colin john nicholls
Colin is now retired after working for the education department of Sandwell where he was based at Hall Green Primary School in West Bromwich for 4 wonderful years loving his duties working with the local children and still finding enough time to devote to his second love of writing poetry and novels.
The missus wanted to go out;
I wanted to stay in.
So I did the washing-up
And emptied out the bin.
But still she wasn’t too impressed;
She was determined, I could see.
I needed to improve my odds
And it occurred to me;
Perhaps I should just toss a coin
To have an even chance;
So I suggested it to her
And she gave me such a glance!
She said, “You are so tight;
Have you a ‘double-headed coin’?”
I asked, “Would I do that to you?”
She said, No! Use one of mine!”
Then she handed me a ten-pence piece;
I tossed it in the air.
It hit my thumb as it came down
And bounced to who knows where?
Deciding it had found a crack
Right beside me in the flooring;
I went and fetched my tool-box out
And soon began on sawing.
“Leave it! It is just ten-pence!”
That’s what the missus said;
But I said that we didn’t know
Whether it was tail or head?
Seeing how determined I’d become
She left me on my own;
Went off in a strop
And soon began to moan!
I heard her say, “He’ll wreck the house
Just for a silly coin!”
She came to offer me another
But still, I did decline.
I smashed the tongue and groove
And slowly lifted up the floor
But when I looked into the space;
I took fright at what I saw.
There was a cavity right below;
Between the house-brick void
Because the coin was not around,
Well it must have fell inside.
So off I scurried down the stair
As fast as I could go
And with my lump-hammer and chisel
I gave such a mighty-blow!
About an hour later on
I’d smashed out half a brick;
The missus was annoyed with me
And said, ‘I made her sick!’
I pushed my hand inside the gap;
Then I ferreted about,
Got my hand stuck sideways
And could not get it out!
The missus grabbed me by the belt
Then she pulled with all her might;
She could not move me anyway
So she disappeared from sight.
She returned with Fairy-liquid
And squirted it on my wrist;
Pulling-it and pushing-it
I soon regained a fist.
But, there still appeared no coin;
My hand was black and blue!
The missus asked me to give-up;
There was nothing else to do.
She said it was too late now;
Even if we wanted to go out.
We might even have enjoyed ourselves
If I hadn’t mucked-about!
It seemed to me, she’d took the hump;
I disliked her attitude
And after all the work I’d done
I found it very rude!
I said, “It won’t take long
To put it back together.”
She said, ‘she didn’t give one,
She’d reached the end of a long-tether!’
Off she went to bed
Without wishing me goodnight!
I followed her just after,
‘Cause I sensed things wasn’t right.
She was lying there in bed
With a face ‘as dark as sin’;
Said she had a throbbing-head
And that she didn’t want me in!
Off I went into the spare-room
Feeling like a condemned-man;
All I’d done was for the best,
If it hadn’t gone to plan!
At times like this, when I feel down,
I fancy something hot
So off I trotted down the stairs
And boiled-up the pot.
Back inside the bedroom
With hot-chocolate in my cup;
I threw my trousers on the bed
And something fell from my turn-up.
Would you believe; it was the coin?
It really made me smile
After all the fuss I’d made
It had been there all the while!
I dashed right in to tell the wife
Thinking she’d be ‘chuffed!’
I said, “We’ll have to toss again!”
But she just yelled, “GET STUFFED!”
“Have you seen the chicichita?
I have waited hours to meet her.
I’ve been lurking in the wood
And truly, truly, mean no good.
I am hid behind this tree
Hoping that she won’t see me;
Her Mom will send her to see Gran
And I will catch her if I can!
I know she’ll have to pass this way;
So now I’m here, it’s here I’ll stay.
My teeth are sharp, clean and shining;
It will be no good her whining.
We are miles from Granny’s house,
Where it’s quiet as a mouse.
She can run and scream and shout
There will be no one about.
I think today I’m on a winner;
I’m going to eat her for my dinner.
Here she comes all dressed in red
With her hood upon her head.
Wait a minute, if I can,
I’ll go with her to visit Gran.
