Just Where You Left It... and other Poems: How to Survive School, Parents and Everything Else That’s Unfair in Life is a book of humorous poetry designed to help your family start enjoying poetry again.
It all came about after several years of attending poetry recitations at our kids’ prep school; incessant watch-watching as endless children recited, parrot fashion, mighty and erudite works that neither they, nor the majority of parents, understood a word of. That was what prompted me to raise an eyebrow when my eldest son asked me for advice as to which poem he should learn and recite for yet another year’s torture of the stanzas.
“I’ll write you one” I answered.
And so I did. A poem about a poetry recitation. The boy read it with gusto and the whole thing came to pass, exactly as predicted, after several years of observation and ritual. Result? One delighted son and a hall-full of appreciative parents.
From then on we were on a roll. We have 3 sons, so Latin exams, school meals, bullying, sports days, embarrassing Dads and nagging and know-all Mums were fair game. One son even won the actual Poetry Recitation formalities, ahead of Coleridge, Tennyson and Auden!
If you grew up on poems by the likes of Ogden Nash - are more Pam Ayres than Alexander Pope - and are looking for poems that both you and your kids will enjoy, then this is the book for you.
Just Where You Left It
“Mum I can’t find my shin pads and it’s football today.
It’s the 3rds v St Wotsits and we’re playing away.
They’ve got that big bruiser who plays at the back,
Where the hell are my shin pads? He is prone to hack.”
“They’re just where you left them, why’s your memory so poor?
Just under the radiator by the back door.”
“Mum I can’t find my door key, I think it’s been stolen.
Or maybe it fell from my pocket with a hole in.
So it IS partly your fault. Can you get me another?
You did it for Daniel and he’s my big brother.”
“Conspiracy theory is not a bad call
But it’s right where you left it, on the tray in the hall.”
“Mum I can’t find my biro. And it’s NOT ‘where I left it’.
I used it for homework so don’t even suggest it.
I left it right here so YOU must have moved it,
It’s your fault, it’s obvious, and HA!, I’ve just proved it”.
“You’ve got me. I’m guilty. Arrest me. But wait…
What’s that, where you left it, right under your plate?”
So how DO Mums do that? They have a sixth sense
For locating my iPhone or an old fifty pence.
It’s the same for our Dad too. If he needs the remote
He just asks our Mum and it’s Murder She Wrote…”
“If you got off your backside and looked under the couch
It’s there, where you left it, now mow the lawn.” Ouch.
There must be a cheat way that Mums win our deference.
They hide stuff, and map it, then learn the grid reference.
They memorise items and their hidden location.
Then have all the answers, like it’s their vocation.
“That’s right, you believe that while you’re all away
We’re just where you left us, doing nothing all day.”
We Have Ways Of Making You Eat
School rules are often stupid, To do with bells and pegs. Shirts must be tucked in trousers And socks cover half of your legs.
But lunchtime brings The Great Escape. The Dining Hall is Colditz. The menu is from World War 2 And you cannot eat the old bits.
There’s food you won’t find anywhere else: Spam fritters and school liver. And turkey twizzlers that made their name Because of Jamie O’liver.
The dinner ladies patrol the scene With Gestapo looking features. They’ll spot any food that’s left on your plate And report you to the teachers.
So the people who are legends, And the ones who set you free, Are the Food Escape Committee; ‘F.E.C.’ to you and me.
We’re not talking here about everyday feats Like faking certain allergies. Or scraping eggs behind radiators And aversion to the calories.
We’re talking real heroes here, The ones with real worth. The sort who’d dig the tunnels And then disperse the earth.
Boys like ‘Goose’ McGinty With a Brussel Sprout in his locket. Or ones like ‘Mad Max’ Redmond Who hid Bolognese in his pocket.
Or Josh ‘White Laces’ Russell With spaghetti in his shoes And his pencil case containing Hidden beetroot for the loos.
But the ultimate name we all revere With his smuggling of fish pie Was Ben ‘The Mole’ Carruthers Who hid the lot inside his tie.
Never was so much smuggled out By the few who ate so little. They fought for menus ‘a la carte’ And for doughnuts with jam in the middle.
