20 May 2013


I've always written poems. Sometimes I think I have kicked the habit but then another poem creeps up on me and I can't resist. Well-chosen words without superfluousness have the power to say so much. But I realise that some people don't "get" poetry - perhaps in the same way that I don't "get" ballet, opera, horse racing or the idea of attending a classical concert. Yes, I understand but I am not sorry about "Lamb" (See my last post).

I guess I was investigating religious belief as much as I was lamenting the passing of that ruined lamb - the vision of which assailed me as I walked in the high country above Winnat's Pass last Thursday morning. Lambs die every springtime - often at birth - but this one had clearly survived that trauma and had been flourishing until something happened to end its life. A dog attack? A fox? Some congenital condition? Who knows? But I snapped a picture of it and that horrible moment of discovery kept surfacing in my thoughts.

Now, on the other side of the Pennine chain and far from here, in a mythical dragon-infested land called Wales, there resides one of my favourite bloggers - he of the tea dynasty - Earl John Gray who has of course eschewed the family estate with all its riches to settle in a homely village with his poultry, his dogs and his professorial partner. Upon reading "Lamb", Earl Gray protested that I should write a happy poem "next time". Being fearful of the nobility, I felt obliged to comply with his instruction, so here it is...

Have I seen The Earl? -  you say
Oh you mean the flouncing nurse John Gray?
He lives by the corner up on Church Lane
It's rumoured that the bloke's insane.

All manner of birds are kept in his field

Even though his neighbours appealed
He talks to the buggers as well you know
When it's pissing it down or in driving snow.

His Berlingo is a familiar sight

Scotch egg wrappers and covered in shite
His pack of dogs from the Baskervilles
Are often seen chasing him over the hills.

Be careful when you knock on his door.

What do you want to see him for?
Runner ducks, fresh free range eggs?
Or those homemade pies he gets from Greggs?

Oh you're doing a fashion shoot?

Christ, that should be a hoot!
Anorak, wellies and a woolly hat
What will your editor make of that?

I've lived in Trelawnyd all my life

Never had a girlfriend, never a wife
- "The only gay in the village!" - they'd yell
Now the Earl and his fancy man live here as well

Go up there and then turn right

Just follow the smell of the chicken shite
He'll pour you a cup of Earl Gray tea
Then try to do what he did to me!


  1. Well you made my day!
    As you have done many times
    Thank you my friend

  2. Absolutely brilliant!

    John'll never get his head through the kitchen door now, let alone into one of his chicken coops to collect his eggs.

  3. Do you two guys actually know each other, or is it just a blogging love fest?

    Brilliant photo of the man of the moment, it's obviously one taken during his psychiatric nursing days.


  4. EARL GRAY I expect this poem will soon be on the GCSE English Literature syllabus and you will therefore be immortalised.
    HIPPO Collecting eggs? He doesn't do his nursing in a fertility clinic! Besides, The Earl is an extremely modest man as his wardrobe clearly shows.
    LETTICE LEAF No. I think the photo was taken during his psychiatric PATIENT days!...As for blogging love fests, where can I get a ticket?

  5. Well, that was actually what I was alluding to, but being a shrinking violet didn't like to say.

    Blogging Love Fest tickets are as rare as hens teeth and as pricy as Dr Who Proms tickets. So I suggest you just keep buying the Keep Britain Afloat tickets in the hope of a big win.


  6. Priceless. Maybe he can frame this and hang it alongside the pictures he just received from another blogger!
    We are going to be taking a trip to Scotland, Shetland and the UK this fall and I was warned that Brits love sarcasm and humor, and instead of scaring me away, it has made me even more excited to visit. This poem is further proof that I definitely have roots from across the pond that contributes to my slightly odd sense of humor. Thanks YP, this was brilliant.

  7. Anonymous9:22 am

    Hi YP, just popped over from John's blog to say loved the poem. Maybe you should do a "funny one a week" to keep us all smiling. It would be a public service. CT


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