The Tour



  1. The Welcome

“Namaste, welcome to our wonderful land,

Esteemed guests, so honoured to meet you,

For everything I will be your helping hand,

Our Timeless Horizons, it is so very new.”


Our guide then asked where we heard of it,

‘Timeless Horizons’ not a name before met,

The price was good, seemed the perfect fit,

We all agreed, we’d found it on the internet.


Sunil, the tour guide, had the blackest of hair,

Tall, chocolate skin, with the whitest of teeth,

Grooming immaculate showing greatest of care,

This most striking man we felt so far beneath.


We all huddled in a small Delhi hotel room,

All of us Americans, bar the lone Englishman,

India was so foreign we could be on the moon,

But we all looked forward to this exotic land.


Getting from the airport, the traffic too scary,

Their disregard for lanes, and constant beeping,

Only for languid cows they seemed to be wary,

So many close calls had some of us weeping.


  1. Old Delhi

“Watch out,” we all cried at our fellow tourist

As a local urchin reached deep into her bag,

Wrenching it away, she displayed her big fist,

And the boy scampered off to find the next bag.


We had travelled through the historic Delhi city,

With a people mass few of us had ever seen,

The seething millions, some wanted to take pity,

Others wanted to take photos, was this being mean?


A naked man walked through the crowded street,

His penis swaying like an elephant’s trunk,

Hog’s heads on the pavement, would they eat?

Two eunuchs skulked around appearing to be drunk.


“My friends this shows our wonderful culture,”

Sunil commented as we disembarked the coach,

Overhead wheeled many a ravenous vulture,

Beady eyes decided what food they would poach.


At a mosque it happened the pick-pocket incident,

And then two of our party were late to our bus,

Where could they be? Anger we started to vent,

In time they returned saying “What was the fuss?”


  1. Agra

“How ya goin’? My name is Baz and this is Shaz,

And we are Aussies, from the Land Down Under,

And these are our mates called Johnno and Caz,

We’re on your tour, there was a booking blunder.”


We all looked stunned at the newcomer four,

Loud, brash, young, with accents so different,

So how could our tour cater for any more?

They’d be difficult to accept, we were diffident.


“Namaste,” Sunil said, but we looked dismayed,

“These people will join us, so sorry for the error,”

We grudgingly said hello, introductions were made,

To our very close-knit group they felt like terror.


To worsen matters we were struggling with fitness,

We all had ‘Delhi Belly’, even after Sunil’s warning,

With the newcomers this added to our tour sickness,

Stops had to be made for all even by mid-morning.


But the Taj Mahal distracted us, as we were in awe,

The majestic temple, one of the world’s great wonders,

We posed for a tour photo, including the new four,

For a moment we forgot all Timeless Horizons’ blunders.


  1. Rajasthan breakdown

We sidestepped the hawkers in the fort at Jaipur,

Saw women carrying loads that made us all wince,

We took photos of locals, they were so very poor!

The sun beating down did not make them flinch.


The only thing well fed were those drowsy old cows,

They dozily drifted across the very busy roads,

We drove through the desert for hours and hours,

As locals went through life in their sweaty abodes.


The Aussie four they were becoming oh so difficult,

They sat in other’s seats, no respect for routine,

What were they saying? Were they all in a cult?

They yelled, cracked jokes, causing a big scene.


And to make matters worse in Ranthambore,

As we were on safari, it was so very hot,

Just as we were photographing a tiger’s great roar,

The four jumped up and ruined our shot.


Along the road life it could not get much meaner,

The coach broke down, was it made in China?

Stopping at some place offering ‘Lunch & Deener’,

It was ironically named: ‘The Lucky Diner’.


  1. The Final Straw

Then the coach eventually started, AC kicked in,

Sunil assured us, “From now it all will be right,”

So persuasive, our worries appeared in the bin,

Plain sailing for the tour must surely be in sight.


Then it happened, in some run-down small town,

An incident to make the tour end abruptly there,

A shock to our system that made us all frown,

A worry so bad to put some grey in our hair.


As a cyclist road out, our sleepiness it ceased,

The driver swerved, we all exclaimed, “Wow!”

As our coach ploughed into the well-fed beast,

Several of us yelled “Oh no!”, and “Holy Cow!”


  1. Epilogue

“Oh Harry, ‘Tour Disasters 1’ it rated so well,”

“Good to hear Art, and the network will do 2,

We put that group through the worst of hell,

They didn’t have an idea that all was not true.”


“See some of their issues we certainly orchestrated:

The Aussie intruders, they threatened their order,

But we didn’t do the pick-pocket, their tour was fated,

Delhi Belly played a big part like a foreign marauder.”


“And the slick Sunil is an actor from Bollywood,

What’s his stage name? I think it is Sunny Roy,

Next time, we will get a big name from Hollywood,

An actor more out there, Sunny was a little coy.”


“The company ‘Timeless Horizons’, it was a big fake,

We’ll have to think up a new name, that one’s used,

And we’ll need a new story line to seal their fate,

And we also have some new passengers to choose.”


“But the tour ending it certainly was not scripted,

The coach was supposed to swerve, miss the rider,

When the driver hit the cow, that wasn’t pictured,

He wouldn’t go on, thought the road was wider.”


“Even though we had to cut the very last episode,

Our executives, well they had a very good feel,

Though there was a dead cow lying on the road,

The ratings were so high, it was all so very real.”


