Celebrating Boris Johnson In Verse

Whilst Theresa May’s insistence that she was to be the sole sibyl interpreting the entrails of the 2016 Brexit Referendum decapitated chicken conjured a hail of slings and arrows from all sides, there was something vaguely heroic about the stoicism with which she faced that storm of her own making without flinching, and it made versification easy. However, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a different kettle of fish. A kettle of stinking fish. A veritable garum, garum being the Roman fermented fish entrail sauce whose production was so stinky it was banned from the centre of towns, as Boris (a student of Classics) would doubtless be aware. A man whose serial philandering demands that ‘Boris’ be rhymed with ‘erect penis’ does not lend himself to any kind of heroic poetry.

But I persisted. My muse initially came up with limericks.

It’s tricky writing sonnets
About Boris Johnson since it’s
Rhymes about pricks
And limericks
That suit such a shit amongst shits

We have a Prime Minister Boris
Who likes to quote Virgil and Horace
He screws over all
And spaffs up the wall
Public money as if it is just piss.

Tory PM Boris Johnson
Is looking for women to cheat on
Having taken his pick
After trimming his wick
He’ll leave them then on to the next one

Boris Johnson loves a good bonking
If his paramour’s married that’s stonking!
To lie and betray
S’the Johnsonian way
Us voters must give him a tonking!

Having thus warmed up, I was finally able to produce a sonnet.

The Tory saviour Boris Johnson’s
Plan for avoiding scrutiny’s a wheeze;
Stay dead in a ditch post Halloween, he’s
Shielded from any hostile questions.
The Tory press will doubtless say the sun’s
Shining out of his decaying corpse, these
Lies should cut no ice with voters when sleaze
Surrounds his cabinet of charlatans.
It takes a special sort to serve Boris.
Insufficient talent to out-shine him
Or recognise his incompetence. To
Survive they must suppress their egos to this
Extent, yet still hold office at his whim.
For “Trust me” in his parlance means “Fuck you”.

Enjoy!

(To follow me on Twitter go to https://twitter.com/e2dme)

An Afternoon Walk by the Sea

A Pattern of Islands

Trackways criss-cross the dunes. At every
Crossing the erosion pattern gives clues
To prior walker choices. Snails ooze
Across long grass down mine, seemingly free
Of the fear of predation. Have tiny
Parasites forced their mollusc brains to choose
The limelight over reticence, to lose
The safety of humble obscurity?
Aestivating heath snails clustering
On stems of wild fennel sport faded
Psychedelia, spiral zebra stripes,
Exposed but unmolested. No birds sing,
Not even seagulls. The shrikes departed
With the Spring, but why are there no thrushes?

Mum’s Alzheimer’s Disease Progresses …

Mum with Noodle

Where’s my money? It’s in the bank. Which bank?
So I am greeted by the dawn chorus.
Its twitters subside but this angelus
Frames our days. The ship of memory sank
With all hands in the storm, just the odd plank,
Maelstrom flotsam, remains, hard for us
To relate to that once proud vessel, plus
The compulsive fiddling, to be frank
Frays nerves. We’d hoped that Mum could be herself
In the moment but cut off from the past,
Unable to envision the future,
The present becomes in and of itself
Frightening. Her distress stands in contrast
To the tranquility that becomes her.

The Benefits of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Introduction

As the Brexit saga wends its weary way towards the last syllable of recorded time, I have been jumping into the Twitter bear-pit to waste time trading invective with the invincibly ignorant. The exchanges go approximately as follows.

“Traitor!”

“Gammon!”

“Arrogant twat!”

“The only people who now support Brexit are millionaires and morons. Check your wallet if you’re not sure which you are.”

And more, much more, in a similar vein. My wife doesn’t understand how addictive it is, and gets really annoyed with me.

However, occasionally an actual conversation takes place. One of my more rational (but still deluded) pro-Brexit interlocutors is David Law, who has a multitude of Twitter accounts, one of which, @brexit_politics, mostly amplifies the Brexit Party line. However, one evening, this popped up.

