Saturday, 17 December 2016

Observations While Sitting In The Farmyard, During a Late December Riding Lesson


Clip clopping,
Cobs walk across concrete,
Sounding like an imitation
Of cobs walking across concrete-
Clashing coconut shells,
A nags long face protrudes above a stable door,
Looking like every horse
Who looked out before,
Like Mr Ed,
Whinnying, tossing his head.
Also: brown cows in stalls,
Country smells,
Empty pens,
Piles of old straw,
A rusty bike,
Ground thick with mud and manure,
Puddles of pale sky on the ground,
Snow white hens
Scratching round -
Clean, pristine, finding grain on the stable floor,
A silver tabby trots dressage like,
Lifting high each precious paw.
Two people stand,
Chatting, as water from the hose falls,
Beside a fittingly filthy fork lift truck,
Their Yorkshire voices swear at each verse end
Without a care,
Turning the air
A different shade of blue,
For no particular reason,
Just because they do,
Just because they don't give a fuck,
The habitual use of the obscene
Adds spice to banter, otherwise bland,
Between an old farm hand
And a young friend
With an orange face, smeared in foundation,
As thick as the muck in the yard,
And eyebrows, after the style of Cara Delevigne,
As out of place
On the local face
As the bags on the bales,
Shiny, thick, black polythene.
There's a slight sense of the season,
But it's not cold,
The ground's not hard,
There are no mangers to be seen,
Though much hay,
Something in the last light of the day,
Describes endless ends of term
And walking home, happy,
After the nativity play.
And here's the file of horses coming back,
Grey, bay, dun, piebald, black,
Plodding now, 'the weary way',
After the hack.
Stopping.





Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Annoying Wood Pigeon



When I'm grown up, or after I'm dead
I'm going to be an annoying wood pigeon.
I shall coo down chimney pots at top volume
And eat all the thrown out bread,
Before anyone else can get near it.
I shall have noisy, flappy quickies at the tops of trees
On insubstantial branches, which can't support my weight,
Or my bird's, who will be a bird.
I will repeat the same few words endlessly,
I shall just state things
Over and over again,
And have rainbows on my wings,
And I'll glide on currents of air
And not care
About owt
I shall be even more free than a man in a scaffolding gang,
Swearing and singing and throwing poles at people's heads,
Life will be one long hoot.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Toothache Sunrise



From a small point, indefinable, it grows,
Intensity increasing red, then glows
Bright orange through to pale peach light,
Until its centre point is screaming white
That fills the place with nothing but itself
There is no other thing within the space
That is the oblong window which now shows
In contrast to the darkness of the room,
Wherein I lie, in aching agony 
Waiting to resume normality 
As aspirin forms a cloud of dull neutrality.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

November Cycling

Today has the colour and light and sun slant rays
Of all those past last of November days,
Of Advent carols in the head
Of yellow leaves and all that jazz,
And frosty, crisp, white-powdered grass,
The border's flowers brown and dead,
Demonstrating all decays
And yet stays just the same, always.


Friday, 25 November 2016

Fake News, Post Truth Rondeau



"Let's listen to the fake news, Dear,
Put Radio Four on, so we'll hear
Post truth, disguised as real fact
These so called experts can't half act.
One falls for each bizarre idea
These scoundrels sound so damned sincere,
That for my sanity I fear,
Until, with rude words and no tact,
The fake news
Gets You shouting back." Don't revere
The News, just question, get things clear.
And when it sounds like balls, react:
Write in, complain, hope they'll be sacked,
These frauds who would bring to your ear
The fake news.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Quantum Particles Of Soul

All those quantum bits of soul
That float about within the room,
Seem attracted to my brain,
And I am filled with others' thoughts,
Specks of trouble, doubt and gloom.
When darkness falls I feel old pain.

Perhaps they're really scraps of prayer
Fragments rent from their one whole
Because they were transmitted, sent 
When distress left minds in torment
Flashing signals in despair,
Aware they could not alter doom.

Perhaps I am a good receiver
As I'm not a true believer
Perhaps they settle in my mind
As particles of debris meant
To teach me I must have a care.

