Speech, After Therapy


The return walk, hobbled together,
From the speech therapist’s advice,
Should encourage me to avoid The Alma,
And other throat-burn-delights.

A short climb up Framfield Road,
Past Old Ale’s 4% call;
My dignity would still remain,
If I had just the one pint pulled ?

Breathing the roadside fumes,
Will surely do for me before a pint?
Or am I pouring distractions,
from the assure of medical advice ?

I am reduced by Austerity’s ardour,
Having lent a fiver to the wife;
There is no cash-point en-route,
So I will forgo that poisonous pint.


then add lightness”*,
a code we could
all adopt,
when bringing up
our kids,
now their innocence
is lost:

swiped tablets,
by smart-fix,
these children,
this generation,

[*Colin Chapman:  Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman CBE (19 May 1928– 16 December 1982) was an influential English design engineer, inventor, and builder in the automotive industry, and founder of Lotus Cars.
Full Wikipedia here ]

Target Practice

The gun’s stock, lifted, too long,
Putting the cold trigger beyond;
Still, he adjusted, feet, hands, gait;
Finding the gun’s balanced weight.

Targets – a propped-tile in white,
Two tossed bottles, and a down pipe;
Easily in range, he shot, low-missed;
Long-sight dropped by trigger-pull twist.


February’s dull flatness, a planing-wind,
Lifted my past, and Dad, again;
Reluctant to share lone-hunt-time away,
With a cold-chattered boy, as I did today.

I lifted Dad’s shotgun, with safety flicked,
To my shoulder’s larger, better fit:
Over-under, aimed at the silent-drey;
I, too, missed my target that day.


Now? I have no need for sleep!
I kid myself: struggling to reap
Sunlight’s low-wan humour;
avoiding then, dark room suture.

You asked me to stop reading (in bed):
‘Monologue’ would be better said;
The subject, not my voice, too trying:
So to myself, in well-spoken silence.

Twelve hours lain, three of sleep,
My long standby, a low power cheat;
I wake to re-design, across my life,
You may struggle to be the same wife.


Today, it finally hit me as I headed home, ache-lagged.
But, as a child I was called ‘Bell-fast’:
A short-lived nickname on the long walk to school,
because my stride got me there in record time:
One ‘The Guinness Book of..’ never cared about.

There was a hedge-thatched ditch,
a slow shallow run of ore-orange silt,
along part of that route to and from school,
(‘before the motorway was built’)
I would not get sucked in, I was walking too fast.

Except one day, rare-slowed, I pulled a fossil from the stream:
A heavy stone, shaped as if a pear, but halved, sliced clean,
stamped with an ancient leaf, it seemed.
Lifted from that school-route ditch,
I wondered then, ‘why me’, with that find;
as I shuffle now, I wonder ‘why me’, again.

Brand Boris

Boris exists
as far as the south;
His voice is old-posh,
ruling real work out.

Bumbling, Chuchillian,
or chilling-distract,
his politics opportunistic,

Seeking the leadership,
of a euro-kicked dog,
the raisin d’etre
of Johnson’s fog.

He will sit ready
to lead vacuum-bores;
No longer a mayor
or bankers’ whore.

Let go of London,
Boris will bike,
the Right will whinny,
Lifting Tory-knives.


Fat expats recline
on Spain’s sunny coast,
oiled up on olives,
pre-paid for Dignitas:

White-carcass, Lycra-clad,
shell suits half-zipped,
these aren’t the Brits
who will force ‘Brexit’:

They never left Blighty,
EC rules on Spain’s shores,
with their exported, off-shored,
Brit-branded flaws:

Marmited, chipped,
fatty food glad,
their life sun-stroked,
now a leathery blag,

every beached gran,
toasting to a darkened hide,
soon to be repatriated,
in Brexit’s genocide.

Dolphin, Fish.. F*ck It

Facebook, overnight, post-bagged snarl:
She, swimsuit-sat, on dolphin, ‘so cruel’:

Held it from water, until it drowned;
we sucked-dry its soul, re-tweeted around.

More concerned cries, over the death of a thing:
As kids ‘cross la Manche, wait, suffocating.

Jungle slow-cleared, raked-over soil,
lost, infected youth, truth’s grey voile.

Les enfants want lives, to make it across,
but may drown in the camps, more un-figured loss.

When war-blown minors are once given hope,
they too will suck life, from freedom’s throat.

This day: not one child will be dragged from hell,
instead we will shame ‘the fish-riding girl’.

Now, No Place to Hide

Once sleep, mitigated,
lowed-sickness extremes,
under lax-lain flow,
relief in night-noosed dreams;

where no fixed stiffness,
or crumbling fatigue:
Dreams, what vagary,
my succoured-relief.

Last night, more vivid,
I filmed delusion’s play,
but, for the first time,
that being, slept away;

Ill-drugged and screams,
now robbed dreams-eased,
with slumber’s infection,
twilight, day-tripped, diseased:

In my sleep, inanimate,
free-frame falsely engaged:
Now in dreams, shuffled,
nightly caged.


Why return, look back,
At that Gulag hut?
Where my sixth form time
was mock-dragged:
On the clock’s face, hands-free, writ:
‘Time is a bourgeois concept’.

The sneer-reduced tutor,
*Name redacted*
With his flat-footed red boots:
An intellectual bully,
Who brought nothing – to us,
‘The Brains Trust’:

His sarcastic, re-parried, thrusts.
My parents asked him:
‘What’s the use of politics,
as a subject choice?’
He joked (unread): ‘Michael could be
a trade unionist, or Labour MP’:

He took them in: so for that act,
this, my decades-reply to
For his staff-room laugh, at simple folk,
Stabbing my parents, slipped cruel joke,
Brief writ now, in my late bourgeois-times,
Look-back, exhale, my knifed-rhyme.


‘Rigidity’, no comforting,
a stiff-backed word:
To be strapped thickly,
under pain’s tight cord.

Magnet-heave off,
against Newton’s guess,
Lifting my heel,
is a fight against.

Gravity and time:
Could be Einstein wrong?
There are dark matters
Within Parkinson’s.