Monday, August 13, 2007

The Unkindest Cut

Two weeks of sun and cooling beer
Upon sweet Tenerife,
Sitting by the water clear
‘Neath knotted handkerchief.
The cooling breeze upon the pier
Afforded some relief
From all that humid atmosphere
That draped the isle’s massif.

But time, like some cheap souvenir,
Was stolen by a thief.
Two weeks just seemed to disappear –
Alas! ‘Twas far too brief.
We flew back home with little cheer,
Holed fast upon a reef,
And learned about the heatwave here,
Which maximised our grief.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Holiday Wasp

As hibiscus plants and olive trees
Swayed lightly in the gentle breeze,
And children splashed about the pool
In valiant efforts to keep cool,
Out of the blue and cloudless sky,
A liitle wasp came buzzing by.
From whence he came remains unknown,
But soon his fear-inducing drone
Caused consternation to the host
Of people burning up like toast.
They looked up from their books and mags,
Put down their colas and their fags
And flapped around like windmill sails
Tormented by impromptu gales.
He flitted thus from bed to bed.
“Hello to one and all,” he said,
But sadly, fickle humankind
Could not translate the waspish mind.
And so they threatened fatal blows
Whene’er he skirted round their toes.
He so tormented one poor chap
Who swatted with his baseball cap
That in the end, this silly fool
In terror dived into the pool,
An action divers do not tend
To do while in the shallow end.
The little wasp just floated on
Beneath the sun that brightly shone
And people, leaping upwards, gave
A version of the Mexican wave,
And struck at him with well-thumbed books,
And gave this insect dirty looks,
Until, at last, his fun complete,
He disappeared into the heat.

Fly Food

A table laid out for a feast
With succulent forearms and thighs,
Lightly but thoroughly greased
To attract all the ravenous flies.
No neon signs needed down here,
The smell of the food will suffice,
And soon all the diners appear
To sample the free merchandise.
And when they have loosened their belts,
And buzzed away home to their brood,
I look at my red, blotchy welts
And thank God I can still provide food.

Bosoms Bared

Bosoms bared beside the pool
Don’t invoke apoplexy.
They’re big and flabby as a rule
And anything but sexy.
They flop around like punctured balls,
Distract you when you’re swimmin’,
And if that verily appals,
You ought to see the women.

Blasé about Air Travel II

When I was young and strong of lung,
To travel on a plane was an adventure.
It seemed so rare to go by air
That high excitement bordered on dementia.
The engines’ roar, the way we’d soar
Above the earth to where the sun was shining,
The popping ears, the hidden fears,
The scanning of dark cloud for silver lining.

Along the way, we got blasé,
And flight today has lost it’s sense of wonder.
We’re on, we’re off, we belch and cough
And have no qualms the plane will fall asunder.
The stewardess may still address
Locations of life-jacket, light and toggle,
But we just yawn in abject scorn
With minds that sadly long since ceased to boggle.

Blasé about Air Travel

At breakneck speed, tin cans career
Through unpolluted atmosphere
To bring us to our tourist destinations.
Within the gap ‘twixt clouds and space,
They hurtle at a fright’ning pace
O’er territory governed by small nations.

And way below, without a qualm,
These foreign folk show no alarm
At all these ticking time-bombs o’er their houses.
While up above we yawn and stretch
And doze and stare and cry and retch
And re-arrange the folds within our trousers.

A Body to Die For

He kicked off his flipflops and took off his shirt
Displaying his muscular torso.
The girls by the pool all became quite alert,
Like meercats on heat, only more so.

Aware af his actions, he limbered up next,
Which drew a few gasps from the women.
In togs tight and skimpy, he consciously flexed,
Preparing his body for swimmin.’

No tentative toe in the pool for this man,
No stepping down into it slowly.
He’d run and he’d dive (at least, that was the plan)
Like a brilliant, athletic young goalie.

But sadly the poolside was slippy and wet,
Which somewhat impeded his talents,
And in a split-second we’ll never forget,
This virile young man lost his balance.

His head struck the edge with a sickening thud,
His body came tumbling after.
We still might have saved him, we easily could,
But we all were spreadeagled with laughter.


With cases of leather,
Adorned with white heather,
Our spirits are blown on the wind
Like a feather.

We’re in this together.
We pray for good weather,
And vow to remain at the
Start of our tether.

We Go Home Tomorrow

The children laugh and yell and splash.
The poolside barman counts his cash.
But heavy lies the sunkissed air,
For we go home tomorrow.

Not a cloud to spoil the blue,
The mountain decorates the view.
Life, again, has proved unfair
For we go home tomorrow.

Palm trees swaying, toddlers playing,
Whitewashed walls and olive trees,
Bellies bloating, lilos floating,
Wafted on a gentle breeze.