And yet I always wish to find
Some means to comfort, though I'm blind
And needs must grope towards the light,
Scraping at each built up layer
To find some truth in dark, black night.

Perhaps absorbing is sufficient
Perhaps once anchored, made secure,
I should not feel I must do more,
Should cease to strive to be efficient
Should be content merely to store
And let these atoms, reminiscent
Of man's sadness through all ages
Rest in peace, my head their tomb.








Wednesday, 28 September 2016

A Kind Of Mantra For An Old Friend To Recite When She Feels The Urge To Join In With Her 'Close Knit' Community

All men are islands, other folk are hell!
Leave me be, I do not like mankind.
I only wish in solitude to dwell
Alone with my own intelligent mind.
Don't try and involve me, or you might find
I'm better than you at doing things which you do well
And you wouldn't want to feel you were getting left behind.
All men are islands, other folk are hell!
And you are just a shit, I've not lost my sense of smell!
This clod has washed away, it is not inclined
To be part of the main; it was when you put the boot in that it fell.
Leave me alone, I do not like mankind.
I have no desire to be mingled, intertwined.
I am Sufficient of myself and my reasoned thoughts can quell
Any efforts of yours to leave me feeling undermined.
I only wish in solitude to dwell.
And nothing you can say or do will ever impel
Me to join your crowd of carping fools, all blind
To faults of their own. I intend to spend a spell
Alone with my own intelligent mind.
You don' belong to me, there are no ties that bind.
I owe you absolutely nothing, I shall stay inside my shell.
I am a bitter lemon, so do not remove my rind,
And do not venture near me lest I yell
"All men are islands!"

(rondeau redouble)

Friday, 2 September 2016

Paranoia: Something Went Wrong With This Page

Something went wrong with this page
So we decided to reload it.
You were reading something right wing, 
Some populist thing in a tabloid.
Something went wrong, you felt rage,
You thought criminal thoughts and imploded.
So we snatched away the cause,
Gave you a chance to avoid it,
Gave you a moment to pause,
Just to take a breath, count up to ten,
Collect your thoughts and remember 
There's no place for hate this September
Of 2016, on the web.
We gave you time to consider 
And to stop thinking like a pleb.
Something went wrong with this page,
Well not with this page per se,
But with your choice, your wanting to read it.
We think you were lead astray.
But you won't let it happen again.



Sunday, 14 August 2016

A Response To A Report Into Electoral Fraud in Ethnic Communities.

Don't judge!  It was the atmosphere that did it.
The Electoral Commission's not a racist institution.
I am not a racist, and that's to my credit.
We are only really guilty of a kind of abdication.
Ethnic communities don't need re-education, 
Respecting democracy's not a thing you can inherit,
So we decided there'd be no investigation.
Don't judge! It was the atmosphere that did it.
Cultural Marxism has much theoretical merit.
We only wanted reality to fit the dream, we used imagination.
Never the stick, only ever the carrot,
The Electoral Commission's not a racist institution.
It can't be helped that cheating's a temptation.
"All shall seem well", as someone once put it.
We only turned a blind eye, that's our mitigation.
I'm not a racist and that's to my credit.
There was no paper evidence, and I didn't shred it.
If we'd come down hard we'd have caused riot, revolution.
We weren't corrupt ourselves, where corruption occurred, we simply hid it.
We are only guilty of a kind of abdication,
All in the interests of harmonisation.
We always meant well, people often said it,
Everything we did was with the best intention.
There are cultural differences in the places crooks inhabit.
Don't judge.



Thursday, 28 July 2016

A Prayer In Memory of Father Jacques Hamel, murdered by IS While Saying Mass.


