Formal and Polite, Poetry

Ten to Nine

To Lucy who always leaves Bath Improv drop ins at ten to nine.

Lucy, when thou art at your most fine,
You rush away at ten to nine
Bubbling baths of salts and wine,
Can’t be more tempting than the line
Which thou dost blurt out so divine
Leaving us for you to pine.

What lover awaits in the dead of night,
With palms unread for he keeps them tight
Art thou afeared you’ll cause a plight
And make him vanish from your sight?
Our ten minutes ache when your Zoom takes flight
As our once wise poems lose their might.

Formal and Polite, Poetry

The Collector

Vincent sips his coffee in a French cafe
With a perfumed scarf and a creme brulee,
He watches people live their lives
With a pen in his hand and feverish eyes

A lady with the air of a delicate swan
Enters his gaze as she glides like a pawn,
To checkmate his heart, while his hand writes
And dashes three ticks on the page’s sides.

‘Dances ballet and plays the flute,
Can read for hours as an enchanted mute,
Her mind, as firm as her two bare toes,
But her heart is as wild as a mountain rose.’

Vincent smiles then strikes off the rows,
On her wild heart and hard boiled toes,
‘Interesting – but too hard to keep,
With a mind of her own that might take me too deep.’

He rips off the page with meticulous fingers
And folds it neatly as the feeling lingers,
With a shake of his head the paper slides loose,
In a box labelled simply “for future use”.

Formal and Polite, Poetry

The Shiny Shoes

Hubert Rhubarb makes great shoes
Of all sizes, shines and soles,
Him, George Ginger and Bob Booze,
Are co-craftsmen at “Stuffed Holes”.

They’re all shoeglots from the Shoeglot clan
With round noses, crass hands and tiny feet,
They shuffle quickly with their plan,
To make bright shoes for King Plum’s fleet.

Hubert Rhubarb was ordered by the king
To make the brightest shoes of all,
‘My men’s feet should sparkle as this ring,
When sailing back with the victory call’.

On the day of King Plum’s battle
The men shone bright from head to toe.
They were so proud they caused a rattle
Competing in whose shoes had the best glow.

The enemy fleet of King Pomhen
Sailed anxiously to meet its doom,
But seeing the distracted men
They shook off their prior gloom.

King Plum’s soldiers stared at their shoes
Flinging their swords round without aim,
Neither brother nor king made such great muse
As gawping at their feet, bent, without shame.

The king returned with a dozen men
Weeping that their feet were bare
The king wrote to “Stuffed Holes” again
‘From now, dull shoes are my men to wear.’

Formal and Polite, Poetry

The Interview

Mr. Perkings is quite glad,
This could be the job he had
Were he rich and educated
At top schools that man created.

He puts on a long blue tie,
Shines his shoes with deep dark dye,
Perkings likes his long grey beard
Bank Deadend likes them quite sheared.

‘Good afternoon, you must be Mr. Perk!’
‘Perkings ma’am’, he gave a smirk,
‘Mr. Banks will see you soon,
Have a seat in the saloon’.

As he sat on a small chair,
A dozen others turned to stare,
They were dressed the same as him
With a tie and chin quite trim.

One was counting notes with speed,
Another stacking coins with greed,
Perkings had nothing to count
That could add to some amount.

‘Perkings!’, ‘Yes sir! I am here,
Of assistance with great cheer!’
He then stepped through a grey door
Of an office with grey floor.

‘I can see from your CV,
You can count to level three.’
‘I worked hard, sir, to become,
Through this job a level one!’

Mr. Banks gave him one glance,
From his dyed shoes to his hands.
‘We want at least a level two,
Don’t call us, sir, we’ll call you.’

(From  Formal and Polite)

Formal and Polite, Poetry


On the round side of the Earth
Lived spheres of many a girth,
They all were very proud
Of their land, which was very round.

On an apparently circular day
A good hearted cube came along to play,
He was sharp in thought and flat in voice,
The small girthed spheres did not rejoice.

They listened not to his warm thought
And didn’t see the life he sought,
They took a rounded rock and said,
‘Let’s make this cube a sphere instead!’

(From Formal and Polite)