a little different
Home sweet home Latest site info Poetic stuff Serious stuff Funny stuff Topical stuff Alternative stuff Shakespearian stuff Musical stuff
  click here for a "printer friendly" version

by Mike Hickman



What He’s Saying


Timothy writes about the frontal lobes and their executive function.

His polysyllabic circumlocution speaks of his years of research.

His footnotes and his appendices, and his footnotes to his appendices,

Demonstrate that he has considered the questions and objections

His readers might raise.

He’s got ahead of them in specifying the precise area

(one third of the cortical surface of the brain)

Covered by both his paper and their lobes.

He has considered both gross and fine motor skills,

Alongside the sequenced and the automatic,

And he has read – oh dearie me, has he read – all the key literature.

And those footnotes – oh, those footnotes – are essays in themselves,

As if challenging the reader to find anything in there

That requires further elaboration.

As if wanting them to admit defeat

When he knows – yes, he knows – that while the scientific We

Know most about what goes on within the gyri of this particular

Piece of cranial real estate,

It is actually the least understood.

But, then, there is a reason for Timothy’s screeds,

For the paragraphs and the pages and the decades he has spent

On this one subject.

It is the one on which he can safely spend his prolixity.

As for anything else you might conceivably want to know,

About his past, what has brought him here,

And why he is so obsessed with attention and reasoning and judgement,

He is, in fact, no different from his lobular friend:

As secure behind countless words as frontal lobe is behind uncomprehending cranium,

In reality, if you pay attention to what he has written,

Timothy has nothing to say.




a line, (a short blue one)



Susceptible to the Sell:

From Jurassic Park to Populist Politicians via that Limited Edition VHS we didn’t know we wanted.


They say, these people who say things, that it’s amazing how these ideas take hold.

That it’s scary how quickly figures of ridicule can take over hearts and minds.

But it’s not.

Not really.

See, the experts have it wrong again.

Who needs them? (As that populist politician once said).


It’s really quite simple.

If a family like mine, back in the day, who didn’t go to the cinema

(What with, shirt buttons?)

And didn’t go in much for popular culture at all

(Unless it was in leotard or high heels, in which case my Dad was there right away),

Could wind up owning that Limited Edition Jurassic Rock VHS tape of Spielberg’s film

(It was cheap plastic, alright? We knew that)

Because we’d been somehow sold that this was a Great Thing That Shouldn’t Be Missed

By the news stories and such that we weren’t even aware we were taking in,

Then anyone can be sold on the latest Big I Am Populist Politician.

We are all of us susceptible to the sell.

So it’s just like Jurassic Park, I tell them in the pub,

If they’re interested,

If we’re short of conversation,

If I’m trying to buy time before they realise it’s my round next.


And if they don’t understand,

I just say, well, look at these buggers in government now,

What other explanation can there possibly be for them existing,

Apart from scientists retrieving their dinosaur DNA

From sodding amber?




a line, (a short blue one)



The Good Leaver


Bilious Bill, prone to pontification as a form of management,

Had said how much Naomi would want to be a Good Leaver.

Not to her face, of course, and not in so many words,

Although he was, everyone knew, inordinately fond of words,

Cast out into the air at staff meetings,

As if not intended to ensnare his staff with implication.

On this occasion, he had been standing in the office doorway,

That leaning thing he did, as if he could be anywhere else right now,

And weren’t you lucky that he’d stopped to lob some of his personalised mind grenades your way?

He was standing there and idly musing on the Good Leaver notion,

And how important it was, if you were moving on, to make sure it was done with grace.

Naomi was almost certain he had said grace.

It wasn’t a massively Bilious Bill word, but she remembered the sly smirk

And the way his eyes had darted up and left,

As if he had the counter-example right there, if she wanted him to retrieve it.

The graceless leaver, the uppity uptight who’d slammed the door and marched off,

No doubt after setting fire to her workstation.

But he didn’t mean her, surely?

Not in her first week, surely?

Not when she could have been with the firm for years to come.

And she hadn’t already started that document she’d privately emailed to herself,

Entitled “Handover Notes”.

After all, how was that for being a Good Leaver?

When the time came and she had to leave this shit behind.





a line, (a blue one)


Rate this poetry.

Copyright is reserved by the author. Please do not reproduce any part of this article without consent.


© Winamop 2021