Tag Archives: Poem

Found In Translation

21 May

Click on image for source

Well I never!  Or I should say, Beh io mai!

I signed in to my blog to visit all of yours, and discovered a comment which needed approval:

You may be interested to know that we have written a review of the anthology In Protest, 150 Poems for Human Rights: http://www.margutte.com/?p=5629&lang=en
We have also translated some of the poems in Italian, including your poem: http://www.margutte.com/?p=5629

Thanks for your contribution.

Best regards,

Silvia Pio (editor)

That’s the same poem which was read at a memorial meeting for Nelson Mandela, and I learned of it after the event.

It seems it’s not just my kids who are going off having lives of their own.

By the way, I’m chuffed!  I love the idea of my poem taking on a life of its own, making new friends, learning new languages.  It has a way more interesting time than I do.

But at least it won’t break my heart when it moves into student accommodation in September.

While We’re On The Subject

19 Apr

Keats House Poets Forum's photo.

 

At the moment, I have no words.  It made me smile, then, as one of life’s little ironies, when I received an email announcing the launch of a new poetry ezine containing one of my poems – a poem about censorship, in which most of the words have been removed.

I may not be writing much but I do know how to make a short story long, so here goes.

My poem In The Tradition of ‘The Star’ appeared in the anthology In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights last year.

Earlier this year, one of the anthology’s editors contacted me, asking for permission to use it in a new ezine she and another editor were starting; and inviting me to read at the magazine’s launch in London at the end of March.

I gladly gave permission but had to refuse the invitation, commenting that I wouldn’t know how to read it aloud anyway.

She replied that she quite understood: her employer (a charity fighting female genital mutilation) had held a memorial meeting for Nelson Mandela and my poem had been read out at the meeting – with difficulty.

I sent a garbled reply about poems being like children and taking on a life of their own without you, once you’ve sent them out into the world.

I didn’t hear from her again, but that’s hardly surprising.  If you’ve read this far you’ll be in the same dazed state.

Anyway, to get to the point, here is a link to the new magazine, Writing in the Blackout.

Here’s a bit of the blurb, for the political amongst you:

‘Writing in the Blackout’ is an anthology of poetry and art work that explores the theme of arts censorship and freedom of speech:http://www.ideastap.com/Partners/keatshousepoets

It features newly commissioned poetry and art work from Keats House Poets and IdeasTap members, an interview with English PEN and much more! We hope you enjoy reading our anthology, and would be delighted to hear hear your thoughts on it and do forward it to any of your networks who would be interested in reading it. This project is a snapshot of some of the complex issues connected to censorship, and we are interested in continuing investigating this theme- do let us know if you know organisations who might support a ‘Writing in the Blackout’ workshop or performance. 
We will be hosting a poetry performance and discussion of ‘Writing in the Blackout’ on June 14th, 4:30-6pm at the Keats House Festival in Hampstead. Do follow @KHPoetsor check our blog for more event details http://khpoets.wordpress.com/  
You will find me on page 39 but the whole thing is well worth a read.

 

Googling Myself

12 Mar

It’s not that I’m vain, or anything, but I do occasionally Google my name (okay, I am vain; but can you blame me with this hair?).  At least I don’t check to see if I’ve got a Wikipedia page – no, really, I don’t, honest…

I have to Goggle myself when I’m submitting poems, because so many editors exclude poems already published online, even if it was on my now defunct poetry blogs which can no longer be accessed.

I Gaggled four poems and my name this morning and I was disappointed to find one of them in the 2010 comments section of a poetry blog, which means I can’t use it.  

The Haggle brought up a pleasant surprise, however – which isn’t always a given when you Giggle yourself; all I’m going to say is tea bags/washing line/shame…. Fortunately, I’m such a prolific blogger that the embarrassing photo is hidden way down in my Boggle listing.  

I discovered that a poem published by English Pen last year in their Dictionary of Made-Up Words was featured on their website earlier this year, as part of an ongoing promotion of the book.  I didn’t know it was there.  I’m chuffed!

Even better – it was retweeted!  It’s nice to be twit.

