the greenest car.
It is a low church,
without sober prayer,
rough years, sixty-plus,
blinded Sky-high stare:
upon sports, by God,
across the green sod.
They tip their flat pints,
on last sure-winners,
each sup a delay,
to home-cooked dinners:
Stood tall-table straight,
with concentric rings,
beer becomes central,
at last order’s rings.
Called, I entered
‘The Departure Lounge’
renamed, a rare-shared joke,
for that downstairs room;
here my father sobbed
with cancer’s slow burn.
Sat upright, explaining a dream,
for the first time in our lives,
then, no reader of such things),
with his simple review:
‘I saw my mother,’ he explained.
Nan had passed on ten years before.
‘She said.. everything is easy, there is no difficulty..’
In that moment, with his head-held,
Dad licensed me to cry before my kids,
to find comfort in dreams,
and to speak with the dead.
Look away, curtains wrenched
across Europe’s borders,
we are pulling,
those dark-patterned drapes.
We shut out the long view –
of shivering marauders,
to claim ring-fenced advantages
just for us to take.
The ‘bunch of migrants’
denial of freedoms,
Europe once claimed
Met, in ill-fitting suits,
Best man-made bad speeches;
‘It’s all about the bride’:
Slurs and white-dress-hitches.
across the first-danced floor;
Loose-tied, high-drunken, ensembles,
knocking back more, more, more!
Bitter-pill hangover honeymoon,
over seven-ish burnt days;
Their love sobers slowly
after the wedding’s farcical play.
Enough of this cough:
Tell it to cough-off.
my nephew’s child,
Dark-haired and browed,
Two family traits,
He holds her in love,
Our dear Saudi friends
are trashing Yemen:
The city of Sana’a
is crumbling again:
and blast of tremors:
‘The Saudis are
fighting Houthi rebels’,
in support of
we help blast them,
across schools, homes,
and pock-marked parks:
Only the UN cries out
at such Saudi-led-larks.
Sandhurst – England – training world leaders –
subsidised captains of overseas terror
We pay state taxes to crush insurgents –
brutal regimes are this year’s perfect
Military managers of political dissent –
drilled in line – the loyal-regiments
Excuses – Regional security assured –
ruling-by-war under Sandhurst swords
We British have sold Saudi Arabia
a billion pounds worth of megalomania –
July to September – only last year –
Now no hard arguments for kings to fear
Lowed head, herd-burrowed,
to subterranean trip:
Down, slowed escalator-drop,
to queued platform crypt.
Commuted life sentence,
branded as ‘Mind the gap’:
Squeezed rush-hour day’s flush,
shoved aboard, standing-trapped.
On coloured, stiff spaghetti,
Tube-mapped London, visited,
cheats on geography.
But, the Underground
still performs, as planned, as meant:
the funnelled requirement.
Living roughly, on Diamond Road,
Middle England, Middlesbrough,
Where slapped doors, painted red,
Mark you out, for the foul-demurrer.
Hateful stones, from the offended street,
Clatter, and threaten, your short time here:
Life seekers’ homes, being on their feet,
Families unfixed, always thrown to fear.
Fresh red paint, bought in a deal,
‘Happened’ to mark-out the transitory.
I think of painted doors, before the kill,
That being the daub, in old Germany.
Andy Dog has died.
Some Bizzare (sic)
has now passed.
in Windowsill Bay:
pens put away.
Greased up sky hooks:
I stood nervous, plan-wrought;
on hired-in winches:
Two ratcheted wires,
stretched hard, tremor-taut;
in scaff-rolled inches.
across two properties,
to a final sleeper-laid
place (as planned):
I thank all the friends
who moved to achieve,
that five-metered shift
where my shed now stands.
Tea drunk hot, our toast
with only minor complaints:
A few inflamed backs,
Thank you neighbours,
whom I upgrade to saints.
Another ninety year old’s birthday soon,
A decade short of a card from the Queen:
Mrs Windsor, in her state-aided room,
Mis-rules her memory, un-throned, unseen.
The square root of ninety, now her empire,
With common dominion, three floors below.
Her self-labelled walking-frame is required,
For any walkabout, on which she goes.
The children visit, briefly, in a blue moon,
With unsubtle, quick-wrist clock-watching:
Charlie Windsor’s the worst, her first heirloom,
All she’s to will him, her love of Elvis, her King.
Hear now my diurnal ritual,
freely posted to all:
Vibrated-hyphenated set words,
Each one’s telling,
moves me slow forward.
End-of-day’s reversed writ-shift,
and writing of it,
Wherever that place may be,
Now, inner stings
the last thing I feel:
Disconnects my illness,
by odd scan;
Each poke of thumb on screen, held in hand,
the re-tapping note:
I am what you read, a daily poet.
– the place you need find on earth,
in every breath,
from your fixed date of birth:
But what if you’re told
your fixed date of death?
For valid opinion?
Ask the blade-necked thief.
Should you be thinking,
as a condemned man?
You are kneeling
on the same shifting-sand.
How hard is it to live,
Engaged in your (own)
moment of making:
Satisfied with your time
– when you are truly seeing.
Thirty nine percent
of Tory MPs,
They’ll ‘sink estates’
sunken into the ground,
More voters to be
It is the thing we make our parents do,
Or do to them: mortal-shuffle-moves,
To sheltered, or ‘down-sized’ flats:
We clear out all the past they had:
Lined-times on shelves, in towered attic-stacks,
Life’s trophies-won, ‘just dust-magnets’.
We slow-pack our home, one we filled over time,
Finding the ‘stuff’, which is ‘yours’ or ‘mine’;
Quick black-bagged, high street dropped,
To the worthy-option of charity shops:
Except for an item, saved without words,
Donating that toy would really hurt.
In thirty years, our life-reduction planned,
When we are being down-size manned,
By our children, and their loved-ones too,
They will wring their hands, as we now do:
That plastic teapot they’ll find in the loft:
today’s poured memories of time we’d lost.
It’s a step up on his studio’s tread –
firm – unlike the loose stone path
No bend for the door – no struck head
into the workshop – here he starts
his eye-lined measure of Wealden –
He stands – readied – to catch the views
of creation which he and God repeat often –
He tools thousands of gouged lines –
His work of furrows – brow-knotted deets –
The tools – spitstickers, scorpers and stippling –
palm-packed stitching – he knocks into blocks –
In sketches of subjects – from inked towns to crossed hills –
he traces this capture over the close-grained face
where each sight is inverted – where each landscape re-milled
by hand – where he is bench-readied with an obliged trace
His art is aligned to true by the encompass of love –
which guides him straight with each wood-fuelled thought –
Fixed in boxwood’s grain with a scabrous shove –
This is the artist which my verse-lines have sought
The truth we believe is the truth we read:
Web-feeds, Facebook, Twitter, the Beeb.
Channelled-veracity, from Sky and Dave,
Immunity claimed for low-thought waves.
Drivelling truth soaks into our heads,
Performing gross acts as we sleep in our beds:
Sub-conscious toss of diatribes,
Demands unanswered, dream-thrown lies.
I can offer you trade of fists, or stats,
Neither will convince us, we have all the facts.