Poem #62

We met a guy outside Oxford station,

Whose accent, by my guesstimation,

Synched cockney and northern Australian.

From behind his grill he wore a permagrin,

Vending a limited menu therein

(With the odd translation in Mandarin).

When, at length, I enquired about these

Infrequent Hanzi, he replied, ‘If you please,

They reconcile my commercial needs.

If all were translated, people might see

My humble grill as an outlet Chinese;

So to preserve my name as a barbecue,

I determined only to gloss the most select few.

But, because I orientally spell some,

My Chinese clients always feel welcome.’

Unsure what else I might feasibly say,

I nodded,

‘Understandable, have a nice day.’

Poem #52

2018: A Love Story

He was a baker,
She was gluten-free,
By all accounts
Their love
Was never meant to be.

Each day the baker
Felt keenly her lack;
Why, in God’s name,
Did he
Love a coeliac?

But then the baker,
Sick of being glum,
Baked a new bread
Of brown rice flour
And xanthan gum.

She bought the whole loaf,
Dispelling his woes,
And ate it unbuttered
(Being, as she was,
Averse to lactose).

But now the milkman,
Ostensibly coy,
Makes his own play,
I hear, ten pints of soy.

Poem #16

Peter was a funny boy

Who’d masticate raw cabbage;

He’d drop dry leaves into his mouth

And crunch them like a savage.


Peter was the kind of boy

For whom the age-old adage,

‘Eat your greens and you’ll stay lean,’

Was stooped in excess baggage.


Peter was a quirky boy

Who made up his own language,

Coding leafy greens

As puddings good enough to ravage.