Tag Archives: humor

Piffle

naked-pun

Once

a pun a time

saved nine

~~!~~

 Written for the Word of the Day Challenge: Piffle, I present to you part 1 of a 1 part series of short poetry. Each part highlights a single aspect of the nonsense embodied by the word Piffle.

This is both the first and the last poem in a short series which is too sad to make a sandwich, or even to be buttered. It curls alone on the plate, drying to a crisp while readers glance toward it, then look away quickly, embarrassed to witness the shame of this small, tragic pun.

“Take pity,” croaks Pun, its eyes growing hazy, but Pity has changed its name to Party and is celebrating the excellence of metaphor, meter and rhyme. It’s drunk too much wine and has no time for humble Pun, who disconsolately chews a few crumbs of humble pie, a single tear falling from its eye. Just when I think it is losing consciousness, it catches sight of me. It points the withered tail of its P in my direction, and with its dying breath it cries:

“She’s to blame. She made me.”

Fortunately nobody is listening. They’re either at the party, enjoying great poetry, or this nonsense has lulled them to sleep.

I see my mistake now, but I think I’ve got away with it. The poem should say:

Once

a pun in time

saved nine.

THAT makes perfect sense.

.

 ©Jane Paterson Basil

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Miscalculation

Or

bad-idea-words

Inebriation
Flirtation
Assignation
Sensation
Titillation
Lubrication
Elation
Vibration
Gyration
Deflation
Cessation
Frustration
Castration
Prostration
Hospitalisation
Recrimination
Investigation
Litigation
Mitigation?
Erectile emigration vexation

.

Written for the Word of the Day Challenge: Investigation

Inspired by Nestle Five Boys Chocolate

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Games with Names

W

Within wildest Wales,
Will will walk with warm, wilting Welsh women,
Wayland will wail with whales.
Warner’s warning whispers will waken wary Wade;
Wade won’t wade – will wonder why Wally wildly wallows.
Watching wistfully, Wiston will wait
while Willow weaves wet withering willow.
Wanda will wander,
Woody will whittle wood, wishing Walter wouldn’t waste water.
Wan will wanly wave wands, wasting wishes.
Warren will waft weak warrants,
Winnie will whinny, wearily watching,
Wayne will whine woefully.
Wendy will wend westward
while Wallace will wince and writhe in shame,
since Jane is tired of playing alliterative name games.

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

From the Horse’s Mouth

gathering

I ‘spect you ‘eard the rumours back then, but you can’t set too much store by Chinese whispers. I know exactly what ‘appened that day, since I was practically there. See, my mum used to chat with Sally, the fishmonger’s wife, when she went to get our lovely fresh cod of a Friday, and Cuthbert – her ‘usband – well, ‘e used to deliver fish, regular, to the Royal Kitchen. He got quite pally with the Royal Cook, Sally’s Cuthbert did. Oh yes, he moved with the cream of society, ‘er Cuthbert, what with goin’ round to all the best ‘ouses an’ mixin’ with all the best cooks in the realm, an’ all. He was a nice chap so they all made allowances for the smell. Anyroad*, the Royal Cook got the story from the kitchen maid who got it from the chambermaid, who got it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. That’s right; the lady-in-waiting ‘erself, who was peaking round the door just after it ‘appened.

So, like I said, I was practically there at the time, and this is ‘ow it went:

The girl ‘ad been tossing and turning all night – couldn’t sleep a wink by all accounts. The palace was getting ready to celebrate since it looked like she’d passed the test, but now she was turning a nasty shade of green an’ ‘aving difficulty breathing. The king ‘appened by, and he saw it and summoned the lady-in waiting, who called for the chambermaid, who ran to find the courtier, who rushed for the physician.

The doctor examined the girl, then wrung ‘is ‘ands, like they does when the king looks at ’em, and mumbled something about balls.

“Speak up, man, and moderate your language, or I’ll order the guards to cut off your head,” cried the king. Just like that, an’ I wouldn’t put it past ‘im. I could tell you some tales would make your hair stand on end, but me lips is sealed.