Then when my day’s works complete
There’ll be two of them to eat.”
“Where you off to on your own?
Don’t you feel unsafe alone?”
“I am off to visit Gran.”
“Well I’ll escort you if I can?”
“No! You can’t! I’m in a rush!”
She knocked him over with one push.
He followed her but had a trip;
That’s when the girl gave him the slip.
At Gran’s cottage, she was smiling, but
The Wolf had made a smart short-cut.
He was waiting in Gran’s bed
With the covers pulled about his head.
Gran was tied-up out of sight;
Following her awful fright!
The girl cried out. Good God, Oh Grief!
Twas then she’d seen the eyes and teeth.
This was not Gran; she was undone,
It looked as if the Wolf had won!
“Where is Gran?” She screamed and cried;
Believing that her Gran had died!
Now she was terrified and scared
But in the woods someone had heard.
In he dashed, with chopper waving
Knowing Wolf was misbehaving.
The Cutter chased him round the bed
Threatening to chop-off his head!
Wolf realized he’d lost the fight
And off he ran into the night!
In the cupboard, they found Gran;
Red Riding Hood then thanked the man.
His arrival, just in time
Means a happy-ending to this rhyme!
“No! You sit down and have a rest
In your socks, your shorts and vest;
I’ll wash the pots, the pans and plates
And put the bottles in their crates.
I know so much on you depends,
You have to have fun with your friends.
There’s oh so much for you to do;
After all, you carve the turkey too!
I’ll put the breakfast in the pan
And clean the windows, if I can!
No! Don’t move; don’t even budge,
Just you stuff your face with fudge!
I know it is a vital task
To entertain the friends you ask;
You keep them jolly, make them smile,
I think it’s right you rest a while!
Just raise your feet, I’ll Hoover under;
It’s not surprising and no wonder
That you’re tired and feeling poorly
Life has always dealt you cruelly.
You should have stayed all day in bed;
Especially with that banging-head!”
“You know I can’t, I wish I could
To make an efforts in my blood;
I’ll force myself, there’s a bus to catch,
I’ve got to go and see the match!”
Variegated colours of the late Autumn leaves
Rustle and blow in the gathering breeze;
Like the patchwork of a quilt hung out on the line,
Resplendent and dazzling; God’s own fair design.
They shimmer and sparkle like the sun on the seas
Hanging onto last life from the boughs of the trees.
Colours of rainbows like sails on a yacht
Until they fall to the ground where they wither and rot.
Replenishing soil to kick-start dormant seed
Thus bringing new-life to all that they feed.
In the shed down the garden, beneath the bench,
By the ladders and paint and the old monkey wrench;
There’s a tea-chest that’s full of all sorts of scrap,
Bolts, nuts and screws, and an old water-tap.
In the house up the garden, sat by the fire
There is an old-man who was once a live-wire.
He’d chase all the ladies and dance the nights through
But now at his age he finds little to do.
So it wasn’t so strange that one day he decided
That it had been far too long since the shed had been tidied.
He put on his cap and his old working-clothes
And he marched down the garden where everything grows.
He was armed to the teeth with his broom, bags and bucket
To save further journeys what he needed he took it.
In earnest he started to raise lots of dust
Then he threw out the things that were covered in rust.
A Smithy by trade, he had a feeling for metal
For years he had cut it and worked to fine fettle.
So he got out his tools, then he thought for a while
And then began crafting from the bits in the pile.
With all that was useful, out of all that he’d got
With skill, slow and surely he produced a Robot.
It was four-feet in height; on two-legs there it stood,
He observed it with pleasure and thought he’d done good.
But it was just life-less; no movement, no speech,
The legs could not walk and the arms did not reach.
He sat there and fretted, he pondered and thought
Until it was dark, but his thinking brought nought.
Sadly, defeated, and through lack of light
He reluctantly said, ‘that’s enough for tonight.’
So he gathered up his tools and patted Robot’s head
And he went up the garden and retired to his bed.
Tired from his grafting he soon snored in deep-sleep;
Whilst down in the shed only wood-lice did creep.
