Faced with a certainty,
Outcome assured,
I patted my back,
My future secured.

A cinch I then thought,
But then thought again.
Where’s that word from,
It is somewhat arcane?

A cinch – sounds so odd,
why not ‘Easy as Pie’,
‘As falling off a log’.
I wonder just why?

And ‘a piece of cake’
Would do just as well,
As would ‘eating duck soup’,
Or ‘as burning in Hell’.

That I could do
With one limp arm tied,
Behind my own back,
Although I’ve never tried.

Easy and facile,
It couldn’t be simpler;
Not rocket science,
Yes, that in partic’lar.

‘A complete no-brainer’,
‘A walk in the park’,
Something as trivial
As making a mark.

As easy as saying
Your A-B-&-C;
It will all be a breeze
… But no guarantee!

‘The Hawks and Sparrows of Mind Distortion’

Predictive Text


I wonder how many of my readers use Predictive Text when composing directly onto their computer screen.  Some of you may already have used it, if only to play a ‘Predictive Text’ game to see what amusement can be produced by giving the computer a free run at its own Artificial Intelligence.

When working on my tablet or mobile  phone I use the  Swiftkey Keyboard.  I do from time to time find the predicted words of use, but normally I just ignore the computer’s suggestions and plough on with my own ideas.

I only recently realised that whole phrases were often being suggested and I recently found it an amusing, if potentially mind-shrivelling, exercise to let the computer take control and suggest whole passages to me  – without any of my own input.

At each typing entry SwiftKey presents me with  three options. Based presumably on its ‘artificial intelligence’ take on the countless words I had previously written, and I reproduce below the ‘essay’ it composed on my use solely of the central option, that being, I believe, the computer’s main suggestion for continuation.

I have merged together, in the sequence presented to me, the many phrases suggested for my consideration.  The passage includes no punctuation.


Predictive Text 1 (Centre Word) . . .

I have attached my resume for your reference and hope to hear from you soon as I am currently working on the same for you and I will be there for 2pm or just after the interview on the 29th November as I am currently working on the first day of my graduation course at the University of Southampton and I have been working on the project management role at the University of Edinburgh for the last three weeks and I have been working with the hawks and sparrows of mind distortion to work with the team to work with the team to help with the hawks and sparrows of mind distortion to work with the team to work with the team to help with the hawks and sparrows of mind distortion.

( ‘The hawks and sparrows of Mind Distortion’ indeed! . . . or just a bad day at the office perhaps!? )




It sort of makes sense
But then again
There is no structure
No refrain

No easy flow
From line to line
No end in view
Merely moonshine

And yet it makes
A kind of sense
However daft
However dense

So when I write
My poetry
Why not indulge
In hyperbole

And let predictive text
Take over
Replace my muse
With robot composure.




What the Dickens!


What the Dickens!


Yes, that’s me,
I’m straight from a Fairy Story,
So don’t “Bah! Humbug” me.
Why not, instead,
Wish me a “Merry Christmas? “

I’m not given to Fluffiness,
Or Cheesiness.
I don’t attempt to Flummox people,
Even those who give me The Creeps;
No! I’m a straight guy,
Maybe a bit of a Doormat.
Never going on the Rampage;
No, Not me….

Suffering Boredom from time to time,
And a bit of a Butterfingers
When it comes to relationships.
Oh, yes, I’ve suffered …
And how!
Straight from the Casualty Ward of Life
Via its discarded Egg Box,
Straight Into its everlasting Dustbin

. . .  Sad, but, the Story Of My Life.




My Christmas story – above – is based on an Article by Gyles Brandreth in the ‘Daily Telegraph’ on Xmas Eve – 24/12/19.  He notes that Dickens helped popularise many words and phrases which are now in common usage. Overall Dickens is credited with coining 258 new words, including:

‘Merry Christmas’;  ‘Bah! Humbug!’
Doormat (when used to describe someone who gets walked all over by other people);
Boredom;  Cheesiness;  Fluffiness;  Flummox;  Rampage;
The Creeps (as in, to give someone the creeps);
Dustbin;  Casualty ward;  Fairy story;  Butterfingers;  Egg box.


The Writing’s On The Wall

Writing On The Wall

 The Writing’s On The Wall

(Verses using idiomatic expressions)

It’s all over bar the shouting,
Pride goes before a fall;
Another nail in the coffin,
The writing’s on the wall.

“You’ve not a hope in hell’, they said,
“You’re doomed to sink like a stone;
Abandon hope who enters here.”
But the devil looks after his own.

I will not beat about the bush,
Nor bark up that wrong tree.
Yes, it’s back to square one I go,
‘Twixt devil and deep blue sea.

Some time I’ll bite the bullet again,
But till the bitter end
Blood, sweat and tears it is for me
Till I am round the bend.

No I’m not about to bite the dust,
Nor to push up the daisies,
For I am still alive and kicking,
Singing my own  life’s praises.

Yes, the cleft stick that I am in
Is just a cock-and-bull story,
For I will last till the cows come home
In my Land of Hope and Glory.

And when the hue and cry are over
Then I’m  off to the Land of Nod.
When those hell’s bells have sounded.
All’s still in the lap of the gods.

Yes, every dog will have its day,
The writing is on the wall.
Every cloud has a silver lining,
I’m not heading for a fall.