A small selection of my poems.
Here there’s no up or down,
we’re in the middle, centred.
We see missiles hurtle overhead
from north to south and back again.
We grew up in the Bull Ring,
flaunt our bab, bostin’, deaf it,
on the way to the outdoor
for a bottle of pop.
We are Julie Walters, Jasper Carrott,
UB40, Ozzy Osborne.
We’ve seen and made it all;
two centuries of sweat and beer,
Spaghetti Junction hearts.
from Communing, Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2016
Two years ago today
a taut peapod was shelled
and within a minute
we went from a couple
who drank until 4am
and reached for the end
of the mattress with our toes
on giddy Sunday mornings
with newspapers a second bedspread,
to a family, four-square and two apiece.
All the books said that skin-to-skin
was essential to promoting a bond,
keeping warm and staying calm
so I slipped Daisy under
my crisp blue scrub shirt
murmuring a welcome as she
became entangled in my chest hair.
I felt her body, bony as a kitten,
nestle against me and relax,
kissed the unusual crust on her crown.
While the curtain of their entrance
was sewn shut for good,
Jack too was installed quite snug
in the crook of his mother’s elbow.
When he can speak properly
I’ll enquire about the nasal tube
into which we syringed warm milk
a cc at a time, just to know
that it was bearable and that
he was glad he came.
We took photographs in those
curious first weeks of our
best judged selves and others
clutching these minute lives;
this pigeon pair who’d done what they could
with 35 weeks of womb time
to emerge obstinately alive
just in the nick, to turn our world
immaculately on itself and focus
love to two bright points.
How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?
Confetti on the rain-covered pavement;
I stoop to inspect it and see
blue ballpoint hearts and hasty kisses.
I peel up every last torn piece
keep it safe in my pocket until I’m home
and then tape it back together.
A smudged jigsaw of promises and regret,
it deserves a second chance.
Pineapple as a metaphor for life
Yes, it’s still sitting on the window ledge:
gruff, rough, browning leaves,
the Best Before Date was last Thursday.
It knows it’s a project, not a quick job
like cutting your fingernails;
this requires commitment, concentration.
While intact the pineapple mocks me:
we’re locked in a game of chicken
which will end in Tupperware or the pig bin.
This stand-off began the moment
I dropped it into my supermarket trolley.
It’s been building to this rough crux.
I know the knife to do the job.
I’ll grab the crown, throw it on the board,
chop, slice, dice to wonder at last
why there’s so little left to enjoy.
This laminated card entitles the bearer
to notice things in the world that others don’t
and to find words to share them
to slice and dice and splice
graft with the craft of a gymnast
backflips with words previously unheard.
It will allow you to blur your focus
see the birds and frogs in Magic Eyes
tune out Neil Diamond on the radio.
With this card you will gain admittance
to lofty halls and poky little basements
penthouse apartments and draughty garrets
to read and bleed as decreed
on microphones by metronomes and Dictaphones
for teachers, lay preachers and fantastical creatures.
It will give you permission
to submit to literary journals
and enter competitions judged by bigwigs.
But you don’t really need this licence.
It isn’t the key to a magic kingdom
or proof of an apprenticeship.
You can write without it
share the words you unfurl
like boys and girls at play.
Your poems need readers to live.
Practice in the mirror stark bollock naked
pucker your sexy lips and kiss
poet poet poet poet poet.
Ink, Sweat & Tears – 25/01/15 – link
Look up on a clear night,
you’ll see me glint by.
I’ll try to wave assuming
I’m not doing space things.
They’ve got me growing
weed under lamps;
I have to roll it generously
and put on funny hats.
There are box sets
but not what you’d hope:
“Little House On The Prairie”,
“Merlin” and “Bread”.
I’m the last one aboard,
a chimp in loungewear.
I’ve spilt my peanuts
to see if they notice.
Fry Your Friends – 08/11/14 – link
Sometimes a young life
boils down to a willingness
to go skinny-dipping.
Throwing off your clothes
as you run laughing into
a gargle of salty spume
while someone else sits
among the dunes, worrying
you’ll catch your death.