I hear you shed a tear for Mussolini

How very little I knew of

The workings of your mind

The night seed embraced egg


Then later

You, your heart in one hand

A cigarette in the other

Your eight months

Tumescent belly

A radiance I think was lost to you

Though not I

Laying down the law

As only the naïve and

Passionate know how


You did passion well

Perhaps too well!


Still, even back then

Laughing at the curse of

Your expectant recurrent

Need to ‘Powder your nose’

And grateful the sickness

Had long since dissipated

Still donned your Wellington’s

Still walked your brace of Briard’s

And your two hearts within

Mile upon mile

No matter how chilly

Was the birth of the new day

The fact you were immersed in

The predictable news of

The Italo-Abyssinian War

Kept you warm


Why leave as you did?

The genesis of a fresh life

To be delivered up

Elsewhere, in place kept secret?

I never did fathom

Your modus operandi

Likely never will


By the way

I do not hold a grudge

Your imperial cause

Long since lost

Your defamed hero

Now consigned

To sceptical history


It is easier to forgive

The vanquished I find


The child though?

Boy, girl, stillborn?

What became of he or she?

You owe me on that one

It has taken a lifetime

To find you again


The lemon groves

Still pine for you

Though I no longer do



Without him a terraqueous globe

Cognizant life forms

At each other’s throats

Such outrageous brutality

Born of vapid belief

An improbable conviction

A problematic certainty

False objectivity

A barren hypothesis


Within this mere sophist

Also a plenitude of rumination

More often than not

Profound and pessimistic enough

To prompt the onset of

Wretched insomnia


Others meditations so miniscule

That to retain them would be

To catch a firefly alive

By gentle hand


These infinitesimal reflections

Were his finest

Yet generally lost to him

As quickly as they appeared



Yet the thrust of his unprompted

Train of thought

In its wake does

Blemish the living soul

Call it an undeniable particle

A flake even

If you care to name it thus

Always remained


In the here and now

In the buckle of the Bible belt

And upon the magnet

For the radicalised filings

That is the Middle East

Where faith holds sway

Over sanity and logic

Over the day to day

Workings of politics

Sectarianism flourishes

The macro of faith

Damages far beyond

The contradiction of belief and

The scriptures of purported rectitude


And yet, in other places

Places where the geniality

Of indifference

Toward colour and creeds

The blessed secular mongrel pet

Affronts not pure bred

Rational thought and is

Unencumbered mostly

Free from the shackles of legend

Chronicled as legitimate


He takes to his bed

Acumen bruised

In the certain knowledge

So vehement are the believers

So devout are they

That common sense is

A concept too far


A while later

Following an incomplete sleep

Upon waking

He dismisses those

Capacious thoughts

Of the previous day

Bereft of eloquence

Lost to a hangover

A knock at his door

A caller ignores the

No Hawker’s sign

Seeks a new convert

Chose the wrong day

Chose the wrong man



My new tale written for LOMM!

Originally posted on The League Of Mental Men:

jonah“Crikey Jonah mate look at the state of you and by heck you stink of rotting fish! You’ve not been frequenting that house of ill repute again you dirty old rascal.”

“Leave it out landlord…….me in a house of ill repute, how dare you! Yet you are right though I do chuck up more than a bit. After the events of the last few days it’s no fucking wonder I stink…..but I’ll tell you what I need a stiff drink and I need one now!”

“Here you go……..triple Talisker on the rocks……that should hit the spot…….I’ll just open the door…..you know……let a bit of fresh air in as you’re distressing my patrons mate…….there, that’s a fraction better…….now then Jonah my friend just what have you been up to?”

“Fucking long story landlord but if you really want to know I’ve been stuck inside a bloody great whale’s stomach for three…

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holding hands

Dog days of summer

Gothic spires and cobblestones

A frantic accordion

The plum stains upon

Simple white tablecloths

Spilled house red

For the main part


Cigarette butts and chitter chatter

A café full

The clamour of the greedy

The mirth of friends and lovers

A promenade of Mademoiselles

Not a table to be had

Inside or out


They walk on by

Hand in hand

She and he

Sharing the silence

Of seasoned lovers

Amidst the affable hiss of

The old town


‘I wasn’t that hungry anyway’

‘Nor me’


A bargain basement auberge

Fan light left open

A little previous the moth

Mistakes an early evening

Lit candle for the moon


Clean sheets and



They live a little in the twilight

Live some more after sunset

Divine the transparency

Of radiant enduring cravings


kiss 2

When crimson satin meets

Medallion augmented uniform

Without monetary exchange

Then you know a war is won

An armistice set in stone

A time for revelry

Wanton the survivors

Such is the hyper sexuality

Of victors coming home

And those who greet

Disinterred heroes


Another time; another place

Before the war perhaps?

