Glad To Be A Dalek

I'm not your average Dalek,
You know the sort I mean,
All bent on domination;
Giving vent to all that spleen.
I like to think I'm different
From other Dalek crew,
Who keep emotions hidden
While exterminating you.
I don't agree with killing,
With plans to subjugate.
The Universe is lovely
And I find it hard to hate.
In fact, I've got my own plan;
I'm working from within!
I'm teaching other Daleks
How to knit and sew and spin.
I run a secret workshop
Where Daleks can relax
And find their inner Dalek;
Get the monkey off their backs.
We try to be creative;
To make things, not destroy.
I run a Dalek choir
Learning Ludwig's 'Ode To Joy'.
So if you see a Dalek
In homeknit wool poncho,
Don't run off in a panic,
Come across and say 'Hello!'

Copyright © 2010 Jonathan Humble

The Sad Tale Of The Reckless Rhubarb

'Twas on a clear and moonlit night by Castleford's green fields,
The stick of rhubarb's mind to thoughts adventurous did yield.
And turning to his nearby love, he made a solemn pledge
To sail away, like Hemingway, and live life on the edge.
His love, a slender leek, was anxious for his safe return,
But with a brave and loving smile, disguised her grave concern,
And pinned a white rose on his chest, that he might not forget
His roots lay in the rhubarb sheds of Yorkshire, not Tibet.
The rhubarb journeyed far and wide upon his reckless quest,
And seeking thrills where e'er he could from Goole to Budapest,
He soon became quite famous in the circles of those chaps
Who dice with death and thrive on courting danger and mishap.
But flirting with capricious lady luck, he soon found out,
How fickle fortune’s finger of ill-fate can turn about,
And duelling with a maharaja in the mystic east,
Our hero was chopped up and served with crumble at a feast.
Quite unaware of how her love had met a sticky end,
The faithful leek made wedding plans whilst waiting for her friend,
But over years, in Castleford, the leek was left unwed,
And sits in moonlight, quite alone, outside the rhubarb shed.

... Awww!

(Disclaimer: No rhubarb was injured in the drafting of this poem)
Copyright © 2011 Jonathan Humble

The Tripe Hound Of Little Ormstonmere

Amongst the dark foreboding hills of ancient Lancashire,
The eerie howls rolled down the moors o'er misty peatland bogs,
To echo round the cobbled streets of Little Ormstonmere
And cause the good folk there to stare and shudder in their clogs.

For knew they well this howl from Hell and what it did portend,
And how great loss was wreaked upon the town in times long past,
When from the realms of Lucifer, the beast's leash did extend,
And Tripe Hound ran amok, to leave all mournful and aghast.

With sadness and reluctance moved the townfolk to the square,
Each citizen a-burdened with a tribute to the feast,
Which grudgingly they lay upon a table by the Mayor,
Who checked its weight would satisfy and sate the evil beast.

Then from the hills emerged the brute with eyes aflame and cruel,
As townsfolk scuttled off to hide behind their bolted doors
And leave a trough of tripe o'er which the Tripe Hound could now drool,
And scoff the lot, before it disappeared amongst the moors.

No morsel left for Little Ormstonmerians to eat,
The town would have to live on offal served up in a skin.
With tripe now gone, and plans postponed for all to be replete,
Black pudding topped the carte du jour and stopped them getting thin.

Amongst the dark foreboding hills of ancient Lancashire,
Satanic howls can still be heard o'er misty peatland bogs,
And there behind locked doors the folk of Little Ormstonmere
Have cause enough to hide their tripe and shiver in their clogs.

Copyright © 2013 Jonathan Humble

Ponsby-Clasp And The Perils Of Peanut Propulsion ... or why chimpanzees avoid elephants on trolleys

