The manic poet


"L E G - O !

C  H  A  N  G  E    L  E  G  S  !


My grandad had a special leg

He kept it hanging on a peg....

At night, no need for it in bed

When "legless", he might lose street-cred'!


"Come look, you cannot see the scar..

Without it, I'm not going far!"

"Dear" grandma's moaning: "Where's my tea?"

"Get up, you're lazy.. He! He! He!"  (Poor Joseph!)


A smoker, Joseph, all his life

Aged seventy-five, he got more strife

An ev'ning walk, his toes turned black

With lots of pain, a mighty Whack!"


Dear Fanny's moaning: "Hurry up!..

It's time to have my supper cup!"

"I'm used to having service swift

I'm struggling too , I need a lift!"


In hospital, a hero he

A brand new "limb" to set him free!

"Just strap it on, and off I go..

I even manage Winter's snow!"


It's early morning, tray on knee

"Cos grandma needs her morning tea!"

He shuffled up upon his bum

And late!, "Dear" wifey's looking glum!


More holidays, a magic leg

"I never thought I'd need a peg!"

Then, Izzy-Whizzy, off I go

To Jersey, though I'm walking slow'"


I view the leg, now Joe has gone

I'm whistle-ing the saddest song

And "Underneath the Arches go!"  (His favourite song)

His life is o'er, I must... "Leg-O"!   22/09/2020 xx



Canada, 2015! xx


T  H  E    B  R  I  D  A  L    F  A  L  L  S


Visiting Dear Bridal Falls

Walking here in Nature's Halls

Birds are tweeting, falls ahead

Peaceful is my Yorkshire head! (Normal?)


Soon ascending, groves of trees

Caterpillars, honey bees

Sun, it kisses cedars high

Only glimpses of the sky


Water sounds as we descend

Ferns and tree logs 'round the bend

Looking at Dear Nature's Force

Paradise lives here, of course!


Far from Bradford's grimy skies

Lady my ensignia spies

'Cannot be a Bradford Bull?

All from Wibsey, life's not dull  (Where I used to live!)


Happy voices, children play

Water splashing, warm the day

Ladies taking selfies.... Pose!...

Ladybird just has a doze!


Mother wants a fam'ly pic'

Child is fighting with a stick!

Now descending, trees and moss

Photo-taker... at a loss!


"Paradise".. so easy 'say

Heady times, for peace, I pray

Pope, he wants a Pale' State  (A Palestine state)

Israel to meet its fate?


Bridal Falls, my heart beats on

Chris, he whistles Beatles' song  (Mr Colvin)

Grateful for this place of peace

From my cold I seek release!       From June 2015 xxxx


W  A  L  K  I  N  G      D  A  Y  S


Where are those ghosts, ghosts of the past?

'Cos life on earth can't ever last

One final walk, Dear Douggie gone  (Mr Fenton)

To Salamiou, his saddest song?


Dear Barb'ra Rich, her last walk done

No more Letymbou in the sun

The Short Walk Queen, salute her name....

Short walks will never be the same!


Up in the North, one walker died

A day when many walkers cried

And Joan, dear wife, in Emba sad

For friends' support... forever glad!


Viola Robson, "Tsada Girl"

The German flag for her unfurl

Too young to die, yet such is life

Remember peace instead of strife!


Dear Theatre Friend, Lance Corp'ral Jones

An actor aches, but never moans

I sit and contemplate his life

So missed by friends and darling wife!


A lovely headstone, with L's face  (Les' Arnold)

Dear theatre life, at gentle pace

A shiver running down my spine

Not even eased by Status wine!


I miss those walks, a planning day

"Too steep to climb!", 'hear Ian say  (Ian Morson)

"Goodbye to Cyprus!", walkers leave

E'en Ian H'... hard to believe? (Ian Herley)


Dear Karin, Heinz, in Berlin live

For walks they had a lot to give

No "Spring of Life" for Keo beer

The walk is done, the loudest cheer!


"Walk on, You Wand'rers, scale those hills!"

A life of fun and many thrills

I sit, a glass of Whisky 'drink

Of Walking Days forever 'think!  Amen, from March 2018 xx


A P H R O D I T E ' S      W A L K

Nothing changes, nasty Pafos drivers

Indicating rarely, mobile-phoning

Heading for the hills like great survivors

Sunshine, walking, end of all my moaning!

