A sad tale written to illustrate the fact that, if challenged to a duel by a duvet, you should graciously retire from the contest

This is a tale, a tragic tale, of buses and of duvets
You will not hear its like in any plays or books or movie ... movays
It is the tale of what occurred when I decided I
Would take my duvet on the bus, not Catcher in the Rye.

A book, you see, is more the thing to take when on the bus.
But duvets need a wash sometimes.  (They're full of bits of us -
A million trillion skin cells that slough off in the night -
And form a tasty supper for a zillion dustmite.) 
A duvet looks unthreatening when laid out on the bed.
It's just something to warm you as you rest your weary head.
I thought the same, dear friends, that duvets were not filled with spite,
But mine’s a Big Mike Tyson duvet, spoiling for a fight.
Be warned, be warned.  A duvet, faced with being rolled and shoved
Into a plastic bag thinks it a sign it is not loved.
It's like a screaming toddler who will not in buggy sit
And stiffens up his legs until the mum admits defea - defit.

After the half an hour it took to get it tied up snug
I took my Ventolin and swigged some gin from a half-pint mug
Then dragged the duvet out so we could catch a bus to town.
One came and I thought, ‘Lovely.  Just on time.  I can sit down.’
Hah!   Let's go back to what I said of Catcher in the Rye
And look at all the differences 'tween books and duvii [the plural, I swear]               
A book is well-behaved.  It sits quite passively in laps.
A duvet wants its own seat and then some of yours, perhaps.

A duvet, off the bus, looks like a duvet, and won't faze ya.
When on the bus, it grows - becomes the size of Africa … and Australasia.
It rings the bell by accident.  It trips folk in the aisle.
It waits until its moment and then leaps out at a child.

My duvet strained against its bag.  I thought that it would split.
It terrified me, thinking what might happen next.  Would it
Rise up and come alive - become a kind of Duvet Shrek?
Change from its white/grey-white to Green?  Grab babies by the neck?

Would it stand on a seat and holler, 'BOW DOWN TO KING DUVET?'
Or burst into a jazz song like a groovay duvet Buble?
Or drag the driver from his seat, squeeze out his final breath
Then drive us all to Duvet-Land where we would meet our death?

I dragged my duvet off the bus, making apologies
For bashing everybody's elbows, legs and heads and knees.
I headed for the launderette, for my revenge was near.
Hah!  On the bus, the duvet won.  But I would triumph here.

Oh, with what pleasure did I watch that Thing  go round and round,
As, trapped in the machine, it could do NOTHING as it drowned.
And then, when it was washed and clean, I tortured it with heat
Inside the tumble drier.  Oh, the victory was sweet!

I had two hours of quiet while my duvet washed and dried.
And then I opened the machine. And then I realised.
Pre-wash, it had been big enough to cause me lots of trouble
But post-wash and post-dry it had fluffed up to more than double

My duvet sat there all puffed out and proud and pleased and smug
There was no way I’d get it back into that plastic bug/bag
What’s more, I had no transport other than the G1 bus
It was a busy time of day – would there be room for us?
Please don’t ask me to share with you the details of that journey
Except that all the passengers, they thought it very furney
That when at first we boarded, they saw only giant bedding
And that once we two were on the bus, no, no  one else could geddin

I’m thinking now that sheets, and blankets, like my Grenny hed
Look ‘specially attrective on my nice big double bed
The duvet’s going to Oxfam, but I feel no pang of guilt
It was the devil incarnate, masquerading as a quilt.

PS  If you liked this poem, you might like to see other poems here


  1. This should be framed and put in all department stores as a warning.
    Loved your rhymes - faze ya, Australasia, inspired.
    Poets, beware a new talent is born,
    funny with a twist of Roald Dahl, Fran.

  2. A duvet Buble? Now that is the most terrifying combo ever imagined in the entire history of bedware. Even worse than a Michael Portillo pillow.