Come gather round and listen to a tale of yesteryear,
When men were men and went on expeditions without fear,
When handlebar moustaches were in vogue and hearts were true,
When shooting and then stuffing stuff was what we used to do.
The double barrelled brotherhood would travel far and wide
In pith helmet and khaki shorts to cover broad backsides,
As on their way through Africa they hunted high and low,
In search of the exotic to the jungle they would go.
One noted bold Victorian was Gerald Ponsby-Clasp,
Renowned as an adventurer whose exploits made one gasp,
And who, while at his club in town, declared his latest plan
To bring back to captivity a beast unseen by Man.
"I shall bring back to London Zoo that fabled pachyderm,
The greater spotted elephant, so that we might confirm
The truth in all the legends that its size is quite unique,
And makes his jumbo cousins look like pipsqueaks, so to speak." 
The other members all agreed his plan was quite first-rate,
And Ponsby-Clasp was made of stuff that made the Empire great ...
Six months then passed, as through the darkest depths of Congo hell,
The expedition searched and searched until they felt unwell.
Then finally, whilst trekking by the Tanganyika lake,
They heard a bellow so distinct, there could be no mistake.
And in a stroke of luck, the Behemoth that they had found,
For just a bag of peanuts, meekly followed them around.
It followed Ponsby-Clasp until they reached the Stanley Falls,
Where daring do would see them overcome that water-wall;
For Ponsby-Clasp decided they would build a sturdy ramp,
With trolley set on rails of steel, and beast quite tightly clamped.
A rubber bung was firmly placed to block its fundament
And peanuts fed, by barrel load, to fuel the elephant.
With careful eye for detail, a trajectory was planned
So that the flying elephant would in a strong net land.
Across the water on the other side and then to coast
Where in a steamer off they'd sail with what they prized the most.
But after months of feeding it, to generate the fuel,
No expedition member volunteered to be the fool
Who’d pull the bung from out the backside of the pachyderm,
And so it took a while to get a chimpanzee to learn
To follow the instruction: “Pull the bung completely out!”
However, when unto the ape, instructions Clasp did shout,
The beast moved only bowels and up ramp went ne’er a whit
To disappoint assembled crew, and cover all with shit.

Then Ponsby-Clasp let slip the stiffness in his upper lip,
And with great heaving raucous laughter seemed to lose his grip.
When asked what was the cause of mirth, he pointed through the dung
To where the chimp strove earnestly to put back in the bung.

Copyright © 2014 Jonathan Humble

Extreme Northern Pastimes

Two aging northern fellows met one Tuesday afternoon
At a quiet coffee house in Pontefract,
And while dunking their biscotti in their macchiato froth,
Both decided that they’d make a sporting pact.
For they wanted to revive pig-hopping as a local game,
One of many northern pastimes full of charm,
Where competitors retracted either foot in headlong race,
With a pig tucked firmly underneath each arm.
But unfortunately, as you know, the price of bacon rose,
As the cost of living went on the rampage,
Making purchases of piggies something one could not afford
If one’s income was below a banker’s wage.
So the aging northern fellows, in pursuit of sporting dreams,
Turned to Plan B in enthusiastic mood,
And they sorted out a set of rules pertaining to a match 
Of wild ferretting at midnight in the nude.

Copyright © 2014 Jonathan Humble


The Cumbrian Camel

The Cumbrian Camel that dwells on the fell,
Considered by experts to be but a myth,
Is shy and elusive, but found by its smell
That wafts on the breeze in the realms of Penrith.

Copyright © 2011 Jonathan Humble


In every household kitchen sits the humble toast machine,
A fundamental part of any culinary scene.
Ostensibly an old device for toasting breakfast bread;
You'd never think it could be used to converse with the dead.
Yet that's the tool the psychic friends of Odin utilise,
To contact those who've passed on subsequent to their demise.
This secret circle meet on every other Tuesday night,
To chant and dance in kitchens under eerie candlelight.
Then sitting round the table dressed in ancient Nordic gear,
One hand upon the toaster, begging Odin to appear,
They channel spectral energy emitted by each ghost,
Through those electric filaments more widely used for toast.

Copyright © 2013 Jonathan Humble


You're in a kitchen by yourself,
The cosy's on the pot,
A little voice inside your brain
Starts badgering somewhat.
You do your best to be mature,
But then you find instead,
Before you know just what you've done,
The cosy's on your head.

