Anniversary

[For Clair May, On Our Wedding Anniversary 31st December 2015]

This gone decade, avowed, witnessed, signed,
your white dress, my suit, hung, long-aligned.

Our large shared-bed (often slept-distrait),
is spirit-levelled by deep dream-spates.

Write those pledges (our private conceits):
Words on pillows and cotton-rich sheets.

Marriage slept in a bed of our choice,
Our vows renewed in our sleep-shared voice.

What’s Written

So, did Corbyn bend far enough down,
as the ‘last stand’ bled into the ground?

How many of us tilted our heads,
with any intelligent reverence?

Media streams fed us the parade,
more heads unbowed on trumpets’ fade;

Murdoch’s press gang want the neck
of those willing warfare into check.

Absorb the reports, and tattle-tales,
learn nowt off right-wing paper-trails.

As our left-over state snaps cleaned, dry,
we’ll all bend to a painful ‘good-bye’.

Cemetery of Souls

We sip tea on Sunday,
Checking house prices,
Whilst off-shore
There is
A washed-up crisis.

As values grow,
In the buy-to-let game,
Thousands of people
Are homeless, again:

This coast has become
A cemetery of souls.
Papers quote the mayor,
As the Lesbos bell tolls.

So we won’t buy
In Europe, after all,
Holiday homes being
The first to fall.

Let us sip tea,
As the East meets the West,
And our cheap values,
Never repossessed.

‘The Truth’

The Sun: what a very
Dangerous thing,
A burning, cynical,
Reprint of spin:

Ever-twisting the ‘facts’,
Even those disproved,
This is the paper
Which stated ‘The Truth’.

Mackenzie’s front page,
Laid by editor’s hand,
Lies, damn lies,
On every news stand.

571f8653160000e40031cb42


http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/oct/10/hillsborough-inquest-police-admit-sun-report-fans-looted-corpses-false

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/apr/26/how-the-suns-truth-about-hillsborough-unravelled

Still Standing

Corbyn didn’t drop before the Queen,
I stand too, with my political lean.

Immigrant Windsors on working credits,
deny them all their state benefits.

Which Tory is pleased to go and kneel,
before any other ‘low-born’ schlemiel*?

I suggest we bow down before the poor,
turn our backs now on the hereditary whore:

The Queen is dead, so long live the unclean,
my republican views, are they still so obscene?

*Slang: A habitual bungler; a dolt.

LEWES XMAS LIGHTS – 0 UCKFIELD XMAS LIGHTS – 56

UCKFIELD LOCAL NATURE RESERVES – 2 LEWES LOCAL NATURE RESERVES – 1
UCKFIELD WAITROSE – 1 LEWES WAITROSE – 1
LEWES INDEPENDENT BUTCHERS – 2 UCKFIELD INDEPENDENT BUTCHERS – 3
UCKFIELD GREENS DIY – 1 LEWES B&Q – 1 (HOME WIN)
LEWES AWARD-WINNING CINEMA – 0 UCKFIELD AWARD-WINNING CINEMA – 1
UCKFIELD FREE PARKING SPACES – 60 LEWES FREE PARKING SPACES – 4
LEWES RIVER OUSE – 1 UCKFIELD RIVER UCK – 1
LEWES TRAFFIC WARDENS – 12 UCKFIELD TRAFFIC WARDENS – 0 (AWAY WIN – POLICING INDIFFERENCE)
LEWES COSTAS – 4 UCKFIELD COSTAS – 3 (AWAY WIN)
UCKFIELD RECENT FLOOD – 1 LEWES RECENT FLOOD – 1
LEWES OVER-DEVELOPMENT PLANS – 1 UCKFIELD OVER-DEVELOPMENT PLANS – 1
UCKFIELD FM ON-AIR DAYS – 365 LEWES ROCKET FM ON-AIR DAYS – 30
LEWES BYPASS NOISE POLLUTION – 48DB UCKFIELD BYPASS NOISE POLLUTION – 12DB (AWAY WIN)
LEWES CHRISTMAS LIGHTS – 0 UCKFIELD CHRISTMAS LIGHTS – 56

My Wife

[For Clair May.]

She has to plot for me,
Our re-measured half-life:
Side-step a wish-flat world,
Navigate every strife.
She ensures my sleep is taken,
Re-fills the gap.
She has to micro-manage
Each low-kerbed trap.
Such mis-rules were never our
Rung out wedding vows:
My shaken hand, still in hers:
This we espouse.

Night Shifts

I will sit kitchen-stooled,
until just before five,
having jolt-woken at two,
(eyes sleep-slump, too wide).

At these, irregular,
single-digit typed hours,
I dawn-patrol,
gliding, with low-level powers.

Our dog, bed-dead, sleeps
through my keyed low-chatter clicks,
as I tap my life out in,
sequential-stroked hits.

Daily poems, built up,
is my concise crossword:
Lined arguments with gods,
my solution – verb-blurred.

Do You Know Her Name?

