Rhymes Recollected online – Monday 18th May

by | May 20, 2020 | Events

Here’s a link to the fourth ‘Rhymes Recollected on-line’ which took place on the 18th led by Audrey and John.

And below you can revisit the poems we read!


Jabberwocky By Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.


“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!”


He took his vorpal sword in hand;

Long time the manxome foe he sought—

So rested he by the Tumtum tree

And stood awhile in thought.


And, as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!


One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.


“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

He chortled in his joy.


’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.


The Giraffe by Geoffrey Dearmer

 Hide of a leopard and hide of a deer

And eyes of a baby calf,

Sombre and large and crystal clear,

And a comical back that is almost sheer

Has the absurd giraffe.


A crane all covered with hide and hair

Is the aslant giraffe,

So cleverly mottled with many a square

That even the jungle is unaware

Whether a pair or a herd are there,

Or possibly one giraffe,

Or possibly only half.


If you saw him stoop and straddle and drink

He would certainly make you laugh,

He would certainly make you laugh, I think

With his head right down on the water’s brink,

Would the invert giraffe,

The comical knock-kneed, angular, crock-kneed,

Anyhow-built giraffe.


There’s more than a grain of common sense

And a husky lot of chaff

In the many and various arguments

About the first giraffe,

The first and worst giraffe;

Whether he grows a neck because

He yearned for the higher shoots

Out of the reach of all and each

Of the ruminating brutes;

Or whether he got to the shoots because

His neck was long, if long it was,

Is the cause of many disputes.


Over the ladder without any rungs,

The stopper-like mouth and the longest of tongues

Of the rum and dumb giraffe,

The how-did-you-come giraffe,

The brown equatorial, semi-arboreal

Head-in-the-air giraffe.


The Rainbow Children  By Gemma Peacock

The history books will talk of now,
That time the world stood still.
When every family stayed at home,
Waved out from windowsills-
At those they loved but could not hold,
Because they loved them so.
Yet, whilst they did they noticed all the flowers start to grow.

The sun came out, they can recall,
And windows, rainbows filled.
They kicked a football in their yards,
Until the night drew in.
They walked each day but not too close,
That time the world stood still.
When people walked straight down the roads,
That once the cars did fill.

They saw that people became ill,
They knew the world was scared.
But whilst the world stood still they saw,
How much the whole world cared.
They clapped on Thursdays from their doors,
They cheered for the brave.
For people who would risk their lives,
So others could be saved.

The schools closed down, they missed their friends,
They missed their teachers so.
Their Mams and Dads helped with their work,
They helped their minds to grow.
The parents used to worry that,
As schools were put on hold,
Their children wouldn’t have the tools,
They’d need as they grew old.

But history books will talk of them,
Now adults, fully grown.
Those little boys and girls back then,
The ones who stayed at home.
They’ll tell you that they fixed this world,
Of all they would fulfill.
The RAINBOW children building dreams,
They’d dreamed whilst time stood still


The party  By Margaret Johnston

The animals came to my house last night

To have a party they said.

They waited outside till all was clear

And I was tucked up in bed.

They tapped at the window, then in they came –

And no two animals were the same.


A lion, a bear and a pig came through,

A cat, a dog, and a kangaroo.

I watched in amazement as they jigged round the floor,

Then kept very quiet when someone passed by my door.


Then all of a sudden a noise was heard and a voice cried out with a plea,

I know I’m big, but I’d love to come in – can somebody help me please?


We all looked out, and there we saw an elephant standing still,

“I’d like to come in and join in the fun, but I can’t climb over the still.”


We pulled and pushed with all our might –

As you can imagine it was very tight.

I asked him to dance, but he said “I’m not fit –

In that comfy chair by the fire I’ll sit!”


And so the party went on and one.

Before me knew, it was almost dawn.

When I opened my eyes, the room was bare.

Had I imagined they had all been there?




The window was open and I know for a fact

The dent on the cushion was  where the elephant sat.

I smiled, I know it had all been true –

But please, it’s a secret between me and you.


The elephant in the room  By Felix Dennis

You can read this poem here.

Play no ball By Gerard Benson

You can read this poem here.

Matilda By Hillaire Belloc

Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,

It made one Gasp and Stretch one’s Eyes;

Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,

Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,

Attempted to Believe Matilda:

The effort very nearly killed her,

And would have done so, had not She

Discovered this Infirmity.

