April Poem A Day Poems So Far (Week Four)

April 14 Poem A Day 4


For the last few months
I’ve been
Poet in residence
At the paper clip factory.
I get five free cups of tea
And as many paper clips as I need.
( I usually use a stapler,
But I’m not telling them that).

Debs from accounts
Keeps giving me coy waves
From her glass partitioned office.
I pretend I haven’t seen.
Yesterday she offered to buy me
A prawn cocktail sandwich
In the staff canteen.
I found a paper clip in it.
Yesterday she thrust her
Bahzooms at me.

every morning
the cleaning lady vacuums
the offices
paper clips rattle and scattle
in the vacuum’s plastic tubing
rattle skattle clibber flibber
kottle skittle clatter clonk
clibber flibber skittle skattle
quite a pleasing sound, really.

A list of alternative uses for paper clips

A. Hanging Christmas cards.
B. Impromptu chain to keep glasses attached round neck.
C. Classroom projectile w/ elastic band
D. Tie clip.
E. Replacement zip pull.
F. To remove peanut from iPod earphone socket.
G. Attach notices to a washing line (like ‘Beware, Washing Line’)
H. Zip wire for an Action Man (also on a washing line).

All night long the automated paper clip manufacturing machines go
Each KLUMP resulting in a new paper clip,
Each CHING as it rolls into a big plastic tub
Which Phil empties the next morning.

Excerpt from the Chilliwick Corporation Paper Clip Brochure:

Here’s a photograph of two major celebrities endorsing the Chilliwick Paper Clip:

Kelly Jones (pictured, left), from the Welsh band The Stereo O Phonics, says, ‘I never go anywhere without a paper clip, and Chilliwick make some damn fine paper clips’.

1996 World Darts Champion John Part said, ‘I always use a paper clip to clip the papers that I want to gather around me’.

Lately, we have hied a poet in residence, Rupert Grantham, (pictured right, with two paper clips). His commitment to paper clips and the paper clip industry are without reproach.

(They spelled my name wrong).

And nervous
As I unveil
My iPad.

I asked the managing director
What the sales forecasts are
For the next quarter
And he said, ‘Stationery’.

I bend round and round and I’m like
Zoo my round round bend back on
Myself in the abstract way that
I bend round baby right round.

Jubilation when an order comes in
From China
For a box of 1000 paper clips.
The boss makes everyone
Dress as Geishas in honour of this.
No one feels able to correct him.
Dave gets his elaborate kimono
Caught in one of the paper clip machines.
They took him up to First Aid,
He’s ok now.

A potential customer
Inquires whether he should leave
His email address
And an attachment.
Everyone laughs.

Oh crazy skin shot metal
Bendy raucous ravenous paper clip
Simple machine bendy new fangle
Dangled the simplest
there possibly could be.

Paper clip
Power trip
Paper clip
Cheesy dip
Paper clip
Orange pip
Paper clip
Paper clip
Coach trip
Paper clip
Back flip
Paper clip
Cheap trick
Paper clip
Pierced lip
Paper clip.


We had a day out in Okehampton.
In one of its more trendy bars
I met a winsome young lady who showed me
How to operate a milk churn.

There was a stillness in the air
And a crack of magic like static like thunder
As if the tops of the tower blocks
Might ignite
With St Elmo’s Fire.

Vibrant coffee shop etiquette.
Hyped up het up on caffeine
And over excitement at the Milk Churn Museum
And a sudden outbreak of giggles
Over the word ‘churn’.

We couldn’t remember which multi storey
We’d left the car in.
The one near the art gallery
Or the one near the cathedral
Or the one near the stoat sanctuary
And then we got side tracked by
The house Obama visited
During his state visit.
We found the car, eventually.

Peak mugging hours
Passed without incident.

I almost bought some trousers.

All the great and important issues of the day
We debated in the debating chamber of the
Elected representatives who we sat and watched
As they argued over the disabled parking bays
At Asda.

I almost won a tender on the lottery.

Dean said that the afternoon heat was
And that it was making him come over
All queer.
We hung out in Chinatown
Next to the chippy
And Dean drank a coca cola
And then said that he felt better.

I must a admit
I got a little tipsy
And announced that I wanted
To show everyone how to use
A milk churn.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Fran began speaking like a native.
Only been here five times, I said,
And you act as if you own the place.
I bought a stapler in the stationers.


A Saharan wind flaps the tent sides.
More like a marquee, carpeted, ten
Nomad poets enmeshed in a deep discussion
On how to defrost the refrigerator.

