Who Slashed The Tyre?

Hands up please,
Who slashed
Ms Caulfield’s tyre?
Which of you Lewesians,
Took out your ire?
On her, your ‘hard-working’,
Tory MP:
Who only this week
Voted to keep,
Migrant children
Out her hair –
One cannot trust kids,
Next thing you know
We’ll be over-run,
Legislated from
Having a slash for fun.

Night Lights

For Jo & Glen

I need,
This short-lifted
Escape from
Cold derision:

In darkened sky,
Remind me that,
We’re not designed
To fly.

Glen and Jo,
As all those coupled,
Ensure my landing
Is flat,

Taxi, terminal-ease,
Through Ashdown Forest,
We return to Uckfield,

Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/

Jeremy Hunt, No Cockney Implied

I don’t think I’ve penned
’bout Jeremy Hunt,

It would be,

Offending word-use,
Rhyming a poem,

I can hear the rune,
‘Hunt’, then going..

The distaste such doggerel
Could inflict on your ears:

Perhaps our doctors
Can suture my fears:

Stitch the Hunt tight,
Allow nothing to pass,

Then he will truly
Talk out of his arse.

Sleep, Removed

I can stand all night
At my hip-high desk
Tapping this keyboard
Facebook requests
Whilst my family slumbers
Under duvet-sleep
And I will wonder
Why sleep is a treat

This disease removes
My covered requests
To bury my dreams
In the double-bed rest
Settled, sleep, chase
If I could, I would,
Forgive me my wife
For sleep removed.


Severin (Severin) / CC BY-NC 3.0

Saturday Shopping

I dreaded when young,
Dragged, another lashing
Off mother’s tongue!

Then into my teens,
And shopping alone,
Woking by bus,
Woolies, Smiths,
(slow route home).

I always bought enough
Note books to be,
Responsible for one
Rain forest tree.

Back then, in web-less
Nineteen eighty-five,
The Amazon, green,
Was hugely alive:

But ‘Amazon’ now
Is a rack of shelves:
Redundancy due
for Santa’s elves.

A Black Friday,
discounted, marathon;
Queue up now,
Cheaper trees @Amazon.

Consent: no expectation

mariette grandfather
The story behind this poem – link here

For Mariette Robijn, and her family.

Mariette stated:
‘No one wills
A favourable reception
Of any illness,’

By Oma, her Grandmother,
Over a century, under God,
Recalling, her husband,
Landelijke Knokploeg.

Hilbert ‘Arie’ van Dijk,
Executed, too cruel,
Helped leading the few,
Their Resistance,

Her youngest son died,
A few years later:
Her great-grandchild died,
in grief’s labour.

Despite these tragedies
Oma carried, ill-eased,
She’d always say:
“Be brave.
You have to agree,

To embark upon the journey..
with an unknown destination.
Without knowing why, or .. how..”
no expectation.

Stone Cutting, Cure Parkinson’s Trust

We were gathered,
To Stonecutter Court,
Each labelled,
Unique in comport.

The presentations,
Learned discourse;
mindful of our
Stem-buried thoughts.

Us, enquiring people,
Sat stiff,
As London’s pile-drivers
Hammered next door.

Our driven excitement,
Talk, some of a cure:

St. George’s Day

Saint George
born high in Syria,
now lies low
from our media:
Caught in Calais,
no marching on,
he lost his horse,
along with Ascalon.
God-battled lands
flattened his hope,
so George put his faith
in a leaking boat.

Now wrapped, red crossed,
in a rug,
his sight is on England,
but his heart is not:
Seven hundred years
we held him high,
waved him at enemies
and in football cries,
adored him for securing
a maiden’s life,
but now we ignore
his French-field cries.

If George can sleep
through winter’s maul,
and wake to breathe-in
Europe’s thaw,
to hear the death-rattle
of the Euro-dream,
quietly loosened
from treaty-schemes:
Shipped over the Channel,
no law to halt,
He could attend
asylum’s full court.

Hounslow, beneath
a wide flight path,
bedded in rooms,
three to a berth;
George can rest
his travel-tattered wings,
attempting to battle
our parochial sins:
Instead he’ll put
his head to his chest,
And wish to return
to the people he left.

I Struggle

I struggle with our
Reaction inside:

Bile-rise, a gut-rush,
Then, in quiet times,

We strafe children,
Keeping no score;
Youth sacrificed
By both sides.

Piling more souls,
Under morte-mercy,
Of a higher command.

Here masked men
Plot death on our streets,
And europe mouths
A mute caveat;

A former leader’s
Guilt we seek,
But Blair bombs
Chilcott, flat.

I do not suggest
We never learn,
As facts pile,

But, do remember:
oil will burn,
Thus, we’re obliged
To piss on the rich.

Thee, Thou, Thine

Four hundred (plus) years,
Shakespeare’s sooo old,
His poesy and plays
Leave me nipped, cold:

His texts are buried
In England’s lost-past,
Along with Chaucer,
He’s a pain in the parse.

