Welcome!

Welcome to It All Rhymes, where I condense life’s wonders and blunders into verse – both silly and serious – and make it ALL FINE.

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Enjoy the therapy. It all rhymes.

Nina Parmenter x

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VHS men

VHS Men

When Andrew McCarthy came over all cute
in “Pretty in Pink”, a stirring took root,
When Christian Slater took off his shirt
in “Pump up the Volume”, my oestrogen hurt,
When young Patrick Swayze did shimmies and thrusts
all through “Dirty Dancing”, all virtue went bust…
Real boys were rubbish, so time and again
I spent happy times with my VHS men.

 

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Photo by Sharon Christina Rørvik on Unsplash

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Forbidden Fruit

The techno-launch has become a real cliché. The smart-casual man on stage with a radio mike. The hushed auditorium. The massive graphics yelling “believe” or “because you are” or “we are the we” or some other un-capitalised nonsense.

Honestly folks. It ain’t the second coming, it’s a box of electrical components that’s very slightly better than your last box of electrical components. Get over yourselves.

Forbidden Fruit

We’re here to hear the ineffable plan,
a giant stage, a single man,
the tension builds, the music rocks –
he’s waving a tiny, shiny box.
“Its charging port has been restyled!”
he cries – the faithful crowd goes wild.

Stand on stage with your radio mike,
and show us temptation in pixels and bytes,
Yesterday’s models are obsolete! Dead!
We’ll throw them away and buy this instead!

“The flashlight is brighter!” he says, in tears,
“The camera can give you elephant ears,
and the processing speed has a two percent gain!”
It was worth the sacrifice! Worth the pain
of every twenty-five hour day…”
He drops to the floor. They scoot him away.

Blind our minds with your techno-might,
our needs encased in angel-white…
Yesterday’s dreams are sacrilege! Dead!
We’ll throw them away and buy this instead!”

 

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You Don’t Have My Children

Every child is different – of course every child is different. But as parents to an autistic eight year old, and a headstrong four year old who doesn’t see why he should be treated differently to his brother, we have to play by slightly different parenting rules. And we have to get used to looks that say “Oh, just show him who’s boss!” “Make him join in!” “Don’t pander to him!”

But we can be headstrong too.

You Don’t Have My Children

To those who say
“Bundle them in! They’ll soon fit –
they’re kids! They’ll adapt in a bit!”
To those who say
“Make them conform to the norm –
it’s lonely outside of the swarm!”
To those who say
“Just tell them no if they throw
in a meltdown – and never give in!”
To those who say
“Stubborn persistence delivers
the payload of good discipline!”

I say, maybe your parenting skills outplay mine
and that’s fine…
but you don’t have my children.

 

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Mummy-Gazing

About those moments when you reap the rewards of all the crap you put up with as a parent, and enjoy a good gaze at your child…

Mummy-Gazing

I watched you as the sunbeams danced
like fairies on your butter cheek,
my heart was plied, my will was weak,
the clock-hands whirled – I gazed, entranced.

I watched as scary pirate tales
turned real in teetering cushion dens
as through your home-made eyeglass lens
you spied the Jolly Roger’s sails.

I watched you as new thoughts unfurled
and grew like magic beanstalks do.
As each became a part of you,
I thrilled at your expanding world.

I watched you concentrating on
your buttons – oh, a challenge fit
for any knight who’d rise to it!
You overcame. My heart was won.

I watched your earnest little face
tell tales, all sweetly mispronounced,
then watching stopped, as in you bounced…
head-first into my glad embrace.

 

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Squelch

And now, a slightly dark and gooey poem for hypochondriacs…

Squelch

I heard the squelch of death again –
or was it just a neutron firing
deep within my boggy brain,

or possibly a cell expiring
down amongst a mucus mess?
It could have been my heart perspiring

(that may be a thing I guess)
or, deep down in the adipose,
the squealing of a fat-lump pressed

to serve as fuel, and I suppose
it might have been a small mutation –
“Pop!” (we get a lot of those),

a bronchiole’s sharp inhalation,
“Hiss!” a membrane’s gooey breath,
a bile-duct’s bitter salivation…

Probably, it wasn’t death.

 

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Photo by Pierre Acobas on Unsplash

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Measure the Children

The increasingly Orwellian nature of education in this country inspired me to write this. Despite the best efforts of some wonderful teachers, it seems that the emphasis  is firmly on conformity and performance – as if our children were washing machines off a production line.

If it helps by the way, I picture “the meddlers” as being little oompah-loompah-crossed-with-Michael-Gove figures  – but please don’t have nightmares about that!

Measure the Children

The school was a cauldron of mischief and learning,
and children were children, their impish minds turning,
until, at the will of political men
came an army of meddlers with rulers and pens
squealing “measure the children, measure them!”

“Let art be abandoned! Let music be killed!”
cried the meddling ones, “There are forms to be filled!”
Then they pored over stories of magical horses
impatiently counting subordinate clauses
to measure the children, measure them.

“More!” they screamed, hurling out brain-popping sums
while the tape measures tangled small fingers and thumbs,
“Forget curiosity! Curb innovation!
We’re sending your teachers for recalibration…
Measure the children, measure them!”

We strive for a future where oneness prevails,
but there’s no place for play on the measuring scales,
and as tables and tests burn the light from their eyes,
we say “Hush, little citizens, think of the prize…”
and measure the children, measure them.

 

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I Am Your Pudding

Something for you if you’re about to have your Sunday dinner with a nice bit of pud.

Repeat after me:

Puddings are not evil.

I am worth it.

I Am Your Pudding

I am your pudding – dive in and demolish me!
I bring you ecstacy, yet you admonish me,
“BAD!” you say, “FAT!” you say, “GUILT!” you say, “CALORIES!”
Who wants a life though that’s rice-cake-and-salady?

Scream it! You want me, with all of my tawdriness,
Scoop me up! Bundle your lips round my naughtiness!
Life is a struggle – so just put your trust in me –
Throw off your hang-ups – it’s time to get custardy!

 

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Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

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From Dovecote Hill

Just on the edge of my home town of Bruton, Somerset, lies Dovecote Hill (and yes, it does have a dovecote on it!) From there, you can see the whole town, which, for most of my childhood at least, formed most of my world. So for me, it’s a place of great nostalgia… and for longing for simpler times.

From Dovecote Hill 

From Dovecote Hill, my thoughts spill down on drowsy mill-town streets
and run the maze of alleyways where once my youthful feet
traced winding paths around the huddled houses that complete
this view of all I knew and loved
from Dovecote Hill.

The fields were loving ramparts shielding us from drifting mists
of worldliness – as if this town were all that might exist,
so we grew up as slowly as the silver river twists
through all I see, from here above
on Dovecote Hill.

This frantic, anxious world conspires to see my spirit crawl
and falter, courage crippled by the hugeness of it all.
One sight could help me find once more the strength of being small –
this view of all I knew and loved
from Dovecote Hill.

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