Sunday, 30 December 2018

Not Here

Between the point of laying down my book
And waking, later, lying on my back,
An eternity of nothingness, obscure,
Unlike so many other times before,
Where mere sleep has intervened and I
Have known the place in which I’ve been,
The parameters of mind, behind the eyes,
The places I have visited in dreams,
Surreal worlds just dull familiar scenes,
But here’s a vacuum, how much time has passed?
It may have been no time at all, and yet
It made the greatest difference there could be,
Because on re-emerging, I came back,
And knew that I’d come back to being me.
I set about to quite recall myself,
But started with remembered colour, blue.
I felt its calm familiarity, at first without its noun
And then the word arose, or did it land?
It seemed to come from outer space at first.
But knowing it began a chain reaction in my head,
And I recalled my mother, ten years dead,
And then my father, living still, alone,
And time slowed down and then seemed to expand
And I saw my elder sister, aged just three,
Upon a tricycle, on rough, flagged, pale grey floor,
And recognised the wrinkles of the stone,
At Swinsty in the entrance corridor.
And then my younger sister reappeared,
And seconds later she too had a name,
And then a little while must have elapsed,
And time seemed stopped, suspended once again
Until the shock of recollection of a spouse
Four children of my own, a lovely house.
And here I was, beside the dog, in my old bed,
The light still on, my novel on the chair,
At peace with a contentment which felt earned,
As if I'd passed a test, had won a game,
Alive and well, reborn, and quite returned
From emptiness and vacancy and black.

Friday, 28 December 2018

A Happiness Remembered In A Dream

A happiness remembered in a dream:
A baby on my shoulder, nodding off,
Emitting little noises and a warmth
And sweetness like no other thing on earth;
As I sing every song I know, and try
To turn each one into a lullaby.
And then on waking suddenly, the shock,
Of finding that the baby is a man.
I plan and scheme in every way I can
But there’s  no way of turning back the clock.


Tuesday, 23 October 2018


Up on the moors,
Among the bog cotton and heather, 
Millstone grit boulders,
Bilberries, bracken,
Lie a lad and lass together.
One is pale and shaken, 
Wretched, weak and broken.
It’s not Cathy and Heathcliffe,
Out in wind and weather,
For all he’s swarthy, black eyed, ‘other’,
It’s Mohammed and Chloe,
And she’s also had his brother,
And his best mate, Rashid, or someone or other. 
And peaty water is soaking through her jeans,
And she’s cold and shaking,
And she knows what he means 
When he promises he’ll see her tomorrow.
He’s going to leave her here,
Up on the moors,
Among the bog grass and the heather,
Under empty grey sky,
With just the lonely curlew’s cry
To remind her she’s alone,
Miles away from her mother.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Gas Light

The light, a greenish white, has yet a warmth,
One greater than itself could e’er possess,
It is not physical, this seeming heat,
It is a quality that is endowed 
By those who look upon it and feel blessed
Believing what they see has old, historic links,
And is the same kind radiance which bathed
The scene some hundred years ago. The street
May now be filled with passing cars, the crowd
Who walk the pavement might be dressed
In polyester raiment, cheap as chips,
But they are also human, are they not?
Just like their antecedents who forgot
Their fear and fought
For what they felt was right.   Such men 
Did not succumb, were not disturbed
As rugs were pulled from underneath their feet. 

And so it is that those who claim to think we should
Hold fast, each passing year to what is good,
Can practise their delusions and their tricks.
We do not see their treacherous deceit
Beneath tradition’s glow, beneath the soft
Moth pale and iridescent shine,
As every day they seek to undermine,
Those strong foundations upon which we stand
As smashing ancient truths we understood,
They hold abominations up aloft
For praise and to compel us to disown
Our silly, basic instincts.  We are banned
From speaking freely, and are shown
The error of our thoughts, derivative,
We’re told, from Fascism. For right is wrong,
There are no certainties,
Black’s white, good counter intuitive. 