My day job is helping getting sites free organic traffic from Google, I’m an SEO consultant. If you own a business website pop the URL in a comment & I’ll give you an actionable #SEO tip. @SEOGoldUK I don’t care if you are a Remainer or Leaver.

(From Twitter)

So I thought, why not, and responded as requested, with the following consequences.

The SEO Advice for davidmelvilleedwards.com

Your Home page title “My Fantasy Life – An alternate reality …” is unlikely to generate any Google traffic. It took me a minute to realise the site is a book author site. Your home page should target author traffic. Your author name “David Melville Edwards” is your brand. Your Home page title (with WordPress it’s the site name) should be “David Melville Edwards”.

This will help with your name searches. Your domain doesn’t currently rank if you search Google for ‘David Melville Edwards’.

When you search Google for David Melville Edwards a ‘knowledge panel’ appears. You need to claim it as your own.

None of your posts should be categorised as ‘ Uncategorized’. They should be give a relevant category. ‘Uncategorized’ is not helpful.

When you create poems add either Poem or Poetry to the title.

Thus you should change https://davidmelvilleedwards.com/poetry/brambles/ slug from “Brambles” to “Brambles Poem”.

If you’ve changed the site name that Post’s full title will be

“Brambles Poem – David Melville Edwards”

Which is much better SEO-wise than

“Brambles – My Fantasy Life”

That’s a terrible title SEO-wise,. It’s highly unlikely anyone would find it if they were searching for a Brambles poem or any of your other poems by name.

What I did

First off, I changed the site’s title as suggested.

I wasn’t going to change the poems’ titles in the text, since ‘Brambles Poem’ as a heading looks stupid, but I did change the WordPress ‘slugs’, the URLs that it generates, so that if the posts are poems, the slugs say so.

I went through all the posts, and fixed the categories.

I have to confess that I’d had no idea there were such things as Google Knowledge Panels, still less that I could claim them. But sure enough, a search for David Melville Edwards brought up a little box on the right with my name, Author, a link to an edition of my book that is no longer available., and a link allowing me to claim the panel. So I have done so. My first attempt failed because the submitted photograph of myself was not deemed to be of a high enough quality, but the knowledge box now includes a picture of yours truly.

I had less success trying to get the book link fixed. Google responded:

Please note that the information we display for these types of books is typically received automatically from third-party contributors. In order to submit any edits in bibliographic details it would be best for you to reach out to them directly at the links listed below to ensure that their records are fully updated.

Baker & Taylorwww.btol.com/

Bowker www.bowker.com (providing current cover)

Ingramwww.ingramcontent.com (providing current cover)

Livraria Culturawww.livrariacultura.com

I have no business dealings with any of these organisations, so my “Google Books” link will remain as a tombstone.

The results

I made the changes a little over two weeks ago. It would appear that now:

  • Traffic to my site has approximately doubled.
  • The UK tops the list of countries of origin for my visitors
  • A Google search for ‘David Melville Edwards Brambles Poem’ now goes straight there.

Conclusion

To all those people reading this and thinking “Moron, how could you set up a web-site and not do these basic things?”, may I point to the example of Michael Gove exclaiming that “The British People have had enough of experts”. I am in good company.

If there’s anyone else, may I offer a final shout-out to David Law for his advice and guidance, which seems to have been extremely beneficial. Thank you David!

One Love Manchester

Manchester hosted the Conservative Party Conference in 2019

I recognise Ariana Grande
And also Liam Gallagher. Between
Them a procession of faces unseen
Unheard unknown to me before today
Strut, prance, sing, parade performing skills they
Have honed around the world since the last teen
Culture left home. Ossified tastes careen
Novelty leaving a streamlined assay
Of prog and punk. Methinks I’ve missed out.
Music doesn’t stop because I don’t
Listen, any more than the world ended
When we passed the millennium. No doubt
The killers disagree. Their masters won’t
Permit girls joy or bodies unrended.