“We want puds with custard and cream. We want lychees rather than leeches. We know our expedience will improve ingredients And we’ll fight them on the peaches”.
We have a front jacket cover and all the illustrations are now in - illustrator Dave Cornmell has absolutely nailed it! Here's a sneak preview of a few...
The Sports Day
Finding a Mate
Frankly, Mrs Butler...
Bully For You
My Dad Is Sooo Embarrassing...
Hurricane 2016 has nearly blown over - only one month to go. Thank the little lord Jesus for that!
'Er, any progess on the book I've coughed up for?' many of you have asked. Well, the super-talented Dave Cornmell has sent through some really fantastic draft illustrations for the majority of the poems so we will work these up to the final drawings; see below for a sneak peek of a couple of early…
It's National Poetry Day, the Party Conference season, Brexit will be triggered in March, Sterling has collapsed to an all time low. Haven't we done well? Here's a poem about Baby Boomers' legacy...
Thank You, Baby Boomers
There’s a group that suffers from rumours
And deserve our condemnation:
They’re called the Baby Boomers -
The Most Selfish Generation.
Here’s a poem about family connectivity while on vocation...
For Goodness’ Sake - Let’s Take A Break...
When we used to go on holiday
There was a list of ‘de rigeurs’:
Sunshine, for sure; sand must be gold;
The sea should be azure.
One hour max. from the airport,
All-inclusive (so no tips),
A kids club for the parents
And every meal has chips…
I am delighted to announce that chicken! Newspaper has come on board as patron of my book ‘Just Where You Left It... and Other Poems’, to be published by Unbound. The book is now over 100% funded as a result of its generous sponsorship, along with 160 other wonderful individuals who have pledged. Always room for more pledges at all levels, so to reserve your copy of the hardback - click here.…
Hi and thank you again to those of you who have pledged to help make this book happen and get your copy. If you are interested in finding out more and pledging to get involved with have your name in the back of a limited hardback edition then find out more here. We're currently at 73% and have raised over £7,000 with around £2,300 to go. Given that we are over 2/3rds of the way there, I thought that…
This is the essence of The First Rule of Book Club pledge level. You can arrange for a fantastic wine tasting evening for you and your friends and an accompanying discussion with the author about his book of humorous children's poems, in your normal Book Club surroundings.
David will come to your Book Club with signed copies of the book for all members. He will be accompanied by his son Daniel…
Attention all PARENTS and TEACHERS - I know that many of you work closely with other parents to help your childrens' school organise activities and arrange fundraising events in order to make them happen.
- do your kids enjoy any poetry? If not (or not much) then do look at my new book which makes poems fun and is about things that your kids can relate to. It was born as a result of attending…
I'm delighted to tell you that the wonderful Dave Cornmell has agreed to draw the illustrations for Just Where You Left It... And Other Poems. You can see two of the sample illustrations on The Excerpt page on Unbound, and below is the one for the original poem that kicked the whole thing off a few years ago: The Poetry Recitation. What happens now is that we need to secure the pledges still required…
Read my interview here with Book Machine that they published today. They wanted to know what was different about Unbound's model and what was great about it. Easy questions!
So the £500 pledge level for my book on Unbound is now 'As Seen on TV...' If you are curious about the 'Drunk As A Lord' option to accompany me to a day at an England match at Lord's then apparently you could see a sneak preview of the experience on Sky Sports yesterday. I would have had a banner had I known.
On offer is a full day out at the cricket with me accompanying you to the cricket on a…
Nice to see an article on the Bookseller, the publishing industry magazine, about my book.
Nice to see an article on the Bookseller, the publishing industry magazine, about my book.
You can read it here:http://www.thebookseller.com/news/david-roche-publish-debut-limerick-collection-unbound-330752
I have been asked for more details about our apartment in Otranto for this pledge level. Otranto is a beautiful Italian coastal resort in the region of Salento, the Southernmost tip of Puglia in the heel of Italy. This is traditional and unspoilt Italy at its best. Much of Italy's olive oil comes from this region, along with fabulous wines such as the magnificent Negromara, Malvasia and Primitivo…
These people are helping to fund Just Where You Left It . . . and Other Poems.