My nephew Michael had his 53rd birthday this week. Bless him. It only seems like half a century since he was a little lad sitting on my knee, and listening to what I had to say without any back chat or cheek. How ruddy times have changed. Any road, he celebrated his birthday by achieving two personal ambitions. First off, he got to meet one of his heroes, John Otway, “Rock and Roll’s Greatest Failure” and support him with his ruddy silly pop group, Pocketful O’Nowt. and second off, he published a book of his ruddy silly poems. Having said that, I know he is ruddy silly, but I am a bit proud of him an’all.
This book is a bit slim, but it does contain twenty of his poems, and an introduction by Professor Iain Duncan Norville, Chair of English Literature at the University of Wath upon Dearne. Some of the poems are old songs that he doesn’t do in his pop group any more. there is one where our michael dreams that he is David Bowie. (He always has his head in the clouds, dreaming he is ruddy famous, rather than getting any proper work done.) Here is a bit of another one about Steve Peregrin Took, who used to play the bongos with Marc Bolan.Steve Peregrin Took Had a charming English hippie look That English hippie lasses found appealing When he travelled up and down the land As the bongo man in Bolan’s band He pulled more birds than Bolan did And Bolan hit the ceiling
There are other poems which are just plain rude. One about a tramp who is a bit too excited in the trouser department, and one which describes the lovely east Riding of Yorkshire as smelling of something that has just fallen out of a cow’s arse. Personally, I don’t hold with swearing, its not ruddy big, and its not ruddy clever.
So its a shame that Michael feels he has to resort to it. Because some of his poems are quite clever. like the one about the hog roast, where the hog has the last laugh, and the one about the smiling Victorians. My grandmother would have liked that one. My father would have agreed with this bit..They say that a smile is like an ankle or even a calf That only someone close Should be allowed to gaze upon it Not a thing to be photographed And exposed to the stares of all and sundry
There’s a good one at the end too, “Anyone can Do It” which is clever, because it lets the secret out of the bag that its fairly easy to get yourself published… Here’s a bit of that one.So the next time someone shows you Their latest book you should Resist the urge to be impressed Unless its any good Anyone can do it nowadays
I reckon that this poetry book of our Michael’s just about scrapes in as being “any good” You will probably laugh a bit as you are reading through the poems, and maybe you will remember the gist of one or two of them an’all.
You can buy it on Amazon. Our Michael has already bought thirty and is wondering what to do with the royalties. It is lavishly illustrated with old black and white drawings that he has pinched off the internet. It is also available as one of them Kindles books, but there are no pictures in that one, because he couldn’t work out how to upload them all without spoiling them, and besides, it would have made it more expensive for people to upload, or download, or whatever ruddy load it is when you buy one.
He tells me that if anybody does actually buy one because of reading this review, he will get me a bottle of Harvey’s Bristol Cream, but if he sells enough he will get me a Harvey’s Amontillado. I’m not sure I fancy Amontillado though, so don’t feel ruddy obliged to go mad. Your relatives would probably prefer it if you knited them something for Christmas.