Trumpf Coverage

Covfefe gets coverage
and Trumpf is berated,
tweeted from his iPhone
which had been confiscated:

He had rang up Melania
from his POTUS bed,
‘How do you spell ‘coverage’?’
Her reply he mis-heard..

‘Ka-Oh-va..
fff-ee-fff-eee..’
POTUS sounded the letters,
quite carefully,

but pressed ‘Tweet’ too quick
(with his very small fingers) –
covfefe hung there,
like a bad fart it lingers.

The Witness

They are overshadowed by that evergreen giant,
the one thousand year witness to ceremonies,
to burials, and namings.

Coal was once hoarded where the hollowing
of the yew meets the earth. There, inside God’s tree,
they find a held shelter,

but the air is reduced, taxine within the yew’s
five propped branches, he is hallucinating
as he tastes her,

that passed mead of love, now drugged by her.
Add Odin’s ability to bind and unbind,
and a two millennia lie,

he has no defences left, hung, and crucified
by the centre of her which wets his fingers
in the yew’s compression.

Englishmess

Reduce the Brits – take away their tea –
and Jaguar – Mini – and Wedgwood pottery –
All sold off – the last of British treasures –
what’s now left to make Britain special?

The Great British dinner – battered fish and chips?
Actually a recipe from Jewish immigrants –
The gold we hold in the Bank of England?
No – it’s ‘ta’ to Huguenots for banking millions –

Ah – nothing more Albion than our ancient royals?
Nein – migrant blue blood now long-despoiled –
But Punch ‘n’ Judy – that traditional beach farce?
Alas Italian – their commedia dell’arte –

OK – Saint George – a true Sainted Brit?
No – a Syrian son – with a dragon – illlegit –
Right – polo – how English – on the lawns of Windsor?
Sadly for you from the dusty kingdom of Persia –

That mothers’ ruin poured from gin distilleries?
Been shipped in barrels from overseas –
Pigeon racing – ’tis Northern – an ‘Oop-North’ fancy?
Nay lad – flown in by Belgian bird-loving royalty –

The Womens’ Institute – cake and Englishness?
Sorry – Canada made it and Wales repossessed –
That well-mannered bear – who as kids we well knew?
Ah – even Paddington Bear is a foreigner too –

This country of confusions – imports and invention –
is at its British best when admitting immigration

E031118

How do you mute a problem like Katie?

[Apologies to Oscar Hammerstein II, none to Katie Hopkins]

How do you mute a problem like Katie?
How do you catch a cow and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Katie?
A fascist-in-favour, a will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

Many a-thing you know she’d like to tell you,
many a-thing she so mis-understands,
but how do you make her mute,
to listen to what you say,
being sacked is part of her bigger plan:

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Katie?
How do you get Hopkins forever banned?
When I hear her I’m confused,
ears bleeding and bemused,
And I know that she doesn’t give a f*cking damn.

#GE2017

There will be a ballot
with outcomes unknown,
but the resulting state
could be one that’ll harm,
it may finally remove
the vestiges of pride
which were the first choice
of the winning side,
that construction of faith,
more real than dead Gods,
off socialist embers
fired after the war.

When you make your mark
it will determine the fate
of the care of your family,
the future price paid.
Each ballot with a cross,
is a kiss for the carers,
a token of love,
for the state which will keep us.
Or leave it, don’t bother,
make a mark for the rich,
and let them get fat
on the illness of kids;
let them turn profits
on dementia, new business,
let them trade shares
in your family’s sickness.

Who the F*ck is Nick Timothy?

Who is Nick Timothy?
Do you give a toss?
He’s the quiet one –
St Theresa’s soft voice.

Almost Deputy PM,
with no vote or mandate,
he’ll re-draw Conservatism,
tracing over the Left;

aided by Fiona,
the Queen of Press Passes,
but Nick wears the boots,
‘cos he likes to kick arses.