The Robot stood there lit up by moon’s-rays
Void of a heart and without human-ways.
It was then when the rain started to drop
In cats and dogs, well it just wouldn’t stop.
Then came the banging big base-drum like
And shortly there followed a bright lightening-strike.
It flashed through the trees and right through the shed
There it struck Robot on the top of his head.
Smoke came from his ears and his eye started to roll,
His arms lifted-up and his legs took a stroll.
He walked up and down, then through the shed-door,
Then out in the garden where the rain still did pour.
He got to the house, where he knocked on a pane,
When the man awoke he thought he’d gone insane.
The Robot then shouted, ‘look here my good-fella,
Is there possibly a chance I could loan an umbrella?’
He rushed down the stairs, turned the key in the lock
He was all of a shake; still suffering from shock.
But from that day forth he was a man with great pleasure;
Enjoying the Robot he’d constructed in leisure.
Never was a man so happy with his lot
From the friendship he forged with the home-made Robot.
Get on your box and all protest,
Here’s something that we all detest;
They’ve got no rights to push and tug
No better than a common thug.
To run us over in the street
Or simply knock us off our feet.
They should act better than the rest
Hid behind a policeman’s vest.
Who should know better than to incite;
Joining in with every fight.
Lead by example not by force,
Put it in your training course.
What sort of message does it send?
If you’re the ones who do offend?
I hope they understand us fully
All the Nation hates a bully.
We doh cur fer fancy werters
Bring us bangers in mashed terters
Gie us pork-pie caressed wi mustard
Rhubarb crumble topped wi custard
If yo’ve got a full day werkin
Black-pudding, eggs, beans and bercon
Un doh keep saying, ‘it’ll do ya no gud!’
We wont loads o’ graerty pud
If yo’me hungry jus the job
A great big hondfull of suetey gob
Grannies rice-puddin wi a gob o’ jam
Branston pickle on hunied-ham
Fish-un-chips wrapped in old newsperper
Ma’s bread puddin, nah that’s the cerper
Un if yo’ve got a babby-sitta
Wash it daen wi Bonks’s bitta
Black-Country fowk doh wont fancy starters
We wont bercon wie grey farters!
I looked on and he looked back;
I wished and wished the glass may crack
But on and on I stared at me
And saw not what I used to be.
Instead I saw an image there;
Moulded hard by life’s despair,
Etched upon a lived-in look,
A tedious text, an epic book.
Many pages now dog eared
I saw a face I had long feared;
A face that age did now behold
Of molten limbs that now run cold,
A dynamo without youth’s spark,
A fading light with looming dark.
I turned my eyes to look away
But in my mind reflections stay;
I turn them back and still I see
The image there that once was me!
From the goblet slowly sipped,
Of the poison cunning slipped.
To his wife he gave a nod
Not noticing how she acted odd.
From the Bank his money waned,
His loving wife had gradually drained.
To be with her new found love,
Her husband gone to heaven above.
From the goblet slowly sipped
Dark red wine, which she had tipped.
With a powder from her hanky,
So she could play her hanky panky.
On his seat he rocked and swayed
Not knowing that his wife had strayed.
Into her loving eyes he stared
And she gazed back as if she cared.
From the goblet slowly slipped
Dark red wine, from lip it dripped.
But his wife she did not care,
She wanted him to leave her there.
In that grand house with swimming pool,
She smiled too think he was a fool.
For she would live there in that mansion,
With her lover, dark and handsome.
From her goblet she then drank
Until onto her knees she sank.
For whilst she did conceal the potion,
Both the goblets were in motion.
Revolving tables come in handy.
Red wine, fruit juice or fine brandy.
And so the tables turned, you see.
It was she that died it was not he.
Black widow, waiting for a strike,
Crouching small, behind your mike.
You love to see contestants cringing,
This is a quiz; it’s not a lynching.
Face screwed up behind her glasses.
I’ve seen better bums on lasses.
Centre spot on stage she poses,
A jagged thorn on jet-black roses.
She’d like us to believe, I think.
She’d never be the weakest link.
