Pigeon Pageantry

This is a 300-word FF on the theme of “Royalty”, for the Bloggers Bash competition… My second entry – this one’s less likely to get me a knighthood! Hope you enjoy!

“Alright, Trev?”

“Not so bad. Yourself, Dave?” The first pigeon shrugged his barely discernible shoulders.

“Can’t complain. Found half a box of KFC last week. Seemed a bit of a coup in the circumstances.”

“Haha, ‘coup/coo’… good one,” he laughed, in that way that pigeons do.

“ ‘ere, Trev, have you seen Sal lately?”

“Yeah, I see ‘er now and again. How come?”

“Have you seen that ‘er with that bracelet? Big rattley thing, wears it ‘round her neck.”

“Can’t say I’d noticed… hang on, wasn’t that her mum’s?”

“Yeah that’s it. Her mum’s shuffled off to join the choir invisible…”

“That’s a shame. Well, I say a shame. Never really liked ‘er. All those airs and graces. La-de-das and all that. Thought she was better than us, just ‘cause her dad left her a big nest. She never had to scrabble around in the mud for a worm like the likes of us, did she, Dave?”

“No, she did not… ‘ere remember, that daft little tip of the wing she used to do to her “adoring crowds”. Give me strength!”

“Haha, it’s a wonder that any of the other pigeons fall for it!”

“Yeah, but you know what we’re like. Suckers for a bit of pigeon-pomp and pageantry.”

“Too true, my friend, too true…. What were you saying about Sal?”

“Well, just that with that bracelet she seems to think she’s lady of the manor now. As if it makes a bit of difference who her parents were!”

“Never even knew my Dad. Never ‘eld me back.”

“You’re made of hardier stuff, Trev. The world needs more pigeons like you.”

“Aw, cheers mate… don’t suppose you’ve …got any of that KFC left, have you?”

“It’s been a few days…”

“I don’t mind if you don’t”

They fly off, together.




Annus Miraculis

This is a 300-word FF on the theme of “Royalty”, for the Bloggers Bash competition… Hope you enjoy!

What does one get, for the mother who has everything? (Literally, everything.) Charles went through the same dilemma every year, and every year fell short. Not that she said anything, of course. A lifetime of not speaking out had …consequences, but he knew better.

He pulled his coat tight to his face against the December chill, readjusted his cap, and continued his search through Knightsbridge. He grimaced as he passed Harrod’s, but the next store along was somewhere he hadn’t noticed before. As he stood in the neon glare on the crowded pavement, the answer came to him. “I’ve got it!” In any other city, this exclamation would have attracted glances, but not here, not now. He rushed into the store, his grin broad enough to reach both of those ears.

After their traditional Christmas family lunch, it was time for the presents. Charles eagerly urged mother to open his first. Impassively, she opened the large box. She stared at him. “Thank you… what is it?”

“Let me plug it in.”

With palpable indifference, mother waited as Charles fiddled with the leads.

“Choose one,” he urged.

She stared down at the electronic karaoke screen. She scrolled past “Who Let The Dogs Out”, “Who Wants to Live Forever” (it just felt cruel), and “One”.

Charles’ enthusiasm was waning by the second. Not again…

“Hm,” she thought, then paused for the briefest moment before launching into an enthusiastic “Dancing Queen”.

Philip spat his tea clean across the living room, much to Harry’s amusement.

All sat open-mouthed as she sang with a HUGE smile on her face. Charles nearly cried with joy.

Song after song she belted out, until after “one ain’t nothing but a hound dog”, she dropped the microphone and walked off. “thangyouverymuch…Old Liz has left the building!”



The Knock

A 650-word piece of flash fiction. Just because 🙂

There was a gentle knock at the door. Confused, I paused the TV, wrapped my dressing gown to conceal my Batman pyjamas, and trudged to the door.

There was no one there.


I looked down.

“Hi, didn’t want to startle you,” said a suggestively purple snail on my doorstep.

“You’re a snail,” I said, never one to miss an opportunity to state the obvious.

“Not really, but the confusion is understandable. Mind if I come in?”

I shrugged an agreement, and the not-snail insinuated itself through the open door and into my house. There was something very unusual about the way it moved. Not at all snail-like.

“How did you knock on the door?” I asked, dealing with the weightiest questions first.

“I’m slightly psychic,” it replied, an air of pride unmistakeable.

“You’re a slightly psychic snail?…” I closed the door behind it. Did it control me to do that?…

“Not a snail.”

“Right. Cup of tea?” Social conventions offer a lifeline out of any situation.

“Err, no thanks. Tea is poisonous to my race. The effects can be …unpredictable. Violently so. Tea is banned under our version of the Geneva Convention. The Tannin Wars were a dark time in our history.” It looked up, saw my reaction. “You weren’t to know.”

“Sorry…. Coffee then?”

“Yeah, that’d be great. I take it black.” With that, it glided (glid?) into the living room, while I went on autopilot into the kitchen to dig out the coffee from the back of the cupboard.

I took a minute to compose myself, while the chrome kettle did its thing. Keep it together, Al. There’s a snail-thing in your living room, that’s popped in for coffee. Totally normal. Just a normal day.