Kids shouldn’t have to
Read dead-dotards’ words,
Give them this English,
Our language, now heard:

‘Thee, thou, thine’,
Those impersonal pronouns,
Return to the Greeks,
Word permits turned down.

Embrace our language,
This happening-voice,
File the bard’s folio,
Under ‘Mild Annoyance’.

When I Die, Don’t Tweet Me.

When I die,
I don’t want to be famous,
Too many people,
may then bestow greatness,

On my stiff corpse,
laid, coffin-graced;
Too late for me,

I don’t want my glasses
perched on a wreath,
Nor outward pouring
of hysterical grief:

I would rather die loved,
by people I knew,
Than adored-dead
In an on-line spew:

Give me a tweet,
Like me, and friend me,
I would rather live now,
Knowing my enemies;

Don’t leave it too late,
When I’m boxed, without choice,
Love me today,
Whilst I still have my voice.

Airport Lounge


Another flight home,
in the Alicante lounge;
my temporary carers,
beyond the call,
pool-restored my soul.

Us, there, air-side,
grazing on rolls:
the same arrayed-dish
from thirty years earlier:

Back then, alone,
on the run,
a station,
somewhere in Spain,
I was rattled south
on the RENFE train:

taking lunch,
a flight-stopped
guard’s whistle;
now, lounging,
my time-travelled.




a bee
out of the wind
me and this gatherer

sharing shelter
from the Mediterranean’s
onshore blow
neither wanting to fly

the lumpen oranges
I had helped remove
a few secure-gripped
within the stick-scrape
of the tree

other bee-labours
now tabled fruit
our moment passes
as he lifts away
break taken.

Sweet Truth

Written for Little Horsted CE School, East Sussex – poetry workshop

Just like Roald Dahl,
The best writer of stories,
I surrender too easily,
To sweet-tooth fairies:

Chocolate, oh chocolate!
Terrifying stuff,
The scary thing is..
I can’t get enough!

I don’t care ’bout wrappers,
Brand names or offers,
The chocolate inside,
is all that matters!

Chocolate, oh chocolate!
Causes tooth rot,
The truth is, the truth is,
I don’t give a jot!

Easter eggs on sale,
The day after Xmas,
Begging to be bought,
And eaten to excess!

Chocolate, oh chocolate,
A mouthful of treats,
You are so bad for me,
But still taste so sweet!

Paper Round, 1980

That paper-boy
dawn chorus
in half-light
shrill here,
again garden-deep

placing me back
on my wobbled bike
weighted rub-cuts
of news
which I delivered
in every weather
others’ opinions

as the street lamps
burnt out on time
I diligently posted
rolled folded or flat
subject to slot
delivered without fail
by my Fleet-inked fingers.

The Last Craftsman

In the heaving,
Sports hall
(A premature fest,
Of seasonal fayre),
He was creating,
With hand-sure tool,
Under engraving eye,
Time-etched deep,
In long-crafted care.

In these shipped
Of rough imports,
(Lined up,
In our matching homes),
We wonder,
With heavy,
If we are better
Than those,
The Jones.

Indoor Rain, Lyon, 1986

That walk-in music,
‘The Boys of Summer’,
Amplified high, over
Stacked bullets and bins,

As hundreds of punters,
Surged a screamed age,
Ran to the egos (still,
Couch-slumped off-stage).

I stared at that girl,
The Waterboys’ tech,
Then failed to sing
My simple motet:

Backstage, a caravan,
A view of the tour,
Headline act echo, her
un-asked encore.

Later, thin clouds,
Perched high in the roof,
Cooled in the stadium,
Rain-dropped reprove:

The water girl gone,
Just me, salt-dripped;
The get-out, worked hard,
I left Lyon, ungripped.

Bar Work, 6am.

I woke up hard,
From an erotic dream,
Victoria, a bar, sipped
Beer and stood;
That communicated,
Brush of stranger,
Half touch, hip rub.

She was chatting about
Keith Vaz being ejected,
From this place:
‘His type,’ she said.
And I was attracted
To that type of woman,
Back then: Older,
Late thirties, open.

That was the eighties,
When my physique
Was more tuned
Than my mind:
I had ordered a lager,
That dated my dream,
Being a bitter man
These days.
Single and on the pick-up;
She had a cruelty,
This stranger,
Attractive back then.

Lift North, 1986.

Montpelier, empty,
That wind-robbed place,
As if the cruel mistral
Had fully-erased,

With maddening blasts,
All warmth-known,
And me, broke, bagged,
Foreign cash gone.

Before me, corralled,
Tour buses and trucks,
My old ramped-haunts,
Flightcases and trunks:

Catering, kick-starting,
The ragged crew;
I was recognised by
Old roadies I knew.

