My Camel's Name Is Brian

My camel's name is Brian,
He lives beside my bed,
He has concerns about the ache I have inside my head.
Not everyone can see him,
As camels go, he's small;
In fact my wife and doctor don't believe he's there at all!
But being empathetic,
Dear Brian talks with me;
He tucks me in at bedtime and he makes my morning tea.
In many ways he's perfect,
I only have one grouse;
I do wish he'd stop leaving little piles around the house.

Copyright © 2014 Jonathan Humble

Lament (the cheesy version)

What is that smell?
My, what a pong!
I hear them say outside.
As deep within this cold dark place,
I sit and think and hide.
Abandoned, lost, left on the shelf,
Unloved and gone to pot.
A furry growth, my overcoat,
The bit the cook forgot.
I'm mouldy cheese;
Gone off, gone bad,
My sell-by date's gone by.
A stinky mess is all I am;
Not fit to grate or fry.
Behind the butter and the ham,
I know my time is short;
I doubt I'll end up on a plate
Beside a glass of port.
I'm mottled green and past my best.
My taste is quite obscene.
I'll never now be part of any
Cheesy haute cuisine.

Copyright © 2010 Jonathan Humble

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 © 2014 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 derring-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

I Had A Dog Called Grimsby

I had dog called Grimsby,
A funny little tyke.
He wouldn’t run to catch a ball, chase squirrels or the like.
He wouldn’t bark at joggers,
He hated to get wet!
He didn’t growl or cause a fuss when visiting the vet.
My friends said he was boring,
I ought to get a pet
With character, and lots of bounce, that played the clarinet.
But ‘though he wasn’t special,
With Grimsby I would stick.
And so I thought what I would do was teach my dog a trick.
A skill that would amaze you,
And build up Grimsby’s fans;
I’d teach my dog to feed himself by opening tin cans.
And after lots of training
To open with precision,
We got the chance to demonstrate his skills on television.
The outcome was tremendous;
His fan base grew and grew,
Until it was quite difficult ‘cos half the country knew
That funny little doggy,
The one that opened tins
And we were pestered day and night for autographs and things.
So me and Grimsby vanished,
To get away from fame
And start a new life in a place where no one knew his name.
And when my neighbours ask me
About my little dog,
Who sits ignoring squirrels, sticks and folk out for a jog,
I say that Grimsby’s quiet,
He doesn’t prance or bite,
Until my dog joins in the chat, looks up and says “That’s right!!!”

Copyright © 2015 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

The Pencil

The pencil wrote a learned note,
In which he dropped a Karl Marx quote,
So all could see his pedigree
In matters of great weight.
And by his side, awash with pride,
His chum the biro certified
In Garamond on paper bond,
His prowess in debate.
"We know our stuff!" was biro's bluff,
Although, in truth, not quite enough,
For biro's mind was unrefined;
Quite prone to blotchy spin.
And o'er the way, a rubber lay;
Hell bent on spoiling biro's day,
Before the pair, could both declare
A dialectic win.
"Your points are flawed," the rubber roared,
As pencil sharpeners guffawed.
"And for a Bic, you're rather thick!"
The rude eraser said.
A good retort, the biro sought,
But to his mind there came but nought;
In blotted ink, all he could think
Was “Go and boil your head!”
Then with a smile, and bags of style,
The pencil waited with some guile,
For all ensuing ballyhoo
To cease and give respite
And as he spoke, with heart of oak,
Defeating foes at just one stroke,
With peerless wit, quite exquisite
The pencil showed his might:
"You've sharpened wood, 'til points are good,
Erased mistakes where e'er they've stood,
But thoughts abide, unqualified,
Within this pencil case;
Do we agree technology
Could quite outmode both you and me,
With processed word quite undeterred,
'Til we are all replaced?
Come, let's be friends, as all depends
On how we now can make amends.
For lest we choose our wit to use,
The end I can foresee."
Then all around stared at the ground,
As thoughts became somewhat profound;
They'd not evade the moot point made :
2B or not to be ...

Copyright © 2014 Jonathan Humble

Question From A Supernumerary

I feel a little in the way, a nuisance I suppose;
I'm like a green carbuncle on a supermodel's nose.
A fly found in the ointment, a worm upon a plate,
A banker's contribution to a probity debate.
A vegan at a hog roast, a snake inside a boot,
The water lapping at the feet of mighty King Canute.
A politician's promise, a long forgotten vow,
As useful as a set of wheels and jet pack on a cow.
I feel somewhat superfluous, important I am not,
As vital to the circumstance as camels on a yacht;
And so I have a question, asked with due humility,
Within an endless universe, what is the point of me?

Copyright © 2014 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 © 2014 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 © 2014 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