The Spoonerisms Man, or
The Moonerisms Span

His name was Mr. Spooner and he owned a service station.
He kept our vehicles on the road, a noble occupation.
So handy with the oily rag, the torque wrench and the socket,
Who knew so well the mysteries of pulleys, gears and sprockets.

But poor old Mr. Spooner had a notable affliction,
He tangled and he mangled every aspect of his diction.
“Your star, it will not cart,” he cried, “Your flattery is bat,
You need a chattery barger, I can take good care of that.”

It’s then the old man gave a sneeze that covered me with spume,
I thought my Covid days were done, I thought I was immune.
But surely, he’d infected me, my words had turned around,
I started speaking just like him, a most disturbing sound.

The old mechanic stared at me, a flat cap on his head,
I’d have to pay his hefty bill, my mind was full of dread.
“I do not have a plaster man, my money is all gone,
The rental on my shiny tack makes sure that I have none.”

That night, I hurried home at speed, on foot, it proved a slog,
To dine and shake a tower, take a nap and deed the fog.
My driving days are over now, I travel nice and slow,
Upon a well-boiled icicle, ‘tis such a blushing crow.



Jeff Eardley lives in the heart of England near to the Peak District National Park and is a local musician playing guitar, mandolin and piano steeped in the music of America, including the likes of Ry Cooder, Paul Simon, and particularly Hank Williams.

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34 Responses

  1. Brian Yapko

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this fun poem, Jeff! I especially liked that well-boiled icicle. It’s all white quitty.

    • Jeff Eardley

      Yank thou Brian. The inspiration came from your recent Maloprop piece. Yes, to ride the well-boiled icicle leaves one with a very bore sum indeed.

      • Brian Yapko

        I’m pickled tink to hear that, Jeff! Glad to help mouse the ruse.

  2. Anna J. Arredondo


    Wonderful! Spoonerisms are such fun to play around with, and to incorporate them into a poem as you have done is genius. I especially like the “shiny tack” and “shake a tower.”

    First word in stanza 3, I believe your “Its” wants an apostrophe.

    • Jeff Eardley

      Thanks Anna. My introduction to Spoonerisms came from the discovery that a great-uncle had served with the fine English regiment, “The Royal Arse Hortillery” Apparently they sat out of most of their military engagements.

  3. jd

    Great poem, Jeff, and yes, the last line is
    perfect. Amazing, the humor found in the
    “speech impediment”. Good exercise for the
    brain too.

  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    Absolutely perfect! The complexity of each spoonerism is intricately woven into the clarity of the lines. It’s not easy to do.

    • Jeff Eardley

      Thanks for the kind words Joseph and for your most interesting essay today.

    • Jeff Eardley

      Michael, thanks for taking the time to comment. Much appreciated.

  5. Julian D. Woodruff

    Well, Jeff,
    I think we’re all grateful to know at last who has deeded us the fog that we seem unable to get out of. (With brilliance like this, of course you’re forgiven!)

    • Jeff Eardley

      Thanks Julian, the fog is dead and the new cog dollar fits perfectly.

  6. David Watt

    I loved it Jeff! I will re-read your poem while enjoying a tot of pee.

  7. Jeff Eardley

    David, for a poet, I hope you have a large peetot, clean cups and no sipped Chaucers.

  8. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    So utterly entertaining, Jeff! I recommend sitting down with a heap of cop porn and reading this smile of a poem again and again. Great stuff!

  9. Jeff Eardley

    I would never have dreamed up “cop porn.”
    Is this a magazine in the US?
    Yank thou for making me smile and for your so many wine fords.

  10. Janice Canerdy

    Jeff, this is a masterpiece–so skillfully written, creative, and FUNNY.

  11. Norma Pain

    I absolutely love this poem Jeff, it is so much fun to read. Definitely one that I will share with my grandchildren. Thank you.

    • Jeff Eardley

      Norma, from your biggest fan over here, thank you for your kind words. I hope that we can keep each other smiling in these strange times.

    • Jeff Eardley

      Yank thou Magaret. This Spoonerism thing can play bricks on one’s train.


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