Copyright © 2014 Jonathan Humble

The Cautionary Tale Of Fred The Ferret Wrangler

Fred was a ferret wrangler,
The best in Easingwold,
And folk would travel far and wide
His wrangling to behold.
The gift was in his fingers;
The ferrets seemed entranced,
As hands and ferrets blurred as one
And to Fred's tune they danced.
But Fred had other passions
To complicate his life;
Along the Thirsk Road, Cheryl lived,
A chicken farmer's wife.
And 'though it was immoral,
The wrangler would pay court;
Fred flirted with young Cheryl
Until husband grew distraught.
Forbidding Fred to visit,
He swore under his breath 
That should Fred ever show his face,
He'd meet a pitchfork death.
But true love can't be stymied
And at a farmers' fayre
Where Fred's skills with his ferrets
Were on show for all to share,
The lovers reunited
Behind the produce tent,
Whilst ferrets, quite unsupervised,
On chicken hunt all went.
The upshot being carnage
With feathers strewn about
And chicken guts the evidence
Of carnivore blowout.
But those who read the future,
and entrails comprehend,
Would quickly have picked up
That Fred was due a sticky end.
And sure enough that Tuesday,
Behind his ferret shed,
The boys in blue of Easingwold
Found Fred completely dead ...
Which serves as sober lesson,
One Fred did not discover,
Avoid the chicks when wrangling,
If you're a ferret lover. 

Copyright © 2014 Jonathan Humble

Deplutocrat's Demise ... or why you should always decline invitations to Satan's barbecue

Amongst the northern factories, a bob or two was made
By businessmen, in times gone by, when workers were ill paid.
And in the Ridings tales were told of Mammon’s keenest soul,
Who made the acquisition of great wealth his only goal.
Josiah Bowes-Deplutocrat surveyed his country pile,
And on his sallow face allowed a cold obnoxious smile,
As he reflected on his wealth, accrued through dint of sweat
And broken backs of northerners he'd never ever met;
For landlord as he was to all the poor on his estate,
He gave no quarter when at times the rent came in too late.
The stories of his lack of image in a mirrored glass,
Like wildfire spread and were quite rife amongst the working class.
And on the rare occasions when through city streets he strolled,

The dogs would howl in fear, as in his wake the air went cold.
In every aspect of his life, he took without return,
Affecting those that wear flat caps, whilst lacking all concern.
Associates in business knew his grasping ways of old,
And rumours spread he’d parted with his soul for Satan’s gold.
For none recalled just how Deplutocrat first made his mark,
And many wondered if his past held secrets deep and dark.
Then, on one inauspicious winter’s day, a test was set,
By forces from Eternity quite disinclined, as yet,
To give up hope Deplutocrat had any soul to save,
And cheat Old Nick, before he popped off to a wormy grave.
Angelic hosts would offer him the chance to clean his slate,
Forsake his wealth and do good works before it was too late.
But when in terms most stark and clear, the consequence was shown
To indolent refusal to reform and sins atone,
Deplutocrat was seen to sneer, quite loathsome to the last,
And set his fate along the road to meet a fiery blast.
So, Providence, in unseen ledger, made a gentle note,
And in its ghostly copperplate, this memorandum wrote:
That unlike Scrooge, Deplutocrat should not escape his fate,
And through excessive wine and food, his heartbeat should abate,
Until in death, Deplutocrat departed sans regret,
To sweat and toil eternally, forever deep in debt.
Which shows that those who sport a flat cap are God’s chosen few,
And those with double barrelled names are Satan’s barbecue.

... apologies to the Stafford-Robertses 

Copyright © 2014 Jonathan Humble

God's Gift

Three fervent bearded scholars, blessed with massive intellect, sat beside an open fire in debate,
And the focus of their discourse, wrapped in finest silk brocade, lay upon a richly jewelled and golden plate.
For their god had tasked them jointly, as custodians in chief, with the role of keeping safe His special gift.
So they talked and argued all night long of how it might be stored, but their keen debate became a violent rift.
And as insult followed insult, with a push and slap thrown in, thuggish brawling from their discourse did transpire,
And amongst the flying fists and feet, the present was displaced, ending up upon the embers of the fire.
Hosts of angels sent to oversee the scene looked on aghast, as in flames their boss's gift was soon consumed;
For they knew that if a group of blokes, purported to be wise, bollocksed up the task, the human race was doomed.
As they fluttered off to Heaven to report the sad event, two were heard, in terms angelic, to agree
That the fault lay in the choice of which custodians to use, and that women were the world's best guarantee.