Subtle word play and the dance if language.
Exquisite, tender nature and the environment
A tradition handed down through the generations.
A second hand fridge bought from a bloke in Fez.

It judders and if shudders.
Someone’s left a bowl of fuchsias on top.
They jitter and they totter.
A camel moans outside, it can sense bad tidings.
The freezer compartment is getting bunged up with ice.

An elder tells a story
Of mystery and magic and the
Rotation of the planets.
It does little to address the
Situation beyond reminding the
Nomad poets that all this time
Faffing around with the fridge
Is time they could be writing.

The fridge is hitched up to a
Diesel generator
Whose black smoke stands stark
Against the blue sky, the yellow dunes.
It makes the camel cough.

It’s full of Sunny D
And Doctor Pepper.
The fridge,
Not the camel.

And there’s triangles of Laughing Cow
Bought from a man in a fez
For two haiku and a limerick,
‘There once was a man from Noualdibou’.

It is foretold in local mythology
That there will be a time of deep reckoning.
You see, if you turn the fridge off
You’ll lose all the stuff inside
Even though it blatantly need defrosting.

Plaintive camel honking.
Bloody things!

One of the younger poets,
Yet to lose his worldly wonder,
Bright eyed, tells the tale
Of a sultan who guilt a sauna
In the middle of the Sahara,
A place so gently hot he could
Raise his body temperature and then step outside
And feel cold for the rest of the day.
But one fateful morning a giant Eagle
Swooped down and ate him.
(It’s true, his story kind of fizzled out
At the end, and was full of holes,
And had no bearing on their
Immediate predicament).
‘Try kicking the fridge’,
He suggested.

The kettle is all furred up, too,
All that
Saharan hard water.


Advancing now
You can see the determination
And the way she slithers
Between the gaps.

The forest of
She’s getting nearer now
Looming like
Unwelcome weather.

Here she comes, ever closer,
Tedious in her intent.
No-one wants a part of this
Odd transaction.

She doesn’t want to do it.
We don’t want her to do it,
It isn’t culture and it isn’t social.
Just corporate ethos.
Pursing her lips, now.
Ever closer.

And here it is.
And here she is.
And here it comes.
‘Is everything all right
With your meal?’


Been struggling now
For various reasons
To get bus passengers to
Write haiku.

They point out that:
A- the bus journey is tedious enough
B- poetry has no relevance
C- leave me alone
D- there are no pens these days, just iPads.

The big burly bloke,
Whose licence they took,

Prancing up the bus aisle
Like a Stagecoach road nymph
A teenage girl
Describes exactly where I can stick my haiku,
In, admittedly,
The most immaculate, poetic language
I’ve heard all day.

Bus driver checks his mirror,
Shakes his head, sadly.

‘Hey, nob head.’
Pies up a precocious scamp of a lad
With trendy hair and an ironic t shirt.
‘You’ve got to subvert the strictures and rules
Of literature
In order to improve it for the next generation.’
He holds up a Mars bar and says,
‘This is my haiku’.

The bus goes over speed bumps.
I crack my head on the ceiling.

Doreen, deaf as a post,
Thinks I work for the council.

Syllable demonstrations
Mean nothing
In a traffic jam.

Wise-ass at the back of the bus
Says he’ll do everyone’s haiku for them
But he’ll charge
And he calls it ‘line rental’.

The little voice inside me says,
‘You’re getting somewhere, James.
With each insistent unsolicited lesson,
You speak to their souls and their lives
Fill with poetry’.
I have no idea why the little voice
Calls me James.

A youth with big hair
Takes a video of my on his smart phone
And it becomes an instant internet sensation
Not because of my majesty with words
But because I fell


Don’t you come at me with your hydrangea shit
Cos once you’ve seen a fuchsia then you know you’ve been hit
It’s flowers are prettier than a girl who’s quite fit
And they’re hardy annuals too so they last for a bit

I’m a hard ass gun and I don’t feel no pain
Like the petals of the fuchsia in the early evening rain
Like the same old song you hear again and again
My roots don’t go rotten if the compost’s well drained

So dig up that fuchsia man dig up that fuchsia
Cos you and me honey we ain’t got no future
Dig up that fuchsia girl, put it in a pot
Cos when I’m here with you girl I feel I lost the plot

I’m a kicking mother sparkler and I know how to party
Coming at you with the beats and a bottle of Bacardi
I don’t feel no cold cos I’m mostly frost hardy
So when you’re out and your chilling then you gotta wear a cardy

