We’re All On A Learning Journey

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Lately I’ve noticed a tendency
For so-called celebrities
That I have never heard of
To apologise for things
That I didn’t know they’d done

I can see at face value
That it may seem appropriate
To say sorry
For insensitive choices
Made when times were
Supposedly less enlightened
Even if the aforementioned times
Weren’t actually that long ago
And the person in question
Should really have known better

Maybe I’m being cynical
But I can’t help but feel
That perhaps the apology
Is less about making amends
And more about raising the profile
Of someone who would benefit
From some free publicity

Equally though
I do understand
That the fear
Of being named and shamed
By social media
Is very real for some
So perhaps the apology
Is better issued in advance
It is, after all
Very important
To make sure
That Twitter likes you

And if we’re honest
Most of us could look at choices
We made in the past
And concede that some of them
Were not especially sensitive

And though I am not famous
And unlikely to ever be so
It occurs to me
That if I ever achieve this distinction
Then photos of me
At a fancy dress party circa 2005
In which I appear
To be dressed as Saddam Hussein
May well come back to haunt me
Because that could well be perceived
As quite insensitive

So, for the record
I would like to point out
That my costume
Was actually supposed to be Che Guevara
And not Saddam Hussein
But it turns out that
Within the context of budget fancy dress
They had a surprisingly similar look

Complacency

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Of course I knew the dangers
But, I’m pretty experienced
And most of the time
There isn’t anything to worry about

Maybe I just got careless
Assumed that the worst
Could never happen to me
A lazy assumption I now realise
Based on the flimsy evidence
That the worst hadn’t happened to me

Not for a long time anyway
Not since I was younger and more foolhardy
But perhaps since then
I’ve just been lucky
Never really taking the proper precautions
And just getting away with it

Until today that is
Until the worst finally did happen
And I proved I was no more immune
To overconfidence
To stupidity
To recklessness
Than anyone else

For today when I opened Pandora’s Box
Which in this case
Was a bottle of Coca-Cola
(Other soft drinks are available)
Unbeknownst to me it had been shaken

And as the refreshing
Albeit calorific contents
Washed over me
I’d like to beleive
I learned a valuable lesson
But in all honesty
I probably didn’t

Opinion Piece

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Though it is accepted wisdom
To equate success to fame
I’m really not that sorry
That nobody knows my name

Yes, I’m glad that I’m not famous
I’m happily unknown
Anonymity quite suits me
I’m sure I’m not alone

Of course, I would admit that
Fame might well have the odd perk
Being wealthy would be nice
I could probably give up work

But celebrities are different
To the likes of you and I
And I couldn’t do what they do
However hard I try

I don’t have the right conviction
Perhaps I’m out of sync
But I wouldn’t be much good
At telling others what to think

No fame is really not about
The composition or the art
It’s about which celebrity can prove
That they have the biggest heart

And there is no room for nuance
No time for quality debate
Celebs just need to tell us plebs
What to love and who to hate

 

The Beautiful Game

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Once in a while I like to put aside my own nonsense and compile the gibberish of others to make a ‘found poem’. In reality, I’ve only actually done this three times on my blog, and the last time was back in 2016, so it’s not a regular activity. The last one was in honour of the Rio Olympics and in particular an homage to some of the banal nonsense that the pundits and commentators would come out with.

But if there’s one sport, which has absolutely nailed the art of total banality within its commentary, it would have to be football (or soccer to my US readers).

I don’t attach a massive amount of importance to football, but I’m quite happy to watch it if it’s on the telly, and it is quite a lot at the moment, due to the return of the Premier League as the lockdown eases and the world stumbles towards a state of affairs currently being branded as ‘The New Normal’. Due to the lack of crowds at the games, some of the matches are being shown on terrestrial TV, for free, for the first time in the UK since the 1980s.

So in honour of football’s return, I spent a small amount of time the other night half watching a game while trying to get my ‘daughter who doesn’t like to sleep’ to go to sleep. And for a brief period of time when I thought she had gone to sleep (oh poor naïve fool that I was), I jotted down some of the commentary, which I’d like to present to you today in the form of a poem. Not so much a ‘Found Poem’ as a ‘Heard Poem’.

If you were to stop reading at this point I would not blame you.

