In the wee hours

TUTOR of mine, pardon my
BRAWL, I mean scrawl, which I wrote in a cloud of excess.
EXALT my marks to an A+ I beg,
PRIOR to my deadline. I’m in your thrall, and thee I will bless. 

Handwritten observations on patients – courtesy WellcomeImages

The death of silence

CLANG! the kids are home. Peace no longer reigns as now
ERUPTs the homework pain, the refusal to read the tome.
QUIET has gone like a stolen garden gnome. Vainly I
SAUTĖ my interrupted meal, my late lunch, midst a teenage velodrome.

Invidious position

Back in the day, the hooker in the SCRUM’s
middle, was liddle – as I was, and BESET
by the blokey blokes around me; SMALL,
with bleeding nose, I hung between the props, SADLY.      

In the 50s, the rugby scrum was a different kettle of fish; the hooker, the guy who was supposed to ‘hook’ the ball with his foot, was one of the smaller members of the team, and would literally hang between the two props. These days the hooker is as big and bulky as the rest of the men in the scrum.

Empty space

I can remember the wonderful days of stretched-out CinemaSCOPE,
when one actor might be on the far left, the other on the far right.
There was time when spreading out your actors was a kind of GENRE,
but when TV started showing these elasticated MOVIEs
you could wind up watching a blank set with voices coming from either side,
arguing, or blowing invisible kisses, across a set that was
otherwise MOSSY.

Screenshot from the trailer of The Robe, 1953

All in a day’s work

GNOME opened the gnome-sized door to the
METER reader, who first went red as a new-laid
BRICK, and then by turns pale, wan and
ASHEN, before tripping over his shoes, (made of suede).


RADAR, a M.A.S.H. soldier seldom
ELATEd, was elated less on seeing his miniscule
STEAK, the first for a year, disappear in a
FOAMY cloud of marked-down military soap.        

Radar from MASH, copyright 19.3.1976 CBS Television


Heading, yacking, rolling towards DEBAR
I scarce my mind in order to order had BEGUN
When I heard before me? – back o’ me? – some fibreglass CLINK:
Me mate – that son of a gun! – was having a drink in a bottomless KAYAK.

Shift worker

OMBRÉ sky blends blue, gray, white,
TODAY blends evening into night. My
MECCA, midnight, my day’s delight, my shift
WEDGEd midway between dark and bright.            

Night worker – Photo: Fernando Mafra, São Paulo, Brasil