Jolly Pod

Pod editor Beth McDonough had the idea to put together a special issue of Pod that would take a look at family life from a humorous standpoint – somedays, if you don’t laugh you cry! We hope you enjoy the issue!

All the wonderful artwork in this issue was provided by Kim McDermottoroe from

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Walruses are lolling in the lounge again,
(or should that be walri?);
sprawled on couches
they burp, fart and guffaw.

I see them through the glass door
in size 10 slippers,
flippers splayed,
tusks locked in mock-battle.

As I enter they tense,
twitch whiskers,
mooneye me and ask,

Where have you been? Why have you
abandoned us? We must feed!

Sadly, we’re all out of
fish fingers, shrimps, prawns and
bivalve molluscs
and patience;
not necessarily in that order.

The time has come
to talk of many things.

By Fran Baillie


You are everything to me,
you are the best
I ever made or built
or sewed or stitched.
I painted you from inside out,
wrote myself inside your cells
and there is nothing
I wouldn’t do for you.
But I never expected to hate
the way having you
ruined my body, made it
loose as the opening of
a hessian sack. I never knew
that nights could stretch
so long,
so quiet,
so un-fillable.
The call of the Outside is strong –
I remember when
I was beautiful;
I was beautiful
because I was free.
Boudica prowling the wild, when
all the bits of the world
were oysters; juicy, tempting,
fishy sweet.
I am a nag, a drudge; a clock-watching,
bossy-boots time-whore
who will do ANYTHING
for just five more
Seconds even.
Get up, get up, getupgetupgetup.
Son, I love you
The fuck

By Jane Burn

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Lenses lose their rose tint

His fourth birthday party.
Soft play centre inside,
outside adventure park,
parents’ observation area – with bar.

Squash, cake, balloons, party bags
all lined up for the end.
I sink back with gin,
after meet-and-greets
with seventeen classmates & mums.

We watch our little folk
swim and wade in a sea
of multicoloured balls,
crawl through tunnels,
squeal down slides,
until some unheard signal
spurs swarm to leave hive,
out into the sun,
to clamber over wooden structures
undergirded by a rubberised surface
we trust forbids fractures.

Through my gentle juniper buzz
I admire my birthday boy playing freely,
away, he thinks, from Mum’s spectacles.
But when he taunts the twins
(who are, undeniably, unusual)
pride turns to horror
to see my darling son
display the traits of little monster.

All I can do
is remove my glasses,
and take another swig.

By Sharon Larkin Jones

The art of counting according to a three year old

There are some that slip the net entirely
navigation from eleven to fifteen is tricky
and you slip back to ten without realising.

If you get to sixteen, twenty slips in before
you know it. Eighteen and nineteen are
often missed. Still you refuse point blank

our soft corrections, satisfied wholly when
they’ve all been counted. You don’t care
how many there are.

By Zelda Chappel


The Cheenge

Weird yin, aye fuhl o chat an moothy
wha aince wiz oh so douce an couthy;
whence cam yi?

Big yin, lollopin an lanky
wi plooks an eyewiz lookin manky;
whence cam yi?
Mither, Eh cam ti yi, boarn in love, fae a galaxy awa abuv.
Through the ether fae ooter space Eh cam ti jyne the human race;
Eh’m thon lang-awaitit child, at first well-loved, bit noo reviled.

Weird yin, grumpin an fuhl o cheek
an then the next meenit, yi winna speak;
whit cheenged yi?

Big yin, dossin aboot the hoose
wi a dour, ersit look aboot yir puss,
whit cheenged yi?
Mither, yi fed mi an Eh grew tahl,
Nature dictates wi canna bide smahl,
time gaed beh an hormones flowed
yir bonnie wee tadpole turnt intae a toad;
nae langer couthie, meek an mild
bit still yir lang-awaitit child.

Wahntit bairn, douce toad o mine,
forgie this Mither o er crime,
in the grip o hormonal flux
sometimes oor existence sucks;
Eh tak on board aathin yi say
coz Eh’m an in-betweeny tae.

By Fran Baillie

The Practicalities

As the small girl waddled
in her mother’s high heels,

her unknowing critique,
bringing out the silliness,

we noted that her tiny feet
were too small for big shoes,

the opposite problem from,
so often, her Uncle Henry’s.

By Seth Crook






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