Sorting out the Book Shelves

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Sorting out the Book Shelves

I reorganised my bookshelves during lock-down. I’m a bit anal about it, collections by author, compendiums by country – drives my wife crazy. I think she’d prefer them by colour. I was easily distracted and an hour’s task lasted weeks.

Buried in the shelves I found gems, such as three collections by Pat Ingoldsby, who writes outrageous poems. I knew Pat years ago when he was a TV presenter and playwright. He eschews that life these days and focuses on selling his poetry books in Westmoreland Street in Dublin if you’re ever over there. He’s much loved and in fact his life-like figure is in the Irish Wax Museum.

One clever poem “Vagina in the Vatican” depicts a vagina sneaking into the Vatican unstopped because no one knew what it was, except for a few who couldn’t let slip that they knew. But I won’t go there!

Here are other verses that still make me laugh:

You can win the National Lottery

And fall out of a plane

The same day,

And land in a combine harvester

Which shreds you up

Into little sections

And compacts you

Into a bale of hay

And all that money

Is no good to you.


Because you haven’t got your health.

Or this:

This bottle of whiskey

Is accused

Of wrecking my marriage

Alienating me from my family

Losing me all my money

And completely wrecking my life.

That’s one hell of a guilt trip

To lay on a glass bottle.

Or this:

Wouldn’t it be lovely

To paint a hole in your floor

Which looks so real

That people drop pebbles into it

And ten seconds later

They hear a splash.


These are the kind of poems we need during lock-down.


First published in Swindon Link