Pam Ayres Outside


Here are some of Pam’s popular poems.

They Should Have Asked My Husband

You know, this world is complicated and imperfect and oppressed,
And it’s not hard to feel timid, apprehensive and depressed,
It seems that all around us, tides of questions ebb and flow,
And people want solutions, but they don’t know where to go.

Opinions abound but who is wrong and who is right?
People need a prophet, a diffuser of the light,
Someone they can turn to as the crises rage and swirl,
Someone with the remedy, the wisdom, the pearl…

* Well they should have asked my husband, he’s a man who likes his say,
With his thoughts on immigration, teenage mums, Theresa May,
The future of the monarchy, the latest Brexit shocks,
The wait for hip replacements, and the rubbish on the box.

Yes, they should have asked my husband, he can sort out any mess,
He can rejuvenate the railways, he can cure the NHS,
So any little niggle, anything you want to know,
Just run it past my husband, wind him up and let him go.

Congestion on the motorways, free holidays for thugs,
The damage to the ozone layer, refugees, drugs,
These may defeat the brain of any politician bloke,
But present it to my husband, he will solve it at a stroke.

He’ll clarify the situation, he will make it crystal clear,
You’ll feel the glazing of your eyeballs and the bending of your ear,
You may lose the will to live, you may feel your shoulders slump,
When he talks about the President, Mr. Donald Trump. *

Upon these areas he brings his intellect to shine,
In a great compelling voice that’s twice as loud as yours or mine,
I often wonder what it must be like to be so strong,
Infallible, articulate, self-confident and wrong.

When it comes to tolerance, he hasn’t got a lot,
Joy riders should be guillotined, and muggers should be shot,
The sound of his own voice becomes like music to his ears,
And he hasn’t got an inkling that he’s boring us to tears.

My friends don’t call so often, they have busy lives I know,
But it’s not every day you want to hear a windbag suck and blow,
Google? Safari? On them we never call,
Why bother with computers…when my husband knows it all.


*When I use this poem on stage, I update these verses to keep it topical.

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Down The Line

Down long-forgotten railway lines and over broken bridges
Came the young men,
From vanished stations with frilled eaves, past coal yards and sidings,
Over points switched by signalmen unseen,
They came from valleys green,
From blackened cities mean,
To battlefields obscene.

We ruined tracks that run below,
We saw them go, we saw them go,
Don’t let them hear the song of the track,
The clickety clack, the clackety clack,
They won’t come back.

Drawn like single threads to forge a cable,
From factories and shops, from farm and stable,
Football teams and banks and streets entire,
Through cuttings deep and scarred by summer fire,
Through tunnels dark, embankments steep, to face the threat,
To learn the ways of rifle and of bayonet

Hands which held the reins and steered the plough,
Must carry out more bloody service now,
Make hard the heart and subjugate the will,
To fire the bullet, stab and choke and kill,
For men, our country must more deeply delve,
Now some are fifty-six and some are twelve*

You mothers on windswept platforms, crippled by the gash of fear,
Go home.
You aching sweetheart bent and crying for your young man,
Go home.
You have shared a last embrace.
Hold it tenderly, remember it, safeguard and cherish it,
For it must last a lifetime.
And pity the straight-backed fathers, who weep alone.

Over continents this was enacted,
Young men from their loving homes extracted,
Faces white and yellow, brown and black,
Believing that, one day, they would go back.
In haunted carriages I see them yet,
Khaki-clad, with kitbag, cigarette,
Through dim-lit panes they see me, far below,
I look into their eyes and watch them go.

They weren’t to know, as they travelled the lea,
The hideous scenes they were going to see
The flame, the gas cloud drifting, pale,
In Ypres, the Somme and Passchendaele.
To draw a last despairing breath,
Man and beast in a dismal death.

Carved names that crumble soft away,
In churches and on crosses grey,
At cenotaphs where poppies fall,
Embrace the life denied them all.
In hamlet soft, and city loud,
I still the clamour of the crowd,
And mourn them from this heart of mine:
The soldiers, sailors, airmen fine,
The boys who travelled down the line.


*In April 1918, the Earl of Derby, Director of Recruiting, directed that the age of recruits could be raised to 56 “if the need arose.” Sidney Lewis was sent home in August 1916, one year after joining up. He had run away to enlist when 12 years and lied about his age. He was sent to the Somme and fought on the front for 6 weeks. His mother then discovered where he had gone and sent his birth certificate to the War Office and demanded his return.

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Yes I’ll Marry You My Dear

Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear.
And here’s the reason why.
So I can push you out of bed,
When the baby starts to cry.
And if we hear a knocking,
And it’s creepy and it’s late,
I hand you the torch, you see,
And you investigate.

Yes I’ll marry you, my dear,
You may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes
It’s you that has to mend it.
You have to face the neighbour
Should our labrador attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me
It’s you that has to whack him.

Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear,
You’re virile and you’re lean,
My house is like a pigsty
You can help to keep it clean.
That little sexy dinner
Which you served by candlelight,
As I just do chipolatas,
You can cook it every night!!!

It’s you who has to work the drill
And put up curtain track,
And when I’ve got PMT, it’s you who gets the flak,
I do see great advantages,
But none of them for you,
And so, before you see the light,
I DO, I DO, I DO!!

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Woodland Burial

Don’t lay me in some gloomy churchyard shaded by a wall,
Where the dust of ancient bones has spread a dryness over all,
Lay me in some leafy loam where, sheltered from the cold,
Little seeds investigate and tender leaves unfold.
There kindly and affectionately, plant a native tree,
To grow resplendent before God and hold some part of me.
The roots will not disturb me as they wend their peaceful way,
To build the fine and bountiful, from closure and decay.
To seek their small requirements so that when their work is done,
I’ll be tall and standing strongly in the beauty of the sun.

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Books, Audio and DVDs

Pam’s published books including “Up in the Attic” and her DVDs including “Word Perfect”.

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Pam Ayres