My Shiny Rectangular Friend

Phones. They’re great aren’t they? I mean, they are ACTUALLY awesome. The amount of computing power that (nearly) every one of us holds in our hands every day is… staggering.

But at the same time… aren’t they just annoying, attention-seeking little bastards?

 

My shiny rectangular friend

Oh what did I do,
Before I had you,
My shiny rectangular friend?
My little world locked
In a bright beepy box,

The things you can do never end.

My clock, my reminder,
My little fact-finder,
My camera, my telly, my pen,
My music selector,
My friendship collector,

I’ll never be lonely again.

You store all my galleries,
Count up my calories,
Lead me to cafés and cabs,
You pinpoint my spouse,
While you heat up my house,

You order me chips and kebabs.

And, at one single stroke,
You connect me with folk –
Including the ones I detest,
I “like” their new cars,
And “wow” at their scars,

Not sure who I’m trying to impress.

Every day, “BEEP BEEP BEEP!”
You wake me from sleep,
With a noise that goes right through my head,
Then you stress me with headlines,
And meetings and deadlines,

Before I have got out of bed.

You bip and you buzz,
And you make a huge fuss,
The second you want my attention,
And still, when you’re sleeping,
I hear your voice speaking,

“Quick, check me, you might have a mention!”

Even zipped in my bag,
You silently nag –
“Get me out! Touch me! I’m shiny!”
You’re rude and invasive ,
And very persuasive,

For something so lifeless and tiny.

So each minute or six,
My addicted thumb flicks –
Who’s posted? Who likes me? What’s new?
This madness must end,
My rectangular friend –

I think I should break up with you.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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Confetti

OK. Hold your nerve (I had to) – this is a serious one. Never fear though, it still rhymes.

In deciding to have a poke at something serious, where else could I start but with a sonnet. And who else could I write a sonnet about than my fabulous husband.

Strictly, a sonnet should have fourteen lines, but I read some rather lovely poetry written in this slightly extended twenty-line form and I was inspired me to try it myself.

So here you go. This one’s for Dave. xx

Confetti

Our wedding dance was carried on a breeze,
We spun with the confetti round the hall,
Then life howled in and blew away our ease,
For time brings dust and debris to us all.
I press your hand. You wink. The pressure falls,
Together we will laugh amongst the squalls.

Our children, home and work engulf my day,
While worries and to-do lists flood my brain.
Just when I fear I might be washed away,
A look, a smile from you and I am sane.
And when I’m born askew by angst or pain,
You find the words that balance me again.

Asleep, your body rests with sweet aplomb,
While my thoughts knot with quarrels and with qualms,
I fear the dark, or worse, the dark to come,
Your mellow stillness softens my alarm.
I touch your back, you breathe beneath my palm,
And, unaware, you lead me into calm.

When you’re with me, I sense the peace within,
And I can feel confetti on my skin.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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Soft Play

For many Mums, a trip to soft play is a good excuse for a sit-down and a chat. Not for me. My three year old drags me round the teeny tiny assault course with all the energy of – well a three year old.

I am therefore massively grateful to Sarah McIntosh for requesting a soft play poem -Sarah, composing this literally kept me sane as I crawled round Little Urchins for an hour and a half this afternoon, so thank you!

Soft Play

Soft play will be nice,” I think,
I’ll sit and drink some tea,
But then I hear the words I fear,
“Mummy! play with me!”

Doesn’t this boy realise,
I’m not the size of Frodo?
I’ll come out, weeping, all scrunched up,
Like Mummy Quasimodo.

I can’t go down the bumpy slide,
My dodgy back can’t take it,
I can’t go down the tube slide,
Cos my arse just will not make it.

I can’t go through the rollers,
Man, they really hurt my boobs,
I can’t go up the zig zag steps,
(Well, not without some lube).

I can’t go in the playhouse,
As I’m over three foot two,
And also I might suffocate,
Cos someone’s done a poo.

The ball pit is a dangerous place,
I’m really much too big,
At best, I’ll flatten all the balls,
At worst, somebody’s kid.

“Why don’t you play with Jack?” I beg,
“Your bestest friend from nursery?”
“No, Mummy, I want YOU”, he pouts,
My boy shows me no mercy.

So on I go, across the bridge,
And up the cargo net,
Let’s face it, it’s the only
exercise I ever get.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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Show me a celebrity

I used to be quite good on the celebs. I watched the soaps. I watched reality shows. I knew what films were in the cinema. “Love It!” magazine was stacked welcomingly in my bathroom. (Yes, bathroom. Well, this WAS the time before smart phones.)

And then… something happened. One by one I dropped  the soaps. Then the magazines. Then the reality shows. And in the mean time, celebs were spawning* like shiny, superficial, bunnies. People got famous for being able to put their make-up on quite well. Or for allowing their actual life to be scripted and filmed. And me… well I started a family, free time became a scarcity, but more than anything – I just stopped caring. Was this a reaction to the burgeoning shallowness of society? Nah. Expect it was just my age.

*There’s far too much Minecraft in my house.