You may say it was coincidence, but I think it’s strange that I didn’t come across this poem until I had my hair cut.  I’m like an anti-Samson: all of my power was consumed by my long hair; now it’s short, I’m discovering my work in the ether and being invited to take part in poetry events which may or may not come off so I can’t say anything at the moment…except that the invites were issued after the haircut…

So, do you Wriggle yourself?  Or are you afraid to discover dirty little secrets of yours hiding out there in the ether?  Are there photos of you drunk at a party? Taking an illicit beach day from work?  Wearing flares?

I’ll find out, you know, when I Ogle you.

Never Forget The Prompts

6 Mar

Have you ever eavesdropped on a conversation you weren’t supposed to? Tell us about a time when it was impossible not to overhear a conversation between people who didn’t know you were there. What was the conversation about? How did it make you feel?

It wasn’t eavesdropping so much as my first ten minutes in a new job in Johannesburg.  A secretary walked into the office in great distress, crying her eyes out and complaining that ‘he threw my elephant ears off the balcony!’

Hillbrow flats are small and their balconies are tiny and I wasn’t interested in the argument – instead, I was consumed with a desire to know  what exactly were elephant ears?  If they were ornamental elephant ears, how huge were they?  Did he have to use a tool to tip them over or was he so adrenalin/drink/rage fuelled that it was like a mother lifting a car from her child’s pinned-down body?

Or were they genuine elephant ears?  If they were, they’d still be pretty big but surely they’d have shrivelled to mankiness; and where would you buy something like that anyway?  You could buy legal ivory because elephants weren’t protected in South Africa in the Eighties but I never heard of anyone buying wrinkly skin flaps before.

I felt quite sorry for her distress and empathised with her experience of that terrible creature known as ‘man’, but I was cripplingly shy in those days, kept my head down and never stuck my nose in where it wasn’t wanted.  I went all day without knowing what the argument was about but, finally, at 16:29, one minute before leaving, I had to ask: what on earth are elephant ears?

She laughed and replied, ‘A plant.’

How mundane.  Eavesdropping: it’s really not worth the ear-burning it causes.

*

Tell us about a situation where you’d hoped against all hope, where the odds were completely stacked against you, yet you triumphed. Be sure to describe your situation in full detail. Tell us all about your triumph in all its glory.

I really hoped those ears were real.

That was back in the days when I wasn’t animal-mad; or unselfish (no kids yet).

I triumphed because I plucked up the courage – in the face of twenty-four years of terror at the thought of asking questions of a complete stranger, especially about her personal life – to satisfy my curiosity.

*

A song comes on the radio and instantly, you’re transported to a different time and place. Which song(s) bring back memories for you and why? Be sure to mention the song, and describe the memory it evokes.

Nellie the Elephant…some of you may have heard of it.  I’m transported to church at half-past seven in the evening and the recollection that I forgot to tell you that I’d had a spicy dinner that day and had to clench my butt cheeks the whole time I was on my knees practising CPR, in case the evidence seeped out.

Don’t mock: I could save your life one day.

*

You’re 12 years old. It’s your birthday. Write for ten minutes on that memory.

I can’t remember it.  I’m not an elephant.

*

What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? Was it worth it, were you successful in walking on the moon, or did your leg break?

You never take giant steps when you have a wind problem like mine.

*

When was the last time you were embarrassed? How do you react to embarrassment? 

Did you not read my last answer?  How easily embarrassed do you think I am?

Okay, you’re right: I am very easily embarrassed in real life; blogging is fairly anonymous so it removes my inhibitions.  If I were to break wind in your physical presence, I think I’d be embarrassed beyond measure.  We both would.

*

Publish a post in the style of a favorite author/blogger or photographer.

A nonsense poem for you, written in five minutes, as an homage to Ogden Nash, Roger McGough and the city of Chicago.

In Praise of Gas 

There’s an art to the fart, I’m sure
(just follow a wild beast’s spoor).
But if a pump makes you jump
stay away from the elephant’s trump.

He who has gas laughs last (and usually alone).
He capers at vapours and gels with smells;
but he secretly prays there’s no belligerence
caused by his intense flatulence –

he feels embarrassment
but masks it with merriment
and expensive,
frequently sprayed scent.

Apologies to my audience:
I feel I ought to rescind my words about wind –
I suspect I am less sinned against,
than I have sinned.

