The Bogey On My Keyboard

He squats beside the num-lock, astride page-up and down

The bogey on my keyboard
Is yellow green and brown;
He squats beside the num lock
Astride page up and down.

He's always there to greet me
When I start at 8 am;
And he sadly gives a goodbye wink
When I leave for home at ten.

I used to think him ugly
When he landed on my desk;
I used to try to flick him off
Thinking him a pest.

But as the weeks and months went by
I developed admiration
For his endless stores of patience
And his faultless dedication;
For unlike me he never moans
About his rates of pay;
He never scorns his co-workers
And never makes delays;
He's staunch he's stern he's stoical
Immovable and tough,
Contented, though he'll live and die
In a world devoid of love.

The bogey on my keyboard
Is my only friend;
My lasting source of comfort
When I'm driven round the bend.

The bogey on my keyboard
Will be there when I'm gone
To comfort the next lonely worker
Who might come along.

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Poem Study Notes:

Apologies to those of you who came here seeking a poem about golf or Humphrey Bogart.

As for all you American English speakers out there, who pick boogers rather than bogeys ... thanks for coming in spite of the linguistic hurdle - glad you made it!

This poem was first written some time in the (nineteen) nineties, and then lost!

In around 2001, the poet (an IT Manager by day, a frustrated artist by night) was in the office, working quietly on his weekly status report for senior management.

To relieve the boredom, he decided to test whether or not the senior managers ever actually read any of his reports, so he decided to insert a humour section, which surely would trigger comment, if seen.

So the poet tried to think of something humorous. All the jokes he knew were politically incorrect, therefore too risky. Then he remembered the poems which he had written from time to time. But they were all about toilets and so probably not suitable.

Then he remembered the lost poem - the Bogey on My Keyboard. The perfect choice - light enough not to offend anyone, no profanity and a strong office connection!

The only problem was that the poem was lost, except for the first verse.

Hang on! Now that he thought about it, the poet remembered the ending too. So there were only the middle lines to worry about. He quickly cobbled together a random middle section ... and never looked back.

The humorous section of the status report became a fixture for the next year or so and was much loved by senior management although, to tell the truth, the quality of the poems went rapidly downhill from there.

In 2003, the poet's poem count reached the minimum requirement for a thin publication and so the Bogey was thrust into that volume. Probably about twenty of the poems in that book had featured in the office status reports, but the Bogey was the first and probably the best.

The poet likes to think that The Bogey is one of his few scribblings appropriate for (even young) children and suitable for use in schools. After all, it does rhyme! And there might even be a little depth behind the humour - certainly enough for a GCSE student to analyze in two hundred words.

The picture accompanying this poem was created not by the poet, but by his graphic artist mother, who draws a mean computer keyboard (and bogey).

Oh and by the way ... yes this poet does pick his nose ... and yes the bogeys do get stuck in the cracks between the keys. But I would just say to the horrified lady who once refused to touch my keyboard when invited that most of what she was recoiling at was old pieces of egg sandwich and honestly not nasal mucus!

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