The Jam

Oh come now friends, new countrymen,
Lend ears to my preamble,
Concerning sylvan fugitives
That lurk within the bramble.

**Spoiler alert** for those that care,
This account is rather short;
The gang weren’t on the run for long,
In fall they all were caught.

They got jammed up at their last job,
Their bodies black and blue;
No razzmatazz, no last hurrah,
This berry band were through.

Now you can whine, you may want more,
But that’s the story told;
The forest fruits are now in jars
Worth twice their weight in gold.

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The Flavour Thesaurus

Around the flavour wheel we go
In search of inspiration;
Where we will stop we don’t yet know
Or what’s our next creation.

Past cheesy, earthy, mustardy,
And past sulfurous too;
Our finger comes to rest upon
A segment coloured blue

“Marine” is where our finger’s stopped,
It’s where you find the fish;
The oily, white and shelly kinds-
We’ll put some in our dish.

Another flavour’s needed now
To pair with fishy friends;
Around the wheel we go again
To see what fortune sends.

The second time our finger stops,
“Fresh fruity”‘s where it lands;
So that then means it’s… fish with fruit?
Oh well, if fate demands.

Although it seems that we’ve struck out,
The truth is that we’ve not;
There are two classics pairing them
You may quite like a lot.

The first combines flat fish with grapes,
It’s really quite unique;
In France it’s held in high regard,
It’s called “sole Veronique”.

You’ll recognise the second match,
It’s shellfish and tomato;
A salty Bloody Mary base
That you folks call “clamato”.

So give the wheel a spin yourself
To seek out something new;
If fish with fruit can work out well
Then what else may do too?

The Pig

Among the gnarled and wizened oaks
Beneath the acorns strewn around
A happy piggy snuffling;
Between the roots it snouts and pokes
In search of treasures underground
The happy piggy’s truffling.

Liberty

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,
In the case I present here to you
I describe how a wicked conspiracy
Caused the victim to vanish from view.

All seven accused were responsible
For abducting the doctor this week;
Yes I know you will think it improbable,
So I’ll tell you about their technique.

Every day, one of the accused would call
On the doctor to poison his tea;
When he took a sip he was held in thrall-
As their prisoner he couldn’t go free.

In this frozen state he was kept for years,
Til long forgotten by all of his peers;
Falling victim to murder one homicide
When at last critically poisoned he died.

So the seven stand trial for what they’ve done,
There’s the three who all quickly confessed:
Bad Ben Davis, Malinda and Jonathan-
They came clean when placed under arrest.

There’s Lord Derby, the foppish socialite,
Who’s not showing a sign of regret;
While young Rosemary Russet, once lily-white,
Is just trying her best to forget.

Angry Paula Red, has an axe to grind,
And they cower whenever she swings;
But behind it all, is the mastermind:
Dear old Granny Smith pulling the strings.

So ladies and gentlemen of the jury,
All the evidence says that they’re guilty;
There can be no doubt, for it’s true what they say:
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Puttin’ on the Ritz

It’s time for afternoon tea at the Ritz
For our alien neighbours from Mars;
They’ve heard the songs of its glamour and glitz
So zipped over to mingle with stars.

They’ve dressed the part in their high hats and furs
Look a million dollars top drawer;
The lavish service, the ‘madams’ and ‘sirs’
Makes them feel like they’re worth even more.

“Champagne? Why yes, that is just what we need”
So the pop of a cork fills the air;
They clink and drink, this is good stuff indeed,
Not the kind you can find anywhere.

Some music starts: it is Irving Berlin,
He is playing the piano nearby;
They catch his eye, he responds with a grin
And a wink that no money can buy.

He takes backseat as the dancing begins
Here come Ginger and Fred to the floor;
Electric tapping on rapidfire pins
It’s the type that demands an encore.

They’re really having a wonderful time
Just surrounded by opulent grace;
Expense be damned, they would spend every dime,
They could scrimp when they went back to space.

Their thoughts then turned towards something to eat,
They were quick to decide in a whizz;
“Some strawberry shortcake, delicious and sweet,
Won’t you bring some to us with more fizz.”

The waitress blanched, she was sorely aghast,
The request made her weak at the knees;
“I’m sorry sir, we have just served our last
We’ve peach shortcake instead if you please.”

In awkward silence ten seconds passed by
As the truth of the matter sunk in;
This wouldn’t do, how could Earthlings deny
Them their cake, when they’d starved themselves thin?