Talking Heads

24 Feb

Last Thursday, I gave another poetry reading at Walthew House in Stockport – my third.  They have asked me back for a fourth visit.   One chap (he’s a chap because he’s from the older generation; if he was my age, he’d be a man; Spud’s age, he’d be a lad.  Isn’t language funny?) told me that they had talked about me long after I left last time; then hastened to assure me he meant, ‘in a good way.’ Hmm.

It wasn’t me so much, but the poetry.  They are a wonderful, lively group called Talking Heads, and that’s what they do: talk.  A lot.  The poems I read caused much debate.  The group leader had asked for poems on the theme of ‘spring’ so I had prepared about forty poems (I was due to read for an hour), including some of my own.  The topics of mine varied from cleaning to seduction to dog poo, but all mentioned spring.

They enjoyed one poem so much – six lines on World War One military equipment – they asked for the name of the poet…which was me.  I was delighted to send two people home with copies of the poem – the first time that’s ever happened.

The chap who asked, Vincent, told us it reminded him of a poem he had written when his son was serving in Iraq during the Second Gulf War.  He wondered if he could read it to us, but the memory of his emotion at the time – the absolute fear from having a child in a war zone – choked him up so much, it was fifteen minutes before he composed himself enough to read it.  It was worth the wait: lovely; touching and heartfelt.

After some talk of Thomas Hardy (none of whose poems I had read, but that will show you the meandering nature of the discussions), Vincent mentioned that his son’s best friend had sent him a collection of Hardy’s poems, underlining The Darkling Thrush in the Contents as his favourite poem.  A couple of days after receiving the book Vincent, unable to stay in the house and listen to war news on the radio, had taken an evening walk and came across a lone thrush, singing a solo symphony in the evening air.  Vincent was entranced.

Returning home, there was a phone call around 11:30 that night.  Shaking, he answered.  It was his son: Dad, I’m home!  He didn’t have time to talk because there were several people he had to call with the news, but his Dad had been first on the list.

Next evening, Vincent took another walk and came across the same thrush, singing in celebration, it seemed.  Vincent said he yelled at it: You knew he was safe last night, didn’t you?  You could have told me!  Neither Vincent nor the thrush took any notice of the people staring at the barmy man yelling at a bird in the tree.

What a wonderful story, provoked by a poem.  And that’s why I love poetry.

Warning: This Blog Is About To Get All Soppy*

14 Feb

*Which is so out of character, I seriously considered starting yet another blog, for my weak days.

Today is St Valentine’s Day.  The Hub and I never celebrate it.  He’s thoughtful of and caring towards me.  He gives me love notes, flowers and little gifts all year round.   You’ve heard me boast about it.  He can also be a great big jerk sometimes, but that’s marriage for you.

The Hub doesn’t believe in St Valentine’s Day.  He thinks that people shouldn’t need a special day  to show their love; they should show it all the time.

That puts me in a bit of pickle: I’m not a romantic like the Hub and my way of showing my love is not spitting in his dinner when I’m mad at him.  He doesn’t think that’s particularly in my favour.

So, I did what I always do when I’m confronted with an emotional conundrum: I wrote a poem. Enjoy, and don’t think too badly of me.

*

What’s Love?

For Paul, the love of my life

 

What’s love?
It’s your hand holding the sick bowl, wiping my face.
It’s crying for someone who gave you a lifetime of grief;
because I loved her and you love me. It’s letting me hate you in
hormonal periods. It’s sitting, sweating in your undies
because I’m cold and won the fight over the central heating.
It’s playing taxi. It’s calming me on kitchen days. It’s buying
takeaways when the wallet can’t take it but soothing failed.
It’s tolerating my beliefs, so crazy to you. It’s your gift of two
beloved boys, knowing they displaced you, and not caring.
It’s golf balls at Christmas and Shakespeare at fifty.
It’s doing what I ask when you really don’t want to.
It’s putting me first.
It’s time, not money.
Sometimes, it’s money.
It’s the everyday ordinary and the occasionally sublime.
It’s blaming the world for my setbacks, when you know it’s
really me. It’s sending me to South Africa, France, Widnes.
It’s love notes in my laptop, my diary, the fridge.
It’s accepting my fat. It’s rejoicing when I’m slim.
It’s rocking a colicky baby all night then working all day.
It’s no sleep. It’s sore feet.
It’s working too hard, too long, too far away.
It’s coming home again. It’s trust. It’s not eating burgers
because there’s steak at home. It’s knowing what matters.
It’s hard times, unhappy times, tragic times.
It’s staying together.
It’s you and me, two kids and thirty years.
It’s you.
That’s love.

