And while I’m on the subject…

This is an old one, but fits Napowripo 24 to a T

In Defence of Clichés

A cliché is a wonderful thing,
a means of encapsulating
a truth universally acknowledged.
Or is it?

At the end of the day,
to be perfectly honest,
safe as houses
makes much more sense
than safe as banks.

I hear what you’re saying
but I want to move the goalposts.
When push comes to shove,
the fact of the matter is that
we need to think outside the box.

In terms of ballpark figures,
a hundred and ten percent
of what I say
is pushing the envelope
of credibility.

Literally, in terms of
blue sky thinking,
the cliché is an awesome resource
for adding value.

Let’s face it,
the mind boggles
at the crackpot idea
of doing without.
the comfort blanket
of received phrases.

The long and the short of it is,
we should all sing from the same hymn sheet:
and agree the bottom line:
a cliché is A Good Thing.



All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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17 Responses to And while I’m on the subject…

  1. I loved this. Yes, we do love our cliche’s. Thanks for the link. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Touche! I use them all the time in everyday speech. But have been nailed by Luke in critique situations. I guess, the bottom line is (as in everything) balance! You’re the cat’s meow, girlfriend.


  3. Robin says:

    You sure you didn’t have a tip on this prompt?! :))
    Well done!


  4. Viv, am I catching just a little external irony here? Your artist statement allows zero tolerance for some things, yet I adore what you’ve done in this poem with well used cliche. This is a keeper (there, you’ve got us using them too!)


    • vivinfrance says:

      external irony? Just a tad! Tutors on my two most recent poetry courses were very hard on me for archaisms (I am 72, so figure it out) and inversions, but I stuck to my guns on one or two occasions because they fitted the poems in question, losing marks in the process.

      Thanks everyone for the comments – I am overwhelmed. The cliché one was published a couple of times in 2009 – in First Edition and the e-zine Long Story Short. But Zero Tolerance was written in a quarter of an hour, yesterday.


  5. Cara Holman says:

    Your poem is fine as wine, and fits the prompt to a T. 🙂


  6. And I thought I had a shitload of cliches. It’s like dueling banjos.

    Nice job!



  7. Dan Rako says:

    Let’s run this up the flagpole…


  8. pamela says:



  9. Stiletto says:

    Very sharp! I like it and especially this verse “safe as houses”.


  10. derrick2 says:

    I couldn’t have put it better myself. You took the words out of my mouth!


  11. Ron. says:

    At the end of the day, when all the chickens have come home to roost, all the votes have been counted, and the fat lady has finished singing, the truth will out: this poem’s put together like a brick shithouse & will stand the test of time. Well done.


  12. tillybud says:

    I remember this! Just as funny second time around.


  13. Stan Ski says:

    Reminds me of work and Production Meetings – Management Speak. You’ve reasoned with it and found sense in it all. I was looking for a satirical twist that never came.
    I scrolled through and took a look at your other posts – I like the shaped piece.


    • vivinfrance says:

      Thanks Stan. I’m not clever enough to do satire! And you’re right. I’d been talking to my son just before I wrote this, and he’d been complaining about the number of purposeless and dull meetings he was obliged to attend, instead of getting on with the work.


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