I’m a fit fat hip hop sexy damn mo fo
Hanging at my pad with my bitches and my hoes
And my trowels and my rakes and my petrol driven lawn mow
A big bag of mulch and some compost make me grow, yo

So dig up that fuchsia man dig up that fuchsia
Cos you and me honey we ain’t got no future
Dig up that fuchsia girl, put it in a pot
Cos when I’m here with you girl I feel I lost the plot

When I see you coming girl you light up the room
Like a late summer fuchsia as it comes into bloom
With its delicate petals, you make my heart boom
And not only that but I really like your bahzooms

In a world filled with pain and with hatred and with greed
I’m a delicate flower not a dirty stinking weed
Cos I’ve felt this ache inside since I was a little seed
I’m a funky mother fuchsia and I get what I need

So dig up that fuchsia man dig up that fuchsia
Cos you and me honey we ain’t got no future
Dig up that fuchsia girl, put it in a pot
Cos when I’m here with you girl I feel I lost the plot

I got delicate petals in the hue of summer fruit
And a purposeful demeanour from my sternum to my root
But when I look at you girl you really are so cute
Like the homies in my hood, you gotta be my side shoot

When I’m here with you girl I never question why
I just sit here in my border bed and gaze up at the sky
Try to weed me out girl, I’d like to see you try
You’re more irritating than a nasty case of greenfly

So dig up that fuchsia man dig up that fuchsia
Cos you and me honey we ain’t got no future
Dig up that fuchsia girl, put it in a pot
Cos when I’m here with you girl I feel I lost the plot

Dig it up
Dig it up
Dig it up
Change the pot

In da club
In da club
In da club
The horticultural society club


You press my buttons in all the wrong order
And because of that I miscalculate.
My figures are erroneous.
Your figure is marvellous.
Tippity- tappity, tippity-tappity,
The number of times you whisper sweet nothings
I work it out on the calculator.

The square root of this and a percentage of that,
One and one becomes two.
It’s the most simple addition that you can do.
Come over here and I’ll demonstrate,
Or shall we work it out on the calculator?

The divisible percentage of your longing.
Add to that an approximation of yearning,
Add to that the little smile you gave me just then
Add to that the deep deep
Vicious absolute soul-controlling pound pound fury of my heart
Add to that the ten minutes it took us to do it last time,
(Which, by the way, was a new record for me),
Tippity- tappity, tippity-tappity.
Hmmm, it just says ‘error’.

Last night in bed you did that thing
Where you turn the LCD screen upside down
And random numbers become words.
It blew my mind.
Ha ha, I said, very funny.
Right there on the screen if the calculator.

Subtraction is the cruellest blow.
Taking things away until you end up with nothing.
I want to work it out on the calculator.
What’s the to work out?, you asked, it’s zero!
Nevertheless, I figured out all the percentages
And I tried to do some sums in my head
And it have me a migraine
And now I know why you always say you’ve got a headache.


(An A-Z of the Large Hadron Collider)

A – And then it was decided
That there should be a large hadron collider.

B – Bravery is needed to operate it
As there might be a Black Hole
Or a Big Bang.

C- Catastrophic would be the consequences
Of a Big Bang.
It would wipe out everything
As far as Colchester.

D – Don’t ask me how to explain
The scientific side of it.

E – Everything’s all right with the world,
If you put your trust in science.
E =mc2
Still has to be explained to me.
Good old Einstein!

F – Few people realise
How big it is.
If you dropped a pencil clip in it
You might never find it.

G – Geniuses theorise.
Great things materialise.

H – Hadron. Hardon.
Ha ha.

I – It’s round.

J – Jambon is French for ham.
A seagull once dropped a baguette Jambon
Into it’s machinery.
And that’s why they couldn’t
Use it for a bit.

K – Can’t think of anything for K.

L – Large hadron collider.
Much larger than a
Average hadron collider.
But not as big as an
Extra large hadron collider.

M – Moon. (See P)

N – Nothing quite prepares you
For the sheer circumference of it.
Dave wonders why they didn’t build it
On the Circle Line.
I said actually, yes,
That would have done it.
I asked a scientist if that was possible
And he said

O – Is the shape of it.

P – Peter was convinced that
The large hadron collider was a giant magnet
Designed to pull the moon closer because
The moon’s orbit is significantly further away
Than it used to be.

Q – Queues to get into the large hadron collider
Have started diminishing now that
The excitement of it has started to wear off,
Though there’s a nice little gift shop.

