a merry tale

father so they tell me was a mesmer and a mime
he could spin a song for sixpence if you ever had the time
but a cruel and utter monster to those of us who knew
though the cords that bound us to him were so tenuous and few

mother on the other hand could shake you to the core
while the world was crying hold! enough! she always cried for more
so we raised her on a pedestal and showered her with stones
and took delight in flowing blood and brittle snap of bones

a normal childhood then you’d say compared to other folks
a broken home a battlefield and many other jokes
well who am i to question you who never saw us play
in the deepest dark depression at the ending of the day

so thus i grew and suddenly to grasp at man’s estate
though some thought i was early others swore it much too late
but nothing that the world decides will ever weigh me down
as i skip the light fantastic to take up a beggar’s crown

a hint of acclamation is all that i can ask
to aid me through the dying times to measure out my task
and i will pay to each of you the price that you demand
to place yourself irrevocably beneath my sole command

then fire up all the world i say and let us all be free
each to be another because only i am me
would that you could know for just one second of your time
what it means to stand alone behind the bars of rhyme



pass me a new message boyo
the world is in a loop
i can’t speak for anybody
my tongue’s in the soup

sing a verse of “how’s your father”
god knows it’s a farce
take your time and do it rightly
or they will kick your arse

what’s the point of hanky panky
ask the eldest son
nothing comes to he that’s waiting
while the race is run

i will cut the cake in pieces
each one has a choice
genuflect to greater glory
but never raise your voice

words can be a curse they tell me
as the curtains rise
take my hand and take my fortune
damn your pretty eyes

share a long and silent moment
whilst i parse my words
anything a man may cling to’s
strictly for the birds

juliet and romeo are
waiting at the grave
i will turn my eyes to heaven
but still i will not shave


when hulking Joe Fractal came in to my life
carrying a knife, looking for strife
I took my own and I cut him

when largish Joe Fractal came in to my life
carrying a knife, looking for strife
I took my own and I cut him

when medium Joe Fractal came in to my life
carrying a knife, looking for strife
I took my own and I cut him

when little Joe Fractal came in to my life
carrying a knife, looking for strife
I took my own and I cut him

when tiny Joe Fractal…

no bones

I have no bones
for none were found
when I was dug
out of the ground

I have no bones
but what of that
while I’ve a place
to put my hat

I have no bones
so people say
nor heart nor hope
at least today

I have no bones
alas it’s true
I am not made
the same as you

but come the day
I’ll have some then
and I will rule
the world of men

hey ho

I’ve been all those places a man shouldn’t go
from the heavens above to the hells down below
but from all I’ve seen this much I know
you can’t rollerskate in molasses
hey ho, the buggers won’t go
and you can’t rollerskate in molasses

I’ve ridden to war with a sword in my hand
stood up on stage and sang with the band
but this much I know you must understand
you can’t hang glide in a bathroom
hey ho, the ceilings too low
and you can’t hang glide in a bathroom

I’ve seen men dragged down by a terrible weight
and others borne off by an uncaring fate
but from my experience this I can state
you can’t dance a tango in quicksand
hey ho, or under you’ll go
and you can’t dance a tango in quicksand


it’s as big as a biggun as round as a thing
made out of rubble and pretzels and string
and if you are quiet you might hear it sing
for it knows all the words to it’s song, my dears
and it knows all the words to it’s song

if you have a sixpence you can get one for cash
at a kid’s party a certain sure smash
when you switch it on take care it don’t crash
they’ve a habit of going quite wrong, my dears
and a habit of going quite wrong

I saw my first when I was nowt but a lad
a gift from my mother when I had been bad
for the shape and the texture drove me quite mad
while it gave off a terrible pong, my dears
and it gave off a terrible pong

now I am much older and set in my ways
I can turn a sharp corner and turn a smart phrase
but I’m in this place for the rest of my days
the bedlam where we both belong, my dears
the bedlam where we both belong


Julie bought a rowing boat, took us out on the lake
brought the whole crew along which I thought a mistake
and sadly I was right because we’d hardly left the bank
when Johnny-boy mutineed and made us walk the plank

days and nights I’ve spent alone whispering to ghosts
every bless├Ęd one of them full of bull and boasts
many are the stories that I have heard them tell
of how to escape heaven and tunnel into hell

Julie wrote a song for us that nobody could sing
of death and taxes, butterflies, and birdies on the wing
of how the world keeps turning, and why, and what was said
and how to be remembered long after you are dead

and Julie in the morning should I awake once more
don’t play with my emotions as you have done before
instead, and for the first time, let’s try a brand new twist
just go back to your family, pretend I don’t exist

the cruel and crazy monsters

those cruel and crazy monsters
chased me through the trees
’til I was so exhausted
I collapsed to my knees
and I begged them and I pleaded
’til I’d near lost my voice
you don’t have to eat me
give me another choice
but the cruel and crazy monsters
shook their ragged heads
butchered me and ate me
then retired to their beds


“you’re a pig!” he cried
and the rest of us were giggling
Bony Tony Otherwise collapsed to the floor
this is what it means
when everything is satirised
we would have left the stage but the crowd called out for more

curses are not made
but dragged from the fetid air
benefits come slowly if any come at all
winding down at last
Bony Tony copped a feel
standing to attention as the night began to fall

Melody Herself
kissed my hairy cheek again
Bony Tony harmonised with an angelic choir
though we knew the words
none of us supported him
and thus as was predicted we swam in hellish fire

ballad of Hoi Polloi

i’m a firm believer that the grass is blue
that pigs have wings and so do you
i believe i could walk on water if i tried
that men wear saddles and horses ride
well i know it’s true whatever they say
the sun shines at night, the moon in the day
and i have been told and believe it yet
if i ever fall sick i should call for a vet
but i can’t believe that i’ll ever see
a politician who gives a damn about me