Richard III

There never was a funeral like this
For one born centuries ere I drew breath.
Though I’d not call myself a monarchist.
I’m intrigued by Richard Plantagenet.
His reputation, tainted by a play?
He’s Shakespeare’s finest villain, yes, by far.
And so he is remembered to this day –
Even if evil, still he is the star.
Yet though, after long search, his bones exhumed,
His character in truth can’t be found out.
One who believed in innocence presumed,
Perhaps, deserves the benefit of doubt.
Debate may rage forever o’er his deeds,
But this I know; I hope those bones find peace.


Accidental Erotica

I tried to write a nature poem
full of the joys of spring –
maybe about some birds and bees,
reflections on a wing.
But then – oh dear! What’s happened here?!
That wasn’t what I meant –
accidental erotica
is dropping from my pen!

I thought I’d try to play it safe
and write of scenery.
I started to describe a wave,
foam covering a beach.
But then a naughty metaphor
reveals my real intent –
accidental erotica
is dropping from my pen!

For English is a language rich
with words that turn away,
and suddenly say something else
than what you thought you’d say.
This rarely happens when I write,
but every now and then –
accidental erotica
is dropping from my pen!

I guess I’ll have to face the fact
my mind is filled with filth.
I may have been raised Catholic
but I’m not wracked with guilt.
Instead of trying to fight it,
I’ll embrace it as a friend –
accidental erotica,
keep dropping from my pen!


Superstition is a sin,
Catholicism said.
(But new shoes on a table
filled my Irish mam with dread.)

No, don’t believe in omens,
or in hexes, or a curse.
(Don’t forget to cross yourself
if you should see a hearse.)

Horoscopes are nonsense –
only God knows what’s in store.
(You can tell a man is coming
if a knife falls to the floor.)

Tea is just for drinking now,
don’t try to read the leaves.
(Folded sheets foretell a death
if there’s a diamond crease.)

Never play with Ouija boards,
not even for a lark.
(Never open up your door
if a knock’s heard after dark.)

This is the only life we’ll have –
of that, the church is sure.
(My mam told me the midwife said
that I’d been here before.)

No, we’re not superstitious –
we haven’t been for years.
(Though everybody knows that it’s
your first child gets your fears.)

Spock Baby

I was raised a Spock baby
in more ways than one
and a certain confusion
was due to my mum.

“Baby and Childcare”
was her well-thumbed bible –
but Benjamin Spock
had an alien rival.

My mum also loved sci-fi
– a trait I share too –
I grew up watching Star Trek
and (my favourite) Doctor Who.

Mum mentioned Spock so often
I began to think that maybe
her handbook was some Vulcan guide
meant to confuse a baby.

For Dr Spock advised that love
should always be expressed,
while Mr Spock thought all emotion
ought to be repressed.

So to this day I’m fond of men
with emotions under control,
a slight tilt to the eyebrows,
and the haircut? Pudding bowl!