Copyright © 2013 Jonathan Humble

The Very Little Thingy

"I should like to know the answer!" said the very little thing,
From the box of unimportant odds and sods.
And the other stuff discarded, from below their layer of dust,
Trembled weakly as it argued with the gods.
For those deities of consequence, so awesome and immense,
With disdain looked down upon this also-ran,
As the least important thingy in Creation now complained
That it hadn't been consulted on "The Plan."
"You are small and insignificant. You do not need to know,"
Chorused all the high and mighty with one voice.
"Little thingies are more happy when in darkness they are kept,
Living pointless lives with limited free choice."
So in order to disprove this thought, the very little thing,
With a barrel load of wit, aplomb and style,
Wrote a thesis stating deities belonged in fairy tales,
Then put down its pen and waited for a while.
Well the mighty and mysterious and host magnificent
With self-righteous indignation and some pique,
Self-imploded in their anger leaving nothing but a smell
And a thingy best described as quite unique.

Copyright © 2014 Jonathan Humble

Recipes From The Happy Hippy Cook Book

A plate of scattered crumbs is set
Beside my comfy chair,
And drowsily I quite forget
Just who I am and where;
For something here is not quite right,
I feel it in my bones,
Which oddly seem so very light
For reasons unbeknown.
I find it hard to concentrate
On tasks of high demand;
My brain would like to relocate
To airy fairy land.
And as the mist descends to blur
An ever-changing scene
Of images more weird as 'twere
Dreamt up on mescaline,
A thought pops up amidst the bliss;
A mental note I make:
I must ask what my Aunty Fliss
Puts in her "special" cake.

: )

Copyright © 2013 Jonathan Humble

I Have A Question ...

Creation is, without a doubt, inordinately large,
And if you were to try to ask the Entity in charge,
Directly ‘bout the most profound of questions in respect

Of life, the universe and everything, then I expect
The red tape and the bureaucratic paperwork would tie
You up so long, the odds are that before the end, you'd die.

... which would be very annoying!


Copyright © 2014 Jonathan Humble

The Tragic Tale Of Sprout's Demise (being an explanation of the eating habits of some monkeys at festive times)

Before the ape forsook his tree, to totter upright everywhere,
There was an age, long past and gone, when sprouts had arms and legs and hair;
And in a world where I.Q. scores were running at an all time low,
The clever sprout bestrode the stage, proclaiming forth with fine bon mots.
And all the creatures were agreed that if poetic words were gold,
Their friend, the sprout, would surely be the richest by a good tenfold.
In admiration sprout was held by those who heard his words declaimed;
Except, that is, for one a little jealous of Sprout's worldly fame;
For sulking in his tree aloft, Old Monkey felt he should be king;
To be admired throughout the land, deferred to by all living things.
And being of a nature dark, inclined to plot and stop at nought,
Skulduggery and wicked plan would be Old Monkey's first resort.
It wasn't long before his friends became aware of Sprout's demise,
When in a nearby bush they found his legs and arms somewhat abscised!
Old Monkey, questioned 'bout Sprout's fate, denied quite flatly any part,
But gave the game away when he could not control a sprouty fart.
The rest is lost to history; we do not know what ends this scene,
Or how creation coped without their witty bard with leaves of green.
And many years have passed since sprouts could walk or talk of things sublime,
Yet many monkeys still enjoy a feast of sprouts from time to time ...

Copyright © 2012 Jonathan Humble

(... if you have been affected by events in this recount, help is at hand on the Sprout Lovers Anonymous Hotline)

