Thursday, August 27, 2015


In silly celebration of a National Poetry Day in New Zealand...28th Aug, 2015


Okey-dokey, I don’t know whether
argy-bargy between us (or maybe
argle-bargle) will bring on a display of
hari-kari. That’s hardly super-duper
suitable for a namby-pamby,
wishy-washy, dilly-dallying,
shilly-shallying sort of
person who can never make up their
mind – I’m assuming the
indefinite gender here (unrelated to
my indefinite mind).

Indefinite, in itself, is a clear case of
zig-zaggying around a mumbo-jumbo
subject, the kind of subject only
some hoity-toity riff-raff,
some arty-farty ping-pong,
(or whiff-waff)-playing person,
heading helter-skelter,
higgeldy-piggedly into the
nitty-gritty hokey-pokey
hodge-podge, will manage to
make sense of. 

Jeepers-creepers, all you
lardy-dardy raggle-taggle,
you topsy-turvy-thinking
flim-flam fiddle-faddling
harum-scarums, you
fuzzy-wuzzy hobson-jobsons,
you hugger-muggers, you
see-sawing mish-mash of
pell-mells rushing nitty-
grittied into a chock-a-block
heebie-jeebied hocus-pocus
hubble-bubble willy-nilly:

why don’t you get up early?
Just a teensie-weensie, itsy-
bitsy little bit early?

That’d stop the hurly-burly. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

From a louse

The results of the Dunedin Robert Burns Poetry Competition were published in the Otago Daily Times this morning. The winning poems aren't in the online edition, though they did appear in the printed version today. I'd imagine they'll turn up on the Public Library website in due course.

Once again I didn't make the cut (out of a surprisingly small number of entries - only 32 in all) The three entries that did win their respective sections all went in for Scots dialect strongly (requiring translations alongside the originals!) and are quite lengthy. Mine has the merit of being short and mostly not using Scots dialect, apart from a couple of words. It's also not autobiographical, in case anyone thinks it might be.

From a louse

On reading Robbie’s To a Louse
(Preferring it to To a Mouse)
I stomp all sullen round the house
And strunt so rarely
I waken up my sleeping spouse
Who hits me squarely.

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
Here from discerning spouses free us
With all their earthly power to see us
Clearly near and far;
Would enable us to safely be us
As we truly are.

Then in our smeddum we would strut,
(Pulling in our gut and butt)
And criticism out would shut
With deafened ears,
Cast off each unwanted smut
While downing beers.

We’d view ourselves forever young,
Climb safely up each corporate rung,
Fling curt bon mots from off our tongue,
Be never in a flap;
Each beauteous thought not seen as dung
Or spoken of as crap.

No longer louse to great giraffes
We’d climb up on the PowerPoint graphs
Fly far above our better halfs...
Yes, dreams are free,
And dear departed Robbie laughs:
O wad the giftie gie.

Dialect words:
Strunt: swagger
Smeddum: spirit