Crepuscular the cat

The cat that toyed with

The fluttering butterfly

She who stuck around too late

A twilight chilling of her wings

Abated her flight

As circumstance left her

Upon his domain

She was his for a little while

He, hers


In both instances

Determined satyr couples

Willing maenad

Panmixia their curse and

Gratification their

Mutual pleasure

Always set to end in tears

Such is the nature of coition


In latter times

Those halcyon days of caducity

Nostalgic deliberation

That the young

One day will come to know

She thumbs through her

Decrepit diaries

Smirks as the flood gates open

And a tide of memories

Are discharged


She mulls over her past

Concludes she would not

Change a single thing

If she could live it all again


That he had once tried to

Clip her wings

Tarnished the

Dazzling masochism

Of his present

Wallowing in fresh

Solitary sorrow

Born of remembrance

He knows it is too late

To grieve what might have been

Far too late of course

The passage of time

Has seen to that


A little seasoning perhaps

A pinch of devotion permitted

In the recipe for love

Maybe things would have turned out


For better or worse

He will never now know



Warner Brother’s Studio, 1964: During the production of the iconic movie ‘My Fair Lady’ based upon George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, leading male actor Rex Harrison pops along to his opposite number Audrey Hepburn’s dressing room for a quick chat before filming starts for the day only to discover poor Audrey is a bit under the weather.

“Well that’s knocked any chance of doing a bit of ballet dancing on the head then.”

“What has luv?”

“The old gout’s come back Rex……..no hope of a swift pirouette I’m thinking here……don’t half hurt I can tell you.”

“I should imagine it does Audrey poops…….still how many times have I told you to lay off the vintage port…….do you listen?…….do you fuck!  Your uric acid levels must have gone through the ceiling again girl.  Just count your blessings you don’t have to do the old ballerina stuff these days. I guessing a swift deboulé is out of the question?”

“Too bloody true Rex…….look at the state of me big toe…….more Belisha beacon than appendage……I bloody hate it….you know…….when me old metatarsal-phalangeal joint flares up like this.  I suppose I can park me arse in a chair and do a bit of acting sat down today……you know ‘The rain in Spain gets on me tits when I’ve paid good money for me hols’ or whatever that common tart Eliza Doolittle I’m playing says.”

“Yeah, can’t see the director having a problem with that luv.  Mind, best you leave off the booze and the black pudding and dripping sandwiches for that matter for a while if you ask me.”

“Well I didn’t ask you did I………bollocks I’m going round the quacks and asking him to cut me toe off the pain is so bad.”

“Audrey luv don’t even go there……..I mean we’ll have to change the title of the film to ‘My Fair Cripple’ if you do…….hardly a fucking marketing hook.”

“I shall have to think of something to do to take me mind off it………thinks………stuff me I can’t think of anything it hurts so much……worse than childbirth this is.”

“What say we practice some of the songs for the movie…….that might divert your attention away from whinging on and on about your gout don’t you think?  What about your solo number ‘I Could Have Danced all Night’ yeah I like that one I do’s.”

“Hardly Rex……I do the acting…….that pushy little cow Marni got the singing gig……God knows why….all I get to do is move me mouth like I’m belting out a number……not fair in my book.”

“Sorry I completely overlooked the fact that your singing voice resembles that of a fog horn on a cross-channel ferry.”

“Fucking cheek of it…..I sing like an angel as it happens.”

“Well you could practice a bit of miming then so as you’re ready for when young Marni gives it her all on the melodic front on set.  Here try out ‘With a Little Bit of Luck’.”

“A little bit of luck is hardly an appropriate song for one riddled with gout is it!…….besides it’s not one of mine……Stan’s doing that one.”

“I Could Have Danced All Night’s one of yours isn’t it……..that’ll cheer you up.”

“Could have danced all night……..fucking Ada are you taking the piss or what……I can barely move let alone think about dancing.”

“Tell you what then I’ll sing you one of my songs……my favourite out of the whole musical as it so happens…….wanna give it a listen?”

“Go on then if you must.”