An Explanation Of Why Pirates Dress As Pirates At The Pirates' Christmas Ball

Within a cramped and dimly lit, old, seedy, basement room,
Secreted in The Jolly Sailor Inn by Falmouth dock,
A meeting came to order of a shady little group
Of salty chaps with tricorn hats, big boots and stripy socks.
Bizarre in their appearance, round a table sat this crew,
Some members sporting eyepatches, with rings in mottled ears,
And perched upon odd shoulders, squawking out most noisily,
Were weird and scruffy parrots nestled on their buccaneers.
“Belay the noise and heed me well," the chairman bellowed forth,
And glowered round the room at all the coves before his eyes;
“Apologies are offered from Black Jack and One-Eyed Sid,
They're currently a-swinging from their gibbets up on high.”
“Oo arrrggh!” replied the motley crew, who downed a toast of grog,
In memory of Jack and Sid and all who jig and prance
When dangling from the hangman’s noose on Tyburn’s windswept knoll,
Unwilling partners in Grim Jim the Reaper’s final dance.
As silence fell upon the room and all respects were paid,
The chairman dabbed a teary eye and cleared his throat of phlegm :
“Good masters from the mighty ships that plunder Cornish seas
I call to order members for this Pirates’ AGM!”
"Now as y’know, Agenda Item One, contentious be,
So we must full apply our best attention one and all.
A question of perplexity, that always causes grief:
What theme shall we ‘ave this year for the Pirates’ Christmas Ball?”
The group began a murmuring which quickly grew and grew,
As keen debate and argument erupted o’er the choice.
A fist fight briefly took a hold until a musket shot
Brought sense and order to the room, and then up spoke a voice:
“We could all come as vicars,” ventured Peg Leg Pirate Pete,
Whose mother dearly wanted him to get a clergy job.
“You scurvy dog! That’s utter bilge!” another voice rang out;
'Twas Peg Leg’s mortal enemy from Bodmin ; Long John Bob!
And soon the room became quite polarised between the two
For Bob’s mates favoured dressing up as cowboys from the West,
With vicars versus cowboys as the choice before them all
A show of hands was how the question would be put to rest.
The chairman counted out aloud, as arms were duly raised,
And taking note that those with hooks for hands had half a vote,
Declared a draw, and as was custom when the poll was tied,
A free for all ensued, with daggers drawn by each cut-throat.
And so like all the AGMs that pirates could recall,
This meeting ended badly with a mighty bloody brawl,
And as was customary in that County of Cornwall,
The pirates dressed as pirates at the Pirates’ Christmas Ball !

... Aarrrggghh! Jim Lad!

Copyright © 2012 Jonathan Humble

Beware Of Spoons

As Jim sat in the kitchen,
One Tuesday afternoon,
He let his mind drift aimlessly,
While gazing at a spoon.
The strange distorted features,
That stared back at his face,
Grew angry and affronted
By Jim's lack of social grace.
And grabbing our poor hero
Quite roughly by the ear,
The image pulled Jim off his chair,
Beyond our mortal sphere.
And left upon the table,
That Tuesday afternoon,
No clue to Jim's new whereabouts,
Except a bloody spoon!

Mwuah ha ha haah!!!

Copyright © 2013 Jonathan Humble

The Thoughtful Little Cactus

The thoughtful little cactus in the terracotta pot was a philanthropic soul of modest views,
And while musing on the state of things upon the mantle shelf, she would listen to the radio for news.
As an empathetic auditor, she catalogued reports, 'til she felt that something needed to be done,
'Bout the greed and the injustice and the nastiness she'd heard, and to try to make it nice for everyone.
So she wrote a manifesto with a view to sorting out all the problems written on her little list,
And she launched the greenest party that the world had ever seen, to become the first Pereskiopsitist.
Jaded voters used to third-rate politicians and their ilk, with their promises, their perfidy and spin,
In great numbers voted for the Cactus Party, and by tea-time sacked the Government to let the house plant in.
Then the thoughtful little cactus from her base at Number Ten, set about improving everybody's lot.
And she proved a better leader than all those who'd gone before, with it all done from a terracotta pot.

Copyright © 2013 Jonathan Humble

The Dance Of The Random Hanky

This universe of quantum doubt, so prone to the bizarre,
Where oddity from time to time affects what one beholds,
Was host to washing on a line, with flapping handkerchief,
Wherein an elemental thought popped up amid the folds.
And speculating from its peg, upon a gaining breeze,
Along with socks and underpants and other laundered gear,
It wondered what the view was like from up amongst the clouds,
When all at once the wind swept it into the atmosphere.
The hanky flew so very high and marvelled at the sight,
Of hilly fields, assorted trees and rivers passing by.
It revelled with a friendly lark, who taught it how to dance,
And joined in with its summer song of love up in the sky.
The other stuff upon the line, quite keen to have some fun,
Strained one and all against their pegs so they might get to go
And fly and jig and swoop and laugh up with their happy friend,
Away from all sobriety hard tethered down below.
This universe of quantum doubt, quite prone to the bizarre,

Where strange event in random dream more properly belongs,
Was host to laundry in the air, cavorting with the birds,
With socks and pants and handkerchief all singing summer songs.