I returned a minute later with two coffees, and some rich tea biscuits. “It’s the best I had,” I explained, by way of apology.

The not-snail did not look pleased, but made no comment. Is anyone ever happy getting offered rich tea biscuits?

“You’re probably wondering why I’m here,” said the snail, psychically moving the coffee from cup to mouth. I tried not to stare.

“Well, yeah…”

“I come from an alien world. You would identify it in the constellation Sirius. Our homeworld is quite unpronounceable in your language.” That pride again.

It continued: “I am here to make first contact. To form an impression of humanity, and build towards a pan-galactic alliance between our peoples.”

I kicked myself at the rich tea offer.

“We are a far more technologically advanced civilisation than yours. We have evolved beyond war, disease, poverty, intergalactic travel, and the distortion of time felt in dentist’s waiting rooms… in fact, we have conquered not only death, but the suggestion of it. Poof, gone.”

It bristled in its shell, waiting for all of this to sink in.

I sensed it was waiting for a reply. “Err… well done?” I glanced at the paused TV. Homes Under the Hammer would be on soon. Wonder how much longer this will take?

It sensed my impatience; slurped down the rest of its coffee. It looked at the biscuits and shook its small head. “Right, well I’d better be off then. I’ve only travelled 137 light years across space, left a glorious home and family that I’ll never see again, only devoted my entire existence and every waking thought to this moment, but I wouldn’t want to keep you.”

I showed it to the door, waved it goodbye, instinctively. It did not speak another word, or look back at me as it glided out of my front gate.

I closed the door and leant against it; exhaled loudly. I re-attached the “no cold callers” sign that had slipped down behind the landline phone. Then, “a-ha!” and rushed back to the kitchen, rummaging around, deep in the bottom cupboard. The emergency Hobnobs!

I shuffled back to the living room, and unpaused the TV.

This day’s taken a turn for the better.




ET, crawl home…

Photo by Johan Desaeyere on Unsplash

9 tips for new bloggers… from an old Cockney gangster…

Wizened old cockney man-crone: (huskily) ‘ere, son, come over ‘ere a minute…

Fresh-faced cherub: What is it grandad?

WOCMC: Grandad? Grandad? I’m only 27.
(a cough from the back of the room)
Fack off.

FFC: No offence meant… senior person-type thing… you look a bit like Brick Top from Snatch – did you know that?… so, what do you want? I was just about to publish my first blog post…

WOCMC: Yeah, it’s about that. ‘ardest game in the world, blogging.

FFC: Really?

WOCMC: No, not really. Unfortunately it’s a piece of piss. Getting started, anyhow. ‘ave you seen some of the royal shit on ‘ere?

FFC: No, I haven’t had the pleasure. Should I have?

WOCMC: (whispering) Don’t be too obvious now. (Louder) Oh, I could tell you some things about blogging, alright… stories that’d make your hair burn…

FFC: It’s okay, I think I’ve got a handle on it. I did find this post from Hugh very useful.

WOCMC: Oh, you did, did you? Yeah, I’ve ‘eard of him. He’s disappeared a few people over there in Wales in his time. Never ‘ad the pleasure meself. Anyway, the problem with that Hugh is he’s nice. Actually likes trying be all helpful, if you can imagine.

FFC: And that’s a problem because?…

WOCMC: (extra husky) I ain’t nice.

FFC: I beg your pardon?

WOCMC: I said I ain’t nice. You got treacle in your ears, sunshine? If you want me to read the shit you put on your blog, you’re gonna have to fackin’ work for it.

FFC: (pleading) But I’ve been reading some articles about how to make a million from my blog in the first week!

WOCMC: (laughs, pisses him/herself) Never mind that shit, you prize twerp! Here are my top 9 tips to get actual people to follow you

FFC: Shouldn’t it be a Top 10?

WOCMC: (shakes head) ‘ow little you know…


9 rules for ‘appy blogging

1. Don’t be BORING. You may not be a comedian, sunshine, but there ain’t no excuse for not being interesting.

2. Don’t APOLOGISE. Just say what you gotta say, treacle.

3. Pick a theme that don’t make me VOMIT

4. A FOLLOW for a Follow? You ‘avin’ a laugh?

5. Don’t BEG for me to come and look at yer blog. ‘ave a bit of respect for ye’self.

6. EXPERIMENT…slowly

7. Don’t EXPECT. Build your crew up slow, like.

8. Not TOO MUCH/ OFTEN. Ain’t got no time for blabbermouths…

9. Not too BROAD. This ain’t the London Palladium, and you ain’t Bruce Forsyth, god rest his soul.


Last Christmas

With apologies to George Michael…

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
You bought me a Lynx deodorant gift set from Boots, £4.99.

I’m not a materialist
But that feels a little one-sided to me.

I don’t even like Lynx.



Merry Christmas!


Halloween HORROR!

Happy Halloween everyone! The poem below carries a huge health warning…once read, it cannot be unread. The images it will leave you with cannot be wiped (a score of witnesses will testify to this)… If you are easily offended, or have any ounce of self-respect, taste or decency, DO NOT READ ON! You have been warned!