May the peace of the Lord be with you;
May the calm warmth of a July morning in church remain 
Always this sense of love, the love of an old priest for his fellow men. Let it renew,
A thousand fold, the stock of love, so we regain
Our sense of trust in each other, and the pain
And suffering and loss shall not obscure our view
Of hope.  Let us mark each hour in our minds with the refrain:
May the peace of the Lord be with you!
And give thanks for it in all the quiet moments of our lives. Let true
Wisdom and mercy govern our reactions, let us remember each grain
Of love produces a miraculous yield. The bad are but the few.
May the calm warmth of a July morning in church remain
In your heart and mind as the scent of a sweet flower when strain
And fear seem to overwhelm, may you find the clear, blue
Light of a summer day beyond the clouds and may it contain
Always this sense of love, the love of an old priest for his fellow men. Let it renew
Your spirit so that you go forth into the world with that tranquility he knew,
Born of faith and trust.  Let not contempt, disdain,
For those who dwell in blackness guide. For we must increase, in all that we do
A thousand fold, the stock of love, so we regain
Our sense of trust in each other: let him not have died in vain.
Let the pastoral peace of psalms and hymns be the warmth that lifts the settled dew
Of sorrow from your saddened soul, may the path of life be a summer lane
Ending in a quiet church wherein that balm of stillness is, which shall violence subdue:
The peace of the Lord.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

The Women

They came from shortlists, well designed,
To fill the House with just their kind,
The lesbians with butch, cropped hair,
The Tory ladies dressed with care,
The deeply spoken, and the squeaky,
They came from Ramsgate and Auld Reekie,
Harridans and cold, hard bores,
With steely eyes, pugnacious jaws.
Their politics were much the same
They thought alike, shared every aim,
They crowded round the centre ground
And dished out dull, bland bites of sound,
Their minds were empty, speeches hollow,
Ambition led, ideas could follow,
And yet they rarely ever did.

And they would never make a bid
In favour of less government
Because they were a regiment
Of bossy sisters who loved rules
And took the demos for dumb fools.
They spat at liberty and swore 
To do away with common law,
Because they did not understand
The history of our ancient land
And thought a web of regulation
Would much enhance this once great nation.
They didn't know that less was more
And mould grows from a single spore.








Saturday, 18 June 2016

Thoughts Occurring While Looking At Portrait Of Milton As A Child.

In dreary dullness and in gloom
He gazes out, does not look down,
His essence lingers like a perfume,
English roses, warm air blown.
His doublet, once striped gold and brown,
Is black with coal dust dark as doom,
His stiff lace ruff, silly costume of a clown,
In dreary dullness and in gloom,
Is cream and grey like storm tossed spume,
But still it serves to frame his face.  No frown
Distorts his youthful brow, his cheek still sports a coral bloom.
He gazes out, does not look down.
He was not then of great renown,
Yet seems a father to the man. What an heirloom
Man inherits, in childlike clarity of thought which lights up the unknown.
His essence lingers like the perfume
Of a better kind of wisdom which survives beyond the tomb.
His face is grave, his intellectual merit, though not here fully grown,
Is obvious as he looks on. Freedom's not some foul fume
English roses, warm air blown,
Are not sweeter, breathe it in. Why doubt what you are clearly shown?
Past light of stars illume
The present darkness of the night.  Choose what is known.
You aren't children, but free men, born
In dreary dullness.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

A Letter Home From The Islamic State

I miss Greggs' pasties:
Here in the Caliphate
We only eat off a plate,
(It's always a stalled ox with hate
Therein).  We nasties
Are nought if not sticklers for etiquette
And Sharia -
Which is just another word
For manners really, rules.
Like wiping your mouth with a serviette,
Only if you forget,
You get your head cut off,
Or you're thrown in a vat of nitric acid.


It's cool, yet I still fancy a pasty,
Greasy, flabby, warm and flaccid
Just to hold in my right hand.


I got my left one chopped off
Because I didn't understand
That I wasn't meant to use the boss's tools,
And I took his spanners as I hadn't heard
Him stipulate
That using his stuff was haram.


He brought his sword down slam,
And shouted God is Great,
And I thought, yeah, but your'e nasty.
And now the end of my arm,
Looks like a boiled ham,
Which is not a good look, in Islam.


Sometimes when I'm hungry,
I wish he'd chopped off my head,
Instead, because my stomach quite often thinks my throats cut
Anyway.  And there's this constant rumbling in my gut.


