Category Archives: rhyming poetry


cheese platter.jpg

Rigid in bed, glaring at ceiling,
belly-ache imparting ghastly feeling.
Hurt so bad, didn’t sleep all night
belly-ache brought on quite a fright.
Veggie bake was big mistake;
too much cheese brings belly ache.

Can’t pretend I didn’t know –
belly-ache gripped me weeks ago
from baking up delicious meal:
belly-ache made me squirm and squeal.
Swore back then that I’d forsake
cheese that served up belly-ache.

Once again I failed to resist
lovely cheesy belly-achy dish.
Guessed the cause; it’s not too sad
belly-ache’s inspired by rocky gall-blad.
Rich cheese sauce gave personal proof
when belly-ache shot through the roof.

Knew right then what I had to do –
take belly-ache to medical zoo.
Personable doctor prodded me,
gave me more belly-ache for free.
Nodding heads, we both agreed
ultra-sound scan was what I’d need.

Waited weeks in sober mood,
eating belly-ache reducing food.
cutting lovely cheeses out –
Don’t want another belly-ache bout.
Letter came giving me a date
for looking deep into belly-ache.

Crawled to bus-stop in heat of sun,
went to hospital, belly-ache gone.
Lay on the bed for friendly technician –
pleased with belly-ache’s brief remission.
She greased my belly and used her skill
to find the secret of belly-aching ill.

Technician told me her name was Nelli,
she made a movie of ache-free belly.
She was sweet and funny and quite kind-hearted –
this was the belly-aching news she imparted;
Belly filled with truckload of rocks,
Tying me in belly-aching knots.

Now I have to wait and see,
when belly-ache will be cut out of me.
looking forward to the glorious day;
I’ll throw my belly-ache diet sheet away.
Here is the reason that I’m so pleased;
Won’t get belly-ache when I eat cheese.

The technician really was called Nelli…

©Jane Paterson Basil

New Age

When glory days gave way to night
(a dark that crept without relief,
its fisted hand tucked out of sight
yet stealing joy, just like a thief)
I bravely tried to stand and fight
and rise above my grief.

I wore my ashen sackcloth cloak
that told false tales of blood and steel;
my words were blurred by tears and smoke,
so close to truth; yet not quite real,
and in between, a murky joke
to mask the bitter feel.

You bravely took the cloak from me,
and cast it boldly to the ground,
then bathed me in sweet honesty
and wrapped me in this silken gown.
You changed the course of history;
farewell to Golden Brown.

A line is drawn through yesteryear,
while shining brighter than the day
a promise dazzles out the fear,
and wipes the ghostly shame away.
Though still I shed a secret tear,
I know you’re home to stay.

The fire did not consume my heart,
but as I fought its searing rage,
it shaped my humble scribblers art —
so as I enter this new age,
a compass point would help me start
the story on this page.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Indomitable # a poem

Filleigh - Castle_Hill_viaduct.jpg

Standing on the window ledge polishing the glass,
petrified pedestrians staring at my ass.
Don’t think about the pavement thirty feet below;
hang on to the window frame and don’t let go.
When the windows are clean, the battle is won;
you call it risky but I call it fun.

The disused viaduct is surprisingly high,
If I was to plummet I would surely die.
The protective fence is no wider than my shoe –
close your eyes tight if I am scaring you.
Ten steps to go, and I’m feeling driven,
you call it madness but I call it living.

Lying in the park in the middle of the day,
just around the corner from the kids at play.
Frankie is practicing his knife-throwing skill;
every near miss is giving me a thrill.
Watching his smile as he hovers above;
You call it dangerous but I call it love.

Image of Castle Hill Viaduct. At some point before I moved to the area – in my teens, a fence was built along each edge of the bridge, to make it ‘safe’.

©Jane Paterson Basil



We define ourselves with labels,
it makes us feel secure.
The wealthy say they’re middling,
and the middling say they’re poor.
The mean say they are thrifty,
as they push you out the door,
while some of the ‘hardworking’
are lazing on the floor.

The grasping speak of charity,
as they buy another slave.
The callous say they’re caring,
as they step upon your grave.
The greedy say they’re hungry,
as a seventh course they crave.

Let’s remove the labels
we’ve pasted on our heads.
Let’s nail them to our walls,
and live by them instead.

The Daily Post #Label

© Jane Paterson Basil

Go to Go 30

I go to Go30, to fulfil my dream,
I go to Go30 to get fit and lean;
toning my muscles and trimmming my thighs
out of sight of those weight-lifting guys
showing off in the regular gym,
who don’t come here ‘cos they can’t come in.

Calling all women; go to Go30 now,
if you want to get strong they’ll show you how;
it’s true they won’t give you an easy ride
but the trainers are always on your side;
they’ll soon figure out how much you can doactive-18975_1280
and they’re always willing to work with you.

Whether you’re grieving or anxious or sad
in a very short time you won’t feel so bad.
If you’re deeply depressed or just feeling blue
the Go30 programme will be good for you;
and not only that, with its warm atmosphere,
you’ll soon make friends and dispel your fear.

Go30 offers of their own volition
professional advice on good nutrition.
They’ll take a look at your weekly diet;
if they suggest a change, go on and try it;
so go to GO30, go as aften as you can;
in no time at all you’ll be a Go30 fan.