R – Right, there are several theories of what might happen, some theorised by Higgs Bosun (which I should have included under H in this list) and it’s all to do with the bits that break off from the initial impact of the matter that’s fired around the collider. Or at least that’s what the man on Horizon said. At least it wasn’t Professor Brian Cox And His Hair. He seems a nice enough chap but he just seems to speak. Too. Slowly.

S – Stephen Hawking
Would be the man to call
If there should suddenly materialise
A black hole.

T – Ten years after divising his theory that the Large Hadron Collider would, on it’s first run, result in the sudden appearance of ten thousand Tina Turners, Professor Terrance Tipkins burst into Tears when it Didn’t Happen.

U – Underneath Switzerland.

V – Very interesting if you’re
An astrophysicist, probably.

W – What the hell
Do we do
With a Higgs Bosun particle
The moment we get one?

Waiting . . . Waiting . . . Waiting . . .

X – X +/- n= 4

Y – You spin me right round
Baby right round
Like a record baby
Right round round round

Z – Zurich is nearby.


Dear Goldilocks.
We are investigating reports
Of a break in
And malicious damage pertaining to
Some porridge, a chair, a bed
And a Toyota Yaris,
Which took place in the residence
Of the Three Bears
In the magical forest
Near the mystical fairy land brook
Just outside of Guildford.

Your actions provoked
Psychological damage on two of the victims
Who wish to remain anonymous
Though a third member of the family
Did maul the chief detective.

Our investigations are keen to ascertain
Who, in the words of the victims,
Has been sitting in my chair,
Has been eating my porridge,
Has been sleeping in my bed
Has been shuffling my iPod,
Has been detuning the Freeview
Has left the sunroof open in the rain
In my Toyota Yaris
And generally stealing my wifi
Without expressed prior consent.

It is also alleged
That at the same time you did
De friend the entire family on Facebook.

Ms Goldilocks.
The nub of the matter.
The crux of the issue.
The whole angle on which
This investigation rests
Is the degree by which
Your actions were motivated
And provoked by the facts
That the victims were bears.
Was this some sorry of hate crime?
Have you recently joined UKIP?

The bears do not wish to sue
But Mummy Bear is undergoing counselling
And Daddy Bear
Has had to disinfect the bathroom
And put some extra locks on the front door
And Little Baby Bear has told his mother
That when he grows up
He wants long golden hair now, and a pretty
Summer dress.


Today I went to a meeting
In which the main topic of discussion
Was what we will talk about
On tomorrow’s meeting.

It was decided that tomorrow’s meeting
Would begin to reading the minutes of the last meeting,
The meeting before this meeting.
The last meeting had also begun
With the minutes of the previous meeting
And the meeting before that
And this will be included in the minutes if the last meeting
And also the minutes of the meeting
Of the meeting tomorrow,

So we finished our meeting about tomorrow’s meeting
And we decided that someone should take
Some minutes of this meeting
So that tomorrow’s meeting would feature
The minutes of this meeting as well as the minutes
Of the previous meetings,
The minutes containing nothing but the minutes of the meetings
Previous to this meeting and the meeting today,
In tomorrow’s meeting
(And all subsequent meetings).


Contents of poem:
1. No
2. Making a living, the shire horse way
3. Poem
4. Memories of a suburban upbringing
5. I’m not immune to failure
6. Looming in the office
7. A Paris misadventure
8. Poetic justice (Literally!) and Tim Vine
9. A general appreciation of shire horses
10. Breeds of heavy working horses
11. Height
12. This just in
13. Meanwhile outside of Keflavik
14. This poem was sponsored by
15. Repetition of the words ‘shire horses’
16. The time of the shire horse is gone

1. No

I will never be a proper poet
So long as I can’t appreciate
Shire horses

2. Making a living, the shire horse way

They work, shire horses.
They work for a living.
They work work work work work
Trudging and pulling heavy loads
And tugging and pulling and trudging
And doing paperwork and things.
Jeff trained his one to nick microwaves
From Currys
And to get refunds under false pretences
Without receipts.

3. Poem

Flared nostrils
As if permanently disgusted
But they get on with it anyway.
Stoic beasts, the shire horse.

4. Memories of a suburban upbringing

When I was a kid
Every year the school trip
Used to be to the flipping bleeding
God-arse awful boring
Shire Horse Heritage Centre.
And then I joined the Scouts
And we had a trip to the
Shire Horse Heritage Centre.
And then we had my aunt come over
From Canada
And we took her to the Shire Horse Heritage Centre
And yet when I informed my parents
That it should be called the ‘ “Shite” Horse Heritage Centre’
Bizarrely, it was me who was reprimanded.

