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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Bummer

 

Bummer

My buttocks have grown little wings,
the result of a number of things,
but primarily my
predilection for pie
and the filthy fulfilment it brings.

I have side-bums that flap like a cape!
I’ve tried Spanx! I’ve tried packaging tape!
Oh, but hope ever springs
that these wings are the things
that my arse-fat will use to escape.

 

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The Lockdown Lament

This one needs no introduction…

The Lockdown Lament

“Oh to spend time with the family!
Freed from our offices! Freed from our schools!
Imagine the hours of harmony!”
That’s what we said, we ignorant fools.

Have you ever tried video-calling New York
to talk about trends in a businessy way
while your kids disembowel the cat with a fork
and your husband walks by with his goods on display?

Have you ever tried tempting the kids from their screens
to do papier-mâché or make lemonade
or have ‘fun with a workout’ (whatever THAT means)
while they pelt you with attitude, grunts or grenades?

Have you ever tried teaching a nine-year-old maths
and a five-year-old spelling whilst muffling a scream
as you realise you’re living with sociopaths?
‘Is this it?’ you enquire. ‘Am I living the dream?’

“Oh to spend time with the family!
Freed from our offices! Freed from our schools!
Imagine the hours of harmony!”
That’s what we said, we ignorant fools.

 

 

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Photo by John Salvino on Unsplash

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Trucking to Tiny Town

Something fun, fluffy and small – perfect for a big wet weekend!

Trucking to Tiny Town

We’re trucking, we’re trucking to Tiny Town
where everything’s teeny-wee-small,
We’ll park our pantechnicon by the gates
cos we don’t want to squash them all!
We’ll swap our big boots for tiny flutes,
and play them a tiny tune,
We’re trucking, we’re trucking to Tiny Town –
PARP PARP! We’ll be there soon!

We’re trucking, we’re trucking to Tiny Town –
we’ve packed them a picnic tea,
A biscuit, a plum and a gherkin – yum yum!
Enough to feed thirty-three!
We’ll shed our big thoughts, and we’ll laugh and cavort
til we feel just as huge as the moon,
We’re trucking, we’re trucking to Tiny Town –
PARP PARP! We’ll be there soon!

 

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Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

 

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Home

What do I love about my country? The scenery. The history. The humour. What don’t I love? The hijacking of patriotism. The urge to close doors to the world. The misplaced superiority. And horseradish sauce.

Home

Home is not an iron fence
or a nation’s bullish confidence.
Home is not the salt we sweat
in conflict, nor the traveller met
with distrust and intransigence.

Home is not immune to time
or compromise; no sacred line
partitions it from otherness.
And home is not the hate we dress
as pride, plastic and anodyne.

Home is not a prize we’re due,
a baked philosophy to skew
to every cause we scurry round.
Home is merely borrowed ground –
whichever flag we pin it to.

 

 

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Mummy’s Millions


I wish Harry and Meghan well. No-one deserves to be mauled and vilified the way Meghan has been – by the press at least.

But in our very British way, we all seem to be obsessed by where they are going to get their money from. Er… I don’t think Harry has any worries in that department.

Mummy’s Millions

People say “Harry, how WILL you two cope
having nothing – apart from each other?”
I say, “Look, don’t you worry – I’m hardly broke,
I am minted! All thanks to my mother.”

Most will remember her caught in the net
of her fame, undeservedly goaded –
which was tragic. But what all you people forget
is that Mummy was totally loaded.

A people’s Princess! Yes she was! There’s no doubt!
She grew up having people all round her!
There were people to cook and to chauffeur her out
to the polo – where Daddy first found her.

She listened with love to the poor and sick,
she spoke out against conflict and hate,
and she kept twenty million under a brick
round the back of the Althorp Estate.

So I don’t need the palace to give me the nod
and the prejudiced press can jog on,
I have served, I have smiled, now I’m taking my wad…
and me and the missus are gone.

 

 

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Cakey Yum Yum

Just some Saturday silliness…

Cakey Yum Yum

One lost pea on a cinnamon tree
Two giggle-bunnies on a hill (hee hee)
Three French fish in a factory
And a slice of cake for me! (Yum yum)

Four small boys singing baba-doo-dee
Five little bites from a flea (what flea?)
Six grains of sand playing chicken with the sea
And a slice of cake for me! (Yum yum)

Seven posh pigs strutting stylishly
Eight awkward aunts on a bus (Coo-ee!)
Nine black holes – oh catastrophe!
And a slice of cake for me! (Yum yum)

“What ho!” says the vicar, “Will you have another slice?”
“Ooh YES,” I reply, “How nice.” (Yum yum)

 

 

Geek notes: This one exists thanks to my fabulously creative friend Caren Krutsinger, who (jokingly) challenged me to write a poem about peas in a cinnamon tree. 🙂

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Upwards


Maybe it’s the dim midwinter light, but January seems to be dedicated to  taking a rather harsh view of ourselves. In reality, most of us are already doing our best with a lot, and need to be taking on not more, but less.

Well, at least until cloning machines are up and running.

Upwards

I am scaling a mossy wall
whilst plate-spinning
and playing the bagpipes.

[On distant asphalt, a
side-plate smashes.]

Before I know it, it’s January 1st.
“I will now also paint
the wall as I climb!” I proclaim.

[My bagpipes flail
like a spent lung.]

The wall giggles.
“You should have just vowed
to grow more hands,” it says.

[I kick the wall.
Descent is rapid.
Cancel the paintbrushes.]

 

Geek notes: I don’t often post free verse here because, er, domain name. But I do enjoy a little tango on the free side from time to time. As far as I’m concerned, keep it surreal, and it’s OK.

 

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If laundry be the food of love

If laundry be the food of love

Because it never ends…

If laundry be the food of love

If laundry be the food of love
then my love’s food is abundant,
crammed into its glutted mouth
with potions grim and pungent.

If laundry be the food of love
then I am served with plenty.
May ketchup pour on shirts galore
so my platter’s never empty.

 

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Napkin Rings

I wrote this for women (and men, but mostly women) everywhere who are massively overstretched by the million details of Christmas – and by their own, and others’ expectations of perfection.

I’m personally not a napkin rings sort of a girl, and my husband cooks the Christmas dinner, so the “I” in the poem is not me.

Me, I just try to get the basics of Christmas done – and that is stressful enough.

Napkin Rings

This is the season of love’s ascendency.
Zealously measured by each carolling eye,
love is wrapped, trussed, and sacrificed to the tree.
My love is napkin rings, time spent, and a sigh.

In the grim drive for the prescribed contentment,
I creak under wreaths and jaunty snowman lights.
My love is napkin rings, concealed resentment
and the surfeiting of sugared appetites.

It’s not the love of photo-story yearning;
my love is napkin rings, mistletoe and cheer,
aching arches, and the dream of adjourning
to the welcoming cloisters of the new year.

My love is napkin rings, endless and florid,
and as angels beam from ceramic altars,
I defile the turkey, and stem the torrid
outpourings of aunts. My smile never falters.

 

Geek notes: This is a syllable-counted poem. Although this poem is unmetered, the even number of syllables across each line (eleven, in this case) creates a feeling of symmetry without interrupting the poem’s conversational style. It’s also a variation of the “quatern” form, where a repeated line moves from line 4 to line 3 to line 2 to line 1 in the four successive stanzas.

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