©Jane Paterson Basil


Thanks for nothing Yasmin


You tell and retell the same tired old stories
about your family’s shame and your vain past glories.
It doesn’t matter that you know I’ve heard it before
you have to tell it at least ten times more.
You’ve never been discreet and you don’t really care
about a small exaggeration here and there.
For thirty-eight years you’ve never let me speak
you cut me off almost every time I squeak.
I’ve always been polite, I always had a smile
though I’ve felt like slapping you once in a while.

Now and again your verbal domination
has been squashed by me for a short duration,
and over the years you have learned
of my hatred of drugs and how I’ve been burned
by two of my childrens’ predilections
for self medicating and picking up addictions.

My son’s in prison on the brink of release
and if he stays straight I will have some peace.
It’s his fourth time out and I’m hoping this time
he’s properly recovered and will tow the line.
As for my daughter, she’s been driven half mad
by the complex cocktail of drugs she’s had,
and even an optimistic soul such as I
has to accept that pretty soon she’ll die.

My own drug history is pretty bare;
I smoked a bit of cannabis here and there,
forty years ago for a month or two,
as it seemed like the sociable thing to do,
until I found the confidence to turn my head
and concentrate on getting on with life instead;
I turned down speed, coke and LSD;
It wasn’t the right kind of life for me.
My friends disapproved, said I wasn’t cool,
but I reckoned it was better than being a fool.

I try try to keep in a healthy state,
but I can’t help worrying about my offsprings’ fate.
I’ve fought the effects for the past ten years
while my kids’ lives were crashing around my ears.
No-one know the dark places I have travelled;
is it any wonder I’m becoming unravelled?
My doctor and psychiatrist both agree
I’m suffering from a bad case of anxiety.
As soon as I relax I fall to the ground
no matter who happens to be around.
I’m not asleep but I can hear their talk,
I’m just unable to get up and walk.

For thirty eight years I’ve called you my friend,
even though you’ve driven me around the bend.
I’ve always been loyal and I got used to it
but I no longer like you one little bit.
I could take your nonsense and your self-obsession;
I could take your ignorance of my depression;
I could take your blagging and your dirty con tricks,
but what you’ve done now has made me feel sick.
You say I’m doing drugs though you know it’s not true;
I wouldn’t take a pill if I had the flu,
I’ve even been offered opioids in the past
for raging toothache, but I stuck fast.

I don’t take drugs because it causes strife,
I don’t take drugs because I want a life.
I do all I can to look after myself,
I don’t care for money but I care for my health.
I could think of a lot of hurtful things to say
about all of your crimes, but I’ll call it a day.
I know you just couldn’t stop your yakety yak
but you’ve said it now and there’s no turning back.
I don’t take drugs Yasmin – understand this;
I’ve removed your name from my Christmas card list.

©Jane Paterson Basil


Get in training



you ‘d better think quick, better get in training
cos’ you may find all manner of complications raining
down on your head
and you could be dead
if you don’t have the wisdom to build your strength
don’t forget you’re young and you’ve got the whole length
of your life to live
you’ll have nothing to give
if you don’t work out a lighter way to carry that load
cos’ you’re gonna find a year or ten down the road
bad luck or fate
will add to the weight
it could be any one of all manner of issues
and you won’t hold it back by crying into tissues
so do it today
practice every way
of dealing with any kind of troubles you may face
this is not a garden party, it’s the human race
life can get rough
so you have to be tough
to ward off depression, stress and anxiety
or you’ll end up with much more weight than you can carry.

A hurried one, written for The Daily Post’s One Word Prompt #Carry, while waiting to meet a friend…

©Jane Paterson Basil


Melon Baller

By Paul, Guest poet

Melon baller, melon baller, your purpose is clear
Your life will be easy, you’ve no need to fear.
The mission is simple, much like your life
My insane yet mundane melon-balling device.

You appear to be dreary, grey and so bleak;
so tacky, exactly, and built to be weak.
You live such a cheap, meagre existance;
you’re replaced when you break, for not more than a sixpence.

So what do you do when no melon’s in sight?
You’re aching and shaking, no chance for delight.
The cravings grow strong, and so does the hate
The drought must end now, so I can partake.

I don’t play pool, paint, or go fishing
For balling fruit is my solitary mission
I ball to make the day more bright,
I ball to fill the lonely nights.

My son Paul wrote this while in prison. He was given three weeks solitary confinement for brewing hooch, and had to find ways to fill his time, and stop him from going crazy. He told me that at the point when he wrote this poem he felt as if he was losing his mind.

Being in lock up may make a person crazy, but so does drinking hooch. fortunately he had the opportunity to ponder that thought, and when he saw – through his barred windows –  a hooched-up inmate violently attack another prisoner he felt responsible and realized that selling hooch in prison  is a dangerous crime, even if it is the most carefully made hooch anyone has ever drunk…





I took up my colours and I sprayed the clouds,
but the paint dispersed and sank to the ground,
insidiously poisoning the land around;
like an invisible virus scattering its seeds,
like a beautiful rose being choked by weeds,
like bloated obsession birthing evil deeds.
So I inked it on the wall of number 10,
and they locked me up but I’ll do it again
as soon as they let me out of this pen.
The X Factor stage will be my next hit;
and if they throw me back in this pit
when they free me again I’ll grab my kit
and I’ll spray it on the newsdesk at the BBC,
for everyone in Britain to clearly see.
The word is Compassion, because Compassion is the key.

Written for Writing 101 Poetry Day 8 – Graffiti.

©Jane Paterson Basil