She stands, cold,
at Waitrose’s door:
An immigrant washed-up,
on our shore!

is an instantly-fired
typed-up-rant,
quick-raged, sick,
a tuneless, descant:

She stands, wet,
at Waitrose’s door:
‘The Big Issue’,
her limp offered store,

undersold, in
our freedom trade,
dignity, her
last held barricade:

She stands, ages,
at Waitrose’s door,
her light smile,
your corner-eyed reward:

A few fear
this awaiting grace,
her quiet held issues,
the rest embrace.

Re-Righting

This stiffness: a gift
I would rather return.,
These tremors,
Bad habits, I wish to unlearn.

My wife will command me:
‘Mike, move upright’,
Without her this evening,
I tilt to the night.

I don’t have her near,
My kind carer and friend,
Her absence is noticed,
Because I now bend.

Should I refrain
From Parkinson’s re-right,
Or can she forgive me
For bending tonight?

Our Library


Libraries’ hours will reduce,
their lending overdue:
Google will then charge us all
for e-book content view.

Our library is all knowledge,
day-long care and quiet reads,
our vast bookmark will be lost
if all we do is cede:

Loved tomes will not open,
nor the library’s oft locked-doors,
no free church for free readers,
we have to fight for more.

Less bookworm-work for staff,
all that knowledge has been sacked,
they may find jobs in Tesco’s,
where books aren’t freely stacked.

 

Uckfield Floods

Uckfield is flooding,
a slow-risen tide,
not left on The Uck’s
surge-measure pipe.

Currents flood twittens,
pavements, and paths,
fouling by dog ‘Messis’,
but no dog-drop red card.

Stomach-churned-twirls,
often bluebottle-fed,
To be foot-stepped, trod-in,
and then deep-carpeted:

Land mines to be cleared,
by the rain, or unpaid,
but ’til the flood’s gone,
we’ll continue to wade.

Lifted

Steep steps off the platform,
On a re-railed trip,
A lad lifts my bag:
My sudden short-stair blip,
Is unstepped-signage
Of now being infirm;
These journeys
my stick informs.

I once held doors wide,
For the fading greyed-few,
I am now a member
Of the stick-crazed crew:
Entrance and exit,
No longer shoulder-shoved,
Now cared for by strangers,
In dignified love.

Insomnia 56 – Aged 51

To acre-wide halls, in Birmingham’s inner guts,
With ring-roaded shorn verges, of yard-placed shrubs:
I am here for a busman’s brief holiday:
Booth-trooped through Hall 3, for my youngest’s game play.

Wrist-wrapped with Day Passes; and my fourth child shines,
This, his Nirvana, a gold (Minecraft-ed) shrine.
‘Do you see their addiction?’ I ask a dad,
Stood too in solemn duty, his face spend-sagged.

From across the hall , a shrill-scream, voiced en-masse:
A Minecraft gamer is iphone-snapped,
His soul is hired out in selfies as thanks,
His signature a contract for our cash in his bank.

We return to the show, with my stick-clicked walk,
My youngest beside me; more game-playing talk.
His love of this, my complained hall-hell,
Is the reminder to me that all is well.

This we will succumb to, for our kids’ delight,
(Pleasure is best supped when served up right).
The childhood I lost, before the web’s weave,
Is no longer the one I wish to retrieve.

A to Z

Our stop-go drive across London’s blocked sprawls,
Was a late night re-circling of ‘my round’:
A pumped-pint history of spilt-bitter fools,
I reviewed that compendium, new-found*.

My tale: a tatty, once-thumbed A to Z,
Of bars, en-route, where I sipped-up my youth.
I dozed, again, asleep in strangers’ beds:
Drunk kisses, sour love, then alarm-sobered truth.

Vest-men lay white lines, on jigsaw tarmac:
Their no-go queue, our no sat-nav rat-run,
Past my re-let home, no more doubling-back:
Suburbia’s last road map of all undone.

*amend advised by @Lloyd_Cole 15-12-15

Lock-em Up

Our Uckfield Town Council,
is to spend a wee-bit more,
£3,000 on four, ‘pay-for’,
loo lockable-doors:
used two times a day,
on average,
to refund what’s lent;
A 20p dropped:
payback may take
two thousand spends:
Say, two thousand days
to own 4 more lockable bogs:
But trashed in hours:
please invest in bins
for spent dogs.

Theatre of Terror

Now, moment-loaded, thumb-high filmed trailers:
instant shared, liked, quick barbarity-flicks.

Promoted by smart phone-captured gaolers:
Death by You Tube: a madman’s knife-thrown tricks.

Another blockbuster, two minutes short,
set in your town:

Scene One: a blood-streaked street.

Frame-dragged across channels: a slow death caught:
Lad, stabbed, lies so still, watched, as viewers tweet.

