Tag Archives: poetry

It could be worse

Phil: Funerals can be funny things. You’ve known someone for years and then suddenly there’s a revelation that surprises you. Years ago, I found out that one friend had nearly driven in the Le Mans 24 hour race yet I remembered him losing his driving license for being too disorganised to arrange car insurance.

Anyway, last week, I was stood in the local crematorium celebrating the life of Andy Moss. I do mean celebrating too. No turgid hymns here, 200 of us belted out “On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at”, possibly the least appropriate song for a funeral and hilarious because of it.

I’d known Andy as a railway modeller. He was superb miniature figure sculptor, a skill very, very few exhibit any level of ability in. His career had been with the Police which is why the hearse had a motorcycle escort and not because it had been speeding. We left the service to the sound of the dawn chorus, tribute to Andy’s love of ornithology.

The surprise (for me) was as well as all the other accomplishments in his life, he was a poet. One of his works was read out to us and, especially considering the circumstances, is incredibly uplifting. We all have bad days when everything looks black. In the future, I’ll remember this:

It could be worse.

By Andrew Moss

There can be days when you’re feeling down,

Even your morning might start with a frown.

You mope about all over the place

With a miserable look upon your face.

But however much your grumble and curse,

Console yourself that it could be worse.


You look at your possessions but it still seems unfair,

You’re convinced that you don’t have your “rightful” share.

A trip to the shops to see what more you can buy,

A bit of retail therapy might help you feel high.

Then you find there is less than you thought in your purse;

Things aren’t important and it still could be worse.


Of far greater value than fabulous wealth,

Is to be able to enjoy life while perfect health.

But even if you should find you’re seriously ill

And you need to have more than a potion or pill;

Spare a thought for the person in the passing hearse

And they you might realise that things could be worse.


So even if you think it’s as bad as could be

And you want to complain and should out, “WHY ME?”

Take a look at the World through reports on the News,

When you see all the suffering you’ll soon change your views.

Take the time to reflect on what’s contained in this verse;

If you think you’re hard done by, it still could be worse.

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Time to stop, perhaps?

What is this life if, full of care,Blue mountains

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.


William Henry Davies


Phil: Standing and staring. That’s something I’m not very good at.

Last week, I took a trip to the Blue Mountains outside Sydney. This was a strong recommendation from Candice and working on the basis that you should always listen to friend’s suggestions, I took it up.

As promised, the scenery is simply stunning. From the right vantage point you see the mountains recede in to the distance for many miles. The blue colour is a haze from the droplets from the eucalyptus trees that blanket the hillsides and visitors can stroll on a boardwalk down in the rainforest to take a closer look.

Needless to say I took some pictures. Quite a lot in fact. The trouble is that the vista is just too big. No camera can do justice to it. Not that this stops anyone trying. All sorts of devices were being waved around, from SLR’s to iPads.

Now don’t get me wrong. Taking photos is great. You can share them with friends and family, make a scrapbook to remind you of a trip and even frame the best for your wall. At some point though, it’s important to stop watching the world through the camera lens and see it for real. The scene is there and isn’t improved by processing through someone’s tablet computer.

I’m getting better at this. A little voice in my head has told me several times recently to put the camera down and just drink in the view. Commit it to the memory of the mind and not just the memory of the SD card.

Sometimes, we just need to stand and stare.


Filed under Phil, Writing

Ode to a teacake

Horace Broon lookalike Phil: It’s Burn’s night and this occasion you are supposed to address the haggis with a bit of poetry from the man himself. However, I wondered if instead of talking about a bag of offal, delicious though it is in fried form, he was actually writing about Scotland’s greatest export – The Tunocks Teacake.

Scots people, look away now:

Address To A TeacakeDelicious Tunnocks Teacake

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the biscuit-tin!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Rich tea, hob-nob, or garibaldi:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Let us hope that Alex Salmond and his hoardes,
Does ne ban your export sales,
Or this sassenach
Weel be vaulting o’er Hadrians Wall.

or to put it another way, as that great Australian Mel McGibbson said, “They can take our lives, but they can never take our Tunnocks !”


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