Super Grass
PublishedJuly 15, 2012 CategoryBertie’s Book of Improbable Sheep

Super Grass

The life of the sheep, as the hoi polloi pass,
Seems a monochrome diet of pasture and grass;
But not to that bon-viveur Maitre des Prés,
Alphonse de Michelin Mouton-Cadet.

His delicate palate and sensitive nose
Were, among other gastronomes, quite autre chose;
And his Salade de Champignons aux Herbes Melées
With a touch of wild garlic, the Dish of the Day.

Food freaks in Denver were rumoured to be
Hooked on his Clover d’Alphonse Ratatouille;
Which, topped with his Compôte de Fruits de Campagne,
Won the Grand Prix d’Honneur, Cordon Bleu, de l’Espagne. Continue Reading »

Monarch of the Glen

I’m Andrew McTavish frae over the Border,
And mony’s the year that I’ve ganged thra’ the heather;
My fathers were here when the auld Thane of Cawdor
And Lady McBeth were sleep-walkin’ tegither.
There’s a chill in ma bones and I’m no unco pretty
Through trampin’ these hills in the rain and the weather.

But I’m Cock o’ the Hielands frae here tae the city,
And mony’s the dam that has swooned tae my blether!
So it’s auch for the noo and a muckle’s a mickle! Continue Reading »

Long-Haired Intellectual

The question is, it seems to me, what is the question?
The ‘ proof of self ’s conjectural, I grant.
But if that raises philosophic problems
Just leave it all to Wittgenstein and Kant!
I really can’t go all the way with Berkeley;
On the “other minds” conundrum, what’s the fuss?
I’m inclined to give the benefit to Johnson,
Just kick the bloody gate – refute it thus!

No, I’ve always had a ruminating nature,
And a bit of dialectic does no harm;
An hour or two of problems of perception,
Keeps your mind from a-troph-y-ing on the farm. Continue Reading »

Cotswold Sheep


Guiting Power, Rissington, Burford and Swell

Are the dreamiest places this near side of Hell.

Richly and greenly their pastures unfold

By indolent streamlets to Stow-on-the-Wold.

On gravelly drive-ways by manicured lawns

Stand polished Mercedes and chauffeur-clean broughams

Idling discreetly for tweed-clad commuters.

The dispossessed yeomen are sounding their hooters

And revving their Hondas towards Bourton-on-Water

Or drowning their sorrows in Chipping and Slaughter.



But Cotswold men may sleep o’ nights while Chancellor sits on wool,

Ten centuries of Cotswold sheep have kept their coffers full,

And sheep of lineage like ours maintain a due decorum,

Munching the languid years away in saecla saeculorum. Continue Reading »

War and Fleece

Of all of the creatures that I’ve ever known –
Excepting his head and erogenous zone –
The human’s anatomy seems, I declare,
To be worst in respect of the absence of hair.

To be born without thermally sound insulation
Is the sign of a backward, inferior station,
And puts him at grave disadvantage to me,
With indigenous wool from my head to my knee.

I suspect that this lack of an adequate fleece
Is the probable cause of his pending demise. Continue Reading »

Bertie and the Cotswolds Set

My creation Bertie Ramsbottom is best known as ‘The Poet Laureate of the Boardroom’ – so-called by the Financial Times for his long weekly series in the FT and Harvard Business Review in the Eighties.
Books followed (The Bottom Line, The Poetry of Business Life, Boardroom Ballads etc); and, through continuing press reproductions, radio and live presentations in the UK and USA, he built a wide and influential following among ‘thinking’ professionals – men and women – in our business, educational, arts and science communities. Continue Reading »

Bertie in Performance
PublishedMarch 9, 2012 CategoryBertie’s Book of Improbable Sheep

Bertie in Performance

It is a short step from verse to music, and a mere further hop to stage and theatre. In my ‘business’ verse, the rhythms and word-plays consciously invite reading aloud, which is why ‘readings’ and performance have played such a part in spreading the word.

The secret dream, however, for this stage-struck wannabee actor, was to have my words engage with a wider theatrical creative world. This became part-reality when a great, contemporary New York composer, singer and pianist, Joyce Hope Suskind, asked if she might set some of my pieces to music. Continue Reading »