*

*

That’s got to pay off at least a year’s supply of hearts written on milk bottles, hasn’t it?

A Veneer Of Respectability

27 Jun
Lovely eggs

Lovely eggs (Photo credit: zhouxuan12345678)

So I was eating a soft-boiled egg yesterday when I felt a tooth fall off. I’ve eaten nothing but soft food for 48 hours, in a bid to keep the tooth in place.  That worked.  Not.

It wasn’t a tooth, thankfully; it was the veneer of the tooth which snapped off on Monday.  The new cement the dentist used has kept the actual tooth in place.  

The veneer must have been a little loose: it has a mind of its own and has made a bid for freedom at least three times before.  The veneer on the right front tooth is more of a homebody and likes to stay stuck to my inside.  Like my children, one gives me many problems; one none at all (they’re going to read this and assume the good one is the reader and the troubled one is the other; my boys will probably do the same).

Do yourself a favour – never get veneers.  Looking back on it, shaving off half my tooth to make it look better is probably not a great idea.  I suspect that has contributed to the whole tooth-snapping-off-in-a-corn-on-the-cob thing.

My dentist’s receptionist squeezed me in again and my dentist used the new cement which has kept the tooth in place to fix the veneer; and promised to squeeze me in once more if she gets a cancellation before my crown appointment.  My dentist and her staff are great.

I wrote a poem for them, a fluffy Thank You.  I did think about taking them some chocolates but that’s what got me into trouble in the first place.  Here’s the poem:

*

Corn On The Cob

For Alison & Stephanie

Corn on the cob
attacked me gob

Me tooth snapped off
which made me sob

No duck apple
for me to bob

Me mouth was robbed
by corn on the cob

*

IMG_5113.jpg

It had its first airing on Tuesday, at the poetry reading.  Socially Yours is a group which meets every Tuesday in our church, though it is run by an outside agency. It’s a chance to chat, play quizzes and bingo, socialise.  Sometimes they have a guest to entertain them…that was me.

I read in two halves: first, from ancient to modern, like the hymns; and then some of my own poems.  I had fun, though I couldn’t feel my tongue by the time I had finished, my mouth was so dry from nerves: fidgety old ladies are a tough audience.

Talking of poems, here’s something to really make me smile: I’ve just had an email to say that one of my South African poems has been accepted for an anthology by the University of London, on human rights.

Here’s their blurb: 

We are looking for poems that focus on any human rights or social justice issue, national or international, current or historical.  Poems could explore refugee rights, freedom of speech, indigenous peoples’ rights, LGBTI rights, economic rights or environmental justice – the opportunities are endless! 

The Human Rights Consortium is a multidisciplinary collaborative centre for research into human rights and social justice issues. For inspiration, please visit our current project pages (see sidebar). You can follow the Human Rights Consortium on Twitter or like us on Facebook to receive project-related news and updates about human rights. 

The Human Rights Poetry Anthology will be selected, compiled and edited by academics with expertise in human rights and English studies from the School of Advanced Study (University of London); and the Keats House Poets, a collective of young poets supported by the Keats House Museum who actively write and perform poems about human rights issues.

They sound like a barrel of tooth veneers, don’t they? 

We will stick together..smile together..be tog...

We will stick together..smile together..be together… (Photo credit: Thai Jasmine (Smile..smile…Smile..))

Joke 817

18 Jun

The joke is from all over the internet.

*

One spelling mistake can destroy a marriage.

A husband on a business trip wrote a message to his wife and missed one letter:

“I am having such a wonderful time.  Wish you were her.”

*

‘Our pubic schools’ billboard (© nasshole via Reddit)

*

The poem is from vivianc.

