Five AM

I own this hour of each day,
(part of my family is settled above),
and I tap-tap away,
in the kitchen’s dumb-hum.

No pant and pad of dog,
no mis-tuned song,
this busy home in a sleep.

With early ticks,
the glassed darkness,
leaves the weather outside,

I am alone,
circling the earth,
it seems,
taking an astronaut’s ride.

Double Trouble

Yellow paint
in paralleled-pairs,
the parking lines
will appear;

all being ‘good’,
bad-parked are slapped,
with a fat fine –
tickets wrapped.

The new parking zone
will span Uck to Ouse,
privatised wardens,
in uniformed blues:

Pacing side streets,
in ‘bounty-hunt’ mode,
leaping on the parked:
‘I stopped to unload!’

Our future is fine,
thirty days to pay up,
but don’t park in Uckfield,
it has just been shut.

Dr. Suess, I Guess.

Poetry is good for us,
It makes us happy,
Our babies loved hearing it,
Wrapped in a nappy.

Poetry’s our underwear,
We don’t like to flash:
We know if it gets dirty,
We think it quite rash.

“Poetry should rhyme!”,
“Follow the written-down rules!”
Life doesn’t,
So why bother?

No, that is too cruel.

Once a Month

A blue moon: I won’t rise
From my unsettled-bed:
This Parkinson’s ‘thing’ on me,
Wishing me dead.

The rest of the month,
Each morning is cracked,
By my working ethic.
I could be ‘sacked’.

But I create alone,
In a stove-stoked shed:
Drawing the world,
Out of my head.

The Parkinson’s ‘thing’,
Lifts in these times:
So I submit more
To long-designed lines.

New Tricks

The new Uckfield car park, laid out carefully,
with too many spaces, commuter-empty,

A groovy idea: car-less spaces become,
a grey-surfers’ skate park for some OAP fun!

Beige-age skaters would form an orderly queue
lined up, loose-limbed, to go skateboarding anew,

each of them hard-helmeted, and elbow-strapped,
they would say: ‘It’s way cool’, then sneek a cat-nap.

On waking, a leisurely pre-skate tea break,
then rolled oldies mount boards, and partake;

a no-brainer for sure: the benefits are many,
and our cash-strapped council don’t spend a penny:

Lined up along the fence (after too much tea),
they add car park odours: emergency-wees.

The council, please, agree to skate parks for all,
It’ll encourage the beige-aged to stay way cool.

Cartoonists 1 – Poets 0

Poets sits stiffly along the backbench,
Sniffing the cartoonists’ pen-and-ink stench:
(They who complain in quick composition,
Sitting in permanent opposition).

The cartoonists will vote, no scan-tripped whip,
No party lies, or correct-politics,
(My own caricatures, and sketchy past,
Never got close to Mr. Steve Bell’s blast).

Now my rhyme-voice tries to draw out a line,
Which if pitched too loudly sounds like a whine.
The drawn-cast satire: single-frame cartoons,
I fish daily, with my lines of lampoons.

Two Princes

Saudis are now
a ‘priority market’,
For our bowed state,
that’ll ne’er complain of it:
al-Nimr… al-Marhoon..
boys in their teens,
Arrested, now bowed,
to the Saudi regime.

A bloody beheading,
as we mete our trade,
Our blindfolds won’t blunt
the sterling-silver blade.
Thirty-six percent
of Saudi shopping for war,
Is supplied by our country:
this oiled-up whore.

Papered Cracks

The truth is unwritten,
Fleet-leaked no more,
paper-faced liars
print facts we adore:

Celebrity shame,
to ministered-spin,
the people in charge
are the ones who’ll win.

So we roll over again,
to claim a jackpot,
no fair-share of prizes
will be our lot.

The rich earn the most,
with state benefits,
theirs the return
of less-taxing remits.

The fire stations burn,
no libraries renew,
the NHS bled dry,
sold to a few.

Today’s papers feed
our subjugation,
this land will become
yesterday’s nation.

Fish-wrapped, on Friday,
in previous news,
this is Fleet Street
editing our views.

A Path in Israel

It was a path from another time,
your enquiry made of an ant-marched line.
Crossing the equally-engineered trails,
we both avoided the unearthed rails.

You, eldest boy, chatting alongside,
on the rough-route, where Ruti had cried.
Your uncle asleep in this blown-thin soil.
Alone in this god-land, an empty black voile.