Here we live off the fat of the land.
Life's not hard.
It's not that the food here isn't tasty,
It's just they just don't do flaky pastry.
Food in the Caliphate is great, 
Like God, but it isn't like food from Greggs
Which is greater,
Like those ones with meat and potater,
I could right fancy one o' them,
Or some chips and battered cod,
But that's not Halal, either pal,
If it's done like I like: in lard.
So I'd better watch it, or I'll lose my other hand
And both legs.






Sunday, 15 May 2016

The Dumbing Down of Death

When I am gone
Think only this of me,
I did not die
Because I longed to lie
In silence where I couldn't hear
You reading poetry.
Crying, stumbling, sobbing, taking care,
It's all as bad,
Though man that is born of woman hath but a short time to live,
And is full of misery,
Don't make it worse, 
I did not love the works of Edward Lear,
More than the language of the Book of Common Prayer,
So don't read verse.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Never Buy A Second Hand Carpet From "Fluffy Chops"

Never buy a second hand, Persian rug,
From a woman with the user name 'Fluffy Chops,'
You might think it better, and feel smug
About buying a carpet
From a fellow English woman,
Because all those oriental shops
Seem rather a rip off.
But honestly, if you turn up at the door
And see a notice saying,
'Before you report my manky looking Persian cat to the RSPCA
Here are a few things to bear in mind...'
Then you should scarper, because you will find,
Kitty's not the only mangy Iranian.
The rather pretty looking old Nain,
You saw on ebay was only attractive
Because you didn't know,
Anyone would stoop so low
As to sell,
Something with that cheesy, doggy, catty smell.
And your house will never be the same again,
Even though it's rather fragrant already
What with the scent of incontinent pets of your own,
And those certain places that remind you of that last time at the vets,
And the corpses where your poor old friends had laid,
All night, dead, uncured, and gently leaking,
Despite the thousands of pounds you had paid.
When buying second hand carpet, you wish your animals to be alone
In their vile habits,
And you don't wish to confront the possibility of other people keeping house rabbits,
Or to have to give a name,in your head,
To that vivid yellow stain,
Pretend it is there by design, instead.
And it's no good seeking
Compensation, caveat emptor and all that,
EBay isn't the shops,
If you don't like odour of cat
Then strictly speaking,
You were mad to buy anything from 'Fluffy Chops.'

Sunday, 8 May 2016

To Rupa Huq, MP (Labour) An Apolgy For Past Wrongs

(last year she wanted Britain to apologise for the creation of the state of Israel)

Just less than three score years ago, and ten,
in arrogance of recent victory,
so flushed with pride and clear in our certainty
we saw a way to help our fellow men,
and 'put right' history.


We thought our role, was helping those
who wished to live according to their faith,
to worship God according to tradition,
not merely as a private act, but in the institution
of a state, a separate nation.


We thought it wise and right to help men live
according to particular belief,
in acknowledgement of ideas 
such men considered holy
in accordance with God's word and His instruction.

We sought, in pride, to help create a place,
which separated men from one another,
like sheep from goats, accepting of the notion
that ideals of how to live 
were bound up with religion. 


These men themselves had long expressed this need
and in misplaced compassion we agreed.
for after all men suffer persecution
for belief. And persecution was, for some, all they had known.
and who were we, who knew Christ's suffering,
to deny a place of safety unto them
that wished for some small corner of this earth
to be a place to call their own?


Yet who were we?
Was it up to us to grant the wishes of our fellows?
Is it right to intercede in any territorial fight,
cause retributive genocide, displacement, mass migration?
And carve up countries into separate jurisdictions
because certain kinds of men seek domination?
Weren't we deluded in our aims? 
How could we, mired as we were in ancient wrongs,
help put things right?


Was it in our power at all to say
this land belongs to one who worships in this way,
and none must seek to question 
the validity of this high handed action?