[Published here on The Dangerous Globe]

The Red Bridge

I long for a ghost to greet me here,
halfway across the rust red bridge,

to challenge me now with a lover’s kiss,
which burns to red on my own dry lips.

Her hair to fall long, beyond death’s hold,
but her neck, her face a brush of cold:

and for me to lean into death’s cool mask,
for me to succumb to her breath of chance:

inhale the vacuum expunged from her lungs,
and I breathe into her my breath of song.

Contrails

The words
‘under contrails’
rounded on me,
those raised scars,
high gatherings
of man-made clouds
over this county,

the icy remnants
of others’ flights
to warmer climes,
and I was grounded
by the weight of my foot
after foot:

I no longer dream
of taking off,
arms wide,
a kick and up,
but I leave a trail
of sorts.

Where I Sit

I sat with care
on a wide (sawn) stump,
it cut back
by an oxidised blade,

I found a seat
of chamfered comfort,
but still a hard cushion
of battered rings,

where the rounded years
had been taken 
by the scouring rain,
and the decay of things;

now rubbed back,
grooves removed,
until the turn of time
had been loosened,

and the history of it all,
once held central,
had been hard-weathered,
no more nature’s annal.

Seven point five

A boot-sucked drop
down through Views Wood,
across a mud-scuffed bridge,
and the ditch in half-flood,
I clamber, not climb,
up the leaf-pressed path,
the rooted friction
is the step and staff,
then led straight on
by the hawthorn hedge,
the sun a million miles
off to my left,
and on to the centre
of a man’s dictate,
under an oak
into the ‘Private Estate’
of neat-lopped birches,
a graze-readied patch,
across the tarmac
past Buxted House,
a hotel for a night,
I wait to wake one time,
where the haa-haa dips,
where the grazed declined:
Up to the church,
with no village encroach,
but now a lone landmark,
of curious ghosts,
of gravestones’ tilt,
and a gate held fast,
where gothic still creeps
on buttress and nave,
but under Christ’s yew tree
the past still prays,
whilst far cross the valley,
the village now lays,
and down past the pillbox,
no old battle ground,
here the tilted cry
of the dead – never found.
Across to the gate
where the grounds expire,
this is the time
I so long desire.

Not Northern Enough

I am not northern enough
to be a radio poet,
not a McGough, a McMillan,
or a Normal kinda bloke.

I am not street enough
to holler as a slam artist,
not a Sia, Poppa E.,
or even Kate Tempest.

I am not black enough
to rhyme with the best,
not MC Drake,
nor a Kanye West.

I am not angry, outraged,
able to bark,
like Attila the Stockbroker
or John Cooper Clarke.

I am (Attila said)
‘the other poetry.’
In which case I’ll exult
with my southern dignity.

Miracle on Downing Street

Saint Theresa knows what is good for us now –
she sings ‘Hallelujahs’ and takes a low bow

as she cleans the feet of the blessed rich
whilst loosening her grip on their privatised bits

She’s touched The Trump – held the hand of God
and now she is saying Come and buy the lot!

And on Election Day – perhaps in 2022
when they’ve won again – against the too few

you might turn round and look back on this time
and regret the miracles you left behind –

the medicine – the doctors – the freedom to move –
the care for the elderly – state schools improved –

the future for kids – ours without privilege –
the rights we had – to stand up ‘n still rage

When the state that blessed us is sold for our good,
you’ll have no one to trust, except Theresa’s rich gods


E281118

It

Remaindered on Amazon, an unread tome,
that Tory horror story: ‘The Manifesto’.

Launched in Yorkshire (for Gothic effect),
a fiction, or future? You The Reader elects:

The monster, the creature, a clown called ‘May’,
rises from the drains to suck young lives away.

From the wrong side of the tracks our hero steps –
Jeremy shouts about the clowning threats.