Sunbeds filles with bodies tanning.
In the shade old ladies fanning,
But I’m consumed by deep despair,
For we go home tomorrow.

Bottled water selling quickly,
Blonde-haired Germans swimming slickly.
Next week they will all be there,
But we go home tomorrow.

Thin Veneer

Around the pool, the young boy lumbered,
Awkwardly, yet unencumbered,
Though his legs were singly-numbered,
Still he laughed with boyish ease.
And as I woke from idle napping,
On my sunbed, sunshine trapping,
I saw his shorts leg idly flapping,
Flapping lamely in the breeze.

On his hands and foot he bounded,
Like the letter M quite rounded,
And I watched him, most astounded,
As he stumbled on all threes.
And as my peace was interrupted,
And my pleasant dreams disrupted,
A fleeting, savage thought erupted,
Filling me with strong unease.

Why, while I am holidaying,
Far from normal everydaying,
Should this one-legg’d boy come straying,
Like a sudden, sharp disease?
I’m trying to escape reality
At this holiday locality,
Fleeing from the world’s brutality
And it’s tragic amputees.

Thus my mind, when pricked a little,
Gushed a waterfall of spittle
Through the shell, refined but brittle,
Shaped by civilised decrees.
Spewing forth, like gonorrhoea,
Through the flimsy, thin veneer,
Viscous, putrid and unclear,
Hidden for eternities.

And then I shivered, quite disgusted
At the way my mind, once trusted,
Could be, in an instant, rusted
By such selfish thoughts as these.
But my question, rashly tabled,
Begs which of us should be labelled
As the more obtuse, disabled –
The cripple or the ill-at-ease?

The Rice Building

Forty three storeys
Constructed entirely
Of rice.
The grains had been specially
Bonded and petrified
They used fresh basmati,
To make sure that it
Wouldn’t tilt.
Oh, it was the very first
High-rice apartment
They’d built.

The First Splash in the Pool

Holidays are pretty brill,
Yes, holidays are cool,
But they never really start until
The first splash in the pool.

For some they start when clocking out,
Or coming home from school,
But I suspect it’s all about
The first splash in the pool.

Travel can be quite a bore,
Painstaking as a rule.
Yes, everything is pants before
The first splash in the pool.

Sue Him!

Guaranteed sunshine, the travel rep said,
Bring sunhats and suncream and lotion.
The climate, he said,
Is quite heavy and dead
In the Mediterranean Ocean.

We remembered his words on the very first day,
When we joked that we’d ring and complain,
In the midst of the day
As we ran with dismay
From a large heavy shower of rain.


The new arrivals lug their cases,
All with sweaty white-skinned faces,
Sweating madly through their pores,
Checking numbers on the doors.

While we, who’ve been here one whole week,
Nicely tanned and super chic,
Watch them with a knowing eye,
Sneering as they trundle by.

Until our conscience lets us know,
We’ve only several days to go,
While they, with their excited tread,
Have all their holidays ahead.

Shake, Rattle and Roll

The tram from Soller to the port
Was longer than we all had thought.
Our arms and legs were blue and black
From clonking, clanking down the track.

But still I thought it quite divine,
Rock and rolling down the line,
(Although I’d say that it was Hades
For any eight-month pregnant ladies.)

Not Sweating Just Glowing

“Not sweating,” she said, “just glowing,” said she,
Put out at our little dig.
“Of course,” answered Dave, “it’s self-evident ye
Are glowing there like a pig.”


Raise a glass to Joanna
In her bright red bandana.
When she played the pianner
With a chisel and spanner,
The club tried to ban ‘er
For her troublesome manner.

Here We Go

Here we go, on our flight,
Now we’re up in the air,
And we don’t have a care
And the sun’s shining bright.
It’s as sweet as a kiss,
Or a header well-met.
Does it get, does it get
Any better than this?
Oh the roll of the drum
And the foot-tapping thud
Sure are almost as good
As the two weeks to come.

Hail to the Bus Driver

The passengers applauded as the aeroplane touched down,
But no-one claps the driver of the bus to Blanchardstown.
He pulls up to the bus-stop, but there’s no-one there reacts,
He doesn’t get the kudos that the airline man attracts.
So next time that the fifty five pulls into Heuston Station,
Let’s give the poor old driver a magnificent ovation.

Damned Scary Mountainy Drives

Now Mon, despite all her fine talents,
Is not quite the bravest of wives.
She feels like she’s losing her balance
On these damned scary mountainy drives.

It seems like they’re somewhat magnetic,
These routes where the hairpin bend thrives.
But Mon finds them all too frenetic,
These damned scary mountainy drives.

