Wednesday, 24 June 2009


In the county of Trebollocks, near St Vitus-by-the-Sea
There’s a warty-faced old harridan who’s everything to me
It’s my deeply mad Aunt Bernard, grandma’s cousin twice removed
(Well, they couldn’t leave her where she was; the vicar disapproved)

In a tumbledown old shack with stinging nettles round the door
Which the dustman and the postman and the neighbours all ignore
She sits chewing dark tobacco, playing banjo through the night
And she does a bit of shrieking, just to give the kids a fright

For the children of St Vitus are like children everywhere
They don’t understand “compassion”, they don’t know it’s rude to stare
But they’re good at spotting loonies, which in Mad Aunt Bernard’s case
Is incredibly un-difficult, it’s right there in your face

People tend to keep their distance, on account of her aroma
It's enough to clear your sinuses or wake you from a coma
If she ever had a boyfriend, well, she's managed to forget him
Local gossip says she had one, and it also says she ate him

From her dusty, battered trilby to her worn-out army boots
She’s a hymn to eccentricity, she cackles and she hoots
But there’s deep and timeless wisdom in the things she’ll often say
In her toothless, addled,”up-yer-pipes” old-biddy sort of way

So be kind to Mad Aunt Bernard, and be grateful you’re all right
You don’t giggle at a tortoise, you don’t rub a toad all night
Yet I wonder, don’t you envy her, this spirit wild and free
In the county of Trebollocks, near St Vitus-By-The-Sea?

Will Hames
June 2009

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Eddy's Egg

You wouldn't look twice at young Edward
If he sank all his teeth in your leg
He was dull, he was grey, then one magical day
He was given a woozlebird's egg

His mother had cooked it for breakfast
She'd served it with fingers of toast
It looked rather strange. Still, the box said "Free Range"
Only, this one was freer than most

To all of those chefs on the telly
Mum wasn't a serious rival
She was such a bad cook, Ed had learned not to look
Just tuck in and pray for survival

But it didn't taste bad, as it happened
He thought, "Don't let appearances fool ya!"
Then something went PING! inside of his skin
In a way that was downright peculiar

A change had come over young Edward
It was more than his heart could desire
From a dim little bloke who's a bit of a joke
He was suddenly quite the high flier

Oh, he still couldn't spell, not for toffee
And his maths wouldn't win him a cup
But with arms open wide, he could swoop, he could glide
He could soar like an eagle. Straight up!

To the Valley he flew, to watch Charlton
Twice he swooped down and scored a great goal
Then instead of a hat-trick, he buzzed over Gatwick
And frightened air traffic control

He learned some quite valuable lessons
As he flew to the North and the South
Such as, up in the skies there are billions of flies
So try not to open your mouth

He glided on, down to the Oval
They gave him a souvenir stump
Then over Thames Mead, he lost height and speed
And came down to earth with a bump

He leapt and he flapped and he fluttered
But he couldn't get airborne again
There was no point in squawking, he'd have to start walking
He hadn't enough for the train

When Eddy arrived home that evening
All dusty and sweaty and tired
He examined the shell that had served him so well
Yes, its Best Before date had expired

There's a gap in poor Eddy's young life now
And it seems there's no way he can fill it
He's been left with an urge to sit on a perch
And talk to himself and eat millet

Now, woozlebird eggs are not common
They're as rare as an octopus feather
But if one comes your way, check it says "fresh today"
Or give it a miss all together.

Will Hames
June 2009