Deaf to his warnings (of hospitals sucked dry,
of schools destroyed, of the old left to die),

the constituency of Hereabouts sees only May’s grin,
but you, The Reader, are not taken in:

They flock to the clown’s carnival show
(“the last clown lady was very good you know”).

But Reader, you too, will be dragged on your back,
as this horror story becomes a fact.

The Tory Manifesto, a cliffhanger for the kids?
Is this the future? Will they have to live with ‘It’.

 

As featured in ‘The Dangerous Globe’ HERE

Humid

You could see the unexpected humidity
in the weep of the trees

almost a rainforest drip in the woods of Sussex

and being tall I had to dip to avoid
the damp stroke of lime leaf on my neck

that of a sweated relative
or grease-ball teacher.

Underfoot the cinder path was an equal impact
on memory as I lugged my groceries

back

back to

that playground in Surrey which grazed kids
and scuffed the sandals
a home to sparkled
stones and shiny ants

and games of ball
chase
kisses
and secret skipping songs of girls.

No Rain

That kicked-up
wild garlic hit
was the mist
through which
the walk took them

on that route,
slow
upstream,
and then sloped
above the low cut
of rain-denied river.

Each step was
another distance
which closed
the gap
between them.

On his solitary return,
under the dapple
of sodium,
over hard tarmac,
the true nature
of things
returned.

Kathy

For Kathy.

Kathy spoke for a minute,
it may have been less:
“I’m being serious,
I want you to do

something for us.”

[The most powerful woman, in this reduced state,
rep(lied) through her teeth – not one of them straight.]

I vote for Kathy,
I vote for the traduced.
We’ll remove the ‘Fat Cats’ –
make sure your vote is used.


Original NEWS story here

Amended to ‘Kathy’ 17.05.17 – updated NEWS story here

The Pile

Every brick was identical
and took the same grip
in the lift from left to right,
from the old pile to the new pile,

in the repetitive task
that I undertook –
to clear the driveway
of the builders’ detritus.

Each heave was unique in time
but same as the last,
with slight variations
at the start and the end.

Leftover dust was blown
as I picked at the old pile,
counting the weights
like our equalised days.

In such manual work,
of free menial sorts,
I build a low wall
on a slowly stacked week.

Two Women

I met Makris and Demeter
bent over a half-inflated dinghy

and me, the old boy,
interrupted their labour

with a brief history
of my youth on The Thames;

‘meander’ came back to me,
along with ‘blade’ and ‘gate’,

my recall faltered at Barcombe,
on a twist of The Ouse to Lewes,

their sure sweep of youth’s grace
patched my pause with their words,

they were back from The Anchor
to this downstream landing;

they sparkled in the late-May light
with an assurance, in such love,

and I walked on against the current’s force,
but only knee-deep in meadow grass.

Plye pen againe

Under this reduced hand,
my writing slightly askew,

(less old script from my fountain pen,
loosen your grip, man, to let the nib scrape
without the chisel effect of an inky furrow)

I shall claim a small victory
over this place
by a return to legible verse,
by lifting my plough,
bracing,
and taking the next line straight.

Cross

I will now deny the rich
their pleasured agenda
by switching off the media

by restoring my memories,
to recall how secure
our future once felt

I make these my choices –

I will stand up for the NHS,
I will support state education,
I will seek dignity for the elderly,
I will not let sickness profit,
and I will respect those with less
because I will never be
the one percent, not us,
the freelancers,
the fireman,
the coppers,
the nurses,
the teachers,
the shop-keepers,
the factory
and the office workers
we,
the unelected,
the kept-at-bay,
the once state-maintained,
the f*cking Hard Working
tax payers

will be screwed, lustrum-long,
by policies born of private pickings,
whelped by Bullingdon boys

and when I wake to them, again,
wearing sneers they call smiles,
with drubbings for the losers,

I’ll know that my cross was counted,
piled, not as high as the winner’s cards,
but, briefly, in that mark, my minority won.