She clutches her seat in a panic,
It’s a wonder her reason survives!
Every bend in the road is satanic
On these damned scary mountainy drives.

It’s no use to quote the statistic
That the mountains claim very few lives.
In fact, it just makes her ballistic
On these damned scary mountainy drives.

From bottom to summit she’s fretting,
And breaks out in rashes and hives.
The veins on her forehead keep sweating
On these damned scary mountainy drives.

She says that they’re not to her liking –
Those slow-motion aerial dives.
She says she does not find them striking,
These damned scary mountainy drives.

Yes, logic’s summarily banished,
No matter how strongly she strives.
All sense of propriety’s vanished
On these damned scary mountainy drives.

Perhaps she just feels she’s not ready
For when her last moment arrives,
Or maybe she just feels unsteady
On these damned scary mountainy drives.

But as soon as the car ceases moving,
Placidity once more revives.
Her temper then stops disimproving
On these damned scary mountainy drives.

Yes, when we arrive at the summit,
She’s full of Yahoos! and high fives,
No longer afraid that she’ll plummet
On these damned scary mountainy drives.

Cuevas de Arta

Untouched by any tour guide’s lights,
Beyond archaic stalagmites,
Deep in the bowels of the earth,
Created prior to Moses’ birth,
I thought, though it is hard to prove,
I saw a hazy shadow move.
Flitting lightly here and there
Within it’s subterranean lair,
Watching as we chattered by
With deep and somewhat mournful eye.
Only glimpsed in blackest holes,
These earthly, prehistoric souls
Whispered softly in the nooks
Where mankind hardly ever looks.

Busman’s Holiday

On our holiday fortnight, I pitied poor Neil,
And could see why this holiday held no appeal.
He sat on his arse drinking beer by the pool,
Listening to music and trying to look cool,
Smoked thousands of fags and spent all of his cash,
And watched as his mother swept up all his ash.
It actually wasn’t much different to
The things that he’s normally likely to do.

Bobbing Along

Every single tourist in Mallorca
Has come down to our complex to get cool.
The weather had been forecast as a corker,
And there’s only room to stand up in the pool.

We’re bobbing up and down in it together,
Sardines would claim that it is very cruel.
At least we’re mostly out the burning weather
But there’s only room to stand up in the pool.

No opportunity to practise swimming,
I think it’s horizontal, as a rule.
But Lord above, it’s well and truly brimmin’,
And there’s only room to stand up in the pool.

The rest of this whole island is deserted
With weather that would make a camel drool,
The lifeguards at their stations were alerted,
But all of them are standing in our pool.

One chappie’s poolside, standing in a fever,
Naturally he feels a silly fool,
We tried to wedge him in with someone’s lever,
But there’s no more room to stand up in our pool.


We’d pick the pods and shell the peas
And boil them to a hundred degrees.
After straining, leave to freeze,
Extending thus, the life of these.

On holidays, I burn my skin,
Approach the pool and jump right in,
Boil and freeze alternatively,
I should live till I am ninety three.

An Annual Problem

The problem with holidays away in the sun,
From which there can be no reprieve,
Is that when the two weeks have just barely begun,
You know you will soon have to leave.

Airline Food

Airline food, I often find,
Though always mocked and much maligned,
Is often tasty and refined
Whenever I, aloft, have dined.
Though other people seem to mind
The scrambled egg and bacon rind,
It makes sure that your stomach’s lined,
For which this feast has been designed.

Age-Old Problem

Leonardo da Vinci could not understand it.
It drove Pope Alfonso so mad that he banned it.
Poor Isaac Newton, the simple-brained lout,
Sadly could never quite figure it out.
Pablo Picasso wrote plenty of theses,
But Freud and his cronies just shot him to pieces.
Einstein, old fool, kept on getting it wrong,
But Brenda sussed out how to wear a sarong.

A Giant Fan

A giant fan upon the hill would surely be progressive.
Someone could turn it on whene’er the heat got too oppressive.
Of course, a lot depends upon this giant fan’s positioning,
But this island badly needs a bit of serious air-conditioning.

The Kettle Haters of Lanzarote

No-one in Lanzarote has a kettle,
It’s really hard to get your water hot,
When all is said and done, you have to settle
For heating up your water in a pot.

This kettle-fearing island’s population
Have banned attempts to foster this device,
Perhaps it is their catholic persuasion,
Or maybe ‘cos they just don’t like the price.

Two and four slice toasters are prolific,
Coffee makers gleam in glass and metal.
Microwaves are deemed to be terrific,
But God forbid you ask them for a kettle.

The Camel Train of Timonfaya

At Timonfaya, we parked the car
To board the camel train.
It led up a volcanic spar
And then came down again.

