Taking It Literally: Hitting the Nail on the Head

In her workshop this afternoon, Margaret Holbrook supplied us with some idioms to choose from which we were firstly encouraged to interpret literally and then figuratively.

Hitting the Nail on the Head

Now I’m retired, there are some days I spend

twiddling my thumbs ‘cos I’m at a loose end.

I get up quite early and put on a brew

and then, if it’s Wednesday, pop to B and Q,

a wond’rous emporium for keen D-I-Y-ers.

You can buy all you need from nails to pliers.

The price for us oldies has 10% off. It’s

a wonder sometimes that they manage a profit.

Then back home, I tackle the task that I dread,

grasp my hammer and hit the nail on the head.

You’d think it was something would work without fail,

but at times it’s as if there’s no head on the nail.

I bet you can see where I’m coming from.

You’ve hit the nail on the head whilst I’ve hit my thumb!


Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve

Wear your heart on your sleeve,

now where does that get you?

It will nothing achieve

but disdain, that I’ll bet you.


Be savvy, be coy, be sly and wary.

Be cunning like Machiavelli.

Don’t be naive. Don’t be airy-fairy.

Your heart on your sleeve? Not on your Nelly.




National Limerick Day

I discovered by chance that 12th. May was National Limerick Day, and having written quite a few over the years, including 2 as a tribute to the late Terry Wogan which are posted on this site, I was keen to see what I could come up with: the result was 4 limericks plus a fifth written as part of an exercise at Macc Creative Writing Group’s afternoon session. I’ve also added 4 favourites from 2013 (Disaster Limericks I-IV).

5 lines and 2 rhymes, that’s succinct

To comment on facts that are linked.

So, with some chuckles blending

On events that were trending,

I put down my pen and I winked.


It’s National Limerick Day

When everyone can have their say,

So, write one this minute,

You can always bin it

If it’s full of bull faeces. Ole!


This limerick should be up in neon:

A paean for being Europeans.

In June, don’t vote Brexit.

(They talk up, over sex it

Or we’ll be the West’s North Koreans.


There once was a savvy investor

Placed a bet on odds which impressed her.

At 5000 to 1,

Put a cool million on.

Now the Kop have come to arrest her.


There once was a tycoon called Trump

Whose statements made him look a chump.

He’s in the pillory

Until he beats Hilary,

When we’re down to earth with a thump.


Disaster Limericks I – IV


There once was a Macc poetaster

thought himself an iconoclast – er –

but his nouns were verbose,

better suited to prose

and his half-rhymes, a total disaster.


There once was a weather-forecaster

converted from Catholic to Rasta,

to “Hail Mary”s said,”Nope.

Haile Selassee’s my pope”,

for dreadlocks used some kind of pasta.


There once was an outside broadcaster

whose speech just got faster and faster.

So quickly he spoke,

you hoped he would choke

or his diction he’d soon learn to master.


“Sir, you’re drunk,” once flashed Lady Astor,

to Churchill who’d often aghast her.

“You are plain.” (said in sorrow)

“I’ll be sober tomorrow.”

A put down will often outlast you.




For last night’s Snow Goose Speakeasy theme of “Conflict”, I cut it a bit fine to write this poem and, thanks to helpful suggestions and criticism fro Macclesfield Creative Writing Group and Alan Horne in particular, I’ve now made a small adjustment to verse 5, which I think is a much better way of fitting the rhymes.


I’ve trawled my archives for poems which are apt

and twiddled and fretted to make them adapt,

then done a volte face and half of them scrapped:

the turmoil, the conflict, the angst.


There are conflicts of interest with riches to gain

and lip-serving PMs. who mouth nothings in vain.

Well, aren’t they engine drivers on Life’s gravy train?

The turmoil, the conflict, the angst.


There are conflicting theories of sugar v fat

which is the culprit for the obesity stat.

plus how many hours at your computer you’re sat.

the turmoil, the conflict, the angst.


This year we pay tribute to conflict in battle:

the Great War, the trenches, men slaughtered like cattle.

At the front, it’s machine guns, not sabres, that rattle.

The turmoil, the conflict, the angst.


Nowadays our conflicts, well, at least in the West,

are focussed on whose football team is the best,

that sly team in blue from the city of Leicest-

er. Gone turmoil, gone conflict, gone angst.


We rejoice for the Foxes. There’s none of us mardy.

We knew they’d win it, deep down, early or tardy.

Like Nelson, the country’s whispering, “Kiss me, Vardy.”

Gone turmoil, gone conflict, gone angst.

Foxes’ Classier Mo-ments

My tribute to the nation’s second favourite team and dedicated to my mate, Joe who has been a fan for 65 years. Now with an extra verse taking a pop at Man. Utd. as a representative of the Big 4.

Foxes’ Classier Mo-ments

Was it David v Goliaths? Were Leicester underdogs?

Read all about it in the press and in the whole world’s blogs.

They won it at a canter, by 2 lengths. They scarcely had to jog.

How did they mesh so smoothly, these eleven footballing cogs?


“We’re looking for just 40 points,” the manager maintained

and by mid-January, this achieved, survival was no brained.

And yet Ranieri kept his peace as each week ground was gained.

Work ethic, super fitness and team spirit he ingrained.


“He treats us all like adults,” squad members told the throng.

Claudio smiled that quiet smile, quipped, “Dilly ding and dilly dong.”

The press was puzzled to a man. “This ain’t his native tongue.

When Vardy threw a wobbler, that’s when the dream went wrong.”


How wrong they were, the doubters, for when Spurs a gasket blew,

the football world astonished saw Leicester’s fairy tale come true.

From August through to May those boys in stature slowly grew.

Now everything seems possible, for the Foxes’ men in blue.


There’s one last comment to be made, a point which must be cited:

how football’s fallen foul these days, corrupted, tarnished, blighted,

by untold wealth, ill-gotten gains, financiers uninvited.

Leicester’s shown the way. Your turn, now, Money-chester United.