Copyright © 2013 Jonathan Humble

Pontefract Postponed (or Beware the Black Bonne Bouche)

While sitting by a tree within a wood last Wednesday week,
Perfecting transcendental yogic hovering technique,
A mystic would-be sky-pilot with pure unsullied soul,
Conversed with one determined to dislodge his aureole.
For pious Jim got chatting with Old Mephistopheles,
Who on a stroll to capture wayward sinners in the trees,
Discovered pure and lovely Jim, and thought it might be nice
To tempt him with some naughty ways denounced in Paradise.
Old Nick ran through the deadly sins, as impious tour guide;
From Avarice and Lust, to Envy, Sloth, Anger and Pride.
All swiftly were dismissed by Jim, with innocence intact,
Until the Devil tempted him with cakes from Pontefract.
"Where comest this fine black bonne bouche?" asked poor demented Jim,
As Greed quite overcame his mind and left him in a spin.
A knowing smile played on Nick's lips, as pointing to 'The North',
He doomed young Jim to liquorice addiction from thenceforth.
To Pontefract went fallen youth in such indecent haste
To sate his hedonistic need for Spanish sweet root taste.
And there amongst the local folk, damned Jim was left to dwell,
On Devil's mission in the darkest depths of Yorkshire Hell.

... apologies to Pontefract (it's a lovely place really :) )

Copyright © 2013 Jonathan Humble

The Way Of Things ...

Lord Aubrey Danglewood was known by all below the salt,
To be a shilling less than full; a bank without a vault.
A chinless wonder bred from stock quite rare in the extreme;
His gene pool scarcely had enough to form a synchro team.
Yet 'though his lordship clearly was a bear of little brains,
His heart was true within his chest, and love coursed through his veins.
He loved his wife Drusilla, and his kids Hortense and Vlad;
He loved his hounds and horses and the servants that he had;
He quite adored the country pile his ancestors had built,
From robbing peasants after all their guts and blood was spilt.
His ignorance of antecedent slaughter from the past,
Was ended when enlightenment left Danglewood aghast;
Whilst watching on his telly, David Starkey blether on,
About transgressions of nobility from times long gone,
The penny dropped, and Danglewood felt deep regret and shame;
He knew he had to put to right the wrongs done in his name.
So there and then the noble lord decided to atone,
Renounce his titles, land and wealth and sell his lovely home.
He changed his name to Albert Wood and wondered how he might
Find ways to help alleviate poor workers' social plight.
His filthy lucre he disposed to swiftly give away
To victims of past Danglewood marauding and foul play.
He joined the Tory Party and became a candidate,
Returning as elected member for the Third Estate.
He took his seat as plain old Bertie Wood and set about
Reforming with a zeal in favour of those folk without.
But being dimmer than a twenty watt organic light,
The former lord became ensnared by Tory sybarites,
Who with corruption, greed, ambition, perfidy and sin,
Entangled poor dear Bertie 'til his mind was in a spin.
Despite his best intentions, all his plans were laid to waste,
And left upon his noble tongue, a nasty aftertaste.
He spent his days in Parliament, a journeyman MP,
Upon the backbench, quite confused, until aged 63,
His title of Lord Danglewood, by statute was restored,
And wearing ermine, he was sent back as a Tory lord.
Now looking for the moral in this cautionary verse:
Decisions made in haste are rarely good and make things worse.
So Tories out there, if you wish to learn from Bert's mistake,
Protect your wealth, forget the poor, you've won in life's sweepstake
And comrades from the other side, this concept must be mastered;
Remember ev’ry chinless landed twit’s a Tory aspirant hoping to make the Conservative A-List of candidates drawn up by Conservative Central Office at the behest of David Cameron.

Copyright © 2013 Jonathan Humble

Disclaimer: Any similarity to Tories alive, dead or walking dead, is purely coincidental and just an added bonus ... :)