The beasts of burden all were muzzled,
Lest they might be naughty.
They looked extremely puzzled
Though magnificent and haughty.

The girls got on the one assigned,
Unsure and apprehensive,
While we sat on the one behind,
With Neil looking pensive.

Then, with a grunt, the girls’ beast rose,
Austere and autocratic,
While ours struck a defiant pose,
And stayed there sitting static.

A few digs and a few digs more,
The leader struck the camel,
Until, with quite a surly roar,
Up rose the bolshie mammal.

And so we went on up the hill,
The girls one walking gladly,
While Neil and I were being still
Thrown up and down so madly.

For fifteen minutes we tossed and bumped,
Like Chief Inspector Clouseau,
And when it stopped we quickly jumped,
When it was safe to do so.

The Camel Train of Timonfaya
Makes countless trips a day.
It never ventures any higher
Nor wanders from the way.

Eau de Camel

I was once told a fact that I will not forget,
Camels get turned on by eau-de-toilette,
So don’t be confused by his “let’s-go-and-play” grunts,
He’s simply attracted by your special fragrance.

If it’s only a whiff, he will cuddle and court you,
To respond to his hormones, he’ll try and exhort you,
But if you have plastered it on, he will find you,
And tiptoeing gently, he’ll sneak up behind you.

So if you are splashing on Christian Dior,
And your hair is set off by your jewels galore,
And your skin is as white as some perfect enamel,
You probably smell like a female camel.


The Lanzarote cockroach is a giant,
It’s two feet tall and nearly three feet wide,
It glares at you with beady eyes defiant,
And asks you if you want to step outside.

It hides beneath the seat that’s on your toilet,
Giggling as it waits for you to come,
Lifting up the lid will surely foil it,
But if you don’t, it bites you on the bum.


Boobies by the swimming pool, boobies in the sea,
Boobies lying on the beach and staring up at me.
Some are like two footballs trampolining through the dunes,
Others put me more in mind of eating shrivelled prunes.
Some are brown and some are pink and some are blessed white,
And some, I’m sad to say, should be kept strictly out of sight.
There’s every colour, every shape and every size of cup,
At least in dear old Ireland they’re discreetly covered up.

Blame the Entertainer

It was the entertainer’s fault really,
He shouldn’t have mentioned a thing,
But he asked, quite succinctly and clearly,
If anyone wanted to sing.

The laughing-eyed blonde who’d been seated,
Arose and minced up to the mike,
And the entertainer repeated,
“You can sing any song that you like.”

But before she had started her singing,
She asked, could she make a small speech?
In my ears, the alarm bells were ringing,
And my sick-bag was not within reach.

“I dedicate this to my lover,
My husband of nearly ten years.
He’s constantly helped me discover
My passion and laughter and tears.”

And before we could dash to the doorway,
She launched into “Stand By Your Man,”
And we sat there, bemused at her foreplay,
As only a true voyeur can.

The song was intensely beguiling,
As though she were taking the piss,
And she stood there singing and smiling,
And then blew her hubby a kiss.

At that, the whole bar-room erupted,
And a great swell of vomit was spewed,
The bar service was interrupted,
And the band called a short interlude.

The manager clearly was blaming
The staff for not having the nous,
And every drinker was claiming
A free pint of beer on the house.

To clean up the place took an hour,
An hour I’ll never forget,
Which showed the incredible power
Of a badly sung Tammy Wynette.


Yosser was swimming in the foamy brine,
When a lobster nipped his scrotum.
The doctor gave Yosser some iodine,
And told him to go and coat ‘em.


In Dublin I never drink water,
I find it exceedingly dull,
I know very well that I oughta,
But I never touch one spoonful.
But here in this hot, sunny weather,
I’ve drunk pints and pints of the stuff,
I’d say twenty tonnes altogether,
And I can’t get enough of the stuff

Warm Water

I just peed in the swimming pool,
And heated up the water.
This bit is lovely for a swim,
But close your mouth, dear daughter.

Turtle Power

The little girl lay on the lilo and dozed,
Dreaming of ponies and dolls, one supposed.
All round the pool, the girl wafted and floated,
On top of a turtle all puffed up and bloated,
Palm tree fronds fingered the hazy blue sky,
As several disinterested clouds sidled by.

Then, all of a sudden, the turtle got burst,
People just stared at it, fearing the worst,
It shot from the pool in a vertical climb,
The girl clinging gutsily all of the time.
It swooped high and low, like a rodeo horse,
Weaving a most unpredictable course.

Eventually, when it was sixty feet high,
It ran out of steam and fell out of the sky.
Both turtle and girl fell back into the water,
Her father dived in and he pulled out his daughter.
The moral is clear, so there’s no need to harp,
Leave lilos alone if your toenails are sharp.

