Life’s (S)not Fair

April has been National Poetry Month. I’m very much not a poet. However, what follows is a poem I wrote when working as a teaching assistant and my class were working on Cautionary Tales. Having tried to encourage my little group of delinquents kids to write about their most disgusting habits, I went home inspired. It is the only poem I’ve ever written that I’ve not been totally embarrassed by. And it’s been stuck in my head for the last 11 years (apart from parts of the last verse, which I couldn’t remember at all). It’s probably for the best that I don’t write poetry more often. Lines of prose don’t have the same ability to haunt me, thankfully.

If I had a picture of the boy I caught in my class plucking the most ginormous bogey out of his nose and wiping it under the school desk I would have posted it here. But I still retch at the thought of it, so it’s probably best that it’s an image only burned onto my memory rather than a memory stick!

Aren’t kids just adorable?!

The Cautionary Tale of Englebert Rose. Or Life’s (S)not Fair.

There was a young boy called Englebert Rose
Who all day long would pick his nose.
His mum would yell ‘Bert, cut that out,
Or else you’ll find your brains fall out!’
But still that vile child carried on.
He didn’t care if brains had gone.

At school he used to scare the teacher
With mucus from his favourite feature,
And if caught hungry before lunch
On his bogeys Bert would munch.
And still that vile child carried on.
He didn’t care if brains had gone.

And then one day Bert held aloft
A piece of bogey, mushroom-soft.
A woozy feeling in his head,
It wasn’t snot – it was brains instead!
But still that vile child carried on.
He didn’t care that brains had gone.

Finally Bert could no longer think
Or speak or laugh or eat or drink.
No longer the same boy, Englebert Rose,
Yet still his finger roamed up his nose.
Yes, still that vile child carried on,
Unable to know that brains had gone.

Until that is the fateful day
When our poor Bert got carried away.
Round empty skull his finger did prod
‘Til nose-picking neurones became dislodged.
His finger – and brain chunk – slid from his head.
With that last poke young Bert was dead.


4 thoughts on “Life’s (S)not Fair”

    1. That would have been the influence of teaching a small group of 8-year-old boys, day in, day out. Although it was a friend of mine who used to tell my DAUGHTERS that they’d pick their brains out that gave me the hook.

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