The physician gathered up ‘is wits and spoke more clear. “Your majesty,” says ‘e, “there hhis no cure for this lady’s hhallergy. I fear the worst. If only Hhi had had been hhinformed, Hhi would have recommended a golf ball and a dozen extra mattresses instead.”

(Physicians is trained to talk proper, for all their funny ideas about leaches and blood-letting. They knows where the aitches is meant to go.)

Just then, the girl sits up like some knight ‘as stuck a red-hot lance up ‘er unmentionables, gives a scream, and collapses as if dead, poor dear. The worst of it was, when she fell back so sudden like, the pile of mattresses started wobbling, and before you know it, she’s rolled out of them and plummeted all the way to the floor like a bloomin’ bag o’ teddies*.

Oh, bless, don’t go upsetting yourself, dearie – I’m sure she didn’t feel nothin’, but like I was about to say, next thing,  all them mattresses got to slippin’ an’ slidin’, and before you know it, the floor’s plastered in ’em. By the time the dust settled, she was buried up to her neck – just lying there underneath those stuffed wodges of striped ticking, with only one pale arm sticking out like the dead end of an amputee party or what-all.

And what did they see but that little green pea, released from its feathery prison, rolling across the floor, like it didn’t have a care in the world. ‘Course, it was quickly absolved of that notion, since the dog – I forgot to tell you about the dog; there was a dog asleep in the corner of the room, an’ it’d managed to sleep through having a mattress land on its back, but it must have ‘eard the pea, makin’ its way across the royal rug, takin’ a straight line between two of them puffy mattresses. The daft dog musta thought it was a rabbit or what-have-you. It was up and on the pea like lightnin’. In a blink, the evidence o’ cause o’ death was down ‘is gullet.

So then the prince come ambling in, with that clipboard they made for him from the last o’ the gold what ‘is previous wife had woven out of straw. I’m talking about his second wife, mind. I ‘spect you ‘eard about the first one, who broke an old glass slipper, trying to prove that her feet were the same size as back when they first started courting. Turned out they wasn’t. She’d bled to death, which was a shame, ‘cos she was pretty, but ‘e married again.

The second marriage had started off awright, what with all them roomfuls of gold and all – bound to make you ‘appy, seems to me – but pretty soon it was all around the palace that his wife was ‘avin’ an affair with a short ugly bloke with a bad temper, who kept comin’ out with strange rhymes an’ wouldn’t tell anyone his name, and if you ask me,  I’d say the rumours was true; she weren’t no better than she shoulda been.

Well, that’s another story, and I’m not one to gossip, but it’s worth a mention since it was ‘cos of ‘er that they weren’t taking no chances this time. The next one ‘ad to be a proper princess – the thing they tried with the glass shoe ended in tears, and they didn’t want any more of that hobnobbing with commoners who makes ‘oles in the floorboards and disappears down ’em before you can cite them as just cause for divorce. See, it’s not like they wanted to behead her – they’d rather have done it the nice way, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Not that they was beggars; they was royals, but still.

Getting back to the prince; the shock of seeing the grisly scene before ‘im give ‘im a bit of a start and his bowler ‘at slid down over ‘is eyes. Did I mention the bowler? ‘E liked to wear it for official stuff like checkin’ for the authenticity of princesses – reckoned it gave ‘im an official air; professional like, along with ‘is important clipboard with its long checklist of names of all the virgins in the realm what claimed to be princesses – or was it all the princesses in the realm what claimed to be virgins?

None of us was sure, but no matter.

Regaining ‘is balance an’ dignity, ‘e slid the bowler back into place an’ stepped over to what he could see of the young woman. Kneeling down, ‘e reached toward her slender ‘and. By all accounts, it looked like a romantic what-‘ave-you, till ‘e pressed a finger to her wrist, where the pulse should ‘ave bin. He looked up at the doctor, ‘oo avoided his eyes, and then at his father, the king, ‘oo rewarded ‘im with a “you win some, you lose some’ kind of a shrug.

Smartly getting up from ‘is knees – princes is good at that kind of thing; standing and sitting and generally moving graceful like dancers, it’s their upbringing, you know – ‘e pulled a pencil from beneath his silk doublet, licked the end and neatly crossed ‘er name off the list.