The Taxis of Playa Grande

The taxis go up and down Los Avenida,
Each one controlled by an arrogant bleeder.
They don’t stop at junctions unless they do have to
And cut you stone dead with a loud peal of laughter.
They’ll block the whole road at the drop of a hat,
To pick up a fare or to just have a chat.
But if you slow down for a second, you’ll find you
Will soon have a very big taxi behind you,
Who makes no wild gestures, just drives up your ass,
As though you should stop and allow him to pass.
None of them know how to use indicators,
No wonder they’re likened to tinpot dictators.

The Great Tattooist

Tattooists up and down the street
Work tirelessly to make ends meet.
With sharpened needles they create
A lion rampant or innate.
A swooping eagle can adorn
Your shoulder with a unicorn,
And on your backside you can have
Immortalised your friend Gustav.

But high above the summer breeze,
The Great Tattooist works with ease.
Millions simultaneously
Receive a colouring for free.
He works until he goes to bed
To turn the people brown and red.
His choice of colours is quite small
But he can transform one and all.


Teguise, Teguise,
It’s not very breezy
Compared to the coast,
But the living is easy,

Except on a Sunday,
When it is the one day
When thousands of people
Have haggle and fun day.

They come for the market
And often remark it
Ain’t far in the car but
It’s tricky to park it.

Sod’s Law

She spent loads of time in improving her tan,
And she went as deep brown as anyone can.
From the first rays of sunlight to last thing at night,
She made sure that she did not go back home white.

The hours she slaved away, front, side and back,
In every orifice, in every crack,
And then, to her shock, on the very last day,
Her beautiful, beautiful tan peeled away.

Shopping for Presents

We have to try to find a prezzie
For Lil and Keith, and Rose and Dessie,
And something else for Luke and France,
Because they’re watering our plants,
And Granny and your Auntie Lou,
And Sil and Vi, and Denzel too.
[We needn’t buy for Ruth and Gus,
Because they never buy for us]
Perhaps some sweets for Kate and Kevin,
And something small for number seven.
And a holdall made of camel skin
To carry all these presents in.

Say Cheese

The two children stood in the water,
Facing their dad on the beach.
Their father, with camera, was trying his best
To get a good photo of each.

“Big wave!” he shouted out cheerily.
The two little kids waved like mad,
And then a big wave knocked them both off their feet,
And swept them right up to their dad.


I came up this morning at seven o’clock,
With thirty six towels that I’d bought,
And each one I spread
On a different sunbed,
Not just for revenge, but for sport.

And then we went off for the rest of the day,
And we lazed on the beds by the sea,
And we laid and got brown
Till the hot sun went down,
And then we returned for our tea.

And I went to the pool and I gathered each towel,
To the stares of the Germans and Dutch,
And I nodded my head
And I grinned and I said,
“Oh, thank you, oh, thank you so much.”

Ode to our Hired Car

5561 CBW
We were very very sorry
We had to trouble you.
As Micras go, you weren’t the worst,
Though you’d only take Cardiac Hill in first.

Lookee Lookee Man

Jonathan Mbabwe was a Lookee Lookee Man,,
He used to work the promenade all day.
Selling his sunglasses by Dior and by Ray-ban,
And Rolex watches brought in from Taipei.

If quality was guaranteed, he wasn’t quite a purist,
His goods’ authentication was suspect,
But he made an honest living off the unsuspecting tourist,
For which you really had to be hard-necked.

He was hard, he was a black belt, he was judo seventh Dan,
No-one ever kicked him up the jacksie,
Yes, Jonathan Mbabwe was a lucky, lucky man,
Until he got run over by a taxi.

Lazy Sod

The cleaners came in while our son was in bed,
They needed to do our apartment, they said.
They swept and they tidied and then in a minute,
They made Neil’s bed while the sod was still in it.

Landlubber’s Shanty

Oh, give me a breeze and a deep rolling swell,
And a ship that bobs up on the tide,
And a bottle of rum and some herring as well,
And I’ll vomit right over the side.

With a heavie-eye-addy
And a heavie-eye-oh
Etc etc..

Jet Ski

We did the jet skis, Neil and me,
Or rather, more grammatically,
We did the jet skis, Neil and I,
Engine, water, sun and sky.
Skimming at a decent pace,
Although we weren’t allowed to race,
Building up a head of speed,
And going very fast indeed.
And, though you will be quite surprised,
Neither Neil nor I capsized.

I Fell Asleep

I fell asleep beside the pool,
Beneath the burning sun,
No need to say I was a fool –
I ended up well done.
Except for one white handprint where
My hand lay on my chest,
And now my wife has made me swear
I’ll always wear a vest.


