Value


I am humiliated by this decay,
its dragged moments I can’t avoid,
it lessens me, I will slope away,
to be cloaked in the duvet’s void:
There my limbs are less employed,

as am I, in a short-lived suspense,
over sleep-engineered springs,
to a place of brief recompense;
but with my being there I shrink,
my devaluation, one lasting thing.


 

Warehouse Lad


This is a return to hell,
sitting in a warehouse
of soft-play constructions,
and other people’s kids,
re-fueled by sweet drinks,

and me, here, trapped,
in seating which complained
under my current weight,
sofas impossible for a man
to rise from with any style.

Another dad, rather anxious,
up among the ricochet of kids,
in the net-safe towers of foam,
as we sat adults observe
his mismatched socks on show.

In the roof raw strip lights,
and foil-wrapped air-con,
take me back to other hours
of square feet, of a life spent
working in commercial sheds,

equal scaled-down hells
of my previous employments,
in look-alike high structures,
now called industrial units,
the new measure of lost time:

A lad clears the tables,
tipping purple drinks, chips,
and piled, untouched food
into a bucket: an hour of his life
equal to the remains on one plate.


 

The Old Boy


Grandfather was of a slipped generation
with his Bakelite-twirled-to radio stations –
tuned to his low-hums with orchestras
and his wound-up clock – that western sutra –
its regular pendulum his hands-free baton
conducting his lonely tea-mornings taken –
until he rolled his guard-rattling Raleigh
out of the garage – always wordlessly –

for his brief progress to priest-led prayers
down to the hymns and those-who-care
His trouser leg rolled – clipped – chain-safe –
he pedalled away to kneel at God’s place –
I re-delivered his Guardian newspaper
to his emptied room – our in-house neighbour –
In such regular times I’d take a sneak –
a look inside The Old Boy’s suite –

His life with us was lived behind two doors –
the only bedroom with parquet-floors –
in that other place – not fully his own –
in his free chapel – there prayers alone –
beside his shelves of impossible books –
Schweitzer tallest amongst the hardbacks –
Some with his dead wife’s dated name –
but no further indications of her ever being –

That forensic examination of his living space –
with my untrained eye – I made mistakes –
I never read well his folds or light marks
which re-leafed books do often impart –
I now decipher those responses I get –
I am near his last age – and he gains my respect

041118

Putin’s Law


Multiply subordinates,
not your rivals,
as Parkinson’s Law
stands, as it applies:
Nothing to do with
shuddered disease,
more about huge
bureaucracies:
A law equally applied
to the world’s leaders,
with their hidden desire
for sinister pleasures.
Putin has studied
this arcane resolve,
he’s running America
through Trump’s arsehole.


 

Gifted

It will be another end
to another slowing year –
my tightening body
under pain’s besmear

A letterbox drop –
cards on my hall floor –
there to remain
as I can’t bend any more

Christmas on pause –
slight hints of freeze
until the carer’s arrival
to attend to me –

if she turns up –
if she’s the same one –
my hour will lighten
and a bath will be run

A text from my child –
now a mum on her own –
they’ll be here by three
We are never alone

One lesson I’ve learnt
under disease’s deep rub
is that life is still wonderful
when treated with love


Better Lives. Together.
November is National Family Caregivers Month. The Parkinson’s Foundation is here for care partners and family members with support and guidance to help you build a better life with Parkinson’s.

E141119


Last Minute


‘Twas the last Saturday
before Christmas,
and a panic ensued,
a present for his mother,
even though she’s so rude;

you dive into Smiths,
lacking Xmas inspiration,
you come out carrying
others’ foul perspiration.

Instead buy a scarf,
from the crap-gift store,
but such selfless endeavour
doesn’t bring you rewards.

You’re home, empty-handed,
so knock back the red wine,
after all it’s Christmas,
you’re meant to unwind.

Open Ebay, hit ‘Search’,
and find her an online gift,
Christmas has been sorted,
now forget the old bitch.


 

NOE


The fret cut letters
should’ve spelt ‘NOEL’,
but were marked half price,
missing the ‘L’ now spelled:

‘N-O-E’ – it stated,
from a low-shelf place,
but ’tis the time of sales
and bargains are chaste:

It got snapped up
by a lady full of fun,
a Valentine gift,
for her man, her O-N-E.


 

4,000 Weeks To


And how to use
this allocation
well: Connect
with the same,
do not allow
any form of abuse,
become a philosopher
(or a published poet),
evacuate your mind
of ill-thoughts,
whatever you do
don’t be efficient;
meditate daily,
embrace all love,
do not delay
and waste less time:
Always avoid,
whenever possible,
an early death
(look both ways).


 

Five Bar


At our five bar gate,
with the quick-trap latch,
uneven in closing,
mis-fitted, ill-aligned,
is where I stood,
with a long view of your
approaching sadness,
and you stopped to talk,
after a usual pleasantry;
but then you gave to me
your knave-held cards,
a pair of bastard men,
living in different houses:
There I stood equal
to their low value,
in other dealings,
under different stakes:
I had to express doubt
in your maybe-boyfriends,
exposing their bluff,
as mine was once dealt.


 

Philipshame


Mr. Philip Davies,
Shipley’s own MP,
always votes to deny
womens’ equality:
There are many concerns
on his To Do List
(his Ladbrokes punts
are a bit hit-and-miss*).
Now sat on a committee,
one which he detests,
I’ll wager he’ll reduce
its odds of success:
He won’t help Parliament
smash any glass,
instead he’ll get
the ceilings reinforced.


Digging


With these lines, today’s commitment,
I revisit burials I have turned from,
the lowered place of shovelled history,
which, even under my reduced recall,
are things that shouldn’t have been:

Those minor indiscretions
which if dug up, levered, exhumed,
and stinking of the past’s decay,
would make you think less of me:
Those shallow graves best undisturbed.


 

Commuters


Stationary, white
towel-wrapped,
having exited
the shower to stand
there for me,
before our drive,
a shared journey;
she dripped beads
off her bared calves,
marking the carpet
with spotted stains,
falling, raining,
as she rubbed, flicked,
her crop of dark hair,
then her right thigh
was glimpsed, exposed;
I sat, entranced.
A later time
I leant over her,
as she soaked,
the return trip;
I bit her nipples,
wetting my chin
in the clear water,
I bobbed for her then.
But she was always
the fruit, to be left.


Rogue One: Review One


A sideshow, a bit part of the story,
in a galaxy far, far away;
never closer to any ending,
and Troopers’ aim, as ever, astray:
Rough Rebels yell loudly for glory,
with occasional laughs at their knobs –
lit buttons pressed too randomly,
but, still they do the job.
A gathering of weird alien species,
stood around their circular table,
future knights, again myth-making,
think the Force is more than capable.
With a cameo from a long-dead actor,
heavy breaths from the ever-buffed Darth,
Rogue One sits nicely in the box set,
big returns on a brand we all love.


 

Neoliberalism – The Box Set


Democracy is now a box set,
an entrance and exit farce,
a short comedy of situation –
laughter at Ed Balls’ odd dance.

We – the strapped-in audience
– with our contract, paying-to-view,
watch these series evolve,
produced by the political few:

They’ll direct the rape of services,
and write-out aged stars,
they’ll script the tawdry screenplay,
and expect us to play the parts.

Our rights have been lost to our stories,
no repeat fees paid for mistakes,
the masked bureaucrats run the studio,
they sweep aside the costly out-takes.

“True Democracy – A Filthy History”:
We sit before our sixty-inch screens,
we are dealt the marked House of Cards:
On sofas no one hears your screams.