Fifty Two Today – Fifty Two Minutes

Do not mix lager with bitter, for sure.
The eldest, clumping, above, top floor.
Grey sky-sheeted, curtains tug-pulled.
Fifty-two today, my annual award.

We need another, stiffer loo brush.
The fixed drain works – sucking gush.
That shampoo I prefer is running low.
Reflux-rising, this hack won’t go.

I must do laundry, perhaps this morning.
Neck hairs so need tweezered-pulling.
That switch does not turn off that light.
Did I lock-up the shed last night?

Cooled smell of weed’ll be hard to explain.
No screaming emails to add to my strain.
I’ve still to mount those solar floods.
Should’ve planted the daffs in tubs.

Driveway gates hang, more to my liking.
Today is bin day, it must be recycling.
Wobbling paper boy, on his mobile phone.
I’ve no wireless this far from home.

School kids missing, holiday times.
Listen, foul child, I can hear her cries.
Litter count so low on the twitten today.
Darkened leaves piled, rank in decay.

The cafe’s shut, too early it seems.
A slow recall-woken, disturbing dream.
My magnetic gym card, hard-wiped to work.
Absolute Radio, not the Ginger Twerp.

These trainers need time, more wearing in.
I sat-cycled, pedalling, much less pain.
This metal flask keeps tap water cool.
Treadmill’s quick stripes margin my fall.

Kate Bush singing, unrequited, heart-bled.
I sweat harder with hangovered-head.
Cycling again, easier when writing.
Extension repetition, aged muscles-fighting.

Running out of time for breakfast in town.
‘Bye at the exit, desk-dropped frowns.
Playing field to mow, lugged tractors await.
The bypass hums louder way before eight.

Another tipped fence, short-battered storm.
A shed roof bared, felt roughly torn.
Bird song increases along Linden Chase.
I wonder who’ll buy the old dear’s place?

Quick pocket-pat, I’ve got everything.
My stride shortened, still heel-scuffing.
Slid gravel re-routes me to a distant beach.
Fifteen Harvey’s bottles, deposit on each.

Soffits need painting, I cannot do heights.
The back door, and the frame, do not sit right.
This home, slumped silence, weight-swung times.
Eight minutes late, for Big Ben chimes.

Moon Landings 1.

Armstrong – out there
Liberty’s own spaceman
A descendent of Scots –
her home-bred alien

I stared – TV-squared
at the moon-struck man –
stepped into gloaming
on that alien land

I landed in New York-
spaced-out – years after
to build my designs for
city-folks’ laughter

But all I could hear
was The Statue’s greeting –
her blind stare to the east
hiding her weeping

See Moon Landings 2.

Good Friday

Easter’s falsehood,
Christianity cracked,
High-fat sentiments,
Tooth-rot wrapped.

A bitter celebration,
for prayer-soured-souls,
Not yet recovered
From Yuletide songs.

A slow death to be
Celebrated, good grief:
Today, in other places,
ISIS-crucified, retrieved.

Hot cross buns buttered,
Easter eggs laid,
We live with greedy Gods:
Slow-death, the accolade.

The Last Bee

The farmers gathered-in
their ploughed-up pleads
on the basis that
it is you who they feed

The UK defies
now sows “neonics”

Hurrah for the UK
Up the Great Brits

We have the seed power
to put bees to their death

Send in the pesticides
until no queens are left

Now privatise lost pastures
Builders plough the fields
Profit for Landowners
In for the kill

When Britain has poisoned
all Apis mellifera
not one buzz
in your local area

Embrace with love
the immigrant bees
We’ll need their hard work
to sow last hopes of reprise

The Feature

We meekly retreated
From the Picture House trip,
Me, in distraction,
Rewound, tightened grip.

First, I slipped-out,
From the retrospective;
I hid in the Gent’s,
Stiff limbs to forgive.

Fatigue staining my heart,
When I hide this broke,
Intermission then beamed.
We left, for my health.

‘Cross the High Street,
You guided, then a pull;
Early journey home,
Is a feature of all.

Manor Park, At Night

Returning, slow-trod, loose-stone fooled,
The Plan: Cut through Manor Park,
A crow-fly route home, after drop and run,
Of the youngest, at the club, for sleep-over.

Ale-oiled, but now slower than before,
Less erect than the white picket fences
(Stolen designs from steam-train times),
And on to the north side of the estate:

Sodium-lit, briefly, crossing Browns Lane.
Leylandii shivered, even fully-dressed,
A cold wind, this high: I assume sight of Brighton’s
False sunset (light-pollution of the cloud line).

No lamps again, blind man’s sticked-trip,
Over drop-plotted, crippled, kerb stones,
Negotiating shadow-buried service slabs,
Momentarily lamp-lit by the Tesco’s van.

Then realising that she did not know:
My ‘dead’ phone, no signalling safety.
Our friends’ homes dark, ‘Do Not Disturb’, etched,
But the third (brightly) welcomed me in:

Heidi called you: ‘Mike’s on his way’;
Pre-mobile, our movements were plotted,
By land line, reverse-charges, red boxes,
Or a known-home: ‘Sixpence in the pot, ta’

Now: Stepped-into, sat in sofa warmth,
Manor Park vouched for me, as safe:
‘Returning via the grocery store,’ assured:
I declined the offer of a lift,

Needing to keep to my odyssey:
Not quite Three Peaks, but my own one hill.
Lime trees, Manor’s old branch-line, routed me home,
Under their wind-whipped original function.


“I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get
used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours;
my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.” MA.

Muhammad Ali,
one Muslim, one love:
American, Islam;
hand in glove.

Beautiful pugilist,
Stung like a bee,
jabbed by illness,
to slow shuffled-freeze:

Inside he flies
above canvas floors:
Cool sweat of boxing,
slugged in his pores.


Ed Reardon, Hurrumph..

Mr. Ed Reardon,
Please don’t retire,
Your lifestyle is one
To which I aspire.
Your harrumphing is music,
To my hair-filled ears,
Your asinine observations
Underline my own fears.
If you need a room,
To rest your head,
A place to lay
Elgar’s bed,
Drop me a line,
On the evil net,
And I’ll fix up a space,
For ‘reasonable’ rent.

Ed Reardon’s Week – Series 10, The New Thirty, Episode 6 – @bbcradio4

Upstairs Room, Prince Albert.

Dead-weight, rouche mourning drapes,
long-fitted, allying the room’s beams,
accentuated by the dusty refraction
on the glitter ball, still, yet working:
Ghost flecks off the mirrored-planet:

Look close, a sphere of a thousand selfies.
I hold my phone up, like we do, to be
there in the room, on record, uploaded,
few particulates of life are ever captured,
by these devices for palm memories:

Polaroid proved it, before our kids were born;
quickened development misses exposure.
On the wall an almost life-size John Peel
stands in this room, analogue approval,
for every act to appear here, upstairs.