.
Not long, indeed; a rush below,
A silvery shape a snap and go.

The hovering bugs must keep alert
For fish can jump and with them flirt.
Perfect circles outward spread.
The jump and splash –another bug dead.
Mallards, higher in the food chain race,
Glide on by with steady pace.
We must not feed these birds so wild,
Only those in ponds – with curious child.

A swan – then two – distain to know
A human watching as they flow.
As graceful statues, necks held high,
Their spreading wake as they go by.
And then surprise and something strange,
A shape appears – just out of range.
It seems to be a head – with eyes,
The bobbing back under water lies.

I stare, perplexed, as this approaches.
The back is domed as water broaches.
The head is dipped and disappears
Then up it pops and surface clears.
A leisurely push, a pause, then float,
A look about, it nears the boat.
A terrapin with shell and tail
Passes by with bubbly trail.

Sadly now, the day is waning.
A chill takes hold – there’s no complaining.
Gnats appear to land and bite,
The river world has turned in spite.
I rise and light the kettle gas,
I close the door on river – alas.
Radio news and world torment,
Far from that tranquil time – well spent.

An Elegy For ‘Stationery Day.’

In the earliest of days,
Man made his mark
With pigmented clays,
Drawn in his dark
Labyrinthine maze.

Someone, then later
Invented papyrus as paper
And with it as ‘mater’,
A liquid and taper
For the portable creator.

Birds, feather quilled,
Would provide, later still,
A need that fulfilled
The writer’s good will,
Plucked from the goose freshly killed.

Petrache Poenaru of Romanian base
In eighteen twenty seven made
A pen with ink inside the case.
No dipping here for quill or blade
A nib for ink to flow and grace.

Lewis Waterman found how to do
A pen complete with filling sac.
Conklin, Swan and Parker too
Made stylish pens – they had the knack,
With gold and richly coloured hue.

The fountain pen was seen as class,
Well bred folk all wrote in ink.
Though many cost a lot of brass
The pen was there to make one think
The owner had that brass to pass.

Then Jozsef Biro came on by
And changed the world of writing.
Cheap plastic sticks that all could buy.
The messy ink, then uninviting,
Caused the fountain pen to die.

Now, of course, we tap the keys
On keyboard or on phone,
With lap-tops sat upon our knees,
In cafes or, just prone.
I mourn the noble fountain pen that now one never sees.

Two Slumbering Swans.

Two swans this morning,
As I looked through the awning,
Were asleep in the lagoon.

They had their heads tucked
Under wing, feathers rucked.
Two amorphous bowls of white.

They floated on thus bowed
As the water flowed
Going where it took them.

Then a weed in the way
One head came up to sway
A peck and a shake.

Head down once more
They floated as yore,
I saw them no more.

A Bull Or A Cow; A Lion Or A Lioness?

Tears in Downing street this morning.
The Vultures are circling the block.
The start of a new era is dawning
The predators are all taking stock.

The bearded one might rub his hands
As he listens to the cries of the drowning
And circulate to all his bands
The possible route into Downing.

The French and the others just wait
To see who will knock at their door.
Then answer and simply restate
They don’t wish to talk any more.

Parliament gazes at navels and feet
With so many factions and cliques.
Contented in chaos and fine with defeat,
Nobody listens and everyone speaks.

God help the country that’s leaderless now.
God help us all if we crash with no deal.
God give the victor the grace to know how,
To bring peace and closure-the country to heal.

The valediction this morning was sad to behold.
The promises earlier sounded like gold.
The currents and tides await to be told
But the present is fragile – who will get polled?

Priorities.

If I was Prime Minister what would I do?
I’d make it sound convincing I’d make it sound new.
I’d tell all the people I’d be on their side,
I’d fight for their freedoms and bolster their pride.

I’d right the injustices and deliver the aid.
I’d see that the poorest were properly paid.
I’d pass laws to stop those payments abroad
And sweep the divisions of race from the board.

I’d lower the taxes and build housing stock
I’d tackle the climate the Ozone to block.
I’d give the young people a grant to succeed
And tackle the poverty for those most in need.

And Brexit? Ah, Brexit. Well I’ll sort that you see.
I’ll bully and battle until they agree.
I’d better do that and get it all sorted
And then I can start all the plans I’ve aborted.

I won’t tell the people to wait just a while,
I’ll go on in public and win with a smile.
Their taxes and houses are promises true
When Brexit is finally over and through.

Wages and climate and all those bright things
Will follow when Europe no longer clings.
I can’t be expected to do it all when
Brexit is still on my desk, ‘neath my pen.

A small contribution to Deaf/Blind Week.

Who Am I?

My world is inside me but I know the night from day.
Black comes to sleep within, white comes for play.

Something is big when I can’t feel the sides,
Something is small when my fingers are my guides.

Soft and hard I know from touch and squeeze
And hot or cold and water or a breeze.

I know when food is there by smell
And holding eating things gives cues as well.

Thirst and hunger come to tell me when
To make a sound or press my button then.

I learned to map the place in which I stay
Where I can move and what is in the way.

I know the things I use by how they feel.
My chair, my table, plate and cup are real.

My helpers must be looking just like me.
They are warm and move and aim to set me free.

Each has smell and touch so that I know
Who is there and when they come and go.

I can’t articulate these things or how I feel
I have no words, just senses that reveal.

But all these things I told you here in verse
Are observed and noted by my nurse.

That Bill.