Superior look upon her face,
Shame about the old boat race.
What’s this I see? You have a degree?
Still, you’ll never be as good as me.
Who chose that dress? Don’t like the shirt!
She loves to dig and throw the dirt.
Oh! And you belong to Mensa.
I’ve never met anyone who’s denser.
This is a quiz, I hope you know?
You’re the weakest link; you’ll have to go.
She earns more money than the Queen.
She’ll never be an old has been.
Was she born or just invented?
Let’s hope the moulds been lost or dented.
Where do you come from? No don’t know it.
Still you’re common and you show it.
I’m from Liverpool; I’m a Scouse,
You ought to see my big fine house.
It’s easy when you have the answers; see!
Too believe you are much cleverer than we.
But you’re not that clever, Ann we think.
Oh and one more thing, I Hate That Wink!
Once I was a thin boy
But now I am obese
I used to have a six pack
It’s now a tub of grease.
I used to run like water
And jump just like a flea
But now I’m old and shorter
And the fleas just jump on me.
In my eyes a youthful glint,
My teeth were pearly white.
Now I have a nervous squint
And my teeth come out at night.
I used to look like Elvis
And dance like Fred Astaire.
Now I’ve got a dicky pelvis
And very little hair!
Once the girls all loved me
They’d chase me day and night
But now I’m old and ugly
And the girls have all took flight.
We went a walking in a field,
I threw you on the ground.
The grass and clover were concealed
There was no one else around.
The sun was shining on us strong,
You felt so warm and cosy.
We lay there oh so very long
I felt my cheeks go rosy.
No one passed along our way.
I enjoyed the silent bliss.
It was the most amazing day
And nothing could beat this.
Just too feel you near my skin
With tender loving care,
Gentle, pleasant, fragile, thin.
Alone with me right there.
But as the sun set o’er the lands,
I raised you with a tug.
And cuddled you within my hands,
My scotch plaid woollen rug.
There is a mirror in my mind
Reflections of the past,
And when I look I see my life
Start, betwixt and last.
This sheet of glass reveals to me
The things that I once knew,
When I was young I looked to see
But then, memories were few.
Now I’m old and memories fade
The mirror needs a shine.
But memories are just like drink!
And older wines grow fine.
Images sparkle now and then
They bubble to the top.
Then I remember where and when,
And wish they’d never stop.
I see a baby, small and fair,
A boy who grows so fast.
Sisters, brothers, mother, dad,
Theatre, stage and cast.
If only freeze frame could be used,
And I could linger there.
Forever more to be amused
No loss, no death, no care.
When love sat neatly on the stove
Bubbling with content.
I never dreamt a fuse would blow
And leave such discontent.
When all my cakes were browning well
And soufflé neatly risen.
I never dreamt the heat would cool
And leave me in derision.
For many years my cooker worked
I was proud of all I made.
I never dreamt the power would fail
And leave me so dismayed.
But when the hotplate starts to cool
And pots refuse to simmer
I never dreamt your love would die
And leave without a glimmer.
My thermostat no longer clicks
My tiny red lights gone.
I never dreamt I’d miss them so
And depend so much upon.
The food of love that fed my heart
Is suddenly all-cold.
I never dreamt I’d lose it
Until I grew quite old.
Now I’ll starve and grow quite weak
I’m living on stale crumbs.
I never dreamt we’d come to this
No longer are we chums.
I cannot find the right fuse wire
My circuit breakers stuck
I never dreamt my torch would go
I’ve run right out of luck.
Oh God! Send someone to fix it
Before I’m without light
I never dreamt a love like that
Could leave us over night.
Oh Imagination, where are you?
The butterflies have flown.
I search the moon-lit sky for gods
But still I am alone.
Where are the streets all lain with gold
And many headed hounds,
Pixies, dwarfs and Fairy Queens,
Good Kings with golden crowns?
I search my mind, my brains on leave,
My senses don’t exist.
No longer there creative thoughts
And wondrous memories mixed.
No bows of burning gold,
No chariots of fire.
Not a single glowing light,
Nothing does inspire.