Aphrodite's Baths for Wednesday Walking

Smiling faces, Georgie Bates is joking

John says Helen's not for happy talking (Many ailments!) (+)

"On the walks we don't need hikers croaking!"

Climbing hills with little time for water

Happy though with friends, 'hear joyful banter

"Leader needs to stop.. Do what you ought'a!"  (Comfort stop)

Heading down we break into a canter!

So far from Pafos roads, we've Heaven found

Taverna, clinking glasses, happy sound!  From December 2016

24/06/2020  (+)  The Croftons xx



           A    T R A G I C    E N D

I pass the place where Graham took his life

Four storeys high, poor head was in a spin

He tried to make his friend his legal wife...

But couldn't be her "man", he'd never win!

He parked his car, 'twas early, grey the sky

And walked up to the roof, resolve was made

No thoughts of personal harm, he heaved a sigh

I wonder, Graham, then, were you afraid?

Nose-dived direct, life ends with awful smash

A postman passes, yells and with despair

Poor face no more, he'd given it a bash!

One wonders if this life... Can it be fair?

I hear Dear Mahler Fourth and see his face (4th symphony)

Fond memories of him I can't efface!  10/06/2020, written 2011

"You were a special friend, Graham!" Your sonnet, Amen xx



T H E    D E N T I S T ' S    N I G H T M A R E


Yawning, scratching, sniffing too

Eyes on television glue

Children whisper, waiting 'fate

Run out before it's too late!


Arms now folded, gentle fart

Put the victims in a cart (tumbril)

Drill is ready, needle.. Aim!

Make that cavity quite lame!


Hand aquiver, missed and "Hell"

Sound the giant, panic bell

Blood is spurting, what a mess

"Little accident", 'confess!


Staunch the bleeding with a bung

'Fore the requiem is sung

Blood upon the floor, great pool

Trouble for this hapless fool?


Screaming helper, others flee

Leave that tumbril... up a tree

Watch the gory, bloody sight

Give the customers a fright!


"Who is next?", my hands they shake

Grab him with a garden rake

Tie him down, stick needles in

Sign the cheque, the dentist win'!


Evil chuckle.. Pull all teeth

Panic there beyond belief

"Anaesthetic...What is that?

Hit the squealer with a bat!"


Clients all sit down and grin

Empty mouths, "No one can win!"

"Crowns I'll fit for thousand pound'

Suffer there without a sound!"


Paddy panics, "Justice, please!"

Dentist by the neck he seize'

Takes some pliers, pulling's done

He's enjoyed his "bit of fun!"


Dentist speechless, bloody sight

Gives old ladies 'dreadful fright

Drills and needles laid to rest

"Man, you really failed the test!" Written in 2001, going mad! xx


We heard that a local dentist had been struck off! xx



G R E E N L A N D S    H I G H    S C H O O L


'Like to be by Pafos Harbour?

P'rhaps out there I'd find a barber?

Wind is howling, Norbreck C'  (Castle)

"Wonder when we're "Covid-free"?


Walk to Bispham, school is "missing"

'Feeling sad, old photos kissing

Memories of happy times

Not so hard to find my rhymes!


Greelands calling, pupils writing

"Gib mir deine Hand reciting"

Happy days, with lots of fun

School was then my Number One


Christmas Time... we're pantomime-ing

All the words, of course, were rhyming

'Got my scimitar in hand

Lots of laughter, super "band"


Languages we were "enthusing"

Cafe dialogues... amusing?

Graded Tests with great success

Super times, I must confess!


Ferry time, Dear Dover leaving

In the power of speech believing

Ordering a "framboise ice"

Croque-monsieur was twice as nice!


Normandie, Asnelles is calling

Swimming in the sea 'recalling

Ev'ning with a cooling beer

"Not for you, to young, my dear!"


Happy Times with Lodge and Winter

Stallard was our Harold Pinter!

Miss O,D', a special friend

Later 90s... fun would end!


Brian Glover, Science magic?

Graham Brown, oh how so tragic!

All our staff, I miss them all  (Almost all?)

'Guess we really had a ball!