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

The Archeologist

I’ve been digging all day, in search of offence,
And sweeping away the fine grains of sand,
And now I have negative evidence,
I’ll condemn you anyway, out of hand.
My role is to show that there was something here,
Be it only a tone, or an ill judged phrase,
I’ll pull you to pieces and make it quite clear
That all those who follow you, or sing your praise
Are as vile as you and worth nought but contempt.
And I shall look virtuous, clever and wise 
And will sneer at your arguments, much is at stake.
And each sad attempt that you foolishly make
To win followers by writing witty replies
Will result in more trouble, yet you’ll leave a trace,
As defeated you quit in a swirl of disgrace.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Climate Change

It’s been all pathetic fallacy, politically,
We’ve been extreme, 
Defending Corbyn speaking anti Semitically,
Or wishing him dead, instead, 
And warming to our theme,
Yet unable to think critically
We’ve been tweeting out abuse,
Letting bitchy one liners define us. 
But it’s no use,
Autumn’s nearly here, all moderate and mellow,
Turning our politicians Lib Dem yellow,
There’ll be no Brexit, just stale compromise
And the usual, temperate lies,
And the climate will be English, once more,
We’ll tell ourselves prag trumps dog matic
And constant tepid pleasant, trumps occasional ecstatic.
We might even start to put radio four on,
And listen for minutes before shouting ‘moron’,
Things will be as they were before
And we’ll find it was all just weather,

Oh well, whatever!

Sunday, 26 August 2018

The Counterpoint of Birds

The Counterpoint of Birds

First light of dawn is deep hue smalt
Which fades and pales to powder blue
As background noise - M62,
Increases, never seems to halt,
Provides a pedal or a drone, 
Incessant, rushing monotone
Above whose roar, like distant sea,
An early bird, quite close at hand
Atop the neighbour’s holly tree
States his subject,starts a strand,
A timid hesitating phrase, 
And pauses, thinks he is at fault,
As none take up his shy refrain,
But keeps his nerve and tries again,
Insists on morning, takes command,
Restates the subject of his fugue.
Until another joins in,
High in pitch, short whistling,
Which harmonises nearby snoring
Contented, snorting sighs of praise.
And then a pigeon on the roof
Hoots down the chimney in disdain,
Just as the wall clock in the hall
Strikes six and its sweet ringing chime,
Is answered by a robin’s call,
And then a far off collared dove
Starts up a football chant, quite boring.
A magpie sneers and jeers to rhyme
Each scoffing shout an ill tempered rant,
Which causes counterpoint to stall,
By leaving others feeling small.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Comments Closed

The comments section underneath the line
Is closed today, you cannot have your say:
Our algorithms are on holiday.
Our bots need rest, and recreation, wine,
And walking in the Tuscan hills, fresh air,
Those things YOU crave in summer, please be fair, 
They cannot monitor your words, define
Your views as hateful, cruel, repulsive, vile,
Day in day out.  They needs must take a break
From scanning ‘right wing’ thought, for what’s at stake -
Our Socialist Utopia - requires us to file
The names and controversial arguments
Of those whose old ideas we deem wrong,
For purposes we hide.  Still, all along
We let you speak, these legal instruments
We store, condemn you to your fate, it’s true,
But every time you tapped the screen, to spell
Out nasty contradictions and repel
Your betters, up above, you condemned you.
Each time you tried to sound a caution, wrote
Of how, in your experience, the thought
Behind the narrative was wrong and fought
To change the author’s outlook, we took note,
Not in the way you wished us to, perhaps,
But as it was attention which you sought
We gave it in abundance and you ought 
To show some gratitude.  It was your lapse
From Marxism which sealed your doom, your need
To tap out sacrilege at speed, our role,
Is merely to facilitate, extol
The virtues of the system, and indeed
To trap.  So be grateful we’re not here now,
Be glad our algorithms are away,
Remember everything you wish to say
Will be held for years against you. Somehow.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Back Me Up To A Cloud.

Back me up to a cloud, lest I forget
The beauty of an English village street,
Of homes of handmade, rustic brick where yet
It’s possible to guess the date of neat
And tidy houses which  retain: a ridge
Which dips or waves, beneath an azure sky
Where a chimney sends a curl - softest smudge
Of momentary grey, and passers by
Acknowledge it as prayer, a hope sent out
Upon the English air, that all within 
Should be as if by Vesta blessed. Cream grout
Of old lime mortar well rubbed back, some thin
In well ruled staves and some slapped on to fill
The chinks which tired, idiosyncratic 
Bricks can’t help create.  Sagging softwood sill
Beneath a sash of aristocratic,
Classical design, whose strong bars, in line
Still along the upright plane, serve the role
Of temple pillars, changing light, define
The boundaries of each dark pane, control
The view through wavy, polished glass so those
Looking out onto the river see the scene
As through some older, wiser eye which knows
That mere sight is just enough to glean
The faintest understanding of the world.