5. I’m not immune to failure

I went to a poetry slam and the poets were brilliant and did poems about family, relations, drug addiction, sexual abuse, the history of black culture from slavery to the present day, social issues, politics, countering the rise of the right, ill treatment of animals, ill treatment of immigrants and the trials and tribulations of being a youth in the 21st Century, and I did a poem about shire horses and I did really badly.

6. Looming in the office

my chiropodist had a shire horse
at the bottom of each leg it had a tuft
now it’s dead but you can still see it
because she’s had it stuffed

7. A Paris misadventure

The French avant gard
Jean Jacques Pipe
Trained a shire horse
In the art of mime.

It used to stand still
And not move a muscle
And not say a word.

And Jean Jacques would explain,
‘Now it’s impersonating a donkey.
Now it’s impersonating a zebra.
Now it’s impersonating a mule.
Now it’s impersonating a regular horse’.

8. Poetic justice (Literally!) and Tim Vine

Tim Vine had already done the
‘Shyer’ horse joke.

But he nicked a joke off me
About Cadbury’s Wispas.

And now it’s in his show.
Ironically he was beaten

At a one-liner competition
By an acquaintance of mine, a poet

Who had his own Cadbury’s Wispa joke
Which was much funnier.

In honour of this I am not going to repeat
The ‘shyer horse’ joke.

9. A general appreciation of shire horses

Shire horse.
Never tyre horse.
Such a tryer horse.
Never dire horse.
Keep matches away
So seldom on fire horse.
Could be taller,
A little higher horse.
Looks nothing like
Danny Dyer horse.
Tells the truth
Seldom a liar horse.
Doesn’t so washing
So not a tumble dryer horse.
Or cook chips
So not a deep fat fryer horse.
A little bit bashful
Couldn’t be any shyer horse.
Shire horse.
Shire horse.
Shire horse.
Shire horse.

10. Breeds of heavy working horse

Cleveland Bay
Clippity honker
Progressive honker
Regular honker
Devonian crisp
Old cabin
Beard poker
Unspoked clapper
Subliminal pencil

Where might I purchase any of the above?
Any reputable pet shop.

11. Height

According to the website
The average shire horse
Is 17 hands high.
I asked a shire horse breeder
How big one hand was
And he said
About as big as your hand.

12. This just in

Both Jeff
And his shoplifting shire horse
Were accosted
In Costcutter.

13. Meanwhile outside of Keflavik

Shape shifting shire horse
Tireless worker berserker
Norse legend horse legend
One moment Icelandic
Gray bray pulling heavy loads
The next
A real kick ass impersonation
Of Allen Carr.

14. This poem was sponsored by

Have you seen those shire horses?
Those shy shire horses?
Those sly shy shire horses?
Those sly shy give it a try see one before you die
Why oh why not give it a try shire horses?
Have you seen those shire horses?
POP along to the Shire Horse Heritage Centre
And you’ll see loads!

(A little in- joke there for the shire horse community in that last line).

15. Repetition of the words ‘shire horses’

Shire horses
Shire horses
Shire horses
Shire horses
Shire horses
Shire horses
Shire horses
Shire horses
Shire horses
Shire horses
Shire horses
From the shire.

16. The time of the shire horse is gone

And in the time of the shire horse there
Would be shire horses aplenty
And they would work and trudge
And trudge and work
And all that was holy
Could be found in the shire horse
And all that was sacred
Could be found in the shire horse
And all that was good for the garden
Could be found in the shire horse
(Or at least in their manure)

And the rustic sun would set
Over rustic rooftops rustic barns and rustic
And still the shire horse
Would keep on working
And nobody ever thought about

And the annual final of Britain’s Got Talent
Would invariably be won by a shire horse
Because they were so fucking talented
And none of the shire horses
Were foreign.

And people just got on with things
Inspired by the plucky shire horses
And the ploughman was king
And there was shire horse manure all over the place

And you couldn’t sodding move for sodding shire horses
And if you made a joke about “shite horses”
You’d end up in the stocks.

And there would be shire horses in the fields
And shire horses in the barns
And shire horses in the cottages
And shire horses in the farms
And shire horses in the municipal swimming baths

And everyone would say
‘How great and mighty Britain is
Because of all these here shire horses’
And then someone came along with a tractor
And someone else said
‘At least tractors don’t poo everywhere’.

And then the decline of Britain’s society began
And then Ant and Dec turned up
And it’s all been downhill ever since.

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