The Customs might frisk us
In case the hibiscus
That’s found in all places
Is found in our cases.

But, by my cat’s whiskers,
The shagging hibiscus
Is in other places,
So get off our cases!


Haggling is a subtle skill,
At which I’m not proficient.
Observers of my tactics will
Declare I’m quite deficient.

I always start off much too high,
Much higher than the price is,
My wife has always said that I
Am useless in a crisis.

The trader on the market stall
Thinks I’m a proper loo-lah,
But does he haggle? Not at all,
He’s bringing home the moolah.

What use is algebraic thought,
Or esoteric scruples?
Far better if our teachers taught
Some haggling to their pupils.

Friday 13th

We missed the turn off for the north,
And entered Arrecife.
We confidently sallied forth,
But shortly came to griefy.

There were no signs to point the way,
And many cars around us.
We chose to take a left and pray
And hope it would not ground us.

Unfortunately, we got stuck –
It was a bad decision.
Tis only me could make such luck
With such adroit precision.

Fat Kid by the Swimming Pool

Fat kid by the swimming pool
Catching all the sun,
Blocking all the shagging rays
From each and everyone.

Fat kid dives into the pool,
With a splash gigantic.
No more water in the pool.
Complex owner frantic.

El Golfo

El Golfo, mysterious greenish lagoon,
We visited it on a clear June afternoon,
I wasn’t impressed by the simplistic format,
Like green Fairy Liquid spilled on a black doormat.


Lying by the pool in my swim togs,
At twenty five minutes past eight,
The sun smiling high
In the royal blue sky,
And the warmth of the sun feeling great.

Sitting in the rain in a traffic jam
At twenty five minutes past eight,
The man right ahead
Has just stalled his car dead,
And I think that I’m going to be late.


They never mentioned clouds in the brochures,
Sunshine guaranteed is what they said,
But since we came here it
Has been cloudy quite a bit,
Next year I think we’re going to the Med.

Clever Kid

Jimmy’s in the swimming pool,
He’s lying on the bottom,
Isn’t he a clever kid?
I wonder where we got him.

Look how he can hold his breath
For all this length of time.
Darling, can you go and get
Another coke and lime?

Cardiac Hill

[Take her away, Fats…………]

I found my apartment
On Cardiac Hill,
On Cardiac Hill,
A one-in-two

My heart stood still
On Cardiac Hill,
I lay there until
My pulse came to.

The wind in the palm trees played
Love’s sweet melody,
But all of that climbing made
A cripple of me.

They pumped my heart
On Cardiac Hill,
And they got a thrill
When I came to.


The butterfly flits tirelessly from one flower to the next.
The swimming stroke named after him has left me quite perplexed.
It takes a lot of energy, your biceps ache like hell –
Why is it called “The Butterfly”? Can anybody tell?

Boat Trip

I didn’t bring a coat,
When we sailed upon a boat
Round the Isle of Lanzaroat
On a hot, bright day.

But it was a little breezy
And the sea was rolling easy
And I felt a little queasy
In a not-right way.

At Guinate Tropical Park, Lanzarote

There were goldfish and eagles,
As big as most seagulls,
And peacocks that roamed through the park.
There were pretty flamingos,
And lemurs and dingoes,
And owls that reposed in the dark.

There were coloured macaws
With their prehensile claws,
And cockatoos screeching and cawing,
And parrots that ate
All the nuts on their plate,
And some ducks that were frankly quite boring.

There were budgies that chirped,
And a turkey that burped,
And a crane that watched what we were doing,
And a very big toucan
Who eats more than you can,
And turtledoves, billing and cooing.

There’s a garden of cactus
That didn’t attract us,
And some ostriches Neil found scary.
And some small yellow weavers,
That worked hard as beavers,
But, puzzlingly, not one canary.

An Interesting Medical Phenomenon

Normally I fart like peals of thunder
[My wife and children scarcely will deny it]
But here in Lanzarote, to their wonder,
My arse has been peculiarly quiet.
I wonder if it’s due to change of diet.
Flatulatory people ought to try it.

Turtle Dove

The palm trees frittered in the breeze
And I espied a turtle dove
Cooing lightly in the trees,
And then it flew down from above.
Upon the poolside shower it sat,
Surveying all with regal cool.
I found it quite amusing that
It crapped into the swimming pool.


There’s a bloody great notice by the side of the pool
Saying sunbeds cannot be reserved,
So I threw all their beach towels out into the pool,
Those bastards got what they deserved.