For once, towards the Close of Day,

Matilda, growing tired of play,

And finding she was left alone,

Went tiptoe to the Telephone

And summoned the Immediate Aid

Of London’s Noble Fire-Brigade.

Within an hour the Gallant Band

Were pouring in on every hand,

From Putney, Hackney Downs, and Bow

With Courage high and Hearts a-glow

They galloped, roaring through the Town

‘Matilda’s House is Burning Down!’

Inspired by British Cheers and Loud

Proceeding from the Frenzied Crowd,

They ran their ladders through a score

Of windows on the Ball Room Floor;

And took Peculiar Pains to Souse

The Pictures up and down the House,

Until Matilda’s Aunt succeeded

In showing them they were not needed;

And even then she had to pay

To get the Men to go away!


It happened that a few Weeks later

Her Aunt was off to the Theatre

To see that Interesting Play

The Second Mrs Tanqueray.

She had refused to take her Niece

To hear this Entertaining Piece:

A Deprivation Just and Wise

To Punish her for Telling Lies.

That Night a Fire did break out-

You should have heard Matilda Shout!

You should have heard her Scream and Bawl,

And throw the window up and call

To People passing in the Street-

(The rapidly increasing Heat

Encouraging her to obtain

Their confidence)-but all in vain!

For every time She shouted ‘Fire!’

They only answered ‘Little Liar’!

And therefore when her Aunt returned,

Matilda, and the House, were Burned.


The Man who Wasn’t There By Brian Lee

You can read this poem here.


Antigonish [I met a man who wasn’tthere]  By Hughes Mearns

 Yesterday, upon the stair,

I met a man who wasn’t there

He wasn’t there again today

I wish, I wish he’d go away…


When I came home last night at three

The man was waiting there for me

But when I looked around the hall

I couldn’t see him there at all!

Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!

Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door… (slam!)


Last night I saw upon the stair

A little man who wasn’t there

He wasn’t there again today

Oh, how I wish he’d go away…


Loss By Wendy Cope


The day he moved out was terrible —

That evening she went through hell.

His absence wasn’t a problem

But the corkscrew had gone as well.


Unrequited  By Gill McWhirter


For a day or two

or maybe a week

or even a month or more,

I reverted back

to the lovelorn state

of a girl of twenty-four.

There were all the signs

of a hopeless case,

emotions raw,

all over the place.

Sighs and tears

and nonsensical dreams –

age doesn’t matter

or so it seems

when this sort of thing’s

in the air.

It’s taken a week

or maybe a month –

well, perhaps it’s a year or two,

to channel emotions,

unrealised dreams

which I can now

ruefully rue;

come down to earth

with a bump and a laugh,

look back at it now

with releasing mirth;

gently put all

to the back of the mind,

concede that it’s true

that love can be blind;

get on with living

the life left to come

with abundant abandon,

expectant fun.

And perhaps by the time

I’m seventy-three

I’ll be able to say,


“Could that possibly

have been ME?”


Puppy and I by Christopher Matthews after A. A. Milne)

You can read this poem here.


An ode to Coffee By Mike Wise

You can read this poem here.

Ode To The Hydrangea  By Phil Capitano

 You can read this poem here.


To a mouse  By Robert Burns


On Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough,

November, 1785


Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,

O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

Thou need na start awa sae hasty,

Wi’ bickering brattle!

I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,

Wi’ murdering pattle!


I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion

Has broken Nature’s social union,

An’ justifies that ill opinion

Which makes thee startle

At me, thy poor, earth-born companion

An’ fellow-mortal!


I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;

What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!

A daimen-icker in a thrave

‘S a sma’ requet;

I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,

An’ never miss’t!


Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!

Its silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!

An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,

O’ foggage green!

An’ bleak December’s win’s ensuing,

Baith snell an’ keen!


Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,

An’ weary Winter comin fast,

An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,

Thou thought to dwell,

Till crash! the cruel coulter past

Out thro’ thy cell.


That wee bit heap o’ leaves and stibble,

Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!

Now thou’s turned out, for a’ thy trouble,

But house or hald,

To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,

An’ cranreuch cauld!


But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,

In proving foresight may be vain:

The best-laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men

Gang aft agley,

An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,

For promis’d joy!