Distraught and angry they stormed out the place
To the saucer they’d parked on the roof;
Incensed, they lasered the hotel from space
So it vanished from sight in a <<poof>>

Hot stuff

The indie craft brewer,
The artisan baker;
So good are their wares
They never last long.
Whenever they plan
To make a fresh batch
It’s always a case
Of beer today and
Scone tomorrow.

Wine by Numbers

If you want to rate a bottle
Then a five point scale will do,
It is all that’s really needed
There’s no point in bluffing through.

At the bottom there’s the trashy,
The disgusting scores a one;
Stuff you’d rather spit than swallow
That you’ll then forever shun.

For a two a wine is okay,
You can quaff it by the glass,
But you know it’s not that fancy,
You don’t drink it for its class.

If you’re looking for good value,
You can drink most every day,
Then a three is your companion,
This friend won’t lead you astray.

When you find one that’s delicious
Then you know you’ve found a four;
You just wish you had more bottles,
Yes you’ll wish for much, much more.

Now a five isn’t judged so simply,
By bouquet and taste alone;
It’s a product of occasion
That will let itself be known.

So you needn’t a fancy system
To become an oenophile;
You just need a healthy palate,
If you want to drink in style.

They Live by Night

From a sleep I awake
With a terrible ache
In my head from events sometime past;
Where I am I can’t tell
As I’m blindfolded well,
But I seem to be travelling fast.

As I start to take stock
It then comes as a shock
When the shroud is removed from my eyes;
With my vision restored
I can see I’m on-board
A car travelling north, I surmise.

In the front sits a blonde
She’s a bombshell, beyond
Any creature I’ve seen in my days;
There’s a white-capped chauffeur
At the wheel next to her,
On the road he’s affixed his steel gaze.

In the back seat I’m pressed,
While I’m held at arrest,
By the toadies on each side of me;
The reality looms-
I’ve been kidnapped by shrooms!
How the hell did this happen to me?

[Cut to flashback]

I remember I’d been
A bit drunk and bit green
At a party in Hollywood Hills;
Amid starlets and harlots,
Producers with full guts,
She sparkled and gave me the thrills.

It all started so well
When I met Chanterelle,
She was charming and full of sweet smiles;
The whole evening seemed magic
But quickly turned tragic,
My downfall: her feminine wiles.

In my ear she had purred
So my mind quickly whirred,
More seductive than any wildcat;
While I’d hoped for a quickie
She’d slipped me a mickey-
I blacked out in five seconds flat.

[Fade to black]

[…]

[Fade in to present]

My anxiety grew
Cos I hadn’t a clue
What awaited me next in this scrape;
As their prisoner now,
I must work out quite how
To distract them and make my escape.

Yet there wasn’t the chance
For a plan to advance
As the car came to stop in a wood;
When they forced me straight out
There was then little doubt-
They had brought me out here for no good.

For right there was a grave,
Where my life I would waive,
I’d be food for their kith and their kin;
In this damp lonely place
They would leave no last trace-
Their mycelium enwrapping my skin.

You can guess what transpired
When a gun was then fired,
Yes they killed me to no ones surprise;
With a shot to the head
They all left me for dead,
My last thought was these sure weren’t fun guys.

[Pan and fade out on a bucolic moonlit forest scene]

Bread

When the dark clouds gather outside
This isn’t a day for errand-making;
I’d much prefer to stay here inside
In my cosy kitchen, busy bread-baking.

When the dough is in the oven,
Filling the home with its heavenly scent,
It raises, stretching strands of gluten,
You know all that kneading was time well spent.

When my instincts say its ready,
Opening the door takes my breath away;
For here before me, in golden glory:
A fully bloomed loaf to brighten my day.

Chef Dad

There’s drama in the kitchen
For our dad’s the chef tonight
He’s cooking up a storm (of sorts)
And he promises delight.

It’s true the scents are pleasing
That the menu sounds a treat
But I wonder if he’s in too deep
Will he fall by his conceit?

The orchestra is restless
For the curtain call is due
The actors want to break a leg
We’re all waiting for his cue.

It’s been at least two hours
Since our appetites were whet
If only mom had cooked instead
We’d be fed before sunset.

At last the chef is ready
To reveal his labour’s fruit
“Soupe à l’oignon” he proudly cries
His conviction’s resolute

We couldn’t help but snigger
That he’d taken all this time
To make for us an onion soup
What a tawdry pantomime.

Still we were very hungry
That we ate it up with glee
When asked if we’d like second bowls
As one voice we all said “oui!”