If you’d like to persevere, then here it is:

The Beautiful Game

That was nowhere near good enough or acceptable
They’ve not won a tackle
There’s three points at stake here
You’ve got win your first tackle

Can he get it up and over
The goal keeper got a hand on it
An unbelievable save
It shows how much quality is on that free kick

That’s not an easy finish
Look how much time and space he’s got
It’s a good ball
Very very good finish

They look fit and hungry
It’s of massive importance
He’s probably been their best player
Some tidy touches

They’re not even getting on the ball
They’ve got to score the next goal
We spoke about the importance of a fast start
They just seem so pedantic
It’s too predictable
They need creativity
They’ve not even had a shot on target
The players need to look at themselves
They certainly need something
They need a spark

It’s one of them to be honest with you
He’s won the ball cleanly
We have actually seen red cards given for this
There’s no intention
It’s a very harsh one
He got a foot in

The referee has said no foul but that is a foul
And this is in a good position
He just needs to stay on his feet
If they can get one here it just might be the beginning of a comeback

The midfield’s absolutely ran this game
He used the ball very well
It’s gone the other way
He’s no stranger to a yellow card

Heavy touch
Short touch
Corner kick
Well they might get one
But I don’t think they’re going to get two
That’s for sure
Shake of the head from the manager
Injury time and the end of added time and then not much time

Got to expect more there
I can only put it down to tiredness
You had to fancy him one on one there to get his goal

The referee having a little glance at his watch
And there we are
A richly deserved victory
All in all the game was won in the first half
Very thorough professional performance
They’re always well organised
We mentioned that before the game

 

An Homage To The Now Departed Daily Briefing

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Hello and welcome to today’s update
We haven’t got anything new to say
Nothing’s really changed since yesterday
But it’s important, nonetheless
That we update you anyway
Otherwise you’ll realise
That we haven’t got any idea what we’re doing

We’d rather give the impression
That we do know what we’re doing
Even though we don’t
Because no-one wants to admit
That they don’t know what they’re doing
It’s not a great look
It’s much better
To create the illusion of competency
Aided where possible
By meaningless diagrams
And complex terminology
That no-one understands
Because we just made it up

And lets not dwell too heavily
On things we said in the past
Because a lot has changed since then
And it wouldn’t serve anyone
To focus too heavily
On our broken promises
Over-optimistic forecasts
And, if we’re honest
(Which we never are)
What can only be described as outright lies

Let us instead
Look to the future
And what we can achieve moving forwards
Because if we use different lies
To the other lies we told
Then some people will still believe us
And that’s the main thing really
And everything will probably be fine in the end anyway
If we just ignore the facts
And concentrate heavily on soundbites
And a bit of misdirection
And just blame everyone else

So today I’d like to announce
The latest thing we’re going to do
It’s brilliant
And better than what anyone else is doing
If you don’t believe us then just you wait
Yes you can quote me on that
But only today
Not in two weeks
When it turns out
That this was just more hyperbole
And in the meantime
Stop being so negative will you?
Honestly, what’s the worst that could happen?

No Cats Were Harmed In The Writing Of This Poem

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It’s not that I don’t appreciate
Innovative ways of doing things
I’m certainly no advocate
For always doing
The tried and tested
I’m all for experimenting
Redefining what’s possible
Doing things differently

It’s not the methodology that matters
So much as the goal
And how ever many ways
There might be to achieve this
I’m still not convinced
That we need to skin a cat

Because aside from being an act
Of extreme brutality
I’m not sure what purpose it would serve
Cat skin doesn’t seem like a feasible material
To fashion even the most rudimentary of garments
And surely no-one wants to eat the meat
No I’m pretty sure those rumours are unfounded
No-one wants the meat

Yes I understand that it’s really just a metaphor
I just never really thought it was a good metaphor
In much the same way
That this poem
(If indeed this is a poem)
Could in any way be viewed
As a good metaphor
For the UK Government’s approach to…
…well anything really
But much like needless cat murder
It is a metaphor nonetheless
And I expect some people will get it
For all its clumsiness

Renaissance

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It has been a difficult time
For everyone
And the world might have changed now
Beyond all recognition

It is more than possible
That things will never be the same
And as a species we will have to adjust
To adapt, to reframe, to reflect

But out of the ashes of despair
Opportunity rises like the Phoenix
Now is the time to innovate
To improve
To reassess our priorities
To think differently

Although the current plan
As far as I can make out
Is to do things exactly the same as before
But less well

Welcome To The New Normal

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Welcome to the new normal
It’s a bit like the old normal
But with a smidgen less freedom
A tiny bit less choice
And quite a lot less fun

On the plus side though
There are more queues
And more joggers
A lot more joggers
And there is more than enough fear for everyone

And there are more rules
Although the rules don’t apply to everyone
And they can be quite confusing
And most people just ignore them

It’s not all change though
Much like the old normal
If you’re not sure what to do
Or even what to think
Then the Internet can help

It’s still full of the advice and opinions
Of people who are a bit famous
And therefore better than you
And they are more than happy
To tell you how to live your life
And what you should believe

Lately though
A lot of them seem to keep going on
And on and on and on
About something called
‘The New Normal’
Whatever that is