If GH stands for P as in Hiccough
If OUGH stands for O as in Dough
If PHTH stands for T as in Phthisis
If EIGH stands for A as in Neighbour
If TTE stands for T as in Gazette
If EAU stands for O as in Plateau
The right way to spell POTATO should be GHOUGHPHTHEIGHTTEEAU

*

Free Download Of Me

13 Jun
Cartoon Superman

Cartoon Superman (Photo credit: ssoosay) He’s pretty dumb – he still uses a phone box…

English Pen ran a competition: make up a word; use it as a title in a poem or piece of flash fiction.  I did; I didn’t win; but I was a runner-up – one of thirty, from over 400 entries.

That was some weeks ago.  I received an email with the news; then another, telling me where to access a free download of the anthology e-book, The Dictionary Of Made-Up Words.

Cue weeks of frustration.  I could NOT download that damn thing.  I can’t tell you how I struggled, trying to access it.  I have no idea how I ended up with seventeen downloads of the same document on several computers (I thought it might be something to do with the Windows package), but so it was.  It appears I could download it; I just couldn’t read it.

The email offered me a MOBI version for Kindle.  I was told I needed to download a MOBI package to access the e-book.  I was too scared to do that – I’ve heard about these exploding viruses that wipe your hard drive.  The Hub has warned me ever since I learned to switch on a computer by myself: NEVER click ‘Yes’ on an executable file if you don’t know the source.  I don’t know if it was an executable file; I don’t know who this MOBI is, but I suspect he’s a bit of a dick, so I played it safe and that is possibly why I have seventeen downloads of a file I can not access on all computers in the house and even one in Peterborough with Tory Boy.

English Pen asked us to publicise the e-book, but how could I ask you to face the same trials I was facing?

I could not.  I like you all too much to want you to stand beating your heads against a brick wall (or tin wall, for those of you who live in less traditional structures; but it’s still got to hurt).

Ma.ture Technology

Ma.ture Technology (Photo credit: ncomment). I think I know why this is funny but I don’t understand most of the language.  Rather like my relationship with computers, actually.

Round about the time I was ready to take a screwdriver to my laptop to see if the book was lurking about in its entrails, the Hub stepped in.

Much shouting ensued, because I was telling him how to do the thing he was doing because I didn’t know how to do it (c’mon ladies…we’ve all done it).  Here’s the gist of it:

HUB (in capitals because he’s yelling): It’s not for your computer, it’s for your Kindle!  All you’ve got to do is transfer it from your laptop to your Kindle!

ME (in capitals because I’m yelling because I’m wrong): Oohhhhhhh….

Me (in lower case because I’m an idiot): And how do I do that?

*

You know what the irony of this story is?

My poem is about my inability to use technology. :D

*

piano hazard

piano hazard (Photo credit: Zemlinki!)

You can download the whole book for free (if you need a Hub to hurl abuse at you while that’s happening, mine’s available), for your Kindle, Nook or something else, here.  

They will send you an email with a couple of links.  Don’t ask me for help.

Take some time to read the comments about the winning poem.  They make the Hub and I look like we’re blissfully in love.

For those of you who don’t have an e-reader (or the technology gene), here’s my poem:

*

Techneptitude
 
The science 
of misunderstanding an appliance.
 
The groan 
accompanying a new phone.
 
The cry
as an elderly computer dies.
 
The ache
for a simpler age,
when a book had a page.
 
Techneptitude -
technological stupidity
with a hint of decrepitude.
 

 

Time To Change The Beds

11 May

We have a guest arriving tomorrow:

Our Christmas nephew: large, jolly, fun.  

He’ll be here for a week.

I’ll still get some blogging done.  

I will clean the house today.

At least there is no sun:

I can’t clean on sunny days;

I enjoy them till they’re gone.

No cream teas

No cream teas (Photo credit: fisserman)

Best Of Manchester Poets 3

27 Mar

I forgot to mention – I had a poem accepted for the latest Best Of Manchester Poets anthology.  That means I’ve had a poem in each collection.   Poems are judged anonymously.  

This year’s poem is called Tsetse Rat.  It’s one of my favourites of all I have written: it was inspired by the sight of a dead rat at the bus stop.

If  you happen to be in and around Manchester tomorrow night, the book’s launch is taking place at a free event at the Eighth Day Cafe, Oxford Road, M1 7DU, 7:30-10.  Poets in the book will be reading from the collection and it is hosted by Dominic Berry.

bap032_dominicberry_header_1000

Find Dominic Berry on Book A Poet

I can’t make it, unfortunately, because I’m feeling a little slimsy at the moment; but I was at the launch of the first anthology and it was great fun.