Still thou are blest, compared wi’ me!

The present only toucheth thee:

But Och! I backward cast my e’e,

On prospects drear!

An’ forward, tho’ I cannot see,

I guess an’ fear!


Tae a virus by Willie Sinclair

 “Twa months ago, we didna ken,

yer name or ocht aboot ye,

But lots of things have changed since then,

I really must salute ye.


“Yer spreading rate is quite intense,

yer feeding like a gannet,

Disruption caused, is so immense,

ye’ve shaken oor wee planet.


“Corona used tae be a beer,

they garnished it wae limes,

But noo it’s filled us awe wae fear,

These days, are scary times.


“Nae shakin hawns, or peckin lips,

it’s whit they awe advise,

But scrub them weel, richt tae the tips,

that’s how we’ll awe survive.


“Just stay inside, the hoose, ye bide,

Nae sneakin oot for strolls,

Just check the lavvy every hoor,

And stock-take, your, loo rolls.


“Our holidays have been pit aff,

Noo that’s the Jet2 patter,

Pit oan yer thermals, have a laugh,

And paddle ‘doon the waater’.


“Canary isles, no for a while,

Nae need for suntan cream,

And awe because o this wee bug,

We ken tae be… 19.


“The boredom surely will set in,

But have a read, or doodle,

Or plan yer menu for the month,

Wi 95 pot noodles.


“When these run oot, just look aboot,

A change, it would be nice,

We’ve beans and pasta By the ton,

and twenty stane o rice.


“So dinny think yell wipe us oot,

Aye true, many have died,

Bubonic, bird flu, and Tb,

They came, they left, they tried.


“Ye might be gallus noo ma freen,

As ye jump fae cup tae cup,

But when we get oor vaccine made,

Yer number will be up.”


How to Get Along with Yourself, or I Recommend Softening of the Oughteries  By Ogden Nash


When I was young I always knew

The meretricious from the true.

I was alert to call a halt

On other people’s every fault.

My creed left no more chance for doubt

Than station doors marked IN and OUT.

A prophet with righteousness elated,

Dogmatic and opinionated,

Once self-convinced, I would not budge;

I was indeed a hanging judge.

I admitted, in either joy or sorrow,

No yesterday and no tomorrow.

My summary of life was reckoned

By what went on that very second.

I scoffed when kindly uncles and aunts

Said age would teach me tolerance,

For tolerance implies a doubt

That IN is IN and OUT is OUT.

But now that I am forty-nine

I’m tolerant, and like it fine.

Since the faults of others I condone,

I can be tolerant of my own.

I realize the sky won’t fall

If I don’t pay my bills at all.

The King of Sweden it will not irk

To hear that I neglect my work,

And tombfuls of historic dead

Care not how late I lie abed.

Oh, tolerance is the state of grace

Where everything falls into place,

So now I tolerantly think

I could tolerate a little drink.

Dust If You Must by Rose Milligan

 You can read this poem here.

The baby sardine   By Spike Milligan

 A baby sardine

Saw her first submarine:

She was scared and watched through a peephole.


“Oh come, come, come,”

Said the sardine’s mum.

“It’s only a tin full of people.”


On a sundial   By Hilaire Belloc


On a Sundial

IN SOFT deluding lies let fools delight.

A Shadow marks our days; which end in Night.


 How slow the Shadow creeps: but when ’tis past

How fast the Shadows fall. How fast! How fast!


 Loss, and Possession, Death and Life are one.

There falls no shadow where there shines no sun.


 Stealthy the silent hours advance, and still;

And each may wound you, and the last shall kill.


 Here in a lonely glade, forgotten, I

Mark the tremendous process of the sky.

So does your inmost soul, forgotten, mark

The Dawn, the Noon, the coming of the Dark.


 I that still point to one enduring star

Abandoned am, as all the Constant are.


 Save on the rare occasions when the Sun

Is shining, I am only here for fun.


 I am a sundial, and I make a botch

Of what is done far better by a watch.


 I am a sundial, turned the wrong way round.

I cost my foolish mistress fifty pound.


 Creep, shadow, creep: my ageing hours tell.

I cannot stop you, so you may as well.


 I am a Sundial. Ordinary words

Cannot express my thoughts on Birds.