Red Ronnie: a little splash of Grand Guignol

Red Ronnie.

Grandma looked good in her widow weeds.

She really looked the part of an axe murderer.

She wielded that weapon like a true Viking.

Red Ronnie was getting the chop:

Red ‘coz of his coxcomb, Ronnie ‘coz of Ronnie Corbett,

the gruff and portly other half of ‘The Two Ronnies’

we used to watch Friday nights.

Wham! Down it came.

Ronnie took off around the yard as though looking for his head, crashing into things

‘coz it’s sort of hard without yr eyes.

We ate Ronnie at Xmas.

*pic courtesy of pinterest

A Cheesy Death

I am watching a man dying on a jet plane

and I am contemplating eating another slice

of cheesecake.

I don’t know yet if the man dies

from clogged arteries, but he looks well fed

up there in real life and is a senior like me.

Now they rip off his shirt and work on his chest

pale and spotted as this cheesecake

I am lifting to my lips as Logan Roy

is pronounced dead.

What If on a sunny day

What If On a sunny day …….

the sun suddenly blacked out

had a power outage

while you were hanging out

the washing

or the dog was taking you

for a long walk through a maze

of streets?

You can’t fumble for a switch

phone your power provider.

You can’t even use the torch

on your mobile phone

if it’s not on you.

What would you do

if it lasted?

What would



I sometimes wonder who he was, that man who called at our place a few years after dad had died and mum had moved into a nursing home.

Did mum have a secret life?

We all need someone or something to keep us afloat.

Death on the Double Decker

We were coming home from the pictures, dad and I —

we had seen one of the great ones: Gary Cooper in ‘High Noon’,

when an announcement came over the bus radio,

that the King had died. Everyone fell silent then as the announcer

proceeded with the details. I never knew the king — I was only a kid —

but later he meant much to me. I wear a silver ring now with his image

on the head for he was a stutterer too. But he overcame it.

Whenever I spoke in public and felt nerves coming on I looked at the face

Of King George VI

Will It Be Painless?

Is it any good pleading? Thompson says.

For your life? Not really.

But you can’t just toss me aside like a dog carcass, not after all I’ve done for you.

You were more than serviceable, Hunter admits. But you’ve served your purpose. You can’t argue with me.

Will it be painless?


Well, get it over with then.

One minute, Hunter says.

He reaches into his satchel and pulls out his laptop.

Finish your drink, Hunter says. Out with the old and in with the new, he smiles, keyboarding fiercely.

He taps the delete button.

And with that, Thompson is gone.

They See Ghosts

I was talking to my rarely glimpsed neighbour who was out the front raking the leaves.

We chewed the fat for a while

and then I asked him about Gus, his elderly Jack Russel.

He doesn’t annoy you. does he? he asked.

Not at all, I said. I’m a dog person.

Well, he annoys the hell out of me, he said. The other day he was barking at the dining room wall and wouldn’t stop. There was nothing there.

Apparently, they see ghosts, I said. Even in the dark.

He stopped raking.

Or he has dementia? He offered.

Wow! I said. That would open a can of worms. Think how many documented ghost sightings could be put down to dementia.

People don’t bark at walls, he said.

Not even in they’re barking mad ? I asked.

We both laughed uneasily.

Inside, the dog began barking again.

God Must Love Larrikins

God must love larrikins.

He calls them home early

to be with Him.

Warnie, of course. the King of Spin

and some years earlier,

The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin.

No one saw that coming.

Least of all, him.

A stingray!

A creature from the black lagoon!

Too soon. Too soon. Taken.

And Paul Walker, my favourite,

who taught me to live

fast and furious.

God took him too.

But the dictators and tyrants

are allowed to linger,

grow putrid..

If only He loved them a little more.

  • pic courtesy of Pinterest by Kobe eReader

Old Soldier

Perhaps it stung someone.

Perhaps that’s why it’s hurt.

I’ve watched it for half an hour

struggle across the pavers and dirt

stumbling into things like a drunk

fall over, get up again.

It’s painful watching this

but what can I do to assist?

I just happened to look down

and saw this old soldier hobbling along

and followed him. I hope I did no wrong.

Who Would Do That?

Who would do that?

Creep up in the middle of the night

& drop a dead pigeon

in yr rubbish bin?

If it was good enough

To put in my bin

Why wasn’t it good enough

To put in theirs?

O the stink,

The weight of it!

I shovelled it out of the bin

And tossed it,

Neck all crumpled,

Into the far right hand corner of the garden

Where it could decay

In dignity

Among the cluster of leaves.

The only good thing is

It’s given me something rancorous

To write about.