Home, to a greeting child, wrist-wrapped, dog-bit:
Then travel (fast) to an M.I. unit.
The waiting room, a car-crash, filled stiff chairs,
In charge: the triage nurse’s contused stares..
At school, a rough painting
of my father, in green:
His shotgun, an accurate detail,
With empty breech, unloaded,
He shift-slept: even through
my demanding brush-stroke..
I love the place name: ‘Teddington’,
It raps a tapping off my tongue.
Above the rises of river tides:
Just tidal bores in house prices.
So sits deed-rich: benefices*.
In this (revisited) moment my eyelids are caustic,
stung-rubbed corneas, awake, weighted-down,
by an utter exhaustion,
(which sleep, these days, fails to cure).
I, drug-succumbed, to such high views,
from unclouded dream-peaks:
then wading, unaided, each half-flooded
unmapped valley of sleep:
where such side-effected,
vast dreams, broadcast through the night,
to my disconnected self:
every time, more real, when I can move, like old.
But flat rigidity, offered, again, at 5am,
is a sluggard-waking, on misty un-rolled downs,
off the sleep-state – providing no more shelter,
from exposure, to my forever-reigning pain.
We are now committing six easy jets,
And many young souls to cold desert-deaths:
Then we’ll agree a bloodied bag-exchange:
More re-dress rehearsals (of flag-tagged pains).
Led by the strong-arm (of munitions’ squeeze),
Again lobbied “Ayes..”, said our lame MPs.
Did we bomb Ireland, strafe the terrorists?
No: we shook those Fenians’ angry fists.
For peace at home – send a tame diplomat:
But for offshore battles – we’ll bomb you flat.
We both stood then,
under bent lime trees.
But then whipped,
A roar of timber-roll seas.
And a final,
washed and purged.
Yellow lines to be laid, in paralleled-pairs,
Whilst striped-bright police cars patrol unawares.
All being ‘good’, the badly-parked will be slapped,
With a statutory fine: windscreens ticket-wrapped.
The new parking zone will stretch from Uck to Ouse,
Privatised wardens, wearing uniform blues,
Pacing out side streets (in bounty-hunting mode),
Leaping on the line-parked: ‘I stopped to unload!’
Our future is fine – thirty days to pay up,
But don’t park in Uckfield, it has just been shut.
Poetry is good for us,
It makes us happy,
Our babies loved hearing it,
Wrapped in a nappy.
Poetry’s our underwear,
We don’t like to flash:
We know if it gets dirty,
We think it quite rash.
“Poetry should rhyme!”,
“Follow the written-down rules!”
So why bother?
No, that is too cruel.
– Looking nice Michael, been somewhere special?
– Funeral. In the bloody rain.
Two pints of bitter, froth flat,
stand alongside the boozers,
as they then chat about the showers,
just passed, and bloody penguins… /