Under The Bed ...

There's a ghost inside my wardrobe, there's a ghoul under my bed,
And behind the curtain lurking hides a zombie from the dead.
In the dark and dingy corner, watching with its evil eye,
Is a scary hairy creature guaranteed to horrify.
As I tremble and I whimper every night under the sheet,
Half expecting a most ghastly painful gory end to meet,
In the darkness, it is these words that I splutter: "God, why me?"
For I'm far too young to die yet, as I'm only fifty-three.

Copyright © 2013 Jonathan Humble

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

World Tripe Day ... 24th October

Freshly dressed this autumn morning,
Laid upon the butcher's slab,
Honeycomb of pure temptation;
Pound of tripe, you're looking fab ...

Copyright © 2014 Jonathan Humble

The Tripe Hound Of Little Ormstonmere #TripeDog2014

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

Coffee With John

‘Twas with my head inside a book, at chapter three, page ten,
First paragraph, first sentence at a semi-colon, when
I felt a strong conviction there’s no place I’d rather be
Than sipping coffee with Steinbeck within the library …

Copyright © 2014 Jonathan Humble

The Perils Of Courtship (On A Windy Afternoon)

"It's a big nose, I will grant you," says the suitor to his girl, on their Sunday stroll one autumn afternoon.
"But just think of the advantage that our offspring will enjoy, as they keep their feet dry during a monsoon."

Smiling kindly, says his sweetheart: "It's a fine and handsome nose; aquilinity quite suits your face my dear!
But I do find fault my darling when the sun pays us a call, for I'm in a shadow caused by your left ear!"

So in order that his girl can feel the lovely autumn sun, he adjusts his head one quarter to the right;
But unfortunately, as he executes this gallant turn, autumn winds take hold and blow him out of sight.

Copyright © 2012 Jonathan Humble

Ballad Of The Fruit Bowl

The speckled ripe banana lay alone inside the bowl,
And worried 'bout the consequence for his immortal soul,
Because he'd sung his friend, the pear, an optimistic ballad
Two minutes 'fore she was chopped up as part of a fruit salad.
He wondered if he'd let her down, because in him she'd trusted;
Oblivious to his own fate, as he was doused in custard.
And so we learn that optimism in the bowl of life
Is hopeless, once the Chef decides to wield the salad knife.

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 Fruit Fool

The kumquat sobbed upon the shelf,
A fruit somewhat benighted,

Despite the verse he'd sent his love,
His love was unrequited.
You see the fool was unaware
He'd got much too excited;
His muse turned out to be a plum,
For kumquats are short sighted.

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 © 2011 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

God Save The King

O mighty hallux toenail,
Protruding and unbowed,
A king amongst all other nails;
So strong, so thick, so proud.
As legend is your toughness;
You're hard, like granite rocks,
But now your days are numbered,
For you're wrecking all my socks ... 

Copyright © 2012 Jonathan Humble

The End ...

As we approach 'The End Of Days' and hope becomes despair,
Remember what the wise man says and find fresh underwear.
You will not find advice more sound, insightful or germane,
As inextricably all that we know goes down the drain.
For as the Maker waits for us beyond this mortal sphere,
She will not well appreciate the remnant smell of fear.
Resist the urge to run and scream, as headless as the rest.
Go placidly amid the noise in clean socks, pants and vest.

Copyright © 2010 Jonathan Humble