I left that hotel,
Paid borrowed Francs,
And returned to the venue,
To join the tour’s ranks.


Thirty years gone,
My youthful long shame
When travelled alone,
A guilt-hitch game.

I had robbed my account,
Spent hole-supplied notes.
Ferried-thrown to Spain,
Puked dry on that boat.

From Santander, rain,
Me a hitch-soak rat,
My hand in the air,
Lifted off the kerb’s trap.

The romantic notion,
Spanish storm’s rheum,
A clearing focus,
In Montpelier, blown .

A failed sojourn,
Stupid-Kerouac spun,
A toured lift north,
Teenage kick done.


You are now storm-struck,
no ‘met warning’,
there, blow-stranded,
all alone, tide-washed,

An unfortunate Crusoe,
shaking with the cold,
it would appear,
following footsteps
in the soft sand,
often tipping away
to one side;

it could be another
drunken stumble,
except this isn’t
a rum island.

You are disconnected
from your world.
Your existence needs
careful planning,
ready the beacons:
Help will be here.


I have never enjoyed cold tea –
you know that slop-dreg last inch

My dad drank gallons of it
with swigged slurps – his sound

By God, he could drink it hot!
Gulped down – necked red-raw

Followed by a Silk Cut drag
until the throat cancer stuck

He puffed over nine miles of fags
and how many gallons of tea?

With a cooled inch left, I stop –
Everything gives you cancer

Charles V

Answer me – Charles – take as long as you need –
do you know when you will accede?

Prince of Wales – dear chap – you may be disposed –
so instead get crowned on reality shows

Come Dancing – Chas – you would win in a puff –
plus Grand Designs – possibly not Bake Off

We’d all vote for you – ever so ‘umble –
You’ll be crowned King – of The TV Jungle


Our closest have lives to live and enjoy –
delayed redundancy in our sick bed-employ –

Carers – co-sufferers – careers not chosen –
tend the disconnected – the mumblers and frozen –

Altered – shameful – re-written contracts –
No wedded-bliss when we ill cannot act –

Wives – husbands – family – relatives old –
air-brushed awareness as age takes hold –

My prop – my chained-helper – engaged far too cheap –
Her offset disbursement being too tired to weep

When care is passed on – hear my atheist-prayer –
I ask her forgiveness for our marriage – unfair



Relegated, reduced,
to a half-size man;
me, wrenched-doubled,
over the pan:

I can still function,
albeit at some cost,
but the future is broken,
full stature now lost:

Ill-company offered,
now DX-altered,
by illness, unseen,

True diagnosis,
off thin slice of brain,
our minds then admired,
pathology’s gain.

A Path In Israel


It was a path
from another time,
Your close enquiry
of an ant-marched line.
Crossing the equally
engineered rails,
We both avoided
the steel-trip trail.

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.

Unlocked the gate,
metallic complaints,
I showed you the place
where your uncle waits,
your talk is erased
by the hand-carved curves,
Our name cries out,
among foreign words.

As I Am Walked

This day is unsteady,
No earthquake,
Just tremor,
As I am walked
By the pull-pull-dog,

Across the park;
Becoming more
Of a drag,
Heel-scuffed tarmac,
Her strangled,

Announce our parade:
Coming to town:
The Flat-Footed
Quivering Clown
(And his comedy dog).

A smile from a child,
Delighted by the sight,
Of such a performance:
The dog bows,
As I am walked.

Brexit Weather Forecast

The long-term forecast,
Graphics on-screen,
Low over Britain,
Sweep of right-blown freeze:

Extreme off America,
Frosting our bias,
The return of the Pilgrims,
Re-routed on wireless.

Accents trailed West,
We say we are ‘liked’,
‘Literally’ rained-down,
From You Tube’s fat pipe.

Our children consume,
Screen-feeding frenzy,
Imagery of bigotry,
Old-age the young’s enemy.

Britain lays broken,
Scots cast afloat;
The forecast is grim,
However we vote.

The Damascus Gate Toll

Damascus Gate, E. Jerusalem,
Security heightened, raised sights again
Age-ranged soldiers, armed in fear
A bullet-proof vest, no comfort here
Suspicion and distrust is the viral knife
It cuts right through each citizen’s life
All guns are raised, in protection of peace
Each bullet loaded for triggered release
High-tensioned snipers, safety catch off
Troops fenced-in from knife-lunged wrath.
We have learnt well, to hide our fears
Explains the Arab, as soldiers appear
Hands-high, shirt-pulled, embarrassed to state
This, our new toll, to use Damascus Gate

More Coughing

Sleeping downstairs
Ain’t fun,
You don’t fall asleep
With anyone;
Just the tick of the clock,
On the mantelpiece,
And the sigh of the dog,
As she dreams of sheep.
Reflux has become
Our threesome joy:
Upright to trick
My cough’s annoy:
My hack is enough
To disturb the peace,
Of rest-less wife’s
Croup-broken sleep.