Martin Parker


No Picnic

It is a sorry fact that sand
with just one ill-placed grain
can spoil a seaside sandwich
or a slice of quiche Lorraine,
or bring each wretched picnicker
extremes of gritty dolors
for buttocks, navels, private parts
and eyes and ears and molars.
Each effort to defeat it
exponentially increases
the chance that sand will penetrate
your best-protected creases.
It’s stuff, I’ve found, that even gets
inside the tightest Speedo.
Where one small grain has boldly gone
at least another three go.
But what is really worrying
is that you cannot tell
just where it’s been before it filled
your sandwiches as well.


Amateur Operatics

My chair is too hard and too small for my bum.
One side has got cramp and the other’s gone numb.
Brunhilda’s sung flat since a quarter past eight
And Siegfried has made several entrances late.
The scenery wobbles, a surfeit of gin
Has affected the ear of the First Violin.
So roll on the time when the heroine goes
For her final vibrato and turns up her toes—
Though, sadly, we know she’ll not really be dead;
And just as we think we can go home to bed
She’ll rise like the Kraken and open her jaws
For a posthumous chorus and several encores.
This evening’s not over, it has to be said,
Till the Fat Lady’s sung and been certified dead.

Martin Parker is a recently aging Devon poet who makes light verse out of a lifetime of king-size disappointments and adversity. His work has appeared in British publications including The Spectator, The Oldie, The Literary Review, The Sunday Telegraph, and, surprisingly, also in slim volumes normally devoted entirely to proper poetry, as well as on various poetry websites. His first chapbook, Pick ‘n’ Mix, was followed by Rubbing the Lamp, a collection of forty-six pieces of verse that are not always as light as they may first appear; his latest booklet is No Longer Bjored (Happenstance Press). He edits the light-verse webzine Lighten Up Online.