The book is available to buy on Amazon or from the publisher, Puppywolf, but you can read one poem for free:

(

Tsetse Rat 

Poor rat and your pedestrian end:
was it death by cat?
I hope it was old age; you fell asleep.
Dark comfort in your long rest.

Dangerous praise to resent your passing,
forlorn corpse; scorned by
heels and prams and bicycle wheels.

Sleep peacefully, rat, on your dull part
of the dirty path; curled like an idle moon.

*

*

The previous word was ‘rutilant’: Glowing or glittering with ruddy or golden light – what I do each time I have a poem accepted.  It never gets old.

 

My Children Know Me Well

19 Mar

wes birth 12 b

I know I’m nine days late saying this, but I had a lovely Mother’s Day last week. In fact, I was in a state of being highly pleased, or oblectation, the whole weekend, from the Friday night of Spud’s performance to the Tuesday after, when I visited another blogger (tomorrow’s post).

 

English: A packet of Black Jacks.

English: A packet of Black Jacks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sunday started with church, followed by my writing group at the art gallery. Later, a walk with the dogs and Hub, a call from my first-born and the Dancing On Ice final was topped only by Spud making Chinese for dinner, under his father’s supervision.  It could have been toast and cereal for all I cared – all that mattered was no cooking for me!

Fruit Salad

Spud gave me Maltesers, Black Jacks, Fruit Salads and Parma Violets.  If you think about it, it’s a weird way of spending Mother’s Day – pretending to be a kid with your favourite sweets.  Ah well, my kids are used to weird.

Ultra Violet

Ultra Violet (Photo credit: tim ellis)

Tory Boy wrote a poem; he then recited it, set to one of my favourite pieces of music.

Sweets and poems – my children know me well.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Alex001

Before I let you read the poem, I have to say in my defence that, while I adore it, I feel there’s a little of the pleonastic about it.  I’m not sure you need to know all this stuff about me: I’d like to keep my Excels At Being A Mother laurels just a little while longer.

Apologies for the layout, sweetie – WordPress doesn’t like your formatting.

 

A Mother’s Love, by Tory Boy

From my very first of check ups

Where the nurses went ballistic,

To the custard in a bottle

Now my teeth are a statistic

Then came the first of prunes

Where my bottom poo’d a’plenty

To falling out the pram

Luck-i-ly the road was empty

Wear a helmet with my scooter?

Whatever were you thinking?

A skateboard helmet for my bike?

I can feel my brain is shrinking

You walked me to my high-school

When all the other kids could see.

Then we went to war and

you said ‘If they fire please call me’

However did I make it?

I don’t think I will ever know

But if there’s one thing that I’m sure of

Its that my love for mum has grown

As she keeps on trying her best

To give my life the best of starts

Because my mummy loves me

And I love her, with all my heart.

 
I blub every time I read it.  I blub even more when I listen to him reciting it.  He has given me permission to share it so, if you’d like to listen in, go here.   Then come back and tell me what you think.
 
 
 
 

 

Happy Birthday, Aquatom

13 Mar

The Laughing Housewife Goes To Tellyland is taking a short season break and will be back tomorrow.

In the meantime, it’s somebody’s birthday…you may remember this banner:

TillyOne

Aquatom created it for me; now it’s my turn to create something for him.

His birthday poem has chops and changes in the rhythm: that’s my homage to his ever-changing blog look and not an indication that I might have struggled writing this one.  

  • Read it out loud to a rapping rhythm
  • Take a breath after the first stanza, to allow for the change in rhythm
  • Rush through ‘dotwordpress’ on the last line, or it won’t sound right.

Well, here goes:

For You!You!You! youyou!

His name is Tom with the prefix ‘Aqua’
Read his blog; you’ll enjoy some laughter
You won’t need gin or wine or vodka

He’s a really nice bloke
And he likes to make a joke
But he also does bespoke

Christmas headers for this Tilly
In return I give this silly
Rhyme from a grateful filly

His name is Aqua with the suffix ‘Tom’
If you’d like to give him a birthday balm
See wellheregoesdotwordpressdotcom

Happy Birthday, Tom!