It started as a joke
Then grew into a dare
It *may* have been the alcohol
When I agreed to wear
the mankini

Now, for those who do not know,
A mankini’s quite the thing
(Picture me in a posing pouch
Pulled up tight with bright green string)

My abs are long since absent
The six pack’s more a barrel
And without getting into fat shaming
There’s too much padding in this saddle

the mankini
…It barely hides my wedding tackle
But bares the rest for all
All this hairy flesh, all this…
And an unmanly spread of balls

You see, I’ll never be a swordsman
No Don Juan legendary lover.
If your body’s a lethal weapon,
I’m more like Danny Glover.

But a dare’s a dare and that’s that
You’ve got to live by a code.
Well, you’ve got to tell yourself something
When your ass cheeks are on show…

So, a distinctive Halloween outfit…
But it’s not easy trick or treating
On a cold, dark night in autumn
With cock and balls retreating!


I Met Her In A Graveyard

This is the second in what will inevitably form a Halloween trilogy, concluding tomorrow… I am going to perform these poems, with others, at my first ever poetry performance (excluding open mics) this weekend. Wish me luck!

I met her in a graveyard
On a dark and stormy night.
Wrapped in blackest midnight
She was something of a sight.

Her skin was pale as moonlight.
She’d dark circles round her eyes.
Her countenance was serious :
Quite incapable of surprise.

Her long black skirt hid her feet,
She seemed to glide across the ground.
Made no mark upon the floor,
Moved without a sound.

She made a beeline for me,
As I was drawn to her.
Mesmerised by each other,
Quite forgetting who we were.

Neither dared to touch the other,
To break this moonlit spell.
This eeriest enchantment
That makes two hearts compel.

Standing, still not touching,
We danced upon the mist,
The tangled trail of eddies,
The only evidence of our tryst.

Our bodies now moved closer,
I moved in for a kiss…

But I fell and passed right through her
Denied that mortal bliss.

For though I was but the ghost
In a delicious irony
I fell so hard in love with her
It’s her that haunted

So if you’re sat there lonely now
Sad, and praying for a date
Remember well this poem’s words:
It’s never too late
It’s never too late



I was born a bonny zombie baby
It’s the only life I’ve known
But years and moons have passed since then
How I’ve zombie-grown!

Growing up sure ain’t easy
Juicy brains don’t come for free
And there’s no chance those screaming humans
Will ever let me be!

See, I’ve never craved attention
I just want an axe-free life
Somewhere peaceful in the country
Where I can find a loving, kind, decaying wife

I never knew my zombie father
Spent no childhood catching ball
No mother there to catch me
When rotting limbs would fall

And I don’t know if you’ve noticed
But zombie role models are lacking
We’re just used in films to show off
The hero’s muscles as they’re hacking

And don’t you see the irony
In claiming we love brains
Then trying to bash our heads in.
It’s prejudice ingrained!

I don’t wanna fight you.
Set aside your sword.
Quit swinging that bloody baseball bat.
Let’s sit, and have a word.

I know my tongue’s necrotic
But there’s a message ‘neath my growling
If only you would listen, really listen,
We could end this midnight prowling

Our demands are very few:
Just leave us all alone,
In basements, malls or graveyards,
Where we can rot and roam.

We’re the next step in evolution:
These are Darwinian growing pains.
We don’t want to harm you

We just want to eat your brains!




The Wheel Moves On…

Hi, it’s been a while… everyone good? … The last time I was on here, I was encouraging you to submit poems for a charity anthology, Diverse Verse, organised by Richard aka https://skaggythepoet.wordpress.com/ . Well, I took my own advice, and am now officially a published poet!

Richard invited me along to the launch on Saturday, so I caught the train over to Walsall to join him and a number of friendly, local poets for only my third ever open mic poetry reading… you wouldn’t believe how much preparation I put into a six-minute open mic slot! I’m planning a post on this in the near future. For now, check out Richard’s report on the launch here, and please support the book if you are able: diverse-verse-2-is-launched It was wonderful to finally meet Richard in person – he was exactly as I expected, although taller! He is the first blogger I’ve had the pleasure of meeting offline. Hopefully not the last 🙂

For those kind enough to have asked, I haven’t gone away completely, although it’s fair to say I’ve lost my love for blogging for a host of reasons, not all of which I want to share. I’m still writing, now performing too (!), and intend to be back here with the odd tidbit now and again. Who knows, maybe I’ll even find the “moderation in all things” approach that everyone keeps talking about!


The poet in full-on “action mode”

A gratuitous bribe

One way to win people over is with the power of your words… another way is bribery… another bit of January fun to #banishtheblues !

Oopsy me, how careless
I don’t know what to say
You said there was no charge…
But I thought I had to pay

So here’s some rhyming chocolate
A piece of poem pie
Left down on a table
With a winking of my eye

And just in case you do not love
Those words what I have wrote
You’ll find beneath this poem
A crisp new ten pound note





Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/dysanovic/197527093