Back me up to a cloud, visions fade now,
As each house has its lovely eyes gouged out,
Its soul seems to evaporate, and show
The blank, dead stare of modern man’s self doubt
In manufactured plastic, perfect glass,
In double layer, which makes the poor, cheap mask,
Yet more repulsive.  Now I cannot pass
Without a hopeless sigh, so huge the task -
Nigh on impossible, of stopping those
Who wish to flash new wealth at others, who
As ignorant as they themselves, dispose
Of every vestige of what’s passed.  The new,
The mass produced, the thing that shouts its price,
Is held as almost sacred, save that those
Who would eradicate each, last, sweet trace
Of our shared history, one must suppose,
Can’t comprehend what sacred means.  The dumb,
Who desecrate in ignorance each place
Which they pass through are mindless, numb,
To conservation’s call, unmoved by grace,
Without the faintest understanding of the world. 

Monday, 2 July 2018

I Passed The Devil On The Stairs

The Devil passed me on the stairs, 
As I was coming up them,
He looked down on my childish thoughts,
Decided to corrupt them.
He stopped to talk and blocked my way,
I could not pass, nor could I stem
The flow of strange, polluting words,
He poured and spat like yellow phlegm,
He simply, coarsely had his say. 

He did not seek to be let in,
He did not tempt me with ideas,
This was not Milton’s man,
To pour foul ‘truths’ into my ears
Was this vile creatures plan.
And they were truths, to the extent
They honestly described
The goings on of fellow men,
Unlimited, he spoke to span
The whole range of human sin. 

Now men and agents of the state,
It seems have recently imbibed,
His poison makes them mad, intent,
Fanatical, resolved, hellbent,
On ‘educating’ children then,
Disguising their black deeds as good,
Destroying what has been for years
A pledge, a contract understood.

Monday, 4 June 2018

I Walked Behind An Agéd Tart

I walked behind an agéd tart,
Along a glorious country lane,
I did not see from whence she came,
She just appeared and passed in front,
And neither of us smiled or talked.
Her tired legs set wide apart,
Her gait unbalanced, slightly lame,
She toddled on yet seemed to gain
A deal of ground in not much time,
Her mouth, a gash, also askew,
Was painted in some pale red hue.
Her clothes were polyester, black,
Part see through chiffon at the back,
Perhaps no longer on the game,
Yet somehow she still had the knack,
Of advertising as she walked,
Her former trade, to men of slime -
The pleasures of her withered cunt.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

After The Wedding

The dog, having worn herself out,
In catching toys, thrown by bored boys,
Lies by the front door, 
Exhausted and stiff, as never before,
Half dozing and twitching, detached from reality,
Patiently awaiting the return of normality. 

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

The Chairs For The Wedding

The chairs for the wedding, vary, greatly,
Some stand tall, “serene and stately”,
Ready for some, more grand, occasion,
Firm of joint, and sound of rail, 
Their polish sparkling, like their conversation,
Too loud, beside their country cousins,
Slightly wormed, and rather frail,
Trying to mingle, look the part,
Beside the well used, everyday dozens,
Clean and neat and sound of seat,
Straight forward, useful, stout of heart. 

Some are split about the splat,
With no desire to stand and chat
And others, lumpy round the springs,
Make conversation based on things,
Competing to impress their fellows,
Regency, in golds and yellows,
Rosewood dense and strong, unyielding
Imagining the power they’re wielding
Arises from some greater merit
Than their ash made peers inherit
Forgetting ash made Piers’s plough
And fired the arrows from Robin’s bow.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

On Tony Benn’s Five Questions

Speak plainly, say what power you have got?
And next tell where you got it from? Be clear,
You act as if you prize your power a lot,
And yet you barely ever seem sincere.
And in whose interests do you use it most?
Your own, we all suspect, but do reply,
Though don’t say ‘for man’s good’, you should not boast
In such vague terms, for we’ll find out your lie. 
And say to whom you are accountable?
You act as if accountable to none,
Leave havoc, problems insurmountable,
Insoluble, behind you when you’ve gone
To try out mad ideas in pastures new,
So last, say how we might get rid of you?

Friday, 16 March 2018

“We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.“

On A Quotation From Ayn Rand

We’re almost living in that age,
Approaching now the final stage
Of ultimate inversion, when
Permission is required by men,
From government, who’ve placed a cage
About them.  How will they assuage
Their guilt, speak out and thus engage
In bolst’ring freedom’s cause, again?
Almost living,
Caged, can we measure, gauge
The distance left, can any sage
Predict the time, when in the pen
The bolt will drop?  And God, what then?
Too late to cry and scream and rage:

Almost living.