Guest Poem by Duncan Forbes

Duncan’s poems have been published by Faber, Secker and Enitharmon, who brought out a Selected Poems in 2009, drawn from five previous collections. For his most recent collection of poems, Human Time (2020), see He read English at Oxford and has taught for many years.

Mrs Mortimer’s Podcast

Men? Flowers don’t have much choice
when it comes to bees, do they?
Children. You get what you’re given
and as for the virgin birth. Try it.
The root cause of all this extinction rebellion
and global warming is over-population
and over-copulation.
It’s not as if there’s no birth-control.
It’s no self-control to the power of n.
Marie Stopes must be turning in her grave.
I’m going to be cremated and one of my
feckless sons can jolly well scatter my ashes
in Torbay or wherever. I hope he gets some of me
in his eye. Dying? No, I’m not afraid of it.
Everyone else has died so far, haven’t they?
As for money, it’s lovely to have enough lolly.
To have grown old and not be poor,
that’s a real aspiration worth having.
Dr Bramble is hopeless with ingrown toenails
and don’t ask me what a defibrillator is.
There’s one outside the village stores
but I wouldn’t know how to work it anyway.
The Bible has a lot to answer for,
so does the Koran. Unreadable, for a start.
As for Genesis, can you imagine any male making
heaven and earth and all that therein is?
Most of them can’t even make a bed properly.
I can’t dress like a super-model anymore.
When you’ve got one foot in the grave,
you’ve got to have comfortable footwear.
It’s the resurrection of the dead
which scares the living daylights out of me,
not that I believe in any of that malarkey.
Imagine meeting all those revitalised corpses.
It’s such a stupid superstition.
Try saying that quickly and with dentures.