Given the chance to perform with Falmouth writers’ group TELL TALES at The Port Eliot Festival, I had a number of poems that fit the particular theme of the event. I also hurriedly wrote a poem that more directly fit the theme and performed it in The Tiddy Tent in The Walled Garden. A recording of the poem can be seen on YouTube below. I have since ‘improved’ the poem and now present it to you in written form.

I have neglected to say what the theme is because…well you’ll see.




Since my Grandad retired from the circus

I had been staying a while at his pad.

There were three of us with his old pal Max

Who was born due east of Hyderabad.


Then along came all this austerity

And we were hit by this new bedroom tax.

We’ve all had to move to a two room gaff;

Which leaves me having to share one with Max.


With space being at such a premium

It irks me I ‘ve no room  for my boxes.

Grandad said, “Well Max has just the one trunk

So there’s no call for being so obnoxious.”


As room-mates we’ve never seen eye-to-eye.

We’re as unlike as Rimbaud and Rambo.

I see myself as the aesthetic type

Whereas he’s more the ‘shoot-em up’ dumbo.


His personal hygiene ranks as…well…rank.

Each trump creates a gas far from noble.

Our room is an inconvenient truth

With more pressing concerns than the global.


He spends the long idle hours just watching.

Don’t underestimate those rheumy eyes.

I know he’s the one who’s stealing my buns

And has designs on my Fray Bentos pies.


I just hate the fact he never forgets;

His memory is just so colossal.

That’s why they all want to be his mate at

Quiz Night at The Sycophant and Castle.


He’s the drummer in a band called The Heard.

Are they good? Well I’m not the one to say?

But I’m sick to death of bass player (sings) Ed

Of the Heard who’s calling four times a day.

Elephant in the room

When asked of Max’s life expectancy

Grandad’s answer has left me in no doubt

“He’ll outlive us all…I was hoping that

You would take on the role of his mahout.”


I’m beyond the point of desperation.

I’ve tried all reasonable approaches.

It’s got to the stage that I’m Facebook friends

With a nice gang of ivory poachers.


With Grandad’s last word – his hearing aids out!

It is evidently safe to assume

That it’s only me who feels there’s a need

To address the elephant in the room.

© gray lightfoot


Hear Gray read the poem at…