Spirits of the Cause

The Spooks United Nations held a summit to debate

The consequence of climate change on spirits small and great.  

The ghosts and spectres stated that the warming climes were daunting;

They needed icy winds and snow to activate their haunting. 

And vampires said the sunshine would make coffins so much warmer,

They’d think they’d gone to Sweden and were lying in a sauna.

The witches warned how broomsticks would grow dearer by the day,

As wood became much scarcer, when fires burnt the trees away.

And all the fairy creatures, from the spriggan to the piskie,

Said rising seas would make their coastal hideouts very risky.

Then spoke an ancient zombie: “It seems crystal clear to me,

All earthly living creatures face a huge catastrophe.

What causes us small niggles, brings to them a last goodbye –

They cannot live on air alone no matter how they try.”

The delegates concluded – (opposition there was none)

The world would be a boring place with all the humans gone,

For no one would be left to scare, no human left to fright,

So all the spirits fast agreed to join the climate fight!

    This poem follows on from yesterday’s article on why otherworldly creatures support the campaign to halt global warming.

Fashion Comebacks: the Crinoline

The crinoline skirt is a garment set to make a comeback, and not before time. Teamed with roller skates or skateboard beneath its capacious flare, a woman can glide across a room with all the elegance of a ghost.

Bring back, bring back the crinoline!

So much that can be hid within:

A skateboard on which you can ride,

Some flowers from the countryside,

A cage of birds, a herd of sheep,

Some chocolate bars, an army jeep,

A soccer ball, electric bass,

A silk top hat, a doctor’s case,

Some bicycles, performing rats,

A pack of gum, some acrobats,

The London Eye, a mastodon,

The list goes on, and on and on…

Just think, you’d never ever be alone

Inside that garment’s cage of bone

So think about what you’d put in

The space inside a crinoline.

If you can’t find a full crinoline cage, this hoop is a reasonable alternative, although not on a windy day.

World Book Day

Today is a celebration of all things bookish, and a time for us to celebrate their impact on the world. Indeed, were it up to me, I would bestow a sainthood on William Caxton, the father of printing, for without the published word we would still be reading things scratched onto rocks and stones – which would have made tomes such as War and Peace, decidedly hard to read and write. Tolstoy would probably have required a mountain range at the very least. Then again, I imagine it would have been handy for outdoor types, who could have combined their love of climbing with a good read.

As a book addict, for me there is no greater delight than browsing a book shop. The combination of images, smells and the anticipation of a gripping new novel transport me to a kind of paradise. But of equal appeal is the second hand book emporium. Here one may wander through multi -coloured, towering stacks of books from bygone eras, and while they might not boast the enticing dust jacket designs of today, inside them the curious reader may discover a festival of fiction, fact and poetry.

So, to this end I was inspired to write the following:

Book Lives

The book looks so tattered,

So ancient and tired;

In a second hand shop,

On a shelf, unadmired:

But inside its grey pages

What gems I uncover!

Which shows you must not

Judge a book by its cover.

My own writing desk.


My Favourite Things…

Spectral spiders spin ghostly webs.

Creaky old hinges, and cobwebs on ceilings,
Goosebumps and shivers and foreboding feelings,
Gigantic insects with multiple stings,
These are a few of my favourite things.
Ghouls in white dresses all covered in slashes,
Flowers that bloom then turn straight into ashes,
Dark monstrous creatures with huge flapping wings –
These are a few of my favourite things.

When the sun shines,
When the birds sing,
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I feel really bad.

Musical boxes that play without warning,
Nightmares that stay even though day is dawning,
Weird wooden puppets that move without strings,
These are a few of my favourite things.
Dark dreary forests where creatures are creeping,
Howling at midnight that stops you from sleeping,
Something that’s lurking which suddenly springs –
These are a few of my favourite things.

Maria Von Trapp has dissimilar tastes to myself, but as they say: one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

The Dangerous Outdoors

The unfortunate change in the weather is enough to tempt people outside and may even be sufficient to cause them to engage in outdoor activities. I feel, therefore I have no option but to issue a warning.

Outdoor Pursuits

Hills get icy,

Rivers are damp,

Woods are dicey,

Hikes cause cramp,

Mud smells awful,

Insects sting,

Bulls can charge you,

Give up and go in.

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A farewell to quills…

Given the ever rising cost of parchment, particularly vellum (exorbitant!) I have flung away my quill and am now embracing the keyboard and internet with fervour. The result of this capitulation to modernity is The Woebegone Words of Aunt Grizelda blog, which struggled into being amidst much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments. But now, here it is in all its digital splendour. What is more, no electronic components were harmed in its creation, (although it was a damned close run thing, to quote my friend the Duke of Wellington.)

As mentioned in the Home Page, I’ll be covering a wide range of topics, but as poetry is the art form for which I am best known, here, from Aunt Grizelda’s Treasury of Grim and Grisly Rhymes is a soupcon of the delights to come.

  (Not so) Smart phone

  Harry got a smart phone, 
For hours he’d text and natter,
He didn’t pay attention
To the things that really matter -
Like playing football with his dad,
Or rugby with his friends,
Or seeing where the traffic starts
And where the pavement ends….