The Peasant’s Tale

The chrisom is placed around my head.
The midwife to charm me. The pastor to bless our family bed.
Has the wheel turned in my favour?
Is happiness foretold by the fortune-teller?
My Catholic fingers in font-water.
Ale in the alehouse makes better my humours.
Poachers and apothecaries rest in the tavern.
Drinking, adversities are briefly forgotten.
Move the moon towards my sad rosary.
Will the harvest heed us? How ought i to see?

Providence and promises haunt our village church.
Spectre-eyed priests, in the pulpit, watch.
Does the lantern, tonight, mourn our loss?
As merry as Mary by the cross.
Otherwise, there are street-acts to sorcer
With contentment, almost, in the tricks of the conjurer.
My lonely desires are as lonely as me.
Merchants, elsewhere, mundanely make money.
Mournful Hamlet phones the Samaritans.
Have i my horoscope? Is this my talisman?

I am a peasant with peasant blood.
My simple plough for prosperous earth.
Drink a keg to life-long love.
Then scatter my ashes in the pub.

The Ship Inn

Next to mine own shippe I do most love
That old “shippe” in Exon, a tavern in St. Martin’s Lane.
” (Francis Drake, 1587)

Sir Francis Drake supped
With sixteenth century swank
As his naval ship-mates tottered with rum-tots
On oaken floor-boards, walking the plank.

I wonder whether he boozed harder
As his Elizabethan world view blurred;
Head spinning, he spun the one about the Armada,
Slurring the Spanish as his English words slurred.

A Very Important Pirate, he autographed beer-mats
For West Country folk, his Exeter fans
As in his favourite watering hole, he happily spat
Making merry in Merry England.

Meanwhile, having had no success with the weaker vessel,
His crew poured out of the tap-bar, lamenting Hello me Hearty!
Having had their melancholic fill
They set off to drown their Tudor sorrows at sea.


Gargoyles and Gubbio

Hunchbacks give hunchback rides
round la fontana dei matti
as round the cloisters st francis goes batty
talking to birds of the feathered variety.

You can easily vanish off the face of the earth
where you’re lucky to be born with your date of birth;
godfearers in umbria in unforeseen trouble
get gobbled up by earthquake rubble.

Gargoyles at the churchside
come a poor second in the village’s annual gurning contest
to your neighbours, gap-toothed and goyaesque,
pulling faces that knock spots off the rest.

From their hovel next door you hear one of them sneeze
as rats race round forcing the working population to its knees;
the whole continent in sepia, and a plague painting each town red
you hang on to your dear ones, and bring out your dead.


tomorrow morning you’ll get;
an e-mail in your mail-box a pigeon at your sill
a letter through your letter-box a fax on your fax
a memo on your desk an arrow to your tree
an SMS on your mobile a brick through your window
flowers at your door as overhead you’ll see
a private plane with a banner trailing
all with the same message;
was our losing touch written in the stars?

Entrenched Madness

Darkness is very black
with eyes open or closed.
100 years after an attack
where dead men marching wearily dozed.

You’re going to have to take that back
or else there’ll be hell to pay!
You’re going to have to take that back!
It misfires and could blow your head off one day!

Ah, sod this for a game of soldiers. Let’s turn back!
Let’s shine up our buttons for a parade
and line up for the final push or massive big button whack!
Kids, learn history by heart ‘cos memories fade.


‘A Pretty Kettle of Poetry’ by John Di Girolamo in Top 100 poetry blogs

My blog with original poems, illustrations and songs was put in at number 16 of Top 100 Poetry Blogs at in December 2019.

Why? Feedspot explain;

“Feedspot editorial team extensively searched on Google and social media websites to find the best Poetry blogs and ranked them based on several factors such as. 

  1. Blog content quality
  2. Post consistency
  3. Age of the blog
  4. Average number of shares on social sites for your blog posts
  5. Traffic of your blog and more…

And if you keep posting quality content regularly and get more shares on social sites, your rank will improve with time for sure.”

Will do. Very proud to know my work is appreciated.


Buoying up what should only be anchored on a seabed,
launching horizon thoughts from a beachy head,
polishing off planks running red in gallons on bloody Mary galleons,
mutinying off bilious dream decks into wavy waters off Albion;
a pirate seagull takes a selfie from a cliff ledge.

Out-of-breath knee-rug centenarians in their Sunday best
blowing out as many candles as possible to show who’s the eldest,
sudden street-sleepers rolling out nicotine-rolled mattresses,
metal-detector treasure-hunting wanderers wondering where it’s at is;
a hypochondriac pigeon twigs it and drops down dead on its chest.

Shuddering scaredy-cats fidgety-pecking bread-crumbs,
cry-baby pram-pushing toddlers make-believing their mums
perfect perchers on rain-dropping bunting over wet pavement stones,
nesty fledgling prodigies playground-beaking on xylophones;
an Olympic swift breaks the all-time record at 32 metres per second.

Up-in-the-branches and away-with-the-fairies for whatever it takes.
a modest million-strong division of camouflaged ambushers awakes,
budget-totting scrimpers’n’savers blowing it all in one fell swoop,
flashy film producing flashers put away for a long time in a chicken coop;
a skylarking starling in mirror-sunglasses sweepstakes.