When this is all over: Update

A reminder that you have till April 30th to send you poems in. And a reminder that all of them will be published.

Just to gee you up, here’s the occupations that have arrived so far:

An Actuary, an Aviator, a Balloonist, a Bookbinder, a Centaur, a Chauffer, a Cleaner, a Clockwinder, a Dental Hygienist, an Explorer, a Gardener, a Graphic Designer , an Ice-cream Man, Jones the Meat (a Butcher), a King, a Kitman, a Mime, a Nurse, a Quahogger (beat that!), a Stallholder, a Taxidermist, a Turfcutter, an Undertaker, the Vulnerable, Wonder Woman, an X-Ray Technician and a Zoo Keeper.

I can’t wait to see who’ll be arriving next. There’s 50+ more expected . So send me your poems, and in the meantime, I’ll post some of mine about occupations you might think have possibilities .

For starters, how about a Fool? I think when I wrote this I was thinking of the poem “Advice to an actor”…about how to play the moment when the ‘statue of Hermione comes alive in The Winter’s Tale. Can’t remember who wrote it. When I do I’ll make good the information.


If fhe fool would persist in his folly

he would become wise. That’s the kind of thing

to aim for. Antithesis is always good. That

and oxymorons. And garbled nonsense 

just this side of reason. Pillicock sat

on pillicock hill; take the edge off with

a folderol or some such. 

                               There’s a tricky balance

to be struck that leaves you poised right 

between a whipping and a chicken drumstick.

You can’t avoid the wearisome wordplay

that tickles the fancy of a fop, but look for the barb

that sticks lightly in the skins of the fond

or foolish, the admonition, delicately phrased,

the nursery rhyme with the undertow of sex.

And remember. The fool who persists

in his folly gets turned out of doors with  Poor Tom,

in pelting rain and all a-cold. Learn to keep your head.

Look to exit warm and dry, stage left,

just before the serious bit; the monologue. 


4 thoughts on “When this is all over: Update

  1. Greetings John from locked down Almassera – Attached a piece originally conceived in a workshop with Michael Donaghy. It relates to a Chain survey I did in my working days on an 80acre site in Hampshire. By the time we finished it was night. So the occupation: Surveyor – or to be more precise ‘Land Surveyor.

    Best as ever



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