“This is Your Captain Speaking”

This is your captain speaking,
My name is Captain Hand.
In four hours time I’ll land the plane
Back home in Ireland.
We do not expect trouble,
The forecast is quite good.
Everybody please relax for
Flying’s in my blood.
On second thoughts, it’s raining
Back in the Emerald Isle.
Would anyone prefer to go
To Rio for a while?

This Didn’t Actually Happen

A man with a cactus,
Jumped out and attacked us,
But I fought him off with a palm.
Then my wife’s hibiscus,
She threw like a discus
And did him some serious harm.

The Poolside Show

Helmut’s brown from head to feet,
Fergus, white and bony,
Helmut’s like a slab of meat,
Fergus, macaroni.

Helmut dives with zeal and zest,
Fergus climbs in slowly,
Helmut’s wife shows off her chest,
Fergus’s is holy.

Helmut has a hairy arse,
Fergus’s is spotty,
The poolside show is quite a farce
Out here in Lanzarote.

The End is Nigh

Halfway through your holiday, the thought attacks your brain,
A week from now and you will all be back upon the plane.
And all throughout the second week, the feeling’s never-ending,
That, sad to say, that rotten, bastard moment is impending.
Did you get the most out of the little time you had?
Will memories be happy ones, or will they all be sad?
Did we go and see the sights, do everything we could?
Or did we simply laze around, the role not understood?

As you approach your forties then, the thought attacks your brain,
Another forty years and you’ll be back upon the plane.
And all throughout the second half, the feeling’s never-ending,
That, sad to say, that rotten, bastard moment is impending.
Did you get the most out of the little time you had?
Will memories be happy ones, or will they all be sad?
Did we go and see the sights, do everything we could?
Or did we simply laze around, the role not understood?

Some people can be quite content to come back home again,
But I am much too fearful to get back upon the plane.

Solitary Cloud

Solitary cloud on a deadly mission,
Sneaks up upon its only competition.
Sent from God knows where by God knows who,
Silently advancing o’er a plain of blue.
Ignoring the long and drawn out flak,
Destroying Shadowland in one attack.

Rubber Ring

So, rubber ring, I say goodbye,
You cost five euro from the shop,
The breeze has cast you to the sky,
And God knows where you’re going to stop.


Please don’t give me a leaflet,
We’re not going into your bar,
We tried it last night
And we thought it was shite,
So we’re going next door for a jar.

Please don’t try to persuade us,
We gave it a try last night,
The lights were so glaring,
The music was blaring,
And the DJ exceedingly trite.

Please don’t obstruct our progress,
We’re just going out for a stroll,
Your exorbitant prices
Just do not entice us,
So insert this flyer up your hole.

Pedal High, Pedalo

Eagerly we pedalled off, our early speed was great,
But after fifteen minutes, we began to slow our rate.
The muscles twitching in my thighs, my hamstring tendons pumping,
Panting like a rabid dog, my left aorta thumping.

And so we ceased our cycling to recuperate at length,
Desperately seeking to restore our errant strength,
But when we looked around beneath the hot and burning sun,
We found that we had drifted back to where we had begun.

Non Swimmer

He can swim like a fish in a lead overcoat,
He goes straight from the top to the bottom.
Whatever the genes are that keep you afloat
The poor sinking sod hasn’t got ‘em.

My Sunburn

The tops of my ankles, beneath the hairline,
The large, balding patch on my head-
The rest of the parts of my body are fine,
But those two bits always go red.

Little Fly

Bugger off now, little fly,
You’re irritating me, and I
Will shortly splat you on my arm,
Although I do not mean you harm.

Lapping it up

Two cats live in our apartment block,
One black, the other grey,
I caught the latter at eight o’clock,
As I passed the pool one day.

It was crouched o’er the poolside and straining,
To drink from the water therein.
Arse in the air, with head craning
As though it were tonic and gin.

I didn’t do what I was thinking,
And give him a boot in the seat,
But when he had finished his drinking,
The water was down several feet.

Jameos del Agua

Tiny, blind, albino crab,
Don’t fret that you’re small-sized,
There’s many bigger beasts than you
That aren’t so highly prized.

Tiny, blind, albino crab,
I’m sad that you can’t see,
Although I think you look more like
A scorpion to me.

Tiny, blind, albino crab,
Found nowhere else on earth,
You do not even know you’re white,
For you’ve been blind from birth.

Tiny, blind, albino crab,
You really are quite small,
If you were any shorter you
Would not be there at all.

Tiny, blind, albino crab,
How do you find a mate?
And where do you arrange to meet
When you go on a date?


If we won the Lotto or our prize-bond numbers won,
It wouldn’t only be two weeks, we’d spend here in the sun.

If I saved a man from drowning, and he was a billionaire,
He might buy us a villa in Barbados or somewhere.

If a long-forgotten distant aunt conveniently should die,
She might leave me an oil field ‘neath the burning Texas sky.

