Boakesey Closs is the ninth Manx Bard.

Each month, Boakesey will be sharing one of her poems with us, and letting us know some of the thoughts and ideas that inspired it.

Here's her latest offering...

I was recently invited to help judge a Hop tu Naa themed writing competition.

I thoroughly enjoyed it but it was very tricky to choose ‘the best’ from several different submissions.

All art is subjective and poetry especially so. There are so many different styles, formats and sub-genres that what people like or dislike is down to personal choice.

Imagine a world where everyone liked the same things all the time. How bland and boring that would be and what would we ever be able to discuss or debate?

If we all agreed on everything, nothing would ever change and the human race would never progress.

So, I wasn’t at all surprised or upset when some of the readers of last month’s column commented that they didn’t think much of my writing. Not a problem. You are all entitled to your opinions and are welcome to express them.

At least we live somewhere where we are allowed to express our opinions without fear of any kind of oppression.

I was going to focus on Hop tu Naa in this month’s column, but don’t want to spoil the fun for others, nearer the event.

What I will say is that I’m so pleased that Manx children are still taught about it in schools and at various events around the island.

The American ‘Trick or Treat’ is a more recent addition to the festivities, but it’s not meant to replace the original.

Both can co-exist and I, for one, hope they do, enriching our culture for generations to come. Talking of free choice, just as we all have the right to celebrate at the end of the month, please respect those who don’t wish to.

If any of your neighbours don’t want to join in, don’t be a pest or allow your children to bother these people. Leave them in peace.

This month’s poem is also a matter of choice.

I’ve written about recent events in the fair city (sic) of Douglas. It’s meant to be a gentle piece of humour, very much tongue in cheek and is not meant to offend anyone.

I hope you accept it as that and that you enjoy your Hop tu Naa.

The New City

“How can Douglas be a city?”, asked a resident of Peel

“It’s minus a cathedral, so it simply can’t be real.”

The Council reassured him they had everything in hand

They’d written to His Holiness and offered him some land.

St. Mary’s Church was to be twinned with Liverpool‘s wigwam

But that was just not good enough for the Catholics of Mann

They had to build a bigger one as St Mary’s was too small.

Replace the Summerland site with a cathedral for us all.

Now, Barcelona took too long, and Dandara couldn’t cope

But they knew the Planning people couldn’t argue with The Pope

‘Coz he’s got God on his side and the funds to build it, too.

And new churches are now modular – ready in a month or two.

The flatpacks all assembled, the Council now could plan

To show how ostentatious were the residents of Mann

The official consecration - with His Holiness himself

(We all know just how good They are, at spending others’ wealth.)

And all the TT marshals lined the route from Ronaldsway

With travelling marshals escorting the convoy all the way.

But then there came a problem – who’d have superiority

The Lord of Mann’s His Excellency or the Holy See?

“Don’t fret at all”, came the response. “I’ve thought of that already”

“No clash of jurisdiction as I’m going to take it steady

By marshalling at Fairy Bridge with pals I made at Guthries

Then back to my official gaff for the reception, cake and teas.”

The big day came, bright sunshine, proudly stood the entire nation

But unfortunately, typically, came a complication. In dashed a distraught usher with his face packed full of sorrow. “His Holiness’s flight’s been pulled. Can you all come back tomorrow?”