My secret writing hobbies … I’ve been outed, from rude poems to horses

It all started a few years ago when a friend asked me to write a poem for his father-of-the-bride speech about his son-in-law-to-be, whom he loathed.

Rude poems from Suzan St Maur

Limericks are not my forte: rude poetry is.

I wrote one that seemed innocent enough to those outside the inner circle, but was a slight stab up the nose for the poor SOB who had just married my friend’s daughter. What we ended up with was a funny limerick that made Dad’s point without causing the bride to faint from embarrassment.

Strangely enough, these days I’m working quite closely with the inimitable Lewis Williams who has written hilarious, filth-spewing limericks about endless places … and even every town in England and Scotland … check his books out here. They’re stunning.

But that aside: limericks are not my forté. Rude poetry is.

It was the whole, broader aspect of contemporary (as against literary) poetry that reached up and grabbed me by the throat.

It’s what propelled me into the utterly different (from business writing, oh yeah…) world of fun poetry, humour, potty-mouthed words and phrases and everything else my mother would have smacked me over the head with a frying pan for.

I am not a clever poet. I am not an intellectual person. I write humour that more or less rhymes: a different ballgame.

(And so far, people seem to be reacting favourably to it. Thank you guys – I really appreciate it.)

Why humour that rhymes? Why not simple jokes instead?

Good point, but there’s something about rhyming humour that lifts just OK jokes out of the ordinary. And standard jokes tend to be tethered to more traditional formats … not necessarily of the old “an Englishman, an Irishman, and a Scotsman” variety (never mind how un-PC those have become.)

In my own case, the poetry format allows me to attack all sort of silly things that annoy us and should (but often don’t, in their standard form) make us laugh.

By addressing such irritating issues in verse, we’re acknowledging that the issues exist, but at the same time we’re acknowledging that we are free to laugh at them.

Writing is my hobby as well as my job

Some of my friends think I’m nuts to write rude poems in the evening after I’ve finished the day of writing for this site, business clients, my cancer group and its website, etc.

But writing these poems and some short stories, too, is very different. It’s creative, challenging but relaxing, and unlike the day job it’s not to a brief or any other specification – it’s pure liberation from being a serious grownup…

And what do I do on my occasional day off?

I write. No, seriously.

I am the “dressage writer” which means I write, by hand, for “dressage” judges who are watching a horse and rider do a series of movements around an arena. The judge keeps her/his eyes on the horse and rider, dictates comments followed by a mark. I keep the paperwork in order.***

Writing for a dressage judge

Dressage: it’s about making a horse move perfectly through a series of complex movements around a given course.

And don’t for a moment think that’s boring. Having competed in dressage with one of my horses in the past, I know that what looks to the uninitiated like someone just riding a horse around a ring is bullsh*t.

It’s actually making a horse move perfectly through a series of increasingly complex movements, depending on your level, around a set course. This means you, as the rider, have to use each of your upper arms, elbows, hands, thighs, knees, and lower legs (that’s at least 12 different body parts) doing something different all at the same time. Not easy. Trust me.

Writing with left and right brain at the same time

As the “writer,” I have input coming into one ear and output going out via my handwriting, and obviously there is always a time lag. It’s a little like simultaneous translation or being an air traffic controller, only in a nice, usually outdoor environment while trying to snatch sips of coffee before it goes cold.

And frankly, you can keep your meditation, your mindfulness, your massages and your aromatherapy if you want a complete switch-off. Writing for a dressage judge means you have to concentrate so hard you simply cannot think about anything else for however many hours. Sheer bliss.

Do you ever write to relax and unwind from daily life?

Please share your views!

***Before any geeks out there wonder if this ancient system could be replaced by technology, the answer is no. Several people in the tech field have tried to think through a way to automate the process, but considering the way that works – often where there isn’t even an electrical supply – pen, paper and handwriting are still the fastest and cheapest way for the judging to be done and the results fed to competitors. 

Mischieverse is Suzan St Maur's first book of naughty, humorous poetry ... coming soon from Corona Books UK.Thinking of buying some gifts for folks with a good sense of humour? Check out my latest book of hilarious and somewhat rude poems about the things that get up our noses every day … perfect to chuckle over.
Print or Kindle.

Some samples here.
Buy it here.
“An amusing sideways look at anything and everything … the perfect gift.” A E Rawson, novelist.
You’ll love it.