If I could only walk the fields
And see the flowers dance.
The birds a singing in the trees
Might trigger off a trance.
But still the vessels hollow sound
Rings out when it is tapped.
The bird has flown; cage is empty,
Tiny wings have flapped.
If I into myself withdraw
To transcend a destination.
I find that there is no one there
My thoughts are on vacation.
Real cinema within your brain
A trillion pictures still remain
Cut and spliced a patchwork quilt
First devoured and then rebuilt
Stored and cycled round and round
Held on file and then re-found
Fantasies and fact combined
In visions of the human mind.
What do you want for Christmas son,
That your heart is set upon?
You can take your pick, my lad.
Come now tell your Dad.
Don’t hesitate, please tell me.
What will it have to be?
Is there out a brand new toy,
My special little boy.
We have lots of money,
So come now tell me sonny.
If you feel your heart is set,
There’s nothing that we cannot get.
Dad, all the money on this earth
Cannot buy what it is worth.
I just want my Mommy back.
That’s all in life I lack.
When the Summer Sun starts falling
Early dark nights start recalling.
The mercury is slow in rising
And it hardly is surprising
That the fuel bill keeps on growing
While strong winds continue blowing
That’s when we are know, know, knowing,
That the Winter’s here.
It’s the time we all start sneezing;
Creaky chests begin their wheezing
All our throats are hoarse and sore
When you think you can’t take more.
Your bones and limbs feel like lead
And you have a banging head
That is what we all dread, dread
You know the Winter’s here.
When the rain showers change to snow
And icy mornings just won’t go
Cars need scraping, paths need clearing,
That is what we all are fearing,
Christmas is just round the bend
There’s multiples of cards to send
When will the spending end, end, end?
Oh no, Winter’s here!
Who’d be an elf at Christmas?
To be forever loading a sleigh.
Then setting the satnavs to every house
To help Santa get on his way.
Who gets all of the fan mail?
He’s the only name the kids know.
It’s definitely no one but Santa;
That really does get on our roe!
He’s good at issuing orders
And he’s definitely good with a whip.
It’s the elves that do all the working
But only Santa goes on the work’s trip!
Every year we think we should tell him
That he really does get up our back.
So we all get very excited
When we get to give him the sack.
We’re forever mucking out reindeers
And polishing Rudolph’s red nose.
It’s amazing he keeps that colour
When everyone knows where it goes.
We are all very glad when it’s over;
‘Cause Boxing Day’s really the best.
It’s the only holiday he gives us,
We all have to work on the rest.
He really is a hard master;
Not to us the one that kids’ love.
Perhaps if they knew him like we do
They’d all want to give him the shove!
We could really manage without him.
The big old fat man dressed in red.
He wouldn’t be hard to take to
If he hadn’t got such a big head.
Sometimes he gets stuck in the chimney
And we have to go lever him out.
You’d think at least he would thank us
But he never does anything but shout.
We’ve been very tempted to leave him;
‘Cause he certainly gets on our nerves.
But we couldn’t let the kids down in that way
Although it is what he deserves.
So we remember the spirit of Christmas;
Everything that it means to you.
We bring out the Bells and the Walkers
And have our own National Elf’s Do!
Do you hear the distant bells ringing in the spire?
Do you hear the joyful songs of the Yuletide choir?
Are you warming by the fire and eating turkey roast?
Are you blessed with the company of kin and friendly host?
Is every Christmas that occurs better than the one before
And will it last throughout your years and be forever more?
Or do you hear the cries of children starving in their beds
With days of endless violence and death within their heads?
Is there always an empty hearth with shivering and cold?
Will you be alone for now and ever until you’re very old?
Will every Christmas bring to you nothing better than before
And will no one hear the cries for help and knock upon your door?
Christmas is the time to think of others and their plight
When you are warmed with happiness, smug on Christmas Night.
Christmas is the time for giving and for thinking more of others;
Especially the suffering, starving child, alone without their Mothers.
This Christmas when you’ve spent your money frivolously and rash,
Think of those worse off in life that die through lack of cash!