Rosetta Met Her End

I never saw her selfies,
just those last few camera shots,
on her lonesome way
to 67P’s hardened rocks:

I’m sure she had worked well,
that little spacey probe,
but always doomed to crash
on an indurate comet’s slope;

a mess she must’ve made
on the speeding icy mass,
hurrah for humanity,
we’ve littered more of space!



Desserts of shame!
Cover thine chunks!
Your sugary delights,
they offend Mr Hunt.
Reduce your fats,
you obese puddings,
return to austerity,
to simpler cooking,
to ancient ways,
when sweetness was short,
the poor pot-bellied,
the rich pissed on port:
He’ll ‘save’ the NHS
by cutting it back,
and lighter taxes
for his sweet fat cats.

The Times, 30-09-2016

Counting Cotton

I can tell time passed
by the reduction
of the contents
of the bumper pack
of cotton buds,

that one in the cupboard,
below our sink,
its product packed
so thick that patience
is needed to tug one out.

When that count is half-done
will we be half-emptied
by the rituals of cleaning
up residues of errors,
which only they can reach?

Eventually a rattled reminder
to replacements-required,
another thought about
what we have bought,
are we ever re-stocking?
Will that be when we stop?

B-movie Bodies

Hurry up and wait,
she laughed it,
with her American beauty,
re-cast in the shadows,
there, where we stand,
bodies, on this lot,

in that temporary corral
of trailers (for us,
and other night visitors,
short-term residents
of this burger-wafted
camp of strangers),

all at the mercy
of radioed instruction,
by mere children
on walkie-talkies,
also squawked at,
by a body-count director.


Dad has a suit for the funeral,
and time for a balcony fag,
as the middle kid kicks a ball,
playing alone, ‘cos dad is sad’

Mum is moaning in the kitchen,
‘stuck here until I die,’
and the youngest girl sobs quietly,
for the truth, which makes her cry.

The cremation is booked for two,
a slow drive to the garden of peace,
to their cold dead’s last resting place,
eulogies from an unknown priest.

The youngest girl is kept away,
the only one wet with grief,
living the terrible loss
of the love that she so needs.