  3. Anonymous18/8/10 06:16

    Loved this! I ducked out of a duvet to the launderette experience last week by washing ours in the bath. I was going to say that I washed it by hand, but actually I climbed into the bath and trampled it, pretending I was somewhere sunny and treading grapes.

    I was wet from top to toe by the time I had heaved it downstairs and onto the washing line.

    Oh yes, the duvet always wins.

  4. Really loved this as one who has also fought duvets into bags more times than I wish to remember. Sleeping bags are much better behaved. See my blog for the old-fashioned perils of feather mattresses!

  5. This was absolutely fabulous. You make me want to hug my washer and dryer. :D

    Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  6. Brigid - thanks for that great compliment. I love Dahl's comic poems.

    Steve - hits by a duvet-Buble might include 'Something in the way sheets move' or 'Somewhere over the pillow'. This could run and run ...

    Christine - please, please, is there a picture of you in the bath with the duvet? Say there is, say there is!

    Jane - will come and have a look. My duvet doesn't have feathers - I think that could have made things a whole lot more complicated ...

    Jules - please, don't let me stop you. But can the neighbours see in through the windows?

  7. Brilliant! Absolutely irresistible - I'm sure duvii must be the plural... don't I remember that from Latin?
    Other songs Duvet Buble may warble: 'Pillow! Is it me you're looking for?' 'I've Got You Over My Skin' and 'Lady in Bed'

  8. Brokenbiro - I think your Duvet Buble suggestions are fab! Come on, everyone! I think Steve and Brokenbiro have set us all a challenge here ...

  9. I'm more of a John Linen fan myself. I have some his sheet music, if your interested!

  10. Martin - brilliant! John Linen! You mean, the member of the Sheetles?

  11. I did like it, a lot, but do you realise that you're a bit silly?

  12. Isabelle - a bit silly? You mean ... you mean ... not EVERYONE thinks their duvet is capable of mass destruction?

  13. You are a total genius. Never mind bowing down to the duvet, Fran you are the queen of the world.

  14. I am now looking at my duvet (or doona as named here) in a whole new light; and I admit to being just a little scared of it now.
    You are a brilliant poet Fran, love your bus experiences.

  15. elizabethm - You cheer my little poety heart. Thanks.

    Linensandroyals - be afraid, be very afraid. Just remember, duvets may look innocent ...

  16. Poor little Duvet. You can't blame it for wanting to stretch out and exercise a little bit of freedom - and then you drown it?

  17. I loved your poem, I had images of the duvet climbing out of its bag and thumping people as they passed.

  18. JJ - thank you. Glad you liked it.

    Talli - Whose side are you on? Your fellow human beings or random items of bedding?

    Eliza - thanks - I think the scenario entirely possible. It is an especially vindictive duvet.

  19. Soo good.

    Duvii oh my.

    I hope your duvet was suitably thankful when you finally laid it back to rest on your bed, bug and skin free:-)

  20. Oh, I'm so glad you're back! I've missed your poems:) I also read the previous posts, and I'm positive no one will blame you for being unable to keep away from blogger any longer:)

  21. Lane - thanks for your comment. Yes, the duvet is behaving itself very nicely, thank you. I think it knows it has to lie low for a while, as it were.

    Alexandra Crocodile - thanks! Yes, blogging is pretty addictive. Like chocolate, and fish and chips, and watching Johnny Depp films.

  22. that poor poor duvet, not only being emotionally scarred by having a very unkind poem made about it but also being drowned and soaped and heated to the degree where it despairs of ever seeing its cosy comfy bed again.

    have you no heart, woman?

  23. Friko - do you work for the NSPCD, by any chance?

  24. You may think you've won ..... it's just biding its time ....

  25. I wouldn't like to be in your bed, on that sub-zero night when the duvet decides to get its revenge by slithering to the floor and leaving you prone to frostbite...
    I do agree, duvii have an agenda all their own...

  26. SmitandSon - There's something very sinister about the thought that your bedding is plotting against you.

    Jinksy - the idea of the duvii agenda is most intriguing, the thought of them all sitting around a boardroom table planning their next moves ...


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