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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Hey, Singularity!

In between washing socks and being five minutes late for everything, I like to spend a little time contemplating the mysteries of the universe. That’s why my ideal dinner guest would be the theoretical infinitely dense singularity containing all space and time, which possibly existed before the Big Bang. Or possibly didn’t.

The conversation, I imagine, would go something like this;

Hey, Singularity

Hey, singularity,
Endlessly dense,
Impossibly small,
Completely immense,

There’s one or two questions,
I’ve got in my head,
So if you don’t mind…
Ok, go ahead.

So just how hot are you?
Oh nothing’s more hot,
But there IS nothing else,
So that won’t mean a lot.

And what came before you?
There is no before.
All time is inside me,
No less and no more.

But what is beside you?
There IS no beside.
All space is inside me –
Beside is inside.

So everything’s in you?
We’ll sort of. I’m bluffing,
I DO contain everything –
But, also, nothing.

You’re killing me now.
Hey that’s no big deal –
I can’t really kill you,
You’re not even real.

And neither am I,
Well probably not,
The truth might be weirder.
What else have you got?

No more! Head’s exploding!
Ooh THAT’s a good plan,
I might try that too.
Ok… here we go… BANG!

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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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

You cannot beat a stick

My children have some great toys so  I feel a mixture of delight and slight irritation when they abandon them all for sticks.

No trip to a woodland, romp round a stately home, or quick pee in a layby is complete for my children without harvesting a stick. Gun-shaped sticks are among the most prized, although fights regularly break out over a good “staff”.

I am totally without scruples when it comes to disposing of them – however a 2 minute run round my house revealed the booty shown in the photograph. Yes. The sticks are winning.

You cannot beat a stick

Toy companies are pretty sly,
Their flashy ads are slick,
But still they cannot fathom why,

Remember, remember, it still is November

Right, a couple of things I need to make clear before we launch into this one.

Firstly, I’m not against Christmas decorations per se. I just think a couple of weeks of them is PLENTY (yes, and that applies to your Christmas jumpers too, peak-too-sooners).

Secondly, this poem has NOTHING to do with the fact that I have a mid-December birthday and think everything leading up to, and including, my birthday should be ALL ABOUT ME. So, now that’s all clear, without further ado…

 

Remember, remember, it still is November

Remember, remember, it still is November,
Although the frost’s starting to bite,
For while those last leaves still cling to the trees,

STEP AWAY FROM THE ICICLE LIGHTS!

Resist your fake snow, your flashing “HO HO”,
Treat inflatable Santa with caution,
For he surely will burst by December the first,

If you’re blowing him up in the autumn.

By December the twelfth, the elf on the shelf
will hide in the pub with a half,
And before Christmas Eve, all the reindeer will leave,

Because Lapland is more of a laugh.

Your nativity scene will be mouldy and green,
There’ll be actual lichen on Mary,
Your chattering Santa will be out of banter,

Having bored the tits off the good fairy.

“Will we EVER get there?” wail the kids in despair,
As they gaze through the glass, looking bleak,
“With the house so festooned, Christmas MUST be SO SOON!”

“No it’s not, kids. It’s over six weeks.”

So – you want Christmas day to be happy and gay?
Dear readers, what have we discovered?
Remember, remember, until mid-December,

Keep Christmassy crap in the cupboard!

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2017

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Gotta end those innuendos

When writing poetry, it regularly occurs to me how fortunate I am to have been born with English as my mother tongue. What a fabulous, diverse, malleable language it is. And oh. The richness of the innuendos. Who could resist.

Well – I rarely CAN resist. And that can be a problem. So this is a poem about my personal struggle to rein in the innuendos – written entirely in innuendos. Because – don’t you just LOVE them?!

(Mum, you have been warned.)

Gotta end those innuendos

Can’t stop the innuendos, cos they’re just so satisfying,
When a big one gushes out, it’s so intensely gratifying,
But they get me into trouble, in a hole repeatedly,

Gotta end those innuendos or they’ll be the end of me.

When I’m busy in my kitchen, marinating my kebab,
Or I’m creaming up my cabbage, life is never ever drab,
For my mucky brain is ticking as I baste my meat (tee hee),

Gotta end those innuendos, or they’ll be the end of me.

When I’m doing all my housework, when I’m polishing my knobs,
The innuendos get me through those tricky manual jobs,
But I just can’t stop them coming when I’m busy on my knees,

Gotta end those innuendos, or they’ll be the end of me.

And as for DIY, I just can’t stand it any more,
All that screwing, hammering, drilling, filling – total filth for sure,
So one day, as I bang away, I say emphatically,

Gotta end those innuendos, or they’ll be the end of me.

So I try withdrawal method, giving up without exception
All the things that make me titter – big injections, huge erections,
Trimming bushes, stuffing baps, spilling gravy, lifting flaps,
But can I keep it up? Well it’s hard, but yes, perhaps –
I never carry two big jugs – that WOULD be tempting fate,
I don’t go up tight alleys, and I DON’T use my back gate,
But one dark day, I crack up as I roast a tart for tea –

I’ll  never end those innuendos. Guess they’ll be the end of me.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2017

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