The Tale of the Wobbly Bog

IMG_3655-1 - Copy

On the subject of the unwanted water feature down Wobbly Way…


 Water, water, everywhere

In rushing rivers down the wall

As loud as grand Niagara’s Fall

In to the Wobbly Bog

Pouring, pouring, endlessly

Insistent flow of running streams

Unwanted runnels carved through dreams

Swelling the Wobbly Bog

Soaking, soaking, soggily

The puddle deep, the muddy ground

‘Tis said there was a postman found

Drowned in the Wobbly Bog

Dropping, dropping, gravity

Bleaching brick with scale of lime

On damp of wall the mark of time

Shadows the Wobbly Bog

Gushing, gushing, noisily

Unbalancing the Feng and Shui

No wind to dry the churning sea

Flooding the Wobbly Bog

Madness, madness, sanity

By white noise of incessant drip

Is sunken like a sodden ship

Wrecked in the Wobbly Bog

Misty, misty, spookily

By moonlight come the boggy sprites

With mischief and their tiny lights

Haunting the Wobbly Bog

Wishing, wishing, hopelessly

That some good knight with tool or sword

From Aster or the Water Board

Might conquer the Wobbly Bog

Watching, watching, grumpily

The paint that never dries; dismay

As Wiltshire waters pour away

In to the Wobbly Bog


by Gail


















Doorway Dogs



 Winter is coming, there’s frost on the ground

It’s hard being homeless when you’re a hound

Cold tongues and noses, wet coats and feet

Are par for the course for a dog on the street

Furry surfers of sofas and seekers of sheds

Who dream of warm fires and comfortable beds

Who can’t go to the Council or bid for a flat

Who have to rely on a human for that

All that waiting outside; all that watching of doors

All that catching a wink on unsuitable floors

Living a life dodging different dangers

Living on luck and the kindness of strangers

It’s a dog’s life alright, and for humans as hard

It’s no good in the hood when you ain’t got a yard

But there’s rumours afoot in the Chippenham air

Re: temporary housing and bed space to spare

Tales are wagging and shaggy dogs telling

The news that they sense on the air they are smelling

They go down to Doorway and find out it’s true

“Hey doggies, we’ve got comfy kennels for you!”

One has a sniff and the other a lick

And one gives the new pop up kennels some stick

One crawls inside and another freaks out

“What on earth,” say the dogs, “is the tent thing about?

It’s hard to assimilate cultural change

The kennels, let’s face it, are awfully strange

But the humans look happy and that’s pretty neat

Always a good thing to keep humans sweet

And it’s really quite nice of them, thinking of us

Best use the things so they don’t make a fuss

Just crawl in and smile “Hey, this is quite cool!”

“Speak for yourself, mate, I feel like a tool”

“But it’s warmer in here, so maybe chill out?”

“Less of the ‘chill’, it’s the heat I’m about”

So went the debate, it was fairly immense

Till all dogs agreed that some stuff was intense

That the kennels were handy and kept out the cold

And that humans are weird and like, comedy gold

They were really quite glad that the kennels had popped up

That their core body temperatures had been topped up

And that folk gave them snacks and stuff for their dinner

Yep, the whole kennel thing was an actual winner

But lunchtime passed quickly and soon it was gone

It was time for the dogs to pack up and crack on

With doggy bags sorted they left with their folk

And went hunting for dog ends to roll up and smoke

Oh, housing’s a nightmare and tricky to handle

A difficult issue, an absolute scandal

But on Mondays and Thursdays the doggies can glamp

Pop up to the drop in and hang out and camp…

In between times the Doorway staff find with a frown

That what can pop up does not always pop down

The kennels are springy and just won’t play ball

And no-one can pack up the bu**ers at all

Goodness knows where they can stash ‘em or stick ‘em

Not one of them knows how to fold up and lick ‘em

It’s like playing Twister, such weird convolutions

Like trying to find flippin’ housing solutions

by Gail



Choosing Choice

dreamland knickers

The Devizes Neighbourhood Plan referendum

at the Town Hall on Thursday 17th September


My alarm clock shouts at me with noisy voice

“Wake up!  It’s Thursday and you have a choice!”

Of what to have for breakfast, eggs or bran

And of voting or not voting on the Plan

I’m not that sure quite what it’s all about

Perhaps I’ll go online and check it out

The library know their stuff, they’re pretty fair

Could ask at the Town Hall, there’s people there

That funny poet woman says “Vote Yes”

Or otherwise the town will be a mess

Without a Plan we just won’t have a clue

Of what outside developers will do

But other folk are saying “No! Vote No!”

I’m so confused about which way to go

If I don’t vote I haven’t had a say

It’s only a few moments from my day

I’m going to go to town now and the Market

Could take the car but it’s a job to park it

Might take my bike or simply take a walk

And wander round and meet some friends and talk

I wonder what they think, I’ll ask their views

They might, like me, be wondering what to choose

Meat from the butchers, or some humble spam

Or whether to have a quick one in The Lamb

I’ve chosen breakfast eggs, I’m on a roll

I’m going to town, I’m going to simply stroll

I’m going to look at options and take note

I’m choosing choice and I am going to vote

If stuff goes wrong I’ve got till ten o’clock

The day is long, I’m on it (where’s that sock?)


by Gail

The Devizing of a Plan

IMG_0431 - Copy 

A personal view of the Devizes Neighbourhood Plan

and the referendum at the Town Hall on Thursday


All careful plans of men may fail and fall

And falter, crumble; leaving broken stone

No reason to devise no plan at all

For no man lives by wild chance alone

There has been an edict from on high

“Thou shalt build houses here within ten years

Three hundred homes and thirty three…” then why

Not have a say and ease those planning fears

This Plan has seemed quite hard to understand

To many folk irrelevant, a bore

Yet now the vital hour is at hand

The issue far too pressing to ignore

“What consultation has there been?” the voice

Comes from the floor, comes loud and with an edge

“No one told us that we had a choice

And where are all the leaflets, in the hedge?”

It goes like this; the Trust have made a plan

Consulted up the Brittox, in the post

Collated all the info, then began

To work out where we wanted homes the most

They spoke with Parish Councils, factored in

The traffic, schools, the shops and open space

They put in measures to avoid the sin

Of building ugly stuff that spoils the place

Without the Plan the builders have free rein

To ride roughshod across our lovely land

At which point, just don’t bother to complain

The horse has bolted, galloping, unmanned

If jobs for boys there are let them be ours

Let local builders lay their firm foundations

On brownfield sites, not green fields full of flowers

With guidelines from the Plan’s considerations

No plan is perfect; yet no plan at all

Will simply give us no control, not clever

Consider this; vote Yes at the Town Hall

Or mourn the loss of favoured fields, forever


by Gail