By popular demand, here is the edited version of the poem I wrote on International Women’s Day. Please note, this was not written with political correctness in mind.

Glass ceilings are not
All that’s holding back women
No more are all men
Keeping us from the boardroom

If gender equality
Is what we seek
Then we’re hurting our cause
And the outlook is bleak

Don’t admit that our views
May be voiced in our stead
By another we trust
To express what we’ve said?

If no woman believes
That she is represented
Without being present
Can that be prevented?

For trust in our colleagues
Is vital, it’s true
Give and take may be needed
But faithless won’t do

If we all demand seats
At each meeting that’s held
Then no business would pass
With agendas upheld

Until companies topple
And deadlines are missed
As our jealous mistrust
Means change could not exist

Individual roles
Are all part of the structure
Yes, without foundations
The top doesn’t matter

I fear what we’re seeking
Is not really equal –
Statistical parity
Won’t write this sequel

‘Til men may bear children
Biology means
That our gender’s unequal
All thanks to our genes

While traditional roles
Are both frowned on and praised
Then confusion will reign
As both genders are dazed

By our own expectation
Of having it all
While constrained by our talents
Time, body and soul

There are some who’d prefer
To fly high at their job
And yet others who value
Their place at the hob

And please note I make no
Reference to their gender
So long as they’re happy
Why else would it matter?

If merit means much
Individuals will
Find their place in the world
All according to skill

But there isn’t the space
At the top of the tree
For each birdbrain to perch
Just to squawk – “Look at me!”

On International Women’s Day

I tried to write a poem
For the women I have known
But the words kept on repeating
Like a litany of moans

Every small injustice suffered
Was enshrined in natty rhyme
But the sentiments uncovered
Were not altogether mine

With each line I scribbled while the bus
Kept up its steady crawl
Hoping soon I’d feel inspired – at home
Decipher bitter scrawl

The syllables collectively
All spoke in tones, irate –
During furious descent into
A semi-lettered state

On no account may these be seen
By those who read my page
Or all would label them obscene
A poorly crafted rage

Instead I will try gently
To uncover what I’d say
If I’d had a more productive pen
Upon this woman’s day

An Act of Equality

Literal, a glitterball with
Shapeless, senseless twitter call
Tripping over coveralls
To break the bones of bugger-alls

Work-shy, drip-dry, never mind
The kind rarely if ever kind
And always coming from behind
To ride the coat-tails of the blind

Where were you when brains were given?
Hearts and minds and shame were shriven
Could you please explain this living
Or why all should be forgiven?

Old excuses, new abuses
Trust, then lust, then bust for users
Weak-chinned, long-shinned, thin-skinned losers
Make the worst of beggars, choosers

Careful, tiptoe past the trigger
Or a lip may start to quiver
As we shudder, shake and shiver
At the news we must deliver

Mark the pages, turn them faster
Or may all end in disaster
Swathed in loam and sticking plaster
All that Nature’s coffers muster

An Homage to Harvey

My conscience did prick as I sat here awhile
About some certain things that have made this girl smile.
I’m not too P.C., I can laugh with the best
But a slight has a cost, even when a mere jest.
So be wary, my love, as you open to speak
Of the deeds of an Imam and Rabbi last week
For ’tis better to laugh with the head and the heart
Than to poke fun at others – your comments do smart!
A quick wit is all very well, but take heed:
A slow tongue’s more pleasant, in word as in deed.