Thank you all, the mem'ries cheering

Raise a glass of wine, no beering!

Lynn and Julie, Pat, Elaine

Lin', Maria, SUN, no rain!  Amen  06/06/2020 xx




T   O      T   H   E      S   U   N


On  this cool, yet sunny day

Far from England's frosty shore

'Contemplate sun's warming ray

Ageing limbs cry out for more!


Eve approaching, falling sun...

Bathes the ocean with its light

Wagtails playing, having fun

Feast my eyes, a wondrous sight!


Like a glowing football shine..

Warms the pool, with leaves so full!

England, rains, yet here still fine

Night falls fast, my heart-strings pull!


As dear orb melts in' the sea

Shadows falling on the pool...

Add an air of "mysteree"

To this ev'ning calm and cool


Final splash of clour bright

Sea extinguishes the flame

Sky it yields to ghostly night

Whispering Creator's name!


Sun....Return to warm my bones!

Soothe me with your fingers' balm

Lead me to world's peaceful zone

Far away from stress and harm


    N  E  X  T      D  A  Y

Sipping Leon with our friends

Fine taverna, mirth and food

Sunshine here, it rarely ends

So relaxed... my Cyprus mood


Sending greetings, see you soon?

Weather here is warm and bright (June)

Virus gone would be a boon!!

Koili Hill 'more pleasant sight!  (Fingers crossed!)


Updated from December 2016 xx



T  H  E    B  E  N  N  I  T  E    C  U  P  P  A


The perfect cuppa, Orwell claimed

Soft water, please, was always "named"

And warm that pot, then add the milk

The tea will go down, just like silk!


Dear Rosie Lea, a lifelong need

The master's brain would always feed

The pipe is lit.. and all is well

Without the cuppa, life is Hell!


The connoisseur, proud Labour man

Will drink his tea, whene'er he can

A tea-obsessive, pints he drink'

He says it helps to make him think!


Relaxing, stir that famous brew

No longer part of Front Bench Crew

The ideal drink, delicious taste

It helps to calm the Human Race


A man of great humanitee

Is NEVER seen without his tea

The pipe perhaps.. he'd that forego?

When sipping tea his mind would glow


Great Master of the Rosie Lea

Enjoy your many mugs of tea

More knowing than the scientist

Who always on research insist!


Just watch his smile, the tea goes down

To smooth away his furrowed brow

To Bennite-way I do subscribe

A Yorkshire brew I do imbibe!


A life with tea, no alcohol...

That leads to anger, nasty blow?

A recipe for calm and peace

From stress of life, a sweet release.. Updated from 2003! xx

Tony Benn always replied to my poems.. Amen! xx




T  A  K  E    A    D  I  P  !


Geoff is swimming

Pool is "brimming"

Here in Cleveleys, light is dimming!

What a shame: Olympics.... Off!

With a splutter and a cough!



I'm not mocking..

Whisky large is rather shocking?  (Myself!)

Envy you... your lovely life

With your "water-drinking -wife"!!  (Really?)


Theatre closing

Geoff now dozing?

On the stage 'was rarely posing!

Memories for me so sweet

Fingers play and tapping feet!



"Poet" rhyming

Music play... with perfect timing?

Leslie Arnold, take a bow!

Kept on acting, 'don't know how!


Emba leaving

Geoof is "Greave-ing"

In the Power of Art believeing?

Ian Morson, better soon?

Underneath an Eastborne moon!


Geoff now smiling

Swims.... "five mile-ing"?

All of this in verse I'm filing

Happy memories remain

As I view the Cleveleys' rain.. 17/05/2002.. For Geoff Greavey xx


B  R  A  F  O  R  D      I  N      C  Y  P  R  U  S


"Brewery" with.... Bradford Bulls

Life in Cyprus never dulls

Owners....never,...They're from Wrose

Yorkshire folk from head to toes!


Stroumbi venue, after walk

Lots of noise and happy talk

Just my luck, I'm next to Rod'  (Mr. Mayor)

I'm a salmon, he's a cod!


Odsal talk, yet Stroumbi view

'Hearing, chatty "walking crew"

World Cup Winners on the wall

Great success I do recall


Big Joe V' and tough "Baloo"  (Prop forward)

Jimmy Lowes 'part of the "crew"

Micky Withers scoring tries

'Loved those times, just heaving sighs!


