Sunday, 30 October 2011

Setting Light to Tenners

I love a good bonfire but urban life prevents it ( neighbours washing on the line etc ) . Therefore I succumbed to the temptations of a chiminea at the local garden centre. It's the kind of thing I'd have looked at a few years ago and thought " Who the hell would ever buy one of those ? "

So fast forward to Autumn 2011 and here we are , new proud owners of this bulbous terracotta monster ... and I have to tell you its the best fun of a chill evening. We lit our new friend last night and burned a decade's worth of bank paperwork, which felt good ... very good indeed. Quite cleansing , almost like expunging ourselves of former financial burden ... if only . So as we sat and watched the pound-signs singe and flicker into fiery life, I felt compelled to write this poem.

I'm not given to arty farty poetry writing , but I'd been to see and hear Roger McGough earlier in the week , one of my all time most favourite poets ever and so thought  -  better late than never to have a go. This is an ode to all the monies we've ever spent , as hard working tax-paying workers and I've called it .... Setting Light to Tenners.


... with apologies to Roger McGough who would probably laugh out loud ( but not in a good way ) at my feeble attempts at poetry, but he isn't that way inclined and so he may politely smile and encourage me to write some more because he's a very nice, kind man.

We bought a chiminea
and half filled it with sand.
It weighed a flipping ton
So eldest gave a hand.

We shoved it on the patio
and waited until dark,
matches at the ready
this should be quite a lark.

Husband fetched some paper
scrunched and tore and shred.
Lit the match and poked it in
Just like instructions said.

A satisfying flame
took hold, the paper burned.
Bills, receipts and statements
All our money ever earned.

School fees, mortgage , council tax,
it all went up in smoke
If only life were like that
for us ordinary tax-paying folk.


  1. What a great ode Claire which would strike a chord with many of us I am sure! I'm glad you're enjoying your chiminea - we have had ours for about 5 years now and it has never been lit but our little squirrel visitor does sit in it waiting for the back door to open and a peanut or two to hop out.

  2. great poem and as always you made me chuckle!!
    Suzie Qx

  3. LOL and well done you. I've got a bin full of recycling - it must be declutter your paper month! but had to shred and compost the rest. How much more satisfying to burn it.

  4. Great poem Claire - it sounds much more satisfying than shredding all the bloomin' stuff!