In Which the Poet Throws a Party to Celebrate his Birthday only to Discover that Nobody Bothers to Show Up

Wearing my most daring
tank top, I arrived downstairs
fashionably late,
just before quarter to eight;

the invitations I’d sent out
ten days before
had clearly stated it started
at seven thirty-four.

I put on Russians by Sting.
It wasn’t long
until things
were in full swing.

As so often, on such occasions,
I made for the kitchen,
hanging out
with the Pringles,

who were delightful,
and twenty rather nonchalant
mushroom vol-au-vents.
Six skittish tins of Fosters

enticed me back
into the sitting room
to join in with the party games:
Hold the Parcel (forty-two minutes),

followed by a few rounds
of Musical Statues
(defeated each time
by a po-faced Victorian floor lamp),

and finally,
a game of Sardine,
in which I hid
inside the airing cupboard,

curling up
for three days
on an inexpertly-folded fitted sheet
until I found myself.

On Learning that I Share My Birthday with Donald J. Trump

My parents always taught me that it’s good to share,
what’s mine is yours and what’s fair is fair,
but now these teachings have taken a bump
since I discovered my shared birthday with Donald J. Trump.

With others there is much that I’m prepared to share —
my thoughts, my friends, my lunch, this chair,
my wi-fi password, my cat, my bicycle pump —
but I will not share my birthday with Donald J. Trump.

So I shall fortify the fourteenth of June,
build a wall to keep out this bigoted loon,
too strong to knock down and too high to jump;
I shall not share my birthday with Donald J. Trump.

Unhappy Birthdeity

Despite what some think
It must be a little deficient
To be God of the Universe,
Omnipresent and omniscient.

I mean, for a start,
You would always know
When some of your mates
Had decided to throw
A surprise party
To mark the occasion
Of the 13.8 billionth birthday
Of your creation.

It wouldn’t be hard
To make that deduction
Given the big increase
In candle production.

And you’d always know,
No matter the packing,
What the gift was
That you were unwrapping.