Archive for ‘Humour’

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Two Romances of Chivalry by Robin Bell

Counsel for Damsels in Distress

Beware the galloping white Knight
Take heed when he advances,
for knights charge helplessly behind
the impulse of their lances.

Counsel for White Knights

Beware of damsels in distress.
They thank you very nicely,
but they create a nasty mess
if you should rescue twicely.


Date: 2006

By: Robin Bell (19??- )

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

An Observation by Mary Latter

When Coxcombs out of vain Pretence,
Pretend to talk like Men of Sense,
‘Tis sometimes prudent, not to show
How much you’re Learn’d, and what you Know,
Deep Thoughts and Wise, if you have any,
Be sure you don’t expose too many:
“But, take it for a constant Rule,”
The better you can act the FOOL,
The sooner you may bring them over,
Their Want of Wisdom to discover.

From: Latter, Mary, The miscellaneous works, in prose and verse, of Mrs. Mary Latter, of Reading, Berks. In three parts, 1759, C. Pocock: Reading, p. 122.

Date: 1759

By: Mary Latter (1725-1777)

Monday, 1 January 2018

New Year Resolution by Graham Rowlands

This year I sincerely & solemnly resolve not
to underestimate the intelligence of brontosaurs.
I’m not deterred by late last year’s theory of
the big, alive & eggless births of baby brontos.
I know Christmas Day dawned on Emeritus Professor X
measuring the pelvic outlet size of a female bronto
to make sure it’s big enough to hold his theory.
I concede the appeal of Mummy brontos protectecting
their babies from bronto-bashing Daddy brontos &
other saurs you won’t find in Roget’s Thesaurus.
Just after Christmas it’s truly reassuring to know
brontosaurs weren’t slow-witted, egg-laying & leaving
reptiles with the morbid morbidity rates unearthed in
the fossil graveyards or hatching mortuaries of
other saurs you will find in Roget’s Thesaurus. But.

The last two brontos had a bit of fun getting
all their eggs together in the one basket &
then, with a swish of their marvellous tails,
they shredded all the evidence. The eggs. See?
Don’t underestimate the intelligence of brontosaurs.
They decided to call it a day. Call it an Age.
There was also a fear of meteorites or
worse still, sure as eggs, the human race.


Date: 1988

By: Graham Rowlands (1947- )

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Leftovers by Jack Prelutsky

Thanksgiving has been over
for at least a week or two,
but we’re all still eating turkey,
turkey salad, turkey stew,

turkey puffs and turkey pudding,
turkey patties, turkey pies,
turkey bisque and turkey burgers,
turkey fritters, turkey fries.

For lunch, our mother made us
turkey slices on a stick,
there’ll be turkey tarts for supper,
all this turkey makes me sick.

For tomorrow she’s preparing
turkey dumplings stuffed with peas,
oh I never thought I’d say this —
“Mother! No more turkey… PLEASE!”


Date: 1982

By: Jack Prelutsky (1940- )

Friday, 8 December 2017

The Crocodile Discourses by Geoffrey Montagu Cookson (James Barton)

“I do not find it written in my slime
That God is Love; yet He is very good;
For first, He filed my teeth exceeding sharp,
And shut them in a trap of triple steel,
Gave me my saurian ancestry, whereby
I walk abroad unquestioned armiger,
And wear unrusted my tough coat of mail.
Also, to deck a brother deity
(For I am more than priest if less than God),
He offers lotus buds, and lends me stars
To float upon my pool; and when I swim
On moonless nights they tremble in the wash
And furrow of my wave. Familiar,
As to a schoolboy ciphers on a slate,
I meditate my deep astrology,
Reading the cycles and conjunctive hours
That ripen for my maw the virgin’s breasts,
The young wife’s womb. They have no time to scream,
I trip so smoothly down the darkling stair
And paddle in the deeps. My pool is called
Silence, the deadener of unseemly noise,
That rends so woundily the clamorous air.
I do not roar like loud and vulgar beasts,
But on a soft bed lay them tenderly,
Striving to calm them, lest they tear the flesh.
There the poor gape, that is their voiceless scream,
No echo has but bubbles. Soft, so soft
The seasoned flesh; the after-dinner sleep,
In reed-brake or thorn-thicket, sanctified
With comfortable closing of the lids
And beatific smile, of blessedness
And the peculiar care of Providence
Humbly acknowledged, sign, misunderstood,
But not the less sincere. Ah, yes, the fool
Hath said ” There is no God,” but I am wise;
Therefore to Him, who for His servant’s food
Fattens the suckling, strews with fin and spawn
My pool, and fills with splash of silver rain,
I give among warm rocks and waterweeds Amphibious thanks.”
Thus far the crocodile,
Reading his thesis theologiæ;
And all admitted it extremely sound.

From: Cookson, Geoffrey, “The Crocodile Discourses” in Wheels, 1920 (Fifth Cycle), 1920, pp. 52-53.

