"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

Nursery Rhymes


A taxi was booked and the meal almost cooked,

To welcome my son and new daughter.

But the fates intervened

In this oft dreamt of scene.

Things don’t always go as they ought to.


Due to technical glitches and climatic hitches

They are sitting at home in DC.

While I sit in Cochin

Alone – with a gin.

An ominous sign, you’ll agree.


My solution is flimsy, no more than mere whimsy:

Try displacement activity.

I’m off to buy pot plants –

Small palms – in the off-chance

It will keep me from dark misery.


When fate seems adversary, a trip to the nursery

Can settle my pulse; keep me calm.

Some new vegetation

May soothe my vexation.

I am told nature acts a balm.


Though my rhymes are not clever, forgive this endeavour

To rescue myself from depression.

It was just an attempt

To pre-empt the contempt

Of self-pity – and future confessions.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.




4 responses

  1. as green transforms your space
    and gin alters your pace
    the hand of one greater
    will keep you
    His grace does suffice
    when plans of men and of mice
    fall to winter’s cruel ice
    and angels surround
    and protect you

    Christmas will come
    chapel bells will be rung
    while gifts lie unwrapped inside you
    set aside the remorse
    though it’s painful of course
    so the Babe that was born
    may delight you

    [not to make light of your disappointment … or theirs]

    December 21, 2010 at 5:40 pm

  2. Loz

    I am impressed. The daughter/ought to rhyme is very nice. And “try displacement activity” is a wonderful line. I also liked the TS Eliot a couple of days ago which was very apt.

    We will be thinking of you this Saturday, drinking your gin and surrounded by your small palms, and look forward to joining you a few weeks later than scheduled.

    December 22, 2010 at 8:27 am

    • Thanks, Son. I’ll dedicate it to you & J when the first quarto edition is published!
      I shall drink to you both on Christmas day – and the hope of seeing you soon.
      Much love,

      December 22, 2010 at 8:38 am

  3. Pingback: Celebrating with a seafood supper! « Neither Use Nor Ornament

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s