TN22

Seven AM,
just me and the dog,
on the piled steps
of the lifestyle shop,

as an off-white van
rumbles up the hill,
leaving a rolled cloud
of diesel ill-will,

blaring inanity
with windows wound down.

A commuter snarls,
bent into her frown,

striding with a latte
to catch the train,
her life evaporating
within London (again).

And then the false dawn
of amber street lights
kill themselves off
as she departs this life.

Stephen Fry on Entering Heaven

“How dare you create a world
in which there is such misery..”

Fry cast out the kids’ cancer gifts –
sent forth by the tri-ghost ministry:

“Why should I respect a capricious,
mean-minded.. god?”

Thus he spake on R.T.E.,
tipping an Overman nod.

“The god who created this universe..
is.. clearly a maniac..”

No Stephen Fry tweet,
but a character attack.

“We have to spend our lives
on our knees thanking him.”

And the Gardai burnt time
on Stephen Fry’s meme.

[Original story here ]

Acyclist Now

I love the smell of Lycra
in the morning.
You know, one time
they had a hill climbed,
for 12 hours.
When it was all over,
I drove up.
We didn’t find one of ’em,
not one stinkin’ bikin’ body.
The smell,
you know that Lycra smell,
the whole hill.
Smelled like [sniffing, pondering]
Halfords.

[Apologies to John Milius, FF Coppola, & Joseph Conrad.]

The Path

Outside the gates we turned left,
my first time exeunt in that direction,
every other time it was ‘Exit Right’.

My stick ticked dust as the dog chased
her foreign prey of too-quick lizards,
one easily found, but dead, tyre-pressed.

Your perimeter wall merged into the next,
running the width of both properties,
two modern houses in olive-aged spaces.

Then another wall, but low, redoubled
with sticks, broken tiles and half plates,
homespun solutions from the roadside.

Behind it a squat building, a house,
appended by rusty corrugated metal,
poorly repaired, an unpaid maintenance.

Soon the path ended at such baronial gates,
a wrought iron statement of a loud arrival,
that brusque Englishman’s whitewashed castle.

And we turned, to walk back, alongside
the open field, ‘ploughed on the perimeter
to hold back the snakes,’ your explanation.

The Common Book

These short-swiped days of instant history,
of unsavoury times, of such effrontery;
a meme we fed before the hour had passed,
then called upon as eye witnesses:

‘How could you renounce, so easily betray?’
‘How many times did you turn your gaze?’
Under cross-examination you may fall apart,
prepare your statement, commit it to heart.

This way we now live, screening all calls,
beholding our phones is the new protocol:
a covenant with our electric prayer book,
nailed in our palm, is the first place we look.

The Planting

Lancelot Capability Brown, sunburnt,
drives his yellow digger into your grove

and there, on the almost level ground,
he finds another hole for another root ball,

the third of his flatbed-dropped trees,
which ends up towering alongside

the horizontal swimming pool lines.
The new cipressos are aligned

by those two baseball-capped men,
who guide the next strapped trunk,

with bark rough hands, into the spoil,
planting, for you a marvellous reflection.

Witnesses

I look to them, graveyard-aligned
in our sped view, forever left and right,
on the journey back from Otsuni;

anchored in the red earth, those groves,
set free from the interrupt of stones
by the cast of the rotivator’s throw.

I count, without enough numbers,
the great twisted variations of
olea europaea
, those fixed olive trees:

Once shadows over Christ’s agony,
witnesses to his betrayal in three,
there as the shade in Gethsemane,

that which the Dutch artist sought
in his own lunatic star-field view,
in the daub and press of other oils.

I am told that the drupes are cultivated
between their green and purple state,
added to, altered, to make them black.

I know the shape well – bulbous
beads, like the sweated blood,
(Luke), from the pores of Christ.

We arrived at the house, set in a grove,
the venerable trees continue their telling,
blown by the wind, of that old song of God.