Date: 1912

By: Geoffrey Montagu Cookson (James Barton) (1867-1951)

Thursday, 7 December 2017

A Riddle-Song for Duke Ellington by Craig Williamson

Ten tall ballerinas of bone
Danced on a table of ivory stone––
Clothed like blackbirds warbling home––
And their shoes were like windows,
And their shoes were like bone.

From: Williamson, Craig, “A Riddle-Song for Duke Ellington”, College English, Volume 36, Issue 1, 1974, p. 74.

Date: 1974

By: Craig Williamson (1943- )

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Lay of the Trilobite by May Kendall (Emma Goldworth Kendall)

A mountain’s giddy height I sought,
Because I could not find
Sufficient vague and mighty thought
To fill my mighty mind;
And as I wandered ill at ease,
There chanced upon my sight
A native of Silurian seas,
An ancient Trilobite.

So calm, so peacefully he lay,
I watched him even with tears:
I thought of Monads far away
In the forgotten years.
How wonderful it seemed and right,
The providential plan,
That he should be a Trilobite,
And I should be a Man!

And then, quite natural and free
Out of his rocky bed,
That Trilobite he spoke to me
And this is what he said:
‘I don’t know how the thing was done,
Although I cannot doubt it;
But Huxley – he if anyone
Can tell you all about it;

‘How all your faiths are ghosts and dreams,
How in the silent sea
Your ancestors were Monotremes –
Whatever these may be;
How you evolved your shining lights
Of wisdom and perfection
From Jelly-Fish and Trilobites
By Natural Selection.

‘You’ve Kant to make your brains go round,
Hegel you have to clear them,
You’ve Mr Browning to confound,
And Mr Punch to cheer them!
The native of an alien land
You call a man and brother,
And greet with hymn-book in one hand
And pistol in the other!

‘You’ve Politics to make you fight
As if you were possessed:
You’ve cannon and you’ve dynamite
To give the nations rest:
The side that makes the loudest din
Is surest to be right,
And oh, a pretty fix you’re in!’
Remarked the Trilobite.

‘But gentle, stupid, free from woe
I lived among my nation,
I didn’t care – I didn’t know
That I was a Crustacean.*
I didn’t grumble, didn’t steal,
I never took to rhyme:
Salt water was my frugal meal,
And carbonate of lime.’

Reluctantly I turned away,
No other word he said;
An ancient Trilobite, he lay
Within his rocky bed.
I did not answer him, for that
Would have annoyed my pride:
I merely bowed, and raised my hat,
But in my heart I cried: –

‘I wish our brains were not so good,
I wish our skulls were thicker,
I wish that Evolution could
Have stopped a little quicker;
For oh, it was a happy plight,
Of liberty and ease,
To be a simple Trilobite
In the Silurian seas!’

*He was not a Crustacean. He has since discovered he was an Arachnid, or something similar. But he says it does not matter. He says they told him wrong once, and they may again.


Date: 1885

By: May Kendall (Emma Goldworth Kendall) (1861-1943)

Thursday, 12 October 2017

To the Terrestrial Globe by William Schwenck Gilbert

by A Miserable Wretch

Roll on, thou ball, roll on!
Through pathless realms of Space
Roll on!
What though I’m in a sorry case?
What though I cannot meet my bills?
What though I suffer toothache’s ills?
What though I swallow countless pills?
Never you mind!
Roll On!

Roll on, thou ball, roll on!
Through seas of inky air
Roll on!
It’s true I have no shirts to wear;
It’s true my butcher’s bill is due;
It’s true my prospects all look blue —
But don’t let that unsettle you:
Never you mind!
Roll on!

                                                     [It rolls on.

From: Gilbert, W.S. and Taylor, Deems, Plays & Poems of W.S. Gilbert, including the complete texts of the fourteen Gilbert & Sullivan operas, three other Gilbert plays and all The Bab Ballads. Illustrations by the Author, 1932, Random House, New York, p. 1179-1180.

Date: 1868

By: William Schwenck Gilbert (1836-1911)

Thursday, 5 October 2017

A Ballad of Insanity by Robert Ervin Howard

Adam was my ball-and-chain,
A tall short mule,
A walking red olay tennis court
In Eden’s judgment pool.

He tore the dubious petticoat
From Eve’s sequestered hips,
Oh, Adam was my elephant
Upon the sea in ships.


Date: 1928

By: Robert Ervin Howard (1906-1936)

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Uffia by Harriet R. White

When sporgles spanned the floreate mead
And cogwogs gleet upon the lea,
Uffia gopped to meet her love
Who smeeged upon the equat sea.

Dately she walked aglost the sand;
The boreal wind seet in her face;
The moggling waves yalped at her feet;
Pangwangling was her pace.


Date: ?1877

By: Harriet R. White (?-?)