Serious, we're eating now

Rod has got a "slice of cow"

Fishy pie and steak with ale

Pizza or enormous "whale"


Lots of laughter, Alan's speech

Paradise is within reach!

'Value Happy Wand'rers' fare

For all country walks they care!


Kannaviou for next week's walk

As for us?.. more likely York?

Ouse is bursting, water there!

Cyprus' reservoirs are bare!


Leaving, "Ilkley Moor Baht 'at"!

Little, purring pussy cat

Greatful for this "Bradford Team"

Super League is Odsal dream!!!!  Updates: 13/05/2020 xx




S  N  A  K  E  S      A  L  I  V  E  !


Keep all snakes out of the house!

"Only looking for a mouse!"

Giant spider on your bed

All of these by "Heaven" bred?


Lizard on your window sill....

Time to down a calming pill?

Have a Keo, Brandy Cy'

Underneath a Tala sky


Nutcase on a one-way street

Come on, Have a Whisky neat!

Wrong way 'round a roundabout..

Give this idiot a clout!


Sofa left across a path

Just ignore it, have a laugh?

Here: "NO SMOKING", 'start to choke!

Strangle lawless Kisso' bloke? (In Kissonerga?)


Scooter, driving on the right

Snake to give guy's rear a bite?

Seat-belts dangling in a car?  (Never!)

'Left their brains home in a jar?


Colander on biker's head  (Great helmet?)

'Think perhaps his lights are dead?

Grandson holding torch instead  (In Emba!)

Really dark, I shake my head!



Hang a poo-bag from a tree?

Fill beer bottles with your wee?

Scatch-cards, packets on the street

Racing drivers ALWAYS meet?



Try Letymbou, lots of peace

From all virus fears release?

Have a meze... "Olive Tree"   (One day?)

Then you're feeling really free!


TOLERANCE and learn to smile

Play piano for a while?  (Chopin?)

Swimming in your Cyprus pool

Windy here, now who's the fool?  xx  Updated, 11/05/2020 xx





THE BIRTHDAY BOY...... "Zum Wohl der Deutschen!" xx

"Y I A M A S, H E I N Z!"

U  N  S  E  R      K  E  O  M  A  N  N  !


All Hail, Dear German friend, now Seventy-Five

Those Pafos days now firmly in the past

Sweet memories I'm anxious to revive

Admitting though, that All Good Things can't last!

No more those lovely Amargeti walks

You're walking up a hill, with lunch in mind

It's sandwich time, with cheerful happy talks

Exciting when we "brand-new" tracks can find!

"The Spring of Life", large Keo there for you

A chat with Karin," set the world "to right"?"

No thoughts of deadly virus, problems few!

With Georgie, special friends soon within sight!

We "Yiamas" cry, to toast Dear Heinz, our friend

Such times so precious, Birthday Wish we send! 05/05/2020 xxxx


"H E    C H O S E    T O    C L I M B" (*)


Mountain climbing: awe inspiring

Even greater heights 'aspiring

Annapurna, Everest

When not climbing, 'cannot rest?


Journey starts, it's london calling

Office-work.. he finds appalling!

Sandhurst glories, Snowdon, Wales

Fine achievements...'never fails!


Atlas open, countries 'scanning

Expeditions he's soon planning

Eiger as the Number One

'Finds it challenging and fun!


Himalayas, Nepal beckons

On the help of Sherpas 'reckons

Ice and snow, all men of steel?

Danger has a real appeal!


Changatong, Mont Blanc 'appealing

On the Top of 'World he's feeling

Home at last among the lakes

Reputation soon he makes


Restless spirit, Greenland calling

For an "isle of ice" he's falling

Writing, clicking photos too

Climbing with "committed crew"


Rise Sir Knight, your work rewarded

For your courage 'was awarded

Lancaster for gentler life?

Even time to see your wife?


Keswick, weather is relenting?

Lancaster you're representing

Thanks for 'talk, Alumni guest

Climbing World, You are the Best! xxxx Updated 28/04/2020


Chris Bonnington was Chancellor of the University of Lancaster

I wrote this for him, having read his book (*) May 2006

I received my MA there in 1985.