I want to be like Kim Kardashian



I want to be like Kim Kardashian:

Low on talent but o so flashy and

I want to be like Johnny Depp:

Captain Jack Sparrow and o so hip

And I want to be like Donald Trump:

Mega-rich, so ready to give the dump

And I want to be like Queen Elizabeth:

Pomp and splendour, with plenty of breath

And I want to be like Justin Bieber:

So many fans and big on social media

And I want to be like that doll called Barbie:

Perfect body, perfect hair, perfect in every way

And I want to be like that man, The Pope:

Followers everywhere, giving plenty of hope…


So many to choose from, confusing it can be,

On reflection, I think I might end up being me.




Onesie poem




all alone

in my Onesie

I once won my Onesie

at a show

It’s a skeleton Onesie

They say One is the loneliest number

but I’m not really alone

I’ve got my Onesie

And now I’m snuggled up

in my Onesie

on the couch

And I think to myself

what if all the world

was like a Onesie?

we wouldn’t be separated

all for One, One for all

together forever

We’d be



The Necklace (a short story)


The Necklace

A short story about bouncing back from adversity. What option do you think he took?


– Mummy, can we sit here?

He opened an eye.

– No, not there, Victoria. Further down the carriage.

Both blood-shot eyes open.

– Why not here, Mummy?

His eyes recognised two figures in front of him: one short, one tall.

– Don’t argue with me, Victoria. We are not sitting here. Let’s go now.
– But why can’t we sit here? Is there something wrong with this man?
– Victoria, don’t argue with your Mum. We will find another seat.

Victoria, you’d better do what you are told, he thought. Can’t sit near a scruffy thing like me, lying down. I’m sure Mum will tell you later to beware of vagrants/ homeless/ bums/ dirty old men/ paedophiles or whatever description she thinks applies to me. She probably won’t tell you, Victoria, that we (whatever term) are people, yes people, that live and breathe like you Victoria, but have fallen on hard times.

As he dwelled on his lot (again), his glazed eyes started to focus on his surrounds: seats; the usual early morning commuters; and, directly in front, a column of nascent sun beaming down to something that glistened.

His eyes concentrated on the lustrous object. It was a necklace.

He slowly rose, tentatively looked around for the potential owner, and with no acknowledgement from the crowded carriage, grabbed the necklace.

Furtively under his overcoat, he examined the treasure. Wow, this is my lucky day! For on inspection the necklace was a dazzling array of what appeared to be diamonds coupled with colourful gems. Even if fake it would have value, but if real, then this really was his day.

Not a religious man, he believed in Providence: that God or someone was watching over him, that this higher being would someday rescue him. There were others like him that ended it all in a stupor of booze, drugs or by jumping in front of what he was on. He was different. He was still hanging in there, waiting for help, and help had arrived. He’d done his time.

He hypothesised that the necklace must have dropped from a wealthy party-goer heading home in the early hours from the city. The broken clasp supported his theory. She might have caught the necklace on something, or in a boozy state flicked it with her hand, or lost it whilst playing around with her escort. Off the train, she awoke to the fact that it was gone, but all too late. It was his now.

Although hungry – as he always was – he had to decide what to do with his ‘prize’. Making important, life-changing decisions was not commonplace for him. His main decisions were made through a haze of hunger, tiredness and hangovers from whatever alcohol he could get his hands on. The decisions were those of survival: which way to get food, to get sleep, to get grog. And how to avoid the transit officers and cops who would always evict him from the trains (then they’d try to fine him – fact chance he’d pay at ‘no fixed address’!).

But now he would really have to decide something – what to do with this necklace. The train would soon be terminating; the rail staff will be cleaning out the train of rubbish, including him.

He summoned all vestiges of rational thought. He identified three courses of action:
1. Hand the necklace in to authorities at the station
2. Cash the necklace in and use the funds himself
3. Give it to Shaz to get back in the ‘good books’.

The first idea was honourable and he could be rewarded. But would he get a reward for handing the necklace in? Knowing his luck he would get a ‘thank you’ and the station clerk would get the reward. Or there would be no reward, and he’d be back to living on the trains.

The second option had more merit, he mused. He would get some financial benefit that would enable him to live in a swanky hotel, for a while. But would a pawn shop believe a down-and-outer like him? They’d probably call the cops and then he’d be up on a theft charge. However, there was always the ‘street market’ – he had connections.

And then there was Shaz.

Shaz had been both his strength and his weakness, he reflected. Their relationship was like a tropical climate: warm and languid most of the time, punctuated by violent cyclones (the bust-ups). The ‘Shaz 4 ever’ tat on the inside of his arm reminded him of their bond. I’ve burned for you, he reminisced.
He’d had a job as a security officer, but when he lost his temper (for the umpteenth time) and Shaz booted him out (for the umpteenth time), he went on a booze binge, and didn’t turn up at work for days. Who wants an insecure security officer?

But Shaz could be impressed by the necklace, and might allow him back to into her home, her room, her pants. He could make up a story about how he’d earned the money to buy it just for her from a new job. I’m turning my life around Shaz, things will be better this time, you’ll see. On the other hand, she might take one look at him, remember the ‘dark old days’, and no necklace might help.

The train was terminating.

What to do?

He bolted out of the train, jumped the turnstile, and strode off to a better life.