*

If you would like a nonsense birthday poem, leave your details in the comments section or email me at thelaughinghousewife@gmail.com

Dinner With My Text

6 Mar
Tilly

Tilly (Photo credit: Digitalorthodoxy) Not a picture of me but isn’t she cute?

Write about what you did last weekend as though you’re a music critic reviewing a new album.

Tilly Bud has been silent for three weeks but on Sunday she finally went back to church.

How we wish she hadn’t.  She still has real pitch issues and half way through ‘Nearer My God To Thee,’ she nearly was because the congregation couldn’t take much more.  Fortunately, the inspired coughing fit from an under-used voice box that livened up the second chorus saved the day.

We waited almost a month for Tilly’s reappearance, which begs the question: why?  It’s Bye-bye! not Buy!  Buy!

*

Describe the most satisfying meal you’ve ever eaten in glorious detail. 

I don’t think I’ve eaten in that restaurant.

I would never patronise an establishment that uses only lower case letters in its name.

*

If you could un-invent something, what would it be? Discuss why, potential repercussions, or a possible alternative.

telephone

telephone (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Text speak.

Why?  If you don’t know, you must be a teenager.

Potential repercussions - my boys would never talk to me again. By mouth or phone.

Possible alternative - the actual words.

I’m guilty of cunctation in answering this prompt because I suspect I’m in a minority.  I don’t believe in the purity of language – it lives and grows and changes and that’s fine; but I don’t want to witness the return of near-illiteracy.   A balance must be struck: evrtng n moderation.

*

Write an ode to someone or something you love. Bonus points for poetry!

Double bonus points for adding a tune?

Sing this to I Like Big Butts by Sir Mix-A-Lot.  Don’t look up the actual lyrics because this is a family blog.

I love real words and I cannot lie!
You other bloggers can’t deny
When a kid sends you an itty-bitty text
You wanna throw it in his face
You get rung
Wanna get real tough
Cuz you can’t tell him to get stuffed
In text speak into the jeans he’s wearing
I’m cross and I can’t stop swearing
Oh my boy I wanna throttle that
Fone you always carry
My husband tried 2 warn me
dat dat fone U got
mAk me so angry
U sA U wanna git n my hands
I won’t buy U cuz I ain’t yor avg nd usr

 *

I found a great site for those of you who would like to be able to understand the texts your children and grandchildren send to you: Transl8it!  

*

Well-spotted, those of you who identified ‘bleb’ as yesterday’s word.  

It is a small blister, rather like me on a rant.

 

 

A Belated Happy Birthday, Janet!

14 Dec

I feel terrible.*  Janet’s birthday was on 12/12/12.  She mentioned it on her blog and in my comments but I didn’t read either in time to respond.

I am quite literal: because Janet is too polite to say, Oi!  I want a poem! I didn’t write a poem for her birthday.  Remember, if you want a nonsense birthday poem, you must tell me in the comments or via email.  Maybe I need to set up a separate page.

Fortunately, Janet got over her politeness to demand, Oi!  Where’s my poem?

I first met Janet when she emailed me out of the blue to tell me that my gravatar was not linked to my blog.  We’ve been firm friends ever since.

Janet’s first language is Chinese but you’d think it was English.  She has a lovely, clever son of twelve, called Ben, who has his own rather impressive blog.  He could teach us all a thing or two about history.  Janet is sweet and kind and well worth a visit.

Happy Birthday Janet

Happy Birthday JANET (Photo credit: ali eminov) You can find anything on the internet – even virtual cakes for friends!

A Birthday Apology To Janet Williams

Not elated
I’m belated
She’s deflated

On her birthday that’s not good
I’d time travel if I could
I know she’d understood

Battling with my tenses
This poem is nonsens-
ical’s my consensus

The kindest girl on the planet
is my dear, sweet Janet
whose name rhymes with ‘pomegranate’  

Umm, one more thing, chum:
you are a great mum
I mean it, by gum!

Happy birthday, Janet.  You have the honour of receiving my most nonsensical poem yet. :D

*Don’t worry: I can assure you that Janet will assure me that I have nothing to feel terrible about.  She’s that kind of person: kind.

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