Before I Met Her



Before I met her

I always laughed at cartoons


was astonished before paintings & poems



but now I pass the magazine to her,

the one with the crazy cartoons.

Look at this, I say, & she does    and smiles

Span our faces & rumble our bellies

like little laughing Buddhas;


Trouble shared is trouble halved,

my mother used to say — but Joy

Works inversely:

It is doubled when spent with another.





Some people can’t get over

their arachnophobia

but say that I’m far sillier :

I have arachnophilia .

Red-backs and huntsmen

and daddy-long-legs

I just love to visit

in grandad’s shed

while the backyard becomes

a construction site

where spiders build webs

on hot summer nights .

The Monkey Tree


He came to my fortieth dressed as an ape —

He was hilarious —

Then we went different ways on the monkey tree:

He took one branch.

I took another.

That’s when he tried it the first time

But the branch broke.

The second time he tried it

He was unlucky too —

Police divers pulled him up during

A rescue training session.

The third time

He got lucky.

He gassed himself in his Volvo

In a friend’s garage.

He never made forty.







No magpie in the bus shelter.

No skywriter above the city.

Nothing unusual today.

Only a post about yogurt

About how no one talks to men about yogurt

And how they should because it destroys ‘toxic masculinity’.

That was new.

I was about to ask what it was

When someone jumped in with  ‘can you take too much and what would happen if you took it, say, five times a week?’

‘Then you would become more cultured’ came the reply.

Someone else quipped,

‘Yogurt or Go Yurt? I love a good yurt’

Even I could come up with a pun better than that

But I couldn’t.

You’ve got to be fast on Facebook.