Bloody Men #rewrittenpoetry #poem

As part of my rewriting the Nation’s Favourite Poems utilising the first line, I’ve now reached, admittedly using  random device called page flicking, ‘Bloody Men’by Wendy Cope. Now, I’m an old guy with no pretentions to a strong feminine side so I offer this with a hesitancy due to my inherently wrongly coded chromosomes. However I hope, even if it doesn’t resonate, it makes you nod a tiny weeny piece. 

Bloody men are like bloody buses

Promising the rules of the road

Mean they’ll know to stop, but make a  fuss

And, with a belch of gas, on they’ll go

Leaving you mystified.


It’s quite enough to grind your gears

And scream, but then one will stop

And smile and you wonder why your tears

Are a better brake than any kind of strop

However much it’s justified.

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I Object

One of the joys of being a teenager in the 1970s was the plethora of magazines. No, not those sort of magazines, though I did have ‘friends’ who read a few of the ‘top shelf’ variety. One magazine I did read and the only one that to my knowledge continues (well apart from Cricket Monthly, natch) in much the same style as back then is Private Eye.

If you are not British you may not have come across this satirical rag, an all-sorts mix of the sublime and the squirmingly superficial. The covers are often the best bit. The editor, Ian Hislop looks like a rodent and has a rodent’s eye for scavenging interesting snippets of information that will undermine the pretensions of the great and the good. Sometimes this attacks work; sometimes they fall well short.

His latest project however is a cracker. Teaming up with the British Museum’s extensive archive of world treasures (or looted objects d’art, depending on your viewpoint) he’s curated a new exhibition

I Object

which styles itself as the show that searches for dissent in the museum’s collection.

It is brilliant.

There are coins that have been deface-stamped by the Suffragettes, Euro notes on which Greeks, protesting at the Commission imposed bailout have inked their frustrations.

T-shirts with a range of buttons and slogans.

There are cartoons from the 17th and 18th centuries for which the artists risked prison.

The objects even go back to the Pharaohs, one small plaster fragment having a very rude drawing on it.


My favourite, and one I couldn’t photograph, was a tea pot from the the 1760 with a little ’45’ under the spout. Such a curios thing but it was, in it’s way, a fantastic example of dissent. John Wilkes was a forthright commentator who often ruffled establishment’s feathers. He attacked George III in issue 45 of his magazine the North Briton which was also an attack on the Prime Minister of the time. He was arrested and charged but was released as the courts held an MP couldn’t be held liable for libel. It was a cause célèbre and resonates down the years of people who stand up to power.

If you get the chance to view this, do go.

And whatever you do, don’t miss the final piece, a piss take of the museum itself from arch iconoclast Banksy. This small fragment, so like the Egyptian one above.

It was installed in the museum, without permission, for several days in 2005 and pokes fun at those who would treat street art with contempt. At it’s heart it seeks to stop creeping pretension.

Now where have I heard that one before?

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With The Going Out Of The Tide #writephoto #flashfiction

The old man stepped onto the rock, wobbling a little. The breeze tugged at his beard. He stretched his shoulders and breathed in deeply, taking a couple of uncertain steps forward. The water lapped at his feet

‘So what do you think, dad?’

The older man shrugged. ‘Nice sky.’

The younger man clicked his teeth, not really trying to hide his irritation. ‘But the water? What about the water?’

The older man stared at the gently lapping wave. How the hell did he know?

‘How old are you?’

‘What? Last birthday I was ninety seven or maybe twenty seven depending on whose translation you believe.’

‘You need to start drawing your own conclusions.’

‘When did you start delegating decision making?’ The younger man threw a stone and it skipped over the water. That at least was one skill they’d all honed. ‘You and the Big Guy had a bit of a  barny last night. All ok?’

It hadn’t been an easy conversation. And He had been less understanding than anticipated. ‘You ate what?’ He just didn’t realise how bloody dull being a vegan was. It wasn’t natural.

‘Yes.’ The old man sighed. ‘I probably misjudged the moment.’

‘You need to stand up to him, dad. He can’t expect a birthday without a feast. And Yallop is the juiciest of meats.’

‘He didn’t like we’d eaten both, thought we might be able to crossbreed with its mate. I told him, really, that keeping one would always be a compromise but he wasn’t having it. Told me Yallops weren’t going extinct on his watch, banging on about how long it had taken him, world building was an art not a science, that kind of thing. Proper undermined my confidence, he did.’

‘So you don’t know if that’s it or if it’s going to piss down again and we can go back to sailing?’

‘The dove’s off on a twig hunt but I don’t know.’

It was a lie. The Big Man had said the cruise was over. He’d stop the rain as a punishment and they’d have to put into port again. ‘If you’re going to eat all the creatures of the Earth, Noah, then you can bloody well go back to living in a desert with your mother in law, rather than swanning around the planet.’

Noah sighed again and put his arm round his son’s shoulders. The waves were now a couple of cubits from his sandals. Yep the tide was receding already. ‘Look at it this way. We won’t have to live on bloody grain pie any more.’ He smiled at his pride and joy. ‘We’re meat eaters, my boy. I didn’t call you Ham for no reason.’

This is written from Sue zvincent’s #writephoto prompt 

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Creeping Privilege: The Insiduousness Of Expectation

I was ushered past a line today.

No face turned away in digust

No one waved, acknowledged me.

They just accepted it.

As another status quo,

Another suck it up day.

Doors held, nods

Gazes deferred.

All for me.

It’s evident in the lack of reach.

Creeping privilege equals

Expectations that are held

At someone else’s arms length.

It’s when others are paused to let you past

And you forget what traffic lights are for.

We all have privileges:

The sun on our face


Children’s eyes

The open door of the open mind.

Neither earned nor unearned.

They just are.

And you don’t have to be a creep to enjoy them.

Someone explained to me today about privilege creep – when you let someone have greater access to something, usually in an IT context, than they should. It reminded me of a Seamus Heanry poem about creeping privilege. Which led to this prose-poem. I wonder what you make of it?

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Rodeo #1: Dialog

Over at the Carrot Ranch a competition has been launched. There are real cash prizes and no entry fee.

Better still I’m the lead judge and I set the rules. MWAHAHAHA

Go on, take a peek and join in. How difficult can it be to create a dialogue piece in 99 words?

via Rodeo #1: Dialog

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Garden Lore

Odd this. I was weeding the garden and this chap popped out of a geranium. He was a bit muddy, blinked a bit.

’Oh. Can you see me?’

‘I can see a lizard. Are you…?’


‘Not a lizard?’

‘Pfft. Remember ..

It’s so cool

that Lizards lounge

on the ground

But cute newts

Like to ablut

In a pool

’But you weren’t in a pool.’

‘It’s just a bloody poem. Geez haven’t you heard of poetic licence? If you want biological accuracy count the front toes.’


‘Yes, toes.’

‘Erm what…?’

‘Oh give me strength…

Everyone knows

There are five toes

On every single lizard

While a newt’s got four

On each front paw

Which is kinda wizard’


‘Did you like it?’



‘Stick to swimming.’

‘Cheeky biped.’




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Free! Free! Free!

Just a reminder that Dead Flies is free from today for three days

via Free! Free! Free!

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