A bill just landed on my doormat.
I knew it was a bill, I knew the format.
It told me so in letters large:
“This is not a circular” – I charge!

This accusation lay there – still.
Debtor owing, pay this bill.
You’ve spent the money, had the thrill,
Day of reckoning, here’s the kill.

The envelope with window clear,
My name was plainly typed in here.
The rest of contents folded neatly
Waiting patiently, and discretely.

To open it would soon uncover
How much to pay, the sum discover.
While on the mat it lay in tact
That figure hid, the knowledge lacked.

To leave it there and skip on past.
Avoid a look with eyes down-cast.
But, like an ache that plagues the day,
Untreated pain won’t go away.

With reluctant hand I stoop and pick
And feel the paper folded thick.
Return address if undelivered,
Everything in place and all considered.

I sigh and open up the page.
How much? I start to grow with rage.
And then I look at what’s been listed
Yes, that’s true, no item resisted.

Conscience pricks “You stupid fool!
Spending all on pack and tool.”
Yes, I jumped with glee and joy
When they sent my brand new “toy.”

Now to pay for tempter’s folly.
Now to curse “You’re off your trolley!”
Vow to save and spend no more.
But just have a look at what’s in the store.

Weeds.

Today I took the trimmer
And trimmed off all the weeds.
Those pesky plants so full of “vimmer”
That grow from wind-blown seeds.

I know they’ll grow and still appal
Because the roots remain,
But now, instead of growing tall
They’ll have to start again.

I like it, Vynor. Even though the weeds will have to start again, just for now you have the upper hand.

Solitaired.

Playing on the computer, solitaire
Not fair.
When one tries and then competes
It cheats.
It knows how to stack the cards,
It guards,
So they are inaccessible to view
No clue!

In “Easy” setting then one can
Just plan.
Winning is no fun like this
No bliss.
On “Moderate” setting it allows
Furrowed brows.
But usually one sees it through
Game renew.

On “Hard” the winning game is rarer
Patience wearer.
Then “Grand Master” claims the prize
No disguise.
No chance to win however played
Frustration made.
All the useful cards are stacked on high
Good try!

Though the “French” building was, in fact a concert venue and I was a member of the audience, my pre-amble by the water’s edge is exactly as described here. It is amazing what one can see when choosing to stop and look for a while.

I Spy A Lake.

He sat by the lake and looked,
Time was on his hands.
An hour before he’d booked
And peace to join the strands.

His gaze surveyed as ripples spread,
Ducks, an island and some trees,
Whose boughs dipped over the water bed,
And touched it gently with the breeze.

Some ducks underneath that leafy shade,
Swam, then instant quarrels made.
Pecking orders disobeyed
A flurry of wings and water sprayed.

Noisy quacks and beaky punches
Then pride content they calmly settled.
Swam some more now grouped in bunches.
Smoothing feathers, tempers fettled.

Across the lake a moorhen rose
Its feet furiously surface running.
Wings a-flap, a striking pose.
Beating gravity with its cunning.

In the air it circled round the lake,
Splashing down in chosen patch.
There it sat in floating break
Then dived to see what it might catch.

Other birds took off and landed.
Those on the island slept,
Heads under wings –left handed,
Safely from all predators kept.

A woman opposite had a stick.
She was beating brambles with it.
Curiously he watched as bushes thick
Succumbed to her onslaught bit by bit.

Finally, her pathway clear, as planned
She turned and went from view.
Then with net and pole in hand
Reached into the lake anew.

A ball there floating by the shore
Her efforts clear for what she strived.
And now with net and ball in store
She vanished as she had arrived.

He checked his watch, had some time more.
A child was crying, the sound he caught.
Its noise a message: “don’t ignore.”
A wailing want and single thought.

Pacified, the wailing ceased.
Its source appeared at water’s end.
Ducks to feed and see them feast.
Quacking noisily all attend.

He raised himself from metal bench
Began to tread the grassy bank
A building distant, vaguely French,
One to house someone of rank.

In minutes now he’d know at last
What his orders might direct.
How his life would now be cast
Where to go and what protect.

Your talk of canaries today triggered the following:

Getting The Bird.

The canary, bought when almost new,
Had feathers coloured yellow and blue.
He would whistle some chirpy tunes
Throughout the morn’ and afternoons.

They soon taught him how to speak
And how to move his yellow beak,
So he could talk, in a bird like way
Or ask to come out, fly and play.

But then to their complete dismay
They found he’d learned to sing and say
Words that they would never use
Or even ever could excuse.

A visiting neighbour told a friend
That they could not begin to pretend.
When the doors were closed at night
They swore and argued, cursed outright.

The congregation of their church
Surprised that they might so besmirch,
Were cool and distant when they met.
So they took the bird down to the vet.

The vet was puzzled and perplexed.
The canary, which was now quite vexed
Told him, through his inspection glass
To stuff his fingers up “the pass.”

“Whereabouts is your bird kept?”
The vet asked now as his wife wept.
“In the lounge, just where we sit,
Between the couches, where they split.

“And in that room you have your screen?”
“He shares the programmes we have seen.”
“So, when the actors gets quite rude
Your bird learns language rather crude.”

“To the kitchen he must go,
And perhaps, in time, he’ll learn to know
The things you cook and what you eat
They’ll be the things he’ll then repeat.

They paid the fee, a goodly sum,
And came home feeling very glum.
The canary now is housed elsewhere
And no one hears it curse and swear.