Show me a celebrity

I’m forty-one, a wife, a mum,
“But hey!” I cry, “I still feel young!
My hair’s not grey, my teeth are mine,
I’d DEFO pass for thirty-nine!”
But sadly, there’s a tiny flaw,
That gives my age away for sure,
Yep – show me a celebrity,

And I’ll say, “Who the fuck is she?!”

Singers, blingers, strikers, wingers,
TV talent contest winners,
Bloggers, vloggers, shaggers, snoggers,
Over-hyped attention-hoggers,
Debutants and sycophants,
People who look good in pants,
Actors, film stars, soap stars too…

Show me one, and I’ll cry, “WHO?!”

It’s not fair game, they’re all the same,
The women with their shiny manes,
The blokes all buff with facial fluff,
Both sexes caked in orange stuff,
So how am I supposed to know,
Which one’s Georgia Toffolo,
Charlotte Crosby, Stephen Bear,

Who ARE these people? Should I care?!

Cos who has time for reading Heat,
or watching Coronation Street,
And working out who sings each song?
Got too much on! It takes too long!
There’s more to life than people who
I’ve never met. And don’t want to.
So – forty-one. Still young? Still fun?

Nope. I’ve turned into my Mum.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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Nothing makes me mutter more than clutter

I hate clutter. That may surprise anyone who has ever visited my house. But what’s important to realise is that there is a difference between wanting a tidy house and being able to achieve it.

I have friends with grown up, tidy houses. Friends with grown up, tidy houses AND KIDS. I’m at a loss as to how this is achieved. I’m guessing the crucial ingredients are a domestic goddess mother, and a well-trained, or at least trainable family. Here, we have neither.

So it seems that I am doomed to wake up each day, vow to have A BIG TIDY UP, sometimes even achieve a middle-sized tidy up, and then go to bed wondering which house it was that I tidied earlier.

This poem,  if you’d be so kind, is to be read with a hint of insanity in the voice. Thank you so much.

Nothing makes me mutter more than clutter

Nothing makes me mutter more than clutter,
It’s the very ruination of my day,
My family, no doubt, really LOVE to get stuff out,

But I think they think it puts itself away.

I tell you, I’m not blessed with being domestic –
For tidiness, I’d give myself a six,
But my precious family would each earn themselves a three,

Which all adds up to a house which makes me twitch.

There are ninety-seven items in the kitchen,
Which are not where I intended them to be,
In the lounge there’s fifty-four, in the dining room there’s more,

In the playroom, there’s two hundred, maybe three.

There are pens and bills and helmets on the table,
There are bricks and cups and spanners on the drawers,
And upon the window sill, there’s a pile of stuff that will

Have to stay there til I work out what it’s for.

In the bedroom, there is very little legroom,
In the hallway there is very little hope,
In the bathroom, so much stuff, there is barely room to guff,

And I don’t know how much longer I can cope.

So I’ve tidied and I’ve picked up and I’ve kicked up,
I’ve ranted til I’m purple in the face,
But as soon as somewhere’s clear, there’s just one sound I will hear…

The clatter as more clutter takes its place.

 

By the way – if you were thrown by the word “guff”, do let me know – I’m not sure if this delightful term for a fart is only understood by those who were around seven years old in 1984. Could even be a Somerset thing, I’m not sure!

I do have in my pocket the alternative line “There is barely any fart-room in the bathroom – which I quite like – but I was swayed by the opportunity to say “guff” for the first time in around twenty years!

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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A Search Engine Optimisation Poem


One of the things we poetry bloggers (pologgers??) have to consider is, how the heck do people find me in the vast cultural wasteland of the internet?

Now Google says, “just write content that’s engaging!” Well, that’s true to some extent, and it’s also true that my lovely Facebook page followers  do “like” and “share” my rhymes, which helps enormously. But there’s a but.

Say this was a blog about badgers. I would naturally mention the word “badgers” a fair bit, thereby enhancing my site’s Google-badgeriness.

But here, how many of my poems contain the word “poem”? Kebabs get two mentions. Even knobs get one. But “poetry”? Not so much.

Therefore I challenged myself to write a poem that contains each of the words “poetry”, “poem”, “rhyme”, “funny” and “humorous” at least three times – while still being fun for humans. 🙂

Search Engine Optimisation Poem

I wrote this rhyme for SEO,
To help improve my spot,
Humans shouldn’t read it though –

It’s just for Googlebots.

I’ve written humorous poetry,
That people “like” and “share”,
But words like “poem” and “poetry”,

Don’t feature much in there.

See, I don’t write poems on poems,
And I don’t write rhymes on rhymes,
And I know no funny poetry,

That mentions “fun” three times.

Do YOU like poems, Googlebots?
Appreciate their form?
Does your coding know they’re funny?

Find them humorous and warm?

Do you cackle at my couplets,
Rate my rhyming to the max?
Do you file them under “funny”

In your Google Filofax?

Well if not, I’ll give you keywords
Such as “humorous” and “fun”,
Look Google! Here’s some poetry,

Now put me on page one.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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