Friday, 29 December 2017

BBC Schedule



This autumn, we shall show you:  torture, gore,
A Hanging, maybe many, a racking,
A demonstration of the verb to draw, 
As it relates to guts, nothing lacking
Which might show the English at their cruel worst.
We’ll employ a writer whose compassion
Is for violent terrorists and whose first
Thought, every day, is of revenge.  Fashion,
Though, tells us rather sternly we must drop
A Christmassy whodunnit, rather dull,
Because an actor in it is accused
Of sexual assault.  And we don’t stop
To ponder innocence, we’re much too full
Of faux affront, our right-on thoughts confused.

We Cannot Pick Cherries

We cannot ‘cherry pick’, or so we’re told
For this is a trade negotiation.
In future, unlike those days of old,
We shall only appreciate cherries in juxtaposition
To acres of plain sponge, and the dull relation
Shall be tolerated, dross among the gold.
This fantasising about choice, is just the work of imagination:
We cannot ‘cherry pick’, or so we’re told.
And these particular cherries, can’t decay, grow mould
What is cherry today, will be cherry always. This fixation
With success must end.  Our losses must be manifold,
For this is a trade negotiation,
We can’t benefit from being free, the temptation
For others to follow would be great, we must let go our hold
Of that which is good and forget innovation:
In future, unlike days of old,
We shall be ignorant, passive, unable to be bold,
So no cross breeding, for flavour, sweetness, size. The definition
Of cherry will be fixed, in perpetuity, financial services, not goods, sold.
We shall only appreciate cherries in juxtaposition
To an endless tide of humanity, a set of rules designed for suffocation,
Our loss, our poverty, our misery, a joy to behold
To our ‘friends’ and ‘neighbours’, to whom we shall return, in supplication,
Or so we’re told.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Still Water, Winter Day




A line of green and buff and dun,
Above it, the azure, cobalt, almost turquoise, slap dash sky
Dappled in little clouds, pale, pretty, fair,
And here and there a patch of grey or almost night.
And below, the smooth, polished cylinder glass of the river, where:
 
Dark horses graze the surface, from below,
Their feet moving gracefully, treading on tension,
Four legged water boatmen,
Their necks stretching to reach reflected shoots, which do not show.

And to the left, as I pass by,
Each turbine blade, on turning, casts on itself a shadow,
A wedge of storm, slate blue,
Almost a match for certain streaks and patches in the sky
Not quite as purple as the flags of light on sand,
Clay, and hard brown mud exposed at ebb tide’s half fullness
Which glow
With quiet dullness.

And as I walk away,
Branches of silver birch, bare, fully shed of autumn’s butter yellow
Shimmer, shiver in more obvious delight 
At the touch of the sun.






Thursday, 14 December 2017

A Meaningful Vote



The demos, back in June, 2016,
Had voted in their millions for control,
But politicians thought this was obscene,
That governing a country was a role
For people better, higher, greater than
Themselves.  For foreign chaps have so much style,
Sophistication wafts about each man,
Who, schooled in obfuscation and in wile,
Has all the charms belonging to The Prince.

An Anglo Saxon attitude’s no use:
Plain speaking, wisdom, trying to convince,
Is just a game for mugs and the obtuse,
Those idiots who wished to bring it back.
The modern world requires a foreign touch,
The skill to rule that white will now be black,
Without first having a debate.  For much
Of what’s required today, is just excuse,
For poor decisions politicians made
Last week, last month, last year, and why confuse
The plebs, by offering some subtle shade?

So, in December 2017,
Our politicians had their honest say,
They voted for the chance which they had seen
To stop the demos getting their own way.

Monday, 12 June 2017

How It Really Is.

To 'love one's neighbour as oneself', requires
One first to love oneself, so one might know
What sort of thing love is, yet it transpires
One is not lovable. One cannot show
One's neighbour love therefore, and so instead
One settles for a paltry substitute -
One stops just short of wishing he were dead.
Since, if he were, one could not institute
One's little squabbles over trivia
And breathe them into fiery campaigns 
And elevate them to quadrivia -
Important subjects, which he then disdains,
Refuses to address, but out of spite,
Pretends that at some future time he might.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The Time Before And The Time Afterwards



In the time before, there was May, in bloom,
Parts of April, parts of June, 
As if a wand had been waved over a canvas, 
Seventeenth century, Flemish, 
Turning burnt umber background to lapis lazuli sky,
Tulips, lilacs, roses in suburban gardens,
Lawns with daisies strewn.
In the time before there was love and irritation,
There was 'do your homework, tidy your room'.
There were your clothes folded neatly,
Which you would wear again,
Little worries about your education.
There were photographs that did not make me cry,
Of you, in blue checked romper suit,
Golden curls, apple cheeks, laughing eyes, not camera shy.
In the time afterwards there is May,
Whose beauty I will never love again.
There will be June and the thought of your not seeing it,
Other people's children pouring out of school,
And your not being amongst them,
And the great tight pain in my chest as I try
And fail
To stop this sob becoming
One great primeval wail.



