Browsing Category Humorous Poetry

Welcome to the humorous poetry archive at Adam’s Poems Etc, an opportunity to scroll back through some of the funny and quirky poems that Adam Taylor has written and performed over the years!

A poem about the Queen in Ireland

This poem, written for the BBC World Service, marked the Queen’s visit to Ireland, my country of origin, in 2011.

At that time, the Celtic Tiger was somewhat on the emaciated side.

Whereas the Queen had every reason to be cheerful as Prince William had recently married.

The Anglo-Celtic Rap

And the Taoiseach said – Yo Queen, it’s the Ango-Celtic dawn,
(must remember not to fawn), haven’t seen you for a while,
guess we must have lost your file, tell us ma’am how have you been?
Rather busy – said the Queen, doing cartwheels up the aisle,
one was feeling rather dizzy, now one verges on euphoric,
shall we hug and be historic?
shall we hug and be historic?

And the Taoiseach whispered – sorry that we haven’t been in touch,
we were occupied constructing Ireland version 2.0,
adding get up, adding go, how the slaves became the masters,
how the statues started moving, going faster, going faster,
and we gave the world U2, and we threw in Jedward too,
we’d a vision of the Euro, plus we’ve won the Eurovision
quite a few times more than you, and we made holy communion
with the European Union, but we took more than we gave,
but we clean forgot to save, said the Taoiseach to the Queen,
do you think we were too green?
do you think we were too green?

And the Queen said – no, that’s cool, and we quite regret the Rule
of Britannia and that stuff, all the glorious, victorious,
we played a little rough, did we seem a bit too tough?
were we biting more than barking? were we overly monarchic?
were we not at all contrite? let us now at last be mates,
said Elizabeth the Second, the Great British head of state,
let us not be un-benign, let us go and see a shrine,
we shall almost sip some Guinness, we shall nearly consummate,
does the hand of history beckon?
does the hand of history beckon?

And the Taoiseach said – your highness, may God save your gracious self,
we’ve been taken off in handcuffs by our friend the IMF,
but we can’t put back the lid, can’t undo those things we did,
for the sake of God and Ireland, for the sake of Queen and country
could you spare a couple of quid?
could you spare a couple of quid?

  • Audio broadcast of the poem being read on the The World Today (now Weekend) on the BBC World Service on 21 May 2011:    

A poem about the mafia, murder and respect

When I was working in Manhattan in the 1980s, Paul Castellano, the head of the Gambino crime family, was murdered as he got out of his limo in front of Sparks Steakhouse, a few blocks from my office. It was a huge news event and there was much speculation around the reasons for, and details of, the assassination. One thing I learnt was that some mob killings are more “respectful” than others, inspiring this poem…

With Respect

When they machine-gunned Sonny
on the causeway
it was done with respect.
Strictly business.
Nothing personal.

When they sent Luca Brasi
to sleep with the fishes
it was done with respect.
Strictly business.
Nothing personal.

When they chopped Lucchese
into lots of bits
it was done with respect.
Strictly business.
Nothing personal.

When they built an office block
above Little Vinnie
it was done with respect.
Strictly business.
Nothing personal.

When they shot the Don
at his favourite restaurant
but before he’d eaten,

that was personal.

A poem about psycho-animalism

A poem exploring why dog eat dog.

For my father – this was his favourite poem of mine.

Dog Eat Dog

Analyst ask why.
Dog say hungry.
Analyst say your flesh and blood.
Dog say I know. I not proud.
Analyst ask about puppyhood.
Dog say tough. Not enough food. Dog eat dog.
Analyst say ah. That’s why dog eat dog.
Dog say thanks.
Dog pay.
Dog go home.
Dog hungry.
Dog eat dog.

A poem about a hotel in Bournemouth

Some years ago, a slogan outside a two-star hotel in Bournemouth grabbed my attention: “Say Yes to the Yenton”. I popped in for a look and came away with its rhapsodic brochure (see below), which inspired the following (warning: long) poem. In fact, this was the first poem I ever read in public – in the poetry slam competition at Ledbury Poetry Festival.

