OCELOT

You want to see an Ocelot
Whose coats were all the rage
Worn by wealthy women
In films or on the stage.

There is a picture of one
In a cat book on our shelf.
You want to see an Ocelot.
To see it for yourself.

The Ocelot has markings
Magnificent to see
And grace to leap up high
Into the tallest tree.

You want to see an Ocelot
They’ve got some in the zoo
But not here in London
A fact that makes you blue.

You want to see an Ocelot
To gaze at and admire
I wish I was the subject of
Such passion and desire!

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HEAVENLY SHOPPING

She seemed unwell in Waitrose.
Her trolly veered off to the right.
A little old lady struggling
With a pain that gave her a fright.

Between the steaks and oysters
Which she never could afford
Near the eggs and soups in cans
She whispered a prayer to our lord.

She sat on a seat and waited
Imagining her last breath,
But when the pain abated
She felt she had just escaped death.

“Are you alright madam?”
Asked the manager passing by.
“Of course I am young man
But I thought i was going to die.

I’ll sit myself down a few minutes.
Thank you for your concern.
It’s amazing watching people
The amount that you can learn.

I’m always praying for others
And today I prayed for myself,
But now I’ll make my confession.
I just nicked a cake from your shelf!

I won’t go into details,
But I ate it near yogurts and cream.
I’m not quite the sweet old lady
That to many I may seem.

This morning I called in at Tescos.
From there I stole a peach.
I’m partial to their red salmon,
But the tin was out of reach!

My coat has this large pocket
For hiding many a treat.
I’m always getting away with things
Especially things to eat.

Tomorrow I’d planned on Sainsburys
To see what I can find.
I haven’t been there for a while
I’m getting way behind.

It was only indigestion
That drove me to confess
So now I WILL stop stealing
It could land me in a mess.

So that’s all over now dear
But please don’t call the law.
The food in jail is lower class.
I’ve tried it there before!”

CAKES, PROPOSALS AND ROYALTY

Clare stopped him in the street
And said, “You must be a king.”
He thought her rather sweet
So he didn’t say a thing.
“At home,” she said,
“I’ve got a crown. You can
Wear it and strut about the town.”

“No thanks,” he said,
“You’ve made a big mistake.
My name is Hubert Willoughby
I like eating cake.
A slice of almond marzipan
On pastry will do.
And a piece of ginger bread
I’d gladly share with you.

I have to confess I’m lazy
Through and through.
I’ll leave all royal duties
To people such as you.
You have a pretty face
And your head is full of dreams.
Being the Queen of England
Is not as easy as it seems.

You have to entertain
And open things, and yes,
Smash champagne on ships
And get splashes on your dress.
You are guarded everywhere
In case you are abducted
Also bear the falsehoods
That the tabloids have constructed.

It’s very nice to meet you.
I hope you find your king.
I’m sure he’d fall in love with you,
With all such love could bring.
Have you noticed my string shopping bag?
I’m just an average man.
Acting up like royalty isn’t in my plan.
I’d rather not be noticed
And free to choose my life.
But if you don’t find your king
I wondered, would you…..would you…
Be my wife?

THE YOUNG SCHOLAR

“I’m trying to pass successfully
In my first year at university.
I know you’ve been a teacher,
A Cambridge scholar too.
That is the reason
I’m asking this of you.

Please help me with my studies.
I’ve essays yet to write.
To help me with my fees
I work in a cafe all night.
It’s true I buy mascara
My boyfriend costs me time.
But he is so essential
Because I’m in my prime.

Can you tell me is my
Spelling as bad as they say?
A reason most compelling
For you to intervene today.
I’m not exactly asking
You to do my work for me
I’m not multi-tasking
I wondered , Are you free?

All I need is guidance
And some encouragement
My essays have subsidence
And the year is nearly spent.
You’ll help me? Oh! You darling!
I’ll send you what I’ve done.
And while you are re-writing them
I’ll go out and have some fun!”