If I did not spend so much time with head stuck up my ass,
I know there’s not the slightest chance these things will come to pass.


Eighteen hundred miles away,
They’ll all be hard at work today,
The strangest thing though, I do find
Is why they even crossed my mind.

Hail to the Nutter

There’s always one nutter with too many drinks
Who gets up to dance on a limb,
And, as he cavorts like a monkey, he thinks
That Travolta has nothing on him.

And when the song ceases, he takes the applause
And waves to the sarcastic throng,
And, though perspiration just drips from his pores,
He’s up for the very next song.

Oh, hail to the nutter for strutting his stuff,
And dancing for our entertainment,
But someone please tell him that once is enough,
‘Tis a goal that deserves some attainment.

Floating and Dreaming

Floating and dreaming on top of the pool,
Sun on your face and the water so cool,
Thousands of miles from work, home and school,
Floating and dreaming on top of the pool.

First Morning on Holliers

The wife’s in fine fettle,
There’s no bleedin’ kettle,
The bathroom light hangs off the wall,
The shower’s not easy,
It’s cloudy and breezy
Oh, why did we come here at all?


The final swim,
The final beer,
The final bloody
The final sun,
The final ocean,
The final drop of
Suntan lotion.
The final meal,
The final tip,
The final stroll
Along the strip.
The final laugh,
The final tear,
The final time
Until next year.

Fat Kid in the Restaurant

The fat kid in the restaurant is kicking up a fuss,
He’s sitting with his parents at the table next to us,
He doesn’t want the pizza and he doesn’t want the veal,
The fillet and the gammon steak for him have no appeal.
Spaghetti is a no-no and the chicken breast is muck,
The langoustines are minging and the quiche lorraine is yuck.
Lasagna’s merely vomit, and the lemon sole is tat,
Which kind of begs the question, how on earth did he get fat?


The apartments we like very much
That arc around the pool,
Are populated by the Dutch
And Germans as a rule.

They get the sun from early morn,
And never tire of it.
I wish to God that I’d been born
A Koemann or a Schmidt.

Dancing Sparkles

The full moon shone upon the sea,
Lighting up a glinting vee,
‘Twas something I did never see
Except in works of art.
The dancing sparkles spread out wide
Upon the dark Atlantic tide,
Frozen time in splendour cried
A message from the heart.

Dancing Sparkles: Monica’s phrase for the glistening of light on water.


The last day of our holidays,
The final meteoric phase,
Three long days begin today,
More awful than the truth can say.

Today we’re still on holidays
And soaking up the sun’s last rays,
But there’s a sadness in our heart
That imminently we depart.

Tomorrow we get on the plane
And glumly fly back home again,
Supermarket, dodging rain,
Washing up is such a pain.

The next day it is back to work,
Slowly will the minutes jerk,
By the afternoon I’ll feel
The last two weeks were so unreal.


Twas down by the Playa Blanca,
We saw a big black oil tanker,
A bloody great gull
Flew into her hull,
And, wonder of wonders, it sank her.

An Obvious Suggestion

Monica says, and I am not inclined to disagree,
A fortnight isn’t long enough for holidays, for we
Are only really starting to appreciate a place
Before it’s time to pack all of our shorts back in our case.

Before we really know a time, we’re coming home again.
The answer is quite obvious as I will now explain –
The ratio of holidays to work is out of date,
Instead of four week’s holidays we should get forty-eight.


I swear it was an accident.
He’d still be living if
He hadn’t stood so near to
The top edge of the cliff.

I see it in slow motion how
I accidentally stumbled,
But, oh, you should have seen the way
Onto the rocks he tumbled.

He first performed a backward flip
And then a pirouette,
And then a double somersault
I never will forget.

And then on to the jutting rock
His body flatly thumped,
Much better than the other three
I accidentally bumped.

A Study of Economic Infrastructure

In Puerto del Carmen
They don’t do much farmin’.
It’s geared for the tourists,
Not agriculturists.

A Common Lanzarote Problem

A bloody great panda
Was on my veranda
When I came back after a swim.
He was wearing some shades
And some new rollerblades,
And he told me that folk called him Jim.

I asked him how he
Had got in minus key.
“Oh, that is quite simple,” he flounced,
“Down below is a green
And dark blue trampoline,
And I bounced and I bounced and I bounced.”

Now I’m not one to cuss
Or to make a big fuss,
But I let a long stream of invective.
And I called up the porter
And told him he oughta
Ring up for the hotel detective.

The two of them knocked
And came running in shocked,
With a net and a bunch of bananas,
And they led Jim away,
Though I swear he did say
“Hey, thanks for the silky pyjamas.”