Not having your Cake; not eating it

Sir Francis Drake,
When offered some cake,
Said "I'd rather be bouleing
Than drooling."

© National Portrait Gallery, London http://creativecommons.org/


Reprise and Reprisal

Jane Austen
Replied when asked about men
"Fortune and Flatulence:
For the latter, the former's vital recompense."

Sketch by Cassandra Austen
© National Portrait Gallery, London


Lost First Drafts

Jane Austen
Rejected zombies for men
(Unless they'd an Earldom
And 3,000 guineas per annum).

or do you prefer

Jane Austen
Never mentioned the hymen,
Though she featured the hymnal
Twice in "Pious and Prejudicial".

Cassandra Austen
© National Portrait Gallery, London


Another Secret Society?

Interviewees' 'phones
Ringing during live news spots
The Interrupti

or do you prefer

Dan Brown
Would let witches drown
Before breaking the vow of secrecy
Surrounding the Interrupti


ADM Arleigh A. Burke

Admiral Arleigh Albert Burke
Never learned to twerk.
But his Nassau Gyrations
Fascinated the men of two nations.

credit: Wikipedia



If men are from Mars
And women from Venus, who's
From Alpha Lyrae?

© Norton's Star Atlas, Sixteenth Edition, 1973



Poles apart

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton
Enjoyed a bad pun.
But he went to the ends of the Earth
To give irony a wide berth.

credit: Wikipedia

Or perhaps you prefer

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton,
Like a gag writer, enjoyed the odd pun.
But he went to the ends of the Earth
To give simile a wide berth.

Or even

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton
Enjoyed a bad pun.
But he went to the ends of the Earth
To give hyperbole the widest possible berth.


You kip if you want...

Al Murray, the Pub Landlord,
In Thanet South, trod a different board.
A full quota of kippers were smoked
And Nigel's ego was poked.

or do you prefer

Al Murray, the Pub Landlord,
In Thanet, struck a satirical chord
As Nigel Farage, the Pub Bloke,
Fear of foreigners did stoke.

Credit: BBC


One Serious Villain

Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Envies the Vulcan mind-meld;
Ordering henchmen by gesticulation
Frees Bond to go on saving the nation.

Publicity image. Source: Wikipedia



Tension's rare absence
Loved ones' decline visible
To all except them


Time Paradox

Modern urban scourge
Graffiti tags deface art
Historical worth

Graffiti of Ancient Pompeii
Collated by Prof. Brian Harvey


The Parlour

Ticking clock empty
Tick... tock... tick... tock... tick... tock... tick...
Tick... tock.... tick..... wurrrr... ching!

Inspired by @JoannaCannon's 
The Trouble With Goats And Sheep
Thanks for the inspiration


Midden English

Geoffrey Chaucer
Could not have been coarser
When he wrote for Lewis, his babe,
His 'Rude Guide To The Astrolabe'.

© Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons 


Look deep to your own heart

Moving to Munich,

Asked be there neo-nazis?

Turns out they're back home.

Rest In Peace
Jo Cox MP
22 June 1974 - 16 June 2016


Thursday, 23rd June

Normal Service will
Resume after the voters
Have cast their ballots.

or is it

Will Normal Service
Resume after the ballots
are cast by voters?


Twitter's Twit

The Real Donald Trump
Thinks Justice's a chump;
Equity's a shareholding and
A Fair Way runs twixt bunkers' sand.


27 Long Drive

On leaving THE RED COW, Pontsticill:

You say "Home now, Mum".
But it's not the home you knew.
To her it's Greenford.

It's Long Drive, Greenford;
Mum's home, sixty years ago.
A long drive, Greenford.




President Barack Obama.
Oh, what a drama!
America's friends he'd advised not to drive and drink
Accused him of doublethink.



Sagan's Pale Blue Dot
All but lost in dark vacuum
Which Nature abhors?


or do you prefer:

On Carl's Pale Blue Dot
Humankind's loneliness
Scars souls' unity


Carl Sagan's original Pale Blue Dot


227, Strand

James Gillray
Elicited much dismay.
Dis may ruin careers;
Dat may incite sneers.



James Gillray
Elicited much dismay.
Dis may provoke tears;
Dat may end careers.


or perhaps?

James Gillray
Would spy a boon in Teresa May.
He'd caricature.



Two impressions of England

Quiet countryside
Doves cooing o'er infant school
Girt by tall wire fence


Still English village
Belies monopedal harm 
Cry "Murder afoot!"


"Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones..."

Taking a break from Questioning the PM on Mrs Bone's behalf, Mr Bone expressed his trenchant views on the conduct of the EU Referendum campaign:

Mr Peter Bone
Again did moan
Causing Mr Mark Carney to groan
He'd rather take it from Mrs Peter Bone

Without moving his lips. Credit: Trinity Mirror

And was again mired in controversy more recently:

Mr Peter Bone
Did not take out that loan
And Mrs Peter Bone had no need her spouse to pawn
With help-to-buy from a Mr George Osborne

Credit: Have I Got News For You


Steady, Boys, Steady!

For the young - heart-yearn
For the middle-aged - heart-burn
For the old - heart-croak


Hanging Chads Is Too Good For 'Em

Al Gore
He "used to be the next president" no more.
Step-father of a commercial internet,
Nine-to-two says he's never placed an online bet.

Nobel Peace Prize 2007
© Kjetil Bjørnsrud


Tosca's Kiss

On hearing of the death of Scalia,
"Vissi d'arte" sprung to mind; the aria
Sung by Tosca in Act 2 as her knife
Ends Scarpia's life.


"The Hills Are Alive...!"

Join Mountain Rescue
Home a rescue mountain now!
"A knoll is for life..."

or do you prefer

Join Mountain Rescue
Home a rescue mountain now!
"A troll is for life..."


Echo Chamber Music

Moose! Moose! Moose! Moose! Moose!
Caboose! Caboose! Caboose! 'oose!
Dialed the reverb down

or do you prefer

Moose! Moose! Moose! Moose! Moose!
Caboose! Caboose! 'oose! Moose! Loose!
Turned the echo off

Credit: http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/File:Happy_moose.jpg


Theodor Seuss Geisel

Dr Seuss
Once rode with a moose in a caboose
Alongside two unicorns
With unique horns.


Romantic Scoring

Richard Strauss
Would've scored Die Fledermaus
For an ultrasonic soprano
And her sunshine-shrinking beau.

Richard Strauss, Pauline and Franz Strauss, 1910
Licensed under PD-US via Wikipedia