Category Archives: The Moo (frivolous)

Ode to an Idol

I wrote some really terrible poetry when I was a teenager. In amongst all the mawkish dross there are only a couple of poems that I’m prepared to own up to having written, and this is one of them. I’m not exactly sure when I wrote it, but I think it was around the age of 18. The idol of the title is John Taylor of Duran Duran, whose poster I had on my wall for a while. Well, okay – a few years. What was I thinking?! 😀

*

There he hangs on the wall of my bedroom,
Incomplete, just his torso and head.
And in case one dark night magic brings him to life,
He’s strategically placed by the bed!

Up ’til now he’s remained unresponsive
To the kiss he receives every day,
Yet I still find him strangely attractive,
In a flat, two-dimensional way.

What would be the reaction, I wonder,
Of this man, who’s seen models undressed
Glimpsing me in my bri-nylon nightie?
I doubt if he’d be too impressed.

He’s unlikely to get all excited
At the sight of my goose-pimpled skin
Clad in heavyweight undies from Tesco’s
As I squeeze out a spot on my chin.

And he’d hardly be thrilled to discover
All the terrible secrets I keep,
Like my habit of picking my toenails
Or the way that I snore in my sleep.

But hold on! Just a sec! Wait a minute!
Even heroes can have feet of clay,
And if flesh could be moulded from paper
All my daydreams might flutter away.

I could find him a self-centred moron
And his cool conversation a bore.
He might suffer severe halitosis;
Leave his smalls in a heap on the floor.

So I think I’ll stop dangerous dreaming,
‘Cos I really prefer him like this –
A tongue that is nothing but pixels
Can’t get stuck on my brace when we kiss.

 

(C) Helen Lewis, 1983(-ish)

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Catching some Zs

 

[This one is best appreciated if you read it aloud!]

 

Zapata, wizard, zany, zinger, spritz,

Bedazzle, frazzle, zebra, zygote, fuzz,

Zucchini, gizzard, bozo, schnozzle, Ritz,

Horizon, dazzle, vuvuzela, buzz.

 

Cadenza, swizzle, zesty, guzzle, booze,

Piazza, pizza, cozy, zeitgeist, wheeze,

Organza, drizzle, zombified, kazoos,

Gazebo, breezy, zephyr, lazy, sleaze.           

 

Embezzle, rhizome, stanza, panzer, blaze, 

Byzantine, bite-size, mozzarella, fez,

Zootoxic, lizard, ouzo, orzo, daze,

Amazing, ozone, paparazzi, Pez.

 

Bamboozle, nuzzle, muzzle, guzzle, whizz,

Emblazon, crazy, buzzard, zip, zap, fizz!

 

© Helen Lewis, 2011

 

P.S. If you enjoyed this, you might also like The Joy of X


‘How to…’ or ‘A woman’s guide to flirting’

 

How to send an astronaut into orbit:

            Ask him how much thrust his rocket produces.

                        Tell him he’s go for insertion.

                                    Show him you can perform a docking manoeuvre.

 

How to inflame a fireman:

            Ask him if you can try on his helmet.

                        Tell him you like his hose.

                                    Show him you can administer mouth-to-mouth.

 

How to sweet-talk a chef:

            Ask him if you can toss his salad.

                        Tell him mouth-feel is all-important.

                                    Show him how extensive your menu is.

 

How to hang on to a rodeo rider:

            Ask him if you can ride his bull.

                        Tell him he’s stayed on the longest.

                                    Show him how strong your inner thighs are.

 

How to tie a yoga instructor in knots:

            Ask him how long he can hold it.

                        Tell him you’ve studied Tantra.

                                    Show him your best wide-angled leg pose.

 

How to talk dirty to a health inspector:

            Ask him if he comes here often.

                        Tell him you need scrubbing down.

                                    Show him what you can do with a pair of Marigolds.

 

 (C) Helen Lewis, 2006


The Bin Bag of Banishment

 

It’s looking rather full.

 

I’ve crammed in Sunday teatime television,

doctors’ receptionists who treat patients like The Enemy,

owners of yappy dogs no bigger than a gerbil,

the greatest hits of Simon and Garfunkel,

soggy bits of celery in soup,

anyone who believes armed conflict is a sane way of solving a dispute,

sentences that start, ‘With all due respect…’,

insurance,

cockroaches,

Margaret Thatcher’s voice,

people who draw quote marks in the air,

and poetry you need a bloody PhD to understand.

 

I’m going to shove it in the boot

of a clapped-out Ford Cortina

and drive at twenty miles an hour

down the middle of the road

to the scrap yard.

I’m going to crush it in the crusher

over and over

until it’s the size of a walnut.

I’m going to toss it into the ashtray

on the way home.

 

Under cover of darkness

I’m going to creep into my neighbour’s garden

and feed the scrunched-up morsel

to his goat.

 

And in due course

the contents of the bag

will become

literally

what they’ve always been

metaphorically.

And then

 

I’m going to smile.

 

(c) Helen Lewis 2006


Dewey-eyed

(or Love in a Library)

 

On Monday

I got lost between Religion

and Metaphysics.

You hacked through Botany

to rescue me.

 

On Tuesday

I teetered on the kick step

in Literature and rhetoric

while you offered up a serenade

of Italian poetry.

 

On Wednesday

I said maybe Library relationships

weren’t such a good idea.

You said you appreciated

Satire and humour.

 

On Thursday I expounded

Platonic philosophy.

You said you were pinning your hopes on

Organic chemistry.

 

You spent the whole of Friday in

Argument and persuasion.

By the end of the day I’d

succumbed to your Magnetism.

 

On Saturday we forgot all about Ethics.

We spent the morning in Social interaction,

indulging in Public relations.

 

(C) Helen Lewis 2009


Lover boy

After Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun

 

My lover boy is nothing like a ten,

More like a two (I’m being generous).

He’s got a face like Jerry crossed with Ben,

His feet are rank, his farts are perilous.

His eyes are bad; he cannot see a thing,

And often goes out with his fly undone.

His knobbly knees look just like knots in string,

And where there once was hair, there now is none.

The only six-packs near his abdomen

Are those he drinks to make his belly fat.

I’m also pretty sure most normal men

Don’t bite and chew their toenails quite like that.

And yet I find him sexier by far

Than any footballer or movie star.

 

(c) Helen Lewis 2008


To a Dinner Lady

(After Shakespeare’s Sonnet XVIII)

 

Shall I compare thee to a proper cook?

Thou art more surly and more obdurate.

By such rough winds our children’s guts are shook

That summer hols have all too short a date.

Sometime too hot thy curried mince doth taste,

And globs of gristle often blight thy stew.

Thy grease-slick gravy looks like toxic waste,

And rumour says thy custard’s made from glue.

But thy eternal lunchtime shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that scowl thou wearest,

Nor shall inspectors claim thou mak’st the grade,

When none will eat the food that thou preparest.

So long as school’s a place where lunch is bought,

So long liv’st thou, and that gives food for thought.

 

(c) Helen Lewis 2008


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