Say Yes to the Yenton

So many reasons
to Say Yes to the Yenton,
the Hotel For All Seasons
where a trouser press
is available
on request.

Say Yes
to a warm greeting
from smiling staff
and award winning
central heating.

Say Yes to the Yenton,
a Piece of Country
in the Heart of Town.
Our rustic grounds
rolling down to the river
teem with wildlife.
Birds, for example
and squirrels
and insects
too numerous
to mention

Say Yes
to twenty two
well groomed bedrooms
our rustic grounds.
All equipped
with stylish
clothes hangers
of various shapes
to suit all tastes.

Say Yes to the Yenton
where well behaved dogs
are accepted
by prior arrangement
but not in public rooms
or rustic grounds.
And owners must pay
for any biting
or chewing
of soft furnishings
by dogs

or owners.

Many comment on
Restaurant La Yenton,
so romantic at night
its subtle lighting
gently falling
on Grecian figurines,
enviously eyeing
culinary delights
delicately prepared
by our chef de cuisine
who has visited France
three times.

Children may choose
half portions
or the Yenton
‘Juniors’ menu
for under eights.
Proof of age needed.

Why not say Yes
to a relaxing drink
after your meal
with friends
old and new
in Mac’s Bar.
our rustic grounds.
It’s spacious, elegant,
tastefully refurbished
in traditional style.
It’s an ideal spot
to contemplate
evening shadows
creeping over
our rustic grounds.

Say Yes to the Yenton.
We’ve spent an
awful lot of money
to keep it in peak condition
to your complete satisfaction
from fresh redecoration
in the low season
to minor daily repairs
as and when required.

Say Yes to the Yenton
according to
our visitors book
Twenty July
Nineteen Seventy Nine
Mr and Mrs
P Harris
had a really nice time.

Say Yes to the Yenton.

  • Some extracts from the original brochure:

A poem about a man in a bar

A man walks into a bar but this time it’s no laughing matter…

A Man Walks Into a Bar

Is this some kind of joke?
asks the barman.
No, says Paddy Irishman. 

Ah, I get it,
says the barman with a wink
as he pulls out a gun. 
That should cure your hiccups. 

For God’s sake,
says Paddy Irishman,
sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. 
Can a man not just walk into a bar
and order a bloody drink?

A poem about an altar ego

I feel that one aspect of the sacrifice of Isaac has received insufficient attention…  

The Sacrifice of Isaac

god’s command

a tortured father
an eternal journey
a loyal son

an expectant altar
a readied pyre
a flashing knife

a sudden angel
a last minute reprieve
a father’s relief

an unlucky sheep

  • Sacrifice of Isaac by Caravaggio. Note the unlucky sheep:

A poem about an Englishman who emancipated himself

    This poem may or may not be semi- or fully-autobiographical.

The Day Mr Audley Decided To Become A Free Spirit

Got up lateish.

Had three cups of tea
instead of the usual two.
while waiting
for the eggs to boil.
Made a packed lunch
and wrapped it
in foil.

Donned sandals
and socks
and a loincloth
from M&S
which was decorated
with leaves
and berries.

Cut off the sleeves
of his anorak.
Painted a skull
on the back.
Put it on.
Finished the crossword.
And was gone.

At the press conference his wife
made a tearful plea
for him to return
and mend
the garden fence.

So he did.

A poem about trains and maths

Maths was never my thing. School exam questions seemed to either omit crucial information or include irrelevant details.

My final break with maths occurred when I encountered trains that left different cities at different times at different speeds and you had to figure out when they would cross.

This poem explains how these problems manifested themselves in my brain.    


A train leaves London
at ten am
averaging 90.

A bluish train
bisected by
a purple stripe
ambles out
of Liverpool Lime
in a gentle arc;
it’s too late
and of nearly eight
per cent on board
wearing glasses,
a proportion
is vegetarian
but not vegan
though she was once.

No one gets off at Crewe
but a man
from Education
gets on
with pencil, notebook
and a Tesco’s bag
with seven apples
and some pears.

The trains stop
five yards apart.
Drivers chat.
Travellers mingle.
Pimms is served.
A quartet plays.
Three waltz.
Two well.

The man from Education
vows next time
he’ll take the bus.