Teams Spirit

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There is no ‘i’ in Teams
Although there is an ‘i’ in time
And when I am in Teams
I often feel like I am stuck in time
Sometimes I’m literally frozen in time
At least that is the impression
I give to others
I wish I were more like ‘i’
And not in Teams
So I could be free
Perchance to Zoom

As Per Our Policy…

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There has to be a policy
For people to be able to adhere to the policy
But it’s a theoretical exercise
And no-one reads the policy
So no-one adheres to the policy
But it’s important that they could if they wanted to
For some reason

Frankly it’s annoying when anyone actually does read the policy
And then points out all the ways that people aren’t adhering to the policy
Because that was never really the point of the policy
And no-one likes the person who points out
When people aren’t sticking to the rules
As laid out in the policy
So, don’t be that person

Just let people do what they want
Regardless of the policy
Because the policy is only there
So that we all know there is a policy
And can confidently claim that
The policy does exist
If anyone ever asks
But no-one ever will

Even the person who wrote the policy
Doesn’t know what it says
Because they just copied and pasted
A different policy
Which in turn was copied and pasted
From another policy
And so it goes
Although presumably there was once a policy
That was written by someone who actually thought about it
But that has never been confirmed
And it may just be a legend

In any case
You don’t need to adhere to the policy
And you don’t need to actually read the policy
But we would appreciate it nonetheless
If you would just sign this form claiming that you have
Read and understood
The policy
As that is our policy on all policies

Positively Pessimistic

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Restriction to your home is not
The worst kind of jail
You can still pretend to work
If you can access your email

But it’s easy to find reasons
To not be very cheerful
When it seems that you’re increasingly
Encouraged to be fearful

It’s appears that times are dark
And possibly quite bleak
It’s hard to know what month it is
Let alone what day or week

And when you venture out
It’s worse outside than in
Attempts to buy toilet paper
Always end in your chagrin

You try to stay upbeat
But optimism’s hard to sell
When the contents of the half-full glass
Have a funny smell

Pandemically Proverbial

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Home is where the heart is
Which is useful because it’s also where the rest of me is
All the time now
And I like to be where my heart is
I need my heart
To stay alive
Indeed I’m not quite sure how I managed to cope
When I was allowed to leave my home
If my heart was always there

They say keep your friends close
And your enemies closer
But that seems like really bad advice at the moment
Current government guidance is to keep both very far way indeed

There’s no time like the present
Although yesterday was quite a lot like today
And I have a strong feeling tomorrow will be quite similar too
So, there are some times that are a bit like the present
In the current climate, it seems like a lot of times will
Be very much like the present
As we never leave our homes

And two heads are not better than one
When attempting to social distance
One head is the optimum number of heads
To do that effectively

And to that end,
If you can’t beat them,
Under no circumstances should you join them
And you should absolutely not
Bite the hand that feeds you
Unless that hand has been washed
For at least twenty seconds using soap
Or at the very least a high alcohol hand sanitiser
But soap is better
And I for one will only be biting hands that have used soap

Yes, home is where the heart is
And there’s no place like home
Not that any of us will ever get the chance to test that sentiment
Anytime soon

An Inauspicious Return To Writing Poetry After 20 Months Of Not Writing Poetry

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I haven’t penned a poem
Sine the year ended in eight
So, it would be quite unfair
To expect this to be great

Quality is not my goal
That would be a step too far
If anything, my aim is
To really lower the bar

To write poetry this bad
Is nothing short of a feat
You can’t replicate this dross
Don’t even try to compete

Don’t kid yourself that you could
Produce such appalling verse
You might think your poem’s bad
This is definitely worse

There is perhaps merit in
Consistent rhymes and rhythms
Which were at least on display
Until the final line of what, it turns out, is a really rubbish poem

Unleash Your Lethargy

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Sorry that I didn’t
Do that thing I said I’d do
I didn’t get around to it
Because I didn’t want to

It’s not that I am lazy
(Though you could say that of me)
But I really see no purpose
In being as busy as a bee

It’s hard to really care about
A task that’s wearisome
When there are so many vices
To which I could succumb

So spare me all your judgments
About my attitude
And let me get straight back
To a state of hebetude

 

There Is No ‘I’ In T-E-A-M

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There are things that I am bad at
Which are a strength of yours
So if we work together
We might accomplish more

It seems to make more sense
For our skills to be combined
If we share our talents
We can leave our woes behind

It won’t be a partnership
Built on equality
My abilities are few
And my work lacks quality

No, I don’t bring that much
In terms of aptitude
And some might call me lazy
Though I think that’s rather rude

But though, throughout the years,
I’ve been more inclined to fail
I’m happy to succeed this time
By riding your coattails