A Load Of Old Codswallop

Poem By Scarborough Gypsy

Nanna was a London rose
Cockney girl from head to toes
Borne within the sound of Bow bells
She lived right in the heart of town
Where dodgy deals were going down
Behind the noise of market cries and yells
Where jellied eels and pie ‘n’ mash
A pint of best and ready cash
Was all a part of normal daily life
Like bringing in the milk I s’pose
And when you have to blow your nose
Or fighting with the trouble and the strife

Now, 'Nannas' as a general rule
Usually have a pet or too
A budgie or a moggie or a dog
And Nan was no exception for
She had a great affection for
A tortoiseshell you’d spot in any smog
It wasn’t of the feline kind
Though those were never hard to find
And not the kind of shell you get on eggs
No, this was quite a different breed
The kind you feed on lettuce leaves
This shell came well equipped with head and legs

So my Nanna had a tortoise
And thank gawd she never caught us
Trying to scrub away the cross from off its back
She had painted it in yellow
‘Cause she said some other fellow
Might mistake it for his own and that was that

Now, the hometown of my Nanna
Was not the kind of manor
With tortoises in every garden shed
But the fact that she assumed this
Made it pretty bleedin’ obvious
That Nanna had gone funny in the head

Being such a curious child
Imagination would run wild
Decided that my Nanna was a spy
The tortoise was a spy as well
And kept top secrets in his shell
He also doubled as a private eye

He’d take the tube to inner stations
By choosing names of locations
That ended in the secret code word “Cross”
He started out at New Cross station
Perfect for assassinations
At Kings Cross smuggled notes out to “The Boss”
And of course “The Boss” was Nanna
Who coincidentally ran a
Betting agency down underground
A war was waged with punters
She suspected were all hunters
Of tortoises they claimed that they had found

An arm and leg it cost her
The tortoise an impostor
Left to see a man about a dog
With a lot of “how’s your father”
Nan decided that she’d rather
Go home and polish brass or clean the bog

A load of cobblers you might say
Is what I’ve told you here today
But on my life I swear that it is true
So let me rabbit on a bit
Before I put a sock in it
And shut my cake hole now the stories through.

Comments about A Load Of Old Codswallop

I thought I was sitting in a London pub again, with someone talking incessantly and hilariously across the table. By the way I have a cunning tortoise and I can well believe anything you say! Linda H.
A slight 'doo-lally' grandmother and a painted tortoise the protagonists of a comedy caper. Now why didn't I think of that? : -) . Gyps, I'd enjoy this poem even more if it were in rhyming couplets. For me, in couplets it would read more flowingly. As it stands though...listen, have you considered writing children's fiction as well as poetry? Short stories? Having read both this and the hospital comedy, I think schoolkids would love your imagination and storytelling skills as much as us grown-olds, sorry, grown-ups.: -) Warm regards, Gina. PS, in case you're wondering, yes, I'm a teacher.: -(
A very fun one - I tend to shy from any length, but this kept me grinning from start to ending! -chuck
Gypsy this is an absolutely fantastic poem - I love it.
I love it! Do you take after your Nanna?


4,9 out of 5
5 total ratings

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