Harry’s Last Standard

The sepia tone of November has gone
wrote Harry Smith – aged ninety-one –

seeing worn-out – blood-red – poppies as lies –
pinned politic medals on cut-back lives

Dignity – for the aged – the infirm and unwell
should not be hacked so this state can sell

the last shards of a now-curtailed reward –
gained fair in blood – in post-war accord

Death-won promises of a better world –
Instead they insist such respect is culled

On Harry Smith’s lapel no poppy was worn –
For him the Old Wars were still to be won


E 281118

The Best Doctor

I am a General Practitioner,
working through my impatient lists,
queued for me, praying for miracles,
the waiting room (where hope still exists).

I prescribe for common complaints,
but how can I comprehend,
what their listed illnesses feel like:
To their sick-state should I now descend?

The memory-miniature woman,
sitting silently opposite me:
widower (without recent recall),
I am gone from her immediately.

Every new minute is quite foreign,
whilst her past is a vast unlocked house:
dementia devalues this moment:
a flaming disease we never douse.

A small cough-racked child is then offered,
held in vein-traced maternal embrace:
I’ve no idea which is the patient,
I shall drown in my shallow disgrace.

Me, infected, queue-sickened, instead?
I wouldn’t want to suffer their plight:
to live without cures (our common curse),
but to die, tormented, isn’t right.

First Place

At school, a rough painting
of my father, in green:
His shotgun, an accurate detail,
hung arm-broke,
With empty breech, unloaded,
exposed, gun-oil-clean.
He shift-slept: even through
my demanding brush-stroke.

In my paints he towered
over a fictional ditch:
At an earlier age
I’d mastered the pen flow,
Of flood-cut riverbanks:
grass-tufted shallow cliffs.
Mr (Welsh) Williams enthused:
‘get it into the show’.

I forgot the competition,
in Addlestone:
I was told, later,
I won: first in the contest:
They’d called my name,
but I was drawing at home:
Fighting for my sibling place,
and coming third-best.

An English Field, in Ripe

We four squared the fields,
measuring the flat-topped hedges,
Of briared histories,
with a quart of different scales:
A brace of busmans’ holidays;
we ploughed our city trades of measurements.

But the ungrazed clump-suck of meadow,
brought us both back from town,
And to talk of easelled-landscapes.
Ahead, as usual, the others, a decade behind,
avoid such muddied reflections,
puddle-stuck below.

At this indoor hour, with these paints,
to draw that sunset December-march:
A survey of possible Roman villa,
outlying farmhouses converted with other currencies,
The Ripe red brick long-dead slaughterhouse,
and a paced friendship – best not set-aside.

Teddington, Not Kingston

I love the place name: ‘Teddington’,
It raps a tapping off my tongue.
Urban-suburbia resides,
Above the rises of river tides:
Just tidal bores in house prices.
So sits deed-rich: benefices*.

[*ben•e•fice
(ˈbɛn ə fɪs) n., v. -ficed, -fic•ing. n.1. a position or post granted to an ecclesiastic
that guarantees a fixed amount of property or income.
2. the revenue itself.
3. the equivalent of a fief in the early Middle Ages.]

To Charlotte Savage, Thank you

The stoic Lollipop Lady,
Manor’s stick-wielding boss,
she was out in all weathers,
the snow, rain, and frost.

Her high-vis personality,
cheery, loud, and with grace,
giving rat-run drivers
her glared look-of-disgrace:

With waved magic baton,
she guided kids safely across –
the missing Lollipop Lady
is Manor’s greatest loss.

On Waking, Again.

In this (revisited) moment my eyelids are caustic,
stung-rubbed corneas, awake, weighted-down,
by an utter exhaustion,
(which sleep, these days, fails to cure).

I, drug-succumbed, to such high views,
from unclouded dream-peaks:
then wading, unaided, each half-flooded
unmapped valley of sleep:

where such side-effected,
vast dreams, broadcast through the night,
to my disconnected self:
every time, more real, when I can move, like old.

But flat rigidity, offered, again, at 5am,
is a sluggard-waking, on misty un-rolled downs,
off the sleep-state – providing no more shelter,
from exposure, to my forever-reigning pain.

Easy Jets

We are now committing six easy jets,
uncounted souls into cold desert-deaths:

Then we’ll agree a bloodied bag-exchange:
More re-dress rehearsals of flag-tagged pains:

Led by the strong-armed (sell-munitions’ squeeze).
Again lobbied “Ayes..” said our lame MPs.

Did we bomb Ireland, strafe the terrorists?
No: we shook those Fenians’ angry fists.

For peace at home send a tame diplomat:
But for offshore battles, we’ll bomb you flat.

Pocket-patting

I have now reached
My ‘pocket-patting phase’,
A lost time of life,
Pre-empting old age:
Locating keys, or glasses,
With ‘the pat’,
Of every pocket-lump,
Until quite flat.
I will stand
At my standing desk (it and me),
Attempting to re-locate,
By ‘pattery’,
A fix on reading glasses,
(me not them),
Only to find them
‘Foreheaded’ again.
To avoid pat-problems
(locating specs),
I’ve invested wisely,
no pat-reflex:
I now hang glasses
from optical-string,
An ancient answer
To the ‘patting’ thing.