Wednesday, 10 May 2017

2 am

The cat has no conception
Of the crime 'cultural appropriation',
He's howling and shouting as if he's Siamese.
Stalking the long corridor,
In my direction,
Testing acoustics he has tested before,
Caring nothing for my disapprobation,
His worms need feeding and he can't cope with his fleas.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Loved One

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/01/rise-live-stream-funeral-half-venues-can-now-broadcast-services/

Nearly 50% of Funeral Venues have the capacity to live stream ceremonies via the internet:

"Mr Joyboy has fixed up the camera in the corner,
Your loved one looks, so beautiful,
We've given him the beatific smile,
I'm sure every mourner,
Here, and those who can't attend, but dutiful
To the idea of "paying their last respects",
Watching online, will agree.

Some of Mr Joyboy's special effects:
Eg. the "scream" as the coffin enters the furnace, you'll see
Go down particularly well,
With our more youthful clientele.
While older mourners, the ones who still insist
On being an "in person attendee"  
Find it a bit upsetting,  who can resist
The temptation to turn a funeral into a scene
From a horror movie,
Especially when it's going to be seen, on screen?

For an extra fee
Mr Joyboy can arrange knocking
To come from the coffin, 
And one of the undertakers to rush up with a key
To try unlocking it
And letting your loved one free,
Only to be defeated,
As the coffin rushes towards the fire.
The inevitable end, can be filmed in slow motion
Then repeated,
To drive home the memory.


Of course we all aspire
To show our devotion 
To our loved one in ways that are dignified,
We don't want our relatives and friends to be mortified,
But movies are best with some kind of action.
Take advice from Mr Joyboy,
An expert in both film and funeral direction."


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Some Form Of Umbrage



Some form of umbrage can always be taken,
And the small, perceived slight will always awaken
The mind to another small grudge, stored away,
Wrapped up with care, 
For a special occasion.
And the slighted are right, they are never mistaken,
And poke at their wounds all day
And dig in their heels and will not be shaken,
Enjoying the sense of grieved frustration,
Believing themselves alone and forsaken
By friends who might dare
To suggest that they are 
Victims of their own, 
Petty, imagination.




Friday, 10 March 2017

Rapid Cycling

The sky was streaked with pink,
At six twenty five,
Which made me think
There was joy in being alive.
And I was full of happy ambition.
But by six twenty seven
the sky was dull and pale grey
And my glimpse of Heaven
Had become a premonition
Of a pointless, crappy day.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Spring



Today I have been mostly
Painting the coal stains on the Chinese carpet, chrome yellow.
Using Dylon fabric paint, 
But it may as well have been emulsion.

And yet this strange compulsion,
Which is part of spring cleaning and lent,
Restoration, resurrection
Is not really a sign of insanity,
It is quite artistic and intelligent
And the sort of thing Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell
Might have done, and not even needed to justify their actions
With historic argument
In favour of Chinese yellow in an 18th century, English drawing room.
And it is cheerful and looks forward to daffodils 
And sprigs of forsythia in the blue and white vases on the chimneypiece
And banishes winter gloom.

I know other people's reactions 
Might be less appreciative, and that they may think old cocoa spills
More suitable additions to the colour scheme
Than my efforts to capture something of the garishness of the carpet's pre coaly days.
And though the original shade was more subtle,
Less gorse or skip or number-plate,
Still, there is a certain authenticity
A certain realistic Chinese flavour,
A dash of visual monosodium glutamate
About this one and there's nothing wrong with a little eccentricity
If it is an act of preservation.
And besides, I have been wearing grey tweed all winter.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

End of Feb.

The grey days weep
And the waters run where the paths are steep
And the waters seep when they cease to run
And the ways grow deep.
Great winds sweep
And we glimpse the sun
And sense life emerging from winter sleep
As the days grow longer
And seem to bring
A sense, quite false, that we grow stronger,
For we seize and limp
And fail to spring.






Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Hate Crime

I wrote this and the rondeau redouble about Hilary Clinton's women's march in the voice of a hysterical lefty, a sort of modern day Rick from 'TheYoung Ones' .




