The Jam

Forty years ago
today
I knew boys who swapped
Tangerine Dream records
and others who spat punk

A comprehensive education
in a scrag end Surrey town
of smoke-rattled bike sheds

of wrong trousers and collars

of part formed love and loss

We all knew the girl who gave it
to the intelligent thug

she cried in maths and the bogs

Sex education still has no use

No Dance

We had no dance record –
no undulated score
to offer a vinyl track
to our lost time
of looking back —

The dog lies untouched –
her stroke mislaid
like a forgot chorus
of a heightened itch —

I broke the news
at O-one hundred
with shipping news
and ‘Sailing By’

and your phone died
a battery death
as if
we could recharge


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On Luxford

The old boys’ bench
affords a wide view
of Luxford Fields –
of trees to the north

Here is my basecamp
on the ascent
over difficult terrain
of root-split tarmac

Dog walkers and kid strollers
criss-cross the scuff –
taking turns to shout
and to chase

Behind me shoppers steer
between tight spaces
of white lines –
UP TO THREE HOURS

Two boys on bikes gob
and then dare each other –
on their brakeless machines –
to ride the Tesco steps


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The View

Here – a future lost
like a still fifth child –
her shortened view –
no more beguiled –

as paths by priests
churn to mud –
their robes now scabbed
in soured blood –

All is fouled –
left to burn –
her spin – her shaft
is now slow-worn

The wide street slopes
to rain-washed grey
which I take now –
adante –

the coffee sips
are her warm flesh –
her taste last kissed
of latte breaths


EDITED 170219

BST

British Summertime
day one
as seen from this flint field

high above the Winterbourne’s
estate-dictated course

above the rush of the bypass

that continuous inland tide

Here I listen for the reduced birds
as seagulls are distance summoned
by the hip-jiggered tractor’s
turn of furrow

You have walked on
with me left here
above this valley landscape
with an extra hour of light

as if the clocks had stopped

Smog

I enter London
where nature is hated

here potted and placed
left to wilt disgracefully

This skyline is fugged
and bears no majesty

its stone spires smogged
by the smoke-glass travesties

At London Bridge
the train’s lathed wheels
complain on curves
in engineered squeals

Into Charing Cross

from the South Bank

above the dull Thames
and empty cruise boats

I leave the station
to find my black cab

that fuming transport
with it’s poisonous fag