"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Friday, March 4, 2011

The emptiest Poetry Bus in History is leaving here

About 15 years ago after the first Dunnes Stores strike, as a thank you to the staff, we organised a night out for everyone in the Ormond Hotel. (I had been shop steward at the time) Of course, I was there at 8.30pm - Deejay there at 9.30pm - barman waiting idly behind the bar - six of us there at 10.15pm. I'd told the hotel to expect about 100 and had got a special rate because of it. Then and there, I vowed I would never organise any event ever again in my life. (Thankfully, at about 10.30pm another 80 odd people arrived in a glut!)
So here I am, driving the Poetry Bus for the first time. I thought I would make my prompts a bit challenging but I didn't think they would be too difficult for the imaginative souls that hop on every week. However it is now Friday, I have one person aboard, a few comments mentioning the word 'challenging' and I'm beginning to wish that perhaps I'd plumped for something easier.
The link to the original prompts is here
In a nutshell, I am looking for
1) An ode to pancakes in the persona of a poet of your choice
2) Something (or things) I did while drunk, or
3) A rondeau.

So, here we are, it is Friday and I have one hardy person on board. As I said fifteen years ago, sure, if nobody else turns up, we'll have a party anyway!!

And first up, and why not, as she has a liberal supply of maple syrup at her disposal is the very-shortly-to-be moved-into-her-new-house Algernon Charles 'Kat,' Swinburne proferring up a complete double whammy of a pancake roundel. Maybe you'd better sit up the front and keep me company for a bit, Kat, at least till a few more hop on.

Arm outstretched on the West Coast of America (she must have very long arms) is Joyce 'Helen' Kilmer whose Ode to a Pancake brings a veritable tear to the eye and a few hundred carbohydrates to the midriff.

Nearly forgot! In the spirit of democracy, the driver has to buy a ticket too. The raven-shaped pancake is here

Back across the Attalantic again where Southern Belle Dana aka The Bug is stepping aboard and rightly too as she has drink taken and shouldn't be driving in that condition. If you want to see her fuzzy navel, folly the link.

Heading north east from Ohio now to pick up a slightly woozy Izzy in Massachusetts. Don't worry, Izzy, there are no sneaky dogs down the back.

In England, there are the Haves and the Havants. Jinksy is getting on the bus at the latter with her home made pancake recipe neatly wrapped up in a lightly salted rondeau.

Somehow we made it through the large intestine of an intersection outside Hartford, Connecticut to make it to Danbury, where Professor ee lakatos is boarding, a frying pan in either hand and accidentally clunking all the other passengers on the head as she makes her way down the back of the bus.

It strikes me at this point in time that my earlier fears were completely ungrounded and that we have a pretty exciting Pancake Poetry Anthology in the making here. Please don't tell me its been done before.

Wow! An incredible feeling of deja vu here as Joyce Enchanted Oak Kilmer gets on in Northern California. If she sits next to Helen, she'll be beside herself. Watch out for that purple goo on the upholstery though, Chris...

All rise and applaud please as we trundle into Arkla, county Wickla to pick up the bus's proprietor, founder and demi-god Totalfeckineejit Then read his incredible ticket and weep, good people and cry 'we are not worthy.'

Sacre bleu (blue sugar?) as they say in the land of Cantona, who is this boarding in la belle France? Why none other than Lewis NanU Carroll brandishing her Jabberforky in preparation of some more brillig pancakes. Careful with the slithy toast there Nancy.

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure where the celebratory 120 Socks lives, so we'll just wait here on the N4 while she staggers on board, dropping empty beer bottles all over the place. She can't find the loo but she sure knows where the Poetry Bus is, eh?

Keep your knees and elbows in, please. Woman with child coming through. The inimitable Charles Niamh Bukowski is boarding in the People's Republic of Cork, combination ticket in hand and the dog that bit Izzy's horse snarling in tow.

Happy Monday to everyone, as we head to Central Scotland to pick up transplanted East Angular girl Lucy After you have read her quite wonderful rondeau that neither mopes nor limps, nor indeed splurges, try and leave a comment that doesn't sound trite!

Okay, everybody off the bus and form a guard of honour for Padhraig Cohen Nolan who has not only written a poem but performs it on audio too. I have a theory though. Do you see the way he didn't put it up on video? Well, I reckon he really has Leonard Cohen staying with him. If I'm wrong, this bus ticket is priceless!

Staying around the Pale, move down the bus please, woman with brand new baby in tow coming through. Yes its Dorothy Domestic Oubliette Parker hopping on board with her sugar and lemon and the only ticket so far to contain the word anaphylaxis.

It appears that Dana Bug was so piddly-eyed last time around that she went straight down the back and out the emergency exit. Now here she is, trying to get on board with a Magpie-shaped ticket! Fortunately it is written out as a rondeau of the highest quality so hop on the bus, Bug...

And another hare-raising experience on the ghostly Dalveen Pass (sounds like one of Sgt. Frazer's tales of doom) for one-time peace-maker turned rabid warmonger Titus who delivers up a rondeau of the highest quality despite having crammed 48 hours into the day already.

Another hair-raising race across the pond (what's the name of that bus in the Harry Potter books?) to pick up Dorothy Lolamouse Parker, who proffers another delightful pancake ode, together with loads of other foodstuffs that didn't satisfy her man. Yup, we're all set for a pancake anthology for next year! You're very welcome aboard Lola.

Heading due south from Maryland, I think we'd better pick up the very devout Cynthia who is late, who's late for a very important date. She will be hearing confession later down the back of the bus but I wouldn't believe anything she tells you!


  1. Hit the brakes, but not too hard, I'm on the next corner!!!!

  2. Then can you pass the wheel to someone else and we'll go sit at the back of the bus for the bumps!

  3. I'll be there soon, just written the first line, 'Half past my arm.........'

  4. Please ignore my prior comment ... mistake made!


  5. C'mere it's only Friday!!! Give us a chance!!!

    I'll be there at some stage Sunday, hell or high water notwithstanding


  6. Good Lord, it's Friday! I hardly ever hop on till Monday. Actually, these days I hardly ever make it by Monday. Tied up with Les Murray impersonations at the moment.

  7. Here I am! http://danabugseyeview.blogspot.com/2011/03/poetry-bus-drinking-at-wheel.html

  8. Listen people, its my bus and I can panic if I want to.... I suddenly feel like Corporal Jones...

  9. It's not your bus that's odd - it's the unclear information on the dates by which the tickets need to be bought, not to mention the actual departure date of the bus from the depot!! I shall go away and start forging a ticket at once...

  10. Now I've found your bus, I've written (I think) a Rondeau for you HERE

  11. Hi Peter! Love your fine parody of Poe's 'Raven!'

    You can find my two ticket entries here:


  12. Oh, dear Mr. reincarnated Poe, you shivered my timbers. You are a master. I bow to you.
    I can't wait to go see the others, especially Helen's take on poor Sgt. Kilmer. I chose him as well.
    Here be: Pancake Hell

  13. Here you are!

  14. Boss/Driver . . on my Apple Mac, your link to your own poem returns "Can't find server" error . . . ?? (OSX 10.4, Safari.)

  15. Thanks Lucy - a Freudian slip! Rectified!
    Apologies again for the earlier nervousness. I shouldn't have doubted your imagination! Chris, you're very welcome

  16. I'm singing(!) over here : http://bit.ly/gb3YNQ

  17. On board!


  18. Peter, just got back from reading all the offerings - haven't had so much fun in ages! Thanks for such a great prompt :)

  19. Late Late Late, but Here Here Here!
    I haven't done three poems though.


  20. Later than late, but I'm here. Sober, but late.