Archive for March, 2010

On customers

No matter what they say to you,

The Customer is always right.

Your wages they still pay to you,

No matter what they say to you.

Don’t bother putting up a fight,

For be they blessing, be they blight,

No matter what they say to you:

The Customer is always right.


My word, we have been prolific!

Well.  I’ve been at this for over a month now, and it’s time for an evaluation.

I’ve managed to stick to it for longer than I thought I would.  OK, I originally planned to post every day, and that hasn’t happened.  But there’s been times when I could have quietly left – honestly, times when I’ve felt it would be better to allow the thing to die a quiet death and stop abusing the hospitality of those kind folk at WordPress with my self-indulgent wibblings, of which this is one…

– deep breath –

(Note to self.  Write shorter sentences.)

…but I haven’t.

Every so often, I get an image, or a phrase, or a word in my head.  And it occurs to me that I could do something with it.  Something worth reading.

So I give it a go.  And sometimes it works better than others.  There are a few posts here that I’m really proud of (I suspect this isn’t going to be one of them, but never mind).  Others are, at best, prototypes.  I know what I meant by them, and someday I may be able to find a better way to say it.  I’m still learning.

And you know what?  I’m really enjoying it.

The feeling when a poem comes together, the rush of finding just the right words in precisely the correct rhythm!  And oh, the words, the words, the beautiful words, dactyl, spondee, kyrielle, syzygy!

…got a little carried away there.  See what I mean?  I’d be loving this even if nobody was reading it.

But it means so much that you are.

It’s that extra little push that keeps me at it.  The feeling that I’m not just writing into a void, that I’m putting it out there for people to read and think about and maybe even enjoy, gives me hope that maybe, maybe, this is something I can actually do.

Which means I’ll keep doing it.

Thank you.

Call me Cleo

I am not depressed

and I do not want to die.

Oh, I only want to rest

really, I am not depressed.

And this scratch?  It’s just a cry

for help. I don’t know why

since I am not depressed

and I do not want to die.

They're as terrible as Hitler and the Spanish Inquisition
And they're on their way to visit with a very special mission.
Oh, we'd better all bend over for a metaphoric bumming,
The Auditors are coming!
So the manager's pretending that he doesn't give a damn
But he's secretly been hunting for a sacrificial lamb,
And the rumour mill's in overdrive, the telegraph is humming,
The Auditors are coming!
Well, somebody's been commended for their grasp of all things clerical,
Their head is so inflated that it's practically spherical,
But typing's not their forte, it's all fingering and thumbing...
The Auditors are coming!
They'll be reading all our letters and recording all our calls
And there's no use in protesting, cos they've got us by the balls,
Oh, the skies are filled with portents and the jungle drums are drumming,
The Auditors, the Auditors, the Auditors are coming!

Triolet and villanelle

Poetic forms I’ve studied well

You just wait, I’ll master yet

Villanelle and triolet.

Every word you said became a joke

You thought it ended when I caught you lying

One minute rich, and then the next flat broke.

Or else, you thought, there was another bloke,

But how could I, when I was slowly dying?

And every word I said became a joke,

And every penny earned went up in smoke

We spent it on whatever you were buying

One minute rich, and then the next flat broke.

I wash your feet while in the bath you soak,

And all I ever hear is that you’re trying

But every word you say becomes a joke.

I never should have listened to the folk

Who said there was no benefit in spying;

One minute rich, and then the next flat broke.

A year’s gone by with not even a poke

And ever since you left I’ve felt like flying,

Now every word you said’s become a joke,

One minute rich, and then the next flat broke.

Advice (a triolet)

You have to learn the rules before you break them,

Everyone agrees, that’s how you do it.

Though you may be tempted just to fake them

You have to learn the rules before you break them.

Pollock learned to paint before he threw it,

Warhol and Picasso, they both knew it:

You have to learn the rules before you break them

Everyone agrees, that’s how you do it.

This is the helpdesk

Welcome to the helpdesk.  Welcome to hell,

Please bear with me, sir, while I put you on hold,

We sigh as we answer the telephone’s knell

By wallboard statistics our lives are controlled,

I’ll just find that out.  Are you OK to hold?

And the office is always too hot or too cold

But the windows don’t open to let out the smell

Too little deoderant and far too much gel.

This is the helpdesk.  This then is hell,

There are seven calls waiting and emails as well

And silence is lazy, but protest too bold

So we shut the hell up and we do as we’re told.

So the share price goes up with each policy sold

And the shareholders see their portfolios swell.

Thanks for your patience.  Our lives are on hold

Thanks for your call, sir, and welcome to hell.


take my hand and show me

just where I need to go

light my path while you run my bath

tell me

what I need to know.

I never knew that


so good for me could feel

so easy, fun and simple

(as you cook our evening meal).

And if I’d never

met you,

I think I’d be all right

I wouldn’t ever miss

the way you

hold me close

all night;

I’d cook, and do the housework

all by myself, it’s true

(although there wouldn’t be, I know

so much of it to do)

I’d have my cat, and books

and things

(and friends

and family)

a life lived out in books, that doesn’t

sound too bad to me.

It didn’t happen that way

and for that, I’m glad

you give me so much

joy in life

more than I ever had.

The prettiest girl I ever saw

was walking down

a street in Leeds

in the sunshine.

I don’t remember

what she wore

what she looked like

but something about

the sway of her

the joy in every step

I watched her walk away

stretching slender arms

above her head

quite unselfconscious.