The gate sounded out metallic complaints,
I showed you the place where your uncle waits.
Our talk is subdued by the hand-carved curves,
our name cries out over foreign words.

Written On Sunday

We will now stand scared,
because of you:
Cursing Europe’s
unlocked sea-view.

You crossed ‘our’ sea
in hull-huddled fear,
by a profiteer.

Twenty-hours out,
and vomit was rife,
you prayed this ended
with a better life.

There is no god,
of any one faith,
who guided your craft,
to any one place.

Your loved son was drowned,
soft-washed ashore,
his body stiff,
he travels no more.

When we look to blame,
for these boat-choked seas,
it’s we who create
your miseries.

Night Rain

The summer showers,
(dried peas on the roof),
woke me to pre-dawn light.
A visit to the loo:
I piss sitting down,
my aim less true,
and my dick drips like the gutters.

Minutes before my hands rattled
On me.
Waking me.
This creeping disease plots disturbance,
A vile seep.
You turn with my disturbances.
Our wide bed offers little comfort
From thought, fear and this storm.

This Day

This day is unsteady,
an earthquake,
instead of a tremor,
as I am walked
by the all-pull-dog
across the park,
becoming more of a drag
behind her.

Heel scuffs, mine, on tarmac,
her strangled collared-coughs
announce our parade:
Coming to town is
the flat-footed quivering clown
and his comedy dog.

A smile from a child,
delighted by the sight
of such a performance:
My dog tugs at the lead
and I am walked.

A Son

A son: Thomas Howard,
Fourteen years old,
Was lain, hardly checked,
To enter the cold:
“My son, my son,”
Rust-kissed and crushed,
Left pitch-side, to die,
By a force we trust.
Sleep well young man,
With a beautiful dream,
A lad, a child,
Just supporting his team.

Updated reporting on the inquest here –


It was first called ‘Welfare’
by a proud state,
no more ideal,
we are now told to berate:

Ever less likely to be
paid to me,
freelance, with Parkinson’s,
at fifty-three.

Welfare, not there, services sold,
uprooting the ill, the poor, the old:
Any vacuum is filled, so it is said,
but they’ll suffocate welfare until it’s dead:

One nation built high
on the backs of the old,
we should pay more in tax
so our welfare’s not sold.

Park Football Parents

The sun momentarily exploded,
from behind fleet clouds,
then gone, sleet-showered,
a return to mourn-shift-shrouds.

Seven days before, without the ice,
this team was crushed in a one-sided match,
so in training our stick-kids are bellowed at:
– On to the ball!
– Off the ball!
– Down the line!
– Wide!
– Mark-him, mark-him!

The coach, never mellows.
Bunched fathers and mothers,
now soaked, are hardly talking
as the minutes dribble
to the end of the session:

Murmurs in the long-stood section,
– Is it ten, does he know?
Eventually, after extra time,
The coach lets them go.

We parents are first in the cars,
door-slammed, venting at nature:
Our dripping-kids stare at the sky,
and wish for release from failure.


Friday, I think, I partied late in the night,
throwing rookies with kids, to their delight:
A crafted toss of farmers’ munitions,
as parents blew cancer cloud emissions:

One screeched at her child, ‘Stand well back!’
(a danger she glimpsed through her cig-smoke-stack).
I showed a lad how to light the short fuse,
quick fingers gripped the lit-fizzing tube.

That rookie he tossed into uncut grass,
flame-furious complaint pre-empt of blast:
Exploded jump-thump of pressure on chest,
the rook scarer’s life, an explosion, no less.

Michael, Not Me

– Looking nice Michael,
been somewhere special?
– Funeral. In the bloody rain.
Two pints of bitter, froth flat,
stand alongside the boozers,
as they then chat about the showers,
long-passed, and bloody penguins.

One of them, not Michael,
has the look of Rupert Murdoch.
Pints are refilled, the urinal next –
it takes more visits these days.
– Michael, you dressed this well
last time you was wed.. hahaha..

Ceiling beams, once chiselled
by equally beery men,
prop the roof of the bar
and threaten the non-stooped:
the timbers are black-slapped in gloss,
they ooze a shine like ships’ tar.

Old age brings advantages,
and shrinkages and breakages.
A handshake, another drinker,
greeting Michael, not Mike (too old,
not Mick, too straight)
all to the hubbub, ice-chink,
bandit complaint, and clink
of glass and bar. Michael smiles.