Prufrock On Lockdown

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Prufrock On Lockdown

Today drags its pale length
as does the serpent
slow, stately, watchful
a day like any other
the day that follows yesterday
always preceding tomorrow
like a tedious argument

both shy of work
and play bereft
and agile-working
not working for me
my day now
structured by eating
measured by meals
by  medication
by those forever coffee spoons

Nothing planned
so nothing to regret
meaningless moments
with nothing arranged
only possibilities are exciting
the five o’clock briefing
another dose of dead antiques
another bargain hunted down
one more home under the hammer
another escape to the country
to the chateau or the sun
but from my armchair
escape is no longer an option
glimpsed desires unfulfilled
and not a matter of money

The seaside too
still  eludes me
retaining its magnetism
but with the pull of the tide
unable to reach me
The Lakes a mirage in my memory
a Prelude taught to feel,
perhaps too much,
the self-sufficing power of solitude
but this solitude no longer blissful

It now descends
the yellow fog
obscuring the future
taking with it the meaning of my days
rubbing its back against the window panes
of this my settled cell
licking it’s tongue
into the corners
of my every uneventful evening.

my every desultory day

So please release me
let me go
I’m being driven potty
Let me
disturb the universe
please do beam me up Scotty

Not quite yet insane
please let me live again



NOTE:  Readers may recognise certain phrases repeated
 from the poetic works of Wordsworth and T.S.Eliot, plus an echo from ‘Star Trek’.




What Did You Do In The War, Grandad?


 A recruitment poster from 1915. It was released to encourage enlistment in World War 1. (Wikipedia)

What did you do in the war, grandad?


What did you do in the war, grandad,
The war against Covid Nineteen?
What did you do to help, grandad,
Before they found the vaccine?

What did you do in the war, grandad,
Yes, That war of Twenty-Twenty?
The war in which so many died, grandad,
Bet you helped aplenty?

What did you do in the war, grandad,
That war against the virus?
Were you one of the brave, grandad,
Who fought so hard to save us?

Well, I stayed at home and watched, darling,
I just shut myself away,
Yes, I stayed indoors and cried, dear,
Too frightened to go out and play.



‘Play Dead’ – Two Word Tale #13


‘Play Dead’ – Two Word Tale #13

We laugh as our pets are taught to ‘Play Dead’.  Children too love to do the same, and there are numerous childhood games which involve encouraging the participants to maintain silence or stillness for as long as possible. Such games are often used as a means (a bribe even) of calming excited children down.  The ones I have come across, often involving a musical background, include the classic freeze-game of ‘Statues’ or ‘Play Dead’. . Then there are the closely related ‘Sleepy Lions’ and ‘Dead Donkey’, which similarly require that sudden and prolonged stillness.

This further ‘Two-Word Tale’ of mine tells such a mini-story.

I said
Let’s play
A game.
‘Play Dead’
Its name,
No fear
Or dread
You just
Play Dead.
So that’s
Its name
– You’ll like
The game.

Lie down
Be still
Don’t frown
Strong will
Stand firm
Stay put
Don’t squirm
Nor ‘Tut’.

I’m judge
Yes me,
Keep watch
To see
Who blinks
Who sighs
Who winks
Who cries

So off
We go.
Don’t move
Lie still
You need
To prove
You’re dead
Not ill.

Yes George,
You twitched.
Your nose
It itched?
Oh well
Too bad
You fell?
Poor lad.

Don’t Boo!
You did.
Yes you,
Not Sid.
You were
The first
Not her,
To sneeze
To stir
To wheeze.

You’re out
You moved,
I shout,
That proved
You can’t
be dead
Don’t moan
I said.

Yes, it’s
A shame,
But all
The same,
You know
I said,
It’s just
A game.


If I Had My Wish

I can find no trace of this poem / ditty anywhere.   I am not the author, and I am unable to find out who is / was.   Many years ago, when I was probably around the age of 6 or 7  (i.e. in the 1940s – yes, that’s right, during WWII ),  I learnt this poem by heart and delivered it to an audience at a Yorkshire chapel concert – presumably to demonstrate  my skills in memorised recitation.  Well  …  it certainly wasn’t to showcase a budding poet!   Although I don’t recall being sensitive at the time about the cannibalistic sentiments expressed,  I do now see the poem as somewhat ‘non-PC’ and quite unsuitable for directing a child to commit such verses to heart and then expound them in public.  

. . .   and Yes,  I have never forgotten these verses, the dramatic emphases within the poems structure, or the subtle cadence of its rhythms (!!!).   So . . .  make of it what you will, but  I would certainly be interested if anyone can throw light on its origins and/or its creator!  . . .

. . .  I remember being instructed to “pause before delivering the last line … and then say it quickly and loudly – with emphasis!”  . . .  What artistry !!! 


If I had my wish
I would be a small fish
And swim where nobody could catch me.
I never would look
At a worm on a hook,
Or some naughty boy then might snatch me.


I’d frolic and play
With the fishes all day,
And not go to school at nine-thirty.
I’d not give a bean
If my neck wasn’t clean,
Or if BOTH my ears should get dirty.


And when I had died,
I should like to be fried,
With the bones taken out of my tummy,
And served, if you please,
With some lovely green peas,
… and then eaten up by my mummy!



On my unsuccessful search to discover the author of these verses, one source I discovered, of all things ( well, poetry anyway) fishy, can be found at: …

.fishy verse