And now, do all those who dwell within this sovereign nation,
live in freedom and as equals?
Has intolerance become an unknown notion?
Is it a patch of earth where there's no persecution?
Do all men live at liberty, in this land,
to express their freely held convictions
while governed by such men as understand,
that truth and peace flow from consideration
of the struggle each man has to live life well?
Is there absolute contentment in the total population?
Can we say, with hindsight, we were right to plan
this violent, troubled nation: Pakistan?

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

On The Consequences Of A Surfeit of Right Wing, Online Editions

I want to read something that will make me truly mad,
I love that outraged feeling when I'm justifiably furious,
And there's nothing in the Mail Online that's really all that bad,
I feel no indignation, I don't even feel curious.
So I look again at Breitbart, but I'm getting quite inured
To the actions of those immigrants, so I still feel rather bored.
Then I click on The Spectator, pin all hope on Douglas Murray,
But there's nought by him to stir me up, so then I start to worry,
That I really am immune to quite how vile the world is now,
And that I want it to be viler: I'm a nasty, mad, old cow.

Some Dreary And Bleak Thoughts Which Occurred On A Lovely Day

I wish to leave no trace of me behind,
Save a happy recollection in the mind,
Of each of my four children, who will find
It hard to remember me, as I am now,
With every passing year, and anyhow,
Will make me fresh and new when I am dead,
And I shall be a figment in each head,
Constructed to a different set of rules,
Which would govern how motherhood should seem,
A woman who is mostly just a dream,
A pair of laughing eyes, a croaky voice,
A set of rather dreary ideas,
A random group of sketches, each the choice,
Of any given moment of remembrance,
Diluted and confused throughout the years,
Until even that poor spirit disappears,
And then I shall be nought, not even air,
Which is the height of my ambition,
The opposite of coming to fruition,
A total annihilation and a severance,
Which sounds rather like a counsel of despair.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Parcel Guilt

From the technical adjectival meaning - partial
Plus guilt, the feeling one has when one bids for and wins
A regency, rosewood and gilt mirror, on eBay.
And only some of what you say,
To yourself, can justify your having bid on it,
As you already have several.
Because you're just rather partial
To that Empire look, 
It goes so well with the Neo Colonial, Anglo Indian
Chairs, and contrasts with the martial
Simplicity of campaign secretaires,
And is a perfect match for the one you already have,
Half way up the stairs,
And its always good to have pairs,
Except you're broke
And so is it, a bit,
Like all your so called bargains,
Like that priceless (worthless) Chinese vase, with no lid on it.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Barack Obama Makes An Official Visit To Britain On The Day After The Queen's 90th Birthday, To Lecture Us about Staying In The EU.


It is ironic that one who represents a republic should wish to champion the cause  of distant, unelected philosopher kings.

The day after the birthday of our Queen,
You marked by wishing sovereignty was dead,
Inferring nation states and what has been,
Were relics of no worth, and that, instead
We should aspire to something better, new.

Democracy is dead, long live elites,
Who govern from afar and seem to view
Their fellow men as rats who plague the streets
And must be dealt with harshly and en masse.

For ideology must always trump
Reality, and so the ruling class
Must subjugate.  The propaganda pump
Works on, nonstop, and pours out endless lies,
And issues threats and hints at cutting ties.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

A Period Property - Rightmove

How Lovely, a lavatory,
With a fat, golden pine seat,
Beneath a pair of net curtains,
Draped to suggest Victorian elegance.
What a picture, how graceful.
And two reproduction, four poster beds,
With chintzy pelmets.
And the factory next door makes no noise,
In those endless, steel sheds.
And a knotty pine fitted kitchen,
A knotty, fitted-pine knitted, spotty kitchen,
A snotty, spitty, pitted pine kitchen,
Just the fashion, once,
But not sufficiently long ago to be tasteful.
Just the thing, for a Georgian house,
And a plethora of fat leather sofas, turquoise.
And a conservatory, uPVC,
For conserving cane and wickerwork and glass topped bamboo tables.
And all for a million pounds,
Because it has stables.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Vintage Ear (Or A Strange Question In My Inbox.)






