Poems not on the Underground

A small tribute to a philosopher with a mighty wingspan 

I’ve embarked on a serious mission

To raise the humble decision

From just one of the things we can

To a towering achievement for man

The prophet who showed me the way

Wore hats, but none of them grey

He is the thinking man’s thinker from Malta

De Bono: the lateral exhorter

Schoemaker gave us the rules

And Belbin told us the roles

But de Bono allowed us to learn

By playing each role in turn

Wear the red hat for passion

And the black one for trashin’

Yellow hat says you are sunny

And green that you are creative and funny

But the cleverest hats are the blue and the white

White hat means you only say what’s right

No editor’s gloss on conversation,

Just unvarnished truth and information

Blue is the smartest hat of all

You’re the conductor in the hall

Fusing the sounds the hats are making

By thinking, solving, decision making

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It’s tricky in Bahrain just now

They call it Arabian Spring.

There’ll be a helluva row

If we go ahead with the motor racing.

Let’s wait till glorious June

With other names in the news

Like Libya, Syria and Yemen. Soon

We’ll have nothing whatever to lose.

Jean Todt and little bad Bernie

Will announce an October date.

We’ll make just as much money

In Arabian Fall: not a moment too late

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We have been trying out AV in pitches.

The first round leader was Saatchi’s

But the distributed votes

Of the sheep and the goats

All went to a small shop in Ipswich

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Ever wanted a gadget so badly

And then admitted so sadly

That is wasn’t as good as you thought?

The reverse is equally true

You decide you can easily do

Without something expensively bought

So I was content to read books

And wasted no envious looks

On the Kindles my friends were using

Then I opened a Christmas-time gift

And politely didn’t look miffed

Though I wasn’t effusing

But what a joy it’s turned out to be

This marvel I found on the tree

My life is richer by far

You see, my Kindle is stunning

With features so utterly cunning

It’s like a luxury car

The books to download are so quick

The index a fabulous trick

For travelling best take a Kindle

You can’t judge a book by its cover

Everybody loves a lover

And I love my Kindle

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If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

Farsighted Duke Orsino was so spot on

And foresaw canned music in 71. It went on and on

In planes and trains, even elevators

Making no royalties for its creators

So bad it was, we called it Muzak

A demeaning name (sounds like ‘poo sack’)

Classics, standards, country ballads

Geriatric songs that won no gongs.

But now a new menace stalks the land

Editorialised news we cannot stand:

Boring, bland, usually second hand.

Pervasive news. Acronomically: Nuzak.


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Dangerous ground I’d be treading

If I spilled the beans on the Wedding

So William and Kate

Are safe on this date

Signed David. 1st April. Near Reading

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Dave was the master of decision

Reason and logic were his game

All problems he solved with precision 

No limits to his ambition

Nor restrictions on his fame

His book earned its next edition

He had poured scorn on intuition

Then read Gut Feelings (‘twas the volume’s name*)

Suddenly he was filled with indecision

‘Less is more’ for him was nuclear fission

It made his methods tame

‘Act, don’t think’ created more attrition

Now he faced the mob’s derision

It brought him pain and shame

And clouded his guiding vision

‘How can I explain my omission

And admit a poorly crafted frame

Am I facing perdition?’

But then he found salvation

From his buddy Graham

Who met him at the station

‘Don’t be a slave to repetition

We’ll win this tricky game

Creative thinking will save our mission’

Graham prepared a noxious potion

And called it elixir de Graham

The gut-feelers drank his deadly lotion

Without suspicion

Or blame

Or premonition

‘It’s OK to be wrong’ was their tradition

But drinking poison came

To look like a weak position

Credibility restored, Dave was wishin’

He could rebuild his claim

To be not just smart but efficien’

Avoiding trouble was his decision

Reason and logic still his game

He took advice from a statistician

Who urged him to become a politician

So supported by the loyal Graham

He led Her Majesty’s Opposition

*Gut Feelings by Gerd Gizerenger is an awesome book, which makes linear thinkers feel very uncomfortable

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Signor Fabio Capello

Is a singular fellow

He failed to tell Rio

“Terry is amico mio”

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How the great Bob Dylan might have reacted to the 2011 Campaign League Table – and the irresistible rise of Gratterpalm and the Red Brick Road. (With acknowledgements and apologies to Mr Dylan) 

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you lunch
And admit some of the big shops
Are a beleaguered bunch
And accept that they now
Are facing a crunch.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come journos and pundits
Who prophesy with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
Has the billin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come chairmen and bosses
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come Hugecom and Giant
From every land
And don’t criticise
What you can’t understand
Your subs and your opcos
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of new media
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The small shop now
Will later be vast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’




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Mancunian spirits are high

At the thought of a brilliant tie

Reds versus Blues

Sensational news

But why drag us all down to Wembley?

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