The Battenberg Song

(for a cake-loving birthday boy)

Oh, a Chelsea bun’s not my kind of fun
and even Swiss roll just leaves me cold.
There’s only one cake named after a place
that I want to shove right into my face…

Battenberg! Yes, that’s the fellow,
pastel pink and golden yellow,
like a sunrise on my tongue –
let me gobble every crumb
of its two-tone sponge, and apricot jam
holding that coating of marzipan
wrapped around as a delicate crust,
with some sugar, lightly dusted.
I really feel there’s nothing nicer
than to cut myself a slice – or two!
Don’t think I’m being greedy –
it’s the Battenberg, calling me.
The perfect companion for a cuppa,
it’s guaranteed to cheer you up –
try peeling the marzipan – don’t make a mess!
Slice it finely for a game of cake chess –
and if that’s too hard, well, you can cut those
slices in half and play dominoes –
or chop a whole cake into logs, and then ya
can have a go at Battenberg Jenga!
Yes, it’s the cake that keeps on giving –
hollow one out, so that I can live in
a tiny, shiny, Battenberg palace –
just like something out of Alice
in Wonderland!
Don’t you understand?
Maybe it’s just me –
my Battenberg and I need some privacy…

Battenberg 012


Straight Outta Home Counties

You say life’s filled you with justified anger,
but I ain’t buying you acting all gangsta.
Somehow I’m just distrusting your enunciation –
‘cos when you speak, it’s pure Received Pronunciation.
Rapping ’bout your baby momma, and your bros –
bet yo momma gets you ready meals, straight from Waitrose!
I’m quick to diss this cultural misappropriation –
what’s wrong with the rhymes of your own native nation?
Try some English idioms, me old china –
like Professor Elemental, or the Gentleman Rhymer.
Maybe broaden your vocabulary, just a bit –
every other word doesn’t need to be ‘shit’.
So you think you’re 50 Cent – OK, I understand,
but this is Britain – and you’re more like Poundland.
I’m not impressed by the way you let the mic fall –
sorry, but you’re about as black as Jack Whitehall.
Pose all you want, but when you open your mouth, it’s
clear you’re a wannabe – straight outta home counties.

The Boss Has Watched A Webinar…

The Monday morning meeting,
and my heart is filled with dread.
I’ve got a sinking feeling
that fresh madness lies ahead…

For the boss has watched a webinar
and thinks there’s nothing to it.
“It’ll only take an hour.
It’s not hard – you just do it!”

There’s silence round the table.
The whole team seems dismayed.
I stifle a response about
why real experts get paid…

For the boss has watched a webinar
and thinks he knows it all.
Overnight, a master –
if those facts he can recall.

Useless to point out we lack
resources that we need!
A boss of little knowledge
is a dangerous thing indeed…

For the boss has watched a webinar
and knows just what to do –
I think I liked it better when
he didn’t have a clue!

New Year’s Resolution

Every year we do it –
that resolution’s made.
In every office in the land
“We’re going to lose weight!”

But home’s still full of goodies,
leftover Christmas treats –
so bring them into work, of course,
for someone else to eat!

There’s a bag of chocolate Hobnobs
and a Marks & Spencer cake,
some dodgy Jammie Dodgers
and some knock-off After Eights,

loads of Cadbury’s Roses,
a little pot of jam –
there are Amaretti biscuits
and even Parma ham.

Still it keeps on coming!
The kitchen cupboard’s full.
A Quality Street tin goes rogue,
rolls out into the hall.

But sadly our resolve turns out
to be as soft as putty –
by lunchtime every one of us
succumbs to a chip butty!


I grew up with two tongues –
for a poet, that’s a bonus.
I knew milk could also be bainne
and quiet could be cuinas.

I love the fact that druid
in Irish means starling, a bird.
But one of my favourites is focal
the Irish word for word.

For it looks like an English word,
focal, ‘of a point of origin’ –
which our words are, forever marking
the place where we begin.

But it doesn’t rhyme with local,
no, we pronounce it ‘phucal‘ –
which sounds like an English expletive,
a little bit near the knuckle.

So, when asked what I’ve written lately,
don’t think me rude or absurd
if I simply smile a cryptic smile
and then say ‘Focal‘ –