COMMON KNOWLEGE

Where I came from, the worst thing you could do was to look common. As a teenager in the late fiftees, this was difficult because we were all trying to look like Bridget Bardot (who was beautiful) with her yellow beehive hair, black eyeliner and tight skirts. We wiggled our way out of the cinema in the belief we were replicas of this stunning femme fatale. We weren’t of course, despite our suddenly acquired french accents and Bardot pouts.

My mother said,
“Don’t look like Trudy.
She’s made up like a puppet
From Punch and Judy.
Her hair is bleached yellow
And her stockings are black.
She earns her living
Lying on he back!”

My mother said,
When I wore make up
“Take it off your face
That orange fake up
Don’t wear false nails
You’ll look absurd
And tell that boyfriend
Not to call you his bird!”

My mother said,
“Don’t wear high heels
Or smoke and drink
Just to see how it feels
And don’t sit for hours
Gazing at the screen
At some young film star
Acting like a Queen.”

She said,
“Eat plenty of fruit
And put those magazines
Down the rubbish shoot.
A healthy diet is good for
your skin.
And above all, you must stay thin.”

My mother said,
“Don’t give in.
There’s plenty of men
Will drive you to sin.
Find someone rich who’s got
a big house, a posh car and
Who isn’t a louse.
A professional man who
will keep you secure.
Get money in the bank and be demure.

It doesn’t sound good to speak
Too loudly
But always remember to
Hold yourself proudly.”
My mother said,
“Don’t get into trouble.
There’s many a girl been dumped like rubble.”
My mother said,
“It’s for your own good.”
I nodded to show I understood.
I peeled an orange and ate a segment.

“Yes,” I said,”I’m pregnant!”

This poem is a reflection of those times.
Although sadly, I never did get pregnant.
That is just as well. The man I am married to now is broke!

BETWEEN FRIENDS

I grew up thinking good poets should write of beauty and great truths- things like that. But these days, living in an inner city flat, I find that neighbours can get too close. The inspiration and harmony of good vibes can suddenly seem to be at risk.

The mighty hound from number four
Cocked his leg at my front door.
He’s done it before!
But offers me a friendly paw.
I told no one that I saw him do it
And my precious door mat chew it.

With neighbours I keep a good rapport,
But I wish the dog from number four
Would not wee on my front door.
It’s tarnished a brass rim!
But then, I’m very fond of him
And his master works out at the gym.

Let peace reign,
But I know he’ll do it again
And still expect a stroke.
His master is such a decent bloke
He cares for the dog well.
So I’ll clean it off and will
not anybody tell.

Heroically I washed the door
And silently I did implore
Dear hound, pick some other place
Before our entrance you deface.
Then to my horror
Two days after, when we’d forgiven
With much laughter
Something happened – What a mess!
And you probably can guess:

Neatly place on our doormat
A little heap that some dog shat!
My husband, as he departed,
Said, “Now look what you’ve started!”
“It wasn’t him!” I did wail
This deed is on too small a scale
Some other shrivelled little mutt
Dragged along by drunk or slut
Has slyly tried to pin the blame
On the mighty hound we shall not name.

If this goes on, what can we do?
I won’t spend life cleaning up poo!
And can’t police the door all night
But clearly somnething isn’t right.
As I don’t know this last offender
Its breed, its owner or its gender
Our door displays a notice stark
PLEASE TAKE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE PARK!
And then small dogs won’t get confused
The mighty hound won’t be accused

I judge it wiser in the end –
Forget the crap. We’ll keep the friend!

THE BEAUTY OF FAILURE

It’s good to be a nobody
And merge in with the crowd
Because if you’re a somebody
You may become too proud.
Projecting a persona
You know will have appeal
Drowning your identity
With an image that’s unreal.

It’s good to be a nobody
Folk don’t know where you live
And vile stories won’t be written
In the tabloids to forgive.
For if you are a somebody
Your life is not your own
You’re followed, stared at, called upon
Or pestered on the phone.

You can say your past is history.
It need not be revealed
And not worry unduly
About things you have concealed.
Dear reader, if you’re somebody
What ever I may say, you will
Forget tomorrow, .
I don’t matter anyway!