I hate crime, as a matter of course, I hate all crime,
I hate most of all a Hate Crime. One can't comprehend
the mindset of someone who hates all the time.
I can't stand people like them. They intend
to cause hurt, I am sure: they are vile, low life, pond slime.
They may not say aught to offend,
but one feels they are fascists; I'd like to drown them in quicklime.
I hate crime, as a matter of course, I hate all crime,
but Hate Crime is worst, there's no rhyme
or reason behind it, nobody can defend
thieves who hate their victims, ungrateful tapeworms living on chyme.
I hate most of all a Hate Crime, one can't comprehend
the attitude.  I'd be tempted to send
any found guilty of such to the gallows, I'd like to watch them climb
the steps, then see them drop, legs kicking. Bring back hanging, I'll gladly attend!
The mindset of someone, who dedicates his time
to hating others, because they are different, is alien, does not chime
with my way of thinking, at all. I would never spend
a minute meditating on how much I detested others, unlike these vermin, living in grime.
I can't stand people like them, they intend
to cause maximum suffering what with their insults and looks, but we'll get them in the end.
we beat Adolf, remember, and they're just like him. Imagine the joy, sublime
elation, ecstasy, we'll feel, knowing every hater's to be put on trial. And let's extend, 
redefine, include Tory thinking:  since Tories are scum we should digest them with an enzyme,
as a matter of course.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

After Reading A Spectator Review of "Death Of The Poets".

I must consider how I am to die,
If I am to be thought 'one of the greats,'
For though I write with humour, I must try
For fame.  Shall I: end up in dire straits
All riddled with disease that lingers, eats
Away at me from the inside; reach death
By accidental poison which depletes
My haemoglobin so that every breath
Is precious, wonderful; try suicide?
For how else shall my writing be imbued
With deeper meaning, something dark implied
Between the lines? And how shall what is crude
Be e'er transformed so that snort and chortle
Become tears and I become immortal?



Thursday, 9 February 2017

Soliloquy for boosting my self esteem

I am not now, nor have I ever been
A mad old cow.
Be gone dull care, for you little know me.
Indeed, it is my sanity, my real disposition,
Tells me silly things I say
Are not true, are flippant, not worthy of me.
This most average quantity, my share
Of sense, this brain all working normally
Is empirical proof.
Vanity might desire
That I am different, some other thing than most,
But that does not mean that I am a stupid old loony.
What a calm, quiet life I have led,
Have lived through each season
In sympathy. The quality
Of each and every task that I have undertaken
Has not been always the highest,
But that does not mean that I have failed.
As duty shapes my life
There isn't room for arrogance
And yet, I ask, what is this great hatred, disgust?
Self must never be
The central focus
Though by my writing I seem to say so.


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

A Clinton Supporter Decides To Join the Women's March On The Day After Trump's Inauguration

I feel the need for confrontation,
There are fascists almost everywhere.
I mean to go on a demonstration,
I need to show the world I care
About the earth and refugees, I swear
I’ll not let Trump change this nation,
We choose love, not hate, so there!
I feel the need for confrontation
The fascists need an education,
I’ll wear no clothes, just my lacy underwear
And shout about the benefits of globalisation.
There are fascists almost everywhere
But caring women are really rare
Those rust belt bitches deserve eternal damnation,
I mean to be seen in the public square
 I mean to go on a demonstration
Show the world can be a better place, if we use imagination,
Imagine how the world would now be equal and fair
If only Trump had been shot at his inauguration.
I need to show the world I care
I’ll wear a hijab and cover my hair,
I’ll scream  ‘we want lots more immigration’,
I’ll shout the Muslim call to prayer
And demand an end to our country’s isolation;
I feel the need.

Friday, 13 January 2017

English Country House Dog



The dog knows that I know
That she fell off the bed last night,
Sleepily scratching imagined fleas
So now she takes her repose
In the middle,
Curled up tight,
On top of my tired legs
And when I try to make her move
She begs not to be disturbed and sighs
And her lovely eyes reprove,
And she refuses to budge
Embodying insistence
Even as I nudge with my creaking knees.
She just slumps down firmly on my fat thighs.
You see she blames me
And it's happened before
And like the school mistress she was in her previous existence,
She's not prepared to ignore my bad manners anymore.
Something about the way she harumphs
Suggests that she thinks
That the only way for us to ensure we both get a good sleep,
Is for me to kip on the floor.




Wednesday, 11 January 2017

The Garden Forager



"How lovely to see you, mwah, mwah,
Come in, come in - blah blah blah,
I've made a little lunch, I'm a forager,
No, no, I've abandoned the pottager,
Sooooo last year, I've fried us some ceps,
They're rather retro, and a puff ball.
Do you know I haven't been to Waitrose for a week?
Of course I'm lucky,
Having such a large place in which to seek,
I barely need to shop at all,
I just open the door, take a few steps,
And there, by the wall,
Is this marvelous protein,
Did you know Amaranth's the new Quinoa?"

Monday, 2 January 2017

Hull, New Year's Eve just before 2017



City of culture, my arse!
City of nothing new,
City of no one here's posh,
Nobody's feeble, southern, nesh!
City where I belong
With my black, net thong 
Featured in the Mail -
Daily, not Hull!
City of Full view
Of giant, fat, pale
Hemispheres of flesh,
City of buttocks of fish wives,
More eloquent in their mooning flash
Their national, tabloid, internet splash
Than any amount of explaining.
City of fuck you!