Thursday, 18 January 2018

the Eversley Brothers

the harmony of their songs
ached us down the night lanes,
and we, the shadow boys,
with our pub side pasties,
fired in the Band of Hope, 
kissed the girls
and told each other,
yes, tomorrow,
we will.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

beggar me neighbour

beggar me neighbour

you sit there in the way
with your dog and grubby blanket
and a few coins
in your upturned cap
mumbling a please
that I do not want to hear
why should I talk to you
I don’t talk to anyone
  at random
why should you talk to me
  at random
why should I want to know who you are
  or were
more than I would want to know
  who anyone else is

give you a few coins for fags
  or for your mobile phone
no    no
if you need help go look for it 
get up from the side walk
  it’s not there is it
the government has my pennies
and they spend them on you as they see fit

  so why are there so many of you
messing up the place
go away
no I don’t want your magazine
  stop asking 
I don’t want it 

  there must be something you can do
why must I know something about you
I don’t even want your answer
  to that
I am walking past now
go away
  or stay
it’s up to you
just don’t keep asking
  that is what I’m asking you

why do I feel as if my words are cruel
see what you have done 
  just by sitting there 
all the shades of need across the world
  I am in my niche
  and you in yours
not my fault
  is it
shall I change my niche
can I change my niche
  let’s just be as we are
I am because of what I did
and I got here
  your turn to be somewhere 
just not here 
so don’t ask me 

if you think I can change the world
  you are wrong
we can stretch the elastic
but it always returns to its original shape
  over all the years
we live
we suffer
then goodbye

it’s the thoughts that count
  and they are free
and beggar your thoughts
  have made a beggar out of me

Friday, 12 January 2018

The voices of God

The lilting hiss of the curate’s kiss
along his words of wisdom;
God only knows why they talk like this
when proclaim the keys to The Kingdom.

A two and six postal order
and a tuppenny stamp, please,
hushes the vicar to the counter.
The football pools, he decides upon his knees,
and bets the numbered hymns in order, 
with a promise that “just four little aways?”
would win his eternal praise, 
curate to creator.

Such a gentle voice, a hand upon your shoulder,
but so out of place in the supermarket isle,
that we all say “off his trolley he is”,
slightly mouldier than a Stilton smile;
because, now that life is so puerile,
that chip upon his shoulder
has turned into a boulder.

For God’s sake man!
Talk like a human being. 
It cuts no ice, when you talk so nice,
you’ll never send the money lenders reeling.

Talk to me, talk to me,
for God’s sake talk to me;
not in condescension;
but scream and shout, 
spit it out, sputter in the tears of Christ,
and reflect upon their condensation.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Lord of the Morning

The music and the sunlight
upon the throne of dawn.
I might not, then again I might;
the cat stifles a yawn.
We close knit our eyes in the sunrise,
and surmise, surmise, surmise;
why does fur slink upon a sunbeam?
Why is a dream a dream?

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

To who

the owls are insisting
down the backyards of the night;
the tram wheels are zinging
on metal corners shining bright.
carry the last ones home to bed,
carry the day down, day down light,
for the owls are insisting
it's death to who? to who?
in the darkness of their night.

A mist this dawn

The morning sun is waltzing
with a gloaming mist this dawn,
lost somewhere 
between winter and spring,
and now, and now

I see a cobweb, 
golden in the breath of God, 
with the blue sky and the mist
as through a revolving door,
lamplight, brass - lamplight, brass,
upon a hedge that’s steaming, 
surely I must be dreaming? 
This cannot be summer,
and alas no, it’s just
a January joke.

Monday, 8 January 2018


The decades

When we think of the decades,
  the 50s or the 70s,
  for example,
or any act in the program;
we talk up a backdrop for the stage,
with all the players frozen
in time. 
  Dressed for their roles.
We know who “did it”, of course,
and why they did it, and why we did 
what we did, when we did it.
  Of course.
  Not in boredom, but by a renegade
rectitude after the fact.
Our life, paragon in each chapter,
in our book of life. We 
could have done it no other way,
although we sometimes question
if we could have;
but no, no, of course not.
  In decadence par excellence 
we assume that our tenure of each ten years
to be, or in retrospect, to have been 

Do you see my decades?
Or do you see your decades?
Which of us, being in the other’s decade,
are painted on the backdrop scene,
or maybe one of the main players?

The first decade is,
no doubt.
The middle isn’t until the last is.
Then it will be too late.
  Until then
the beautiful collection of linen bookmarks
strike a decade deal with us.
We reverse the opera glasses,
and fall down the well of time,
bouncing on the decade-dented steps.
We see flashes.
  We see scenes.
      We see the bruises of
the decades glow again
powdered by the rouge of I’m,
  I’m content.

And so we are.