“Right then girl here we go……….. ‘I’ve grown accustomed to her big toe; It’s still glowing when the day begins; I’ve grown accustomed to its throb that; She whinges on about night and noon; Her uric acid, her love of port; Her pain, her gloom; Are second nature to me now; And it’s frankly getting on me tits…….”

“Fuck off Rex.”






Another early post from when I started blogging and had just the 10 people following the blog!

Originally posted on mikesteeden:



The Halfway Public House, twixt Heaven & Hell; Post the Beginning of Time: Old mates Satan and St Peter are sharing a couple of pints together in order to unwind after a day’s work. They haven’t met up for yonks so they have rather a lot of catching up to do. 

Satan: “Long time no see mate. How the devil (so to speak) are you?” 

St Peter: “Oh not that bad if the truth be told. What’s your poison – I’m buying.” 

Satan: “Cheers mate, I’ll have pint of Bishop’s Finger if you don’t mind.” 

St Peter: “Not at all, I’m partial to that meself.  Bartender, two pints of the old ‘nun’s delight’ mate.” 

The barman duly serves up said beers. 

Satan: “I was talking to that Emperor Nero bloke the other day – he’s one of mine of course. He told me…

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Wave Of Apathy Sweeps Nation As Satirical Mag Announces Halloween Edition


In point of fact Arsene Wenger reads this mag whilst taking a number two! He told me himself he thinks it’s ‘quality’ – bloody shame he can’t read English really!

Originally posted on The League Of Mental Men:

soz halloween edition FP

I bet you can’t wait can you? *cocks pistol*

There was practically no reaction at all on Tuesday of this week as Soz Satire, a satirical magazine famed for it’s anonymity and risibly poor content, announced the forthcoming launch of their Halloween edition.

Editor-in-chief, Clivey Dee, 21, told an empty press conference in York Hall Bethnal Green.

“The lack of reaction has been absolutely astonishing. We haven’t been as studiously ignored as this since we launched the Bumper Xmas Edition in 2012! In fact I’d go as far as to say that the sheer apathy, combined with a kind of hurtful refusal to even acknowledge our existence, has taken our breath away.

“To be honest we can’t wait to get cracking on the November Guy Fawkes issue. The prospect of miserably  looking at the turgid viewing stats each day, and the crestfallen looks on the faces of the writers when…

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Two Parisian mime artists were they

They mimed on the street every day

Yet hard as they tried, great effort applied

They found that their act didn’t pay


And so it was that they thought

‘We’re sick of working for naught

We need something new, so the punters do queue

Then we’ll not be quite so distraught’


That’s when they decided to grow

Turn their act into a ‘variety show’

So they phoned agencies; even begged on their knees

To have them send round Marilyn Munro


Yet the boys were in for a shock

The girl they sent round was of stock

More suited to burlesque, preferably wearing a vest

Neck downwards the stumbling block


Her face they decided was fine

In truth it suited their mime

Yet from the neck down, they had cause to frown

Eric said, “This one’s yours, mate not mine!”


Editorial Note: My apologies to any ladies out there thinking this silly verse a tad sexist – it is but a stab at humour.  Young or old, large or small I believe the female of our species the loveliest beings upon the planet (true that is by the way). 

PS: This is a rejigged version of a limerick penned a year ago.


‘A STING IN THE TAIL’ – My affair with Marta Hari!


Marta Hari, quite the dancer

So nimble on your feet

Marta Hari, double agent

You didn’t need to cheat


Paris 1905

You took the place by storm

Your style was Egyptian

Though you didn’t just perform


Promiscuous, flirtatious

You rode the circus horse to fame

Captivated audiences

To you art was a game


A thousand lovers, me among them

You took to your bed

Diplomats; Ambassadors

Yet none of them you wed


Provocative young lady

Young lady chasing fame

Your reputation went before you

To you there was no shame


But oh those secrets we did gather

As spies before that Great War

I was loyal to our cause

But you always wanted more


Notoriety, so you dabbled

Playing one against the other

In the Game of Nations

One must be loyal to one’s brother


H 2 1 your code name

For operations clandestine

A double agent for the Germans

Hence treason was your crime


In the end I grassed on you

To the French you see

The reason was quite simple

You gave me an STD!

Marta Hari was executed by firing squad on the 15th. October 1917 – 97 years ago yesterday!  I posted a version of this a year ago when I first started blogging – thought a revised verse might be worthwhile now.