Poetry for the Under-Developed

Extracts from an as yet unpublished anthology by the esteemed Abacus Count

All These Ears

All these years I’ve had these ears,
it really is absurd.
I am bereft,
I’m going deaf.
Or so I think I heard.

The Flat Footed Fish

The flat footed fish can do doggy paddle and front crawl
but doesn’t like running water at all.
Running causes leg ache,
muscles to cramp;
keeps it awake all night
crying and damp.
In the day it can often be found
lying on a sea bed not making a sound;
head in the sand, hidden and deep
with it’s feet in a bucket, getting some sleep.

The Sleeping Dog (Ssh. Ssh!)

Ssh. Ssh! – don’t make a sound.
There’s a dog somewhere asleep but he’s bound
to be hidden away - he doesn’t want to be found.
Better be quiet because I know he’s around.

I saw him this morning looking tired and gruff,
too sleepy to bark, to growl, or to woof.
He looked like he might have been up all night;
his fur was roughed up, like he’d been in a fight.

So ssh. Ssh! – don’t make a noise.
He might be curled up asleep with the toys,
under the bed with his head in a dream.
Or he might be downstairs in the washing machine!

Be ever so quiet and ever so still.
He could be under the quilt, on the windowsill,
behind the curtains, or in clothes on the chair.
He really could be anywhere.

Ssh. Ssh! – don’t bang about.
Don’t wake him up - whisper, don’t shout.
He knows that you’re there; hears every sound that you make,
‘cause when a dog is asleep, his ears stay awake.

Don’t do anything stinky! – don’t make a smell,
his nose is bound to be awake as well.
Ssh. Ssh! – don’t make a peep
because somewhere there’s a dog that’s sound asleep.

Tell everyone else to be silent and slow;
whisper instructions so that they know.
Say ‘sh sh! – be as quiet as a mouse,
there’s a dog asleep somewhere in this house’.

Say 'Ssh. Ssh! - really try
to not make a noise’ and if they ask 'why?'
put your finger to your lips and quietly reply,
'Ssh. Ssh! Ssh. Ssh! - it's best to let sleeping dogs lie’.

Check At The End Of Your Shoes

You know when you lose something,
and you just don’t know where it goes?
Well I find it often ends up in my shoes,
right up at the front, near my toes.

Now I know that sounds really stupid,
but it really is true.
When there’s something I’ve lost
I find that it just, turns up at the end of my shoe.

But don’t take my word for it.
If there’s something you can’t find.
You’ve explored high and low and it’s nowhere you know,
and you’ve nearly gone out of your mind.

If you’re searching for something you’ve lost,
what have you got left to lose?
If you’ve looked everywhere and found it’s not there,
check at the end of your shoes.


A zebra crossing looks left and right
A pelican crossing looks to the light
Everyone knows to use the green cross code
But why did the chicken cross the road?

A zebra crossing looks black and white
A pelican crossing might take to flight
Everyone knows to use the green cross code
But why did the chicken cross the road?

A zebra crossing is a wonderful sight
A pelican crossing is nice and bright
Everyone knows to use the green cross code
But why did the chicken cross the road?

Abacus later developed this poem into a song. In recognition of his friend's immense talent CQB included it on the album 'Dog's Dinner' released in 2003.
Please click
here to listen


A tap in the sink,
drip drip drip.
Turned off too hard,
a washer split.
A new one bought,
it didn’t fit.
A tap in the sink,
drip drip drip

A drip on the roof,
tap tap tap.
A hole in the sky,
who did that?
A plug was brought
but was too fat.
A drip on the roof,
tap tap tap

The Grimbles

Grimbles are big, Grimbles are small
Grimbles are all sizes, short and tall.
The Grimbles gurgle, the Grimbles bleep
the grumbling Grimbles never sleep.
They work all night and hide all day
waiting for the sun to fade away.
They’ve eyes like a cat and wings like a bat
and like to keep everything under their hat.
They’d like to meet you, but here’s the twist
you can’t meet a Grimble - it doesn’t exist!

Red Light Fright

I had a red light fright the other night...
Just out of sight, on the right, I thought I saw the light.
Turning red.
I was coming to a junction but my brain wasn't functioning properly.
I saw green as meaning stop and red as meaning go
so I started to speed up instead of going slow.
Fortunately, I could see that as the other lights turned green
cars just seemed to slow down - and then stop.
As if they too were confused, or forgot…
What the lights were for!
And what's more, thinking - red, green, what do they mean?
I could see them through the windscreen,
bemused and at that stage just before road rage.
Anyway, I thought - they'll change again in a minute.
They'll be heading this way and I'm in it!
So I put my foot down and got on my bike…

Do You Remember?

Do you remember – the den at the bottom of the garden,
Learning to say pardon, not what,
And how hot it got?

Do you remember the PE mats at school,
The smell of play dough and big bouncing balloons,
The taste of blancmange and semolina,
The funny named girl and how you loved her?

Do you remember the spider that crawled up the wall,
The voices in the hall,
Big dad hands and mother’s call?

Do you remember?

Pyro Mac

They call him Pyro Mac,
He's a pyromaniac.
He has a burning desire to set fire to the stack.
So if someone offers you a light be polite and give it back,
because you're probably talking to Pyro Mac.

or where it ends

There’s neither rhyme nor reason.
Sometimes I think there is
then look again;
I’m not even sure where it starts…


...but then the rain comes down,
it's falling from the sky,
it's wetting all the ground
and I don't know why.
I feel so upset
that I think I'm going to cry,
then the sun comes up
and the rain starts to dry...

Abacus acknowledges 'Mantra(ish)' - a metaphor for renewal - as his most accomplished work. He still repeatedly recites it under his breath when feeling the pressure of inevitable death upon his shoulders. CQB has admitted privately and publicly that 'Mantra(ish)' inspired him to write the song 'Change' on his album 'Hope So' released in 2007.

© Abacus Count

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