Written for 3TC: Mattress, Golf ball, Green

*anyroad: anyway

*teddies: a regional name for potatoes.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Stiff Upper Lip

tea-1674830__340

This is your conscience speaking;

I know you feel
like flaying the next-door fiend,
leaving her festering in a smelly heap, to the applause
of almost every tenant on these three floors,

and you fantasise
about an unacceptable, inconceivable set-up with the bed-eyed,
dread-locked sex god you’re forever ogling
in the second-hand shop.

I realise you recently considered
ripping off your jeans and summer vest in the hey-day high street,
screaming “ I hear you knocking but you can’t come in”,
then running away, giggling.

and you are tempted
to tell that frosty screw what her silly victim –
her lily-livered excuse for a libertine loser – plotted to do
to you when she was at bingo, sandwiching his confused pseudo-love
between the pages of a detailed medical dictionary, as if
each irritating phrase was a ribbon-wrapped gift, every
trumped-up twitch and flickering heart beat a treat;
and yet he knew you didn’t want to swim
in anyone’s swan song, let alone
sink through his forlorn
funeral tune.

I understand
that – until you did it – you might think it funny
to cut off your extremities and wiggle your stumps,
singing “Look, no hands,
and no feet, either”,

and you have been dying
to tip your wardrobe through the window, crying, “look – it can fly”,
wait for the smashing crash to attract the neighbours’ attention,
then yell, “and so can I”,
and try.

It’s true that their lives are dull,
and it would give those old folks a thrill
to see your blood churning the earth into rusty mud
to feed the geriatric rose bushes,
but don’t.

This
is your conscience speaking, old bean;
don’t do any of the above – let us not forget
one is British; such activities are simply not cricket.
Extend your stiff upper lip; use it
to lift a kettle, then settle down
with a nice cup of tea.

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Fiction Planet

fractal-662894_64

Fiction Planet is a crazy place
unknowingly created by the human race;
with it’s ever increasing wish for fiction,
there’s never the risk of dereliction.

It’s a world that never fills to overflowing,
constantly stretching, endlessly growing,
while every writer throughout age and time;
in tales long and short, in prose and rhyme,
creates more protagonists to join the throng
of fictional characters, both weak and strong;
carelessly scribbled or seamlessly drawn,
old as the hills or recently born.

Every character in every tale
is instantly despatched, without fail,
to a rocket-ship, soon to be hurled
onto the surface of a far-flung world,
complete with their views, their histories and lives,
the secondary characters; friends, foes and wives.

Thin personalities with watery expression,
written with no talent in a hurried session,
travel with oddballs whose unlikely obsession;
unusual habits and peculiar repression,
are fascinating foibles to make them more real,
your interest to excite, your faith to seal.

Misfortune and cruelty, joy and pleasure;
every kind of fiction is here by the measure
There are ‘orrible murders by the score,
ghosts, fiends and zombies, blood, guts and gore.
Stories intermingle, tangling inextricably;
they change and distort and whirl inexplicably.

Sex scenes steam on rain-speckled streets.
Car chase leaves tyre marks on black satin sheets.
Oldies cry “Ahoy!” as their creaky hips
limp across storybook pirate ships.

Oily business men stroke local cheese,
cheesemakers in markets sell secretaries knees.
Spaceship doors open and wives appear,
husbands break rules that their aliens hold dear.

Alice is trapped in Arabian nights,
little boy blue is winning fisticuff fights.
Tommy Tucker bravely climbs up the spout
when along with Bo-peep he gets washed out.

Baa-baa-black sheep is pulling out its thumb
and finding a spider as big as a plum.
Flower fairies wander in the city of angels,
Jack and Jill have fallen into Aesop’s fables.

A dragon has eaten the princess with the pea,
and the mad hatter’s buddies aren’t coming to tea;
they’re sitting in rows in a Dickensian school,
while Peter Rabbit rolls out the golden rule.

The whole mad planet should be overflowing
since hoards are arriving and not a soul is going,
but day by day, the planet keeps growing
and there’s no indication that activity is slowing.

When the last living writer has ceased to breathe,
there’ll be no new arrivals, and nobody will leave;
no joy of birth on that planet in the sky –
and no final grief; storybook folk can never die.

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Belly-ache

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