Are you still considering vintage ear?
Does this item still catch your eye,
As it flaps in the wind, perhaps,
Having grown a little larger each year?
What is there still to consider?
Click the link, you could still be the highest bidder.
I'm sure you could make up your mind, 
If only you would try.
Let me help.  Firstly a vintage ear
Has the advantage of allowing you to hear,
Subjectively.  No need to tune in to everything.
Birds won't bother you, or your wife.
You will find
That life
Is much more peaceful, but never fear,
You will still discern
The absence of any faint click
Denoting the failure to switch off the light
When some other member of the household
Leaves a room.  You'll still be up to that trick.
And any whispering of curses under breath,
Will be absolutely loud and clear.
Vintage ear is not a disadvantage,
Unlike vintage sight.
Don't get left behind.
Vintage ear is very much the in thing
Amongst people of your age.
It vies with baldness, grey hair turning white,
Wrinkles and extra freckles
For the feature most likely to make you appear
Like a sage.


(When I opened the email so that the full title of the subject was revealed it turned out to be   "Are You still considering Vintage Early Twentieth Century Gilt Framed Mirror?")

Monday, 4 April 2016

You Know The Type

You know the type:
You met them first, quite a while ago, now,
In some orange Penguin paperback.
You had fallen for the hype,
And really thought that critics ought to know
A good writer when they came across one.

You believed, had faith.
Or did you just prefer to show
You knew the fashionable names to drop?
Anyhow, you were taken in.
It was the age of innocence.

And, although you thought the characters tiresome,
You felt you ought to appreciate them,
Even emulate them, in their endless sophistication,
With their great minds, and Oxford education,
And their fashionable ways,
And their dinner parties, and their bed hopping.
Because they possessed the one, single qualification
Guaranteed to give them status:
They lived in London.
They were not rural,
They were not Northern
And somehow you forgot the one thing they were:
Pure fiction.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Watching The Sea From One's In Land Living Room.

Oh I do like to be beside the sea side,
as it flickers in the corner of the room,
where the sand cannot insinuate itself in every crack,
and the brilliance of reflected light 
is tempered by interior gloom:
a sulky fire, a sulky husband and the dark night, winter black.


Yes, I do like to be beside the sea side
where it flickers in the corner, and the spume
and azure air,
or the peaceful, turquoise ocean
make a backdrop, as I stare
at a lovely muscled back,
or a six pack, toned, firm, tight,
at smooth and burnished gold-brown skin 
masculine, 
hard, warm and thin,
(never touched by sun tan lotion)
ripped! Rippling hypnotically, erotically, in waves,
in explanation of the notion,
of sympathetic motion
as Poldark rides, half naked, along the cliff top track.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Hashtags And Flowers. (To the tune Kelvingrove)

There are hashtags, there are flowers, there is candle light
There is signalling of virtue, but no end in sight.
There is following the crowd
And pretending to be strong,
There is acting like a coward
Shielding what is wrong.

There are words in mealy mouths,
There is hot air and guff
There are many good intentions
But there's not enough
Of the sort of strength we need
To protect us, and indeed
We'd reject it if we saw it
For our brains are fluff.

Out Of Time

I seem to have run out of time,
It has fallen behind the cooker.
It slid off its hook on the wall.  
I have also run out of interesting.
Interesting depends on portions -
Portions depend on time.
You can't just gorge.
You can't read every article 
In the rightwing press
Enjoying being incensed by the state of the country these days
And the feeling of boiling blood.
You can't just feast
On every piece of seventeenth
Century or Georgian furniture
For sale in the auction catalogues,
Or examine every antique on eBay
And make yourself sad
Knowing you can't scheme
About getting hold of the next one,
Because you bought one last week
And you have to ration. 
You can't look at every single
Historic property on Rightmove
Because you just get constipated in the head.
You can't get on at all
When time has fallen off the wall,
And got stuck behind the cooker.
Even when you own two longcase clocks that bong.
And don't bother pointing out 
The digital clock on the computer,
Because digital time comes from digit
Which means poking finger,
Scrolling finger, and it is entirely unrelated to real time
They just don't compare.
Real time is behind the cooker 
Getting covered in brown gunge and dog hair.