Poems - Part of the Web Site of John Birch


Here are a few of my poems - if you like them, pop back again, as I shall add to them as time permits. They're not in any order or sequence, but I hope they're easy to understand.

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Words are personal


words are personal

and communicate

but sticks and stones break bones and


words are personal

and irritate

but arrows get beneath the skin

and penetrate

words are personal

and aggravate

but bullets quickly find their mark

and terminate

words are personal

and liberate

thermonuclear devices simply





Elementary Precautions

Tap dancers

should exercise

considerable caution

when practicing

in mine fields



should avoid




should keep

their eyes closed

when passing


bank robbers

should avoid

filling in

a withdrawal form

before requesting

the contents

of the till

roman catholics

should also be careful

when withdrawing









just a note


He left home

seeking freedom from




but left an emptiness within the four walls

that he called


and they called


no forwarding address

just a note

can't take any more

I'll be alright

love, Robert


he left that as well

along with his toys

and childhood

He left home

seeking freedom from




but found an emptiness within the streets

which some called


and others


no permanent address

just a note



and cold


as the smile of the pimps

the dealers in lost souls

and childhood








The Trials of Dolly Maguire


Dolly Maguire was a wonderful lass

Well endowed in every respect

With her spell-binding eyes

And long slender thighs

She had everything you could expect.

On the catwalks of Europe

She strutted her stuff

A success from her head to her toes

That is, 'til last week

When she woke from her sleep

With a spot on the end of her nose.

Now Dolly was rather a sensitive girl

And she worried what others might say

So, sucking her thumb

She went to her mum

And let out a mournful wail.

Oh, don't be so daft said her mum with a laugh

A spot or two's perfectly natural

Give it a day

And it'll just fade away

But Dolly was quite inconsolable.

She squeezed it, cajoled it, poked it and soaked it

This blemish perched now on her nose

Then, unable to cope

A mirror she broke

Adding seven years bad luck to her woes.

Plastic surgery, her brother suggested

Was a sensible option to follow

'Just swallow this gin,'

he said with a grin

'And I'll have it just right by tomorrow.'

Now being afraid of the Swiss Army knife

That he waved with such gay abandon

She looked at the rust

And decided she must

Seek her friend for a second opinion.

'Oh, Monica dear, I've tried everything

I really don't know what to do!'

'Fear not!' said her friend

'Let's follow the trend

It's alternative medicine for you!'

'There's herbs and crystals, faith healers and mystics

All vying to make you feel better

But what I say is this

Give a large toad a kiss

Mother Nature knows best if you let her!'

Now Dolly is not the brightest of things

Her knowledge of nature quite poor

She kissed seven frogs

A cat and three dogs

Til a toad of large stature she saw.

The toad looked surprised for he'd never before

Been kissed by a beautiful girl

But not as surprised

As the look in her eyes

As he turned into a Chippendale.

'At last!' said the prince (for yes, he was one)

I am freed from this curse by your kiss

Well such was her shock

That young Dolly forgot

All her worries and previous distress.

'It's been five hundred years,' said the prince with a sigh

'Since that witch laid a curse on my life

I have searched hill and dale

In my search for a female

to ask 'Will you please be my wife?''

Transfixed by this perfect example of man

She sadly remembered her woes

'I'm sure there must be

Fairer females than me

Without spots on the end of their nose!'

'My dear,' said the prince. 'Transformed as I am

By the kiss of a beautiful maiden

The sight of your eyes

And those long slender thighs

Does strange things to my constitution!'

'I'm certain,' said Dolly while playing for time

'After spending so long on your own

That a quick look around

The streets of this town

Would convince you to leave me alone!'

'Fair maiden!' he laughed, 'After five hundred years

Of hopping around as a toad

The very last thing

That I'm thinking about

Is the state of the end of your nose....









The three kings

had it easy

no maps

no compass

no AA

no RAC

no traffic jams

no signposts

no guide books

they found you

no problem

it's harder now

no guiding light

no burning bush

no pillar of cloud

no booming voice

just a need

and a seed

of faith

for our journey

and when we find you

no gold

no myrrh

no frankincense

to offer

but no embarrassment

for just as precious

in your eyes


our lives










I have a friend


in a moment of culinary exuberance

planted a herb garden


impatient to sample this fragrant delight


lacking in horticultural experience


the hottest afternoon of the year

to cultivate this interest


forgetting to water those precious seedlings


upon discovering every one limp and dying


before planting he might have meditated on

the age-old adage


Thyme wilts for Norman?










If I should die, think only this of me

think only this of me

If I should die

If I should

What would they think

those with whom

I have shared

both time and space

rubbed shoulders




argued and forgiven?

What would they say

those I have counted

as my friends

when my name is mentioned

over a pint of Guiness

in the Lamb and Flag?

'He was a good fellow'

'Well liked'

'Kind to animals'

'Generous to others'

'A hard act to follow'

'A joy to know'

'Sorely missed'

More likely

'He was a miserable old bugger!'

Or even worse








Football Hooligan

I'm a football hooligan

well hard I am

I drink lager from a can

then crush it with one hand

well hard I am

call myself a football fan

society's made me what I am

now I'm leader of my gang

well hard I am

there's Barry, Richie, me and Dan

following City throughout the land

drinkin' as much as we possibly can

'xcept Barry who's usually driving the van

well hard I am









I have no wish for the poor of the world

to feel short-changed by my lack of concern

for their plight,

or those weighed down with civil war and strife

to feel burdened by my lack of interest

in their fight.

It's wrong for those who are oppressed with fear

to worry that I will not share their dread

of the night,

and for those who die for a lack of food

to think I have no appetite for news

is not right.

I care


if given a choice

I prefer a view of starving people

that does not clash with my TV supper,

sound bites

served up

in easily digestible pieces.

If given a choice

I prefer to hear of displaced people

from the comfortable security

of home

and with

the familiar fireside tones of some

visiting comedian.




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