Monthly Archives: January 2016


It’s timepetition com – I mean competition time!

Inspired by the Roover and Spender – sorry, the Reverend Spooner, I’ve bane pleeing – oops! been playing in the cutlery drawer. Yes, that’s what I mean, the cutlery drawer, and I’ve raid a little mime – here we go again, I mean I’ve ride a little maim – no no! I’ve made a little rhyme which became slightly confused, what with spoonerisms and kniferisms and the like. Perhaps someone could unravel it for me. First person to succeed wins something peculiar from the back of my cupboard, if they’re prepared to come to North Devon, England, and collect it…

I saught I thaw a flubbertie
flowing Ivorhead
but when I gooked a lane I saw
the thor pittle ding was lead
and it was skropping drew the thigh
like it was laid of med

I bought I thaw a sumblebee
fluzzing in a bower
but when I lanced another chook
it was flot a nower
and it was botanee –
and I felt piss endowered

goys and burls, it’s a wunny old furled
where thongs are knit
always the way sings theme
rare theal wings and sot you wee
don’t always take a meam
so weed my horning and cook larefully
whenever ye sue a flubbertie, a bower or a flea

©Jane Paterson Basil

Is it me?

so I’m just sitting,
ring-stained mug at my elbow,
eyes flicking
from laptop screen
to the world beyond my wet window pane;
my gauzy reflection a shadow so easy to miss,
even when dull, rain-drenched view of early dusk,
misty and uncertain,
only half beckons, feigning indifference

sometimes I wonder if I am living my life
or just living it out
and I think
is it me
or has the sky run out of ideas?

©Jane Paterson Basil

The soldier


He leapt the gate, eager to embrace she who had promised to wait forever for him. He saw a movement behind the window. Her adorable face stared longingly past him, aged now, but still beautiful. Elated, he called her name, but she continued to gaze sadly through him. Loudly he repeated her name over and over, but received no recognition. Devasted, he walked slowly away.
Her heart had momentarily leapt. She thought she had seen her long lost love, young and handsome in his soldier’s uniform, but he would be an old man now. His ghost shimmered and disappeared.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Four nosey posies

This week,  Esther Newton challenged her readers to write a limerick which includes the word ‘Nosey’. I got carried away and wrote four…

The chicken-bellied parson of Aldershot
Was a nosey, backmailing, wicked lot
Even when in repose
The parson’s nose
Could weazel out secrets, and plot

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I used to think life was rosey
Til I married a man who was nosey.
I dispised that guy
And his efforts to spy
On my lover and me getting cosy!

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I didn’t like the people of this nosey town
The backbiting and rumours got me down
I shot everybody dead
and now, instead
I miss all my friends in this lonely town

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And finally:

Nosey Rosie Thompson-Twitty
(although she is really VERY pretty)
has a nose like a bus
but so dangerous
it’s been banished from Birmingham city

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©Jane Paterson Basil

That cracked and pitted path

Note to family and friends: please don’t be alarmed by this poem – this is a response to Esther Newton’s Weekly Challenge, and refers to the situation a year ago.

Medical mutilation is her means to an end,
a dirty deviation that I cannot mend.
It’s messed with her mind and it’s made her mad,
stealing all the inspiration she once had;
everything she tells me is a misinterpretation,
most of what she sees is wild hallucination.
Her fading head is fetid with foul fabrication,
and her family are drowning in devastation.
She shouts allegations of spies in the trees,
of worms beneath her skin and injected disease.
She threatens and she rages and she begs and she pleas:
Why don’t you ever listen to me?
She stomps to the bathroom and she locks the door,
not caring that I know what she’s in there for.
She knows I forbid the filthy drugs within my home,
but selfishness is part of the addict’s syndrome.
At one a.m. she’s yelling and she hasn’t stopped at four,
when finally I’m forced to push her out of the door.

Despair, like an iron maiden, crushes me in,
re-piercing my scarred and broken skin.
My knocking knees weaken and I sink to the floor.
I remember no yesterday, no future dawn;
no memory of the happiness we knew before,
nor the slightest hope that she may be reborn.
Rusted iron blood clogs my veins,
clanks and clammers in my brain,
and though I try to stand, I try in vain.
So this is it, I think, I will not rise again

I take deep breaths to banish from my head,
all of the recriminating things she has said
and all of paranoid drug-induced inventions,
while I try to focus on my intentions.
I lie on my back and I meditate
on how to return to a positive state.
She’s been well before, and whatever the cost
she can be well again; all is never lost.
Whatever the danger of Laura’s reproach
I’ll ring the doctor and we’ll find a new approach.

I’ve re-established hope at last.
I’ve found my way back to that cracked and pitted path.
I wonder if the devil will feel my wrath,
or whether he’ll achieve the final laugh.

©Jane Paterson Basil




they used to act crazy and they said they didn’t care
about the state of their clothes or the cut of their hair
but their jeans had to flare and their locks were always long
and their colour-clashing fashion style was never wrong
their music was appealing, though it wasn’t the kind
you could write without the aid of a pill to shape the mind

they looked looked down their noses at those who had cash
their ashtrays overflowed with wacky baccy ash
they’d float up the road in their long drooping skirts
dragged down by the weight of the grey roadside dirt
they said they wanted freedom, they said they wanted peace
but a lot of them just wanted to score some LSD

the best of them were present at important demonstrations
while the rest of them confined themselves to cliched remonstrations
they complained about the bread-heads, the straights and the dole
they didn’t think that they should have to take a working role
so they sat in cosy corners in a muttering clutch
making ignorant remarks that didn’t help much

they were young and the world pulsed under their feet
and they thought it would dance to their youthful heartbeat
but you can’t change the world when you haven’t a clue
about what is the right and the wrong thing to do
you can’t change the world to fit your shoes
you can try if you like, but you’re bound to lose

the best of them examined the world as it turned
changing their course through the lessons they learned
looking for ways to make the world a better place
for the birds, beasts and fishes, and the human race
or simply settling down to an average life
with house, job, two kids and a husband or wife

and what of the hippies that they left behind
who lived for themselves and chose to be blind?
their years went by in a chemical haze
and sometimes they’d shuffle in a glass-eyed daze
down to the shops to pick up some fags
their psychedelic clothing reduced to rags

every so often an old friend would say
“so-and-so died in the hospital today
he should have been placed on suicide watch
goodness knows where he got that match
but he started a fire and he lay on the bed
they tried to save him, but he wound up dead.”

some of them found heroin and some found crack
some died from overdose or heart attack
some of them are locked in a psychiatric ward
the ones who kept their freedom are all getting bored
sitting in a chair with a warm cup of tea
trying to pull a tenner from fifty p.

we’re the predecessors of the current youth
and it’s time we admitted to the difficult truth
for fifty years the drug disease has been growing
while half the world ignored the seeds that it was sowing
the present generation is the most affected yet
all of us are shocked, but what did we expect?

©Jane Paterson Basil

My blurred facsimile


the evening sunlight strikes weakly,
giving permission for my dusky shadow
long and lean,
from my ponderously treading feet
and paint a blurred facsimile on the grey concrete,
but, upon yellow-eyed examination, it occurs to me
that in days gone by, when my step was nimble,
my grin elastic, and my skin unwrinkled,
that just like me, my shadow had
a sharper edge to it

©Jane Paterson Basil