Concert of Cats

No image today – ironically (see below) – because of copyright issues. However, if you hit this link, it will take you to the image which inspired the poem, a lithograph by Breugel.


One plays the cornet
One considers the violin
One looks dementedly
At the old mandolin
All can read music
Though some think, Why bother?
We’ll just croon along
To the noise from our brothers

They are cats having fun
Just one’s on the fence
There’s also a mouse
Looking dreadfully tense
Back in the mouse house
(A faux music stand)
Do those cats even know
Lunch is so close to hand?
No matter. They’re singing
They’re singing, and how –
It’s clear those cats know
They are the cat’s meow.


The act of creating art inspired by another work of art is known as ekphrasis, from the Greek word meaning ‘description’. One of the most famous examples of ekphrasis is ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ by the Romantic poet John Keats. This poem isn’t that, nor does it aspire to be; it’s just me having a bit of fun.

Using art/poetry/fiction/TV/movies/articles/music, etc., as inspiration is one of my favourite things to do. The umbrella term is ‘intertextuality’ i.e. one text inspires another text.

If you are new to writing poetry, a good way to get the juices flowing is to find an interesting image and make as many notes on it as you can. Jot answers to questions like these: what is happening in the picture? How many characters? How are they related? When is the image set? What about colours/objects/background? What is inside the bag/pocket/box, etc.? Any obvious emotions? What about smells? What are they saying to each other?

You get the idea. Now pick out what interests you from your notes, and just start writing.

Do please let me know if you have a go.

An Interesting Fact About Goldfish

Photo by imso Gabriel on

He is green around the gills;
He is floating on his side.
You can see that he is ill;
You assume that he has died.
An ordinary mistake
Goldfish owners often make.

He can be resuscitated:
He is merely constipated.

A garden pea, minus shell
Rescues him from goldfish hell.
Soon, he’s swimming round the bowl,
Can’t recall his bunged-up hole.
Little fishy’s full of beans.
Moral: always eat your greens.

The Woman with the Extra Leg

Photo by Anderson Guerra on

The woman with the extra leg stepped ineptly from the train.
The op on her had worked, but weirded out her brain.
Her eyes were white, her neck was green, her nose a pretty blue:
Once she had an even tone, now her skin showed every hue.
The purple bag she toted clashed acutely with her hair:
An orange-cream confection, which had once been long and fair.
The crowd pretended not to notice, but there arose a hum;
I pushed my way right through them all to hug my gorgeous Mum.
Her arms are square, her fingers fat, her stomach inside out,
But without the operation, she’d have suffered, I’ve no doubt.
It made her well and I am glad to think it a success;
Though how I wish that there had been fewer side-effects.

Today Is World Limerick Day

Photo by Luciann Photography on Pexels.comI’m guessing this is the actual town of Limerick, Ireland

They say on the twelfth of May
It will be World Limerick Day
If the whole world would write
Five fun lines, I’d bite
But read 7 billion? No way!

Dear Reader, I’m challenging you
I hope that you won’t misconstrue
Won’t you please have a go?
If you didn’t know
Limericks are such fun to do


They’re a doddle to write:

  • Five lines
  • Lines 1+2+5 rhyme
  • Lines 3+4 rhyme
  • Usually funny, but no pressure here (you read mine, didn’t you?)

But A Dream

This one is more Brit-centric, I’m afraid.

I stood upon a burning ship
Bedecked in frills and lace.
An anchor hit me in the head
Leaving unmarked my face.

I turned and spied a lurking pack
Encased in silver thread.
One waved out with abandon,
Holding a knife and slice of bread.

He padded close to me and smiled,
Arrh! This is the country life.
I have hunted long for Kerry gold
And a beauty for a wife

Now I’ve fallen into clover,
And with that he stalked away.
Clover? thought I. There’s no flora here.
What a most peculiar day!

Beauty? thought I. That I am not.
Why is nothing as it seems?

And then I had the answer:
Ah, yes! This is butter dream!


I love writing nonsense poems and I love writing poems where the reader has to figure something out…can you figure out how many brands of butter and margarine are included in this poem?

Love Muddle

For Paul x

I love you with
The eye of my liver
The toe of my crotch
The heart of my elbow
My mandible stodge
My reverse intestine
The belly of my knee
The rib of my armpit
My right capillary
The shin bone of my shoulder
My pelvic radius
You’ve got me so jumbled up inside
There can be no end of us
Or fat
I love you
I love you
I love you
And that is simply that

Her Guy

If her guy thought he had sunshine on what was – by his own admission – a cloudy day; and believes May was indoors (say what?); had a swarm of bees on his tail; reckoned his wailing sounded better than the birds in the trees (at least they were outside); and didn’t even have any money or fortune (or grasp of tautology) and no fame to his name (though that was clearly a lie; a little disingenuous, don’t you think?), then I submit his girl was probably better off without him. I know I wouldn’t be tempted.

How Does A Pope Cope?

Photo by Alena Darmel on

How does a pope cope with being Pope?
I hope he does not smoke dope
or mope around
or grope the cardinals
or lope about, laughing aloud or lashing out –
so undignified for he who aspired to lead billions.
I do hope he’s nice to his minions.

Does he ever reach the end of his rope
and wonder whether to sever the tether?
But he can’t resign; he can only die
and that’s not a good sign
for enjoying the rest of his life.
He can’t even marry a wife.

He might shout, Nope! I’m done as pope!
I slithered down the slippery slope
and believed the hype
and now I find I’m
not the pope type.
I have no time to tarry.
Do not be shocked when I elope
with a defrocked nun.
I’m just so very done.